Category Archives: Personal Appearances

“Godfather” Reunion at Tribeca 2017


From left to right, Diane Keaton, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, Francis Ford Coppola, James Caan, Al Pacino and Talia Shire at the “Godfather Reunion” at Radio City Music Hall, as part of the Tribeca Film Festival, 2017

April 30, 2017.  On Saturday, April 29, the Tribeca Film Festival presented an incredible historical event at Radio City Music Hall. “The Godfather” (1972) and “The Godfather: Part II” (1974) were screened, followed by a reunion Q & A with the films’ director Francis Ford Coppola, actors Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Robert Duvall, James Caan, Diane Keaton and Talia Shire (no relation, but I was thrilled to see my tickets next to hers at the “will call” window). The talk was moderated by movie director Taylor Hackford. The event began at 1:00 and went until about 9:30. Read the rest of this entry


“An Officer and a Gentleman” – Academy Screening with Richard Gere

Actor Richard Gere at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences screening of “An Officer and a Gentleman” on June 13, 2012.           Photo by Peter Dressel

Richard Gere and Dave Carter following the Academy’s screening of “An Officer and a Gentleman” at Lighthouse, in New York. Photo by Peter Dressel

Movie star Richard Gere was in attendance on June 13 when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented a 30th anniversary screening of Gere’s star making turn in 1982’s “An Officer and a Gentleman.”  The screening took place in the Academy’s beautiful screening room at the Lighthouse at 111 East 59 Street, in New York.

Following the screening Gere took the stage where he was interviewed by Dave Carter.  Carter is the official Red Carpet Greeter for the Oscars, as well as a prolific journalist and author in his own right. Carter pointed out that “An Officer and a Gentleman” was the third top grossing movie of 1982 behind “E.T.” and “Tootsie.” “If that’s not the definition of a word of mouth phenomenon I don’t know what is,” Carter told the audience.

Gere, who was charming, down to earth and gracious, said it was the first time in 30 years that he had actually watched the entire film of  “An Officer and a Gentleman.”  Gere said that he does not like to watch his movies but that he was very moved by the experience.  He explained that, “I remember everything about making this movie, everything you can’t see, what we went through to make the movie and the initial meetings we had and the time of my life when we did this.  I’m being flooded. It’s very emotional.”

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“The Way Back” Preview with Director Peter Weir at Film Society of Lincoln Center

Director Peter Weir

On January 7 the Film Society of Lincoln Center, as part of its series “Voyager: The Films of Peter Weir,” from January 6 – 9, presented a preview of Weir’s latest movie “The Way Back.” The screening was followed by an appearance by Mr. Weir himself. The director, just off the plane from Australia, entered to a standing ovation and proceeded to give an interview that was gracious and informative. He also took questions from the audience. The interview was conducted by Scott Foundas, Associate Program Director for the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Read the rest of this entry

Airplane! – 30th Anniversary Screening at Lincoln Center

On Monday, August 9 the Film Society of Lincoln Center presented a sold out 30th anniversary screening of the 1980 disaster movie spoof “Airplane!” The film’s triple threat writers-directors and executive producers, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker participated in a post-screening discussion moderated by the Film Society’s Associate Program Director, Scott Foundas. Foundas introduced “Airplane!” proclaiming it one of the best American comedies. Read the rest of this entry

An Evening with Michael Caine

On April 28 the American Museum of the Moving Image in conjunction with BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) presented an evening with actor Sir Michael Caine at the DGA (Directors Guild of America) Theatre at 110 West 57 St.  Caine was interviewed by AMMI curator David Schwwartz prior to a screening of Caine’s new movie “Harry Brown.”

Caine regaled the audience with stories about his life and his approach to acting.  He recalled going to the movies seven days a week as a boy.  He joined an acting class because he noticed it had pretty girls.  Caine’s basketball playing friends called him a “sissy” for joining the class.  Caine replied “I’m in there with pretty girls and you’re in the showers (after playing basketball) with a bunch of guys and you’re calling me a sissy?” Read the rest of this entry

Mike Nichols and “The Graduate” at Lincoln Center

Director Mike Nichols spoke about making "The Graduate" at Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theatre following a screening of the 1967 film.

On March 9 the Film Society of Lincoln Center presented a screening of “The Graduate” (1967) as part of  “Fierce and Fabulous Anne Bancroft,” the Film Society’s tribute to the films of the late actress.  The series ran from March 8 – 11.  “The Graduate” was followed by a discussion with the film’s director Mike Nichols that was moderated by Mara Manus, Executive Director of the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

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The Essential Role of the Whistleblower in American Society

Seth Shire with Frank Serpico (right) whose story was the basis for the 1973 movie "Serpico" starring Al Pacino, at the Paley Center for Media on February 17, 2010. Photo by Gary Joseph

On February 17 The Paley Center for Media, formerly the Museum of TV & Radio, presented a panel discussion entitled “The Essential Role of the Whistleblower in American Society.”  The panel consisted of seven whistleblowers, people who exposed corruption in different areas.  The areas included the FBI (Mike German and Coleen Rowley), the meat industry (Kit Foshee), racial profiling (Cathy Harris), telecommunications (Babak Pasdar).  The most famous panelists, and of most interest to someone who writes about film, were Frank Serpico and Daniel Ellsberg.  Serpico, whose story was the basis for the 1973 movie “Serpico” starring Al Pacino, was the first New York City police officer to report on widespread corruption in the NYPD.  Daniel Ellsberg was an architect of the Vietnam War who leaked the Pentagon Papers, documents that showed the Vietnam War was based on lies, to the “New York Times.” Ellsberg’s whistleblowing eventually contributed to ending the war and bringing down Nixon’s presidency.   An Oscar nominated documentary “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” is now back in release at Cinema Village in New York. Read the rest of this entry

An Evening with Ross McElwee

The Unpaid Film Critic (right) chats up filmmaker Ross McElwee at a McDougal Street lounge following McElwee's program at the IFC Center. Photo by Lisa Mills

On February 2 the IFC Center presented an evening with documentarian Ross McElwee as part of its “Stranger Than Fiction” series.  McElwee, a transplanted southerner who now teaches at Harvard, is probably best known for his documentary “Sherman’s March” (1986).  My personal favorite is his 2003 film “Bright Leaves.”  The program consisted of two of McElwee’s earlier, lesser seen documentaries, “Charleen” (1980) and “Backyard (1984).”  He was interviewed after each film by host Thom Powers.  McElwee explained how these early films helped to develop his style.   Read the rest of this entry

Saviors in the Night

Marga Spiegel, Lia Hoensbroech and Ludi Boeken speak after a screening of "Saviors in the Night"

Lia Hoensbroech, Luisa Mix and Veronica Ferres as Marga Spiegel in “Saviors in the Night”

The New York Jewish Film Festival at Lincoln Center ends on January 28.  It is very interesting that the movie which opened the festival, “Saviors in the Night,” and the one that will close it, “Within the Whirlwind,” have as a common theme the idea of people being decent in the face of huge indecencies. Read the rest of this entry

An Evening with Jeff Bridges

Actor Jeff Bridges

“I do my best to avoid going to work,” actor Jeff Bridges told a sold out audience at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theatre last Saturday night.  He recalled his wife recently telling him that he has been away working on films for 11 of the past 14 months.  Bridges added that he also likes to avoid work because of the concern that once he commits to a project something better will be offered. Read the rest of this entry