Spike Lee has made me love “Empire State of Mind” again. I was so over the Jay Z-Alicia Keys song two years ago when the New York Yankees co-opted it for their run at (and subsequent win) the 2009 World Series. While it was the perfect anthem for the time, you just couldn’t escape the song. But I have to tell you, Spike Lee’s State Farm commercial, which used children singing the song and paying tribute to NYC firemen, has made me smile and tear up just about every time I saw/heard it this weekend. And now I can’t get enough. Take a look:
Tag: In Memoriam (91-100 of 310)
Just as Broadway stars did 10 years ago, theater legends Joel Grey, Bebe Neuwirth and others gathered this afternoon in Times Square to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and perform once again the Kander and Ebb song, “New York, New York.”
Introduced by Grey, the performance featured the casts of Book of Mormon and Billy Elliott, as well as celebs such as former American Idol judge Kara DioGuardi. Gavin Lodge, a performer with Priscilla: Queen of the Desert said, “It’s an honor to be here today. Singing ‘New York, New York’ in Times Square — it’s iconic.” READ FULL STORY
It’s difficult to be comfortable with the sight of the World Trade Center in any old motion picture — the image itself has become synonymous with mass pain and suffering in our still-fragile nation — but a filmmaker named Dan Meth has compiled a lovely tribute to the Twin Towers on film since they opened in 1973. Check out the video below of the Towers’ cameos in films like King Kong, Superman, Working Girl, Home Alone 2, Men In Black, and, as seen left, Escape From New York. [Gawker] READ FULL STORY
For those lucky few who had the opportunity to watch River Phoenix’s film career blossom right in front of their eyes, there’s no doubt it’s the sort of bragging rights they wish they didn’t have. Because for all those who had the chance to experience the young actor’s star-making turns in films like Running on Empty, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, My Own Private Idaho, and of course, Stand By Me, they also had to watch it all come to a sudden end when Phoenix, the eldest brother of Joaquin, passed away at the age of 23 from a drug overdose on October 31, 1993.
Today, August 23, marks what would have been Phoenix’s 41st birthday, and much like the tragic legacy of fallen stars like Heath Ledger and James Dean, he left us far too soon, with a looming, overwhelming sense of what could have been. READ FULL STORY
Today marks the 34th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. As we all know, the King remains with us in spirit — the spirit of Elvis impersonators world over. So, I ask: What’s your favorite Elvis impersonator encounter? I’ve enjoyed seeing Thai Elvis at Palms Thai Restaurant in L.A., and I’ve caught El Vez, the Mexican Elvis, on tour. But it’s the Little Elvis I stumbled upon playing the Monks Lounge at the Friar Tuck Inn in the Catskills in 2003, when I was staying there for a Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan convention, that I remember best. He wasn’t so much little as he was rotund, and though he sang, what I really recall is my friend Karen thinking a plate of cheese was for the whole bar and not just Little Elvis. “I didn’t mean to steal Little Elvis’ cheese,” she kept saying. I love sentences like that — ones no one has said before or since.
Lucille Ball would’ve turned 100 today, almost sixty years after I Love Lucy started cracking up TV viewers and never stopped. There isn’t much new to be said about Ball’s legacy: How she defined the modern sitcom, how she paved the way for every female comedy legend — from Mary Tyler Moore to Roseanne to Tina Fey — who came after her, how her show’s popularity has outlasted all its 1950s rivals (Gunsmoke, The Honeymooners) and is still a daytime TV staple around the world.
Instead, let’s let Lucy do the talking. READ FULL STORY
'Home Alone' actor Roberts Blossom passes away. We bless this highly nutritious microwavable macaroni and cheese dinner in his honor.
Some seriously sad news: Roberts Blossom — the character actor best known for playing the wrongly-accused South Bend Shovel Slayer, a.k.a. “Old Man Marley,” in Home Alone — has passed away at the age of 87. The L.A. Times reports that Blossom died of natural causes in a nursing home in Santa Monica.
While Blossom, a three-time Obie Award winner, had an illustrious career on stage and screen that spanned 40 years (he was featured in films like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Always, Christine, and the cult horror movie Deranged, and appeared in TV shows such as Moonlighting, Northern Exposure, and Chicago Hope) he’ll best be remembered by younger folk everywhere as the neighbor who saves Macaulay Culkin’s trouble-making Kevin McCallister from being murdered by the Wet Bandits. (Oh, if only he’d been there when Thomas Jay stumbled upon that beehive… ) READ FULL STORY
In 1997, when Sherwood Schwartz, who died today at the age of 94, sat down for a six-hour interview for the Archive of American Television, he was asked how he’d like to be remembered. “As a man who tried to explain, in his own way, that people have to learn to get along with each other,” he answered. It’s the concept at the center of his two most beloved shows, Gilligan’s Island and The Brady Bunch. When creating Gilligan’s Island in the early 1960s, he wanted to place seven disparate people in a place they couldn’t escape. “Where could they be that they had to get along with each other? That was the idea for the show, and it’s the most important idea in the world today,” he said. “For people who toss away the show as just a silly broad comedy, it’s deeper than that.” READ FULL STORY
Peter Falk died on June 23 at the age of 83, and while most fans know him best from his starring turn as Columbo or the kindly grandfather from The Princess Bride, Wim Wenders had the distinction of directing him twice, in Wings of Desire (1987) and Faraway, So Close (1993). The German director put his thoughts about the beloved actor on paper in a tribute for People, titled “About Peter Falk.” READ FULL STORY
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