Posted by Joy Bennett
Theatrical release poster
Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen's new film, is in my estimation one of his finest later films. Again he explores, as only Mr. Allen can, the intricacies of a women under the pressure of a major life change, with humor, pathos, and style. Cate Blanchett is sure to receive Oscar attention for her performance, which is brilliant. She carries the film, yet the supporting actors, especially but not exclusively Bobby Cannavale (who also appeared in HBO's Boardwalk Empire) are also excellent. This role will secure Ms. Blanchett's position as one of the major actresses of her generation. Alec Baldwin is also pitch-perfect as her dubious ex-husband, but one can't help but wonder if he has made a career out of playing his own charming, seductive self.
Like Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire, Cate's character teeters toward madness as she desperately tries to rebuild her life after loosing everything. It demonstrates how sexuality, desire, desperation and social climbing sometimes converge with disastrous yet comic results. At times heartbreaking, funny, and luminescent, here is one of the finest directors of our time playing at his craft with confidence and ease. Excellent and appropriate music as well.
12.14.13 at 8:51 pm | Handel's Messiah sung by the audience at Disney. . .
12.10.13 at 8:35 pm | A. Scott Berg discusses his new biography,. . .
12.9.13 at 7:39 am | The great Kobe Bryant returns to play with the. . .
11.28.13 at 5:18 am | Have a wonderful Hanukkah!
11.15.13 at 7:09 pm | The lovely and talented Annette Bening discusses. . .
11.4.13 at 1:30 pm | Horseracing at its Finest
12.14.13 at 8:51 pm | Handel's Messiah sung by the audience at Disney. . . (38)
7.24.13 at 1:50 am | A great diet that satisfies your sweet tooth. . . (24)
12.10.13 at 8:35 pm | A. Scott Berg discusses his new biography,. . . (9)
July 24, 2013 | 1:50 am
Posted by Joy Bennett
We all have to look our best in Hollywood, and if you tried and tried to loose weight and just can't because of a nasty sweet tooth like me, try my Nutella Diet. I'm using it and it works to gently melt away those pounds, all while satisfying your cravings for sweets.
Here's the diet: eat a healthy, well-balanced diet full of a low-fat foods that are high in protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, salads, etc. Avoid any fatty foods or excessive amounts of bread or high-calorie treats. Drink plenty of water. Lemonade or juice is OK in limited amounts. Avoid diet or regular sodas, they are very bad for you. You can drink alcohol and coffee in moderation, but I recommend if you do have decaf coffee or tea, much healthier. Raw nuts, vegetables, fruit, and baked pita chips are all OK for snacking in limited amounts. You can make this a vegetarian diet if you make sure to include enough high protein sources like soy, etc.
After lunch and dinner, instead of dessert, have one teaspoon of Nutella if you are craving sweets. Savor it and let it melt slowly in your mouth. Don't have more than one teaspoon, and avoid all other desserts and high calorie treats. If you can, skip the Nutella, or get by with half a teaspoon, but know it's there if you need it.
After dinner and your Nutella dessert, brush your teeth to discourage late night snacking. If you are desperate for something to eat or drink before retiring, have a half glass of water. Those pounds may just melt away like the Nutella we love so much!
There are only approximately 34 calories in each teaspoon of Nutella, not much! So you know you are doing your very best to lose weight. Make sure you get some moderate exercise, too, like taking a walk or a Yoga class to help melt those pounds away as well.
I've also found that those "Nips" Chocolate Parfait hard candies made by Nesle and available at Ralph's, etc. also help satisfy a chocolate or sweet craving. At only 30 calories each, it really does the trick!
Check with your doctor before starting any new health care diet or regimen, as this is not meant to be taken as medical advice.
July 21, 2013 | 6:05 am
Posted by Joy Bennett
Every photographer, from the family record keeper, to bloggers like me shooting an actor on a Red Carpet, or a bird watcher photographing that rare species they finally found in the wild, or a freelance or staff photographer, can improve, no matter what level they are working at now. One terrific resource I came across recently is the gifted and innovative Joey Terrill, who along with an impressive career as an advertising and editorial photographer, also generously shares his time with many others seeking to improve.
Mr. Terrill has two excellent websites, the first, his professional photographer's website, joeyterrill.com (which is a model of how a pro should represent themselves online). Then he has a second website dedicated to illuminating his vast collection of tips, techniques, and advice for the serious amateur or professional: penumbraproject.com. I would recommend both to anyone interested in lifting their photography to new heights.
Joey also recently mentioned to me two other very helpful resources: strobist.com and daveblackphotography.com -- two excellent websites also dedicated to helping others thrive in their photographic endeavors.
We live in an increasingly fast-paced, visual world; and those who can produce compelling, high-quality images (or hire someone to do so for them) will always do better than those who cannot.
July 18, 2013 | 10:22 pm
Posted by Joy Bennett
Right now I'm at the wonderful Summit Sports Photography Workshop in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The students here learn advanced photography techniques, network, and can borrow high-end equipment and get lots of hand-on experience with the instructors, all of whom are highly accomplished photographers themselves. This is a great experience, and you don't have to be a working photographer to participate. You can be a serious amateur, someone who just wants to improve the photos they take of their kid's baseball games, or someone who has a job on a newspaper and wants to better their skills. All are made to feel welcomed and by the end of the workshop are lifted to a new level in their photographic endeavors.
