Connect with us

Film

Spielberg’s Gamble Wins Big with his Spectacular West Side Story

Published

on

The whistles and the sweeping landscapes of deconstruction drive us into Steven Spielberg’s epic and magnificent new version of “West Side Story“. It truly is a glorious vision to behold, one that I had not made a plan to see on that cool Sunday evening in New York City, But after having the good fortune of seeing a matinee of Sondheim’s Assassins at the Classic Stage Company, I just couldn’t resist sitting in on this brave and noble adventure. Generally speaking, when I’m in NY, my days are scheduled out almost to the minute, with work, dinners, theatrical shows – on and off-Broadway, and more importantly, hanging with friends on the overwhelming agenda. That afternoon and evening had been set aside for a trip out to Jersey to spend time with some of my favorite people, but a “not feeling well” text sidelined the idea and made me think: What would be the best way to follow up the inventive Assassins, other than going to see one of Sondheilm’s earliest pieces of work, a new remake of West Side Story, a musical, once turned into an iconic film, now remade into something truly special by one of America’s most well-respected commercial filmmakers, Steven Spielberg. 

To be honest, every time I thought about this remake, I found myself flip-flopping back and forth. Is Spielberg the right man for the job? He obviously is a superb filmmaker, creating some of the most well-crafted blockbuster commercial hits, such as “Jaws”,” E.T.”, “Jurassic Park“, and the Indian Jones series, as well as making a number of more emotionally connecting dramatic films, such as “The Color Purple” and “Schindler’s List“. He also seems to have a strong affection for live theatre, having run into him a number of times uptown in a Broadway theatre and downtown at NYTW. But the question remained: Could he be trusted with one of the most iconic movie musicals ever made? I had my doubts, but I also thought, the man knows how to tell a story, and also sees the importance of fine craftsmanship and the relevance of film history. He also, maybe even more importantly, knows how to surround himself with people who are both strongly theatrical and super-intelligent, like Tony Kushner (Angels in AmericanCaroline, or Change) who wrote the adaptation of the film, and the Tony Award-winning choreographer Justin Peck (Broadway’s Carousel). Great storytellers, each and every one of them, taking on what many call “one of the greatest musical films of all time.” What could go wrong? A whole lot, many people thought, and maybe said out loud (or quietly to one another over a drink at the bar). Regardless, it was a huge, brave risk, taken on by everyone involved, especially Speilberg. But I will say, right off the bat, by almost all accounts, this new version of “West Side Story” is a magnificent, unparalleled, dynamic success.

Since first appearing on Broadway in 1957, this iconic musical, conceived by Jerome Robbins with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by newcomer Stephen Sondheim, and a book by Arthur Laurents, was nominated for six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, winning two. All of this I’m sure any Sondheim fan knows, but for those few who don’t, the Romeo and Juliet-inspired story of two New York street gangs fighting it out in the alleyways and parking lots over ownership of their ‘turf’, was greeted with high praise, just like the 1961 film, directed by Robert Wise and Robbins. With a screenplay by Ernest Lehman, the film starred Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, George Chakiris, and the Oscar-winning Rita Moreno, becoming one of the highest growing films of 1961, as well as the recipient of 11 Academy Award nominations, of which it won 10, including Best Picture. It is deeply loved by many, including me, but has also generated a lot of heated debate over its writing and the casting of its Puerto Rican characters. Natalie Wood is almost ridiculous when you think about her playing the part, beyond the fact that she didn’t even sing the part. Rita Moreno, a Tony Award-winner for The Ritz, was the only Puerto Rican cast in the film, and even she was forced to wear dark brown makeup to play Anita. Outrageous, one could, or really should say, loud and clear from the top of that building she danced her heart out on.

