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Reading the Arts

Author: Brian Kellow (page 1 of 7)

Conversations with Elizabeth Wilson — Part IV

EW: To have my career as I had it, I had to protect myself. I had to be positive. And even though I never became a star name, I still knew that I was pretty good, and that I had to take care of that, and that I didn’t want to slump down into the […]

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Screen and Screen and Again: Hold Back the Dawn (1941)

Stories of personal redemption were thick on the ground during Hollywood’s Golden Age, and often they were sticky and heavy-handed and moralistic. Paramount’s 1941 drama Hold Back the Dawn is one of the best. It stars Charles Boyer as Georges Iscovescu, a Romanian con man and professional heartbreaker down on his luck, who lands in […]

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Conversations with Elizabeth Wilson — Part III

BK: Maybe Elia Kazan didn’t cast you in Splendor in the Grass, as we discussed a few weeks earlier. But you had quite a lot of movie activity in the late 1950s and early 1960s. EW: I did. BK: You played Kim Stanley’s “overseer” at the end of The Goddess (1958). EW: Yes. I’m not […]

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Barb Jungr and John McDaniel at 54 Below

Whenever I mention a singer I love in the world of cabaret, the question I get thrown at me a lot is, “Who is she like?” But Barb Jungr isn’t remotely like anyone else. On January 16, 2018 the amazing Jungr performed a one-night only show at Michael Feinstein’s 54 Below with her music director, […]

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Screen and Screen Again: Bette Davis in The Whales of August

Bette Davis first cast her spell over me when I was about twelve. A local Oregon TV channel showed Jezebel, William Wyler’s 1938 romantic drama of the Old South, and I was mesmerized immediately. Davis was never more attractive onscreen; she also demonstrates an amazing ability, in just seconds, to transform her face from something […]

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Conversations with Elizabeth Wilson — Part II

Here’s another excerpt from my chats with the distinguished actress Liz Wilson. I’m glad that people appear to have enjoyed the first installment so much. — B.K

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Conversations with Elizabeth Wilson – Part I

The other day, I wasn’t at my best and I began thinking about what could happen in that moment that would make me feel better. The first thing that sprang to mind was a good sit-down chat with Liz. By Liz, I mean the gifted actress Elizabeth Wilson, who was a close friend of both […]

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Screen and Screen Again: Joan Bennett in Scarlet Street

Two nights ago, feeling the need of a reassuringly familiar movie, I watched something I’ve seen more times than I could possibly guess: Fritz Lang’s provocative 1945 film noir, Scarlet Street. I first came across it when I was a freshman in college, and I found it simultaneously shocking, in a peculiar way, and amusing, […]

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A Memoir to Remember: Christopher Buckley’s Losing Mum and Pup

The act of grieving our parents is anything but orderly and predictable. It is not something that lays itself out in neat first, second and third acts, like a bad made-for-television movie. And why should it? We have a lifetime of wide-ranging experiences with our parents; there is as much to go on celebrating as […]

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I Love Lucy

“I want to see what was there for me once, then what is there for me now,” playwright Lillian Hellman famously wrote in her 1973 memoir, Pentimento. Often, however, many of us don’t want to revisit indelible memories. Perhaps we’re afraid that if we keep examining them, they won’t ultimately measure up to the place […]

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