Saturday, October 24, 2009

Animated Barbra

Barbra made an "animated" appearance on the September 27, 2009 episode of "American Dad". One of the plots focused on a $499 pay-per-view T.V. special called Barbra does Celine.
While it may look like her, the voice (and singing) was definately not hers.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

For Pete's Sake

My first memory of For Pete's Sake was from watching games shows during the day during the summer of 1974. I was always watching way too much television and I loved game shows. It seemed that at the end of the shows, they would give promotion consideration for this and that product and one of the items was for this movie. I don't remember which game show, it may have been more than one. I just remember multiple mentions, enough that I still retain it decades later (the power of advertising!). I remembered her name because I had previously seen The Way We Were at the theater. It was during this time that I became aware (although not necessarily a fan) of this actress.
The above screen shot showing Brooklyn was actually shot on the back lot at Warner Brother's studio. The background buildings still look the same. Granted, they look pretty bare when not dressed up for a shoot. It looks like they've made some modification in the foreground. The angle is a little bit off but the road doesn't quite line up and the sidewalk looks extended. But hey, that's Hollywood.

Auction 2009 Part 2

After winning two Academy Awards, ten Grammy Awards, four Emmy Awards, a Special Tony Award, a Peabody, an AFI Life Achievement Award and inducted as a Kennedy Center Honoree, you would think they could spell her name correctly!

Auction 2009 Part 1

This is a photo of Roz Kind at the auction preview October 16, 2009.
The auction has been well documented elsewhere on the internet. Can't think of anything else to add that hasn't already been reported.
However, after the auction on Sunday, I did hang around and talked to a couple who were friends with Darren Julien's parents. The only "exclusive" I can give you here is that Kenny Rogers was signed up for the auction. Don't know if he actually bought anything. Couldn't get any information on other celebrities registered.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Way We Were filming locations - Part 1

I remember the first time I saw The Way We Were. It was in Victoria, Texas with my sister and (now ex-) brother-in-law. I was still a little too young to get emotional at this movie. I remember enjoying it. I remember the theater was crowded and we had to slowly walk down the aisle to exit. I remember my sister was crying (well, had the sniffles) and I asked "Why are you crying?". Like I said, I was too young at the time.
But don't worry. This was a movie kept coming back to the theaters. I remember seeing it in 1977 during a return engagement at the local theater in New Bruanfels, after a successful run of A Star is Born. I cried my eyes out at each screening.
The screen shot is from the end of the movie across from the Plaza Hotel (get those hankies ready). The background buildings haven't changed much since the filming of the movie. But if you look closely, you'll see a new high-rise has popped up.

Interview with Mario Tosi (DP on The Main Event)

Mario Tosi, director of photography on The Main Event, attended a screening of the movie in Fort Lauderdale on October 6, 2009. It was part of a tribute to the cinematographer for the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival. Among the other movies he's worked on include Carrie, McArthur, The Besty and The Stuntman.
After the screening there was a Q & A session, with most of the questions focused on Barbra.
Following are "sound bites" for the event.
"O'Neal was a nice fellow"
"Selected by Zieff to shoot movie"
"Challenge with Barbra Streisand who was the biggest in the business at the time (referred to Hello, Dolly and A Star is Born) to light her. Shaky at start. She preferred to be filmed with a sky pan (huge, big light) on top of the lens- which made her totally flat, like a pancake."
He didn't want to film her that way. "You don't have to look that way". Her Greek nose was beautiful.
Was shaky the first two weeks until he slowly convinced her to use bounce lighting. Slowly added shadows. She slowly accepted lighting that way- soft light/ shadow.
"She looked pretty" Depended on him. Talented, insecure. Called at night.
She asked him to do Yentl. (I questioned him in more detail about that afterward. During filming of ME and afterward, they talked about it. Even visited her ranch to talk about it. By the time filming was in place, she went with a European film crew).
He would have loved to do A Star is Born- a big film. Main Event was a tiny comedy.
She's the most talented person in his career.
Needed to be a perfectionist on the set. Do it correctly, or you're fired. She wants the best.
Not in touch anymore. Hasn't been in touch with her in 13, 14 years.
Attended the same yoga place together.

Close Encounters of the Barbra Kind No. 23

Going, going gone.
Since I didn't have tickets for the Village Vanguard concert, I waited outside the backdoor entrance hoping for a quick glimpse of Barbra. And it was a quick glimpse for the small crowd that gathered that afternoon. Barbra's SUV drove up at 4:53 p.m. E.S.T. (yes, I checked the time).
She was whisked away against the screaming of the fans asking her to turn around. She briefly turned around and waved, then proceeded to the backdoor. The crowd let out a collective "ahhh" disappointed that she didn't turn around and wave longer. Sensing the crowd's disappointment, she turned around and waved again- for about a total amount of 5 seconds. We'll take that one more look at her- even if it is only 5 seconds.
These are the greatest shots, but it's all I got. The third photo would have been pretty good, if I hadn't shaked the camera! It happened so fast, then it was over.
By the time she left after the concert, the crowd had grown considerably. Barbra made a beeline to the SUV (what, no meet and greet with the fans?). Didn't catch a glimpse of her until she was in the car when the interior light was on. Once again, it happened so fast, then was over :(
(P.S., you have to enlarge the photos to really see Barbra)

Inside the Village Vanguard - Sept. 26, 2009

Above is a photo inside the Village Vanguard taken from the stage looking out at the audience on September 26, 2009 taken by me. Now before you ask me if I attended the concert, I should add that this photo was taken around 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 26th.
I knew that it would be highly unlikely for me to somehow get inside for the concert barring a miracle. So I settled for the next best thing. I attended, along with friends Robin and Kevin, the 11:00 p.m. jazz concert on the 25th. This was the closest I could get to the real thing.
As you can see it's a small venue. The entrance the the nightclub is that red space with the exit sign above. The stairs go directly up to street level at 7th Ave. If you look over to the right of that area you can see another exit sign. If you go through that space you will end up at another flight of stairs that will take you to the back entrance at Waverly Place.
I kept the flash off for this photo to more closely resemble the view Barbra had the night of the concert. You can't tell from this photo but another row of tables was to the left and some additional tables to the right.
While there we talked to the staff for details. Our hostess said that the Secret Service was there that day for a security sweep (turns out the Clintons attended the concert, which we had surmised). Among the changes that were made was the addition of extra lighting (for filming) and a couple of vintage Barbra photos added to the wall close to the stage (to the right of this photo).
So there you have it- close, but no cigar.