a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘Provincetown Film Festival’

Mac’s Seafood restaurant P-town Will Make You Hunnngry!

Mac Hay 1 One of the best seafood restaurants in Provincetown, Massachusetts is owned and operated by seafood chef & oyster entreprenuer extraordinaire Mac Hay. At his Raw Bar, Mac demonstrates how to shuck a Welfleet. oyster and also a Littleneck Clam. He also takes us backstage to his kitchen were he demonstrates how to make sauteed mussels. Yum! He also has two other seafood restaurants in Welfleet and Provincetown.

This video is guaranteed to make you HUNNNNGRY!

http://www.macsseafood.com

Camera ~ Phil Sokoloff

Editing ~ Kevin Teller

Indie Spirit Film Award Winners!

Mya Taylor 1The Independent Spirit Awards held yesterday in Santa Monica really broke ground, as well they should, and gave three of its’ four acting awards to Black actors, including pictured above^ transgender actress Mya Taylor for the shot on an iPhone “Tangerine.”

I just saw a very interesting snippet of a segment on the George Stephanopolus Sunday morning show, this week. The speaker said(I missed his name)  “If the Academy had a write-in campaign, Idris Elba would win Best Supporting Actor.” As he just did again last night at the Indie Spirits, as did the adorable child actor Abraham Attah, who won Best Actor for “Beasts of No Nation.”

Attah was a street beggar when he was found in Africa by director Gary Fukanaga. So yes, Elba, Attah and Taylor all won last night in what was surely a protest against #Oscarssowhite that has been blasting the Academy this year.

But back to ABC News, the commentator continued when prompted by Stephanopolus, “Do you think there will be any surprises this year?” and the reporter commented, “There might be something in Supporting Actor.” As I have been predicting. IOW NOT Sylvester Stallone!

If you check back one blog posting here, I predicted this just yesterday!

The ABC News guy didn’t even MENTION Best Actress which last night went to Brie Larson at the Indies. She’s won everything else.

And finally “Carol” won something! The great cinematographer Ed Lachman, who has great difficulty walking, even using a cane, won Best Cinematography was his beautiful work on “Carol.” Using only 16 mm. film, to give it that gauzy 1950’s feel.

And here’s Ed Lachman on my show two years ago at the Provinctown Film Festival

Stay tuned to this blog, because I’ll be live-blogging the Oscars tonight! It’s almost like being there!

Bobcat Goldthwait & Barry Crimmins “Call Me Lucky” Filmmaker on the Edge Award

Bobcat 1Very grateful indeed for this great interview with Provincetown Film Festival’s Filmmaker on the Edge Bobcat Goldthwait. He was being honored for his powerful doc “Call Me Lucky.” And the subject of the doc, which starts off seeming to be about the Stand-Up Comedy scene in Boston turns a sharp corner as it reveals that Crimmins was the victim of child abuse. Crimmins doesn’t hold back on his outspoken views on the Catholic Church, and Goldthwait speaks movingly of the death of his close friend Robin Williams.

He claims that it was a disease known as Louie Body, a cancer syndrome that literally causes the brain to eat itself, that led to his friend’s tragic passing.

Thank you, Bobcat and Barry, for being so forthcoming and for making this incredible documentary, which I saw TWICE in Provincetown.  Goldthwait reveals also that Robin Williams gave him the money to start making”Call Me Lucky” which is coming out later this summer nationwide. The film is dedicated also to Williams. Don’t miss it!

 

Introduction to the Provincetown Film Festival 2015!

A little teaser/trailer as it were, filmed in NYC BEFORE I left for the Provincetown Film Festival last month. A couple of points, it CONTINUED to be cold and rainy, and the weather was REALLY bad on the day of my departure, as you’ll see.

And because of circumstances beyond my control, I didn’t fly Cape Air. In fact, the weather was so bad that day, they weren’t flying at all out of Boston to Provincetown, so I switched to my trusty, loyal sponsor of many years the Provincetown Bay State Cruises Fast Ferry.

So I traveled to Provincetown, yes, by SEA, in a storm! The likes of which I’ll never forget! Stay tuned!

