Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Five Fashion-y Things to Watch on HBO Right Now

Houston Press
Fashion On Demand: Five Fashion-y Things to Watch on HBO Right Now
By Christina Uticone Thu., Aug. 28 2014 at 7:00 AM

bet midler

Other than the insane Simpsons marathon on FXX, there is practically nothing to watch on television at the moment. (Sportsball doesn’t count–it’s always on.) Sure, we’re muddling along with new episodes of Project Runway on Thursday nights, but beyond that we’re talking about a wasteland of reality shows and syndicated re-runs.

For those of us who are #soblessed with HBO On Demand, the menu offers some relief. From Vogue to Marilyn Monroe to a little-watched HBO series, here are five fashion-centric gems to keep you occupied.

In Vogue (2012)

If someone offered you 90 minutes to pick the brain of some of the most famous names at Vogue, wouldn’t you jump at the chance? Now you needn’t worry about jumping, or the joint damage it could cause. Sit back, relax, and spend time with Hamish Bowles, Grace Coddington, and Anna Wintour–plus designers and A-list celebs like Nicole Kidman–via this 90-minute HBO documentary.

About Face (2012)

Watch some of the most famous faces in fashion–Christie Brinkley, Jerry Hall, Christy Turlington, Paulina Prizkova, et al.–as they discuss the fashion industry at large, the definition of “beauty,” and how one defines (and redefines) the concept as one ages.
It’s great to actually hear from models, and–if you’re over 30–it’s hard to resist this particular set. About Face comes in at a very digestible 75 minutes, so no big time investment there. It’s like the Vogue age issue, but with more gossip.

How to Make it in America (2010-11)

This little show never found traction at HBO, and was cancelled after two seasons, but episodes can be accessed On Demand–and they should be. A quirky, strange little 30-minute comedy, How to Make it in America follows friends Ben and Cam as they try to hustle their way to success in the New York City fashion scene. And who can resist anything with Luis Guzmán?

Love, Marilyn (2012)

Spend two hours getting to know one of the greatest style icons of the twentieth century. Some of your favorite stars today read from Marilyn’s diaries, poems, and letters; the readings are cut with archival footage, and we hear from Monroe’s contemporaries as a result (as well as from Marilyn herself). Look for Lauren Bacall, Truman Capote, and Gloria Steinem in the archival footage; modern celebs who participated include Zoe Saldana, Glen Close, Viola Davis, and Evan Rachel Wood.

Casting By (2012)

So not quite fashion, perhaps, but a fascinating glimpse into the world of movie casting. We meet Marion Dougherty, whose casting choices launched mega-careers like Dustin Hoffman, Bette Midler, and Gene Hackman. In addition to Midler, we hear from stars like Diane Lane, John Travolta, and Glen Close–all style icons, so let’s give it up for Ms. Dougherty. Good eye, sister.

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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Monday, September 1, 2014

BetteBack September 20, 1986: Bette And Barry Manilow In A TV Special?

Winnipeg Free Press
September 20, 1986

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Q. I heard Barry Manitow and Bette Midler are going to star hi a TV specialtogether. Didn’t they start out in show business as an act? — H.I.

A. Barry Manilow was Bette’s accompanist and arranger when she first started out in New York clubs. He later branched out on his own, and became a star in his own right. The pair have no plans for a TV reunion.

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sarah Silverman, Bette Midler, Kelly Osbourne Send Well-Wishes to Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers‘ famous friends and E! colleagues are rallying behind the comedy legend who is reportedly on life support after she stopped breathing during throat surgery on Thursday morning. Over the weekend, a host of familiar names expressed their love and sent well-wishes to the 81-year-old E! “Fashion Police” host. Also read: Joan Rivers’ Daughter Melissa Thanks Fans for Support: ‘Her Condition Remains Serious’ “We have a gig in 2 weeks and I’m not doing it without you You’Re Being Ridiculous,” Sarah Silverman tweeted Sunday. Bette Midler also sent well-wishes Rivers’ way, writing on Twitter, “Please, please, let #JoanRivers pull through. »

