Category Archives: Hollywood

Today’s AFI Movie Club Selection

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Today’s AFI Movie Club selection received a Best Picture Academy-award-winning Oscar and is based on the play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney.

From writer/director Barry Jenkins, MOONLIGHT was also honored in 2016 with an AFI AWARD, recognizing it as one of the year’s most outstanding achievements in the art of the moving image – with the official rationale stating that, “MOONLIGHT illuminates the peerless power of cinema to inspire empathy for others and embrace a greater understanding of ourselves. Barry Jenkins’ poetic tour de force presents a deeply emotional triptych — the journey of boy to man searching for connection amidst the labyrinth of societal boundaries. An extraordinary ensemble lights the way in this sublime realization of a world where the question ‘Who is you?’ echoes in the pain of dreams deferred and the strength of an inner truth.”

Available to watch on Kanopy, Hoopla, Fubu Tv, and Showtime. Highly recommended viewing!

Until next time, I’ll see you at the movies!

TCM Announces 2022 Classic Film Festival Tributes Bruce Dern, Piper Laurie, and Floyd Norman

Posted by Larry Gleeson

TCM Announces 2022 Classic Film Festival Tributes
Bruce Dern, Piper Laurie, and Floyd Norman to be honored

Additional Screenings Announced for 2022 TCMFF in Hollywood, April 21-24, 2022

[l to r. Bruce Dern, Piper Laurie, Floyd Norman. Photo courtesy of TCM]

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) today announced it will honor Academy Award-nominated actor Bruce Dern, Academy Award-nominated actress Piper Laurie, and animator and story director Floyd Norman during the 13th annual TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood April 21 – 24, 2022. Festival passes for the annual event are currently on sale.

Each year the TCM Classic Film Festival pays tribute to a select group of individuals whose work in Hollywood has left a lasting impact on film. Throughout his prolific career, Dern earned critical praise and his first Academy Award ® nomination for his performance in Coming Home (1978) and another nomination for his performance in Nebraska (2013), both of which will be screened at the Festival. Laurie has worked with some of the most iconic directors and stars of classic Hollywood while making a name for herself in Has Anybody Seen My Gal? (1952) and her Academy Award ® nominated turn in The Hustler (1961). Laurie will introduce both films at the Festival. Having bolstered his career through a lasting partnership with Walt Disney Studios, Norman worked as an animator on several Disney classics including The Jungle Book (1967) which will play at the El Capitan Theatre during the Festival.

One of the Festival’s many fan-favorite events includes the poolside screenings presented by Citi, the Official Card of the Festival, at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. This year is no exception with cult favorites like Soylent Green (1973), which is set in 2022, with actress Leigh Taylor-Young in attendance; a 40th-anniversary screening of Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982); and the Elvis classic Blue Hawaii (1961) being featured.

Other screenings during the TCM Classic Film Festival include a midnight screening of Polyester (1981) with Odorama; the film noir I, The Jury (1953) in its original 3-D format; and a special presentation of the silent film 7th Heaven (1927), accompanied in person by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.

TCM recently updated the health protocols and safety measures for the event. Get the latest guidelines here:



About the 2022 TCM Classic Film Festival

Movie lovers from around the globe will descend upon Hollywood for the 13th edition of the TCM Classic Film Festival. The 2022 Festival is set to take place from Thursday, April 21 – to Sunday, April 24, 2022. Over four packed days and nights, attendees will be treated to an extensive lineup of great movies, appearances by legendary stars and filmmakers, fascinating presentations and panel discussions, special events, and more.

TCM Primetime host Ben Mankiewicz will serve as the official host of the TCM Classic Film Festival. The Festival’s official hotel and central gathering point will be The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which has a longstanding role in movie history and was the site of the first Academy Awards® ceremony. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel will also offer special rates for Festival attendees. Screenings and events during the Festival will be held at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX®, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, the Hollywood Legion Theater at Post 43, and the El Capitan Theatre. For the latest news and information, follow us on social at #TCMFF.

