Archive for the Film Category

Documentary Filmmaker Nicole Cimino reports on her documentary, The Paper House Report…

Posted in Film, Interviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2012 by thefrogge

I met Nicole Cimino in an acting class. She immediately stood out to me, well, because she is sort of brilliant. She is an extremely talented actress, she is brave, and most importantly she is honest. When I heard that Nicole had teamed up with a production company, Jack Boar Pictures, I was intrigued. I asked Nicole what she was working on with Jack Boar… She told me that together, they recently completed a documentary called The Paper House Report. I asked her how I could see it. She sent me the link… The Paper House Report.

Documentary Filmmaker Nicole Cimino

Documentary Filmmaker Nicole Cimino

I watched Nicole’s documentary [shot by director of photography Luigi Benvisto] and found out another thing about her… That she is an activist. I had no idea what the subject of her documentary was about but as I started watching it, I quickly found out that it is a cry, a plea, and a bold message to Save Jerry Delakas from losing the license to operate his newsstand on Astor Place that he has been operating for the past 25 years.

Jerry Delakas at his newsstand on Astor Place

Jerry Delakas at his newsstand on Astor Place

I wanted to know more about The Paper House Report and Jerry Delakas’ story, so I met up with Nicole and had the opportunity to ask her a few questions:

The Frogge: How did you hear about what is happening to Jerry Delakas?
Nicole Cimino: Last summer I was writing a one woman show about the Italian Actress Anna Magnani… I was waiting for my costume designer on the corner of Astor Place where Jerry Delakas’ newsstand is located. I walked up to the newsstand and realized there were many newspaper articles about him. There was also a petition to sign and a large picture of him which said “SAVE JERRY.” As soon as I started reading about Jerry’s story, I became touched and curious. I immediately wanted to know more about him, so I approached him, introduced myself, and asked him about the article clippings that I had just read… Jerry began to tell me a little bit about his story.

TF: What inspired you to go ahead and make this documentary?
NC: While I was talking to Jerry, I felt a deep connection to his story. I believe each one of us can relate to someone who is in the process of losing everything that he has worked so hard for all of his life. I felt so much empathy for Jerry… Maybe because he is an immigrant, just like me, who left his country and came to America to pursue a dream. But also because I could know that he is a good man, honest, and hardworking. Now that he has reached the age of 62 years old, it would be so difficult for him to start over again… But the truth is, Jerry should not have to start over again, after all, he is the one who has been running the newsstand for 25 years! The more Jerry spoke about his life, the more I kept wondering what I could do to take action and help him. After I said goodbye, I kept thinking about him all day… It was as if I knew him my entire life. Since I am an artist, I thought about ways that I could help Jerry- that is when I got the idea to team up with Jack Boar Pictures and director of photography Luigi Benvisto to make a documentary.

TF: Now that the documentary is finished, how do you plan on using it to help Jerry?
NC: As soon as I finished the documentary [produced by Jack Boar Pictures] I started to promote the documentary to let people know about Jerry’s story. I have done radio & TV interviews. I also had the opportunity to present a trailer last week at Trump World Tower. I created a blog called The Paper House from the first day I started to work on the documentary. I use the blog to share all the information I obtain. There is also a link where you can sign the petition to help Save Jerry’s newsstand. In addition, we are planning on submitting the documentary to film festivals. Lastly, we are organizing a press screening of the documentary where Jerry himself will be in attendance. Anyone who attends will be able to speak with Jerry Delakas personally, listen to his voice, and hear his story straight from his mouth. Hopefully, all of this will have an influence on the city’s decision regarding Jerry’s newsstand license. I also sent a copy of The Paper House Report to Mayor Bloomberg. If anyone would like a copy of the documentary, there are copies available for donation (as this is a non-profit project) at Jerry’s newsstand. If you stop by to pick one up, please remember to sign the petition! There are already thousands of people who are asking the city to grant Jerry a license. I know in my heart that Jerry should be granted a license to continue operating the newsstand. I know this is the right thing to do… I hope this documentary helps.