Rita Moreno performing ‘America’ in ‘West Side Story’ (1961) | Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

Lucky for us, nearly sixty years later, Moreno signed on as an executive producer on Spielberg’s West Side Story, and was given a pivotal part in the film, one created just for her, and the outcome is exceptional. In the newly created role of Valentina, Moreno portrays the widow of Doc, the drugstore owner, and in that role, she not only delivers an extremely touching creation right down to her solo, but gives a tribute and correction to the complicated history that surrounds the 1961 film. Her role reads like an added dimension to the scenario, sometimes finding herself on the opposite side of the argument and war, like when she shelters Tony in a war that will have no hero. And even though there was one moment that felt a bit hard to believe, the part gave the whole film a weighted base that assisted the structure set out by Spielberg and the whip-smart playwright Kushner (“Lincoln“). 

This film is probably the most daunting of my career. West Side Story is arguably the greatest score ever written in the theater, and that’s not lost on any of us. It’s very intimidating to take a masterpiece and make it through different eyes and different sensibilities without compromising the integrity of what is generally considered the greatest music ever written for the theater. But I believe that great stories should be told over and over again, in part to reflect different perspectives and moments in time into the work. — Steven Spielberg

Their vision, although following the respected storyline almost to the letter, gives us a tougher and more dangerous version of a world at war on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, in the midst of a teardown. It’s the 1950’s, and the working-class neighborhood that these characters can home, San Juan Hill, is being demolished to make way for the shiny new structures soon to be called The Lincoln Center. The foundations are being knocked right out from under their feet, creating an added edge of desperation and anger, and maybe even violence inside their heads and home. The tense energy flies off the screen, especially when we see the white boy Jets stomping their way menacingly down the mostly Black and Latino streets of their neighbourhood, beautifully captured by cinematographer Janusz Kaminski (1998’s “Saving Private Ryan“). As the leader of the Jets, Mike Faist (Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen) finds weight and heft in the part of Riff, giving one of the most compelling performances within. His hate and desperation are at the igniting heart of this war-time drama, feeding itself like gasoline from the inside, and destroying his future on the outside.

Rita Moreno as Valentina in 20th Century Studios’ “West Side Story” (2021).

But the spotlight of “West Side Story” 2021 really falls on Ansel Elgort (2017’s “Baby Driver“) well-defined shoulders to deliver fully on the role of Tony, a former member of the Jets who is trying his best to stay out of trouble. He lives quite simply in the basement of the drugstore, now run by the widow Valentina, who looks out for him as a sweet aunt would. His voice and stance are wonderful to see and hear, breathing romantic life into every moment and every song he sings. He’s a wondrously handsome creature to watch, and his touching attachment to Moreno’s Valentina is an added slice of luster to the already beautiful-to-watch film. Their caring bond fills out a void that we didn’t know was there until Speilberg and Kushner shone their sharp light on it. Elgort also finds fire and fight in his complicated attachment to Faist’s dynamic Riff, digging into an idea of testy brotherhood that is key to the wrecking-ball trouble that is soon to come. Their battle over control of the gun and so much more rings solidly true, even as we hold our breath worrying about the outcome or a potential fall, even though we know better to worry. The only real stumbling comes with his less passionate connection to María, most beautifully portrayed by the young newcomer, Rachel Zegler, which is, sadly, the true and core connection in the piece. The two seem to do all that is required of them, but their sexual chemistry doesn’t ignite in the same way everyone else’s passion, both good and bad, does. That weakness leads us to want just something a bit more to emotionally hold onto, in order for that eventual tragedy, the deadly one that we all know is coming, will register more strongly than their standoffish sexual attraction gives rise to.

Mike Faist, Ansel Elgort, and David Alvarez in 20th Century Studios’ “West Side Story” (2021).

Over in María’s world, this time around, the actors cast as the Sharks are actually of Latino descent, with the intense and compelling David Alvarez (2021’s ‘American Rust‘) taking on the role of Bernardo, the strong and fiery leader of the Sharks, and the over-protective older brother to young María. Playing Bernardo’s girlfriend, Anita, the part once played by Moreno, Ariana DeBose (Broadway’s Hamilton; 2021’s ‘Schmigadoon!‘) shines the brightest of the bunch, giving the part a level of depth and energy that must have made Moreno proud. Their familial engagement, the three of them within those apartment walls crafted authentically and intuitively by production designer Adam Stockhausen (2021’s The French Dispatch“), feels honest and true, particularly with the actual use of Spanish, with no subtitles, and DeBose’s Anita continually begging them to speak English. 

