6 Degrees: Notes from the Global Village


The Fall season is a wonderful time of the year for movie buffs. Fall brings some of the best films of the year out just in time to become eligible for the never-ending Awards Season! Hollywood has had another split year, where the blockbuster summer films have produced several hits but nothing to really be excited about in terms of innovative art or injection of excitement into the existing Cinematic Universe.

Here are some of the notes collected from 6 Degrees-some from articles and long reads in August, and some from my own demented mind…
*Ridiculous & Overly complex plots-in blockbusters…the trend? Here’s a quote from a long-winded complaint in an article bemoaning the overly complex plots in recent super-hero movies:
Labyrinthine machinations to desperately weave in character motivation, geography and the practical aspects of getting from one scene to another
Apparently, it has come to someone’s attention that Hollywood has a problem with story “density”. Is that what they call crappy movies now? For action-packed super-hero stories that contain “teasers” and origin stories, there’s only so much information the audience needs.

Older audiences all know who Superman and Batman are. We’ve read comic books from the fifties through the eighties. And now, thanks to the wonderful newly coined phrase, “The Cinematic Universe”, which is perhaps a euphemism for the billions of dollars that Hollywood envisions when imagining the mileage they can squeeze out of an entire cast of super-heroes, each with his own movie debut and story of origin, we are all treated to some of the worst aspects of the comic book genre, including clumsy plot points weaving through the endless reems of origin stories and desperate attempts to inject original thought into the storyline along with character motivation.

Although I have not been a huge fan of the comic-book genre, I do see the impact that the stories have on a younger generation of fans. And not to be close-minded about this, I’ve conceded that even Shakespeare used a lot of re-hashed plots, and was able to influence generations with his unmatched ability as a wordsmith and his sheer genius as a playwright.

Perhaps there will come a time where some innovative director will take one of these origin stories and craft the equivalent of a Shakespearean play out of the original material. So far, there has been no evidence this has occurred.


**Actors have spoken: A list of their favorite films includes all the usual suspects (not that particular film though!). But a surprising Number One appears: Tootsie!

The list of films that actors chose is not that surprising. And it’s not a far cry from most of the movie-going publics list of great movies. Boogie Nights, The Red Shoes, and A Woman under the Influence are definitely films that actors might choose over any other group.

But the rest of the films seem to be pretty much in line with standard movie “Best of” lists. Tootsie as the favorite film is a surprise. It’s a great comedy, with a superb supporting cast and many memorable lines. Director Sydney Pollack is wonderful in a small part as Hoffman’s agent. Jessica Lange won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role. And Bill Murray was memorable as the befuddled room-mate of Dustin Hoffman’s Dorothy character, and had some of the best “zingers” in the film.

But Dustin Hoffman’s energetic portrayal of an actor who is desperate for a part to the point of risking everything, and laying it all on the line, is more of a statement about the actor’s existential state of being than any real film portrayal. That compels me to the conclusion that the actor’s perpetual state of angst is portrayed to the point that most fellow thespians that saw this film must have simply been saying “Yes!” through the entire film.

*Actors compilation of Greatest Movies includes:

*Taxi Driver
*The Red Shoes
*Boogie Nights
*Annie Hall
*Godfather Part II
&To Kill a Mock
*Cinema Paradiso
*A Woman under the influence
*The Godfather
*# 1 is Tootsie

RIcki and teh flash

**Strong women & Fem Flicks: Women are speaking out more and more concerning the inequality they see in Hollywood and throughout the film industry. Stars such as Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock, Salma Hayek, Natalie Portman, Emma Thompson & Emma Watson have all spoken out against the glaring inequalities for women in the film industry. The Death of the Bond Girl is another subject for feminists everywhere to cheer about.
It seems that the highest-paid actress in Hollywood (Jennifer Lawrence) is paid significantly less than the highest paid male star (Robert Downey Jr.) Granted, we’re talking about millions of dollars, but the principle is universal. Women are still paid less than men for doing the same job!

