Saturday, June 15, 2013


It's time again for the Bryant Park Summer Film Festival.  That means each Monday night for the next ten weeks, there'll be a free film at dusk in Bryant Park.  And as I have for the last three years, I'll be hosting Word for Word Reel Talks in the park.  For an hour or so before each film, I'll be talking about the movie with one or two film aficionados.  This year's guests will include the film writer and academic Foster Hirsch and crime novelist Wallace Stroby.  Our discussions on each movie roam far and wide, from back story to historical perspective to anything juicy - fact, gossip, rumor.  Who directed, who starred, who wrote, who edited, who composed the score, who fought on the set, who had affairs, who did drugs or drank too much, etc....It's all open for discussion.  
The films showing this year are varied, and to be honest, some of the films on the program I like more than others. (I don't pick them, by the way; the sponsor of the festival, HBO, chooses the films each summer). But no matter what the film, whether we love them or not, we always have a good time discussing them.

Audience participation encouraged.

Here's the list of films showing this year.

JUNE 17- TOOTSIE (Sony/Columbia) (1982) 116 Min. Panavision

JUNE 24- INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (Paramount) (1956)  80 Min. SuperScope

JULY 1- FRENZY (Universal) (1972) 116 Min.

JULY 8- WILLY WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (Warner Bros.) (1971) 98 Min.

JULY 15- HUSH… HUSH, SWEET CHARLOTTE (Fox) (1964) 133 Min.

JULY 22- THE AFRICAN QUEEN (Paramount) (1951) 105 Min.

JULY 29- A FOREIGN AFFAIR (Universal) (1948) 116 Min.

AUGUST 5- NORMA RAE (Fox) (1979)  113 Min. Panavision

AUGUST 12- THE WOMEN (Warner Bros) (1939) 132 Min.

AUGUST 19- E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (Universal) (1982) 115 Min.

 For more information about the Bryant Park Summer Film Festival, you can go to the Bryant Park website at

Friday, June 7, 2013


When a great novelist, and a funny playful one at that, writes a book that uses the detective novel form, you know that it's not going to be a conventional genre piece.  That's the case with Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz's COSMOS, published in 1965.  It's a fascinating book that turns the mystery novel on its head while telling a tale of possible crimes, many clues, and two neurotic detectives.  Anyone who likes mysteries and who's looking for something that will take you unexpected places should pick it up and give it a try.  Anyone who just likes good original fiction should give it a try.

Want to hear more about it?  I wrote an essay about COSMOS for Criminal Element, and you can check out here: Wrapped Up in the Mystery of Cosmos