Monday, November 30, 2015

Trumbo screening and after party NYC




Bleeker Street Films hosted a screening of “Trumbo” on Tuesday, November 3rd at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Dalton  Trumbo was a top Hollywood screenwriter until he was blacklisted by Hollywood after refusing to name names to the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). Despite being jailed and ostracized for his political beliefs and principals,  he went on to write two Oscar winning screenplays under various aliases.


The triumph film recounts Trumbo’s wit and grit used  to expose the absurdity and injustice under the blacklist, which entangled everyone from gossip columnist Hedda Hopper  to John Wayne, Kirk Douglas and Otto Preminger. The all star cast Bryan Cranston, DianeLiane, Helen Mirren, Louis CK, Elle Fanning, Michael Stuhlbarg,screenwriter John McNamara and director Jay Roach   attended the screening and after party.  Producers  Michael London, Monica Levinson, Shivani Rawat, Kevin Kelly Brown reveled with guests  Tim Daly, Robert Wuhl, Julie Taymor, Taylor Hackford, Peggy Siegel, Dana Delany,  Niki and Mitzi Trumbo to enjoy  cocktails and antipasti at Villagio on the Park after party. 

Helen Mirren and Bryan Cranston
Jay Roach and Robert Wuhl
John McNamara and Diane Lane


(Photo Credit: Marion Curtis/StartraksPhoto.com)




Friday, November 13, 2015

The Spec


I have been busy writing a television spec script. I am basing it on the Freddy Grey case in Baltimore with an interesting plot twist. The script is based on  "Blue Bloods". My good friend Ben Scott,  a retired detective in Philadelphia provided a perspective from years of arrest and convictions. When  I attended the  Urbanworld Film Festival I learned about the  Writers Initiative at Fox. I wrote a Huffington Post about the Producers Guild of America conference, Produced By : NY. I have written two screenplays, "The Billionairess" and " Minister of Self Defense" over a leisurely three years. This is very creative and challenging especially because I can't spell or type!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Celebration of Black Women on Television




Viola Davis made history this week as the first African American Actress to win an Emmy Award for Best Actress. Her emotion acceptance speech was so gracious, uplifting and empowered. I am so proud of the actresses of color in Primetime television shows. Viola mentioned Harriet Tubman in her speech and here is one of her best quotes. 

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. 
Harriet Tubman
       


Friday, August 28, 2015

Orpheus Group


Several months  ago I caught up with Orpheus Group at The Lenora for a wrap party for "Exposed" the next Keanu Reeves film. The ladies Maria Nelson and Ellyn Long Marshall are on the move. Seriously to new offices. The casting directors are the go to team for independent film. Very selective of their projects they have the best eye for talent in show business.

Still from "Exposed" starring Keanu Reeves

Monday, August 24, 2015

Don't Send Me Flowers


Manhattan Flower District 
I hate flower arraignments. I think they are pretentious and stiff and better suited to a restaurant or hotel. When people send them I say thank you and give them away. If you know me at all I love flowers from a corner store or flower cart. Just bring by a bouquet in paper( if your invited) of roses, sunflowers, gladiolus and yes even carnations. 


One of my favorite books is " The Botany of Desire". I have beautiful heavy crystal vases I have collected over the years. My favorite is an Hermes bud vase perfect for one rose or orchid and the simplicity is elegant. So don't send me flowers, send a vase.

Waterford Crystal Vase

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Soiffer Haskin






Last week I met a lovely lady Anna from Charlotte who moved to Manhattan. As we chatted about shopping she was so happy  I turned her on to  Soiffer HaskinThis is every New York fashionista's secret weapon. Get on the mailing list for the best deals ( up to 90% Off Original Retail ) for the best designers. You'll find deals on Ralph Lauren, Hermes, Escada, Dennis Basso, Bally, Tourneau, Carolina Herrera, Yves Saint Larent, Calvin Klein, TSE, Ippolita and more. Not only steals on women's fashion but also men's clothing, jewelry and home furnishings. You"ll see the hottest stylist, best dressed perennials and stars there but keep your eyes on the prize and get the best deals. I almost missed out on the last Bvlgari satchel. The staff is lovely and professional.  Bring your plastic money (Amex, MasterCard, Visa etc) they don't take cash.  I'm a good fashion diva and need all the good karma I can get. Things are tight when you think Rihanna's song " Bitch Better Have my money" was written about you. So my work is done here. 