*Another list has popped up. Now that we are in the middle of the second decade of the 21st Century, the need to list all the categories and best of films is overwhelming for critics and news organizations. Here’s one that compiled all the best action films. Although this list is edited to include only the top six, two of these are from the year 2000-15 years ago-and one is a recent addition-Mad Max.

Mad Max Fury Road

**The List of 21st Century Best-Action films-includes:

*John Wick-2014
*Bourne Ultimatum
*Casino Royale-2006
*Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon =2000
*Mad Max: Fury Road-2015
There were more films listed, but none that deserved the accolade of Best-Action film!

Frank Sinatra

**Frank Sinatra on Film: In this celebration year of Sinatra’s 100th birthday, a list emerges of some of his best work on film. The famous crooner starred in hits like From Here to Eternity, On the Town, Guys and Dolls, The Manchurian Candidate, Pal Joey and High Society. He started making films in 1943 with Higher and Higher and ended in 1984 with Cannonball Run II.

**Dustin Hoffman is the latest to take aim and criticize the film industry. He said in an interview recently that TV is the best it’s ever been, and movies are the worst they’ve ever been.

**Upcoming: The Heart of the Sea from Ron Howard, Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks, and Legend with Tom Hardy are all coming this fall. Robert Redford and Nick Nolte are teaming up in a comedy, A Walk in the Woods that may actually be as funny as the previews.

Star wars logo

**Another list emerged recently. These are some of the best movies aboutSpace”. This list included some of my favorites, and of course, it’s edited to include Honorable Mentions but not the ”Don’t bother to Mentions”!

I would simply add that the list lost a lot of credibility when it included The Day the Earth Stood Still and Blade Runner in Honorable Mentions…And if 2001: A Space Odyssey is not included, there’s nothing more to add.

**The Best of “Space” films include:

 Star Wars-1977

Capricorn One-1977

Close Encounters-1977

Apollo 13-1995



The Right Stuff-1983




Honorable Mentions were: Solaris-Planet of the Apes; Wall-E; Blade Runner!; The Day the Earth Stood Still; War of the Worlds; Buck Rogers in the 25th Century; Flight of the Navigator and E.T

*There seems to be an upcoming debate between the two rival comic universes, DC vs Marvel. With the idea that some of the superheroes are going to be expanding again to include even more tales of origin. As was pointed out recently, “Superhero tales are about extraordinary super beings bashing each other with ridiculous powers. Origin stories are about ordinary people suffering some sort of transformative trauma” With the underlying meaning being that one set of stories is exciting and adventurous, and the other has the potential to be deadly dull.

Bill Murray Ghostbusters

Bill Murray does have an announced cameo in the new Ghostbusters film. If the film has any notion to receive its due in the Cinematic Pantheon, Murray must appear as a Ghostbuster.

*Influence of Star Wars on Film…There’s an article from 6 Degrees Flipboard recently that seemed interesting enough, regarding the influence of Star Wars on film. Naturally, I was interested, as I devoted a good portion of my book, 6 Degrees of Film, to the theory that Star Wars has shaped our culture and definitely our films for the past quarter of a century and more.

Specifically, George Lucas and his company, ILM-Industrial Light & Magic, have transformed the nature of cinema with the emphasis on special effects and CGI-Computer Graphic Imaging. The assertion was made that there would have been no Blade Runner without Star Wars. I’m not sure that is so, because Ridley Scott directed Blade Runner and made some innovative and creative decisions that were not connected with ILM.

*Christopher Guest will premiere his next mockumentary on Netflix-furthering Spielberg’s assertion that more and more original and creative projects will flow through Cable Networks rather than the big screen.

• The company that made Masterminds, the new Zach Galifianakis/Kristen Wiig comedy, is bankrupt and can’t afford to market the movie. Relativity Media filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which puts the October release on hold and the movie in limbo. Too bad because it looked funny, with lots of former SNL players on board for the comedy.

