This past Sunday was the Neil Patrick Harris Show the Emmys, and, if you’re anything like me, you probably gave up and went to go scrounge for food around the “TV movie or miniseries” categories. But guess what! One of those interchangeable, darkly lit dramatic scenes of emotional women was created by Hoyas! And it won, too!
Grey Gardens, an HBO made-for-TV movie, was co-written, produced and directed by one Michael Sucsy, who graduated from the SFS in 1995, and was co-produced by Lucy Barzun Donnelly, who graduated from the college that same year.
It won a whole SIX Emmys! Outstanding made for Television Movie, Best Lead Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Jessica Lange, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie: Ken Howard, as well as three others in technical categories.
Grey Gardens, which also stars Drew Barrymore as the Beale daughter, is an adaptation of the much-reworked cult classic 1975 documentary of the same name, which showed the lives the Beale women, a mother and daughter who had once been wealthy and now lived in decaying squalor in a mansion called Grey Gardens in the Hamptons.
Scusy had been interested in the story from his summers spent there, and, upon seeing the documentary, contacted the family’s lawyers to adapt it. He benefitted from a box of memorabilia found by a friend of the Beales, and the movie deals with more of their earlier lives, as well as the more destitute condition they eventually found themselves in.
If you missed it, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to catch Grey Gardens on HBO during the next few weeks.
You may have quickly deleted an email about “The Tenth Annual Cardinal O’Connor Conference on Life,” but if you are a particular kind of obsessive, there is was gold in that email: Eleanor Waldorf.
One of the speakers in this conference, sponsored by GU Right to Life, Georgetown University Knights of Columbus and Georgetown University Faculty for Life, is Margaret Colin, an “Honorary Co-Chair” of Feminists for Life. Of course you recognize her as the equally vital mother of protagonist Blair Waldorf, well-renowned fashion designer, employer of the erstwhile Dorota, occasional schemer, and now the wife of the great Wallace Shawn.
Colin will be speaking at 10 AM in Gaston Hall on January 21st. You know what to do. XOXO.
Sarah Harman is like the Giving Tree in her generosity, only instead of shelter and companionship she dispenses good Halloween costumes. She wrote about Halloween costumes in this week’s Voice, and she’s back to share more:
Norovirus Health Inspector.
Wear rubber kitchen gloves, lab goggles, and cover your entire body in a trash bag. Cough on all the candy while handing out tiny bottles of Purell.
Humbert Humbert and Lolita.
He wears a prison jump-suit, she rocks heart-shaped glasses a la Dominique Swain and sucks a lollipop.
I’m probably the biggest fan there is of GPB’s free weekend movie showings, but sometimes it might be nice to actually see something good, on a real projector, in a real theater, on a weekend after a nice long night of drinking. For those times, E Street Cinema (555 11st NW), the fabulous home of indie movies, is taking up the venerable tradition of midnight showings. They’ll be showing a different “cult classic” each weekend from now until the end of the year.
Shows are Friday and Saturday nights at midnight, and tickets are $8 with a student ID. Here’s the schedule:
To those not seeing Burn After Reading tonight: get your step on, yo.
Really, do it now: world-renowned step/stomp/kick troupe Step Afrika! is giving a free performance at the Kennedy Center tonight, and you’re going to have to get in line early to get one of those steamin’ hot tickets. Performance runs from 6:00 to 7:30.
Welcome to Friday Night, Saturday Morning, where every week Shira Hecht brings you a new song for your weekend. They won’t all be party songs (although this one is)–they could be songs for pregames, songs for hangovers, and songs for Sunday afternoons when you realize you didn’t accomplish anything this weekend.
This past week has been full of signs that summer is over: chilly winds, too-familiar faces, $400 dropped at the bookstore. Fall has arrived.
These few weeks always make me feel sort of bittersweet, and unaccountably nostalgic. As does this song, a Swedish one-hit wonder from a few years ago. TheSwedes have somehow mastered the art of the heartbreaking pop song, and this one is a particularly catchy example. Bouncy keyboards with just the right amount of jangle, vague references to times spent and love lost, and a nice big singalong chorus. It makes me think of missed opportunities, sad endings, perfect days and fading memories. The end of something wonderful, bittersweet and incandescent.
The Madison Sounds of Deliverance play in Dupont Circle
Did you love Al Haddad’s article on jazz in DC in our most recent issue? Do you aspire to be just as booted and avoiding of clinkers? Al has generously offered to share his secrets:
Go to www.dcjazz.com and sign up for their weekly email newsletter. You would probably be horrified to discover how much my article owed to this single website.