Once again, we all know where this tale is going. María is going to fall for the handsome Tony early on at the dance, and that ill-fated romance will carry them through the classic fire escape balcony scene to the violent and tragic end. We just aren’t prepared, or at least I wasn’t, for the pure artistry of getting them there. The electric dance sequence, remarkably enhanced by Peck’s athletic and intricate choreography, is a wonder to watch, much like DeBose’s Anita and Alvarez’s Bernardo star dance number, “America,” this time played out on the streets of their hood in the light of day. I couldn’t image how they could do anything to compare to Jerome Robbins spectacular work in the 1961 film, but each moment, especially the much improved “I Feel Pretty” number, and the fantastically rearranged and recalibrated “Gee, Officer Krupke,” elevates the film and the energy to a surprisingly pure and emotionally vivid level. 

Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, and the cast of 20th Century Studios’ “West Side Story” (2021).

The film flies forward with that energy at every moment, with anger and violence slipping its way in most deviously. The fights, and more importantly, that scene in the drug store when DeBose’s Anita comes late at night and almost gets sexual assaulted, vibrates with a tense violence that I never really got from the more theatrical 1961 film. No, I didn’t really believe that Moreno’s Valentina could have stopped this group of angry young white men from doing the terribly violent thing they were intending. Maybe that’s just me and my discomfort with the scene, but it was my only true moment of being taken out of my emotional involvement in the film. And yes, in regards to the 1961 film, that iconic film sizzled with tight power in its time, I’m sure, but for the modern audience who is taking in “West Side Story“, Spielberg’s direction is brilliantly unrivaled, finding a flow that matches the musicality of the piece while never letting it slip too far away from the heightened reality presented. He seems to know what is needed, particularly around the modern topics of racism, violence, class, and white privilege before we even realize it. 

He’s a natural, telling us this tragic and beautiful tale at a Shakespearian level that is truly awe-inspiring, both in the way it modernizes the piece and keeps its musicality traditional and connected. Feeding on his strong instinctive impulses, he seems to understand the rhythm and the wrecking ball energy needed to keep us involved and alarmed as the tempers escalate and the knives are drawn, creating a memorable film remake that might live to triumph over the other in our memory for years to come. I must admit, just like in the 1961 film, the ending failed to move me as much as, let’s say Baz Luhrmann’s spectacular “Romeo + Juliet“, in the way it handled the violent end of the lovers, but this “West Side Story,” deep inside its far grittier and violent tone, lies a film that will be forever listed as a gamble that paid off big and strong, and we can only turn our eyes to Spielberg for making it all happen so gloriously. You have outdone yourself brilliantly. Good for you, and Bravo!

Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler in 20th Century Studios’ “West Side Story” (2021).