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Coffee meets Bagel



Shakespeare waxed poetic in "A Midsummer  Night's Dream" thus, "The course of true love never did run smooth". Enter the Kang sisters and their app Coffee Meets Bagel. The beautiful  Arum, Dawoon and Soo were pursuing high powered careers  in finance, marketing and graphic design when they saw the challenges other  New York City singles met connecting with  compatible quality mates.  The team adds,"The three of us lived in New York City in our late 20s and saw that more and more of our very eligible friends were having difficulty meeting new, interesting people. I think this is a reflection of the changing lifestyle of today’s generation. In our fast paced lives, we just don’t have enough time to spend on meeting new people. When we tried online dating, we were surprised at how seedy and borderline-insulting the online dating experience was for most women. You can only take so many unwanted, “Hey baby.” messages from random men. So, we wanted to create a dating experience that is safe, private, and high quality—something that women feel excited to be part of." The  user downloads the app and sets up a profile. Everyday at noon the user is delivered one match (Bagel) cultivated from  friend of a friend connections on Facebook. The user has 24 hours to respond before the next day's romantic possibility. If  both parties LIKE a connection is made. The app is available in Android and Apple. The CMB team manifesto, "Dating is the most fun when you are meeting new, interesting people and Coffee Meets Bagel enables you to do that easily. In my opinion, online dating today has become a numbers game where users are bombarded with countless profiles to browse in one sitting. In this model, people end up making superficial decisions based solely on looks and quickly become jaded. Coffee Meets Bagel brings quality & thoughtfulness back into dating. We only give you one match a day, but it’s someone who is personalized & picked out just for you. Our algorithm considers your background, such as education and your friend network, to curate you the best match. This results in a lot of fun dates with people you genuinely find interesting."

Creative, resourceful and smart  the ladies  pooled their talents ( Harvard Business School grad Arum, Stanford Graduate School of Business Dawoon, Soo has a BA from Parsons School of Design  ) and launched the online dating service, Coffee Meets Bagel in 2012. "Each of us brought very different skill sets to the table, thanks to our prior ~10 years of work experiences. Soo did design work for luxury brands such as Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton, so she knew exactly how to create a brand image that feels safe, fun, and comfortable for women. Arum did a lot of e-commerce work at both Amazon and Avon and brought her tech product management & market research experience to the table. Dawoon, who worked in strategy & finance, helped shape the company’s long term vision and high level strategy needed for fundraising. It just came together perfectly.",  the sisters share.
Inspiration comes from their dad, "My dad is a lifelong entrepreneur. I think one of the most valuable lessons I learned from him is the drive to constantly challenge myself. Though he is now in his 50s, he will never stay put and never stop learning. When I was debating whether to quit my cushy banking job to start Coffee Meets Bagel, he shared with me one of his favorite Korean proverbs—“Still water rots”. If you don't want to rot, then you need to be like water in a moving stream, constantly on the move and constantly re-inventing yourself. This is true for everyone and for every company and I will always remember this."Last year the entrepreneurs   turned down Mark Cuban's  offer to buy the company  after pitching to investors on ABC's reality show Shark Tank.  Shrewd business women they knew, "Mark Cuban’s $30 million offer was great validation for the hard work that we and the rest of Coffee Meets Bagel team put in to building our business. After the show, we felt a lot more confident about what we’ve built so far and excited for the road ahead of us." According to Techcrunch CMB closed last month on 7.8 million in financing. The company has expanded internationally with the latest launch party in Hong Kong.  The ladies offer sage advice to tech start ups, "I think two things. First, even if you are non-technical or have no start-up experience, it’s still possible to make it happen. None of us had technical backgrounds or start up experience when we started Coffee Meets Bagel. It was a challenge developing the product and fundraising, but if you can find the right partners who are willing help you, it’s definitely possible. Second, remember that you are in it for the long run! In the past few years, with all the hype about amazing exits that very small tech start ups have achieved, a lot of people have come to think that startups are short term stints. Everything takes a lot longer than you’d think. Think of dedicating the next 10+ years into your startup. You really have to love what you are doing. As Mark Cuban says, “Don't start a company unless it's an obsession and something you love. If you have an exit strategy, it's not an obsession.” Shakespeare asked, “Is this the generation of love? Hot blood, hot thoughts and hot deeds? The Kang  sisters  have the hot dating app, Coffee Meets Bagel. Say yes.






Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Water Diviner


Academy Award wining actor Russell Crowe makes his directorial debut in the magnificent sweeping epic, “The Water Diviner”. As rugged  Australian farmer John Connor. (Russell Crowe) his transformative journey begins as he leaves his  farm  to find his three presumed dead sons after the bloody Battle of Gallipoli seem in vivid flashbacks. Connor travels to Istanbul and encounters military resistance in his search for the remains of his sons. He is aided by the beautiful widow and hostel owner Ayshe (Olga Kurylenko)and Major Hassan  (Yilmaz Erdodan),a Turkish officer who fought in opposition to the English occupation ( who won a well deserved Australian Best Actor award)  in his trek across the  battled scarred Turkey. Olga has her own challenges as a single mother of the adorable Orhan( Dylan Georgiades )The scenes between Connor and Ayshe  are passionate and romantic beyond words. Director Crowe and the screenplay evenly  handles the Turkish point of view. The cinematography is breathtakingly rich  in color and authentic culture of the 1919 period.  Despite the violent and life defining obstacles on his path, Connor makes his peace with love, loss and war. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichice



Lately I have been devouring the novels of  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I love her work. An award winning novelist (shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction,  Commonwealth Writers' Prize) her novels ( Purple Hibiscus, "Half of a Yellow Sun", " The Thing Around Your Neck", "We Should All Be Feminists", " Americanah") crafts stories around the issues of feminism, race, culture, war,  immigration, colonialism and assimilation. Her charming lyrical style transports readers  easily between two worlds Nigeria and America. Her TED talk 2009  "The Danger of a Single Story" had 8 million views. She followed up with a TED series on " We Should All Be Feminist" based on her book of the same name. Beautiful and fashionable  Chimamanda is profiled and styled in a photo layout in next month's  April British Vogue. She divides her time between her home in Lagos and Columbia DC  with her husband  Dr Ivara Esege.  Her novel " Half of a Yellow Sun" was made into an independent film starring Thandie Newton and   Chietwol Elijofor. According to Variety Plan B has optioned her love story " Americanah" to star Oscar winner Lupita Nyongo. More great works to come from this powerful voice in contemporary world literature. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Summertime





Magid
Louboutin
Old Navy
I am looking forward to summer so much I've started my summer wardrobe. The winter is expensive with wool coats, status bag, Uber, boots and good red wine. Summer is easy it's all swimming, salads, reading, biking and white wine. I've been picking up mix and match bikini separates from H&M for a song. I love colorful flip flops at Old Navy.
H&M
Anya Hindmarch




Straw  bags and cloth bags replace heavy leather bags to carry fruit, water, books and my  ipad. Pretty cotton dresses at Forever 21 and Anthroplogie are my daily uniform. My big splurge is sandals. I was in Barney's New York yesterday checking out the Manolos and Louboutins . The sandals are so sexy and exquisite how can I choose. I need a moment. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Where are the Sex Symbols?



Marilyn Monroe,  Raquel Welch , Pam Grier,  Brigette Bardot, Farrah Fawcett and Sophia Loren.
Those gorgeous goddesses who are beautiful, talented and curvaceous of course. The women who inspire dreams, lived our fantasies, redefine fashion, reinvent sexy and start a rebellion on screen. Where are the Sex Symbols? 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Red Carpet Diva JLo





My favorite red carpet diva is Jennifer Lopez. She always has the perfect look. Divalicious!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Met Museum : China Through the Looking Glass

This year The Anna Wintour Costume Center of The Metropolitan Museum of Art will produce an exhibition, China Through the Looking Glass  a hybrid of fashion, film and art influenced by Chinese culture. In celebration the Costume Institute Benefit on May 4th will use the inspiration of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" to mirror the reflection of East on West culture. The exhibit will feature designs by John Galliano, Tom Ford and Yvette Saint Laurent to name a few. Breathtaking beauty!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Julianne Moore Retrospective

Academy Award nominee and Golden  Globe winner for "Still Alice"   Julianne Moore was feted by the Museum of the Moving Image for Lifetime Achievement. Luminaries from theater, television and film Candice Bergen , Ellen Barkin, Rebecca Miller and husband director Bart Freudlich paid homage to her career at a gala in New York City last night. Moore has starred in films by such esteemed directors as Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven, Safe, I’m Not There), the Coen Brothers (The Big Lebowski), Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia), Neil Jordan (The End of an Affair), Lisa Cholodenko (The Kids Are Alright), Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men), Steven Spielberg (The Lost World: Jurassic Park), Ridley Scott (Hannibal), and Robert Altman (Cookie’s Fortune, Short Cuts).

 She is a five-time Academy Award nominee and is the ninth person in Academy history to receive two acting Oscar nominations in the same year for her performances in Far From Heaven (Best Actress nomination) and The Hours (Best Supporting Actress nomination), after receiving many critic’s awards and SAG and Golden Globe nominations for both. For her acclaimed performance as Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in the HBO original movie Game Change, Moore received Golden Globe, SAG, and Emmy Awards. The museum will honor her work with a retrospective that continues through January 25th featuring her films, Boogie Nights, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Safe, The End of the Affair, and Far From Heaven. This is the year of Julianne Moore.






.



Blushington

I had a gift card for a makeup application in my International Emmy's Gala swag bag. So off I went to the Le Parker Méridien Hotel to ...