Matias Bombal’s Hollywood

Photo by Allen Fraser/Sony Pictures Classics Shown here, is Cillian Murphy in ALOFT, which is playing now at Tower Theatre.
Photo by Allen Fraser/Sony Pictures Classics Shown here, is Cillian Murphy in ALOFT, which is playing now at Tower Theatre.

ALOFT The MPAA has rated this R
Sony Pictures Classics brings us some very talented actors in an allegorically told existential tale “Aloft”. In it, we delve into the emotional separation of a mother and son played by Jennifer Connelly and Cillian Murphy. The story is told in two storylines, past and present, and centers around a central childhood tragedy. Set in a frigid, grey and bleak iced over world in the great north, Cillian Murphy’s mother has followed a healer known as “the architect” played William Shimell who indicates to her that she too has a gift as a healer. Her son has just lost a Falcon that he was nurturing, in later life, and as we see in the modern section of the movie, he will become devoted to falconry. Yet as an adult, he is betrayed by her mother’s abandonment of he and his brother in favor of the “Architect”. He is bitter and resentful.
The movie also features the pretty blond actress Mélanie Laurent, as well as Oona Chaplin, who recently did a nice turn in the romantic “The Longest Ride” the latest screen adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks book.

This picture is directed by a talented and intellectual movie maker from Peru, Claudia Llossa. This is her third feature, and first in English. I found this to be a movie that would appeal to other actors, for it offers a great study in the craft of acting. However, with all of its sophistication and mood, it will fail to please the moviegoer out to be entertained for a night at the movies. This is because the past and present are not clearly defined, and you are not sure of what you are looking at or when it occurs in the narrative. It is a very difficult movie to watch. The narrative itself is not linear, so only at the end of 112 minutes of running time do you find out how things tie together, but before then you are left wondering what is going on. So you are left with a desire to leave, but intrigued by fine performances by capable actors.

This movie was a frustrating experience for me at best. I may only view movies with the collective amalgam of my own experience- just as each of us. I try to open my mind for other possibilities and viewpoints, yet watching this to the very end was unsatisfactory for me; I longed for some element in the story to grab on to, rather than the feeling of wandering around in a dream. In a recent interview, the director was quoted as saying she did not want it to be so clear. She is successful in her goal. It is as if you walked into a room where you knew no one and tried to figure out what they were all talking about. You long for a familiar face… anything, and no luck. So this picture is for the intrepid moviegoer only, where a non-traditional way of seeing a story told for the screen might be an attractive aspect. For me it was not. This is by no means a bad move, nor is it poorly made. It is non-traditional, a case of art cinema, which like performance art without a narrative, may seem a jumble to many.

Matías Bombal’s Hollywood

Universal Pictures, the king of monster movie studios, brings the Amblin Entertainment production of “Jurassic World” in 3-D to IMAX screens across the USA. The eagerly awaited summer block-buster that returns to Isla Nublar 22 years after John Hammond planned to open the first park on the island, is in essence, a direct sequel to the original film, Jurassic Park, released in 1993. Even though there have been other movies thematically connected to the franchise over the past years, this does not connect to those storylines. Of all of the movies, this is the first to have the theme park open for business, attracting visitors from all over the world to see real live dinosaurs in the flesh.

The story opens with the corporate run park starting to show some decline in attendance, as the patrons are no longer thrilled by just run of the mill dinosaurs. The head of the company, Mr. Masrani, played by actor Irrfan Kahn, comes to see what the scientists have been developing in secret to boost the numbers. “Fantastic” is his apt description of this man-engineered hell known as the “Indominus Rex”, Latin for “indomitable king”.

Bryce Dallas Howard plays Claire, who you may remember from “The Help”. As a park executive, she is an OCD type that schedules every detail of life to the smallest degree. Mr. Masrani wants to be sure of this new creation and suggests that another employee, Owen, played by Chris Pratt, be brought in to consult on the controllability of the new super dinosaur. In this movie, Pratt plays a sympathetic type of dinosaur whisperer, and in his charge are three Velociraptors that he has been training in the manner you would wild horses. He does not exactly see eye to eye with Claire. She, meanwhile, whilst trying to keep the company numbers looking good on the business charts, has agreed to look after her 2 nephews visiting the park. Clearly, she does not have the time. After her smart phone addicted assistant looses track of the two, they begin to have fun on their own in the park.