Provincetown Film Fest Wrap-Up 2015

Lili GradmaLily Tomlin’s Grand “Grandma” Creates Oscar Buzz at Provincetown FIlm Festival 2015 

Lily Tomlin’s totally grand “Grandma” wowed the crowd and was the hottest ticket at the just wrapped Provincetown International Film Festival 2015. With lines around the block and dozens of frustrated festival-goers turned away, there was no doubt that “Grandma” had audience clout. And there was plenty of heated discussions about Tomlin’s Oscar chances as far as being nominated for her bravura turn that could finally land her in the Best Actress race, at age 75, garnering her first Best Actress nomination as Elle, the Septuagenarian Lesbian Poet From Hell. And the general conclusion was “Yes. She will be in it to win it.”
 
Which is exactly the sentiments Elle herself would express, if asked. Elle is Tomlin’s great late-in-life come-back role and she tears into it with fierce gusto, as well as sad-eyed pain. Her teenaged, blonde-afro-ed grand-daughter Sage(Julia Garner), turns up pregnant and needing money for an immediate abortion. Grandma is broke and has cut up all her credit-cards and turned them into a mobile. 
 
How Elle solves Sage’s age-old problem is the hilarious/heart-felt crux of the film, and Marcia Gay Harden, already an Oscar winner for “Pollack”, turns in an awards-baity performance as Elle’s disliked daughter and Sage’s equally disliked Mom. Tomlin was nominated once before for an Oscar in 1975’s “Nashville”, but she has never won. And that was 40 years ago!
 
The Provincetown weather this year was not the usual tourist-friendly warmth and sunshine by the sea. It was cold and it rained. Which meant everyone went to the movies. And the movies were better than ever!
 
Also a stand-out was former stand-up comedian-turned-director Bobcat Goldthwait’s “Call Me Lucky”, purporting to be about fellow stand-up Bostonian Barry Crimmins, it turns into a scathing indictment of the Catholic Church and its’ continuous cover-up of child abuse. In an abrupt, but deftly-handled 360 degree turn in the film, Crimmins reveals that he himself was an abused child. And the film keeps hauntingly returning to the subject “The Basement,” where the abuse happened, and then finally taking the film and Crimmins to the basement itself. Harrowing,”Call Me Lucky” is not to be missed. I saw it twice and feel it is one of the Year’s Ten Best. It goes into wide-release in 25 cities in August.
 
Another doc, (PIFF was really landing one great documentary after the other) that thrilled me and made me very, very proud was the stirring “The State of Marriage” which dealt with the hard-fought battle for Marriage Equality in the State of Vermont. 
 
In excruciating and amazingly detailed on-the-spot footage, this inspiring doc tells the untold story of how three women lawyers changed the world. Bostonian activist Mary Bonauto joined with small town Vermont lawyers Beth Robinson and Susan Murray in a two decade long, epic struggle and built the foundation of the laws and rights that has made so many gay couples happy today.
 
“The State of Marriage” is a thrilling call to arms that enlightened me and frightened me when I saw in vivid detail what these brave women had to go through for the happiness of us all. And that it was all so intimately, thoroughly and dramatically recorded by documentarian Jeff Kaufman is a miracle about a miracle. A dream that I thought would never come true in my life-time, but the brilliant ” The State of Marriage” confirms and records that it IS so, and moves us all as it does.
 
And watch out for the delightful “Mistress America” starring the irresistible and original comedian Greta Gerwig, who also co-authored this screwiest of screwball comedies with director Noah Baumbach, who may have the biggest hit he’s had since “The Squid and the Whale.”
 
“I live in Times Square!” proclaims the giddy Gerwig, and the response is “Who lives in Times Square?” Well, full disclosure, I, for one, do. And the glorious Gerwig had me at “Hello.” The beauteous Heather Lind also scores as Gerwig’s rich arch-enemy who has stolen not only her ideas and her boyfriend, but also her cats! Mayhem ensues.
 
Also, the much talked about, very original doc “The Wolfpack” was there at Provincetown, too, even though it is already out in general release. There’s a lot of Oscar talk about his incredible film, already seen on “60 Minutes”, “The Wolfpack” is so powerful and so positive about the good things film can bring even to the lives of the enclosed, some would say imprisoned Angulo brothers.
 
Living in absolute squalor on the 14th floor of a high-rise in the worst housing projects in New York City, the six brothers escape into a world of film, a world we all know. Quentin Tarantino movies, “The Dark Knight” etc. Could “The Wolfpack” make it all the way to the Oscars in the Best Doc category?
 
I think it’s pretty much known that this film has a happy ending and that first time filmmaker Crystal Moselle has had a kind of “Grey Gardens” story on her hands. So it’s all good. As were nearly all of the amazing docs and off-beat Indies at this year’s super-sharp Provincetown Film Festival. Sure it was raining. It was raining good films.

