Monday, February 27, 2012

Oscar Winner for The Artist, Producer Thomas Langmann: Where Did He Come From?

What is it about the French that they love to embrace risk? Thomas Langmann just won the Oscar for producing The Artist. He sold his home and borrowed money from relatives to do so. Then he met Harvey Weinstein and the rest is cinema history.

Langmann's father was Claude Berri, whom I met on the beaches of St. Tropez in the early '70s. Berri was an actor and producer of some of France's finest films such as Jean de Florette and Manon du Source.

Each summer my ex-husband, Ron Mallory, and I would go to St. Tropez. My husband, who was a successful sculptor, would seek out collectors for his art while I would rest after having modeled in Paris. The plage Moorea was the equivalent of a casting session and film studio rolled into one. There were actors Raquel Welch, Romy Schneider, Jane Fonda. Producers, Sam Spiegel. Directors, Roman Polanski,Claude Berri, Bob Benton and the late David Newman who with Benton wrote Bonnie and Clyde. Newman and Benton were our good friends as we would party and sunbath together.

David Newman's close friend was Jean Pierre Rassam, who was an outrageous Lebanese producer. His sister was Ann Marie Rassam, who was married to Thomas Langmann's father, Claude Berri. Jean Pierre would entertain us under the sun with his great sense of being the buffoon. Pretending to be the buffoon. He was no buffoon. One never knew what he was going to say and this was his charm and I suspect he used this technique to get money out of potential backers for films. He produced eight films including Tu Va Bien and La Grand Bouffe. Once he introduced me to Philippe Rothschild, who was enormously conservative and yet Jean Pierre would arrive at the beach wearing a sheet and dressed liked an Arab out of Lawrence of Arabia while the rest of the sunbathers were focused on exposing as much flesh as possible. The look was tutti nudi.

Then there was Daniel Thompson, a beautiful screenwriter whose father Gerard Oury was the longtime companion of Michele Morgan. Sur le plage the French cinema was very well represented. As I write this I feel I am documenting the class history of 1972. Ron and I were invited to be guests of the Thompsons summer after summer and today Daniel is a director. She achieved fame writing Cousin Cousine. Her screenplay was nominated for an Oscar.

But it was Jean Pierre who was the most amusing of the entire gang. When I was engaged to Claude Picasso, Pablo's son, and living in Paris, I would have to sneak out to have a lunch with Jean Pierre as Claude was jealous of him. Oh, Jean Pierre was not good looking but he had pizzazz, was boisterous, not at all concerned with status quo like so many of the bourgeois French, and I loved him for this. He ended up marrying Carole Bouquet, the James Bond beauty. He died at a young age as he lived a fast life. But Jean Pierre had the fighting spirit that Claude Berri had as well. When Jean Pierre and Claude Berri co-produced the film of Roman Polanski's Tess, Jean Pierre invited me to go to the Oscars with their group as a date of Marcello Mastroianni, but I preferred to take a Quaalude and passed out on my living room floor along with my beau of that moment. Alas, I became sober soon afterwards.

What this whole crowd had in common was relentlessness and an unwillingness to give up despite tragedy. During my St. Tropez days Thomas Langmann was an infant, but he was raised with this mad hatter kind of joie de vivre which carried him through the deaths of his mother who committed suicide and his beloved uncle, Jean Pierre Rassam. Paul Rassam, Jean Pierre's brother, lent money to Langmann to produce The Artist.

But It is the embracing of risk for which he won the Oscar for Best Picture. It is the courage of his convictions that he inherited from this climate that I've tried to capture that is indicative of French cinema. Langmann sold his home and borrowed from relatives because he believed in an idea. This love of challenge is what Thomas Langmann is about and why he won the Oscar for producing The Artist.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

My photo on the cover of New York Magazine

Movie Review: Don't Wander Into Wanderlust!

