LAUGHING WITH CARL REINER

Carl Reiner made the world laugh. We will miss him but his legacy was to leave us laughing no matter what. And boy do we need it now.

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As a kid I loved Your Show of Shows. Other than the program’s stars, Sid Ceasar and Imogene Cocoa, I had no idea who the other people were except that they were funny and we loved them for that. The actors and writers included unknowns like Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris, Larry Gelbart, Neil Simon, Woody Allen and Carl Reiner.

 

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ELLA FITZGERALD: TOO MARVELOUS FOR WORDS

by Kim Nalley

Within the first seconds of Ella Fitzgerald: Just One Of Those Things  British Eagle Rock’s documentary on the jazz vocalist, the seamless connection between the tempo and lyrics of Ella Fitzgerald singing How High The Moon and the shaky black and white images of Ella racing down the highway in a car portends that this is going to be a great film. Sit down, relax, and fix yourself a drink because this is a movie worth savoring.

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DIANA KENNEDY: NOTHING FANCY—INDEED

By Patricia Unterman

To tell you the truth, my dear film buffs, I’m a reader, not a moviegoer, and I only read fiction.  If I watch a movie, it has to be in a movie house on a big screen and it has to promise a good story, ideally involving sex.   Documentaries, for me, are a bore.

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But despite all odds, I was mesmerized by a new documentary on the life of Diana Kennedy, the grouchy, 97-year-old writer of regional Mexican cookbooks, by first-time movie director Elizabeth Carroll.  The film felt novelistic to me—nuanced, revealing, true.  It picked me right up from a desk chair in front of my little computer screen and dropped me in the upland forests of Michoacán. Continue reading

Cranky– and Curious–about Cuisine

By C.J. Hirschfield

When a 97 -year-old cookbook writer is called “the Mick Jagger of Mexican cuisine,” and the “Indiana Jones of food,” you know there’s gotta be a story there. There is, and a fascinating one at that. Directed by Elizabeth Carroll and available for virtual screening now, the new documentary Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy shares the life and work of an impatient, antisocial, cranky, profane, opinionated woman—whose life has been driven by her enthusiasm and curiosity about authentic Mexican regional cooking. She is an absolutely marvelous force of nature.

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