Get ready to face reality in the next two weekends with a couple of reality TV casting calls.
For all you bad girls out there, Bunim-Murray Productions is looking
Casting for "The Bad Girls Club" is Saturday, June 7, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Rock Bottom Brewery in Buckhead Plaza. You must be 21 or older (and wildly sassy) to apply. For more information, go to Bunim-Murray.com.
Good girls and boys needn't fret, though. If you've got a great dog well behaved, friendly and completely obedient good for you, but you're barking up the wrong tree. Ricochet Television is looking for bad dogs for a new series based on a hit U.K. show. Misbehaving mutts, purebred punks, alliterative alpha-dogs all are welcome to come enlist in this doggy boot camp from the producers of "Supernanny," "The Alaska Experiment," and "The Real Housewives of New York City." The casting call is Saturday, June 14, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at Atlantic Station's Central Park. To apply, visit their website or call 877-44-DOGGY.
The assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, the 40th anniversary of which is remembered today, was the first historical moment that had any kind of resonance with me. There remain only fragments of it: plopped on my familys living-room floor while my family, including my Massachusetts-born father, watched the news coverage. I knew something bad had happened, and I think I remember it being Kennedys murder, but mostly something bad. But the more vivid memory came days later, on our way down to South Florida for a summer vacation, when my dad lost it and yelled at us in the back seat while we were playing with each other. His anger and grief had overcome him. That emotion resonates and stays with a person over the years.
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Thats history for you, especially when youre young. Sometimes you only remember swatches of moments, and images. Four decades on, RFK seems to live on in a variety of those swatches. Like his speeches, whether on the campaign trail or after Martin Luther King Jr.s assassination, in which he did his level best to tamp down on the violence sure to come
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Kennedy, like his brother John, has endured a rather spotty interpretation on film (but for the excellent American Experience documentary). He was portrayed with surprising timidity by Linus Roache in the 2002 TV movie, RFK, which failed to capture but a lick of his charisma and depth of feeling. My favorite portrayal comes from Martin Sheen, who at various times has portrayed both brothers but was brilliant in the 1974 TV movie The Missiles of October, about the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. (I can barely remember how Steven Culp portrayed him in Thirteen Days, which was more a vehicle for Kevin Costner as a presidential aide than anything else.) Last year brought us RFK Must Die! The Assassination of Bobby Kennedy, which raises new questions about whether Sirhan B. Sirhan (still serving a life sentence in a California prison) actually pulled the trigger.
Last night was a great night for TV watching, particularly if you love informative filmmaking, but a horrible one if you don't have TiVo. It was bad enough that Turner Classic Movies dedicated the evening to its "Race and Hollywood: Asian Images in Film," which runs Tuesdays and Thursdays in June. The 35-film retrospective, hosted by Robert Osborne and University of Delaware professor Peter X. Feng, started with the 2006 documentary, Slanted Screen, and continued with screenings of The Cheat (1915), Broken Blossoms (1919), The Dragon Painter (1919), Mr. Wu (1927) and The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1932).
If you missed that history lesson, the series continues Thursday night with the 2008 documentary Anna May Wong Frosted Yellow Willows: Her Life, Times and Legend, followed by The Toll of the Sea (1922), Old San Francisco (1927), and Piccadilly (1929).
But then there was the season-three premiere of Morgan Spurlock's always-entertaining "30 Days" (F/X, 10 p.m. cable 43), which features the star/director of the thrilling Super-Size Me (and the near-woeful Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?) spending a month in the lives of compelling characters and situations. To kick the season off, instead of placing someone else in a compromising position, Spurlock spent a month in his native West Virginia as a coal miner. It was, quite simply, great television, showing once again Spurlock at his best (offering a bird's eye view of coal miners' lives and humanizing them every step of the way) and his worst (his cloying voice-overs are as awkwardly delivered as his camera-facing confessionals are naive and obvious).
But as harsh as I've been on Spurlock, he does his fair share of digging, so to speak, and he paints a picture of a people addicted to the good-paying ($60,000 a year) yet lethal jobs that while charging our homes and lives also rape the beautiful West Virginia landscape. By the end of the hour, you really feel like you know the people better, and that in the end is Spurlock's goal. (Next week: Morgan throws a dude into a wheelchair for a month.)
