St. Louis' 250th birthday isn't the only milestone of the year: Plenty of area businesses are celebrating 25, 50, 100 or more years of service to local customers. We congratulate them on their decades of success!
Story: Fanny Brice, a homely young Jewish woman from the Lower East Side of New York City in the early 20th century, is determined to succeed in show business despite her lack of head-turning looks. With considerable faith in her voice and comic skills, she auditions for a role with impresario Florenz Ziegfeld and His Follies on Broadway.
Story: An infant boy, shipwrecked in the early 20th century with his parents off the west coast of Africa, is left alone after the boy’s parents are killed by a leopard. A nurturing gorilla named Kala, whose own infant is carried off by the same leopard, finds the boy and takes care of him as her own child.
1) Name the breakout star of the films Divergent and The Fault in our Stars.
There are very few actors working today I would rather watch on screen than Clive Owen. He is talented and handsome, and capable of demonstrating that rare combination of strength and vulnerability. He’s an Oscar-caliber actor just waiting for the right film. His costar here, Juliette Binoche, is a beautiful and charming actress--and yes, she already has an Oscar. Together, one would think there would be very little that could keep them from making a terrific film--unless that one thing is the script.
Eighty years ago, in southern Missouri, world-class artists like Thomas Hart Benton, Joe Jones and Oscar Thalinger set up their easels and began to paint. They taught at the Summer School of Art, an offshoot of the Ste. Genevieve Art Colony, which was formed by two women serving on the St. Louis Artists’ Guild board of governors. The women, who normally summered on the coast to paint, started the colony when the Great Depression hindered their ability to travel.
Oscar Thalinger, left, and Joe Vorst, right, look on as Thomas Hart Benton illustrates his theory of form organization to a 1935 Ste. Genevieve Art Colony class.
Oscar Cepeda with his children, Sarita and Isabel
In the spirit of Father’s Day, we take a look at five great father-and-son films. Some are uplifting, others are tragic, but all are well worth watching. We purposefully avoided more obvious choices like To Kill a Mockingbird, The Godfather and Road to Perdition, in favor of lesser-known gems that you may have missed.
Honestly I don’t have a lot to tell you here that you can’t figure out on your own. I will say this, though: The fact that these movies are coming on the heels of the deluge of Marvel superhero movies makes me feel like Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange having to watch all those films with his eyes held open. Thor, Ironman, Captain America, The Avengers all with sequels, prequels, spinoffs and remakes. As Ben Affleck heads off to distant parts to start shooting the latest Batman incarnation--sorry, reimagining--I can only shake my head and sigh. Maybe we need a new superhero, say a studio executive with the ability to spot originality and wit, or maybe a mild-mannered editor with the ability to trim a film down to under two hours. A girl can dream.
Taking a break from the pool to help others, members and coaches of the Westminster Christian Academy girls swim team volunteered at Sunshine Ministries. The crew assisted the organization’s directors in relocating to a new building two blocks away.
Kids today are spoiled. When I was growing up, the Cardinals went without a post season from 1969 ‘til 1982. The Cardinals have been to the post season ten times since the year 2000. Kids expect it. They think if the Cardinals are not playing in October, there must be something wrong.
Let me start off by saying that I don't like ranking films. First of all, it’s an open invitation for people to tell you what an idiot you are: How could you possibly think Animal House is funnier than Young Frankenstein, you moron? Secondly, my list is constantly in flux. Depending on the day, the weather or the couch, I may decide Forrest Gump is a better film than Silence of the Lambs. OK, that’s a lie, I would never decide that, but you see my point.
I have to admit I've been curious about this film. As an Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature, I thought to myself that it must drive these animators nuts to create something so precious, only to be trampled by the Goliath that is Disney. Nothing against Frozen, it’s a delightful film, but this is art.
As we near the end of Hollywood’s self-proclaimed dead time (why on earth one exists is a question for another day) movie goers approach the Cineplex with the caution of a squirrel. And much like that squirrel, you may discover that the treat is not where you left it. So if you aren’t interested in seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger trying to convince everyone that he’s 45, or witnessing a lot of teen drama—both on screen and in the audience—you may want to wait a few more weeks before venturing back to the big screen. Here’s what’s new and interesting:
Story: A dark, brooding Irish musician is at an unpleasant crossroads in his life. His girlfriend left Dublin six months ago for New York City, and he’s been carrying the torch for her ever since.
Story: To paraphrase protagonist Clifford Bradshaw, “there was a place called The Kit Kat Klub in a city called Berlin in a country called Germany…and we were all fast asleep.” Bradshaw, an American novelist wannabe, has traveled to Europe in 1929 in search of his muse, first in London, then in Paris and now in Berlin.
I don’t want to give anything away. No matter your religious beliefs, you really can’t argue the fact that Bible stories make wonderful theatrical productions: The Ten Commandments, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Passion of the Christ. Frankly, it’s surprising no one has brought the story of Noah’s ark to the big screen before now. Well, actually, they have. There was a respectable feature film in the '20s—you can almost picture the stagehands throwing buckets of water from off-stage—and a somewhat embarrassing mini-series in 1999 starring Jon Voight and Mary Steenburgen that just about everyone seems to want to forget. This new movie version fares the flood waters with greater success.
Let’s face it: Tragic career spirals are as common in Hollywood as Botox and traffic jams. Nobody seriously asks the question, Whatever happened to (fill in the blank)? because the answer is obvious and unsurprising: He chose a couple of bad projects (Zac Efron); his ego got the better of him (Vin Diesel); drugs (Lindsay Lohan); bad reviews (Ryan Reynolds); people forgot about him (whatshisname). It’s the nature of the business. Did you know, for example, that the actor who portrayed the magnetic bad boy Kelly Leak form the original Bad News Bears movie, Jackie Earle Haley, is a renowned and busy character actor these days; or that Karate Kid nemesis William Zabka has been popping up in television shows of late?
Let me state for the record that I have never met Wes Anderson. Let me also state that I would very much like to. If I am ever stuck on an elevator with a stranger or stranded on a desert island with an unknown companion, or pinned next to someone on an international flight, I would like that person to be Wes Anderson. That being said, I don’t know where to begin with this movie. Like most of his films, it has the beaming charm of a French children’s book, but it also has a similar tendency to meander.
Story: Banker Sam Wheat and his girlfriend Molly Jenson, a potter, have moved into an old brownstone in Brooklyn to renovate it and make it their home. Meanwhile, at work Sam notices some major and troubling discrepancies in some accounts he’s managing, and confides the problem to his friend and colleague Carl.
And the Oscar goes to…Webster University alum Leah Latham! Latham, who graduated from Webster’s animation program in 2010, served as editorial production coordinator for Disney’s latest worldwide box-office smash, Frozen.
Since reopening in Chesterfield several years ago, Balaban’s has garnered plenty of accolades, including multiple awards of the Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence. It had been a while since our last visit and lots has happened in the interim, including an expansion of the space and the promotion of D. Scott Phillips from catering and banquet chef to executive chef last summer; so we recently dropped in to see what else is new.