For more from Ross click here

My love for theater started when I first got involved in high school plays and children's theatre in London, Ontario, which led me—much to my mother’s chagrin—to study set design, directing, and arts administration at York University in Toronto. But rather than pursuing theater as a career (I did produce and design a wee bit), I became a self-proclaimed theater junkie and life-long supporter. I am not a writer by trade, but I hope to share my views and feelings about this amazing experience we are so lucky to be able to see here in NYC, and in my many trips to London, Enlgand, Chicago, Toronto, Washington, and beyond. Living in London, England from 1985 to 1986, NYC since 1994, and on my numerous theatrical obsessive trips to England, I've seen as much theater as I can possibly afford. I love seeing plays. I love seeing musicals. If I had to choose between a song or a dance, I'd always pick the song. Dance—especially ballet—is pretty and all, but it doesn’t excite me as, say, Sondheim lyrics. But that being said, the dancing in West Side Story is incredible! As it seems you all love a good list, here's two. FAVORITE MUSICALS (in no particular order): Sweeney Todd with Patti Lupone and Michael Cerveris in 2005. By far, my most favorite theatrical experience to date. Sunday in the Park with George with Jenna Russell (who made me sob hysterically each and every one of the three times I saw that production in England and here in NYC) in 2008 Spring Awakening with Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele in 2007 Hedwig and the Angry Inch (both off-Boadway in 1998 and on Broadway in 2014, with Neal Patrick Harris, but also with Michael C. Hall and John Cameron Mitchell, my first Hedwig and my last...so far), Next To Normal with Alice Ripley (who I wish I had seen in Side Show) in 2009 FAVORITE PLAYS (that’s more difficult—there have been so many and they are all so different): Angels in American, both on Broadway and off Lettice and Lovage with Dame Maggie Smith and Margaret Tyzack in 1987 Who's Afraid of Virginai Woolf with Tracy Letts and Amy Morton in 2012 Almost everything by Alan Ayckbourn, but especially Woman in Mind with Julia McKenzie in 1986 And to round out the five, maybe Proof with Mary Louise Parker in 2000. But ask me on a different day, and I might give you a different list. These are only ten theatre moments that I will remember for years to come, until I don’t have a memory anymore. There are many more that I didn't or couldn't remember, and I hope a tremendous number more to come. Thanks for reading. And remember: read, like, share, retweet, enjoy. For more go to frontmezzjunkies.com

Celebrity

The Glorious Corner

Published

on

G.H. Harding

FOLEY’S FUN — I watched Axel F: Beverly Hills Cop the other night and though everyone looked dreadfully old, I rather enjoyed in. Murphy was 23 when the first one came out in 1984 and was a massive hit; 40 years later, the demand is perhaps not the same, but I was surprised by how much of the original music was repeated in this one: from The Pointer Sisters on down to Bob Seger; it was almost like a walk down memory lane.

Kevin Bacon, as a corrupt police captain, is the big bad here and while he was good, he was nowhere near as bad as Stephen Berkof as Victor Maitland in the original. Face it, the badder the bad-guy is, the more it works. It was great seeing the original cast back; I love Paul Reiser, Judge Reinhold and John Ashton, but newcomers Taylour Paige, who essays Foley’s daughter, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt bring real gravitas to the screen. Levitt continues to impress every time I see him. I predict he’ll find that one big role and will be a major, major star.

The script by Will Beall; Tom Gormican and Kevin Etten is pretty bland, although one line that Murphy says to Paige is a killer:  I’ve been a father as long as you’ve been a daughter.

Don Simpson

If you’ve seen the trailer and it evoked similar feelings as the one in 1984, it’s because the studio brought back the original editor to do the new trailer. Smart move for sure. Also impressive was adding the name of producer ‘Don Simpson’ in the opening credits. Much missed.

TRUMP BIDNESS — After the weekend’s events with Trump, what can you say. He survived and the ;photos and videos have been used and viewed hundreds of times. We don’t even talk about a replacement for Biden anymore?

There still are some that say it was staged, but were the injured part of the plan too?. Even for me, that’s a bit cyclical.

I lived through the Kennedy (both); King; Wallace; Reagan and Scalise events and they were just terrible.

Still you’ve got give Trump credit for pushing on …. right?

SHORT TAKES — Hard to believe LIVE AID was 39 years ago last weekend. We we’re there, actually sitting in the row where they stopped to hose the crowd down. Was a terribly hot day at JFK Stadium. My main memory was Clapton, The Cars and Hall & Oates and of course, all of Phil Collins. Quite a day …

Have you seen this latest video from Ringo Starr? “Gonna Need Someone”- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9r0NthMLvtQ And that’s Nick Valensi (the Strokes) on guitar. Song was written by Linda Perry and from Ringo’s current EP Crooked Boy Sign Of The Times: LA’s famed Record Plant is closing after 55 years as one of the industry’s most in-demand recording studios. Hotel California and Rumours were recorded there. New York’s Record Plant closed their doors in 1987. Check this out from MIXhttps://www.mixonline.com/business/renowned-record-plant-studio-shutters?utm_term=2B400D4A-A644-43F4-980A-3A38D94AC1E6&utm_medium=email&utm_content=F16B421C-44D3-4A98-81C2-A992E5552E7D&utm_source=SmartBrief …

Jonathan Wolfson just sent us the new Daryl Hall album, D. Review next time …

Palm Restaurant

PR-pasha David Salidor’s book on the infamous Palm restaurant is due in September … Happy Bday Angelo Babbaro; Ron Shuter and Bill Evans. RIP Richard Simmons; Dr. Ruth; James B. Sikking; and Shannen Doherty.

