Last year we published Eric Drysdale‘s spoof on The Criterion Closet, short videos where filmmakers and others get to select Criterion Collection films to add to their own collections. These sessions offer fun and surprising insights into people’s interests while often inspiring our own choices.
We have brought back some of our favorite images, videos and music from our last version of this celebration in January 2020 and added a lot of new finds and fun. You will find music, food, drinks, photos and more. From Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Ella Fitzgerald to Chuck Berry, Etta James, The Ramones, L’l Nas, Nina Simone, and watch The Grateful Dead’s New Year’s Eve 4+ hour concert to close Winterland following a collection of Dead NYE concert posters. There are superheroes, favorite cartoon characters, comedians including Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Laurel & Hardy and the Three Stooges plus how to countdown to midnight with Star Wars.
By C.J. Hirschfield
Longtime word nerds like myself have been delighted by recent documentaries that celebrate letters and the wondrous ways they can be arranged. Films include Obit, about New York Times obituary writers, Wordplay, which covered a major crossword puzzle tournament, as well as Spellbound and Spelling the Dream, which welcomes us into the stressful world of spelling bees.
Clearly, it was only a matter of time before the “magic little puzzle” of palindromes—words, phrases, and sentences that read the same backward and forward—were thrust into the spotlight. The new documentary The Palindromists turns out to be much more of a “wow” than a “huh?”, palindromic words used to judge contestants in the World Palindrome Championship, around which the film is centered.
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.
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.