Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami

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It is important to have an insight or remembrance as to who Grace Jones is before seeing: GRACE JONES: BLOODLIGHT and BAMI.

Born in Jamaica, the singer, supermodel, and actress  Grace Jones moved with her family to Syracuse, New York . She also attended Syracuse university where she was  a theatre major. In her late teens in the 1960s, she was quickly invited into the NYC social scene. By 18, she had a modeling contract with Wilhelmina and began working with designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, Claude Montana and Kenzo Takada to name a few.  In Paris she was a photographers muse for Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, and Hans Feurer, who fell for her androgynous style and bold features.  Vogue and Elle  are just two of the many covers she graced.

From the moment Jones arrived in Paris in 1970, she was a part of the nightlife’s elite. Whether she was sharing a Parisian flat with Jessica Lange and Jerry Hall, getting photographed by Antonio Lopez  or taking to the dance floor at Club Sept with Karl Lagerfeld , Jones was a part of the conversation.

In the late ’70s, she had a successful singing career,  where she would become the patron saint of both disco music and style. Grace, quickly found herself in the seductive vortex of the most glamorous discotheque of all time, New York’s Studio 54, where her greatest fans were the star-studded clientele, all were forever dazzled by her unique goddess-like, image, including Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, along with numerous actors and disco magnates. All eyes were on Grace. She was the “Get” to have at your booth. All vied to have her Grace their presence. Grace, didn’t just sit and be a voyeur, No! she was on the dance floor with the people who were anointed to be let in past the velvet ropes.  Her energy on the floor was infectious! It carried over to the best Gay/straightish disco’s in N.Y.C, Brazil, Paris, LA, London, Fire Island. She was the queen of a once in a lifetime nightlife.

Only extraordinary artists keep transforming and keep fascinating others, and Grace Jones is a real expert at that! She started her career tearing down the stereotypes about what models should look like, quickly discovering her true love – music. In 1977 her debut album, ‘Portfolio’ was released, it contained her first big hit single, ‘La Vie en rose’ by the famous Edith Piaf. The success of her first album prompted her to release her next album in quick succession. ‘Fame’ was out in 1978. The album’s lead single was ‘Do or Die’ became a huge club hit on the U.S. and Canadian dance charts. In 1979 she released the album ‘Muse’. The first side of the album contained a continuous medley of four songs and a narrative about someone who has sinned; the second side had disco songs. The most successful album of her career, ‘Nightclubbing’ was out in 1981. It spawned the hits ‘Pull Up to the Bumper’ and ‘I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango)’. After the success of her previous album, next came  ‘Living My Life’ in 1982. It was a commercial success and reached Top 20 in several countries.

Grace is a living part of the “Alien Club” of artists who leave their unique mark on Earth before they physically leave, such as David Bowie, Prince and Michael Jackson. She was the first to introduce avant-garde art and high fashion in the world of music, way before Madonna, Lady Gaga or Rihanna. Vogue itself proclaimed her as the “ultimate fashion muse,” and the music authority Rolling Stone calls her the “compelling artist and a symbol.” What would the music scene be around the world, as well as contemporary art, look like without her influence, is almost unimaginable, as numerous artists state Grace as their role model or inspiration. It has been written about the attempts of Lady Gaga wanting to work with Grace Jones, who refused it with a clear message: “Young pop stars like to play the pioneer without taking the actual risk.” Whether we are talking about musical or fashion transformation, provocations or remarkable live performances, one thing is certain – Grace did it first!

Ten years later, she would land her first major acting role as a Bond girl in “A View to a Kill” alongside Roger Moore, proving that she really could do it all. Today, at the age of 69, she’s still as bold and busy as ever, with new music in the works and a documentary film. The connection of glamour and an unstoppable force, forged into “glamazon” the expression that describes her genuine authenticity and strength of a warrior that appears alongside Schwarzenegger in the Conan movie saga, or a fatal “ Bond woman” who can take on agent 007.