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Al Roker; Bruce Grakal; John Billings; Jane Blunkell; Chris Gilman; Peter Shendell; Barry Fisch; Eppy; Vinny Rich; Anthoiny Noto; Anthony Pomes; Matt Crutch; Lush Ice; Belinda Carlisle; Gary Gershoff; Steve Walter; Chubby O’Brien; Pat Walsh; Mike Shanley; and ZIGGY!

Images on this page have been licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Continue Reading

Celebrity

The Glorious Corner

Published

on

G.H. Harding

ALEC BALDWIN — I’ve had my own issues with Alec Baldwin for years; then, literally on a dime, it all turned around and I found him to be pretty compassionate, intelligent and a nice guy. What happened in Santa Fe on the Rust set was an unspeakable tragedy, and his trial was halted yesterday and the case was dismissed due to evidence not being given to the Baldwin-team. The Santa Fe prosecutor Kari Morrisey seemingly told two different stories on the stand and outside the court room. She is, without a doubt, toast.

Baldwin is still liable for civil suits, but this case is gone and he cannot be tried again. A win for sure, but the questions still remain: who brought live ammo onto the Rust-set. Clearly that may never, ever be determined.

Baldwin’s a good guy with a short fuse, but this situation, once and for all, is done.

Mirage

SHORT TAKES — Hard to believe the Las Vegas Mirage is closing … after 35 years. Opened in 1983 it was a great hotel and hosted The Beatles’ Love show. I have stayed there numerous times and loved it. The new owner will build a Hard Rock hotel there, with a HUGE guitar in front. Yet again changing the skyline of that town. It’ll open in 2027 …

Lyndsey Parker

Lyndsey Parker is a terrific writer. Her new site, Lyndsanity just posted a great interview with Micky Dolenz about his direction of the video “Love Is Dangerous” from Noel – masterminded by the Mael Brothers in 1979. Great piece, check it out here:  https://www.lyndsanity.com/music/micky-dolenz-on-directing-long-lost-dancing-is-dangerous-video-for-sparks-protege-noel-its-pretty-weird-huh/?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTAAAR2W-9c0OfpLdT3WVy52ZWliQu7XTVoVjaYREbiUMSAUcdgJatcsL547X8c_aem_8St7LVBDI_U5Qp-ZJ5lxQA

… Hard to believe there are only 8 episodes left of CBS’ Blue Bloods. Salary concerns killed this show and it’s a shame as it was really superb for 15 years. Bad move on CBS’ part …

Zach Martin

Veteran-broadcaster Denny Somach joins Zach Martin’s NEW HD radio – https://newhdmedia.com/rock-and-roll-for-grownups-debut-denny-somach/?fbclid=IwZXh0bgNhZW0CMTEAAR1j_BeyvWnRksk6pRN7IUtWK-kzu5G35zKqcjBUjVJOJ3w_b4IVFjDE6UI_aem_hW0aEBIVaHEwpJXVTItulA

Benny Harrison

Whatever happened to Benny Harrison’s album Pages? It was a great one. Heard an early advance and loved it …And, (via Deadline)

Stevie Nicks

There are special guest stars, and then there’s extra-special guest stars. Which is what Harry Styles what is as he joined Stevie Nicks at her July 12 concert in the UK for versions of her hits “Stop Draggin’ My heart Around” and “Landslide.” Styles played guitar on stage and held up on the Tom Petty/Lindsey Buckingham vocal parts. It was familiar turf, as Styles has joined Nicks on stage several times in the past. Nicks was appearing at the BST Hyde Park concert series on Friday. Nicks told the audience in London that she asked Styles to help her in commemorating what would have been her late Fleetwood Mac bandmate Christine McVie’s 81st birthday … RIP Dr. Ruth!

