March 27, 2017
Pantheon: Charlotte Rampling. Still smoldering.
Cannes Film Festival 2001
March 26, 2017
Law Business Protip of the Week: The Receptionist.
Stunning thin smart personable young female receptionists are hands-down the most important development in brick and mortar business in the last 100 years. Spread the word. Beautify the Americas and Europe.
March 15, 2017
Mick Pantheon: Mary Harris Jones.
Put aside your party line, your ideology and anything else you use to avoid thinking on your own. School teacher, seamstress, businesswoman, community organizer, Chicago girl and Ireland-born, Mary Harris "Mother Jones" (1837-1930) had big ones. What a resume, most of it from after she turned 50.
Denounced on the U.S. Senate floor as the "grandmother of all agitators."
February 20, 2017
Happy Birthday, EJB.
Our friend Ellen Bry, an actress and prime time television mainstay (St. Elsewhere, Dexter, Boston Legal, Monk, The Closer) for decades, also known as this blog's in-house photographer, usually works in television. A few years ago she played Ester Hobbes, a Chicago socialite who suddenly loses everything, in The Lost & Found Family, a Sony Pictures release. In the film, we meet a strong and spiritual woman who is surprised to learn that she has inherited just one thing from her dead businessman husband: a run-down old house in Georgia, and the turbulent foster family living in it. Taken from the story Mrs. Hobbes' House, The Lost & Found Family is a remarkably powerful family film set in the American South. It was filmed in Jackson, Georgia, a town between Atlanta and Macon, with a population of about 4000, in Butts County. I was there once years ago. No, it's just not a movie for this stereotype: people who go to church, sing, say "golly", watch lots of TV, eat a lot, and are afraid of virtually everyone and everything all the time. There are artful, and moving, performances by Ellen and her younger cast members, who include teen heartthrob Lucas Till and Jessica Luza, a film and television actress. Ellen's other movie credits include Mission Impossible 3, Deep Impact, and Bye, Bye Love.
January 16, 2017
Real Women: Elizabeth McGovern.
McGovern in 2012.
January 05, 2017
Pantheon: Catherine Deneuve
December 17, 2016
Rebecca Bricker's new novel: The Secret of Marie.
"The Secret of Marie" is a new novel of art history set in Claude Monet's Giverny, France. It is two love stories set in the same village: a modern-day romance between a French architect and American writer in 2004, and one between storied American impressionist painter Theodore Robinson and his Parisian model, known to this day only as "Marie," 100 years earlier. "The Secret of Marie" is the third novel by my friend Rebecca Bricker, an American expat based in Florence, Italy.
December 14, 2016
American Pantheon: Nico (1938-1988)
Born Christa Päffgen in Cologne (1938-1988)
December 06, 2016
American Pantheon: Annabeth Gish.
October 23, 2016
American Pantheon: Lucy Liu
Lucy Liu Vogue China April 2009
October 04, 2016
American Pantheon: Dame Alice Krige.
I have not met South Africa-born movie, television and stage actress Alice Krige but have admired her and her movies for almost 30 years. I would like to see her on stage some day. I am in awe of working dramatic actresses based on the difficulty of their craft alone--and have been lucky to spend a lot of time with one in particular. To be noticed and hired, to keep working in serious paying roles down through the years, to make a living, to endure, even for the very gifted, is not a reality for most. You must be more than pretty, more than mega-hardworking, more than resilient, more than cheerful, strong, tough, well-regarded, respected and liked. You must be Lucky, too. Uncommon and shining talent is a prerequisite. All your competitors have it. A tough, unforgiving profession you must love deeply and almost unconditionally to merely stay the course in many, many moments during a long career.
August 27, 2016
Charlotte Rampling. Still smoldering in three languages.
Greetings from Austria, everyone. And Happy Thanksgiving.
Great gifts, persistence and drive are hard to beat. If you don't know who Charlotte Rampling is, you're culturally illiterate. So do find out.
Ah, Charlotte. You made up for many of the rest of us.
July 22, 2016
Real Women: Audrey Tautou.
Source: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Europe (2011)
July 18, 2016
Pantheon: Catherine Deneuve, 1995.
Catherine Deneuve, 52, in 1995.
June 11, 2016
American Pantheon: Charlotte Rampling.
May 03, 2016
American Pantheon: Annabeth Gish.
March 29, 2016
Anna Marie Duke (1946-2016)
Today we lost someone authentic and great. Patty Duke, 69, was way more than an Oscar winner, television icon and child film star. Gifted, hardworking, prolific, smart, tough, brave. First-rate stage and movie actress her whole life. She could sing, too. Survivor, endurer, winner. Real class with no apologies. And too young. This news bothered me.
