For FALL 2010's delicious offerings of books, art, food, film, and unique travel--check out the NEW ISSUE of our online magazine FEAST--you will not go away hungry-- http://www.feastofbooks.com/

Between issues, read our blog posts as we and our special guests share thoughts, ideas, and recommendations about books, art, food, film, and travel. We love to hear from our readers, so please post a comment! Thanks-- Rosemary Carstens, editor

SNAX ONLINE is moving during the first quarter of 2011 -- stay tuned!

Snax Online is undergoing a redesign and will be moving to a new location. Check back from time to time for a link. In its new format, this blog will cover a wider range of topics but also its usual five. In the meantime, keep up with what's happening in the world of books, art, food, film, and travel at http://www.FEASTofBooks.com --

See you in 2011!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

GLITTER AND GLAMOUR, Sometimes a Darker Side

OSCAR night again. I have rarely missed it in my lifetime. I love the beauty queen pageantry, the hype, the whole red carpet thing. The rest of the year I am seldom interested in the goings-on of celebrities—in fact, I often feel irritated by the amount of media time spent on them. But, on academy awards night, I hark back to my days as a young teenager when I wrote long, sincere letters to the stars and was thrilled to the bone when I received an “autographed” 8X10 photo back.

I grew up in a small town with an old-style auditorium cinema and marquee and went to the movies every time they changed—Wednesday night and Saturday matinee. We’d usually see a news short, a cartoon, and a double feature. The seats were low and many broken down; the walls sweated an aroma of decades of popcorn, candy korn, red licorice, Coca Cola, sweat, body odor, and dreams born on the wings of the dramas, comedies, and westerns played out on the screen. It was a place where, when the lights went out, country life faded and an exciting, glamorous life unfolded and seemed within reach of each of us.

Life happened in that small-town theater in Perris, California, in the fifties. I got my first kiss in the back row, spent time giggling and changing seats with girlfriends, watched boys, and gobbled junk food—long before we knew it WAS junk food. There were darker times, too. I was in the darkened theater when local police charged in and dragged a young black boy out, beating him brutally with nightsticks. When we left the theater later that evening, there was a line of cops and a line of blacks confronting each other outside in the street. It was also outside that theater that a father tried to gun down the teenage boy who impregnated his daughter. In our town, small as it was—four stop signs in the middle of a single main street—drama played out both on and off the screen.

But this Sunday night, I’ll be snuggled up on the couch with a big bowl of popcorn, a glass of wine, a pizza for later, oohing and ahing over fancy dresses, beautiful men and women, gorgeous jewelry and hair—and rooting for my faves among the nominations.

I’d love to hear some of YOUR movie memories, your choices of best actors and films, movies that are connected in your mind with life events. The movie industry is an ingrained part of our culture. Many times our films reflect the preoccupations of our society, as well as our hopes and dreams. Please share yours -- Rosemary

ROSEMARY CARSTENS is the editor of FEAST eZine and this blog. She loves books, art, food, film, and travel pretty much in equal mesure. When the weather is warm, she can be found wandering the country roads of Colorado on her motorcycle the Road Goddess. When it's cold, she's under a down comforter with a book and a stack of Mr. Goodbars at her side. For more information, check out her website at http://www.carstenscommunications.com/, her eZine at http://www.CarstensCommunications.com/FEAST.html, and her other blog: http://artistspotlight.blogspot.com/


Lisa Trank said...

My favorite Oscar moment hits very close to home. My brother, Richard Trank, won an Oscar in 1996 for best feature documentary for "The Long Way Home," which he co-produced. I jumped so high in the air and screamed so loudly that I threw my back out for a month, but it was worth it. The film was about the little unknown period after the liberation of the concentration camps known as the "displaced persons" period, when 'liberated' survivors lived in a kind of bardo between the refugee camps and the return to homes and families that were no longer in existence. As the children of a Holocaust survivor, I cried with pain and joy that my father, one of the few in our family that managed to get out alive, was very much alive to see his oldest son win this award.

On a lighter note, I'd have to say that my other favorite Oscar moments was when there was the streaker who ran across the stage (of the old and no longer existent Dorothy Chandler Pavilion) and the look on David Nivens' face.

And I sure do miss Johnny Carson as the Master of Ceremonies.

Since kids have entered my life, I've been way out of touch with movies that play in theaters, catching up years later with Netflix.

But I always watch the Oscars with the same love of playing red carpet style maven with my girls and still getting caught up in the excitement of it all.

Greg said...

Among my memorable movie moments was my first trip to a drive-in. I was 17 had just gotten my night-driving license. I went with my girlfriend. In my innocence, I thought we'd actually be watching the movie. But she had other ideas.

Anonymous said...