Her commanding presence broke down the walls of the limited idea of femininity, as well as gender stereotypes, destroyed through her androgyny, empowering the entire LGBTQ community whose everlasting icon she remains to this day.

In the beginning of her book memoir, she writes “If you want me, this is me. Not the caricature of me. This is the deeper me, the other me, and there are other me’s I’ve not even thought of. But I’ll get to them. I’ll keep following the trail I left behind and find out where I’m going next. I’ve got one life to work with and I’ll squeeze it dry before I’m through.”  What you see is what you get with Grace, that is what we admire the most.

Directed and Edited by Sophie Fiennes
With Grace Jones, Jean-Paul Goude, Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, Ivor Guest

If you are of a certain age that has lived through and experienced the “Studio 54 disco” nightlife years, then you were part of the Grace Jones phenomena.  If not, that is why it was important to have given you this insight as to who Grace Jones is.  You will not get this in Sophie Fiennes film. Her direction and editing does not measure up to the privileged access she had to the legendary Grace Jones. The slice of life footage, Fiennes shot in telling of the “behind the scenes” of Grace Jones life on a family holiday trip back to Jamaica, where she was born. Showcasing the artist, daughter, sister, mother and grandmother, Fiennes, tried to do all of it in a raw “artistic” way which simply did not work (for Me). Too much screen time spent on footage shot through a truck or car windshield traveling on dirt roads. Jones, always eating something! If it wasn’t for the fact that no matter what Grace does or says she holds your attention in spite of the direction, poor editing rhythm and choices of footage that she shot. You almost feel sorry for Jones, knowing the artistic perfection that Grace has used to guide her career, to have ended up with this film version. In Jamaican patois,”Bloodlight” is the red light that illuminates when an artist is recording and “Bami” means bread, the substance of daily life. Like the title of this film you already need to be in the know or you won’t get it.

Grace, knows her own captivating power and says in the film “even if the lights and power went out on stage and the theatre was black I could still hold and audience without them leaving”

Truer words were ever spoken.  You will probably need them if you see this film.

Opens April 27th
Landmark Embarcadero in San Francisco
Landmark Shattuck in Berkeley

One Show Only April 28th
Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafael

RATED: 2 Honey 🐝🐝’s for being part of the studio 54 Grace Jones era




“The Final Portrait” Film Review

Alberto Giacometti was Swiss born and educated at the Geneva School of Fine Arts.

He moved to Paris in 1922 to study sculptor under Antoine Bourdelle, an associate of Rodin. It was there that Giacometti experimented with Cubism and Surrealism. He was regarded as one of the leading Surrealist sculptors. Among his associates were Miro,

Max Ernst, Picasso, Bror Hjorth and Balthus.  Between 1936 and 1940, Giacometti concentrated on the human head, focusing on the sitter’s gaze. He preferred models that were close to him, his sister and the artist Isabel Delmer. One of his favorite models was his artist brother Diego Giacometti. His statues of Delmer became stretched out and her limbs elongated. Obsessed with creating his sculptures exactly  as he envisioned them through his unique view of reality, he often carved until they were as thin as nails and reduced to the size to a pack of cigarettes, much to his consternation.

His paintings underwent a parallel procedure. The figures appear to be isolated and severely attenuated, as a result of continuous reworking. In 1962, Giacometti was awarded the grand prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale. This honor brought with it worldwide fame and popularity. Not being satisfied with his own work he often reworked the models, often destroying them or setting them aside for years.

“I rediscovered the wish to make compositions with figures. For this I had to make one or two studies from nature, just enough to understand the construction of the head, of a whole figure, and in 1935 I took a model. This study should take, I thought two weeks and then I could realize my compositions…I worked with this model all day from 1935 to 1940…Nothing was as I imagined. A head, became for me an object unknown and without dimensions” Alberto Giacometti.