Whilst the two boys make their own off-road adventure, havoc strikes, or the king steps out; “Indominus” breaks out for a feeding frenzy. From then on, it’s a race for survival with non-stop adventure with not a single dull moment. There’s a relative newcomer in the cast that’s worth watching, and I like to chart his career with that of my movie reviews. One of my earliest reviews, since I started writing about movies in 2013, was the movie “Kings of Summer”, in which he had his first major starring role. His name is Nick Robinson. The 20-year-old actor from Seattle plays Zach, the older of the two brothers in this movie. He was featured in an outstanding role in one episode of “Boardwalk Empire” entitled “Blue Bell Boy” and in this, he’s excellent. He’s got a great future ahead, and I said so in that review in 2013.

You plunge into adventure in 3-D and giant IMAX in this highly entertaining and fun monster movie, and I enjoyed each moment as did the audience at the advance screening I attended. Vincent D’Onofrio has a nice bit in this as a mercenary type ready to take advantage of chaos to his own purpose. Returning from the first movie is actor BD Wong as Dr. Henry Wu, the geneticist that makes dinosaurs on demand, and there is a lovely tribute to Sir Richard Attenborough, who played John Hammond in the original movie- you’ll see a statue of him on display in the park.

Composer Michael Giacchino is reverent to John Williams’ original themes from the first movie, and even gives us a touch of Hitchcock’s “Psycho”, or Bernard Herrmann style music, when flying prehistoric creatures run amuck. Director Colin Trevorrow also gives us little touches to the original movie throughout, such as a scene where they boys discover the original park’s dome, overgrown, and pick up from the floor the remains of the banner that memorably floated to the floor at the end of the mayhem of the first movie. The entire time I watched, little moments on the island kept reminding me of the great and original “King Kong” of 1933, and in some cases “The Lost World” of 1925.

For you television fans, there is an unexpected cameo from Jimmy Fallon. I was also amused that of all the rugged vehicles in this movie, only the Mercedes-Benz G class Geländewagens were not harmed during the picture. So now you know just what vehicle to get if Dinosaurs suddenly appear in your neighborhood. Two odd lingering thoughts about this release; It is now nearly impossible to separate the image of Chris Pratt from the song written by Francis Zambon (Mark James) “Hooked on a Feeling’” from “Guardians of the Galaxy”- I kept hearing the lyric in my head as I watched him. The other lingering thought is a little pet peeve of mine specific to dinosaur movies. Why have we been lead to believe that they roar like lions or other giant beasts? Has it been established that they made any noise at all? I’m growing older each day, but I’ve not actually met anyone who was around back then to tell me if they actually made any sounds at all. Paleontologists can’t say for sure. I encourage you to see this big summer movie in the biggest way possible, at an IMAX Theatre near you. It is the best of the big summer moves thus far.