I remember freaking my mother out by saying REGAN in a deep voice after she got home from seeing The Exorcist. At the time the subliminals were still in the movie and people were supposedly running out of the theater or barfing in the aisles.
Karen Lin

Anonymous said...

I remember playing in the back of our old wood-sided station wagon at the drive-in theater and having my parents shove my head down when the good parts came. They had not been able to find a babysitter. The movie was Cat Ballou. Darn...only when the good parts came! And the swingset down in front of the big screen - for before the movie and intermission. And the popcorn and hotdogs from the tiny concession stand. Very bad screen and sometimes trouble with the projections system and always bad sound out of the big metal speaker hanging in the window. Hoping a car wouldn't come to the lump in front of us and block our view. Mom and Dad cursing the misbehaving kids running around distracting. Mom and Dad giggling over the rocking cars with fogged up windows and everybody honking when the crowd of cars went to leave. Great time! Karen Lin

Rosemary Carstens said...

Oh, you are all bringing back SO MANY memories! Drive-in movies--oh, my! That's when the front seat was a couch instead of two space chairs! Lisa, what a wonderful moment for you with "The Long Way Home"! Karen: We had a stationwagon too and the folks would make a bed back there for my sister, brother, and I. How my parents ever saw much of a movie with all of us pinching and tweaking each other in the back, I'll never know! Keep those comments coming, this is fun! R

Anonymous said...

I remember, going to the movies with my Dad. we'd have Mr.Goodbar candy bars during the movie and afterwards would have hamburgers and malts at the restaurant across the street. I don't recall the exact movie because we went several times. Times that I was most interested in the treat than the movie.
As all people do, I grew up and I remember the time when the "Big Yellow Dog" was playing at the drive in theater and my son wanted to see it in the worst way. Well, we went after I had been working all day and was so tired. We both fell asleep and needless to say, didn't see the movie after all.

Anonymous said...

Though I have seen both of these films many times, they remain favorites to be seen again and again--Gentlemen Prefer Blondes & Some Like It Hot. Not just because of Marilyn although her translucent beauty and her impeccable comic timing make her one of a kind but also because you can enjoy the beauty and talent of Jane Russell in the former (she said it was her best movie role and the one she loved the best because of Howard Hawks!) and Tony Curtis and Jack Lemon in the later, who may not be beauties as their female incarnations but sure are funny. The one sad thing one notices when one sees these beautiful actresses is that in today's film world they would be considered fat when in fact
they are luscious and radiantly female--a bygone era to be sure and thank god still able to be seen thanks to celluloid!

ClaireWalter said...

I wonder whether today's youngsters, when they are grown, will fondly reminsice about movie theaters with cup holders, stadium seating, multi-speaker surround-sound (is that a copyrighted title that should be capitalized?), bushel-basket-size popcorn, and sequels, sequels, sequels and occasional pre-quels.

Rosemary Carstens said...

Good point, Claire. I hope they remember fondly movies as magical and theaters as place where events big and small occurred. But maybe their memories will have another context, just as magical and just as nostalgic for them. Rosemary

Anonymous said...

I was lucky enough to attend the Oscar ceremony in 1985 or 86. Can't remember which. Robin Williams was the host, and he told dirty jokes every time the show went to commercial. Some fond memories: sharing the same toilet stall with Meryl Streep (after she finished, of course!), seeing Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard in love and together, witnessing Tom Selleck when he was at the peak of gorgeous manhood--in a tux, sharing an elevator with an adoralble, young, and sensitive William Hurt (with longish blond hair), and going to Spagos to oggle Elizabeth Taylor and George what's-his-name with the tan. The bad part was the experiences with fans. Very creepy. I went away with a bad taste in my mouth.

But tonight we're making a nice dinner and watching the whole thing. I LOVE the Oscar show! Also I can't wait to see if Daniel Day Lewis wins. Saw There Will be Blood last night. AWESOME performance!!!

Rosemary Carstens said...

WOW, those are great memories--how lucky to attend the oscars during those magical earlier days! I can imagine that the fan thing can definitely have its darker side, where love and adoration become extreme and breed stalkers and nasty intrusions. I wouldn't want that bright a light shined on my own life! Thanks for sharing such fun details, though. Jessica Lange, long a favorite of mine, is now hot again (always!) and I'm looking forward to seeing her on the screen again --

Lynda Hilburn said...

Rosemary: Wonderful post! I'm not much of a fan of the goings on in Hollywood, but I am a movie lover. My fondest memories of movies in childhood involved waiting in very long lines on Saturday afternoons to see whatever vampire or monster movie was playing at my inner city Detroit neighborhood theater. So many important things happened in that old, run down location. It was an island of hopful magic in my personal sea of chaos. Great topic!