Donna S.'s blog

Richard Matheson (1926-2013)

Richard Matheson might not be a household name, but he has influenced storytelling in movies and television since the 1950s. 

Celebrate!

This week we celebrated the founding of America.  We had parades and ate hot dogs (one person won a contest eating 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes!).  We listened to patriotic songs and watched fireworks.  We spent time with family and friends and thought about how fortunate we are to live in America.

Swordplay

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had fun watching some favorite old movies.  They included The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Princess Bride, and Scaramouche.  And one of the reasons I love these films is that they include a particular event that has enthralled audiences since the earliest days of theatre and then movies: a great sword fight.

In my last blog entry, I wrote about women archers in movies.  This time, I thought I’d feature swordsmen.  In the past, sword fighting was not only a part of war, it might also be used in a duel to settle a matter of honor.  These days swordsmanship is most often on display as a sport, with special gear to protect the participants.

Girls and Bows -- and Arrows

This is one of those blogs inspired by something personal.  And I have my 3-year-old great-niece to thank for it.  Her mother told me that while they were watching the Disney movie Brave, the little girl picked up a clothes hanger and pretended it was her bow, mimicking the character Princess Merida’s archery skills.

Those Who Serve -- and Those Who Wait

As we approach this coming Memorial Day, I considered this holiday in a little different way.  Since Armed Forces Day is also celebrated in May – on the third Saturday each year – I decided to broaden the subject.

Traditionally it was men who marched off to serve their country, in peacetime and in war.  Eventually, for various reasons, women became a part of the military as well.  In the beginning, the roles of women were supportive.  They worked in offices and in hospitals.  Today, women work in a wide variety of jobs in the armed forces, and their duties continue to expand.

Oscar Winning Voices

I read once – I’m sorry I can't remember where – that Doc Hudson in the movie Cars was the definitive role for Paul Newman.

I heartily agree.

A Nice Place to Visit...

There was a time when the majority of people lived in rural areas.  It made sense.  There was opportunity for owning land.  Maybe you’d farm.  Maybe have a ranch.  In wooded areas, you might have a lumber business.  On coasts, you could fish.  Perhaps you could have a business that would cater to these folks.  And, of course, there was always the possibility of working for someone in any of these industries.

Then came the Industrial Revolution.  People started leaving the rural areas for the cities, where there were manufacturing jobs.  And that led to growing businesses of all kinds.  Cities were busy and exciting.  And that trend has never slowed down. Today, the majority of people live in urban areas.

A Fine Bromance

It’s not really a new phenomenon.  No, it’s always been around.  But only in the past few years have we given a new term to it: bromance.

The word “bromance” – a combination of “bro/brother” and “romance” -- came into use referring to the camaraderie between skateboarders.  Now we use it when talking about characters in movies and TV shows and books.  Two guys who see each other through good times and bad.  Even when girlfriends and wives come into the picture, the friendship between the men stays true. 

The Irish Among Us

It’s said that on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish.  Sometimes in the movies, it feels that way.
While I do like films set in Ireland, we don’t need those movies to find Irish talents in movies and TV.  They are everywhere and always have been, both in front of and behind the camera.

So as St. Patrick’s Day approaches, I thought I’d draw attention to the Irish who entertain us.  They have become a most welcome part of our movies and television, sometimes without our knowing that they were born and/or raised in Ireland or Northern Ireland.
 

More Than Tough Enough

It’s been a while since I wrote about television.  And in light of March being Women’s History Month, I started thinking about female TV characters that I really like.

Now it was tough trying to narrow down my choices.  There were stars of comedy, drama, variety, adventure.  But in the end, my favorite TV series are cop shows.  No doubt about it.  And that’s when I thought of the female police officers and detectives so prevalent on television these days.

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