Been to Adams Morgan? Good job. Now get down to U Street. For fans of live jazz and blues, U Street is to Adams Morgan as Bitches Brew is to Birth of the Cool. Just walk up and down a single block of U Street during the evening and you’re likely to come across three or four poorly-marked venues that are grooving right down to the foundations. You might have to sweet-talk some of the doormen, but believe me, it’s well worth the effort.
Cheap is better, but free is best: The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage has free performances every Friday night. It’s not always jazz, but the acoustics are great and the musicians are always top quality. Check the Kennedy Center website for weekly details.
John Hasse, the Smithsonian’s brilliant and innovative Curator of American Music, has since 2001 conducted a weekly concert series, held each Friday night at 6.30pm at the Smithsonian Jazz Café, located on the ground floor of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. After a summer hiatus, performances start up again Friday, September 6th. The Smithsonian also has an extensive jazz program, as well as some internships for the really zealous among you: check it out at www.smithsonianjazz.org.
Flickr photo from user JamesCalder used under a Creative Commons license
Today, we’re going to try something new: Friday Night, Saturday Morning, where every week Shira Hecht brings you a new song for your weekend. They won’t all be party songs (although this one is)–they could be songs for pregames, songs for hangovers, and songs for Sunday afternoons when you realize you didn’t accomplish anything this weekend.
You’ve likely heard this one already – wafting out of the car next to you when the windows are down, playing out of someone’s boombox at a beach. Breezy and sweet, it’s purportedly about a cross-cultural romance, but it’s really about clothes.
Catchy but not irksome, infectious but still idiosyncratic, it’s one of those perfect summer jams that seem to crystallize the best parts of these long days. It’s for early in your party, before people are drunk and friendly enough to be really pounding the dance floor, but are happy to bob on their toes with a drink in their hands and a grin on their faces.
And what’s not to like about lines like “dressed smart like a London bloke/before he speak his suit bespoke/and you thought he was quote before/look at this pea coat tell me he’s broke,” or “the Pips with they Gladys.” Man, when I first heard this song, I spent like 2 days thinking about how clever that “speak/bespoke” thing is.
Flickr photo from user serhio used under a Creative Commons license
Remember Mike Birbiglia, the sort of-funny Georgetown alum and stand-up comedian who performs every year at NSO? Well, according to the Hollywood Reporter, CBS, home of lots of sort of-funny things, has greenlighted his sitcom for the fall. Called Mike Birbiglia’s Secret Public Journal, it will be based on, yes, Mr. Big’s “secret public journal”, which is actually just the name of his blog. A quick perusal of recent entries finds it a bit lacking; on the other hand, the pitch for Seinfeld probably didn’t sound much better than “a stand-up comedian who lives with his girlfriend in Brooklyn and struggles in his efforts to be a grown up, have a relationship and do the right things.” Here’s hoping they change the name to just Birbiglia, as in: “Hey man, what’d you do last night?” “Oh, y’know, just stayed home and watched Birbiglia”.
Only time will tell whether this show will meet with success to rival the critical acclaim of fellow Georgetown alum Mitch Hurwitz’s Arrested Development, or if, also like Arrested Development, it will be a commercial failure. Or maybe even both.
Look, I love Freaks and Geeks. Love it really hard. And I liked a lot of the early Judd Apatow movies (Ron Burgundy!), and I’m in the facebook group avowing that “The Closest Anyone’s Been to Seeing God is Watching Superbad.” So I believe in Apatow. But…Walk Hard was no good, and, alas, the trailers for the four (four!) movies he’s producing in 2008 look, well…underwhelming. When the best thing in all of them is the song choice (which, in fairness, are excellent), we have some problems.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Here are some things I know I like—Jason Segel, of both Freaks and Geeks and How I Met Your Mother (which is really funny and I don’t know why you don’t watch it), and Kristen Bell, of Veronica Mars. But this movie, which stars both of them, looks really, well, typical, more than anything else. I did laugh out loud at the “Kind of, now…” line, and the crab-like Aldous Snow looks pretty funny, but…there’s like four pratfalls in just a 3 minute trailer, Jonah Hill I am waaay over, and even Paul Rudd isn’t funny. Jason Segel’s can still be pretty great—see, the “what, me?” grin in the last shot—but the snarky, supertalented Kristen Bell gets relegated to playing another boring, shrieky Apatow woman, and there’s something even nudity can’t fix.