Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ehhh, What's up Doc?

"I have adult thoughts in my head - experiences - but I'm never gonna talk about them. Why is my needle stuck in childhood? I dunno. I guess that's where my heart is."
-- Maurice Sendak, Author of Where the Wild Things Are and 100 more children's books.

Documentaries - love 'em. My poor darling wife, after watching a doc or two I'll begin to tell her about the current one I've just seen. "You and your documentaries" she says, and just chuckles. She doesn't mind them, just that I like to watch a lot of them. Of course I have to tell her about 'em. Of course. Okay honey, now today I saw...


Which brings me to to a recent viewing of "Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak" by Lance Bangs and Spike Jonez. Maurice Sendak, author of many, many books, is probably most know for his award-winning and delightful romp "Where the Wild Things Are." My mother gave this to me when I was a wee boy, and on the 25th Anniversary of the book, I gave her a copy in return, to say thank you for giving me a great start in books (just the reading part, who knew I would go on to open a bookstore and publish?). Sendak has received a lot of attention recently with the Spike Jonez helmed film of the book. The film is actually pretty good, and especially considering how do you make a film out of that "little" story book? Watch it and see.

Bangs and Jonez (yes, "Wild" director), was able to bring us some insight to the usually very private Sendak, thus the very appropriate title. The history of the stories and how he applied them to his work was intriguing. He is quite the artist in many respects, and you get to see a lot of his work in paintings, drawings, and of course the books. I was visiting the Stephen King office one day in 2003 and I remember seeing this doll dressed in red up on the shelf, close to the electric chair Frank Darabont had made for Steve during the filming of his novel "The Green Mile." I asked his assistant about the doll and she said that "Maurice Sendak made that up just for Steve as a gift." Gift from the artistically gifted. A Renaissance man? Pretty damn close I would say. If you like his work, then you'll thoroughly enjoy the film like I did. Funny, insightful, sad, and illuminating. Watch This!

WHO IS HARRY NILSSON (And Why is Everybody Talkin' About Him?)

Wow! I only use this words on reviews where I have immensely enjoyed the work. Director John Scheinfeld did his homework on this amazing songwriter and singer. At almost 2 hours long it moved along at a good pace. Nilsson, who may be best known by the masses for singing this Grammy award winning song, "Everybody's Talkin,'" (from the film Midnight Cowboy), wrote many hits, and sang with a unique voice. My wife wasn't sure who he was, until she started hearing one song right after the other going "I know this one. Yep, I know that one too." Which leads me to believe that, although Mr. music man here (that would be me) knows Harry's work well, the title to this film apparently hits the mark. Most people know the songs, but the man? Well this film will tell you the whole story, from friends, producers, family, and so on. Including Ringo Starr, John Lennon, producer Richard Perry, Mickey Dolenz, Eric Idle, and too many to name here. It's insightful, entertaining, and heart felt. I learned quite a bit, and I knew most of the songs, and discovered even more about the man and his music. My highest recommendation for you music lovers out there to put this on your Watch This! list. I guarantee you'll be buying a greatest hits CD afterword.


Directors Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio explore an urban legend that always disturbed them while growing up in Staten Island, N.Y. -- a rash of child abductions that struck the area in the 1970s and 80s -- in their gripping documentary. A handyman and drifter named "Cropsey" abducted numerous young kids, setting off myriad motive theories, frightening residents in the community and tripping up the legal system. If this is their first film, then they've done a bang up job. Staten Island's bridge was up and running in the mid 60's and that's when the population started to move in. Before that though, there was one of the largest mental institutions in the US there, and that story, along with "Cropsey," made this a gripping watch to the very end. WATCH THIS!


Daring animal activists arrive with surveillance equipment at a scenic cove in Taijii, Japan, to capture footage of a secretive and heavily guarded operation run by the world's largest supplier of dolphins. Yes I repeat, the world's largest supplier of "dolphins!"As the group sets out to expose the horrifying truths behind the capture of dolphins for the lucrative tourist industry, they also uncover an environmental catastrophe. Louie Psihoyos directs this riveting, Oscar-winning documentary. And you'll be amazed and horrified at what you see here. WATCH THIS!


GOLGOTHAM: Nancy Collins, author of the Sonya Blue and the VAMP novels (and many, many more), has a new website up - GolGotham- and I suggest you pop on over and take a look. It's gorgeous and informative.
Nancy Collins Golgotham is now online - See It Here!

BOOK: A UNIQUE DEVICE - Check out this explanation of this new device called.. BOOK.. it will change your life