TF: Do you know what the status of Jerry’s newsstand is now?
NC: The Supreme Court of New York should have come out with the decision at the end of March, but they have not yet… We should be hearing the final decision in the next few weeks. Once the final decision is made, there will not be any chance to make an appeal. I am in touch with Jerry’s lawyer, Gil Santamarina, and he will let me know as soon as they decide. In the meantime, I keep going to see Jerry and to support him during this long waiting period. I really hope that the DCA and the Court will soon come to a decision that will grant Jerry the license he needs to keep on operating his newsstand.

TF: Is there anything we can do to help Jerry?
NC: If you haven’t done so yet, please sign the petition which you can find on http://www.savejerry.com. It would be even better if you find yourself by Jerry’s newsstand on Astor Place to sign the petition in person! You could also pick up a copy of the documentary. But, above all, if you could say a few supportive words to Jerry, that would be the best. I think encouraging Jerry in this moment is the best thing that we can do. He gets so happy when people go to see him and just say, “Hi, I am with you in this.” I am planning to have a party at Jerry’s Newsstand as soon as he gets the license he deserves and everyone is invited.

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Revel in The Frogge’s Reviews…

Posted in Film, Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2010 by thefrogge

The weather has been horrible, and clubland sooo unfortunately uninspiring… So… What’s a Frogge to do?? See every movie & play out there and compile a list of reviews for my fav Froggers & Froggettes. Thinking about seeing a movie today cause this rain sucks? Have no fear, The Frogge is here to help you make this important decision in your life. Want to see a play, but can’t afford the tickets? Well… I may just have some tricks up my lily pad to help score you affordable seats. It’s okay, you don’t have to thank me, The Frogge just wuvs to help. Where shall I begin?

A SINGLE MAN: A Single Man was released on December 11, 2009… Meaning you’ve had a whole 3 months to get out there and see this movie! But if you haven’t seen it yet, that’s okay… There is still time! It is playing at four theaters in NYC. I suggest seeing it at The Angelika Film Center (18 west Houston Street) because you can get a small soda, small popcorn, and a bag of candy for just $7 bucks! Can’t beat that deal. “Today’s remaining show times are…” Just kidding… You can check Moviefone.com or Fandango for that information.

Reasons to see A Single Man: It is directed by Tom Ford! If you don’t know who Tom Ford is by now, shame on you, but basically he is the man who saved Gucci from going out of business. (Yeah, it almost tanked circa 1990.) When Ford left Gucci after 14 years in 2004, he has started his own fashion line. The Frogge is particularly a huge fan of his sunglasses. Because Ford is a visual genius, A Single Man could quite possibly be one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. Honestly, I thought it was more visually beautiful than Avatar. Every frame is sheer perfection… From the costumes, to the actors, to the lighting… It really is a sight to see… You should see this movie for that reason alone… But, there’s more. It stars Colin Firth, who was simply amazing. The opening scene of the film speaks for itself. (You will see what I mean.) He was nominated for Best Actor at the Academy Awards for this, but lost to Jeff Bridges who won for Crazy Heart. Julianne Moore was simply stunning. If you are a young, aspiring actress, I highly suggest you watch all Julianne Moore movies, as you can learn so much from her.

If you are a gay man and/or a straight girl with a gay best friend and/or love fashion, dogs, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore, hot boys, the late 1950’s, Los Angeles, visually stunning films, highly dramatic plot lines, Spanish men who resemble James Dean, the contemplation of suicide and naked swimming… Don’t walk, run to see this film.

Fav quote from A Single Man: “A few times in my life I’ve had moments of absolute clarity. When the silence drowns out the noise & I can feel rather than think & things seem so sharp & the world seems so fresh. I can never make these moments last. I cling to them, but like everything, they fade. I have lived my life on these moments. They pull me back to the present & I realize that everything is exactly the way it was meant to be.”

A Single Man. Directed by Tom Ford. Starring Colin Firth & Julianne Moore.