This year’s theme is “All Together Now: Back to the Big Screen.” In 2022, reunite with fellow fans, the movies, the memories, the stars, and the glamour. It’s all back live and in person, just as it should be, and where it all began in Hollywood. From high school reunions to homecomings, TCM will celebrate milestones from the past as we look forward to making new memories together.


About Bruce Dern

Two-time Oscar nominee Bruce Dern’s tremendous career is made up of playing both modern-day heroes and legendary villains.  Through decades of lauded performances, Dern has acquired the reputation of being one of the most talented and prolific actors of his generation.

A celebrated stage actor, Dern was trained by famed director Elia Kazan at the legendary The Actor’s Studio and made his film debut in Kazan’s “Wild River” in 1960.  In the ’60s, Dern also found success as a distinguished television actor.  He appeared  regularly in contemporary Western TV series, as well as on “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.”  Mr. Hitchcock was such a fan of Dern’s that he cast him in “Marnie” and “Family Plot” (Hitchcock’s final film).

Also during the 60s, Dern went on to work with director Roger Corman and appeared in several of his classic and decade-defining films including “Wild Angels.” He also received critical success during that time for films such as “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” and “Drive, He Said.”  Dern goes down in history for his role as Long Hair in “The Cowboys,” in which he became the only man ever to kill John Wayne on screen.

Dern went on to star in such classic films like “The King of Marvin Gardens” with Jack Nicholson and Ellen Burstyn as well as playing Tom Buchanan in “The Great Gatsby” (for which he received a Golden Globe nomination).  It was his brilliant and powerful performance in Hal Ashby’s “Coming Home” that earned him both an Academy Award and Golden Globe nomination.

Dern has starred in over 100 films in his career, including: “Silent Running,” “The Haunting,” “Last Man Standing,” “The Hateful Eight,” “Our Souls at Night,” “The Peanut Butter Falcon,” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

In 2013, Dern earned his second Academy Award nomination for his heralded role in Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska.” That role also garnered him the Best Actor Award from the Cannes Film Festival and the National Board of Review.  He was also nominated for a BAFTA, Golden Globe, Independent Spirit Award, Broadcast Film Critics Association Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award. Dern was also nominated for an Emmy in 2011 for his portrayal of polygamist patriarch Frank Harlow in HBO’s hit drama “Big Love.”

In 2010, Dern received the prestigious Hollywood Walk of Fame star along with his ex-wife Diane Ladd & daughter Laura Dern, the only family in history to receive their Stars in one ceremony.


About Piper Laurie

Piper Laurie was born Rosetta Jacobs in Detroit, Michigan, to parents of Russian and Polish ancestry. Piper had been studying acting with Benno and Betomi Schnider for three years when she auditioned for Universal Studios, who signed her to a long-term contract. They made more than 20 films starring the teenage girl opposite such actors as Tony Curtis, Rock Hudson, and Tyrone Power. Disgusted with the lack of serious roles, Laurie finally broke her lucrative Hollywood contract, moved to New York, lived on a budget, worked on live television and in theater, and within two years changed her life and her career.

Piper Laurie is a three-time Oscar nominee. She was nominated by BAFTA, as well as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, for Best Foreign Actress and Best Actress in a Leading Role, respectively, for her performance in The Hustler (1961) with Paul Newman. She stopped working for 15 years after The Hustler to devote her energies to the Civil Rights movement and to the Vietnam War, feeling acting was less important. When she accepted work again, she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in the original Carrie (1976) with Sissy Spacek and again as Best Supporting Actress in Children of a Lesser God (1986) with Marlee Matlin. Laurie won the Golden Globe for her role in the David Lynch cult favorite Twin Peaks and was nominated for an Emmy for both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress in Twin Peaks. She has been nominated 12 times for an Emmy, including one for the original and celebrated live broadcast of The Days of Wine and Roses with Cliff Robertson and directed by John Frankenheimer, as well as for her comedic performance in Frasier. She won the Emmy for Promise opposite James Woods and James Garner. She was Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Woman of the Year, and she also received an SFECA award for her performance as Dolly in the film The Grass Harp (1995).

