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Open Mic

CNN Tackles an ‘Unseen Enemy’

SARS. Zika. Ebola. Bird Flu. These are the names of recent disease pandemics that can inflict not only severe illness and death but also massive amounts of fear. And while it is incredibly difficult to watch the human suffering that…

Apr 7, 2017

‘The Great War’: Producer, Writer and Director Stephen Ives on the Moment When America Came of Age

Thousands upon thousands of women carrying protest signs march down Fifth Avenue in New York City. No, it’s not a scene from the nationwide protests that took place the day after the Trump inauguration in January. This women’s march is…

Apr 3, 2017

What a TV Series Set 160 Years Ago Says About Today’s America

The abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who died in 1895, is certainly having a moment — notwithstanding President Trump’s recent comment about him that many interpreted as the president thinking Douglass was still alive. Ten-time Grammy Award-winning musician John Legend will portray…

Mar 8, 2017

TV Takes a Close Look at the Los Angeles Riots 25 Years Later

For everyone who lived in the Los Angeles Metro area at the time — and countless millions upon millions of others watching live on television — the horrific events that transpired beginning April 29, 1992, will forever be etched in…

Mar 8, 2017

Robert Osborne WAS the Movies

For me, Robert Osborne WAS the movies. Movie makers are storytellers, and no one knew or shared more stories about the movies than Robert Osborne, the Turner Classic Movies (TCM) host who died yesterday at age 84. He worked on…

Mar 7, 2017

The Most Unforgettable Character I Ever Met, and Her Very Special 90th Birthday

“The most unforgettable character I ever met?” That question kicked off an article written by A.J. Cronin in the September, 1939 issue of Reader’s Digest. From then on, the series of articles the Digest ran under the banner “The Most…

Feb 25, 2017

‘Overrated’ Meryl Streep Avoids Politics, Rakes In Another Award

“Live from the Meryl Streep Ballroom,” said actress Mandy Moore as she began her hosting duties for the 19th Costume Designers Guild Awards, held Tuesday, Feb. 21, in what is otherwise known as the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom. Ms. Streep…

Feb 23, 2017

Writers Guild Awards: Oscar Favorites Emerge; FX Dominates Television Awards

It was certainly telegraphed that there would be a comedic mash-up of politics and performance at the 2017 Writers Guild Awards when the West Coast ceremonies kicked off with a brief video that focused on the ethnicities of Guild members…

Feb 21, 2017

Filmmakers Behind the Year’s Most Acclaimed Movies — ‘La La Land,’ ‘Arrival,’ ‘Moonlight,’ ‘Hidden Figures,’ ‘Fences’ and Others — Reveal the Challenges They Faced, Lessons They Learned … and the Worst Notes They Received

For going on two decades, it is an event that has become an anticipated awards season tradition, shining a spotlight not only on the creators of the most acclaimed films of the year but also upon the cultural and societal…

Feb 17, 2017

Movie Premiering Tonight Revisits a Horrible Night in Paris

Jesse Hughes was visibly nervous, fearful even, frantically packing to go to Paris. The lead singer and co-founder of the Southern California-based band Eagles of Death Metal was going back to Paris for the first time since the horrendous night…

Feb 13, 2017