Tag Archive | Meryl Streep

Don Gummer Sculptures on Broadway!

Don Gummer Mondrian
Don Gummer, Mondrian (All Photos By Gail)

His wife, Meryl Streep, may be one of the world’s most famous actresses, but American sculptor Don Gummer is taking his turn on Broadway right now, in the form of a major exhibition of his large-scale sculptures. Don Gummer on Broadway, the artist’s first outdoor public art exhibition in New York City, features nine aluminum and stainless steel sculptures placed along the Broadway malls, adjacent to subway stops, from Columbus Circle (8th Avenue at 59th Street) to 157th St.

Don Gummer Mondrian

Geoffrey and I were in Central Park last weekend and saw a couple of these fun sculptures, including the one above. Mondrian which is, of course, an homage to the famous painter, sits in the plaza at 64th Street and Broadway, across the street from Lincoln Center. It is made from painted aluminum and stained glass, and it’s absolutely gorgeous.

Don Gummer Mondrian

Mondrian is one of five examples of new work from Gummer’s Haiku series, created in 2014 and 2015, which were created especially for this exhibition. The four additional works included in the exhibition date from 2011 and 2012. The sculptures range in height from eight feet to fourteen feet.

“I first became interested in haiku poems because of the simplicity of their structure,” Gummer states in a press release. “Three lines stacked together containing 17 syllables. Five in the first line, seven in the middle, and five in the third line. I thought of substituting shapes for the syllables and instead of writing a poem with three sentences and 17 syllables, I made a sculpture with three vertical sections and 17 shapes, five in the bottom section, seven in the middle, and five in the top section. The three sections are separated by horizontal, linear flat rectangles, my version of lined paper.

Pretty cool.

Don Gummer 12-12-12
12-12-12

The remaining four sculptures have similar stacked elements, and  structurally relate to the others. This one, called 12-12-12, is on the north side of the Columbus Circle Plaza.

Don Gummer 12-12-12

Don Gummer on Broadway will be up through October 31st, 2015. See the diagram below for the exact location of each sculpture. A cell phone tour, in English and Spanish, which includes the artist’s commentary, is funded by Con Edison.

Don Gummer Sculptures Map

 

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Eight Favorite Acting Roles by Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Lester Bangs in Almost Famous (with Patrick Fugit)

By now, everyone with an Internet connection knows that American Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died early this morning, February 2nd, 2014 of an apparent Heroin Overdose in his NYC apartment. He was just 46 years old. I am currently inconsolable over this tragic news. Hoffman was certainly among my favorite actors and I don’t think I ever saw film he was in where he didn’t blow me away with his ability to transform into his character. He was comparable to a male version of Meryl Streep when it came to his versatility. What a huge loss.

Here are a few of my favorite film roles Hoffman played over the years.

Almost Famous: Hoffman played the late Rock Critic Lester Bangs, who mentors a young William Miller (a character played by Patrick Fugit, and based on director Cameron Crowe) as he takes on a feature assignment for Rolling Stone Magazine.

Boogie Nights: Hoffman was totally believable as Scotty J., a shy, socially awkward, gay film assistant who has a hopeless crush on Porn Star Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg).

Magnolia: In Paul Thomas Anderson’s ensemble drama, Hoffman had the role of Phil Parma, a private nurse who attempts to bring about a reconciliation between his terminally ill patient (played by Jason Robards) and that patient’s misogynistic son (Tom Cruise).

Red Dragon: Hoffman was so good at playing slimeball Reporter Freddy Lounds, you almost hated to see him get brutally tortured and killed. Almost.

Capote: Hoffman won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 2005 for his flawless portrayal of the flamboyant author, Truman Capote.

Synecdoche, New York: Hoffman plays ailing theater director Caden Cotard, who sets out to stage a theatrical production of his life story that takes on a life of its own. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like you are on LSD without actually taking any drugs, watch this movie.

Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead: Hoffman plays Andy Hanson, one of two brothers (his costar is Ethan Hawke) who plan to execute a “perfect crime” that goes horribly, tragically wrong. The final film directed by Sidney Lumet; highly recommended.

The Master: Playing the part of a charismatic cult leader not-so-loosely-based on L. Ron Hubbard of Scientology fame, Hoffman earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his role as Lancaster Dodd.

RIP and Godspeed.

Who Will Win an Oscar On March 2nd? Our Predictions Are In!

