Monday, April 29, 2019

by Janet J. Lawler 
April 29, 2019
Los Angeles, CA
Director and Writer John Singleton
The news is heartbreaking.  Another artist who made an important impact on our lives through his creative voice has died.

Like Luke Perry earlier this year, filmmaker John Singleton has passed away after suffering a stroke in Los Angeles.  

I remember the young director when he first burst onto the filmmaking scene back with "Boyz N the Hood" in the 90s.  

He, along with director Spike Lee, made movies that had a strong voice and unique visual style.  The indie film couldn't be ignored by the masses. People took notice of its creator. 
Singleton was (and still is) the youngest director ever nominated for a Best Director Oscar for his film (which he also wrote).  He didn't win the Oscar that year for directing or for his original screenplay, but it sure put him on the map and gave him a platform to continue with his creative work for the rest of his life. 

Having listened to many podcasts where Singleton was the guest,  he always came across as humble and kind in an often selfish, harsh business.  
With "Boyz N the Hood" he showed America another side of itself, one not usually shown in Hollywood movies. He introduced us to his world through the characters of three, male teenagers growing up in South Central L.A.  It's a movie that is seared into our cinematic minds.

Rest in Peace, John Singleton, and thank you for writing and directing a film that touched so many lives.  And for being an advocate for your fellow screenwriters and directors.  You will be missed.

Below is the NY Times obit about John Singleton's personal and creative life.

#JohnSingleton #BoyzNtheHood

Sunday, April 28, 2019

NETWORK ON BROADWAY: Bryan Cranston stars as Howard Beale
Actor Bryan Cranston
Talk about powerhouse performances on the Broadway stage.
Cast takes a bow after show

Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Malcolm in the Middle) stars as the raving mad journalist Howard Beale, based on Paddy Chayefsky's classic  1976 film NETWORK.  Cranston delivers an intense, explosive, deeply philosophical performance that is timely (even though the play is set in the 1970s).  Howard Beale wants you to get mad, to turn off your TVs (maybe your phones if it were today) and shout "I'm mad as hell and not going to take this anymore!".   Fake news!  Dirty politics!  Americans who tune into the TV tube to get all their information!  No wonder Howard's pissed off!!

I am too!
Actor Tony Goldwyn
NETWORK also has a terrific supporting cast with Tony Goldwyn (Scandal, Orange is the New Black) playing Max Shumacher and Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) playing the sensational producer Diana Christenson (Faye Dunaway played the role in the movie).  The character would sell her soul for hire TV ratings.

Actress Tatiana Maslany
After the show, the actors came outside to sign Playbills, take photos with fans and Bryan Cranston even FaceTimed someone's family member.  These actors couldn't have been more patient and lovely with the New York theater goers.  Trust me, not all actors are this accommodating with their fans.
Cranston greets his fans after the show
Bryan Cranston didn't disappoint on stage or off.   Great guy!  He sets the tone for the cast.
Theater-goers and fans wait to meet the actors
If you're in NYC, check out NETWORK on Broadway, but hurry.  It closes June 8th, 2019. #NetworkBway  #BryanCranston   See the link for the show

Wednesday, April 03, 2019

with Season 3 already renewed by BBC America/AMC
By Janet J. Lawler
April 2, 2019
Los Angeles, CA
Sandra Oh and Jodi Comer KILLING EVE
I attended an early screening of the upcoming BBC America series KILLING EVE Season Two premiere episode tonight at the TV Academy in North Hollywood.

Don't worry.  No spoilers here.  If you liked the first season of KILLING EVE, you won't be disappointed with the second season.  The show continues its intense killer pace with twists, turns, cringe-worthy violence, and dark, snarky humor.  Isn't that why all tune in?  And who does snark better than Sandra Oh?

After the screening, KILLING EVE stars Sandra Oh and Jodi Comer, as well as Executive Producer Sally Underwood Gentle,  took part in a panel discussion before a packed audience of television industry professionals.
Co-stars Oh and Comer touched on their on-air chemistry and overall professional synergy in making the hit show.  Comer noting that Sandra Oh is "so zen" on set and brings dedication and focus to scenes, helping the young actress to raise her game in the process.  Oh noted how much she "trusts" working with Jodie Comer.  They said shooting the show on locations in various countries is also fun.

KILLING EVE is thrilling to watch as we root for the spy to catch the assassin or the assassin to torment the spy.  It's a delight watching these two strong, clever actors raise the bar for dramatic, action-based television.

Watch KILLING EVE season two on April 7th on AMC.

Post Update 4/8/2019:  British writer Suzanne Heathcote takes over for Emerald Fennell as the Phoebe Waller-Bridge drama is renewed for Season 3 by BBC America/AMC.

Until next time.

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