Patty Duke & Helen Keller circa 1960. Photo: Nina Leen. Thanks Charles Lieurance, Betsy Munnell
June 12, 2015
Pantheon: Ms. Mulligan.
Two weeks ago, London-born actress Carey Hannah Mulligan turned 30. She's already a stage and screen standout internationally, and a national treasure in England. Mulligan was nominated in 2009 for an Oscar as Best Actress based on work she did at 23. She is now making audiences smile, laugh, disapprove, gasp, and fall in love with her--together with her three fictional 19th century suitors--in yet another new film version of Thomas Hardy's 1874 novel Far From The Madding Crowd. His fourth novel, this is probably Hardy's best story, and the work that made him famous. If you haven't read it, you're an asshole. Just kidding and making sure you're still reading. If you haven't read it, you're missing something. If you were assigned to read it, and actually did read it in high school or college, read it again. It is at once a study of love, adversity and sudden changes beyond our control or skills.
December 31, 2014
Pantheon: Janus Blythe
November 23, 2014
Pantheon: Charlize Theron
October 26, 2014
Pantheon: Kim Bassinger, 60.
October 05, 2014
Pantheon: Sarah Silverman.
"I don't set out to offend or shock, but I also don't do anything to avoid it."
April 25, 2014
Pantheon: Annabeth Gish.
March 01, 2014
Parker Posey: You don't need the money with a face like that.
October 11, 2013
Pantheon: Lisa Kudrow.
A 40-something Vassar grad (B.A. Biology) who can still play youngish lovable ditzes on nighttime TV and in feature films, Kudrow already has won or been nominated for a lifetime worth of Emmys and SAG awards. She comes from a talented and interesting LA-based family (music and medicine) with Russian-Jewish roots. Kudrow's ancestors emigrated from Belarus and lived in the village of Ilya, near Minsk. Her great-grandmother was murdered in the Holocaust. She got into acting late; she worked first as a researcher, and as an anchor/reporter for an ABC affiliate in Texas. For us, her HBO series "The Comeback" was a revelation. Watch for her to soar in the next two decades in dramatic roles. Do add her to our Pantheon. It needs a few more Blondes with Brains, Comedic Timing and Big Moxie--all three out the wazoo.
September 16, 2013
Soulful in America.
You may have dramatic cheekbones, pouty lips, Chiclet-white teeth, the neck of a gazelle, four feet of legs, a French manicure, and a serious rack of mamm. But if your insides aren't pretty, your outsides don't really mean that much...and there's no time like the present to go in for soul surgery.
--Andrew Creighton Stone, Editor-in-Chief, Los Angeles Confidential
American actress Katharine Ross: Beauty, brains, heart, soul.
August 24, 2013
Pantheon: Sigourney Weaver.
I need a woman about twice my height.
A goddess of the night.
--John Barlow and Bob Wier, "I Need a Miracle"
Patrician. Five foot eleven. Stanford and Yale. 63 years old.
Susan Alexandra Weaver in 2008
August 25, 2012
Heiresses: And Talented, Too.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Louis-Dreyfus Group, France.
January 29, 2012
Pantheon: Vanessa Anne Hudgens. Charisma, legs and talents beyond her years.
Born December 14, 1988. American actress, singer. We were very, very wrong about her. She's not too young for The Pantheon. She got legs, legs, charisma and talent. She can act. We salute her--and stand corrected.
August 27, 2011
Pantheon: Lena Calhoun Horne.
1941 photo by Carl Van Vechten
Lena Horne died last year on May 9, 2010. She had natural class and confidence. She lived her life as a work of art. She could sing, dance, act. She could, and did, stand up to talentless arrogance, straight-up bullies and inelegance in all its forms--both before and after she became powerful in her own right. If you're of the greatest generation, you think of her as glamorous. If you're a Boomer, she's the best of the Civil Rights movement.
And if you were born after 1970, you might be curious about a New Yorker who begins life in a rapidly-changing Bedford–Stuyvesant, moves South without parents, heads back up to Brooklyn, becomes a Cotton Club mainstay at 17, breaks records in more than walk of life, and lives to be 92. Start here, here or here.
Add Ms. Horne to our Pantheon.
February 03, 2011
Heroes: Parker Posey
Got sand? Parker does. Rent "Party Girl" (1995). Watch her dance at the end. She's among the first in our Pantheon, a really exclusive club. Not one where old guys in second tier cities pay dues to drool on their shirts. Parker, it is said, likes Non-Risk Averse People Who Step Up. That's not you, is it, Wendell? Time to get off your knees, maybe?
Pretty Bohemian Girl Next Door.