In 2010, she played an ancient grandma who learns to smoke a bong in the feature film Hesher, with Joseph Gordon Levitt and Natalie Portman. Most recently she has appeared as Grandma Verna Wershe in White Boy Rick (2018), starring Matthew McConaughey, and as Rose Muller in Snapshots (2018) directed by Melanie Mayron.

In 2013, she made her musical stage debut in A Little Night Music as the glamorous Madame Armfeldt.

Ms. Laurie performed on Broadway in the Tony-nominated Lincoln Center production of Mornings at Seven directed by Dan Sullivan at the Lyceum Theatre. She also appeared on Broadway in the 20th Anniversary production of The Glass Menagerie at the Brooks Atkinson, in which she played Laura, with Maureen Stapleton as Amanda.

Off-Broadway, she has appeared in Molly Kazan’s Rosemary and the Alligators and Larry Kramer’s The Destiny of Me. She toured in a one-person play about Zelda Fitzgerald, written by Bill Luce. In 2010, she directed Jim Brochu in his one-man show Zero Hour, for which he received the Drama Desk Award for best solo performance on or off-Broadway, playing Zero Mostel.

Piper Laurie is divorced from Wall Street Journal’s movie critic, Pulitzer Prize-winner Joe Morgenstern. Their daughter lives in Oregon. Laurie’s autobiography Learning to Live Out Loud was published by Crown in 2011 to rave reviews and is now available as an audiobook on


About Floyd Norman

Disney Legend Floyd Norman is an American animator, storyman, and beloved “troublemaker” whose 65+ year career represents creative perseverance.  Born in Santa Barbara in 1935, Norman began his career in high school as an assistant to Bill Woggon on Archie Comic’s Katy Keene.  After honing his artistic skills at ArtCenter College of Design in Los Angeles, Norman was hired by the Walt Disney Company in 1956.  He would become the first African American artist to work at Disney long-term.

At 20 years old, he received daily masterclasses from Walt’s leading animators – the Nine Old Men.  After completing his work as an assistant inbetweener on Sleeping Beauty (1959), Norman was drafted into the military to serve in the Korean War.  After his tour of duty, Norman would return to Disney to work on 101 Dalmatians (1961), The Sword in the Stone (1963), and Mary Poppins (1964).  Simultaneously, Norman was placing pointed gag drawings around the Disney campus that satirized and poked fun at the company’s executives.  Walt Disney saw them and recognized Norman’s brilliance for visual storytelling.  Walt handpicked Norman to join The Jungle Book (1967) Story Department.  Norman would play a vital role in the design and creation of the “Trust in Me” sequence, among others.

In 1966, upon Walt Disney’s death, Norman would take a leap of faith and leave Disney to start Vignette Films, Inc., a first-of-its-kind production company creating stories about African American history-makers for U.S. schools.  Norman and Vignette Films also created animation for Sesame Street (1969,1970), Hey, Hey, Hey, It’s Fat Albert (1969), and the main titles for Soul Train (1971), among other one-of-a-kind projects.  Even with those successes, Vignette Films was viewed by the industry as a “Black company” which unfairly limited their client roster and led to their closing in the early 1970s, at which time Norman returned to Disney to work on Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) and Robin Hood (1973). Around the same time, Saturday morning cartoons were becoming a cultural phenomenon and Norman found the creative opportunity at Hanna-Barbera writing for classics like Scooby-DooJosie and the Pussy Cats, and Captain Caveman, among others.

In the 1980s, Norman would join Disney Publishing where he wrote and illustrated a number of Disney children’s books, as well as the daily Mickey Strip.  In the mid 1990s, Norman returned to Disney Animation to work in the Story Departments of The Hunchback Notre Dame (1996) and Mulan (1998).  But an invite to the Bay area in the late 1990s would become a career highlight.  Norman was now working with John Lasseter and Steve Jobs at Pixar on Toy Story 2 (1999) and Monsters Inc. (2001) as a storyboard artist.