In “The Final Portrait”, American author and Giacometti biographer, James Lord ( Armie Hammer)  is asked by his friend Alberto Giacometti ( Geoffrey Rush), to sit for a portrait. Lord is extremely flattered to sit for him but informs Giacometti he is in Paris for only a few days. He is assured by Giacometti that it will only take him that amount of time to complete.

“The Final Portrait” is an in depth study of the genius behind the artist’s creative process. Giacometti’s  life style is viewed and experienced through James Lord eyes . Lord has had to extend his Parian trip several times in order to fulfill Giacometti’s critical eye of his own work. According to Giacometti his work is never finished. Learning first hand Lord   experiences the surreal vision of the artist’s portrait of himself as the model.

Giacometti’s artistic style and genius has many layers and dimensions that is carried over to his relationships. “The Final Portrait” Written and Directed By Stanley Tucci
was adapted from James Lord’s memoir ” A Giacometti Portrait”.
The film also Stars; Tony Shalhoub, (Diego Giacometti ) Sylvie Testud, (Caroline the artist’s obsession) and  Clémence Poésy ( his model).

It is the brilliant acting of both Geoffrey Rush in combination with Armie Hammer that

is the “portrait” of two leading men creating their artistic acting talent.  If this were a broadway play instead of a film as the vehicle for writer/director Stanley Tucci it would be a hit!

Opens March 30th
Landmark Clay in San Francisco

Opens April 6th
Rialto Cinemas Elmwood in Berkeley
Century 16 in Pleasant Hill
CineArts in Palo Alto
Regency Cinemas Six in San Rafael

RATED: 3 (for fine acting) Honey 🐝🐝🐝





“Back to Burgundy” Film Review

BACK TO BURGUNDY - Courtesy of Music Box Films

Wine, is it just a by-product of grapes, that you order by the glass and drink to be social ?

Do you consider yourself a wine snob because you reside in the plentiful northern California wine regions?  Or do you actually own, run, harvest and  vintner for your own winery?  Even if you don’t drink wine ” Back to Burgundy” is a film to appreciate, for all it’s subtile complexities that engages all your senses. It provides a fascinating real life season to season, day-to-day view into the winemaking process. Rarely depicted on-screen and authentically filmed.

Not since “Sideways” 2004 that used wine as the premise for a buddy road trip through wine country for the film.  Or “Bottle Shock”2008 that did focus on the historic “Blind Paris Wine Tasting, 1976″ that pitted French wine against U.S., Californian,  Napa Vally wine.  This French, English subtitled film that Writer-director Cédric Klapisch known for (L’Auberge Espagnole, Russian Dolls, Chinese Puzzle)’s  newest film ” BACK TO BURGUNDY” that sets this wine themed film apart from the others. Klapisch, shot “Back to Burgundy” over a year in order to capture the four French seasons it took to grow and harvest a domain .

The film is so meticulously shot that you feel that you are part of the family, their extended family and the workers that contribute to their vineyard.

If you are engaged in the lives of the TV show cast “This is Us” you will love the relationship of these three French siblings.  If you don’t watch “This is Us” but you have a heart that beats, than you too will engage in the lives of Jean (Pio Marmai), the eldest and black sheep of the family. He unexpectedly returns home from a decade abroad to reconnect with his hospitalized father. He’s welcomed by his strong-willed beautiful sister, Juliette (Ana Girardot), who has taken over the reins of the vineyard after their father has fallen ill.  Jeremie (Francois Civil), is the youngest of the three who has recently married into one of the region’s more prestigious wine making families.