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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Hello In There – Bette Midler Cover (Performed by Don Bradshaw)

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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The Robin Williams that made so many people laugh

Albany Herald
MARY BRASWELL: Looking Back Aug. 24, 2014
HISTORY : The Robin Williams that made so many people laugh

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Emotions ran the gamut when news of the death of Robin Williams spread across the world on Aug. 11. The comedian’s wife said, on behalf of his family,”As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.” That is just what this column wishes to do.
##DID YOU KNOW?
##— As a child, Williams memorized the comedy albums of Jonathan Winters.
##— Williams was granted a full scholarship to Juilliard in New York City. In 1973, he was one of only 20 students accepted in to Juilliard’s freshman class and one of only two students to be accepted by John Houseman into the advanced program. The other was Christopher Reeve. The duo became lifelong friends.
##— A week after Reeve was injured in the horseback riding accident that left him paralyzed, Williams dressed in scrubs from head to toe, including a surgical mask. When he entered the room, he spoke with a Russian accent acting the role of a doctor. When Reeve saw who it really was, he laughed for the first time after the accident.
##— When Williams auditioned for the role of Mork from Ork on “Happy Days,” producer Garry Marshall told him to sit down. Williams immediately “sat” on his head. Marshall hired him saying he was the only alien that auditioned for the role.
##— With the grand success of the first season “Mork & Mindy,” Williams was featured on the cover of Time magazine on March 12, 1979.
##— In 1993, Williams wrote the forward to Gary Larson’s book, “The Far Side: Gallery 4.”
##— When Johnny Carson planned his penultimate show, he picked Robin Williams and Bette Midler as his final guests, on May 21, 1992.
##— When Williams graduated from high school in 1969, the senior class voted him “funniest” and “most likely not to succeed.”
##— Among the many celebrity voices Williams impersonated were Jack Nicholson, Robert De Niro, Rodney Dangerfield, Arsenio Hall, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ed Sullivan.
##— As a child, Williams’ favorite book was “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.” He later read it to his children.
##— Williams and Robert De Niro were the last celebrities to see John Belushi alive, albeit on separate visits to his bungalow, on March 5, 1982.
##— A star on the the Hollywood Walk of Fame was added for Williams on December 12, 1990.
##— Williams enjoyed cycling and even trained with Lance Armstrong occasionally.
##— On the TV show “Law & Order: SVU,” Williams portrayed a man driven crazy with grief (April 29, 2008).
##— When “Blame Canada,” a song from “South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut,” was nominated for a Best Song Academy Award, it was Williams who performed the song at the ceremony. Mary Kay Bergman, the actress who performed the song in the film, had committed suicide a few months earlier.
##— After a 20-year break from stand-up comedy, Williams came back with a show on Broadway. It won the 2003 Grammy for the best spoken word album.
##— The year was 1996 when Williams reached a milestone by having two of his films reach the $100-million mark in the U.S. in the same week. The films were “Jumanji” and “The Birdcage.”
##— Williams was raised in the Episcopal Church. He once related the top reasons to be an Episcopalian. Among them were: pew aerobics, no snake handling; male and female, God created them, male and female we ordain them, and free wine on Sunday.
##IN HIS WORDS …
##“The Second Amendment says we have the right to bear arms, not to bear artillery.”
##“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”
##“Why do they call it rush hour when nothing moves?”
##“If women ran the world we wouldn’t have wars, just intense negotiations every 28 days.”
##“If it’s the Psychic Network, why do they need a phone number?”
##“Comedy is acting out optimism.”
##“Never pick a fight with an ugly person, they’ve got nothing to lose.”
##“What’s right is what’s left if you do everything else wrong.”
##“You’re only given one little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”
##“Reality is just a crutch for people who can’t cope with drugs.”
##“Politics: ‘Poli’ a Latin word meaning ‘many’; and ‘tics,’ meaning ‘bloodsucking creatures.’”
##“Cricket is basically baseball on Valium.”
##“In England, if you commit a crime, the police don’t have a gun and you don’t have a gun. If you commit a crime, the police will say, ‘Stop, or I’ll say stop again.’”
##“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!’”
##“Death is nature’s way of saying, ‘Your table is ready.’”
##“A woman would never make a nuclear bomb. They would never make a weapon that kills. They’d make a weapon that makes you feel bad for a while.”
##“We’re dealing with fundamentalists. The Amish are fundamentalists, but they don’t try an hijack a carriage at needlepoint.”
##“She is not perfect. You are not perfect. The question is whether or not you are perfect for each other.”
##“The truth is, if anything, I’m probably addicted to laughter.”
##“Okra is the closest thing to nylon I’ve ever eaten. It’s like they bred cotton with a green bean. Okra tastes like snot. The more you cook it, the more it turns into string.”
##“When you look at Prince Charles, don’t you think that someone in the Royal family knew someone in the Royal family?”
##“What kind of food did we drop on Afghanistan? Pop-Tarts, peanut butter … just add a Honey Baked Ham and you’ve got a redneck Christmas.”
##“Welcome to Washington, D.C., where the buck stops here! Way to go. And then it’s handed out to AIG and many other people.”
##“You know the difference between a tornado and divorce in the South? Nothing! Someone is losing a trailer.”
##“I was once on a German talk show, and this woman said to me, ‘Mr. Williams, why do you think there is not so much comedy in Germany?’ And I said, ‘Did you ever think you killed all the funny people?’”
##“I’m a born entertainer. When I open the fridge door and the light goes on, I burst into song.”
##“People say satire is dead. It’s not dead; it’s alive and living in the White House.”
##ONE LAST THING …
##Once asked what he (Robin Williams) would like to hear God say when he arrives in heaven, he answered, “There’s a seat in the front for the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Elvis Presley concert.” From fans near and far, here’s hoping you enjoy the show.