In 2007, the Disney company recognized Norman’s contributions to the organization by honoring him as a Disney Legend.  In 2013, Norman added to his writing resume by writing his autobiography Animated Life:  A Lifetime of Tips, Tricks, Techniques and Stories from a Disney Legend.  In 2016, his storied career became the focal point of the feature documentary Floyd Norman:  An Animated Life which was broadcast across North America as part of the 2020 TCM Classic Film Festival and is currently streaming on The Criterion Channel.

Today, at 86, Norman continues to illustrate and consult, taking on diverse creative roles in and outside of Disney.  In 2020, he notably returned to Sesame Street to create a new animation for the 50th season.  In 2021, Floyd was sought out by NBA superstar Stephen Curry to create original storyboards depicting his 3-point record-breaker. Norman’s illustrations helped raise nearly $4 million for Curry’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation.  In 2022, Norman is being inducted into the Society of Illustrator’s Hall of Fame, among other honors.  He is currently creating a new book about the Disney legacy, among other creative projects.

Floyd Norman continues to do what he loves with the passion of a man in his 20s – proof that age is just a number.

(Press release courtesy of Taryn Jacobs, Warner Media)


Larry Gleeson poses in front of TCM Past at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. (Photo cr. HollywoodGlee)


Big news out of Hollywood with the announcement of the 94th Oscar nominations

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Big news out of Hollywood with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announcement of the 94th Oscar nominations this morning. Jane Campion’s, Power of The Dog, garnered 12 Oscar nominations, the most of any film this year, with the Denis Villeneuve directed Dune receiving ten nominations while Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast and Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story each received seven.

Here is the list of nominees for Oscars this year:

Best Picture: “Belfast”; “CODA”; “Don’t Look Up”; “Drive My Car”; “Dune”; “King Richard”; “Licorice Pizza”; “Nightmare Alley”; “The Power of the Dog”; “West Side Story.”

Best Director: Paul Thomas Anderson, “Licorice Pizza”; Kenneth Branagh, “Belfast”; Jane Campion, “The Power of the Dog”; Steven Spielberg, “West Side Story”; Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, “Drive My Car.”

Best Actress: Jessica Chastain, “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”; Olivia Colman, “The Lost Daughter”; Penélope Cruz, “Parallel Mothers”; Nicole Kidman, “Being the Ricardos”; Kristen Stewart, “Spencer.”

Best Actor: Will Smith, “King Richard”; Denzel Washington, “The Tragedy of Macbeth”; Javier Bardem, “Being the Ricardos”; Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Power of the Dog”; Andrew Garfield, “Tick, Tick … Boom!”

Best Supporting Actress: Jessie Buckley, “The Lost Daughter”; Ariana DeBose, “West Side Story”; Kirsten Dunst, “The Power of the Dog”; Aunjanue Ellis, “King Richard”; Judi Dench, “Belfast.”

Best Supporting Actor: Ciarán Hinds, “Belfast”; Troy Kotsur, “CODA”; Kodi Smit-McPhee, “The Power of the Dog”; Jesse Plemons, “The Power of the Dog”; J.K. Simmons, “Being the Ricardos.”

Cinematography: “Dune”; “Nightmare Alley”; “The Power of the Dog”; “The Tragedy of Macbeth”; “West Side Story.”

Editing: “Don’t Look Up”; “Dune”; “King Richard”; “tick, tick … BOOM!”; “The Power of the Dog.”

Original Screenplay: “Licorice Pizza”; “Belfast”; “Don’t Look Up”; “King Richard”; “The Worst Person in the World.”

Adapted Screenplay: “The Power of the Dog”; “The Lost Daughter”; “CODA”; “Dune”; “Drive My Car.”

Costume Design: “Cruella”; “Cyrano”; “Dune”; “Nightmare Alley”; “West Side Story.”

Makeup and Hairstyling: “Coming 2 America”; “Cruella”; “Dune”; “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”; “House of Gucci.”

Best International Film: “Drive My Car,” Japan; “Flee,” Denmark; “The Hand of God,” Italy; “The Worst Person in the World,” Norway; “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom,” Bhutan.

Best Documentary: “Summer of Soul (Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)”; “Flee”; “Attica”; “Ascension”; “Writing With Fire.”