Janey Way Memories #144

One hell of a man

My father had a tough life. Like all of the people from his generation, he survived the Great Depression and World War II. Not only that, Dad lost his father when he was 5 years old.
Consequently, he was raised by a step father who didn’t always treat him kindly. My aunt recalls an incident which took place when dad was 10. He was playing in his front yard on 5240 14th Ave. when his misbehaved. So, his step father picked up a piece of metal wire and struck him on the back. When Dad cried, the doctor who lived across the street came over and said: “Mr. Petta, if I ever see you do that again, I will have you arrested.”
After that, according to my aunt, Dad’s step father never struck him again. Dad went on to star in football and baseball at Sacramento High School and Sacramento City College.
When World War II broke out, Dad worked first in the Richmond Naval Ship Yard before serving honorably in the U. S. Navy.
When he returned to Sacramento in 1946, he got a job working as a milk truck driver for the Golden Gate Dairy. Then, in 1948, he got on as a patrol man with the Sacramento Police Department where he had a successful 31-year career. He started in patrol, but subsequently served as a detective and finally as the chief of the newly formed Warrants Division.
I worked for him there as a student assistant when I was in college. I remember talking to a lieutenant one day in the patrol room at the old police station on 6th and H streets. He said, “Your father is one hell of a man. At 5 feet, 9 inches, he is probably the smallest man in the department, but he is tough. If I was in a scuffle on the street, your dad is the man I’d want backing me up.” That made me proud of my dad.
However, my dad and I didn’t always get along after I reached teen age. I remember an incident which took place when I was a senior in high school. Dad, mom, my brothers and I went to Berkeley to watch my cousin Tom play for Cal in a college football game. Cal won that day, and after the game, my little brother John ran down onto the football field. So Dad looked at me and said, “Go get him and bring him back here.” Like a good son, I went down to the field to retrieve John.
Unfortunately, about 10,000 Cal fans dotted the field that day cheering on the Bears, so I followed the crowd through the tunnel to the Bear’s locker room in search of my little brother. There, I found John along with some of my aunts, uncles and cousins, and waited for my family to follow.
When they came, Dad was mad at me. So he walked toward me with his hand raised as if to hit me. I stepped backward, but he continued to approach me. Then I turned around, ran about 50 yards and said, “Do you think you can catch me?” When he kept coming, I turned and ran and ran, and ran, half of the way around the Memorial Stadium.
Eventually, I stopped to look back. Dad was no longer in site. So I began walking and wondering what I would do. Fortunately, I suddenly ran into my older sister Pat, leaving the game with her husband Gary. She said, “What’s up Mart,” so I explained what had happened. Then she said, “Don’t worry, we will take you home.”
When we arrived home, I walked through the front door and saw my family, seated at the dinner table eating. I walked right by them, down the hall to my bedroom. I didn’t eat dinner that night.
Next day, Dad didn’t say anything about what had happened.
I often wonder if he didn’t think to himself: “My son Marty is one hell of a man.”

editor@valcomnews.com

Matias Bombal’s Hollywood

I’ll See You In My Dreams The MPAA has rated this PG-13
Bleeker Street Media is a relatively new movie production company out of New York City which has for the past year offered well made films by adults for adults, which in the current movie market of the target demographic of teen girls and boys, not only is refreshing, it is remarkable. They won big points with me earlier this year with the Al Pacino movie “Danny Collins” and now they offer “I’ll See You in My Dreams”, a story that brings talented actresses back to the screen you may have not seen in a while, including Blythe Danner, Mary Kay Place and Rhea Perlman. Sam Elliot and delightful June Squibb, who was so wonderful in “Nebraska”, are also featured.

This is a story of a recent widow, played by Blythe Danner, who suffers an additional personal loss in the first few moments of the movie, the death of her most recent sleeping companion, her dog. She keeps engaging with friends, with whom she plays Bridge, who are always ready to offer advice whether she wants it or not, especially from Mary Kay Place, who I loved in the 1977 Martin Scorsese film “New York, New York” where she played opposite Robert DeNiro singing “Blue Moon”. Her other great movies included “Private Benjamin”, “The Big Chill” and “Terms of Endearment”. Blythe Danner’s character’s strong spirit guides her through tough times, and an encroaching loneliness. She strikes up conversations with her kind swimming pool service man, and continues to visit with her girlfriends until one day she encounters Sam Elliot in a vitamin store. She’s intrigued. Eventually they have a date, and he takes her out on his boat. Elliot offers that classic Gary Cooper stalwartness in bringing his role to life, a man of few words, but when he says something, it carries weight. He’s always had a presence in the movies, since we first saw him playing cards in “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” in 1969.

Ms. Danner has already begun to receive many accolades for her work in this picture, and she’s worked fairly consistently since the early 1970s in such memorable movies as “1776″ where she was Mrs. Jefferson,” Hearts of the West”, “The Great Santini”, and of course, “Brighton Beach Memoirs”. She is also the mother of actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

I found Danner to be marvelous in this- fragile, yet firm. In one scene, she has a chance to sing Arthur Hamilton’s 1953 song “Cry Me a River” at a Karaoke Bar. The song had been written for Ella Fitzgerald to sing in the movie “Pete Kelly’s Blues”, but it was dropped and became a hit for Julie London, who made the definitive recording. Danner’s rendition has the depth of the later ballads of Sinatra, and really resonated with me. I almost cried a river at her performance. I was delighted to enjoy a movie without a loud and obnoxious soundtrack, where Rob Givins’ camera work lingers on the subjects allowing you to see the depth of the performances.

