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Posts Tagged ‘Germany’

Saturday July 23rd, 2011


What is the most significant and watched footage of actual/unstaged events ever recorded? Among the obvious candidates: Abraham Zapruder’s film of John F. Kennedy’s assassination on November 23, 1963; NASA’s footage of Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon on July 21, 1969; and the live TV news footage of the second plane crashing into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Long before those events took place, though, another one of at least as much historical importance as any of them — and, in my humble opinion, of even greater importance — was also visually recorded, seen by the vast majority of Americans alive at the time, and, yes, questioned by conspiracy theorists: the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. The biggest difference between this footage and the rest? The story behind it has been largely forgotten. I think it’s worth retelling.

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Thursday July 29th, 2010


It’s hard to believe, but the actress Julianne Moore will be turning 50 in December — hard to believe since she’s as beautiful and busy as ever. Indeed, in just the last year the 4-time Academy Award nominee has appeared in Rebecca Miller‘s ensemble piece “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee,” Atom Egoyan‘s domestic drama “Chloe,” Tom Ford‘s sixties-set “A Single Man,” Mans Marlind and Bjorn Stein‘s horror-thriller “Shelter,” and Lisa Cholodenko‘s “The Kids Are All Right” (Focus Features, 7/9, trailer), the last of which is currently in theaters and provoking plenty of chatter that it’s about time Moore finally won an Oscar. (The same is being said about Annette Bening, her co-star in the film. See my recent post about their awards prospects.)

Therefore, I thought that now would be an appropriate time to revisit an interview that I conducted with Moore last September in Toronto, during which we discussed the personal and professional journey that has led her to this point.

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Wednesday July 28th, 2010


The friendship of Brigitte Berman and Hugh Hefner, which has endured for nearly 25 years, is fascinating. She’s an attractive blonde who has been a frequent guest at the Playboy Mansion, but she will never be mistaken for a shallow Playmate; she’s a remarkably intelligent and driven 56-year-old German-turned-Canadian who has directed hundreds of films, including one that won an Oscar for best documentary. He’s a notorious ladies’ man whose life has been filled with fame, fortune, and fun, but he is no fortunate son; he’s an 84-year-old who emerged from humble beginnings with a dream, turned it into reality, and then used his clout to advance numerous causes in which he believed. She saw a side of him that most others have overlooked; he saw that she saw it and trusted her in a way that he’d never trusted anyone before. The result? The captivating documentary “Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist, and Rebel” (Phase 4 Films, 7/30, trailer), which opens in select theaters this Friday.

I first met Berman at the Toronto International Film Festival last September, where the film was screened for a large audience (that included Hefner and three of his former girlfriends) and elicited primarily strong notices (including my own). Earlier this month, she was kind enough to answer a number of questions that I had about Hefner the man and “Hefner” the film, as well as the journey that led her to both…

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