OUR TOWN: Oh, Our Town… Where do I even begin with this one? Our Town could quite possibly be the most famous American play ever written. It was written by Thornton Wilder and takes place in a small New Hampshire town called Grover’s Corners in 1901. Now here is the catch: Our Town is my favorite play in the entire world, however, if you see a bad production of it, you will literally want to kill yourself. You will take a tweezer and start plucking out your eyebrows one by one in the theatre, counting the seconds until intermission, where you can then run away and never come back. This is why you NEED to see *this* production of Our Town. It Is A M A Z I N G. Do you hear me, people?? AMAZING. Michael Shannon plays the part of The Stage Manager. If you don’t know who Michael Shannon is, he played Kathy Bates‘s “arguably mentally ill” son in Revolutionary Road where was nominated in 2009 for Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards. (He lost to Heath Ledger who won for The Dark Knight.) The thing that is so amazing about this production, is all the actors are spot-on… except for (in my opinion) the girl who plays Emily… She likes to yell her lines a lot.

I should tell you though that Our Town is not for everyone. Do not see this play if you like action, action, action. Our Town is for the patient viewer, someone who understands that some stories need to build, build, build, before they deliver, deliver, deliver. If you appreciate the little things in life, small nuances, basic human emotion, small theaters where Academy Award nominated actors are two feet away from you, watching young & innocent love grow & develop, and simplicity, simplicity, simplicity… Our Town will be sure to tickle your pickle and more!

It is playing at the Barrow Street Theatre in the West Village. It runs Tuesdays-Sundays and starts at 7:30. On Saturdays & Sundays only, there is an additional performance at 2:30. You can get all this information at Broadway.com. Go to Broadway.com, click on “find a show, then off-broadway, then plays, then Our Town.” Tickets start at $69.00 BUT you can get student tickets for $20 bucks (cash only.) Here’s how to do that. On the day of the show, call the theatre (212) 243-6262… Politely ask if they are sold out for that night’s performance. If they aren’t sold out, go to the theatre at 7:00 pm sharp! Present your student ID card, fork over 20 bucks, and enjoy the show. For almost the same price as a 3D movie, you can the most famous American play ever written with an Academy Award nominated actor. How cool is that? I love NYC…

Fav quote from Our Town:

A deceased Emily says, “Oh, earth. You are too wonderful for anybody to notice you.”

Then she asks the Stage Manager, “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? Every, every minute?”

He replies, “No. The saints and the poets, maybe they do some.”

Our Town. Directed by David Cromer. Starring Michael Shannon.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND: Ahhh! I am just DeLiGhTeD to speak of this subject! Everybody who knows The Frogge well, keeps asking me whether or not I just looooooved Alice in Wonderland? I think that is an extremely hard question to answer because I hold all-things-Alice-related to an extremely high standard! In other words, The Frogge is completely obsessed with Alice in Wonderland to the point where not only do I own the films, 6 different editions of the book, including the annotated version… I also own The Best of Lewis Carroll and the complete Alice in Wonderland dish set from Fishes Eddy. Furthermore, I pretty much graduated college just so I could have an Alice in Wonderland themed graduation party, which was awesome… (You can read about it & learn how to create your very own, very mad, Mad Hatters inspired tea party on TheFrogge.com if you go back to my posts from July 2009.)

Back to the film. Because I am so Alice-obsessed, I knew I just had to relax. I knew I just had to 100% completely take this film with the tiniest grain of salt or I’d go completely mad! So that’s exactly what I did. I went into this film with ZERO expectations and with that said, I really enjoyed it. I thought that Tim Burton did a nice job of “creating this new story line” but yet “staying true to the original”… which is something that is so hard to do. It definitely was a balancing act between the old & the new, and though I don’t think that he didn’t necessarily nailed it, I think he did a pretty sufficient job for all normal entertainment purposes.

I particularly enjoyed Helena Bonhan Carter‘s interpretation of the Red Queen. I thought her vocal choices were wonderful. She was so evil, yet so adorable at the same time. I was also so so so happy that Johnny Depp didn’t come off like the creepy pedophile that he did when he played Willy Wonka. I thought he was totally endearing and charming… I especially loved his eyes… Not just the fact that he was wearing those beautiful, green contact lenses, but everything that he was communicating with his eyes… It was as if at certain times, he didn’t even need to speak, we just knew what he was saying through his eyes. I don’t think anyone could have played the Mad Hatter better than he did… I truly got quite emotional at the end when… Oh wait! I can’t tell you… I don’t want to spoil anything for you! So I will just say, that I found him to be very touching during some moments in the film.