Interestingly, the film’s title has nothing to do with the famous ballad of the same name, written in 1924 by bandleader Isham Jones. However, a song with that title, and different melody and lyric is performed near the end of the movie by the kind pool man, played by actor Martin Starr. This movie is directed by Brett Haley.

Over The Fence

Over the Fence columnist, Greg Brown, is also a chef at the little league snack shack. Nice hat.
Over the Fence columnist, Greg Brown, is also a chef at the little league snack shack. Nice hat.

The Culinerdy Cruzer food truck was on location at the fundraiser for Georgia Kukowski, a mother of two who is undergoing cancer treatment not covered by her insurance. / Photos by Greg Brown
The Culinerdy Cruzer food truck was on location at the fundraiser for Georgia Kukowski, a mother of two who is undergoing cancer treatment not covered by her insurance. / Photos by Greg Brown

Manning The Grill At Dooley Field


Life as a Little League Dad. The Land Park Pacific Little League is winding down and my son’s t-ball team needed volunteers for the snack shack at Dooley Field.
It ain’t no dinky shack. It’s more like a small restaurant. With help from other parental volunteers on the Royals, I pitched in to help. I don’t have a lot of food service experience, although I did work at Round Table Pizza in my youth. I made pizzas and worked the salad bar.
Luckily there is no kale, salad, or sneeze guard at the Dooley Field Snack Shack. It’s all about the hotdogs and hamburgers.
Since I’m the backyard barbecue grill-master at home, I volunteered to start off grilling on the Dooley Field gas grill. It’s a behemoth.
I even donned an apron to catch the juicy splatters of the meat. It would have been cool to wear one of those big white chef hats the carvers at Sam’s wear. That would make me look more official.
The best part of grilling hot dogs and hamburgers at Dooley Field is the picturesque view of the ballpark. While the hotdogs got plump and the hamburgers sizzled, I watched the Cubs take on the Phillies. There was a crack of the bat and I looked up to see the Cubs center fielder make a one-handed grab deep in center field. He got an appreciative cheer from the crowd in the bleachers. Nice catch!
Besides hotdogs, hamburgers and candy galore, the snack shack also offers deep fried tater tots and French fries. One of the parents was in charge of the fryer that was cooking up the tots and fries. The Krunch Bars and Big League Chew bubble gum were also big sellers.

Surprisingly, one of the most popular food items was Taco In A Bag.

We rang up quite a few orders for Taco In A Bag. Not sure where the idea for taco in a bag came from but, it’s got Little League Dad written all over it.
They’re really quite simple to prepare. You open up the Doritos chip or Fritos bag. Then you pour chili, cheese, lettuce and salsa on top and that’s what they call Taco In A Bag, an easy on-the-go snack for the kids. Or for Dad!
I’m waiting for the Taco In A Bag food truck!
Once the two ballgames were over the Little Leaguers came running to the snack shack. That’s when the action really heated up. Tater tots, hotdogs, hamburgers, and yes, the Taco In A Bag were flying out the snack bar window.
Once the deluge of hungry little leaguers was over, it was time for the cleanup crew.
Love For Georgia Fundraiser
It was a special night of giving at New Helvetia Brewing Company. Friends, family, and the local community showed up in force for a fundraiser for Georgia Kukowski, a woman they love.
Pedro Tiago Ferrer was spinning cool tunes, the Culinerdy Cruzer was serving up the grub, and there was face painting for the kids. Not to mention a slew of awesome raffle prizes.
Parents were sipping a pint and socializing with each other while children weaved and snaked their way through the crowd.
The night was celebratory, but had a serious purpose – to raise a pint and some funds for Georgia.
Georgia has been fighting stage 4 breast Cancer for 2 and a half years. She recently found out the cancer has spread to her liver.
Shannon Tarter, a close friend and organizer of the fundraiser, said “Georgia is a very caring woman. She has a lot of courage.” She added, “She feels great, she looks great. Which is not reflective of her battle.”
The Love For Georgia fundraiser started on Mother’s Day. Georgia has two school age children that attend Alice Birney Elementary and she hopes to begin treatment once the school year is over.
Nicole Oehmke, a friend of Georgia’s, said, “When my children needed extra nurturing, she’s been there. She is who I can’t be for my kids. She loves them as they are. She loves them for who they are.”
In 10 days, they’ve already raised an astounding $60,000 for Georgia. And they’re not done yet. All of the funds will go for Georgia’s medical fund covering, and there’s a lot of it. The immunotherapy treatment she would like to undergo next is not covered by her insurance.
On Georgia’s Youcaring website she says,
“Cancer college is teaching me that some people are ashamed of their cancer. Some people try to hide it or isolate themselves. That is not me. I am not ashamed. I don’t know why I have cancer, but I don’t think it was something I did…or didn’t do. It just is. And I will find my way through this. And so many of you are right by my side. My army of love and light. Thank you. Thank you. And one more time THANK YOU!”
If you want to donate, or learn more about Georgia and her fight:
http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/love-for-georgia-kukowski-help-give-this-mother-more-time-/351320