Oscar Selfie pix

*The Director of Crash recently admitted it shouldn’t have won Best Picture! I wanted  Munich or Capote to win that year, so this wasn’t shocking news. Almost every year, I root for a film to win Best Picture that eventually loses. And for that matter, it shows in the long run with so many forgettable films earning the nod. In the past 10 years, there have been few memorable winners for the Best Picture Oscar.

The under 30 Hollywood Set: The list of actors and actresses who are “up and comers” include these A-Listers in the 30 and under crowd: Margot Robbie, Cara Delevingne; Michael B Jordan, J Lawrence, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Stone, Zoe Kravitz, Nicholas Hault, Dakota Johnson, Miles Teller, Eliz Olsen, Alicia Vikander, Liam Hemsworth, and Elle Fanning.

**The Reviews are in:

*Fantastic Four bombs at the box office

*Monster Hunt was the biggest Chinese box-office film ever. And that is the largest market in the world now, so it’s definitely making some people in Hollywood sit up and take notice. The movie looks fairly simple, about a couple that “adopt” a small monster baby. It doesn’t sound like great news for those who root for more complex stories and adult plots.

The Lion King

*The Animated movie pick of all time is…The Lion King.  The Best selling VHS of all time was The Lion King; the top selling DVD is Finding Nemo and now, the best selling Blu-Ray film is…Frozen.


What’s Coming Next:
*Scorsese is teaming with DiCaprio again for a movie about a serial killer from the best-selling book: “The Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson.

**Trailers: Some of the trailers for upcoming films that look promising include: Learning to Drive with Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley; A Walk in the Woods with Robert Redford and Nick Nolte and Sicario with Benicio Del Toro.

Far from madding 2015

**On Demand:
Movies on demand now include Child 44-reviewed in 6 Degrees, The Age of Adaline, Ex Machina, and Far from the Madding Crowd-all recommended for viewing

On the subject of Casablanca


Editor’s Note: Casablanca is playing this Sunday, September 18th at Tampa Theatre as part of the Summer Film Series. The film begins at 3:00 pm.




Casablanca is one of the best B movies ever made. The local paper here in Tampa had a dispute over whether it should be designated as a “Chick Flick” or simply a classic film. In my role as a film critic, I’m moving away from the term “Chick Flick” in describing movies. There are Fem flicks-defined as films for women, by women and about women…I would not put Casablanca in this genre.

Casablanca is much more than just a chick flick. It was a film written with quite a convoluted history of authorship, as you can tell in the following excerpt. No one really knew how it was going to turn out even when they were shooting it!

The following is an excerpt from “6 Degrees of Film: The future of film in the Global Village” by Mary L Johnson. The book is available on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Degrees-Film-Future-Global-Village/