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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BetteBack September 20, 1986: Shelley Long On Bette Midler

Kokomo Tribune
September 20, 1986

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As does your film career, which continues with “Outrageous Fortune.” Aren’t you and Bette Midler an odd pairing?

We play very different characters. I like to do my preparation — my feeling into a situation. But the contrasts in the film are hilarious.

I don’t think it takes much imagination to think about Shelley Long and Bette Midler in a movie together

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Shameless Self Promotion: Shake It Off – Taylor Swift Cover (Performed by Don Bradshaw)

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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Movie “Life Of Crime” Too Close To “Ruthless People”

Daily Post
MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Life of Crime’ would have worked better in the 80’s
By Michael Clark As of Wednesday, August 27, 2014

kidnappedbykmart

LIFE OF CRIME (R)

#2.5 out of 4 stars

#Saddled with a forgettable, generic title, “Life of Crime” is a film that might have worked better had it come out when originally intended (1986) and contained anywhere near the level of stinging and caustic wit of its source material.

#Back in ’86, Diane Keaton was slated to play lead character Mickey in an adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel “The Switch.” The plot was pretty simple: the unhappily married wife of a wealthy developer is kidnapped and held for ransom, but because the husband is also unhappy, he refuses to pay. It was so close in tone and structure to “Ruthless People” that it was permanently shelved and probably should have remained there.

#In yet another attempt to jump-start her waning big-screen career, Jennifer Aniston stars as Mickey opposite Tim Robbins who plays her blowhard, cheating husband Frank. Staying faithful to Leonard’s early ’70s setting, adapter/director Daniel Schechter nails the gaudy dress and loud décor of the era but that’s about it. It wants to be “The Ice Storm” or “Fargo” but feels more like an extended, mostly unfunny episode of “That ’70s Show.”

#After a too-long preamble, Mickey is kidnapped by recently released felons and former prison bunkmates Louis (John Hawkes) and Ordell (Mos Def). While not nearly as violent as the one that went down in “Fargo,” the nabbing is as equally fumbling and chaotic. Not exactly inept and far from vicious, Louis and Ordell are just lazy, unimaginative and disorganized. On the way out they must think fast after receiving a surprise visit from Marshall (Will Forte), a friend of the family who has his eyes on Mickey.