Jennifer Aniston deserves better material. Paul Rudd does as well. So what are they doing in this turkey? Sure it is produced by Judd Apatow, who producedPineapple Express and Knocked up that were truly hilarious. Recently he achieved some praise for producing Bridesmaids, however the vulgarity ofBridesmaids bothered me, and Apatow allowed the same thing to happen to this film. Wanderlust is an attempt to gross the audience out before it walks out. David Wain and Ken Marino wrote this exercise in staying awake while Wein directed it.
Linda (Aniston) and George (Rudd) are a married couple facing financial problems in Manhattan. George loses his job and they decide to move to Atlanta with his brother to get away from the rat race. On the way their car gives them trouble and they end up spending the night in a commune, Elysium, where free love is the lifestyle. At first Linda and George hesitate, but gradually Linda is seduced by commune leader Seth (Justin Theroux) and the freedom of the atmosphere. George is as well, but Linda is the first to agree to have sex with Seth. This gives permission to George to cheat. He acquiesces after he is seduced by the beautiful Eva (Malin Akerman) but he fails to consummate his lovemaking as he is too uptight and frightened to be appealing to Eva. Nor is he to the audience. Nor is he funny. Silly he is.
"I'm ready to have sex. I've wanted to have sex with you," George blurts out while grimacing and making faces reminiscent of your local chimpanzee, as he fakes his ability to be seductive. Eva's dialogue is not an improvement when stone faced she says, "I can lick your balls while giving you a blow job."
When George and Linda first approach the commune, their car breaks down as a naked man walks towards them. Seeing male full frontal nudity while running gave me hope for a fleeting moment that this film would be refreshing. Wrong. Instead this was a clue to the grotesqueness of the film and vulgarity of what was about to ensue.
Playing a real estate agent, Linda Lavin in a cameo opens the film with an expectation that this will be a funny film, as her timing is impeccable and her delivery on the mark. She is selling this naïve couple a micro loft more commonly known as a studio, but almost as soon as she fades from the movie, so did much of any real comedy. Alan Alda plays a member of the commune with the talent and finesse only he can pull off amidst sloppy writing. Aniston does Aniston to a T and can never look bad, but funny she is not. Unfortunate would be a better title for this bird.

Pan Am Memories: Aloha to Hawaii And to My Mother

Because the faltering TV series "Pan Am" was pulled from the schedule this past week -- its actual fate yet to be decided by ABC -- I was inspired to write the following piece about my trip to Hawaii with my mother.
We were flying to Oahu from San Francisco. It would be our first layover on our trip around the world as a guest of Pan Am. I had been a stewardess for six months so I had benefits.
As we landed at the Ohana Honolulu Airport, I tried to imagine the Japanese bombing this peaceful island. Pearl Harbor was a lagoon harbor three miles to the west. No, I told myself, that was long ago and far away.
Tokyo was our next layover, so I'd have plenty of time to deal with my feelings. Now I was going to enjoy the good weather, the hospitality, the beauty of the land, the wonderful food and the companionship of my mother.
We had flown from Philadelphia to San Francisco, then spent a night in the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins and were now landing at Honolulu."Do you think they'll give us flowers?" Mom asked.
As the stewardess opened the door, the ground crew put leis, wreaths made of lavender and white orchids, around the neck of my tiny mother who was four-foot, 11 inches tall. Then they placed a second one over my head. The scent of the palm trees blowing in the wind coupled with the tropical breeze from the Pacific Ocean stimulated our senses and welcomed us to this island paradise.
And there they were: girls in grass skirts doing the hula as sounds of a steel band and ukuleles were heard in the distance. Mother's one dimple creased as she smiled. We were excited to arrive in this tropical Eden. Philadelphia seemed long ago and far away. We forgot about my father's suffering and the cold weather for awhile.
We were two wahine on holiday I thought, as I looked around at the well built bodies of the natives. Our taxi drove us to the Hilton Hotel on Waikiki Beach. We watched the palm trees bending in the breeze and felt the caress of the warm ocean wind.
"How long do we have in Oahu?" mother asked. "Tomorrow we fly to the Big Island," I replied. "Tonight we will have dinner at Don Ho's."
""Don who?"
"Don Ho."
"Who's he?"
"A famous Hawaiian singer who has a restaurant known for its Polynesian luau and his entertainment. It has a thatched roof made of royal palm fronds and is open on three sides with a great view of the harbor," I told her.
""Why are you putting on a bathing suit?""
"First I want to go for a swim," I said. "It's two in the afternoon. Why don't you take a nap? You must be tired."