Script authorship of Casablanca also was disputed, only this time it was writer versus writer who vied for the lone credits. Someone said about this B movie classic, “One of the charms of Casablanca lies in its awkwardness. Not only do the politics and romance sit side by side, but that there are two or three contrasting manners of style. There’s the comic-cynical, the soppy-elegiac, and the solemn-propagandist … [It’s] not so much a story as a stringing together of great moments to remember. How, and in what order we remember them is left to us, and this is part of why we like the film so much.”
Four authors claim to be the true author of Casablanca. There is Howard Koch, who claimed he was brought in “to shape the film’s politics”; the brothers Julius and Philip Epstein, who wrote as a team; and Casey Robinson. Robinson said that he had the idea for a film “out of a ‘lousy play’ called Everybody Comes to Rick’s.”
According to Koch, the story was, “So they start shooting and Hal comes to me and says, ‘We need some help. There’s a little trouble.’ Bogart had said, ‘I won’t shoot this __________’; and he had used a very nasty word and gone home.”
Ingrid Bergman on the Casablanca shoot said this: “Every day, we were shooting off the cuff; every day they were handing out dialogue, and we were trying to make sense of it. No one knew where the picture was going, and no one knew how it was going to end … We said, “Well, who are we?” … and Curtiz would say, “We’re not quite sure … It was ridiculous. Just awful … Bogart didn’t know what was going on, so he retired to his trailer … I wanted to know who I was supposed to be in love with, Paul Henreid or Humphrey Bogart?”
The Epstein brothers had gone on to another project for Frank Capra and were not available, so they sent the script in from Washington page by page. Two scripts were floating around, one from the Epsteins and one from Howard Koch. Robinson was brought in to add the love-interest angle. It was apparent that “none of them knew he was working on a movie that would turn out to be something to boast about; all the signs were that Casablanca would be a stinker.”
The facts are this: The film used some lines from the play, Everybody Comes to Rick’s, including the line “Then play it, Sam” and the song As Time Goes By. The irony was that Julius Epstein was not proud of his part in scripting Casablanca. He called it “slick shit,” and said, “Casablanca is one of my least favorite pictures. I’m tired of talking about it after thirty years. I can explain its success only by the Bogie cult … I can recognize that the picture is entertaining and that people love it. The whole thing was shot in the back lot. Furthermore, there were never any such things as letters of transit around which the entire plot revolved. The movie is completely phony.”

Excerpt from 6 Degrees of Film: The Future of Film in the Global Village



Shakespeare at the Movies: West Side Story at Tampa Theatre

N wood moreno wsidestory


West Side Story is playing this Sunday at Tampa Theatre. This 1964 Musical is yet another modern re-telling of the Shakespearean tale of Romeo & Juliet. In this version, a young and beautiful Natalie Wood stands out in the part of Maria. Rita Moreno plays Anita, the confidante of young Maria. Moreno won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for West Side Story. Although the critics have written that the portrayal of New York gangs “are about as threatening as a charging group of kittens”, still, this is a worthy adaptation of Romeo & Juliet set in a different place and time. West Side Story is part of Tampa Theatre’s continuing Summer Film Series.

Shakespeare at the Movies

Shakespeare has been the featured screenwriter for countless numbers of film adaptations of his plays. Many of the most famous ones have seen several rounds and variations on a theme. Romeo & Juliet has gone from the streets of Verona in Italy to the streets of New York and down to the beach. Macbeth has moved from Scotland to Japan and The Tempest has travelled into space in “Forbidden Planet”.

Some of the best adaptations are ones that have faithfully adapted Shakespeare’s incomparable dialogue and story-telling genius in the heart and soul of the re-telling. Here are a few of the modern adaptations of Shakespeare:

10 things

10 Things I Hate about you: One of the best re-works of the Taming of the Shrew plot. This film was made in 1999 and stars Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles. Another good version of the original play was made in 1967 by Franco Zefferelli with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the lead roles.

Romeo & Jul 1968

Romeo & Juliet: The 1996 film by Director Baz Luhrmann moves the story to Verona Beach with rival gangs. Franco Zefferelli made a beautifully photographed classical version of the story in 1968, with a cast of young stars including Olivia Hussey as Juliet.

Hamlet branagh

Hamlet: There are many good versions of Shakespeare’s most well-known play. The classic Olivier film was made in 1948. Director Franco Zefferelli made a version starring Mel Gibson in 1990 that was generally well received. And Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet was released in 1996.

Macbeth 2015

Macbeth: The film by famed director Kurosawa, Throne of Blood was made in 1957. He transferred the story of Macbeth to feudal Japan. Director Roman Polanski made a film version in 1971 of Macbeth. And yet another Macbeth has been re-made in 2015 with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in the lead roles.