Land Park Farmer’s Market Makes A Move
The Land Park Farmers Market is moving from William Land Park to Sacramento City College. It will now be located at the corner of Sutterville Road and 21st in the Sac City parking lot
I spoke with Emily Lipson over the phone and she told me, “We’ll be more visible and also we’ll be able to add more vendors and beef up the market for the summer months. It’s an easier and better location for us.”
Summertime means more farmers and a bigger market for the Land Park neighborhood every Sunday between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Got an item? Greg@valcomnews.com

Matias Bombal’s Hollywood

The Age of Adeline

The MPAA has rated this PG-13
LIONSGATE and Lakeshore Entertainment bring us “The Age of Adeline” in which Adeline Bowman, (Blake Lively), remains 29 years of age for almost a century through a mystery trick of fate during an automobile accident on an unusually snowy night in Sonoma, California in 1933.
In this romantic fantasy that spans the best years of the last century to the present, the eternally young Adeline is constantly running from her agelessness.
That is until she descends one New Years Eve in an elevator with a handsome philanthropist played by Michiel Huisman. Twenty-seven floors later, and with some persistence from him, she agrees, with trepidation, to come over for a date.
Romance blossoms, yet she remains guarded with her secret, which is in danger of being exposed unexpectedly when Harrison Ford, playing the father of Huisman, happens to have known and loved Adeline in the 1960s and is certain that it is she, much to the concern of his wife, played by actress Kathy Baker.
If you take your own sweetie to this movie, you’ll have wonderful results for this is a lively 107 years of romantic fantasy, handsomely made. The beginning of the movie unravels in a beautiful and clever way and is marvelously imagined and carried out.
The only matter that seemed a bit forced was the closing voice over narration in storyteller fashion, which is the way the movie opens. The narration, by Hugh Ross, was okay, somewhat reminiscent of “The Hudsucker Proxy” but was a bit much at the end. This movie was directed by Lee Toland Krieger.

Hot Pursuit

The MPAA has rated this PG-13
Warner Bros. releases an M-G-M and New Line Cinema comedy which teams Reese Witherspoon and beautiful Sofía Vergara. This is in no way connected to the John Cusack movie of 1987 of the same name. his is more in the vein of a “Dukes of Hazzard” meets “Cannonball Run” and features Witherspoon as a tomboy cop assigned to protect the widow of a drug lord and bring her to trial as an informant.
Off to a shaky start, they must drive a long way to Dallas. The two are at opposite ends in every imaginable way, yet must bond together as they are chased by crooked cops and mad gunmen.
The director of this movie, Anne Fletcher, makes a Hitchcock cameo as a police dispatcher in one early scene. She’s worked as an actress before turning to directing. Perhaps she should have stayed an actress.
This movie is unfunny. The chemistry between the two principals never develops, and no matter how charming Ms. Vergara may be, and she is that, she is the only redeeming aspect in this movie, which fails on many levels. Gaps in continuity and the prolonging what would have made a better television episode of 30 minutes is dragged out to 87 minutes. The preview audience laughed in many spots, however, to me, the entire production seemed trite and forced. Ms. Witherspoon has proved herself an excellent actress and comedienne in other movies, however, here her performance lacks the true ability of her talent, and seemed like she was playing dress-up for a TV skit.