In an interview with Writer / Director Klapisch , “Back to Burgundy brings together many different subjects… Just like wine. What’s in a glass of wine? It contains the terroir, the combination of a particular climate, sunshine, rainfall, the geology of the soil. Each of these elements contributes an odor, a flavor, a particular density to the wine. There are also elements that result from human intervention – the choice of type of viticulture and growing methods. It’s fascinating to see how in Meursault (region) alone there are a hundred different proprietors and a hundred ways of “interpreting” this terroir. When a vintner makes a bottle of wine, it is like a director making a film. It’s the concept of authorship. All of this complexity is contained in a single glass of wine. There is time and space, history and geography. The marriage of man and nature. It’s an extremely sophisticated world and it was imperative that the film express all of this. That is why I wanted to speak about wine. In the film, we follow the production of wine over the course of one year. In parallel, we follow more than ten years in the life of a family of wine makers. I try to juxtapose the two, to follow the cycles of nature and the stages in the evolution of three individuals. First we are children, then adults, then parents. Are these human changes, these stages of life, comparable to the seasons of nature? In Back to Burgundy, not only do you film nature, but also the seasons…”

My advise, is to have a glass of your best wine by your side along with your favorite accompaniments  after taking the “Back to Burgundy” film trip.

RATED: 4 🍷🍷🍷🍷 satiated 🍯 🐝’s

Opens March 23rd
The Vogue Theater San Francisco
Christopher B. Smith Film Center in San Rafael
Summerfield Cinemas in Santa Rosa





IMG_0429Oh, Oh, Oh Lucy , who are you?  Setsuko, (Shinobu Terajima), is single, emotionally detached and unfulfilled. She is selfish, unabashedly nasty and doesn’t get along with anyone . She has a sister, who she is at odds with as well. The only one she has a civil relationship with if you can call it that is her niece, Mika (Shioli Kutsuna, Deadpool 2).  There is no surprise that she has a meaningless life in Tokyo. Her life seems to change when she, enrolls in an unorthodox English class that requires her to wear a blonde wig and take on an American alter ego named “Lucy.” The new identity awakens something dormant in Setsuko. She quickly develops romantic feelings for her American instructor, John (Josh Hartnett, Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful”). When John suddenly disappears from class with her niece Mika, Setsuko aka Lucy,  travels to the United States in search of him. It is under the pretense of finding her niece with her sister who is worried for her daughter’s well being. The interaction between the two siblings is the most interesting . What is more interesting is why Megan Mullally (aka Karen Walker “Will & Grace”) winds up sitting in the middle seat between the non-talking sisters from Tokyo to Southern California? With a nod to the “Karen” role sans the high pitch voice, she manages to get the sisters drunk and talking. Oh Megan! Why couldn’t you have stayed longer in Oh Lucy!?

It took about 35 minutes into the film to get to the interesting flight to Southern California with the two sisters. When they do find ” John” (Josh Hartnett)  the film starts to come together. In the end one questions , does it?  Oh Lucy, do we really care??

Directed by Atsuko Hirayanagi,  born in Nagano and raised in Chiba, Japan. She attended San Francisco State University. OH LUCY!, received a First Prize Wasserman award. Her feature-length version of OH LUCY! was a recipient of the 2016 Sundance / NHK Award. She was recently named one of the “20 Rising Women Directors You Need to Know” by IndieWire. Hirayanagi returned to the Bay Area in 2014 and currently lives in San Francisco.

I look forward to seeing what she does with her next film. I hope it will be better than this one.

Opens March 16th
San Francisco Landmark Theater to be announced
Landmark Theaters Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley
Christopher B. Smith Film Center in San Rafael

RATED: 2 1/2 Honey 🐝🐝 1/2



It is only befitting on National Women’s day , That we celebrate Hedy Lamarr . Born Hedwig Eva Marie Kiesler on November 9th, 1914.  Austrian- born in Vienna, under the strong sign of  multi-talented Scorpio .

Under Nazi Germany , the Lamarr family was able to escape , no small fete, being Jewish. Hence, the change of name for the American silver screen.

“Bombshell: The Hedy Lamar Story” is the story of one of the most talented, brilliant women in history.  An inventor, film maker/producer and actress, dubbed the most beautiful women in the world.  A women for all ages and for all ages of women to admire!  Truly, an inspiration for breaking barriers in all fields.

In 2016, debut director Alexandra Dean and producer Adam Haggiag unearthed four never-before-heard audio tapes of Hedy speaking on the record about her incredible life.