Henry V

Most critics agree that Kenneth Branagh’s Henry V was one of the best adaptations of Shakespeare ever made into a movie. Branagh also made a good version of Much Ado about Nothing in 1993 starring his wife at the time, Emma Thompson. Films that loosely adapt the story in a fresh and innovative way are the most difficult to pull off, but if successful, are some of the best films to watch. Shakespeare’s endless supply of ideas and commentary on the human condition provide a limitless storyboard for creative directors.

my own private

Films like My Own Private Idaho, Chimes at Midnight, Men of Respect, Hamlet at Elsinore, Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and Prospero’s Books are proof of just a few of the turns that Shakespeare’s stories may take.

Romeo & Juliet has been adapted many times for film, with at least 13 – 14 major film productions. As You Like it and The Merchant of Venice have been adapted at least 12 times. King Lear and The Tempest are almost as popular as Hamlet, with 13 – 14 major adaptations to date. But the plays most adapted to film of all of Shakespeare’s works would be either Macbeth or Othello, both with between 15-17 major film adaptations of the Shakespearean tragedies.

6 Degrees: Notes from the Global Village

6 Degrees of Film: The Future of Film in the Global Village


Here’s a round-up of some of the leading stories found in the 6 Degrees of Film @ the Movies magazine on Flipboard. The last two summers have proven to be relatively slow for finding little gems of movies or seeing big Hollywood blockbusters. The Cinematic Comic-Book Universe keeps churning them out, and we see lots of films coming out of China and overseas. The latest hit has an unusual looking “radish” monster baby (see the picture on Flipboard) and it’s breaking all kinds of box-office records in the all-important Chinese movie market. Here’s what we found in July:

Voted Number One American Film in BBC poll
Voted Number One American Film in BBC poll

*Citizen Kane: No 1 in BBC Poll: Greatest American film….? My book has a list of top 100 and Citizen Kane is not included. It’s a great film, and like so many great films, it’s an acquired taste. It’s not just me….many man on the street interviews have yielded this opinion of Citizen Kane. Insiders and critics like it. I do agree with most of the top 10 picks which are as follows:

1. Citizen Kane

2. The Godfather

3 Vertigo

4. 2001: A Space Odyssey

5 The Searchers

6. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans-Murnau,

7. Singing in the Rain

8. Psycho

9 Casablanca

10 The Godfather Part II
As lists go, it’s not a bad one. Five out of ten isn’t bad, just no cigar! And it’s not inclusive if you are talking about strictly American films. The Wizard of Oz should be in any respectable top 10 List.
Hitchcock & Kubrick are problematic if you are speaking about American films. Hitchcock was born in England and Kubrick worked exclusively in England…To Kill a Mockingbird is a uniquely American film also and one would have to put it in the top ten rankings if you are going to parse the definition at all.
Probably you would include An American in Paris and It’s a Wonderful Life if you are talking about Americana. I would put Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid or Stagecoach or The Westerner with Gary Cooper over The Searchers.
It’s a very subjective thing to pick a list of strictly American films, and even harder for the Brits to decide!


The Avengers
Marvel’s Cinematic Universe


**Primer to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe: In this informative article, the first 25 pages recap and address the history of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Rail against it if you are a critic or purist, but the comic book genre is here to stay. This is a good look at the continuing saga of the Cinematic Universe.

Starting in 2008, Phase One included: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Avengers from 2012.

Beginning in 2013 with Iron Man 3, Phase Two includes Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers, Age of Ultron and the current 2015 Ant-Man.

In 2016, Phase Three continues with Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in 2017. Spider-Man and Thor: Ragnarok, also slated for release in 2017, and Avengers: Infinity War-Part I, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel in 2018. In 2019, Avengers: Infinity War-Part 2 and Inhumans will conclude Phase Three.