Matias Bombal’s Hollywood

The Age of Adeline

The MPAA has rated this PG-13

LIONSGATE and Lakeshore Entertainment bring us “The Age of Adeline” in which Adeline Bowman, (Blake Lively), remains 29 years of age for almost a century through a mystery trick of fate during an automobile accident on an unusually snowy night in Sonoma, California in 1933.
In this romantic fantasy that spans the best years of the last century to the present, the eternally young Adeline is constantly running from her agelessness.
That is until she descends one New Years Eve in an elevator with a handsome philanthropist played by Michiel Huisman. Twenty-seven floors later, and with some persistence from him, she agrees, with trepidation, to come over for a date.
Romance blossoms, yet she remains guarded with her secret, which is in danger of being exposed unexpectedly when Harrison Ford, playing the father of Huisman, happens to have known and loved Adeline in the 1960s and is certain that it is she, much to the concern of his wife, played by actress Kathy Baker.
If you take your own sweetie to this movie, you’ll have wonderful results for this is a lively 107 years of romantic fantasy, handsomely made. The beginning of the movie unravels in a beautiful and clever way and is marvelously imagined and carried out.
The only matter that seemed a bit forced was the closing voice over narration in storyteller fashion, which is the way the movie opens. The narration, by Hugh Ross, was okay, somewhat reminiscent of “The Hudsucker Proxy” but was a bit much at the end. This movie was directed by Lee Toland Krieger.

Hot Pursuit

The MPAA has rated this PG-13

Warner Bros. releases an M-G-M and New Line Cinema comedy which teams Reese Witherspoon and beautiful Sofía Vergara. This is in no way connected to the John Cusack movie of 1987 of the same name. his is more in the vein of a “Dukes of Hazzard” meets “Cannonball Run” and features Witherspoon as a tomboy cop assigned to protect the widow of a drug lord and bring her to trial as an informant.
Off to a shaky start, they must drive a long way to Dallas. The two are at opposite ends in every imaginable way, yet must bond together as they are chased by crooked cops and mad gunmen.
The director of this movie, Anne Fletcher, makes a Hitchcock cameo as a police dispatcher in one early scene. She’s worked as an actress before turning to directing. Perhaps she should have stayed an actress.
This movie is unfunny. The chemistry between the two principals never develops, and no matter how charming Ms. Vergara may be, and she is that, she is the only redeeming aspect in this movie, which fails on many levels. Gaps in continuity and the prolonging what would have made a better television episode of 30 minutes is dragged out to 87 minutes. The preview audience laughed in many spots, however, to me, the entire production seemed trite and forced. Ms. Witherspoon has proved herself an excellent actress and comedienne in other movies, however, here her performance lacks the true ability of her talent, and seemed like she was playing dress-up for a TV skit.

Matías Bombal’s Hollywood

Black Souls

The MPAA has not rated this movie

Vitagraph Films offers Italian director Franceso Munzi’s tale of a family, the sons of goat shepherds, involved in the Derangement criminal organization in the Calabria region of Italy. Set against a bleak rural community, the growing unease between the Carbone and Barracas begins to slowly boil to steam. There are only two members of the cast which may seem familiar to U.S. audiences. Luigi, who runs things for the Carbones, is played by Marco Leonardi who first won our attention in popular Italian imports “Cinema Paradiso” and “Like Water for Chocolate.”
One of the Carbone’s muscle men, Miguel, is played by Carlos Bardem, Javier’s older brother, and has appeared in films of many nations. One does really get sense of time and place in this movie set in a contemporary time period, and the shots and scenes are longer and quieter than any U.S. made movie would ever dare to be, allowing you to study the magnificent expressive nature of the faces of the Italian actors, each one offering excellent performances.
There is violence, but not as much as you would except. It is really a tale of respect, family tradition and honor, even among gangsters. Only two of three Carbone brothers are involved with the family “business”, the third, Luciano, tends his goats and resents the nature of his brothers work. By the time this all comes to a boil, you’ll see magnificent photography and an unhurried development of the plot that matches the more traditional lifestyle of Italian culture.
There are obvious connections to American-made movie movies like the Godfather, and two unexpected developments that cause some head scratching. Subtitled. One week only, Tower Theatre.