#Shortly thereafter Mickey is plopped down in the home of third accomplice Richard (Mark Boone Junior), a neo-Nazi whose home is adorned with Third Reich memorabilia. Looking like Grizzly Adams on acid, Richard is also a Peeping Tom but gets more than he bargained for after Mickey discovers his hiding place.

#What Mickey and her captors don’t know is that before Frank headed off to an Island resort with his mistress Melanie (Isla Fisher), he filed divorce papers so the trio of would-be extortionists is actually doing him a favor. The more they plead for the $1 million ransom, the more Frank — speaking through Melanie — ignores them. As with Bette Midler’s character in “Ruthless,” Mickey is more than a bit bummed and saddened that her husband — despite their differences and worth far more than what is being asked for her hide — doesn’t think she’s worth it and in turn something resembling Stockholm Syndrome kicks in.

#Robbins is no Danny DeVito, Aniston is certainly no Midler and while otherwise good at what they do, Hawkes and Def seem indifferent to parts and their character’s plights. What they need is a little of the spastic paranoia of Judge Reinhold from “Ruthless” or maybe even a touch of the sadistic calculation of the “Fargo” guys; they’re just not very interesting or dangerous criminals.

#The only things the movie has going in its favor are a short running time (94 minutes) and a beyond-surprising plot twist taking place in the final scene. In mere seconds the film goes from “skip it” status to “wait for the video,” which will likely be sometime before the first fall frost.

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Gay BathHouses Today Face Extinction

USA Today
Gay bathhouses nationwide face uncertain future
Matt Hamilton, AP Staff Writer 11:21 a.m. EDT August 23, 2014

After Dark Annual Ruby Awards

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Gay bathhouses that once remained in the shadows to stay in business are now seeking attention to keep their doors open.

Some are doing aggressive online advertising and community outreach. Others tout their upscale amenities like plush towels and marble baths. A bathhouse in Ohio has even added hotel rooms and a nightclub.

Gone are the days when bathhouses drew crowds just by offering a discreet place for gays to meet, share saunas and, often, have sex.

“The acceptance of gays has changed the whole world. It’s taken away the need to sneak into back-alley places,” said Dennis Holding, 75, who owns a Miami-based bathhouse.

In the heyday of bathhouses in the late 1970s, there were nearly 200 gay bathhouses in cities across the U.S., but by 1990, the total had dropped to approximately 90, according to Damron, the publisher of an annual gay travel guide. In the last decade, bathhouses, including ones in San Diego, Syracuse, Seattle and San Antonio, have shut down and the total nationwide is less than 70. Most patrons are older.

Hollywood Spa — one of the largest bathhouses in Los Angeles, a city regarded as the country’s bathhouse capital — closed in April. Owner Peter D. Sykes said fewer customers and rising rent put an end to four decades in business.

“Bathhouses were like dirty bookstores and parks: a venue to meet people,” said Sykes, who still owns the smaller North Hollywood Spa. “Today, you can go to the supermarket.”

Bathhouses date to the Roman Empire. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, American bathhouses were built in many cities to maintain public hygiene among poor and immigrant communities. Chicago and Manhattan each had about 20 public bathhouses.

But the need for public places to wash up declined and by the 1950s and ’60s, bathhouses largely had become rendezvous spots for gays, prompting occasional raids because sodomy was still criminalized.

Privately run, gay-owned bathhouses proliferated in the 1970s, offering a haven for gay and bisexual men to meet. Clubs like New York City’s Continental bathhouse and Los Angeles’ 8709 Club saw a steady stream of patrons.

Each venue was operated like a speakeasy: a nondescript building often located in the urban fringe. In-house entertainment was common, from DJs to live performers. Bette Midler even launched her career from the stage of the Continental.

Amid the AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s, bathhouses were vilified for enabling promiscuity and helping spread the disease, and many either closed voluntarily or by legal pressure. Those that remained were stigmatized, and now many younger gays see them as anachronisms.

“The younger generation’s main fear is that it’s some dark, seedy place,” said T.J. Nibbio, the executive director of the North American Bathhouse Association. NABA formed two years ago for bathhouse owners to pool best practices for marketing and operations.