Production Design: “Dune”; “Nightmare Alley”; “The Power of the Dog”; “The Tragedy of Macbeth”; “West Side Story.”

Best Original Song: “Be Alive” from “King Richard,” music and lyric by DIXSON and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter; “Dos Oruguitas” from “Encanto,” music and lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda; “Down to Joy” from “Belfast,” music and lyric by Van Morrison; “No Time to Die” from “No Time to Die,” music and lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell ; “Somehow You Do” from “Four Good Days,” music and lyrics by Diane Warren.

Original Musical Score: “Don’t Look Up”; “Dune”; “Encanto”; “Parallel Mothers”; “The Power of the Dog.”

Best Sound Design: “Belfast”; “Dune”; “No Time to Die”; “The Power of the Dog”; “West Side Story.”

Best Visual Effects: “Dune”; “Free Guy”; “No Time to Die”; “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”; “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”

Best Animated Feature: “Encanto”; “Flee”; “Luca”; “The Mitchells vs. the Machines”; “Raya and the Last Dragon.”

Best Animated Short Film: “Affairs of the Art”; “Bestia”; “Boxballet”; “Robin Robin”; “The Windshield Wiper.”

Best Live Action Short: “Ala Kachuu – Take and Run”; “The Dress”; “The Long Goodbye”; “On My Mind”; “Please Hold.”

Best Short Documentary: “Audible”; “Lead Me Home”; “The Queen of Basketball”; “Three Songs for Benazir”; “When We Were Bullies.”

Stay tuned for more as the winners will be announced on March 27th!

 (Sourced from AP News)


FILM REVIEW: Jane Campion’s The Power Of The Dog

Posted by Larry Gleeson



Jane Campion’s latest work, The Power of the Dog, screened as part of a Red Carpet Premiere at the historic Chinese Theatre in Hollywood California, during the American Film Institute’s  AFI FEST 2021, on Thursday, November 11th. Campion is a New Zealand screenwriter, producer, and director. She is the second of seven women ever nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director and the first female filmmaker to receive the Palme d’Or; both of these achievements came for The Piano (1993).



The Power of the Dog,  written and directed by Campion, is set in 1925 Montana and circles around two well-off brothers who own an influential ranching operation. The Burbank brothers, played by Jesse Plemons and Benedict Cumberbatch, come across as polar opposites. Phil Burbank, played by Cumberbatch, is an infamous Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Yale University who prefers the daily grind of working the ranch with the hired hands. Cumberbatch brings a deep dark presence to the character in what might be his best performance to date. Plemmons plays Gordon Burbank,  the slower, mild-mannered younger brother, embodying a ranch gentleman with grace and style. Kirsten Dunst portrays Rose Gordon, a compelling love interest as a saloon-style restaurant owner who serves dinners to the locals with her son, Peter, portrayed by Kodi Smith-McPhee in a breakout performance.

While The Power of the Dog is set in Montana, the actual film location is New Zealand – adding a surreal quality. And, Campion’s writing matches it full force. The twists and turns in the dramatic, psychological, roller-coaster ride narrative combined with Cumberbatch’s powerful, dark character portrayal set the audience on the edge of their seats and their eyes fixed on the big screen. Undoubtedly, Campion is in the mix for her second Oscar for screenwriting and appears to be in the mix for a directorial nod as well.


Q & A, on November 11th, 2021, following the screening of The Power of the Dog, inside Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre. (Photo by Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)


Following the screening, a fun-filled Q & A unfolded as the film’s actors, editor, cinematographer, and director sparred, cajoled, and informed under the watchful eye of moderator Hahn as she effectively marshaled the energies of The Power of the Dog conversation. The Power of the Dog, set for a December 1st, 2021, release date,  is a magnificent and majestic work tantalizing and titillating – a bonafide Oscar contender for now – in multiple categories! Highly recommended. One of the year’s best films!


Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil Gordon in Jane Campion’s The Power of the Dog, set for a December 1st, 2021 release. (Photo Cr. KIRSTY GRIFFIN/NETFLIX © 2021 Cross City Films Limited/Courtesy of Netflix)

Until next time, I’ll see you at the movies!