Dior And I

The MPAA has not rated this film

From The Orchard, an independent distributor based in Los Angeles comes a fascinating look at one of the most established icons of Haute Couture, Dior.
Director Frédéric Tcheng, who is no stranger to this world having been second camera and co-producer of 2008’s “Valentino: The Last Emperor”, offers something that is not so much a documentary as it is a rare glimpse behind one of fashion’s great houses at a key point in its history, where tradition meets a new and creative talent in designer Raf Simon and shares the passion and creative work of artistry that brings fashion to life.
Tcheng cleverly intersperses vintage archival footage (in the correct aspect ratio) of Christian Dior himself from the 1945 beginnings of the leader in French and world fashion, which works in concert with the ongoing implementation of Raf Simon’s new collection from inspiration to reality in just eight weeks.
In the first moments of vintage footage, we hear the familiar voice of Edward R. Murrow, who we will later see in a few frames of his “Person to Person” show where he interviews M. Dior.
Other vintage film segments bring Dior to life as passages of his book of memoirs “Christian Dior et Moi” are read by Omar Berrada which offers beautifully expressed thoughts from the old master such as “Like flowing Sap, the creative spirit runs in the house”.
For Raf Simon, the past is not romantic for him, the future is romantic for him. Following in the footsteps of Doir who established much in the 10 years he operated the company, this is a challenge for Simon to be sure, especially to find a way to be creative within the framework of the Dior world.
One sees Harvey Weinstein, Marion Cotillard, and Sharon Stone in this movie, however the real stars here are the seamstresses, who sew history into each stitch. One seamstress remarks, “His sprit is still here; we still work for Dior.” This film is in English, French, and Italian. Subtitled for English audiences.

Over The Fence What’s next for the former Vic’s IGA?

Old Good Eats
Old Good Eats

What’s the latest scoop on the former Vic’s IGA Supermarket in South Land Park?
The store was shut down in March and rumors are running rampant all over social media about what will take its place. If you believe everything you read on social media a Trader Joe’s is moving in.
There’s an online petition being circulated.
A lot of residents in the neighborhood seems to want a Trader Joe’s. They are frothing at the mouth for one to open up in their neighborhood.
Slim chance that’s going to happen. Besides, the shopping center parking lot is too vast. Trader Joe’s specializes in annoying little parking lots that make shoppers irate.
Another person on a Land Park Facebook group talked about a VIVA Supermarket taking over the site. They provided a link where people could send messages to corporate headquarters begging them to locate in the South Land Park Hills Shopping Center. Viva has a local grocery store on Northgate Boulevard.
Another rumor on social media was a Dollar Tree was moving in. A guy said he heard it from somebody at the Jazzercise studio.
So you know it’s legit.
That false rumor got a lot of people worked up and angry. Folks just don’t like Dollar Tree. Let’s hope DD’s Discounts doesn’t try to weasel their way in. There’s new fencing around Vic’s Supermarket. That does not mean anything is imminent. It just means there is a fence around the building to keep it from being vandalized.
I spoke with John Chang, whose family owns the shopping center property on the right side of the South Hills Center, and he told me,
“We’re just proceeding with what is legally required to allow us to do what is next.”
Vic’s IGA filed for bankruptcy. There is a long, arduous process involved. Nothing is imminent.
I also spoke with Theodore Chang who is part of the property management company and he said, “The property has not been rented out. We have not made that decision yet, although we do have people who are interested.”
Theodore added, “We have several brokers we are working with and we’re trying to find the perfect fit for us as well as for our neighborhood”
When I asked him what are you looking to put in there? He told me, “We are keeping all of our options open. It could be anything from an athletic club to a grocery store.”
Theodore added, “We don’t have anything set in stone.”
I also asked about the aesthetic of the building and if they had plans for any demolishing of the mid-century modern designed building. “We’re not looking at anything like that. We’re just looking at getting a tenant in there. We aren’t going to make any major changes to the building itself.”
Good news for all you Sookie Lee fans.
So, when you see hunches and predictions on social media, don’t take them too seriously. The owners are working towards getting a suitable tenant in the former Vic’s IGA building. Let’s all hope it’s something that lifts up the South Land Park Hills Shopping Center.