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Nancy Ruth; Mark Bego; Freda Payne; Jerry Brandt; Kent & Laura Denmark; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; David Kramer; Terry Jastrow; Steve Immerman; Jordan Immerman; Tony Seidl; Roy Trakin; Markos Papadatos; Sparks; Pat Prince; Cindy Adams; Tony LoBianco; Tone Scott; David Adelson; Joel Denver; Pat Prince; and SADIE!

 Images on this page have been licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Come Celebrate Harry Potters Birthday at Harry Potter: The Exhibition

Published

on

In the first Harry Potter story, The Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry turns 11 on July 31st. In honor of his birthday, Harry Potter: The Exhibition at 50 West 34th Street, is celebrating with a variety of birthday treats and specials for visitors, including: free admission for anyone named “Harry” , $11 ticket special for everyone else, with code HPBDAY2024 (on sale now!), free ice cream for visitors between 11am – 1pm , one-of-a-kind commemorative birthday buttons  and ticket giveaways & contests with Z100 host Crystal Garcia.


Harry Potter: The Exhibition
is the record-breaking exhibition taking visitors of all ages on a one-of-a-kind journey celebrating the entire Wizarding World and includes some of the most iconic moments from the beloved books and films of Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts. Upon entry, everyone is given an exhibition wristband for a personalized experience using best-in-class immersive design and technology. From selecting a Hogwarts house (either Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin) to picking your wand and Patronus, visitors will be able to create their own, uniquely magical moments while earning points for their house with each interactive activity.

Harry Potter: The Exhibition closes August 11, 2024, so now is the perfect time to visit.

 

Continue Reading

Film

Gary Springer Remembers Shelley Duvall

Published

on

By

By Gary Springer

I loved Shelley Duvall. She very much changed my life and I am forever grateful. I was a young kid in NYC who luckily wound up in two movies – not that I wanted to be an actor – and decided I wanted to be a NY crew guy. Got cast in another film starring Shelley Duvall, Bud Cort, Dennis Christopher and Veronica Cartwright. Thought it was fun I still had the crew aspirations. Shelley became my instant best friend. She said ‘why don’t you come out to LA and stay with Patrick (Reynolds of tobacco fame) and me until you have to go back to school. I did. I spent 7 months living with Patrick and Shelley in a castle in the Hollywood Hills and then another 4 months rooming with Shelley until she called me one day from NY where she was filming “Annie Hall: and said, I think I’m going to sell the house and move in with Paul (Simon). I had to get my own place and spent the next nine years in LA as a working actor (including a television movie which also co-starred the editor of this publication). Shelley was my mentor, my love (platonically), my facilitator, my friend. I met so many people through her and experienced so much that I never would have. Her bringing me to LA for a couple of weeks changed my life completely. I quit acting and moved back to NY in 1982 to work with my dad, but Shelley and I stayed friends. She called me in 1984 and offered me a role in one of her Faerie Tale Theatre pieces (the last professional phone I had). We stayed friends. She moved to Texas and I visited. She had difficulties and I was her friend. I flew down to Texas bringing our friend Dennis Christopher last month to visit her and spoke to her twice last Sunday on her 75th birthday (one wonderful FaceTime). I loved Shelley Duvall and always will.

Shelley Alexis Duvall, inimitable actor, producer, and style icon, died in her sleep July 11, 2024  at her home in Blanco, Texas. She just turned 75 this past Sunday, July 7. Her longtime partner, Dan Gilroy was at her side. She is survived by Dan Gilroy and her three brothers her brothers Scott, Stewart and Shane.

“My dear, sweet, wonderful life, partner, and friend left us last night. Too much suffering lately, now she’s free. Fly away beautiful Shelley,” said Gilroy

She was born in Fort Worth on July 7, 1949, grew up in Houston, and returned to her Texas roots after successful decades in the Hollywood entertainment industry, Shelley was a brilliant and unique film actor and a visionary television producer.

