Enough, already. It’s just a ‘showmance’
Regarding “‘A Star Is Born’ Gets a Rerelease With Extra Footage of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s Magic” [Feb. 28]: I am sick to death of the media’s childish fascination with Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. I’m pretty sure that these two don’t see themselves as homewreckers, and surely, they are more professional than giggly teenagers.
Amy Kaufman says many are wishing this were “more than a showmance.” Seriously? Cooper and Gaga are professional actors who played lovers in a film where they both were rewarded with Oscar nominations for their performances.
Worse, Cooper is in a long-term relationship with a woman who is the mother of his nearly 2-year-old daughter. Stop humiliating them.
The best place to see a movie
Regarding “Spielberg Takes Aim at Streaming Services” by Randall Roberts [March 3]: Thank you, Steven Spielberg. I am a college film professor and my biggest challenge is to simply get my students to see a movie in a theater. I inform them of all the theaters that offer half-price tickets daily. I make it an assignment to see a movie in a theater, write a review and staple the ticket stub to it. Films are made to be seen big, not on a television screen, not on an iPhone, but in a theater. The communal experience of viewing a comedy in a darkened theater, with people laughing all around you, is just wonderful. Superheroes are big, and the screens upon which they are seen must be the same. Movies are an essential and important part of our culture and our heritage. Sitting in a living room, no matter how large your television, is just not the same. Fight on, Mr. Spielberg.
Not to be snobbish or elitist, but I agree with Spielberg that “real movies” need to be seen in “real theaters.” Let the other stuff compete with TV shows for an Emmy. Can anyone seriously imagine streaming “Titanic” on their phones?
I love Spielberg as an artist, but his proposal to change the rules to keep streaming companies out of the Oscars is way off base. As the Academy Awards attempts to stay relevant, he proposes to constrict, rather than expand, the scope of what constitutes an Oscar-worthy film.
Interestingly, action films make most use of the “big-screen experience,” and they rarely get a nod from Oscar, outside of the technical awards. Clearly, it’s not the experience that’s being protected.
Who will care about the Academy Awards if people know that worthy films aren’t even able to compete?
Origin story of Oscar winner
I was ecstatic for Peter Farrelly to have won an Oscar for his movie “Green Book.” He deserved it. He’s hysterical.
But there’s a little story that Farrelly has shared in the past about how Eddie Murphy provided Farrelly and his brother Bobby with their first big break thanks to a girl Peter went on one date with and never saw again.
Well, guess what, folks, I am that girl. Peter and I had just finished a fun summer working together up in Newport, R.I. He as a bartender and me as a waitress. We were having margaritas on Columbus Avenue and he was telling me about this movie script he had written and how Murphy would be perfect for it.
Luckily for Peter, Murphy had just moved in across the street from me in Alpine, N.J.
The next morning, I brought the script over and left it on his driveway. In my rear-view mirror, I saw Murphy come out in his fuzzy bathrobe and retrieve it. That was a sight.
A couple weeks later, Murphy was on David Letterman’s talk show and said he got this script he wanted to do but couldn’t get hold of the writer. Peter called Murphy’s production company, they flew him to Hollywood, and the rest is history. [The script, for a film called “Dust to Dust,” was never produced.]
And, yes, it’s true. I never heard from Peter again. While watching his acceptance speech at the Academy Awards, thanking everyone who helped him achieve his Oscar, a tiny part of me thought he would mention me. But that’s my dreamer side.
I’m just so happy for him and all he has accomplished in his life. Congratulations to my old friend.
Editor’s note: Farrelly’s office confirmed that the two worked together in Rhode Island.
Now, about that coverage ...
Thank you for your full-page picture of all the Oscar winners. It’s nice to see not only the major winners (acting, best picture, director) but all in their individual categories as well. It takes a village to make a great film. Thanks for giving them their due.
Regarding “Why This Is So Not Best Picture” by Justin Chang [Feb. 25]: Yes, we need more movies from the black perspective. But clearly, sadly, we also still need movies where white people stop and think, in effect, “Wait a minute, this is wrong. I am wrong. We have been wrong all these years.”
Thumbs down, up at Ahmanson
As a longtime Ahmanson subscriber, I must express my disappointment at the lackluster lineup of shows the Center Theatre Group has apparently cobbled together for the 2019-20 season [“Ahmanson Lists Its Season,” by Jessica Gelt, March 2]. While the revival of “Once on This Island” is a welcome addition to the season, the inclusion of two one-man shows (which clearly belong in smaller venues) is not. “The Last Ship” never found an audience on Broadway, and “The Book of Mormon” has already played numerous times in Los Angeles. As for “Swan Lake,” someone should remind Center Theatre Group’s artistic director, Michael Ritchie, that not all theatergoers are dance fans.
Singing praises of ‘Walkout’
Because of this article in The Times [“Students to Stage a Musical Walkout,” by Dorany Pineda, March 1], I and nine other family members went to see the presentation of “Walkout,” the oratorio created by members of the Van Nuys High School choirs and musicians, with the help of members of the Los Angeles Master Chorale and brilliant conducting by Brianne Arevalo.
We were amazed at the creativity and talent of these students, who brought many in the bilingual audience to tears with their dramatic readings and touching songs.The historic aspects of the turbulent 1960s and continuing contemporary issues were excellently incorporated.
Thank you for bringing this to the public’s attention.
Raoul De la Sota
Peter Tork appreciation
I really enjoyed Randy Lewis’ appreciation of Peter Tork [“Tork Was More than a TV Musician,” Feb. 23]. Thank you, Mr. Lewis, for mentioning that the first LP you purchased was “The Birds, the Bees & the Monkees.” This was like learning that the first time Neal Armstrong read a book, it was about the moon.
That old-time rock ’n’ roll
In his review of a sold-out Bob Seger show at the Forum [“Bob Seger’s Deep Catalog of Hits Has Worn Well,” Feb. 28], Mikael Wood couldn’t help inserting his usual digs at rock music for no longer being a strong presence on the pop charts. Has the world really “moved on” from Seger’s style of music if it can fill the Forum and other large arenas? And is labeling Seger “a fuddy-duddy” simply for playing his own catalog of well-loved, deeply felt and melodically indelible songs anything but raw ageism?
Wood had grudging praise for Seger’s performances of songs such as “Shame on the Moon,” but I say shame on the critic.
Editor’s note: Mike Boehm is a former arts reporter for The Times