WHAT ABOUT GOOD EATS?

Good Eats, the popular little barbecue joint that was housed inside Vic’s IGA, was planning to move into the former Brick Oven Pizza building. It sounded like a perfect match. Bring on the red checkered tablecloths!
I asked Good Eats owner Eric McFadden about the move over the phone recently and he told me, “It’s not gonna happen right now. I got a lot of my business when Vic’s was open and that store isn’t open anymore. Right now I’m playing it by ear.”
He added, “Because it ain’t cheap to run a business.”
Right now Eric and his Good Eats are over at Goeman’s Lounge on Franklin Boulevard. So if you miss the comfort food at Good Eats head on over to Goeman’s for some comfort.
“This is gonna work for now. I’m not going anywhere right now.”
McFadden plans on unleashing the “Big Mama Grill” next month over at Goeman’s. His hours are Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Matias Bombal’s Hollywood

Black Souls

The MPAA has not rated this movie

Vitagraph Films offers Italian director Franceso Munzi’s tale of a family, the sons of goat shepherds, involved in the Derangement criminal organization in the Calabria region of Italy. Set against a bleak rural community, the growing unease between the Carbone and Barracas begins to slowly boil to steam. There are only two members of the cast which may seem familiar to U.S. audiences. Luigi, who runs things for the Carbones, is played by Marco Leonardi who first won our attention in popular Italian imports “Cinema Paradiso” and “Like Water for Chocolate.”
One of the Carbone’s muscle men, Miguel, is played by Carlos Bardem, Javier’s older brother, and has appeared in films of many nations. One does really get sense of time and place in this movie set in a contemporary time period, and the shots and scenes are longer and quieter than any U.S. made movie would ever dare to be, allowing you to study the magnificent expressive nature of the faces of the Italian actors, each one offering excellent performances.
There is violence, but not as much as you would except. It is really a tale of respect, family tradition and honor, even among gangsters. Only two of three Carbone brothers are involved with the family “business”, the third, Luciano, tends his goats and resents the nature of his brothers work. By the time this all comes to a boil, you’ll see magnificent photography and an unhurried development of the plot that matches the more traditional lifestyle of Italian culture.
There are obvious connections to American-made movie movies like the Godfather, and two unexpected developments that cause some head scratching. Subtitled. One week only, Tower Theatre.

Dior And I

The MPAA has not rated this film

From The Orchard, an independent distributor based in Los Angeles comes a fascinating look at one of the most established icons of Haute Couture, Dior.
Director Frédéric Tcheng, who is no stranger to this world having been second camera and co-producer of 2008’s “Valentino: The Last Emperor”, offers something that is not so much a documentary as it is a rare glimpse behind one of fashion’s great houses at a key point in its history, where tradition meets a new and creative talent in designer Raf Simon and shares the passion and creative work of artistry that brings fashion to life.
Tcheng cleverly intersperses vintage archival footage (in the correct aspect ratio) of Christian Dior himself from the 1945 beginnings of the leader in French and world fashion, which works in concert with the ongoing implementation of Raf Simon’s new collection from inspiration to reality in just eight weeks.
In the first moments of vintage footage, we hear the familiar voice of Edward R. Murrow, who we will later see in a few frames of his “Person to Person” show where he interviews M. Dior.
Other vintage film segments bring Dior to life as passages of his book of memoirs “Christian Dior et Moi” are read by Omar Berrada which offers beautifully expressed thoughts from the old master such as “Like flowing Sap, the creative spirit runs in the house”.
For Raf Simon, the past is not romantic for him, the future is romantic for him. Following in the footsteps of Doir who established much in the 10 years he operated the company, this is a challenge for Simon to be sure, especially to find a way to be creative within the framework of the Dior world.
One sees Harvey Weinstein, Marion Cotillard, and Sharon Stone in this movie, however the real stars here are the seamstresses, who sew history into each stitch. One seamstress remarks, “His sprit is still here; we still work for Dior.” This film is in English, French, and Italian. Subtitled for English audiences.