Combining this newly discovered interview with intimate reflections from her children, closest friends, family and admirers, including Mel Brooks and Robert Osborne, BOMBSHELL (executive produced by Susan Sarandon and Michael Kantor) finally gives Hedy Lamarr the chance to tell her own story.

About the Director Alexandra Dean
Alexandra Dean is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer. She produced news-magazine documentaries for PBS before becoming a series and documentary producer at Bloomberg television, producing the series Innovators, Adventures and Pursuits. She also writes about invention for Businessweek magazine. Today, she is a founding partner at Reframed Pictures.

March is women’s history month. Celebrate by seeing this full length documentary.

Directed by a women, Co- Produced by a women, about a women whose long over due,

full life recognition has finally come.

Opens March 9th ’18 :
Landmark Clay in San Francisco
Landmark Shattuck in Berkeley
Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San RafaOpens March 9th
Landmark Clay in San Francisco
Landmark Shattuck in Berkeley
Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center in San Rafa

RATED: 4 Queen 🐝🐝🐝🐝

Directors Guild Award Winners 2018

Award season continues with the 70th Annual DGA Awards.

The 2018 Directors Guild of America Awards, celebrated the best in movie making and television for the non-televised award show, held at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Check out the full winners list below along with the nominees in their catagory :

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film:
Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water” – WINNER
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Jordan Peele, Get Out

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentaries
Matthew Heineman, “City of Ghosts” – WINNER
Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, The Vietnam War
Bryan Fogel, Icarus
Steve James, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Errol Morris, Wormwood

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in First-Time Feature Film:
Jordan Peele, “Get Out” – WINNER
Geremy Jasper, Patti Cake$
William Oldroyd, Lady Macbeth
Taylor Sheridan, Wind River
Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game

Fox Searchlight Pictures


Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series:
Reed Morano, The Handmaid’s Tale for “Offred” – WINNER

The Duffer Brothers, Stranger Things for “Chapter Nine: The Gate”
Jeremy Podeswa, Game of Thrones for “The Dragon and the Wolf”
Matt Shakman, Game of Thrones for “The Spoils of War”
Alan Taylor, Game of Thrones for “Beyond the Wall”

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series:
Beth McCarthy-Miller, Veep” for Chicklet – WINNER
Aziz Ansari, Master of None for “The Thief”
Mike Judge, Silicon Valley for “Server Error”
Melina Matsoukas, Master of None for “Thanksgiving”
Amy Sherman-Palladino, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel for “Pilot”

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Mini-Series:
Jean-Marc Vallee, Big Little Lies – WINNER
Scott Frank, Godless
Barry Levinson, The Wizard of Lies
Kyra Sedgwick, Story of a Girl
George C. Wolfe, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Regularly Scheduled
Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live for “Host: Jimmy Fallon” – WINNER
Andre Allen, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee for “Episode #2061”
Paul G. Casey, Real Time with Bill Maher for “Show #1527”
Jim Hoskinson, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert for “Joe Biden/Elton John”
Paul Pennolino, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver for “French Elections”

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Specials
Glenn Weiss, 89th Academy Awards – WINNER
Stan Lathan, Dave Chappelle: The Age of Spin
Linda Mendoza, Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize Honoring David Letterman
Paul Pennolino, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee Presents Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner
Amy Schumer, Amy Schumer: The Leather Special

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Reality Programs:
Brian Smith, MasterChef for “Vegas Deluxe & Oyster Schucks” – WINNER
Hisham Abed, Encore! for “Pilot”
John Gonzalez, Live PD for “Episode 50”
Adam Vetri, Dare to Live for “Chainsmokers”
Kent Weed, Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge for “Season Premiere”