I was here in 2010 and am so enjoying it this year. The workshops were created by Rich Clarkson, pictured above, the renowned sports photographer who is not only recognized as one of the finest in his field, but is also one of the nicest people you could ever meet. The workshop is a combination of classes, hands-on shooting with real-life sporting events and athletes, and also provides ample opportunities to socialize and get to know your fellow students and faculty members.
For more information visit their website at photographyatthesummit.com and click on the Sports Photography Workshop link to the right. The Sports Photography Workshop is held every year in the summer in Colorado Springs at an extremely pleasant hotel with excellent food and amenities, the Antlers Hilton. They have other workshops throughout the year in various other fields of photography such as nature photography and adventure photography, and many students return to their favorite workshops year after year.
July 13, 2013 | 6:11 am
Posted by Joy Bennett
Screenwriter Geoffrey Fletcher at After Party Photo by Joy Bennett
Last night I went to a very fun, cool event. I was invited to the Bombay Sapphire Imagination Series: Film screening and after party downtown celebrating the winners of their annual short film competition. I got to meet lots of great people, including Geoffrey Fletcher, who is an Oscar-award winning screenwriter (Precious) and director (Violet & Daisy).
This short film competition allows anyone to read a brief script by Mr. Fletcher, then submit a treatment based on his script. The five finalists (hundreds of filmmakers enter each year) are awarded a budget of up to $50,000 and given generous professional guidance and help from the very congenial Mr. Fletcher and other industry insiders (including actor Adrien Brody) to produce their short film. I saw some of the films online (and you can too, visit imaginationseries.com). One in particular struck me as quite artistic and lovely (Water Song by Paul Frankl). Each year Bombay Sapphire hosts the film competition, and it's going on again this year, for more details visit the Imagination Series website.
The after party itself was in a beautiful, unique space: a renovated downtown building near the screening called the Edison Downtown. It was in an elegant restaurant and nightclub and had old-fashioned films playing on screens while they passed around tons of free Bombay Sapphire drinks and delicious appetizers. I also got to talk to Mr. Fletcher, a most charming and talented individual.
What a wonderful way to support emerging filmmakers. The cost to enter the competition is completely free, so if you or anyone you know would like to submit a treatment, check out their website imaginationseries.com. Good luck to all the aspiring filmmakers!
July 9, 2013 | 9:27 pm
Posted by Joy Bennett
There is a fantastic line up of musicals and shows that are coming to the Morgan-Wixson Theatre this season including The Odd Couple, The Producers, Spring Awakening, The Underpants by Steve Martin, etc. Call or visit their website for tickets or more information, phone 310 828-7519 or morgan-wixson.org. Their tickets are most reasonably priced!
The Morgan-Wixson is a small local gem of a theatre that has a reputation for high-quality productions, and I can personally attest to that fact. I also saw Avenue Q there a few months ago and it was also very nicely executed. The Morgan pulls from the huge pool of devoted and talented actors and theatre folks in the Los Angeles area, and we are most fortunate to have it quite near us in Santa Monica where I live.
July 3, 2013 | 5:23 am
Posted by Joy Bennett
I spent a very enjoyable two nights recently at the Hollywood Fringe Festival on Thursday and Friday, June 27th and 28th. The Hollywood Fringe Festival is a yearly festival of performing arts where any and all are welcome to produce, star, watch, or just enjoy the atmosphere of tons of live performances, most of which, due to the high quality of talent in this town, are most invigorating.
Three productions of note upon which I would like to comment: Thursday night I watched The Real Housekeepers of Studio City, a mad-cap, fast-paced comedy/musical show. Book and lyrics are by the very talented team of Heidi Powers and Tom Moore. Heidi was right there at the theatre, passing out press kits and buttons, and generally using her professional expertise in entertainment marketing to further her own production -- good show, Heidi!
The Real Houswives was really very good: funny, clever, with great songs and singing -- all the makings of a genuine hit.
I saw the second production on Friday, June 28th. Sandro Monetti is an author and entertainment journalist, and put together this most entertaining show called Clooney, Cowell, Pitt and Me about his years of experiences as a leading British entertainment journalist based in LA. I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Monetti after the show, and he proved to be as delightful in person as he is on stage. Engaging, friendly, and surrounded by well-wishers, friends and fans, you can find out more about the charming Mr. Monetti on his website sandromonetti.com.
I also saw David & Leeman in How to Convincingly Fake Honesty on Thursday night. This combination of magic and comedy show was delightfully entertaining and quite professionally executed throughout. It had amazingly deft magic tricks that I couldn't for the life of me figure out how they did it, all wrapped up in a most amusing comedy show. Great fun!
For more information about the Fringe Festival, check out hollywoodfringe.org, and watch for it next June, it is definitely worth checking out. For more photos from the Fringe Festival and other events, visit Joy's Flickr page at flickr.com/joybennett.
Important, please note that although the official Hollywood Fringe Festival ended June 30th, 2013, from July 8th to 28th, the Best of Fringe Extension will be held. This is a selection of the creme de la creme of the Fringe Festival shows chosen by an official selection committee. Some of the shows may go on for longer theatrical runs, to be determined. For more information on the Best of Fringe Extension, visit bestofextensions.com. Most of the shows I mentioned here are in the Best of Fringe Extension, so you can still catch them! I have more coverage and photos from the Fringe Festival (I was a proud member of the Fringe Press Corps) on my main website joybennett.com, just scroll down!