"Ok, but don't pick up any strange men," she advised. "Your bathing suit is too small."
"Mom, it's a bikini," I said. "The polka dots make it look smaller than it is.
Sure enough once out on the white sand, as I was walking out of the azure waters a handsome Hawaiian with burnt almond skin said, "Do you mind if sit with you awhile. I'm a native and you must be a malahini."
"What's that?" 
"A visitor."
'"Do you need an escort for the evening, I'm Kevin,' he said extending his hand as I took in his muscular body and I felt his eyes on mine. Two hours later I returned to the hotel to ask mother if she would mind if Kevin joined us for dinner.
"Well, if it makes you happy," she said. "What does this man do for a living?"
"We didn't discuss that. Honestly, mother, you're focused on the wrong things."
"Listen, dearie," she said, "mark my word, you could get into trouble with some man you met on a beach."
Mother and I went to dinner at Don Ho's with Kevin and had a delicious dinner of roasted pork with macadamian nuts and pineapple and papaya salads. When we said aloha, I returned to the hotel with mother who said, "Honestly, Carole, his skin was so dark."
"He's Hawaiian, mom. And what difference does that make?" I asked. Mother's Pennsylvania Dutch heritage was rearing its repressive head.
The next morning mother and I flew to Hilo on the Big Island. We rented a car and were going to drive around the coast. I wanted to see the black sand beaches and mother was a compliant companion.
On the Kona Coast, also known as the Gold Coast, we found a charming hotel to spend the night so the following day we could visit the beach. It was near what was then the world's most active volcano, Mt. Kilauea, (I am a volcano freak) and its national park, the Kohala Coast on the north and further north Waimea which had of all things, snow and cowboys called paniolo!
We didn't know how we were going to do it all, but we started with the northern resort of Mauna Kea built by Laurence Rockefeller on South Kohala. In 1965, to build this work of art, Rockefeller chose a patch of black lava in an inaccessible area with two beautiful beaches.
I had read about this magnificent resort and wanted to show it to mother. It was complete with homes, golf courses, eight restaurants and horse-back riding.
"A bit pricey for us, Carole, " mother said as she studied the view from the hotel of the golf courses and sparkling ocean."We can look," I said as I stepped into our Honda to drive to the black sand beach for a quiet swim.
We drove for one hour to Ho'okena State Park to swim with dolphins and to take in the lush tropical gardens and the panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean.
Here we found a secluded beach where mother and I could chill.
I was tired of driving and took a nap. Mother talked to some small children nearby and when I awoke, we drove off for a late lunch to the restaurant overlooking the volcano, which was bubbling and magnificent.
"When is it due to erupt?" I asked our waitress. "It just did last March, 1965," she said with a smile. I was impressed with her resolve and yet perplexed that she had no fear. 
When mother went to pay for the check, she said, "Oh, my lord, I left my pocketbook on the black sand beach!"
Driving 60 mph, an hour later I reached a thatched hut and two small children swinging mother's handbag that had her passport, airline ticket and money. They were smiling and eager to return the bag. Mother gave them a reward that they tried to refuse, and we were all so excited that I had not watched the time. It was now 5 p.m. and we had to return to the volcano.
 "Why?" mother asked.
"To walk through the lava tubes," I explained. First we took a path over the smoldering earth that led to these lava tubes. There were markers with dates of eruptions and different stages of growth for vegetation since each eruption.
"I'm exhausted, Carole. Can't we return to the hotel for a quiet meal?" As we were eating at a beach-side restaurant I reflected about the day we shared.
"We fly out tomorrow, don't we?" mother asked. "Yes, back to Oahu, then off to Tokyo.""Let's get a good night's rest. I need it," she said as she held my hand. "So do I," I said.
The next morning we said aloha to the Aloha state as we flew away from the glorious Big Island and Honolulu and its memories of Kevin, then off to Tokyo.
We were booked in Frank Lloyd Wright's Imperial Hotel. I was excited to see this monument that had withstood the massive earthquake of 1923 with my mother by my side.
She was a survivor, too, as she had lived through the Great Depression by eating only rice.

