by | Sep 10, 2019

We came together after 9/11 as Americans. We formed a bond of unity the likes of which I could not remember save for when I was a child during World War II. Then, housewives rolled bandages at night for the…

by | Sep 5, 2019

Pygmies walk the streets of Hollywood where giants once trod. Take Eric McCormack, the bland Canadian actor who in 1998 lucked into the popular sitcom Will & Grace. Rather than appreciate the hard work of the hundreds who enabled his lucrative…

by | Aug 20, 2019

Some stories are retold over and over in new renditions. Romeo and Juliet, set in New York City with gangs, becomes West Side Story. The Tempest on an alien world with a robot for Caliban is Forbidden Planet (1956). It’s a Wonderful…

by | Aug 13, 2019

Quentin Tarantino just became the most reactionary major filmmaker this side of Clint Eastwood. His latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, portrays the year the counterculture almost broke Hollywood, 1969, and Tarantino may accomplish the same thing five…

by | Jul 30, 2019

We hear a lot of talk these days about privilege. Privilege is the idea that some social advantage is available to members of only one group and unavailable to everyone else. Most of the claims about privilege are specious, either…

by | Jul 20, 2019

Tinsel Town is worried about American jingoism. In First Man, a 2018 movie about Neil Armstrong, the first man to step onto the moon, Hollywood has expurgated the planting of the American flag. That image, witnessed by about 15 percent…

by | Jul 6, 2019

I was a politics junkie. Always watching cable news, clicking on political websites, listening to talk radio. The operative word here is “was.” It all got to me, in its maddening, frustrating ubiquity. I got tired of the constant stimulation,…

by | May 31, 2019

What would Walt Disney say? On July 17, 1955, actor Ronald Reagan co-hosted an ABC special celebrating the opening of Disneyland. The show was a typical Disney production — upbeat, positive, a celebration of American life filled with fun and…

by | May 14, 2019

In my struggling screenwriter days, I lived on Venice Beach, in the Morrison Apartments (named after the pre-Doors rocker who used to jam on its rooftop), and worked at an Indian-owned convenience store across the narrow one-way street. For more…

by | Apr 9, 2019

Hollywood used to confine its hostility toward traditional American values to the screen. It took a hard left turn half a century ago with productions like The Graduate, Easy Rider, Bob and Carol, Ted and Alice, M*A*S*H, and every show…

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