Saturday, April 19, 2014

JOHN TRAVOLTA

What a dancer he was and still is.

I could fill this page with clips from John Travolta films.

Even when Travolta is not dancing, what he does as an actor rivets me like his dancing -- his intense commitment -- head, eyes, focus -- his un-breaking connection with the moment that I'm seeing. Whether he's thoughtfully looking straight ahead, or relating to another actor, I feel his thereness.

 "Thereness" is a Zen thing; he's on the moment at the moment. Head-to-toe, everything about him, external and internal, is focused on IT -- whatever he is doing.

Yes, I'm a fan. In my dictionary, it's "enthusiastic devotee, usually as a spectator, ardent admirer, enthusiast; probably short for fanatic."

I've got so many favorite visions of him -- Travolta, the guy with wings in "Michael" -- Travolta's technically amazing ballet movements in "Staying Alive" -- Sylvester Stallone's sequel to "Saturday Night Fever" bombed, but I was enthralled, and....and ... . Hey, if you suddenly remember a favorite moment in a film or TV show, but forgot the name, here is a  list -- Travolta films and TV shows.

The real-life Travolta -- marriage, children, home with a landing field for his planes, questions about homosexuality, relationship to Scientology -- all that floats by.

Why?

Because I am truly a devotee, a fan-fanatic. The man, John Travolta, who is there, is always, always there in whatever he does.

This video expresses someone else's "Top 10 John Travolta Performances."



This clip from "Pulp Fiction" delights me, no matter how many times I see it.



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

(VIDEO) WHY JOHN CULLUM LOVES RICHARD BURTON


 Em, knowing how important Burton continues to be for John, gets John talking about him.

John says Burton was a "complex, intellectual," -- deeply devoted to reading books, "endlessly reading, studying," books as well as poetry.

Em remembers when she was on the road with her dance company -- how Richard, John, and actors gathered in their home after every show. She asks, "What did you guys do -- play games, do scenes, get involved with women or what?"

John says, "Well, we were drinking buddies..." and describes Richard's extraordinarily brilliant work with Elizabeth Taylor in the film "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

Sunday, April 13, 2014

DEAREST BELOVED CELL PHONES


CELL PHONE STUFF, March 28, 2010.  Don't bother clicking the links to these old blogs, I'm just summarizing them. I wrote that blog after we searched on line, wanting to know whether or not to buy cell phones.

We were told about frequency radiation that was stronger than FM radio SAR levels,  (specific absorption rate) for the different popular models -- all fell below "1.6 watts per  kilogram of body tissue."  It sounded sort of technical but safe, till we bumped into a news alert  about lab rats dying that were hooked up to a cell phone for more than 2  hours. So, we just got another land line phone.

 CELL PHONE  CANCER?  7/18/2011.
Our daughter-in-law gave us two cell phones. John tried to use his. I put mine in a drawer. The IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) said cell phone exposure was "possibly carcinogenic to  humans," -- put cells in a category with DDT -- then mentioned increased risk of brain cancer. John didn't give his cell number to anyone, but used it to call me and tell me when he'd be home from rehearsal.

DEAR DARLING CELL PHONES 2/7/2012
Since everyone I knew had a cell, and wasn't paying attention to life and death scare news, I wrote about cell phone photos. (I have a thousand photos of me dancing -- I don't look at them -- it's like fiddling with clothes I've outgrown.) But I figured cell phone photos become your memoirs -- like the book that most people want to write but don't have time to write. And praised the wonders of world-wide communication.

SMART PHONE MADNESS . Dec 1 2013,
After reading about the new apps -- photo messages -- "Snapchat," and "Finding Love " -- how you swipe, and you can meet, date, or find a mate, I wrote this blog, and deleted it without publishing it. 

Hey, young, beautiful, famous Carrie Underwood said:
"My cell phone is my best friend. It's my lifeline to the outside world."

Jack Nicholson said:
I don't even own a cell phone.


Ted Turner said:
To be happy in this world, first you need a cell phone and then you need an airplane. Then you're truly wireless.


Jessie Venture said:
I'm going to put on my gravestone, 'He never owned a cell phone.'


Hmmm,  Somehow, that comforts me.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

ALEC BALDWIN

Just recently, Alec Baldwin declared he was quitting public life. He wrote a very revealing, detailed summary of his public life, explaining his successes and his failures, including his first wife, and their daughter. If you have time, read the 5,000 word article he published in the New York Magazine, February 24th edition.

Hey, I like him; I have blogged about him as a hero, as a guy who might be very fresh and interesting in politics -- a mayor, maybe even a governor, maybe someday he could run for president. My enthusiasm was based on his intelligence that's so evident in his acting. No matter what the character is -- bad guy, weirdo, good guy -- Alec gives the character intelligence and sensitivity. But more than the roles he's played, I loved it when Alec sat with Robert Osborne, the main host on Ted Turner's movie channel, and spoke about films -- about directing, lighting, editing, the characters, costumes, and what the film was communicating.

Baldwin was eloquent. His words helped me decide to see the film, and alerted me on what to look for in the plot.

Today, writing about him, I'm not sure what I want to say. He's never boring, but during the last few years, he has said "yes" to too many jobs, and become over-exposed. There have been too many personal stories about the Baldwin we've seen in credit card commercials -- day after day -- different styles and different scenes -- some amusing, others sort of dramatic. And while these commercials were appearing, there were promos for Baldwin's new films, and headlines -- Alec B. throwing punches, yelling, cursing, attacking paparazzi -- outrageous behavior to protect his privacy, and anything that related to a girlfriend, then his new wife, her pregnancy and the birth of their baby.

Oh boy -- this guy has no inhibitions about expressing himself. Maybe that's why he is always interesting.

Hey, Alec -- just do the next movie, and the next, but skip commercials and interviews for a while. Just let some time pass without expressing how you feel about any issues. Then, if you come out with your opinion on something, we'll listen, because you have an amazing intelligence, honesty and a wonderfully instinctive prejudice -- not against people -- against ignorance. and rules that limit people.

Try it for a month. Just shrug, and turn away like a busy star. Your busy star demeanor will fire up our curiosity and we'll be eager to hear and see whatever you say and do again.