Laura Wagner and her daughter Carole Mallory at PSU...My photo on cover of PARADE

'When I was on the cover of Parade for my story of overcoming alcoholism, my mother and I were invited as guests of M,A.D.D, and Drivers under the Influence Association to speak to mother's who had lost their children to drunk drivers,  I was flown from Hollywood to State College to speak.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Celebrating Fausnaught Day

Yesterday was Fausnaught Day or the beginning of Lent.  As a child my family who was of Pennsylvania Deutsch decent celebrated this occasion by making doughnuts.  We all gathered in the kitchen and had a merry ole time throwing the dough at each other while mother wasn't looking.  Well, it was only my sister and me, but we had a good time and boy were those doughnuts good!  Can't get them at Dunkin Doughnuts. That's for sure!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Movie Review: Woody Harrelson Makes Rampart a Must See

Woody Harrelson's tour de force performance in Rampart is reminiscent of Oscar winner Denzel Washington's in Training Day. Harrelson should also have been nominated for an Oscar . Washington portrays the day in the life of a dirty cop as he trains a rookie cop. Harrelson (David Brown) portrays the last of the renegade cops as he struggles between his personal and his professional life and the conflicts in working in a dirty police force as a dirty cop. How these pressures affect those around him such as his two wives, Cynthia Nixon and Anne Heche, his two children, his love interest Robin Wright, and the police force represented by head honcho Sigourney Weaver is what this film is about. Ice Cube plays an internal affairs officer intent on bringing our man Brown down. This is an ensemble piece and all of the acting is top notch, but Oren Movermen's direction has problems. He can direct acting and actually has you care about Brown, but there are times when the film lags.

There is a visit to a sex dungeon in 1999 downtown LA which is filmed in a fascinating technique, but at times is too vague to allow us to understand the images we are partially seeing. This is irritating. Instead of imagining what would be going on, I lost interest. Wrong move on Movermen's part. The pace of the film is a problem. The cinematography by Bobby Bokowski is exciting and creative save for this dungeon sequence which is both the high and low of visual effects. That is when you can fathom what is happening it is exciting, but when it shuts down and becomes black, we have no choice but to shut down as well. Harrelson's vomiting after eating, drinking and seeing too much debauchery is champion and moves one to feeling for his need to abuse his body and his deep self-loathing.

Don't look for any moral or happy ending. The talented James Ellroy has co-written with Moverman a grim bleak tale. "I don't cheat on my taxes," Brown says, 'You can't cheat on something you never committed to." This quote is vintage Ellroy whose mother was murdered as recalled in the Black Dahlia scandal and her murderer was never discovered hence Ellroy has become one of our nation's top crime writers. His gritty dialogue makes this film work when the pace lags. Date Rape Brown after waiting at a bar for Wright says to her, "You nearly got me killed while you were out looking for a bone to chew on."
Rampart is derived from the 1999 Rampart Scandal and the LAPD C.R.A.S.H. units involved.

Bleak as it is, it is worth seeing. Not only for the acting, but also for the memory of what a corrupt police force can do to our society.
The Huffington Post Link

Friday, February 17, 2012

Happy Bday to Helen Gurley Brown, My photo on cover of COSMO

Happy Bday to that Freedom Fighter for Woman's Rights...Helen Gurley Brown who today is 90.  |Here is the Cosmopolitan cover she put me on..  The T shirt that I am wearing with the pink pussy cat said 'Stroke Me I'll Purr'.  Don't believe everything you read.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rosemont College interest

Rosemont College asked me to teach memoir in the 2012 fall semester.  Just happened and I'm mighty proud.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