She was first discovered in 1970 when she hosted a party to try and sell some of her husband, Bernard Sampson’s, paintings. Little did she know that crew members from a movie shoot in town were present and were captivated by her. Under the pretense of selling paintings, they brought her to meet the director, Robert Altman, and producer Lou Adler, who were blown away by her wonderfully quirky distinctiveness and cast her in the movie they were filming, “Brewster McCloud” opposite Bud Cort. In Shelley’s words: “I said, ‘don’t you want to buy any paintings?’ And they said: “No, we want you!’”

She continued working with Bob Altman on six more films such as Thieves Like Us, Nashville, Popeye, and Three Women, for which she won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Seeing her in that film inspired Stanley Kubrick to cast her in his film The Shining where Shelley’s harrowing performance is indelibly etched in film lore. Shelley had a one-of-a-kind look and manner—wide-eyed, toothy, skinny and gawky, but with her own beauty and elegance—that endeared her to industry pros and audiences alike. Beyond her striking looks, she was also a serious, dedicated, and admired dramatic and comedic actor. Shelley appeared in many other film and television roles from the 1970s, 80s, and into the 90s.

Behind the camera, Shelley also conceived and created groundbreaking TV fare through her Platypus Productions: she produced, hosted, and sometimes guest-starred in her Faerie Tale Theatre series, which also called upon the talents of her wide circle of notable actors, directors, and film veterans including Robin Williams, Eric Idle, Mick Jagger, Teri Garr, Jean Stapleton, Frank Zappa, Vincent Price, John Lithgow, Pam Dawber, James Earl Jones, Candy Clark, Francis Ford Coppola, Roger Vadim, Tim Burton and so many more who would not usually have worked on a nascent cable channel show.

The Great American Tee Shirt book – with Paris wearing my Dog Day Afternoon shirt, with Dennis Christopher & Bud Cort

Faerie Tale Theatre’s one-hour adaptations of classic stories, followed up by her Tall Tales and Legends series, enchanted children and their elders through most of the 1980s (and live on to enchant in rerun heaven). She continued the streak with Nightmare Classics, Shelley Duvall’s Bedtime Stories, and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, garnering two Emmy nominations for Producer over the years.

Gary Springer and Shelly in Bernice Bobs Her Hair

Shelley, who had been called ‘The Texas Twiggy’ and, from film critic Pauline Kael, “The Female Buster Keaton,” was a frequent host on Saturday Night Live and during those heady late 70s and 80s was also known for dating the likes of Paul Simon and Ringo Starr.

Gary and Shelly on her birthday this year

In the mid-90s, Shelley found herself retreating from Hollywood and retiring from active production; successful though she had been as a star actor and producer. Then, her three-acre home in Studio City, which hosted a menagerie of birds, dogs, and other pets, was heavily damaged in the Northridge earthquake of 1994. Shelley and her partner since 1989, actor and musician Dan Gilroy, moved back to Texas to the small town of Blanco, near Austin, where the couple became a beloved part of the protective community. In recent years, Shelley has reconnected with some old friends and admirers from her Hollywood days while living a peaceful and quiet life in the Texas Hill Country.

Dan Gilroy, her brothers Scott, Stewart and Shane, friends and colleagues, the town of Blanco, and legions of fans mourn the passing of Shelley Duvall.

 

Continue Reading

Events

Comic-Con Museum Presents Julien’s Auctions & TCM 2024 Spotlight Series: Harry Potter & Other Heroes