Posted by Larry Gleeson

Sean Baker ( Tangerine, The Florida Project, Starlet) and A24’s Red Rocket, a dramedy, featuring Simon Rex, a standout media personality, Suzanna Son, and Bree Elrod, tells the tale of Mikey Saber, a washed up, 20 year veteran performer in the adult film industry who returns home for more of the same, screened last night at the 2021 AFI FEST.

Simon Rex as Mikey Saber in Sean Baker’s Red Rocket (Photo from

Red Rocket, follows Mikey Saber (played by a compelling Simon Rex), as he futilely careens in and out of harrowing situations in dark places never fully grasping the ramifications of his actions and choices. Bree Elrod as Lexi, and Suzanna Son as Strawberry, deliver riveting performances with exquisite line execution. Rex turns in a tour de force performance as Mikey Saber.

Red Rocket is Sean Baker at his best in this low, low-budget filmmaking. Providing a snapshot of Mikey and the socially marginalized characters that are in his orbit, Baker elevates Red Rocket with snappy dialogue, carefully executed camera work, and the trust he places in the audience. Captivating work from start to finish.

Interestingly,  the Q & A immediately following the screening led by AFI Programming Director Sarah Harris got a little saucy. Baker and Rex took exception when an audience member, who coincidentally works in the adult film industry and performs in Ninja Thyberg’s Pleasure, also screening at AFI FEST 2021, stated his displeasure hearing the audience guffawing loudly at a term thrown out by Lexi at Red Rocket’s end.

(Left to right) Sarah Harris, AFI Programming Director, Director Sean Baker, Actor Simon Rex, Actor Bree Elrod, and Actor Suzanna Son participate in a Q&A, on November 12, 2021, following the AFI FEST screening of RED ROCKET, at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGLee)

Baker shared the film had five consultants work over the script and scene work to make Red Rocket’s depiction of a former porn star as realistic as possible. Rex chimed in stating few people in the audience would recognize the industry term.

Red Rocket is Sean Baker’s strongest work to date. Not for the faint of heart. Earthy with frontal nudity. Coming to theatres December 10th. Very warmly recommended!


Posted by Larry Gleeson

King Richard, the Will Smith-led, Warner Bros. biopic, served as the 2021 AFI FEST Closing Night Film at the historic Hollywood Chinese Theatre with a Red Carpet Premiere.

King Richard tells the story of Richard Williams, the father of women’s tennis superstar sisters, Venus and Serena Williams. With a run time of 144 minutes, King Richard seemed to reach its conclusion too quickly – a tribute to how mesmerizing the film is. Numerous times the audience erupted with applause and approval as the Williams family overcame obstacle after obstacle. Will Smith portrayed Richard Williams with fortitude and tenderness – qualities not always evident from Richard Williams’ public persona. Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton portray Venus and Serena in very compelling performances. Aunjanue Ellis portrays Oracene ‘Brandy’ Williams. Ellis and Smith play off each other remarkably well. The pair were recently announced as the recipients of the 2022 Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s (SBIFF) Outstanding Performers of the Year. Kudos to Casting Directors Rich Delia and Avy Kaufman!

In life, Richard Williams often came across in the media as brash, touting with a braggadociousness how his daughters were coming to dominate women’s tennis, the likes of which had never been seen before, would never be seen again, and there wasn’t anything anyone could do about it. What he didn’t tell the public, and what King Richard tells so well, is he also wanted his daughters to have a real childhood, meaningful adolescence, and to be prepared to lead successful lives. Throughout King Richard, Richard Williams came across as a devoted husband, loving father, and dedicated coach delving into some of his formative life experiences growing up in a racist environment. Rearing his family in Compton, California, also had its challenges for Williams. But, Richard Williams had a plan – he wanted a better life for his family.