What else can I say about this? The first time I saw the film, I saw it in regular 3D… not IMAX 3D… and I felt that the 3D was awesome… But then I went back and saw it a second time in IMAX 3D and it was sooo much cooler! I didn’t think that it would make that much of a difference… but it did… So if you still haven’t seen Alice, I definitely suggest seeing it in IMAX 3D because there are certain moments that are just amazing in IMAX.

Fav quote from Alice in Wonderland: I know that you all want me to say, “Why is a raven like a writing desk,” but I won’t! That is definitely not my fav quote! My fav is, or rather one of my favs is when the Mad Hatter asks Alice, “Have I gone mad?” And Alice replies, “I’m afraid so. You’re entirely bonkers. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.” Sighhhhhhh… I love that part! I also really love when the Red Queen yells, “I need a pig here! I love a warm pig belly for my aching feet!” Hehehe… So nuts. Gotta love Helena Bonham Carter.

Alice in Wonderland. Directed by Tim Burton. Starring Johnny Depp.

HAIR: I recently went to see Hair on Broadway because the moon was in the seventh house and Jupiter was aligned with Mars… When that happens, what else is there to do? Nothing! You gotta go see Hair. I am not going to say too much about this show because it’s Hair on Broadway & because it has been running for a while now, so I am sure that you already know lots and lots about it. But I will tell you how to get $25 dollar tix just in case you don’t know how to do that. On the day of the show, go to the Al Hirschfeld Theatre (302 west 45th street.) Get there at 5:30… Fill out a card with your name on it… Put your name card in the bucket (Somebody will be there to assist you. Last time I did this, it was a cute guy.) At 6:00 pm, they will pick out names from the bucket. I believe they give away a total of 28 tix for $25 bucks each. If you go on a rainy day, you will probably have a good chance of winning. Now you know all of my secrets! Shhh! Don’t tell anyone! However, since this is the off-season for Broadway, there are tickets on Broadway.com that start at $37 bucks. Pretty groovy, huh?

Fav quote from Hair: When Woof (who is a male character) says, “Well, I wouldn’t kick Mick Jagger out of my bed, but uh, I’m not a homosexual, no.” Really, Woof? Not a homosexual, ay? Righttt… lol.

let the sun shine in your HAIR at the Al Hirschfeld theatre!

Well, those are my reviews for now. That was fun & I plan on letting you all revel in my reviews more often. As for me, I plan on seeing The Hurt Locker asap. Normally I don’t see war movies because they really, really sadden me… but I think I am going to have to make an exception this one time… I need to see for myself what the buzz is all about.

Love Your Friend,

The Frogge ❤

RIBBIT OF THE DAY: The Ribbit of the Day is going to the character Nina from The Seagull by Anton Chekhov when she says, “I know now, I understand at last, that for us, whether we write or act, it is not the honor and glory of which I have dreamt that is important, it is the strength to endure. One must know how to bear one’s cross, and one must have faith. I believe, and so do not suffer so much, and when I think of my calling, I do not fear life.”

I saw a production of The Seagull last night at the Gene Frankel Theatre directed by Alan Langdon, an amazing acting teacher who teaches at Circle in the Square Theatre School. Most of the actors in the play have attended Circle in the Square, and they were just wonderful. This play is off-off-broadway, but I really recommend seeing it. Three of the actors in the play produced it, and I think this show is an amazing example of making things happen for yourself. These actors didn’t just sit around and wait to be cast in someone else’s show. Instead, they got together, formed a theatre group called The Locus Theatre Company, picked a play, hired a director, and put up their very own production. I was very moved by all of their performances and the best part is, the theatre is so intimate that you are practically sitting on stage with them.

To learn more about the Locus Theatre Company click HERE!

If you are interested in seeing their production of The Seagull you can purchase tickets for $15 HERE! The show is running through Sunday March 21st… so hurry! You gotta catch it quickly.

The Seagull. By Anton Chekhov. Directed by Alan Langdon.