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children’s Programs:
Niki Caro, Anne with an E” for “Your Will Shall Decide Your Destiny” – WINNER
Benjamin Lehmann, The Magical Wand Chase: A Sesame Street Special
Lily Mariye, Just Add Magic for “Just Add Meddling”
Alison McDonald, An American Girl Story: Summer Camp for “Friends for Life”
Matthew O’Neill and Thalia Sodi, 15: A Quinceañera Story: Zoey

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials:
Martin de Thurah, StubHub’s “Festival” and “Machines”, and Wealthsimple’s “Mad World” – WINNER
Alma Har’el, P&G’s “Love without Bias”
Will Hoffman and Julius Metoyer, KitchenAid’s “Anthem” and Ford’s “Go Further”
Miles Jay, Bose’s “Alive”, and Squarespace’s “Calling” and “Who is”
Isaiah Seret, Samsung’s “Growing Up” and “I Love You”, and Kohler’s “Never Too Composed”




Saturday Night Live, “Host: Jimmy Fallon”




MasterChef, “Vegas Deluxe & Oyster Shucks”




Anne with an E, “Your Will Shall Decide Your Destiny”



“After Louie” & Whitney.”can I be me” S.F. LGBTQ Film Festival, Film Reviews

Kudos’ to all that participated in the making of one of the best Frameline: Genre Queer 2017, S.F.International LGBTQ Film Festivals.

Closing night film “After Louie” was a brilliant choice to end the festival. Why?  because, it deals with closure. Deep emotions from the survivors of a lost generation of AIDS victims as well as a new generation that is living in the Gay present.  Alan Cummings , is (Sam) a man, who after two decades after surviving the loss of his lover, his friends, his activist community of  brave souls that had been touched by the AIDS’s pandemic. Sam is now dealing with survivors guilt as so many have and still are.  Alan Cummings portrayal of Sam is so personal, so deep, so present, that one may question, is he being the brilliant actor that he is or is he just being himself reliving his own accounting of his life. Directed by longtime activist and ACT Up member Vincent Gagliostro. Many other LGBTQ luminaries appear in the film.  It is no wonder why Alan Cummings is the recipient of the 2017 Frameline Award. Co-Starring, Zachary Booth.

RATED: 3 1/2 . Honey 🐝🐝🐝’s

WHITNEY. “Can I Be Me” 

Why, oh why was this sham of a film ever allowed into the LGBTQ  S.F. Frameline Film Festival? Was it under the guise that childhood friend, Robin Crawford was Whitney’s lover? Was that old rumored news supposed to be the reason it was accepted  into the festival ? Because It was given a “Gay Hook”?  Robin Crawford was never interviewed. Robin Crawford did not confirm, sanction nor dignify the assertions made by Rudi Dolezai and Nick Broomfield.

Rudi Dolezai was somehow on just a small part of the 1999 , Whitney “My Love is Your Love Tour”. The footage that he shot for himself was grainy and had the quality that he was skulking around in the shadows to capture what he could.  With the intent on how to make a buck off of a time when Whitney’s drug disease was at it’s most vulnerable. He edited over and over again the small amounts of his footage to be reinserted into everything you have ever seen before on TMZ, ABC, any and all interviews over the years. Carefully cherry picking only the negative soundbites and of course his favorite source, “Being Bobby Brown” footage. Editing it all into the most salacious, vicious, mean spirited film. It is all self serving for these peddlers of exploitation for profit at it’s worst!

No wonder there weren’t any interviews by the most trusted influential and respected people that could speak to the validity about Whitney’s life. No wonder these two are being sued. In the Q&A section after the showing of this garbage they said upon the question posed to them “why weren’t there interviews by Robin Crawford who you are hanging your hat on the premise of this film ?” or of  Clive Davis her mentor and her close knit confidents ?” Their answer ” We talk to our Lawyers they are our best friends these days” . Well, you know the ol stories about lawyers and what they will do for a dollar. A Marriage made in sleaze heaven.  Rudi and Nick should get on the Broom-field they flew in on and fly away.

RATED: Don’t get STUNG paying for this one or waste your time seeing everything you already have seen or heard over the years.