FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #4: The Music Man [1962]

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“You have trouble folks, right here in River City” Could Harold Hill be the best con man in cinema history? A man never for a loss of words, Robert Preston’s rendition of The Music Man puts forth a gentleman of great art, tastes, and disarming charm who is both loathsome and irresistible once you find [...]

Writing is a process of endless learning … Babel’s V.S. Naipaul

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The fourth season of Just Buffalo Literary Center’s Babel Series begun with a glaring omission—there was no Ed Cardoni at the podium on behalf of Hallwalls, replaced instead by the corporate spiel of ‘local global’ from HSBC’s Charlie Mendola, introduced by Just Buffalo’s Laurie Dean Torrell. I can’t blame the guy, though, since his company [...]

REVIEW: Hereafter [2010]

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“Cooking is for all the senses” Right before sitting down for a screening of Hereafter, my friend told me she had read that it was Clint Eastwood’s ‘French film’. Once the end credits rolled, I realized there isn’t a more succinct description for it. Showing again how the marketing machine loves to manipulate audiences into [...]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #3: Kiss Me Kate [1953]

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“You louse!” I’m a sucker for multi-layered films depicting simultaneous stories at once, juxtaposing onstage performances with the backstage antics of the actors involved. Kiss Me Kate, screenplay by Dorothy Kingsley and music by Cole Porter, shows the theatrical opening inter-workings of a stage musical, by the same name, styled on William Shakespeare’s The Taming [...]

REVIEW: RED [2010]

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“Did you vacuum?” My only knowledge of director Robert Schwentke was that he helmed the Jodie Foster vehicle Flightplan that didn’t interest me in the slightest and the sub-par adaptation yet very effective film version of The Time Traveler’s Wife. So, I wasn’t sure on whether his newest comedic actioner RED would end up being [...]

REVIEW: Buried [2010]

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“Or else he’ll take me to SeaWorld” Oh, what lies we are willing to tell in order to selfishly make ourselves feel safe and guiltless while those we fool have their lives destroyed or to guard them from the stark realities of truth for a short time more. Thinking he’s about to die, what does [...]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #2: Show Boat [1936]

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“Just one big happy family” Based on Edna Ferber’s novel, the James Whale directed and Oscar Hammerstein II scripted Show Boat concerns the show-biz family of Magnolia Hawks and how her life is forever changed once a sheltered childhood makes way for international success. Ushered in by a nicely animated credit sequence of cardboard dancers [...]

10/12/10 … Talking Movies with Nick Mendola on WECK 1230AM

On the air with Nick Mendola at Buffalo’s own WECK 1230AM radio. 10/12/10 – Talking about, but not limited to, 127 Hours; The Social Network; Catfish; The Town; Jackass 3D; and A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop. Audio player appears once link is pressed: CLICK TO LISTEN [editor’s note: please excuse the constant [...]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #1: The Jazz Singer [1927]

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“A jazz singer—singing to his God” Mirroring the actual life of star Al Jolson, playwright Samson Raphaelson wrote The Jazz Singer about a young Jewish performer who was cast out of his own home for choosing jazz over the traditional synagogue hymns taught to him by his Cantor father. Gone for years to try his [...]

DESIGN: P2 Collaborative Conference Program 2010

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2010 P2 Collaborative Conference Program 2010, published by Buffalo Spree Publishing, Inc. Based off of the P2 Collaborative’s design branding and last year’s program, I designed their third annual conference book with minor tweaks, including schedules, speakers, maps, and other weekend activities. The big change this year was a new look cover with supplied image [...]

REVIEW: 三槍拍案驚奇 [A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop] [2010]

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“You are such a wimp, the biggest I’ve ever seen” A prolific director in China, Yimou Zhang found an audience in America with the wonderful Hero and his follow-up House of Flying Daggers. Curse of the Golden Flower came next with its stunning visuals but lackluster storyline that left me cold and uninterested, thinking perhaps [...]