 

Provincetown On the Horizon!

Well, not only am I getting ready for a Very Important Reading of my new play “A Hyacinth Coat and a Chartreuse Hat” which occurs Monday night, this Monday June 1 at 7pm. At the Actor’s Temple at 339 W.47th Street, New York, New York, I am also getting ready to go the the Provincetown Film Festival in June.

And doing both these Big Things AT THE SAME TIME is no mean feat, I can tell you. But here’s a little taste of Provincetown from last year, a wild pedicab ride through P-town’s streets and wharves and seashore, by an enterprising young pedicab driver, Ryan Oberhelman, who was from Wyoming. This was his summer job! And what a way to spend your summer, eh?

Camera-Jack Siberine

Editing- Kevin Teller

For Those of You Who’ve Never Seen A Complete Episode…

For those of you who’ve never been able to see a complete episode of “The Stephen Holt Show”, only You Tube segments, here’s a complete, unabridged version of what is aired on TV. Enjoy!

Camera ~ Jack Siberine

Editing ~ Kevin Teller

Theme Music, the Overture from “Kareer Suicide” by Donald Arrington

In NY It Feels Like Snow, but Here Is P-town in the Moonlight

The wind is howling like a banshee trapped amidst the skyscrapers, and it’s so cold out, it feels like Snow any minute, though it’s Spring!

Spring is late this year. So here’s a little Provincetown in the Moonlight Memory, a Summer Serenade. If only it would come!

Provincetown Film Festival Wrap Up

Patricia Clarkson 1

Honoree Patricia Clarkson Exclaims “I’ve Never Been Kissed By So Many Guys!” as Provincetown Film Festival 2014 Wraps Up

