a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘Provincetown’

Saki! One of Provincetown’s Greatest Restaurants! With Hostess with the Mostest~ Janet Jorgelesco!

Sooo many delicious, mouth-watering dishes at Saki(formerly Saki Sushi) in Provincetown! Janet Jorgelsco out-does herself once again showing what seems like ever incredible, innovative,Sushi /Thai dish in the place!

Camera – Phil Sokoloff

Editing_ Kevin Teller

 

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

Video

And now,more! Scott Cakes 2013 at the Provincetown Film Festival, Pt.1!

Ooops! I do everything backwards! So now ~ here’s Part ONE of my visit with Scott Cunningham of Scott Cakes! YUM! I want another Scott Cake NOW!

Scott discusses his marriage this past fall at the Pilgrim Monument and the correct prediction of Anne Hathaway’s winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for “Les Miserables.’

Camera ~ Robert Iacovissi
Editing ~ Kevin Teller

Video

A Lovely Summer Memory! Scott Cakes 2013!

Stephen Holt pays his annual visit to Provincetown’s own Scott Cakes and talks with the owner Scott Cunningham.
And tries some pink cupcakes, too

Camera ~ Robert Iacovissi
Editing ~ Kevin Teller

Video

Scott Cakes! Now a Musical!

The Sweetest spot in Ptown has got to be Scott Cunningham’s DEEE-lliciious bakery, Scott Cakes ,where he is only serving Pink Cupcakes! Owner Scott Cunningham tells us all about a new musical based on this life, entitled what else? “Cupcake!”  I, ever the Oscar Messenger, throw in a few VERY early Oscar predictioins, mais oui! Enjoy!

Docs Rock Provincetown! The Provincetown Film Fest 2012

The Provincetown International Film Festival just wrapped its’ 14th season, boasting two new theaters and a very strong line-up of Docs.

 