*Add as a caveat George Martin-creator of Game of Thrones- critique of the superhero genre, saying, “I am tired of this trope where the bad guy has the same powers as the hero. The Hulk fought the Abomination, who is just a bad Hulk. Spider-Man fights Venom, who is just a bad Spider-Man. Iron Man fights Ironmonger, a bad Iron Man.Yawn. I want more films where the hero and the villain have wildly different powers. That makes the action much more interesting.” Martin praised Ant-Man, as one of the best he’d seen since 2004’s Spider-Man 2.

**Ranking the “origin stories” of the Marvel Universe may provide background if you don’t really want to sit through 10 or 15 comic book movies. Read the moviefone article here….avclub.com


Mr Holmes

**Reviews: Southpaw, the boxing movie with Jake Gylenhall, has received mixed reviews; as had Paper Towns; Pixels from Adam Sandler was not received well (officially declared a dud!); Mr Holmes, the new Sherlock Holmes film with Ian MacKellan has generally garnered good reviews. Woody Allen’s new film, Irrational Man with Joacquin Phoenix and Emma Stone is receiving mixed reviews. Not surprising as those who are familiar with Woody’s work may see him going back to familiar ground over and over again.

*Global Box Office: Monster Hunt, out of China, is one of the highest grossing films made there. The Shrek 3 Director was at the helm. China’s state administraion of Print, Publishing, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT-SARFT) had imposed an annual blackout period of 6-8 weeks when imported quotas of films are barred from mainland in order to boost Chinese movies. The family fantasy epic, Monster Hunt may surpass Transformers 4 and become PRC/s (People’s Republic of China) 2nd biggest release in history.
Jurassic World moves into the 3rd highest grossing film of all time-Passing Avengers.  The sequel to Jurassic is already set for 2018. If you are wondering…
Avatar is #2; Titanic still No 1 and still the oldest film on the list.

*From the Fem Flicks File: A new list of 50 Films from Female Directors (how’s that for Alliteration 101?) A list I can’t agree with (Ishtar…? – I love Elaine May, but please!). On the list, I spotted eight worth mentioning

The Hitch-hiker- Ida Lupino-1953

Seven Beauties– Lina Wertmuller- 1975

Desperately Seeking Susan– Susan Seidelman-1984

Big– Penny Marshall-1988

Wayne’s World-Penelope Spheeris-1992

My Brilliant Career– Joan Tewkesbury-1994

Billy Madison-Tamra Davis-1995

Clueless- Amy Heckerling- 1995.
Sophia Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow are two stand-outs, with Sophia Coppola not even on the list?! Bigelow is cited for her Strange Days in 1995. She became the first female director to win an Academy Award for Best Director with her Hurt Locker in 2008.



*Must read for all of those like me who love Mockingbird: A typed letter to Director Alan Pakula from the art director Henry Bumstead from To Kill a Mockingbird. His impressions of Monroeville and Harper Lee (Nell’s) extremely useful suggestions as to how the look and feel of the place should be portrayed onscreen. Most amusing when he recounts he’d never seen a collard green before!


S Kubrick

*Good read on Kubrick:  It spells out the reasons for his greatness as a director and an auteur. He was a photographer first and foremost-the look and the feel of his pictures is through the eyes of an artist framing a shot-as Hitchcock, as Wes Anderson, and so many artistic creators working in film today. The author of the piece, Mark Krasselt, is a Kubrick devotee, and some of the article goes long into the weeds discussing the genius and merits of the man, but to summarize, some of his trademarks such as Kubrick’s use of the Narrator are discussed in detail.  Kubrick’s actors are stilted and styled as was Hitchcock’s. The character is seen as metaphor-remember Hitchcock’s famous statement-actors are cattle? Kubrick’s career is detailed at length. The arc of his development and how he came to be an independent auteur after the disappointment of Paths of Glory is one of the highlights. Plus he had an important backer at Warner Bros in Terry Semel-and he never made films again in the US! Always he worked out of his London studio, where he had more artistic control over the project as a whole. Stanley Kubrick is shown as a true auteur as we glean some insight into the “Kubrick experience”.  From Mark Krasselt-tasteofcinema.com