I practically grew up on Sydney Pollack, the actor, the producer and the director. And as many of the eulogies note, his passing is practically that of an era in Hollywood when directors tried to make accessible adult-themed movies. Never a true auteur, Pollack nevertheless did the kind of things directors of even the highest artistic vision don't always do. He could get great performances out of actors who were playing in often conventional storylines. If you didn't know a Pollack film, you certainly knew a Robert Redford performance.
While it's a given that his later directing output was substandard, Pollack was an important Hollywood figure in other ways, and not just as an actor. He remains the best host of Turner Classic Movies' "The Essentials" showcase of the no-brainer films, mainly because without any trace of ego (looking at you, Peter Bogdanovich) but with all the passion and smarts, he could crystallize what made an essential movie an essential movie. This is where his acting ability really served him well; he knew how to "sell" it.
The Kids in the Hall's Mark McKinney has a second claim to fame, in addition to co-founding the hilarious sketch comedy troupe (which plays at the Cobb Energy Centre on Saturday, May 24). McKinney also co-created and co-starred in "Slings and Arrows," a Canadian comedy series set at the fictional New Burbage Shakespeare Festival.
"Slings & Arrows" stars Paul Gross of "Due South" as a passionate but mentally unbalanced theater director who takes over as New Burbage's artistic director following the untimely death of his mentor (Stephen Ouimette). The first of the show's three six-episode seasons surrounds a New Burbage production of Hamlet, and the Shakespearean play provides a parallel to the backstage goings on (which include the director being haunted by his mentor's ghost). McKinney plays the frantic, money-scrounging general manager, and the cast also includes Martha Burns and recurring appearances from Colm Feore, Don McKellar, Rachel McAdams and Sarah Polley. The dark humor echoes "Six Feet Under," while the live-theater adrenalin and slapstick suggest what Aaron Sorkin may have been going for with "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip."
It's hard to understate just how much theater people love "Slings and Arrows." Given that Atlanta has two Shakespeare-based playhouses, Georgia Shakespeare and The New American Shakespeare Tavern, "Slings & Arrows" probably hits even closer to home here than in other communities. A few weeks ago, I emailed some friends and acquaintances whom I suspected could loan me a copy of the show, and heard back from Lee Nowell, an actress/playwright/director married to Phillip DePoy. Her unsolicited remarks about the show are worth quoting in full:
Last week I talked to Mark McKinney in advance of The Kids in the Hall's "Live As We'll Ever Be" evening of sketch comedy coming to the Cobb Energy Centre on May 24. It wasn't easy picking out which "kid" to interview, because they're all highly talented writer-performers, even though they seldom shine as brightly in their side projects as they do all together. Here's a reprise of McKinney's most memorable recurring characters.
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Also known as the "I'm crushing your head!" guy, the vaguely Eastern European nutjob is one of the most familiar figures in the Kids' rogue gallery of regulars. His battle with the "I'm pinching your face!" guy is similarly amusing, but I like the elaborate "rehab" cliches in this one. Incidentally, I asked McKinney if the character, who frequently appears in extreme close-up, "works" in a live show like their tour, and he said "He does work live! You have to come see how!"
Is Ted Turner the real Captain Planet? That's what he says in Lizz Widdicombe's hilarious "Talk of the Town" segment of this week's New Yorker ("Born Green"), in which she catches up with the man who claims to be the one who beat Al Gore to telling the world an inconvenient truth with his now-defunct TBS cartoon, "Captain Planet and the Planeteers." (Sounds like a bad 70s funk ensemble.) The story comes from an Atlanta fundraiser for Turner's Captain Planet Foundation. In the article, he boasts that he was his own inspiration for the Captain Planet character, who does battle with all the earth-unfriendly nasties out there.