Documentary Film Making was taken to a whole new level of social activism by filmmaker Kirby Dick and his powerful, unforgettable expose of female(and male) rape in the military called “The Invisible War.” It’s one of the best films of the year and is certainly going to be a very serious contender for an Oscar nomination in the always contentious Best Documentary category.
“The Invisible War” was named Best Doc when the Film Festival gave out its’ awards and Dick was there being honored as recipient of the Faith Hubley Career Achievement Award for his astounding body of work. His ground-breaking docs include “Twist of Faith”, “This Film Is Not Yet Rated”, “Sick” and many inflammatory others.”The Invisible War” also won the 2012 Audience Award at Sundance.
No stranger to controversy “The Invisible War’ is Kirby Dick’s  most shocking film yet, as it details the facts that lead to the horrifying conclusion that nearly every female that enters the armed forces may very well be the victim of a violent rape. The statistics that Dick presents are beyond frightening. At least one in four women in the military have reported being sexually assaulted by their fellow soldiers and officers. And this figure is considered way under-reported.
And the women have virtrually no redress, because it is to the very same men who raped them that they have to report the crime.Which continues to go unpunished as the men are left free to pursue successful military careers, while it it the women who are accused as the perpetrators and prosecuted for adultery. In 2012, these circumstances are unbelievable, but true, as Dick carefully lays out incident after frightening incident. The viewer is left outraged and numb, as are the female victims “The Invisible War” so bravely champions.
“The Invisible War” details the stories of four or five of the bravest of these victims of these horrific casualties and how Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, referred to in the film as PTSD, is something that these women, and men, too, have to live with for the rest of their lives, some enduring permanent physical as well as emotional and psychological damage.
If there was ever a doc poised to jump out of its’ category and into a Best Film race of Ten Films(if that happens again this year) “The Invisible War” is the film that could do it. It is a towering, staggering achievement in the history of cinema as social action.
On a lighter note, it was another doc that impressed me. It was “Me @the Zoo” about the trannie You Tube sensation Chris Crocker. Crocker, now 24, became famous overnight online as he wailed “LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!” into his video camera at home in his grandmother’s house in rural South, racking up over 270 million hits.
Ultra-sharp filmmakers Chris Moukarbel and Valerie Veatch have created an extremely compelling doc on this online phenom. It reminded me of “The Naked Civil Servant”, the ’70s British documentary that re-created flamboyant homosexual Quentin Crisp’s out gay life in the ’30,’40s, ’50s and ’60s in pre-Gay Lib London.
Crisp only had his flame-colored hair, painted lips and nails and outrageous female stance as his weapons against the hypocrisy of British society. Chris Crocker has the Internet and his camera. And You Tube! Another effeminate homosexual who was so bullied, his proud and protective grandmother as well as the authorities of his local schools feared for his safety daily, so they advised him not to go to high school.
A virtual prisoner in his grandmother’s home, Crocker turned his camera on himself and in a series of outrageous You Tube homages to his idol pop star Britney Spears. He found freedom, recognition and in the end, fame and also an income. by charting the Pop Icon’s every move up and down the ladder of paparazzi/tabloid infused superstardom.
In reality, a very soft-spoken, intelligent and sensitive young man, he posits through “Me @the Zoo” that all his work is really a performance. Performance Art, actually, using the Internet as a medium. In the end “Me @the Zoo” is a tremendous condemnation of bullying, which is the film’s true subject. And like with “The Invisible War” I was gripped,moved and outraged from beginning to end. Bravo! Brava! Leave Britney alone, but DON’T for one minute, leave Chris Crocker alone! Keep your eye on this young gay man. He’s more than just an Internet Flash-in-the-Pan. “Me @the Zoo” shows that he is here to stay.
And then there was the beautiful, sensitive, heartfelt documentary memoir of the late Gay Activist Vito Russo directed by Jeffrey Swartz. A friend, I found “Vito” absolutely devastating, as in the end of this engaging, moving tribute, Russo’s life is cut short by AIDS. The author of the “Celluloid Closet”, this gentle, brilliant writer, film critic, and revolutionary is tragic beyond words for he simply, like so many of his generation, and most of my gay friends, died too soon.
On a completely different note, Rory Kennedy’s biographical doc on her mother the still-with-us Ethel Kennedy, was also powerful, compelling and gripping and also continuously,surprisingly funny. The most private of public figures, “Ethel” breaks new ground by having Ethel Kennedy herself speak in her own voice about the amazing life she led as wife of the late Attorney General Robert Kennedy and the sister-in-law of the late President John F. Kennedy, both assassinated in the 1960s. Many and most of these topics have never been spoken of before by her, and certainly not in a public forum. Her youngest daughter Rory, who was born six months after Robert Kennedy was killed, is able to coax out of her famous mother. admissions, reminiscences and yes,  jokes, that most likely any other reporter or journalist would never have been able to get the publicity-shy Ethel to reveal.
How did she ever survive all these tragedies? Well, “Ethel” beautifully and warmly reveals that it was the strength she got from her Catholic faith and her love of her eleven(!!) children that helped her surmount almost every challenge life threw in her path.
There were also  some marvelous fiction feature films at the Provincetown International Film Festival 2012, too. “Two Days in New York” by Julie Delpy and “The Intouchables,” the most successful French film of all time, gave PIFF a charming, humorous Gallic flavor. “Gayby” the story of a determined duo of a straight girl and her gay BFF trying to have a baby together was delightful and very funny. “Take This Waltz” Sarah Polley’s directorial follow-up to “Away From Me” gives us another luminous performance from Michelle Williams as a conflicted Canadian housewife, torn between her stay-at-home husband Seth Rogen and her alluring lover Luke Kirby, Williams never disappoints. 
And good as they all were, it was the Docs this year that rocked my world. And Provincetown!

Video

And now for something MUCH cooler! Bay State Cruises to Ptown!

The Heat Wave continues unabated and I just stayed in all day, working, working, working on trying to get my Mega-Trek of the year together, the combo of Canadian Film Festivals, Montreal and Toronto, which occur one right after the other late-iin-August into mid-Sept. Always the highpoint of my year. And this will be the 14th year! Where does the time go!

This super-duper travel segment shows me actually getting on board Bay State Cruises Fast Ferry to Provincetown and I got to talk to and become friends with a very likable lawyer Robert Vitale, who I just met on the Ferry Dock in Boston in Part 2! And the ferry does depart and arrive in Provincetown where I am able to show the viewers the original marquee of the historic Provincetown Playhouse which is now in pieces on a beach behind the Whaler’s Wharf. The Provincetown Playhouse is where Eugene O’Neill started doing his plays and that in essence was the beginning of the American Theater.

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