Man from uncle
*Coming in August: The Man from UNCLE; Ricki and the Flash with Meryl Streep; Best of Enemies, a documentary about the very real rivalry between pundits William F. Buckley and the liberal Gore Vidal, is recommended; American Ultra with Jesse Eisenberg looks funny and quirky-the plot is about a stoner, played by Eisenberg, turned government agent in a twist that hasn’t been done to death-opening August 21. The Revenant trailer looks interesting-two great actors in Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy are starring in this backwoods mountain movie about a man seeking revenge.

Movie Trends: 3-D….Is it just an annoying fad…? Or is it part of the movie-going experience. We are going to see many specialized “gimmicks” to drive audiences into the movies. A wave of nostalgia for the good old days of movie palaces has already descended upon us.


Tampa Theatre
The League of Historic Theatres is a national organization dedicated to preserving the memory of old buildings housing defunct movie theatres. The League extends to old theatres and auditoriums, and includes drive-in movies too, a big part of the culture of the fifties and sixties.


Sound of Music

Those of you from my Linked in Movie Group may remember my past history with unusual movie “experiences”. As a child I attended the Planet of the Apes “Ape-a-rama” where you got in free if you wore a Gorilla suit and the first 100 patrons got a free banana. It was an all day Planet of the Apes Marathon.
And my beloved Tampa Theatre screened William Castle’s “Thirteen Ghosts” on Halloween many years ago with the original introduction by Castle explaining the 3-D Ghost glasses (one side you could see the ghosts-the other was for non-believers!).

Tomorrow, I wander into the valley of the shadow with the Sing-a-long version of The Sound of Music. The movie means so much to me as it was the first real film experience I remember as a child. We went to the Palace theatre downtown, long defunct, and even got the program (which I scribbled on) and the little orange drinks shaped like oranges with the straws in the middle!

I digress. But the film means so much to so many people, there is one woman in the Guinness book who saw it every day for years when it ran in theatres, and this is truly something any self-respecting film buff should experience.

I’m looking forward to seeing you on the other side! Till then, dear readers. I’ll see you at the movies!


The Highest Grossing Film of all time…adjusted for inflation is…

Gone with the wind


6 Degrees of Film recently listed the 100 highest grossing films of all time. But the highest grossing film, adjusted for inflation, would be Gone with the Wind.  Just to confuse the issue, the top grossing film of all time, as it stands today, is disputed. It was Titanic when we last reported on the numbers some months ago, although current lists name Avatar. But in the 60 years since Gone with the Wind was made, it held the record of biggest grossing box office film for the longest period of time.

The most successful US films of all time according to their box office receipts would be:

1. Gone with the Wind
2. Star Wars
3. The Sound of Music
4. ET The Extra-Terrestrial
5. The Ten Commandments
6. Titanic
7. Jaws
8. Doctor Zhivago
9. The Exorcist
10.  Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

At the time of its premiere, Gone with the Wind was a big deal. It had seen lots of publicity surrounding the making of the film. Director David O Selznick was the consummate showman, and the casting of Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler were the equivalent of the modern casting of the beloved characters from Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. Everyone had an opinion, but Clark Gable was universally approved to play Rhett Butler.

The English actress cast as Scarlett, Vivien Leigh, was a relative newcomer to US audiences and her casting was considered controversial in its day. But the premiere and the subsequent release proved to be a universal success and the rest, as they say, is history.

There are some controversies swirling now about the Political Correctness, or In-Correctness, of some of the sequences and the stereotyped characters of the plantation slaves in the Old South. But compared to a film with true racist overtones like “The Birth of a Nation”, the pushback has been relatively mild for Gone with the Wind.

The film is beautifully shot and definitely worth seeing if you have never experienced it. Gone with the Wind is being shown this Sunday at Tampa Theatre as part of their Summer Film Series.