Technically speaking the film is very solid. The film’s cinematography is excellent. AFI Conservatory Alumnus, Robert Elswit utilizes some natural lighting with traditional lenses and frames for establishing shots juxtaposed with fast zoom lenses to capture the action with tight framing combined with extreme closeups of the Williams sisters, generating some major pace with their groundstrokes and capturing winning overhead smashes. Editor Pamela Martin made the shots and their complementary counterparts (returns) appear seamless with the continuity editing and helped create some riveting moments with the shots provided. In addition, non-diegetic sounds kept the film’s pace and helped match the film’s tone and the actors’ emotionality. Kris Bowers is credited with the music. Costuming, make-up, and production design are all complementary to the characters and the period covered in the film.

And, last but not least, Director Reinaldo Marcus Green, helming only his second feature film, steered King Richard to a beautiful conclusion culminating in Venus’s first professional matches and first tennis matches of any kind in three years. The excitement she (and Serena later) brought to the game of tennis encouraged an entire generation of young African-American girls that anything is possible if they are willing to put in the work. Credit to Zach Baylin for writing sharp dialogue and creating an engaging narrative.

King Richard is chock full of inspiration and hope. Ahhh…the power of film and the magic of AFI FEST – Hollywood. Talk about speaking truth to power in layers. Look for King Richard in theatres and on HBO Max Friday. Highly recommended!

Unti next time, I’ll see you at the movies!

Last chance to experience AFI FEST 2021!

Posted by Larry Gleeson

All good things must come to end – but not before one last day of amazing films! Tickets to today’s in-person and virtual screenings still available. VIEW SCHEDULE & BUY TICKETS

The ever-optimistic Buster Moon and his all-star cast of performers prepare to launch their most dazzling stage show yet…all in the glamorous entertainment capital of the world, Redshore City. There’s just one hitch: they first have to persuade the world’s most reclusive rock star – played by global music icon Bono – to join them. Screening at the TCL Chinese Theatre today at 2:00 p.m. BUY TICKETS

Following the screening, join us for an in-depth conversation with director Clint Bentley, Clifton Collins Jr.,  Molly Parker and more moderated by Variety’s Clayton Davis. Screening today at 2:00 p.m. BUY TICKETS

This whip-smart feature debut from Araceli Lemos is a potent and visceral tale of race, class and tradition filtered through body and social horror. Screening today at 7:30 p.m.BUY TICKETS

After escaping a labor camp during the Cultural Revolution in China, the film’s nameless hero has one goal – to watch a newsreel screening in which his daughter was briefly captured on film. On this journey, he meets a young orphan who has her own schemes for a newsreel, as well as a small village’s much-loved film projectionist named Mr. Movie. Screening in person today at 5:00 p.m.BUY TICKETS

Winner of the Best Documentary Award at Cannes, Payal Kapadia’s hypnotic feature directorial debut examines rediscovered, once lost film reels and a diary written by a student (“L”) to her absent lover at the Film & Television Institute of India. Screening in person today at 3:30 p.m.BUY TICKETSVIEW MORE FILMS

Whether you enjoy this year’s AFI FEST films in the theater or at home, make sure you vote after the screenings for the Audience Award!

(From AFI News)

Halle Berry BRUISED on the Red Carpet at #AFIFEST 2021

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Academy Award winner Halle Berry made her directorial with BRUISED, a triumphant story of a fighter who reclaims her power, in and out of the ring, when everyone has counted her out.

Berry, cast, and team walked the Red Carpet at the historic Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California!

Put up your dukes! Congratulations Halle!!!


Valentina Shevchenko – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of BRUISED – TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 13, 2021.
Bob Gazzale, Halle Berry and Ted Sarandos – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of BRUISED – TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 13, 2021
Brad Feinstein – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of BRUISED – TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 13, 2021
Ambre – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of BRUISED – TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 13, 2021
Stephan James – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of BRUISED – TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 13, 2021
Halle Berry and Van Hunt – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of BRUISED – TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 13, 2021
Danny Boyd, Jr. – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of BRUISED – TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 13, 2021
Terri Seymour – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of BRUISED – TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 13, 2021
Erica Banks – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of BRUISED – TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 13, 2021
Halle Berry – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of BRUISED – TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 13, 2021
Shamier Anderson – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of BRUISED – TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 13, 2021
Halle Berry – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of BRUISED – TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 13, 2021
Halle Berry – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of BRUISED – TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 13, 2021
Michelle Rosenfarb – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of BRUISED – TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 13, 2021

A night that can’t be duplicated! @AFIFEST 2021

Posted by Larry Gleeson

SWAN SONG, stars Mahershala Ali, Awkwafina, Lee Shorten, Nyasha Hatendi, Dax Rey, writer/director Benjamin Cleary and more took to the red carpet at AFI FEST to celebrate the film’s world’s premiere. Check it out!