Every year one of the unique things the Provincetown International Film Festival does is honor two or three film notables with career achievement awards. This year they were Patricia Clarkson for Excellence in Acting, Debra Winger for the Faith Hubley Career Achievement Award and David Cronenberg for Filmmaker On the Edge.
When I asked her how she liked Provincetown, Clarkson exclaimed “I’ve never been kissed by so many guys!” She told me “No matter how many times you are honored  like this, it’s STILL an honor. I’m thrilled!”
She gave a moving speech to the packed audience at Town Hall,which included her doing an impromptu imitation of Woody Allen directing. Which was hilarious. Allen directed her in two films “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and “Whatever Works” in which Clarkson shined playing an alcoholic Southern belle, a large role that Allen had clearly written for her. Two of her other films, career highlights both,were shown including “High Art” and “Pieces of April.” The festival opened with her latest film “Last Weekend” in which she gave a moving performance of a mother trying to hold her crumbling family together.
 David Cronenberg was clearly the King of PIFF this year,as in his “Conversation With…” director John Waters, he was able to show an extended clip from his much-anticipated new movie “Maps to the Stars” which was a controversial hit at Cannes. PIFF audiences thrilled to see Cannes Best Actress winner Julianne Moore in a long scene from “Maps” where she is literally freaking out over getting a film role once enacted by her mother as a young girl.
Her mother is appearing to her as a hallucinatory vision as a naked teenaged girl in a bath-tub, who is constantly mocking her. Cronenberg revealed that the film will be shown in its’ scandalous entirety at the Toronto Film Festival in Sept. If Julianne Moore’s performance is as powerful as this clip indicated, she is well on her way to an Oscar Nomination.
Cronenberg responded well to John Waters’ probing, incisive and funny questions. Waters opened with “We’re both obsessed with assholes.” Cronenberg agreed and revealed that he thought “Rehearsals” with the actors for film scenes “were unnecessary.” And when Waters pressed him as to how he has been able to make so many films over his long and varied career that spans decades, Cronenberg said simply “Canada” and credited his native country’s strong and historic government backing of filmmakers, emerging or established.
Debra Winger was evasive and a bit defensive with interviewer B. Ruby Rich. Her answers to questions weren’t satisfying or direct. Though her choice of being a mother to her three sons seemed to take precedence over all else, explaining why her filmography in recent years is so scant. Winger confounded many journos by not consenting to any on camera interviews, only print, though she still looked dazzling at 60.
John Waters, who is the unofficial Mayor of Provincetown, having lived there for over 4 decades, was having a career high of his own, with the success of his latest book “Car Sick” about hitch-hiking across the U.S. from Baltimore to San Francisco. He told me it was Number 8 on the NY Times Bestseller list. He was happier than I’ve ever seen him to be, claiming yet another metier as his own. And his book-signing had lines down the block.
I was thrilled to see the Beatles’ classic “A Hard Day’s Night” in a beautiful, newly re-mastered print with its’ monaural soundtrack and its’ scintillating black and white cinematography making it seem and sound like new. Pre-dating MTV & music videos, it captures the pure joy and craziness of Beatlemania. It was a great joy to see it again on the big screen.
Also in black and white(and color, too) was Nancy Gates’ definitive documentary “Regarding Susan Sontag”. A complete, revealing and intelligent chronicle of this important woman’s ground-breaking life. as an intellectual, writer, mother and lesbian. Sontag, a 20th century figure that I thought I knew, was a much more complex and challenging figure as “Regarding Susan Sontag” brought home.
On the Narrative feature side, I loved “One Chance” the fictional re-telling of tubby Wales cell-phone salesman Paul Potts’ life-transforming moment on “Britain’s Got Talent” when he sang Puccini “Nessum Dorma” and wowed Simon Callow and the judges, and became a house-word name and an opera star literally over-night.
Potts,was a life-long sad-sack with extremely bad luck, as the film details and “History Boys” James Corden enacts him brilliantly. Corden is the overweight British comedian who won the Tony for “One Man, Two Guv’nors” beating Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s “Death of a Salesman” two years ago on Broadway.
I also enjoyed “A Trip to Italy” British Comedian Steve Coogan’s follow-up to “The Trip.” It’s basically an improvised road-tour crossed with reality TV in which Coogan and fellow Brit Comic Rob Brydon, playing wry versions of themselves, riff, joke and eat their way from Piedmont in the north of Italy all the way down the Italian Riviera along the incredibly scenic Amalfi coast.
The mouth-watering Italian food they eat at the sumptuous restaurants and hotels they stop at are their splendiferous co-stars, and, as they say, hilarity ensues.
There were two French films I found disappointing in different measures Roman Polanski’s “Venus In Furs” and “Yves St. Laurent.”  A hit on Broadway “Venus” won a Best Actress Tony  and made a star out of actress Nina Arianda, and she is sorely missed in this French language(for no apparent reason)translation. It’s a two-character, one-set piece and as the uptight director Matthieu Amalric is sensational and Polanski mis-casts his real-life wife Emmanuelle Seigner who is clearly in her 40s as the twenty-something aspiring actress. Both “Yves” and “Venus” were far too slowly paced,tedious and annoying at turns.
Also disappointing was “Love Is Strange,” a Sundance hit. A gay film with a very strong premise and a lot to say about gay marriage, it had a very good start and a solid cast (John Lithgow and Albert Molina as the couple and Marisa Tomei as Lithgow’s put-upon caregiver), and its’ heart was clearly in the right place, but it all fell apart with a unsatisfying and confusing ending.
Probably the best film on every level was “I Origins” a sci-fi/romance, er, well, sort of, but thrillingly original and creative and absolutely surprising and confounding and profound, too, in all the right ways. Michael Pitt and Brit Marling give exemplary performances as a team of young scientists in NYC trying to unlock the genetic mysteries of the human eye. And Astrid Berges-Frisby, the monumental mermaid in “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” has the most unforgettable cinematic eyes ever. This will launch the Spanish/French beauty into the stratosphere. The direction by Mike Cahill, outstanding.
But Provincetown itself is its’ own greatest character. The village, at the far-most tip of Cape Cod, never fails to disappoint with its’ colorful , intoxicating atmosphere and a town-full of delightfully eccentric artists. Chelsea Handler said it was “gayer than San Francisco” and she should know.

Packing!

Packing, unpacking, re-packing, still packing, procrastinating packing. It’s still packing. And no, I’m STILL not finished. I hate packing. Why am I writing this!?! I should still be packing!

Is it going to be cold? Is it going to be hot? Is it going to be raining? Is it another hurricane? I should be PACKING!

Hurry hurry hurry and trying to be a complete and thorough as possible. AND YOU STILL FORGET THINGS!

Tickets, keys, passport, and on and on and on. No end in sight. But there IS an end! Tomorrow morning there’s just enough time to get up, get some breakfast, get cleaned up, and pack everything that you HAVE to leave til the last-minute, because you  have to use it in the morning!

And get to that train ON TIME! OR ELSE!

See you in Provincetown!

Cape Cod here I come!

Meanwhile, I’m still packing!

 

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