To attract younger patrons, some bathhouses offer steep discounts, cutting admission by as much as 60%. At the three-story Midtowne Spa in downtown Los Angeles, 18- to 20-year-olds get in for $5 any time. On Tuesdays, Los Angeles’ Melrose Spa lets those 18 to 25 in for free, a deal that brought 22-year-old Brett Sparks on a recent midweek visit.

“You’re either hooking up online or you are here, or you go to bars in West Hollywood, get drunk and hook up,” said Sparks, acknowledging that although the bathhouse crowd skews older, it’s not as risky as going home with a stranger. “Here it’s a safer environment — there’s condoms and other protection.”

The CEO of Ohio-based Flex Spas, Todd Saporito, has positioned his bathhouse chain as a pillar of the gay community. Saporito uses the chain’s Cleveland-based flagship spa, whose 50,000 square feet include luxury hotel rooms and a nightclub, to run the city’s annual pride parade and this year’s Gay Games, an international LGBT athletic competition.

Flex Spas also has sponsored the White Party, an annual electronic music festival in Palm Springs, and partnered with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, part of an effort to frame the bathhouse as an opportunity for preventing risky behavior.

Flex Spas has had mixed success over the past few years. Its location in Atlanta has seen “exponential” growth, but clubs in New Orleans and Columbus, Ohio, have closed, Saporito said.

Saporito said more progressive views on homosexuality aren’t evenly spread across the country, underscoring the need for modern bathhouses in some areas. Still, he takes nothing for granted, regardless of the location.

“Bathhouses at some level will go extinct if you don’t offer something more than a towel,” Saporito said.

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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Friday, August 29, 2014

Ben Affleck And Tyler Perry Bond Over Bette On Set Of “Gone Girl”

Yahoo Movies
Tyler Perry and Ben Affleck Became Best Buds During ‘Gone Girl
Gwynne Watkins
Aug 25, 2014

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Ben Affleck and Tyler Perry bonded on the set of Gone Girl the old fashioned way – through sing-a-longs. Perry, who plays celebrity lawyer Tanner Bolt in the upcoming adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s 2012 best-seller, tells New York Magazine that Affleck had a tendency to burst into ’80s tunes in between takes. Impressed with his co-star’s encyclopedic song knowledge, Perry decided to put it to the test.

“One day, I was like, I’m just going to see how wild he can get. So I started singing [Bette Midler’s] ‘The Rose,’ and he could do it!” Perry reveals. How did director David Fincher, who runs a famously tight ship, react to his cast belting Bette? According to Perry, “he was singing along, too!”

Fincher’s adaptation of Gone Girl promises to be full of surprises – and Perry’s involvement got the ball rolling when he signed on. The entertainment mogul behind the Madea franchise rarely appears in films he doesn’t direct, write, or produce himself. When he agreed to play Gone Girl’s charismatic defense attorney,Perry wasn’t familiar with the film’s inspiration or its A-list director (whose films include The Social Network and Fight Club). “I probably would have walked away from it. If I had known who David Fincher was, and his body of work, or if I’d known the book was so popular, I would have said, No,” he admits. “And my agent knew that! He didn’t tell me until after I signed on!”

Though wary about playing a character from a beloved book, which he describes as “a lot of pressure,” Perry had fun making the film. In particular, he recalls a scene in which he had to lob gummy bears at Affleck’s head during multiple takes. (The jelly beans of the book were deemed “too hard” to throw at a movie star’s face.) “Listen – the man walks around with packs of Jolly Ranchers in his pockets,” Perry says of Affleck. “He loves them! So gummy bears – he’s a happy camper. I just made sure that as I was throwing them, it was off to the left, because I was worried about hitting him in the eye.”

As for perfectionist director Fincher, Perry says he was “always smiling” – except for one time when a crew member’s phone rang during filming. To preserve the on-set harmony, Perry stepped in.

“I could see (Fincher’s) eyes turning, and before he could say anything, I said it was my phone,” Perry says. “What’s he going to do? I’m bigger than him!”

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"Find your Light; They can't love you if they can't see you" ~ Bette Midler

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