Best Picture Oscar Collage
Image Source

It’s no secret that I couldn’t care less about most awards shows – the Grammy’s being a prime example of a formerly held-sacred-by-me tradition that long ago became all about rewarding commercial success over acknowledging artistic merit. But being a huge movie fan, film awards like The Independent Spirit Awards, The Golden Globes and, coming up on March 2nd, The Oscars (whose list of nominees can be found at This Link) are the nights of ceremonial award giving that I shamelessly indulge in. Because to me, those awards are still more about the art than the box office returns.

Over the Christmas holidays, I had the chance to get caught up on a handful of the films that would become contenders for the major category awards of 2014 including American Hustle, The Wolf of Wall Street, Dallas Buyers Club, Her (which I didn’t care for) and indie favorites like Inside Llewyn Davis, which got a little Golden Globe love but was virtually ignored by the Academy, despite being excellent on every level.

Wolf of Wall Street Dollar
Image Source

If you’re passionate about film, it’s fun to predict who might win the Oscars in various categories – and for those inclined to wager a little cash on the outcomes, or who simply want water cooler bragging rights the day after, Sports Betting Dime has their odds posted right now (by the way, if fractional odds confound you, whichever film has the lowest number – less than a value of 1 being ideal – is the favorite to win). Two of the Best Picture NomineesGravity and 12 Years a Slave – I’ve yet to see. But there is still time! Here are a few of my personal favorites and some of my own predictions.

My favorite film of those nominated is American Hustle. The script and direction are excellent, the cast perfect, with top notch acting by all five major characters, and I also really love The Soundtrack. American Hustle won the Golden Globe for Best Comedy, while 12 Years a Slave took the Globe for Best Drama. Since with Oscars there is no categorical subdivision, I predict American Hustle will lose the Best Picture category to 12 Years a Slave.

When I saw Dallas Buyer’s Club, I couldn’t imagine that any other actor would deserve the Best Actor Oscar more than Matthew McConaughey, who won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama. Chiwetel Ejiofor is McConaughey‘s stiffest Oscar competition for his starring role in 12 Years a Slave. It could really go either way on this, but Sports Betting Dime slightly favors McConaughey in what is a pretty close race.

As with the Golden Globes, McConaughey’s Dallas Buyer’s Club co-star, Jared Leto, is a favorite (and my favorite) to win his first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as a transgendered AIDS victim. He was just amazing.

Cate Blanchett completely owned Blue Jasmine and no one else in the Best Actress Category even comes close. Not even Meryl Streep. Cate FTW!

Best Supporting Actress is either going to Lupita Nyongo for 12 Years a Slave or Jennifer Lawrence (who won the Golden Globe) for American Hustle.

The Best Director award could go to anybody, with the exception of Alexander Payne for Nebraska, a film that only the critics and the people involved with the film seem to like. My choice would be David O. Russell for American Hustle, but if it went to, say, Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) or Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street) I wouldn’t say they didn’t deserve it. Gravity is supposed to be an epic film but if Alfonso Cuaron wins for directing it my head will explode.

And last but not least, if I gave out the awards, Best Picture would go to American Hustle, but I am pretty sure 12 Years a Slave is going to get it, because slavery was way worse than ABSCAM.

Who do you like to win in each category? Feel free to leave your picks in the comments below, and I’ll see you in front of the TV on March 2nd, 2014!

Julie & Julia: A Very Good Movie About Cooking and Love

Julie and Julia
Amy Adams and Meryl Streep Star in Julie & Julia

If I were a wealthy woman, I would certainly be much more of a devoted Foodie than I already am. Because the availability of massive amounts of dispensable cash is really the only thing separating me from eating truffles and Kobe beef, followed by gold-leaf-flecked hot fudge sundaes several times a week. I am totally not kidding. The Food Network is to me what Porn is to Frat guys. Me gusta la comida! If you are also a fan of food, and you enjoy a good story about friendship and love, passion and cooking, then Julie & Julia needs to be added to your “Films I Must See” List. This movie is just so adorable! Meryl Streep’s portrayal of famous TV chef Julia Child is going to win her another Oscar, I would be willing to predict. And Amy Adams, who I generally find a bit twee, was quite excellent also as blogger/amateur chef Julie Powell. I am not going to say much more than that, because I doubt I could top this really great review of the movie from Examiner Dot Com. I recommend going to see Julie & Julia with a friend, at a showing that will let out just around dinner time. That way, you can head over to your favorite French Bistro and chow down, because you will definitely be starving. As Julia would say, “Bon Appetite!”

Julie & Julia Opens Nationwide on August 7th