A clever refreshing comedy This Means War is almost put in jeopardy by Chelsea Handler (Trish) in a supporting, but crucial role. She has the best lines but throws them away with a stiff delivery and with an attempt to be nonchalant so as to underplay her dialogue.
This technique works on talk shows but not on the big screen. Yes, not hammering the jokes is a good approach to comedy but a talented comedian needs energy even when trying to allow the words to be funny while not trying to be funny. Handler's attempt to be cool falls flat and takes air, by that I mean timing, out of what the team of Witherspoon, Pine and Hardy have created.
Reese Witherspoon (Lauren) is her darling self and at times a bit too darling, but she is so talented she can be the darling 24/7 and pull it off. She should have given acting lessons to Handler. Chris Pine (FDR) and Tom Hardy (Tuck) who play CIA spies are movie star handsome as well as credible in their performances. They have the energy Handler lacks and create a believable friendship.
To begin the film a CIA involvement is thrown in for intrigue but the movie really begins when both men survey a dating site and discover a stunning blonde, Lauren, in a rather compromising position. The ad for Lauren's dating appeal was created by bff Trish without Lauren's knowledge. It turns both men on. They make a Gentleman's Agreement along with a macho handshake to simultaneously pursue Lauren and to let the best man win.
Alas, each man covertly assigns a team of spies to watch Lauren while she is being courted by the other man. She is shadowed, filmed, trailed, tricked, reconed and droned while oblivious to it all. She does not realize she is being pursued by two men who are friends and who have made a deal to vie for her affection, but their friendship comes first. Essentially she is a pawn for their testosterone, for their chauvinism, for their egos. She cannot discover their Gentleman's Agreement or they fear they will both lose her. Enfin Lauren develops serious feelings for them both and has a sexual encounter with one of them. This very stilted lovemaking is filmed by the spy team of the other operative. Director McG choked here by filming this as a posed, awkward scene. With all the frenzy around this plot, I longed for a passionate love scene. Nada. Instead Lauren is posed on a table as though she is modeling underwear instead of about to devour FDR.
If the writing were not truly funny this film would not work, but Timothy Dowling, Simon Kinberg, Marcus Gaulesen who wrote the story make this film fly. As well as the fine performances of Witherspoon, Pine and Hardy. McG's direction works except he should have had a closer eye on Handler and given her some help. Bottom line her flat performance was his responsibility to direct and to correct.
Nevertheless I would make a b line to this romcom, but not allow Handler ,the aspiring queen of put downs, put down your interest in and enjoyment of this film. Ignore her attempts to be cool and allow the fond memories of the other actors and good writing make you smile and remember the times you, too, had an affair with two men or two women at the same time without one of them knowing about the other. This happens all the time and here we are able to laugh about it. Shame is for prudes.
"This is a mistake," Lauren says to FDR who replies, "I don't believe in mistakes. It's the mistakes who make us who we are."
This film is for risk takers who live and who love the outrageous.

Remembering Whitney Houston

Though the actual cause of Whitney Houston's death is not yet in, it appears it was her choice.  Though I did not know her, she was strong willed and self will run riot is the core of the addictive mind.  Dr.Drew says they should have been monitoring her, but the will of an addict is iron clad.  I don't believe monitoring her would  have worked.
 I identify with Houston's death as my choice of drugs was Valium combined with white wine.  Seeing Betty Ford on TV saying that her addiction was Valium and wine did not stop me.  "Look what the Presidency did to that poor woman," I thought as I swallowed a Valium and reached for my wine. On December 25, I had 31 years sober with the Grace of God.  I don't think anyone in the press is talking about the Grace of God. Maybe Whitney Houston's tragic death along with Michael Jackson will put more eyes on the 'chicdom' of the disease of addiction and the importance of gratitude for a simple life simply led.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What Norman Mailer Would Have Told Me About 'Safe House'

The below article was published in The Wrap:

Denzel Washington plays one badass sociopath, murderer, traitor and still manages to steal screen time from all of those around him and to be charming to boot.  This includes Ryan Reynolds (Matt Weston) whose character is along for the ride and a backdrop for Tobin Frost’s (Washington’s) driving escape from the CIA.  Julian Assange anyone?  (Not that we know if Assange is guilty whereas we know Frost is.) The script by David Guggenheim is one dimensional in that the film is about Frost’s running from the CIA and from Weston, the “housekeeper “of a safe house, who is meant to guard Frost.  Frenzy is what this movie really is about.
For eight years I had writing lessons from Norman Mailer who was my mentor and who lectured me on plot.   He would make graphs of his work and of my work.  Drawings.  Trying to teach me about movement in a story.  He would make a graph of a novel that I was working and it would look like a doodle. Circles. Then I would make him a drawing of what I thought was the plot of his novel, Barbary Shore and make it a series of circles.  And we would laugh.
 “You have to have a through line in your novel otherwise it is just chaos and chaos is not plot.”
If one were to draw a graph of the plot of Safe House it would be close to a series of circles.  Very little movement in plot.  Movement of characters running willy nilly, yes.  But character driven plot is lacking.
Mailer who loved badass sociopaths would have loved Denzel Washington’s character, but I suspect Mailer would have thrown his hands in the air when asked to make a graph of the plot of Safe House. 
A few of Mailer’s graphs are now in Harvard’s Houghton Library as its curator, Leslie Morris, saw value in my archive and purchased it after Mailer’s death.
 Perhaps it would have helped screenwriter David Guggenheim to have worked from a graph instead of allowing a chase to become practically the entire plot.
Safe House is about secrets of the CIA that are on micro chips that Frost has acquired illegally.  He will sell these chips to the highest bidder and blow the lily white lid off the CIA.  Alas one murder ensues.
The CIA is headed by Harlan Whitford (Sam Shepard), who reminds me of Dick Cheney.   He is smooth, cunning and hides his involvement in this intrigue from everyone.  Captivating as only Sam Shepard can be, he is assisted by Catherine Linklater (Vern Farmiga) who is her dynamic self.  David Barlow (Brendon Gleeson) is a robust skillful presence and rounds out the star cast of the CIA. 
What there is to the plot is simple:  Frost is on the run from the CIA with his micro chip and gets caught and put in a Safe House in South Africa.  The” housekeeper” is Weston, a newbie in the CIA and has Billy Budd written all over him.   After Frost is water boarded to no avail and is about to be cut with a knife, thugs break into the Safe House and murder everyone save Frost and Weston who escape in a getaway car after Weston throws Frost in the trunk.
Eventually this becomes a buddy film as the two become allies --a bit reminiscent of the Hope/ Crosby Road films only with violence thrown in the mix.  Catherine Linklater thinks Weston has turned.  Her realization of this possibility could be the highlight of the film.  When she confronts Barlow, all hell breaks loose.  And everyone runs on.  More chaos.
The sound is at times overbearing, but relatively effective.  The cinematography and visual effects are excellent with beautiful shots of Cape Town and South Africa.  Daniel Espinoza’s direction builds the momentum slowly and intently if not at times heavy handed as two stars chasing each other while dodging gun fire becomes tiresome.
If the idea of seeing two not quite Nuns on the Run appeals to you, run to this film.  Otherwise walk.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