Set in the near future, SWAN SONG is told through the eyes of Cameron (two-time Academy Award® winner Mahershala Ali), a loving husband and father diagnosed with a terminal illness who is presented with an alternative solution by his doctor (eight-time Academy Award® nominee Glenn Close) to shield his family from grief. As Cam grapples with whether or not to alter his family’s fate, he learns more about life and love than he ever imagined. Written and directed by Oscar® winner Benjamin Cleary, this searing drama also stars Naomie Harris, Awkwafina and Adam Beach.

Benjamin Cleary, Mahershala Ali, Dax Rey, Awkwafina, Lee Shorten and Nyasha Hatendi – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of SWAN SONG at the TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 12, 2021 – Photo Credit: John Salangsang

Awkwafina – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of SWAN SONG at the TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 12, 2021 – Photo Credit: John Salangsang

Mahershala Ali – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of SWAN SONG at the TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 12, 2021 – Photo Credit: John Salangsang

Mahershala Ali and Sarah Harris – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of SWAN SONG at the TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 12, 2021 – Photo Credit: John Salangsang

Awkwafina – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of SWAN SONG at the TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 12, 2021 – Photo Credit: John Salangsang

Benjamin Cleary and guest – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of SWAN SONG at the TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 12, 2021 – Photo Credit: John Salangsang

Dax Rey and family – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of SWAN SONG at the TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 12, 2021 – Photo Credit: John Salangsang

Lee Shorten – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of SWAN SONG at the TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 12, 2021 – Photo Credit: John Salangsang

Mahershala Ali – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of SWAN SONG at the TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 12, 2021 – Photo Credit: John Salangsang

Mahershala Ali and Amatus Sami-Karim – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of SWAN SONG at the TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 12, 2021

Mahershala Ali and Dax Rey – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of SWAN SONG at the TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 12, 2021 – Photo Credit: John Salangsang

Lee Shorten – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of SWAN SONG at the TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 12, 2021 – Photo Credit: John Salangsang

Stay tuned for Halle Berry’s World Premiere BRUISED on the red carpet at the historic Chinese Theatre  in Hollywood, California!

Halle Berry – AFI FEST 2021 World Premiere of BRUISED – TCL Chinese Theatre, Los Angeles, CA, Nov. 13, 2021



UPDATE: Saturday Afternoon Premiere at AFI FEST 2021 – Almodovar’s PARALLEL MOTHERS

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Today at 2:00 P.M, Pedro Almodavar’s PARALLEL MOTHERS, starring Penelope Cruz, is making an afternoon Red Carpet Premiere at the historic Chinese Theatre, in Hollywood, Calif. Visit for more information including ticketing.

Pedro Almodovar’s PARALLEL MOTHERS, starring Penelope Cruz, is slated for an AFI FEST Red Carpet Premiere, today, November 13th, 2021, 2:00 P.M., at the historic Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. (Photo from

UPDATE: There will be a post-screening conversation with Pedro Almodóvar(Director) moderated by film critic Alonso Duralde.

PARALLEL MOTHERS, follows two women Janis and Ana – both single mothers – from the moment they give birth to two daughters. Janis is thrilled by her accidental pregnancy, seeing it as perhaps her last chance at motherhood, while the adolescent Ana is scared and traumatized by the ordeal.

According to AFI Movie Club, Almodovar has been percolating the idea since 1999, when he first pitched it to Penelope Cruz while she was working on Almodvar’s ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER. This is the eighth collaboration between the Spanish duo. In addition, PARALLEL MOTHERS marks the 13th collaboration between Sony Pictures Classics and the production company El Deseo, which Almodovar operates with his brother Augustin Almodovar.