Published

on

On July 28th Comic-Con Museum Presents Julien’s Auctions & TCM 2024 Spotlight Series: Harry Potter & Other Heroes. William Shatner “Captain James T. Kirk” Long-Lost Legendary Phaser and Iconic Communicator from Star Trek Original TV Series Unveiled for the First Time in 50 Years at the Comic-Con Museum. Ryan Reynolds Deadpool & Wolverine Film Worn Shirt Crashes the Party. Collection of Iconic Character Wands Used by Daniel Radcliffe “Harry Potter,” Ralph Fiennes “Lord Voldemort,” Michael Gambon “Albus Dumbledore,” Plus, Gary Oldman “Sirius Black” Shackle Props, Slytherin House Robe & More. Chris Evans “Captain America” Original USO Shield Prop, X2 Storyboard Illustrations and Life-Size “Spider-Man” Madame Tussaud Display Figure. (Balboa Park) 2131 Pan American Plaza, San Diego, CA Stunt Grapple Gun Prop, Batarang Prop, and Unused Cowl Prop


Julien’s Auctions and Turner Classic Movies (TCM), the ultimate destination for Hollywood memorabilia, are heading to the world’s greatest pop culture convention for their first co-branded event with the San Diego Comic Convention (Comic-Con International) / Comic-Con Museum! “Comic-Con Museum Presents Julien’s Auctions & TCM 2024 Spotlight Series: Harry Potter & Other Heroes” kicks off today with an exclusive two-week exhibition featuring a collection of the most instantly recognizable props, production material and memorabilia from the epic sagas of the Harry Potter, Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Comics franchises that will be offered at a live and online auction presented by Julien’s Auctions Sunday, July 28th at Comic-Con Museum. Adding to the excitement of this exhibition will be the appearance of two extraordinary and important artifacts from Star Trek history long forgotten and believed to have been lost: William Shatner’s legendary phaser and communicator used in his iconic role as Captain James T. Kirk in the original Star Trek television series. Both props (conservative estimate: $100,000-$200,000 each) will be heading to Julien’s and TCM’s Hollywood auction this fall where they are expected to break world records at auction. They will make their first appearance to the public in over 50 years at this exclusive exhibition at the Comic-Con Museum. Crashing this party of heroes will be Ryan Reynolds “Ryan Gosling” button down shirt worn by the Hollywood legend in his iconic role as Deadpool/Wade Wilson in the highly anticipated blockbuster of the summer, Marvel’s Deadpool & Wolverine.

Comic-Con Museum,  is a division of San Diego Comic Convention (SDCC), a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation organized for charitable purposes and dedicated to creating the general public’s awareness of and appreciation for comics and related popular art forms, including participation in and support of public presentations, conventions, exhibits, museums, and other public outreach activities which celebrate the historic and ongoing contribution of comics to art and culture. In addition to its San Diego convention each summer, Comic-Con (the premier comics convention of its kind in the world), SDCC organizes the Anaheim-based WonderCon each spring and the SAM: Storytelling Across Media symposium in the fall. On the web: comic-conmuseum.org, Facebook.com/ComicConMuseum, and follow us on X (@ComicConMuseum) and Instagram (@comicconmuseum).

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is a two-time Peabody Award-winning network that presents classic films, uncut and commercial-free, from the largest film libraries in the world highlighting “Where Then Meets Now.” TCM features insights from Primetime host Ben Mankiewicz along with hosts Alicia Malone, Dave Karger, Jacqueline Stewart and Eddie Muller, plus interviews with a wide range of special guests and serves as the ultimate movie lover destination. With three decades as a leading authority in classic film, TCM offers critically acclaimed series like The Essentials and Reframed along with annual programming events like 31 Days of Oscar® and Summer Under the Stars. TCM also directly connects with movie fans through popular events such as the annual TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood and the TCM Classic Cruise. In addition, TCM produces the wildly successful podcast “The Plot Thickens,” which has had more than 9 million downloads to date. TCM hosts a wealth of material online at tcm.com and through the Watch TCM mobile app. Fans can also enjoy a classic movie experience on the TCM hub on Max.

Julien’s, exist to bring those moments back into your life through iconic artifacts and one-of-a-kind collections. Whether collaborating directly with artists, partnering with legendary estates, or working closely with discerning collectors, our auctions make culture pop with the promise of discovery and reconnection. From Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and Ringo Starr to Lady Gaga, Banksy, and Kurt Cobain-from LA to the world, we are where originals find their kind.

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2023 Times Square Chronicles

Times Square Chronicles