#Indie Film Spotlight – Begin Again


Begin Again debuted in the US April 2014 at the Tribeca Film Festival, played at my local independent theatre, and I finally just watched it on Showtime. I don’t know why I waited this long as this movie is a love letter to NYC and independent music, which is the perfect film for me.

The whole time I was watching Begin Again, I thought, this really reminds me of the film Once, and I was not that surprised to see the film’s writer and director was John Carney, who directed Once.

Begin Again tells the story of Dan (Mark Ruffalo) and Gretta (Keira Knightley) who meet just after Dan has been fired from his own record label and Gretta has been dumped by her rock star boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine.) Gretta is a singer-songwriter and Dan decides to revive them both by recording her album outside in NYC.

The love letter to NYC is apparent in the choice of locales for Gretta’s album, including the Bethesda Fountain, the subway, and a rooftop in front of The Empire State Building. A lovely montage also succeeds when Dan And Gretta wander NYC listening to Gretta’s favorite songs through an earphone splitter.

There is great chemistry between Dan and Gretta and I kept wondering if there would be a romance. I won’t spoil anything, but I was satisfied. Begin Again is a sweet film, and if you love independent music and NYC you will really love it.

#TBT The Breakfast Club 30th Anniversary celebration tonight

Tonight begins the limited theatrical screenings of The Breakfast Club to celebrate its 30th anniversary. To see where it’s screening visit

I saw The Breakfast Club in the theater in 1985. It is a brilliant film. John Hughes RIP! A bit of trivia: John Hughes doesn’t permit The Breakfast Club to be performed as a play in schools. Please, let’s hope Hollywood never produces a remake. It’s a classic.

I’m hoping to see it at Kew Gardens Cinema tonight. Because I am a brain, a princess, an athlete, a criminal, and a basketcase.

Soundtrack of my life – Pt. 2

The series of blog posts that I’m writing are chronological, beginning with the songs that marked my childhood and ending with the current music that defines my days and nights. Music is how I remember things – where I was, how I felt, what was going on and who was in my life. When I hear these songs, they transport me and they are the soundtrack of my life.

Welcome to Part 2. We’re in the mid 1970’s and for the next several posts I will be introducing the different styles of music that I listened to as a child and influenced my taste in music today. I also still listen to all the songs in the present day.

3. Joel Grey & Liza Minelli, Money (1972)

This is the first musical I remember listening to. My dad and I were on a road trip from New York to Florida. We played the cassette of the soundtrack to the film Cabaret over and over. This is not unusual. As a child I listened to the same albums on repeat.

During a stop for dinner I decided to march around and around the restaurant table singing over and over:

Money makes the world go around/ The world go around/ The world go around.

It’s a funny song and the chorus is quite child-friendly even if the movie is very adult-themed, with the Nazis and all.


4. David Bowie, Introduction (1978)

David Bowie Narrates Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf is a musical symphony for children and a beginner’s guide to the orchestra. David Bowie explains that each character in the story has a particular instrument and musical theme.

The bird = flute, duck = oboe, cat = clarinet, grandfather = bassoon, wolf = french horns, hunters = kettle drums, and Peter = strings. His theme is my favorite and I still find myself humming it as an adult.

I love the whole idea of Peter and the Wolf  and it’s so entertaining as well as educational. If I had children, this would be required listening at an early age.

I enjoy classical music and played classical Piano growing up. I’d like to think that this had some influence.



Funny or Die – Veronica Mars 10K Kickstarter Backer’s Line


After watching the Veronica Mars movie, I noticed that the backer whose line “Your check, Sir” that was a $10,000 Kickstarter reward was not actually in the film. Director Rob Thomas explained that it got cut and the backer was featured elsewhere and he made a Funny or Die video spoofing the promised three word role for the backer. It’s clever, featuring other Kickstarter backers that were extras in the film saying the line.