This piece was just published in THE WRAP.
The WRAP Link


Is death ever kind? Oh, I'm not speaking of mercy killing. I mean are there benevolent ghosts who do onto others as they would have others do onto them? Does a ghost always view death as deadly or is it kinder on the other side? The Woman in Black is based on Susan Hill's haunting novel from a screenplay by Jane Goldman. It is the story of a tormented ghost and all of those who see her and her suffering. Whenever someone sees The Woman in Black, something horrible happens to this person or this person's family. Will this lawyer Arthur Kipps( Daniel Radcliffe) survive his visit to the foreboding estate of the recently deceased Alice Drablow? While Arthur Kipps (Radcliffe) has never looked more handsome and dapper and has made the leap to leading man with grace sans Harry Potter's wand, one wonders what on earth would possess him to enter this haunted home. Home? It is a castle on an island surrounded by water on all sides and one can only enter when the tide it right. It reminded me of Mont Saint Michel in France though the movie was filmed in Sweden and the UK. Well, no one in his right mind would have the courage to go to this frightening place to do legal work. I'd change professions sooner than walk up its staircase. But Daniel Radcliffe is such a handsome and well dressed star that nothing could ever happen to him or to his family. After all he has left his little boy in the city and will meet him in three days--after he completes his legal paper work dealing with the deceased Drablow's estate. James Watkins' direction builds suspense steadily though there were a few moments where it lagged. There are a few too many shots of the Woman in Black peering out of windows and a few too many shots of a corridor to indicate terror, but the cinematography of Tim Maurice-Jones as well as the sets and the lighting are spectacular. The highlight of the film is the talented Janet McTeer as Mrs.Dailey who is married to Clarian Danes (Sam Dailey). They have lost their child due to the Gothic spell of The Woman in Black and Mrs. Dailey has been mentally unstable ever since. This scene reminded me of when I played a Stepford Wife and had been murdered by the men of Stepford. I could not allow the audience to know I was dead because this would give away the plot. I had to act normal while allowing the dialogue to indicate my robot -like state. I had to recite absurd dialogue with an honest intention. In the enclosed photo Katherine Ross and Paula Prentiss, who are not dead-yet- come to my kitchen to ask me to join the Woman's Consciousness Raising Group of the Community of Stepford. I say, "I'm too busy with cooking and all. I know I shouldn't say this but I just love my brownies." My dialogue gives a clue to the audience that I am not normal. If I had not delivered my absurd dialogue sincerely, I would be indicating to the audience that I was dead--or was a machine-- and destroy the mounting suspense and the terrifying conclusion of the film.. In The Woman in Black Mrs. Dailey (Janet Mc Teer) has two toy white Chihuahuas seated next to her in high chairs with bibs while she feeds them their favorite chow with silver spoons at their lavish dinner table. Later she rocks the doggies to sleep in their crib-like bassinet. If McTeer hadn't played these scenes earnestly and with heartfelt loss, she would be ludicrous and destroy the mounting terror. This was also my direction by Bryan Forbes as a Stepford Wife as seen by my all American healthy smile in the enclosed photo when in fact I am dead. So when I watched the nimble direction of James Watkins in The Woman in Black and the stellar acting of Janet Mc Teer, I was reminded of my direction as a Stepford Wife. Mc Teer's acting has subtlety, does not indicate and adds to the suspense without being heavy-handed. Rather the shot of the two doggies in their one crib being rocked to sleep, adds the creepy spine tingling element that makes you wonder what will happen next? What odd ball, original attempt to frighten the audience will Watkins pull? And he does not stop with a pair of twin Chihuahuas rocking in their crib. He goes on and on and on until the sinister or happy conclusion? That is your choice. This Hammer Film's production is a participatory Gothic horror film at its finest.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Movie Review: The Unsafe Safe House