Here's a sample from the article:
With the show, Ted Turner is fond of saying, he invented a television genre that he called edu-tainment a noble endeavor but one that has taken a lot of grief over the years. Critics of Captain Planet have pointed to the broadness of its allegory (characters include Kwame from Africa and Gi from Asia), and the heavy-handedness of its plots (battles against a villain named Hoggish Greedly and a Pollution Syndicate), to suggest that its less entertainment than a vehicle for left-wing propaganda, as one watchdog group put it. But Turner remains unfazed. In terms of programming, its the best thing I ever did, he said the other day.
Really, Ted? As opposed to, um, non-programming? Whatev, it definitely struggles to stand the test of time, as this clip demonstrates. But there is a kitschy charm about the whole thing. See for yourself, Planeteers!
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The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (reviewed here) isn't just the sequel to The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe: it marks a kind of forgotten anniversary. The previous Narnia movie inspired "Saturday Night Live's "Lazy Sunday," which debuted on Dec. 17, 2005. The second "SNL Digital Short," "Lazy Sunday" depicts Chris Parnell and Andy Samberg rapping like gangstas as they buy cupcakes and go to see Narnia:
Now quiet in the theater or its gonna get tragic.
Were 'bout to get taken to a dreamworld of magic!
"Lazy Sunday's" popularity effectively marked "Saturday Night Live's" entry into the viral video age, and the venerable, 30-plus-year-old sketch comedy series proved unexpectedly ahead of the curve. "Lazy Sunday" led to countless imitators, including the Atlanta area's own "Lazy Snellville." Subsequent "SNL Digital Shorts" included Natalie Portman's rap and "Dick in a Box." Viral videos like these gave audiences a new destination for comedy on Youtube, and NBC's (understandable) interest in controlling its creations led to the creation of Hulu as a Youtube alternative. It's a surprise that it's been two and a half years since "Lazy Sunday" appeared.
The question is, will Prince Caspian inspire a "Lazy Sunday" sequel? Steve Carell hosts the next new SNL episode on May 17.
1) Food Network host Alton Brown reads from and discusses his book, Feasting on Asphalt: The River Run, at Variety Playhouse.
2) Theatre in the Square presents The Little Dog Laughed.
3) Starring Javier Bardem film fest kicks off its four-film series at the Rich Theatre at Woodruff Arts Center.
4) Radiohead and the Liars perform a sold-out show at Lakewood Amphitheatre.
5) The Day Celebration, a three-day music fest benefiting five Georgia-based charities, begins at Triple B Farm in Buckhead, Ga.
(Photo by Don Chambers/Chamber Studios)
Now that âThis American Lifeâ already has conquered radio, television seems to be next frontier, considering the success if the first season of the TV show broadcast last year on Showtime. (See my feature here). Now, as a way to promote the TV versionâs second season, premiering Sunday, May 4, at 10 p.m. on Showtime, âTALâ is taking another novel step: the big screen. (Check out this trailer from the second season.)
No, thereâs not a âmovieâ version of the show, but as part of a new nationwide trend, âTALâ will present a live version of the TV show tonight at 8 p.m. at the Regal Perimeter Pointe Stadium 10 (1155 Mount Vernon Highway, Atlanta, GA 30338, 770-481-0194), Regal Hollywood Stadium 24 (3265 NE Expressway Access Road, Chamblee, GA 30341, 770-936-5737) and Regal North Point Market 8 (6500 North Point Pkwy., Alpharetta, GA 30022-4893, 770-663-0770). Tickets for âThis American Life â Live!â are $20.
This presentation is sort of a natural extension of what host Ira Glass already does. (See my profile of him here.) During breaks between the radio show, Glass will literally take his show out on the road in two different variations: as a âone-man-showâ in which he explains the show from behind a console of gadgets in which he provides soundscapes that include segments from the show and the music soundtracks, as well as full-on live onstage productions featuring regulars from the show. (He did the former version last year at Atlanta Symphony Hall.)
Glass, who calls his one-man-show version a kind of âstump speechâ for the award-winning program, will also host this version as itâs broadcast to movie theaters across the nation.
Little harsh, in'it?
Oh that's right...I DID say enjoy yourself.
Go to hell Kombo!
When will you be accepting applicants for the 2014 competition?
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