Movie Review …The Unsafe Safe House
Denzel Washington plays one badass sociopath, murderer, traitor and still manages to steal screen time from all of those around him and be charming to boot. This includes Ryan Reynolds (Matt Weston) whose character is along for the ride and a backdrop for Tobin Frost’s (Washington’s) driving escape from the CIA. Julian Assange anyone? (Not that we know if Assange is guilty whereas we know Frost is.) The script by David Guggenheim is one dimensional in that the film is about Frost’s running from the CIA and Weston, the “housekeeper “of a safe house, is meant to guard him. Frenzy is what this movie really is about. More precisely it is about secrets of the CIA that are on micro chips that Frost has acquired illegally. He will sell these chips to the highest bidder and blow the lily white lid off the CIA. Alas one murder ensues. The CIA is headed by Harlan Whitford (Sam Shepard), who reminds me of Dick Cheney. He is smooth, cunning and hides his involvement in this intrigue from everyone. Captivating as only Sam Shepard can be, he is assisted by Catherine Linklater (Vern Farmiga) who is her dynamic self. David Barlow (Brendon Gleeson) is a robust skillful presence and rounds out the star cast of the CIA. The plot is simple: Frost is on the run from the CIA with his micro chip and gets caught and put in a Safe House in South Africa. The” housekeeper” is Weston, a newbie in the CIA and has Billy Budd written all over him. After Frost is water boarded to no avail and is about to be cut with a knife, thugs break into the Safe House and murder everyone save Frost and Weston who escape in a getaway car after Weston throws Frost in the trunk. Eventually this becomes a buddy film as the two become allies --a bit reminiscent of the Hope/ Crosby Road films only with violence thrown in the mix. Catherine Linklater thinks Weston has turned. Her realization of this possibility could be the highlight of the film. When she confronts Barlow with this concept, all hell breaks loose. And everyone runs on. The sound is at times overbearing, but effective. The cinematography and visual effects are excellent with beautiful shots of Cape Town and South Africa. Daniel Espinoza’s direction is skillful as he builds the momentum slowly and intently if not at times heavy handed. If the idea of seeing two not quite Nuns on the Run appeals to you, run to this film. Otherwise walk

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

David Duchovny Has a Hair Problem

David Duchovny has a hair problem.  He is on Rachael Ray and kuddos to her for plugging Californication,  One of my favorite shows. As Ray said it has some of the best writing on TV.  In it Duchovny portrays a novelist.  He wears his hair disheveled and is darling, but his forehead is high so that when he wears his hair combed back, he loses much of his appeal and looks corporate.  Still he is a treat to listen to. He said the show tends to be misunderstood as it is not only about sex, but,in fact,  the focus is his character Hank Moody's tortured relationship with his estranged wife.  I rewatch the show regularly for the writing and am fascinated by the courage of its writers and cast.  Bring on a female Hank Moody-a woman who has his sexual appeal and struggles with a serious relationship only to be sidetracked by a series of  hot manwhores --to quote Californication.

Anderson Cooper talks about OCD

Watching the TV show Anderson about Obssessive Compulsive Disorder.  My husband has OCD and I am glad it is being addressed on television,  Just to make us all aware of this disease. Howie Mandel is about to speak as he suffers from it.  Living with someone afflicted to this is difficult, but I try to ignore so much of his behavior.  I wonder if this has made me strong or callous.  He moves furniture constantly claiming he is searching for the right arrangement when I know there is no such arrangement to satisfy his agitation. I don't know how to help him, but just try to go on with my life.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cover Shots My photo of cover of NEWSWEEK.

Click HERE to see all covers

Remembering Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday and Clint Eastwood stole half time show from Madonna with his commercial for Detroit. Chrysler. Back to America.  Madonna looked surprisingly and pleasingly lady like though she almost fell while performing. You have to give her credit.  More than a material girl, she is a spiritual girl in that she is still rockin and rollin at 53. Brava Madonna,. Bravo Eastwood.  And a supreme Bravo from a former New Yorker to the NEW YORK GIANTS,.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Kurt Vonnegut and Joseph Heller Interview

The Vonnegut book referenced on the top of this blog was recently published and contains my Playboy interview from 1992 between Kurt Vonnegut and Joe Heller.  It was done in Easthampton. We began at Joe Heller's home and when a lawnmower threatened the quality of the interview being recorded, we moved to a restaurant on the harbor where we ate and continued the interview.  Joe's wife, Valerie Heller joined us and was a delight.  She had been a nurse and cared for Joe who had a debilitating disease.  We laughed and had a good time which I believe is shown in the interview.

This Picture was taken in Easthampton, Long Island, New York in 1991
From left to right: Joseph Heller, Carole Mallory, Kurt Vonnegut, Valerie Heller

Hi Everyone, Welcome

Carole Mallory, 2010

Hi Everyone...Welcome to HOLLYWOOD EAST and stay awhile. Kick off your slippers, open your laptop, and enjoy a cup of coffee while you peruse my site.  If you want to rent a movie, my blog is the perfect place to get ideas for renting movies new and old.