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The Ageless Beauty of Church Music

  BACH HAD A DAY JOB. He was cantor for the churches in Leipzig, Germany, one of the highest positions in the ecclesiastical hierarchy.  In addition to his many duties, he was responsible for composing a cantata for the weekly Sunday services, and hence, the existence of Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, which most of us can hum. Although man has been making music since he could bang rocks together, it took the humble need for a deity to put...

Oscar Beauty Secrets You Can Use

  EVER WONDER HOW THE STARS GET READY FOR OSCAR NIGHT? It’s that time of the year in Hollywood when the gowns are getting their last nip and tuck, the ladies have already been ‘toxed, and the guys just have to put on a black suit. It’s never fair.  The guys get off easy.   It’s 9 a.m. in 83 degree Hollywood as I write this story and the town is buzzing with visions of glamorous gowns, to-die-for jewelry,...

Son of Saul Movie Review

  WINNER OF THE GRAND PRIX, CANNES FILM FESTIVAL. Saul Ausländer (Géza Röhrig), a Hungarian member of the Sonderkommando, has seen too much horror in the senseless deaths of men, women and children.  Stripped of their dignity and unceremoniously gassed or shot to death, their naked corpses are piled like pieces of meat to be incinerated and their ashes shoveled into the river. He is part of a special group of Jews forced to help the Nazi camp commanders to...

Sherri Shepherd Interview

  TALKING WITH SHERRI SHEPHERD IS LIKE CATCHING UP WITH A LONG-LOST GIRLFRIEND. It’s frank. It’s sassy. It’s in your face. Right now, I’m asking Sherri Shepherd, co-host of “The View,” mom, and actress, about her amazing weight loss. She brings up Jane Fonda. “Jane Fonda came on the show and she’s in her ‘70s,” Sherri says. “So, she walks out on the set wearing olive green leggings.” Take a moment to digest that. “Girl, normally most of us...

Rams Movie Review

In Iceland, we are told by writer/director Grímur Hákonarson, there are more sheep than people, which is a testament to the importance of sheep in Iceland. They are animals as revered as the cattle in India. Two estranged brothers, Gummi and Kiddi, sheep farmers who have inherited their family sheep ranch, have split the property and live in separate houses next to each other but they haven’t spoken to each other in 40 years. Every year there’s a fierce...

Freshen Up Those Kitchen Condiments

  START THE YEAR WITH A CLEAN SLATE One of the easiest ways to refresh your kitchen is to walk through it and ask yourself, honestly, “When was the last time I used this condiment?”   Doing a thorough cleaning of your kitchen spices can yield small culinary pleasures, brightening your kitchen by ridding it of stale items and replacing them with fresher products. Start with what is visible: oils, sauces and vinegars that sit around your stovetop like...

Room Movie Review

  MAKE ROOM FOR “ROOM.” The less you know about Room going in, the better.  Its intense performances and disturbing revelations make for a unique viewing experience.  Room is adapted for the screen by author Emma Donoghue from her award winning bestselling novel. Filmed in Toronto, Room is an intimate psychological drama that puts us inside the mind of a five-year-old child who has never seen anything beyond the walls of his room. He was born there and lives...

Hot Chocolate Around the World

  WINTER AND HOT CHOCOLATE:  PERFECT TOGETHER. Winter and hot chocolate are blissfully synonymous, aren’t they?  Snow and sugar are visual twins too, the latter used in films to appear as snow.  A cup of cocoa, real cocoa, with marshmallows after a wet and cold sledding ride is a drink that you somehow remember forever.   Can you recall your mom’s pan of hot chocolate on the stovetop and how she skimmed off “the skin”?  It almost seems like...

Will Smith Interview

  WILL SMITH REMEMBERS THE MOVIE THAT CHANGED HIS LIFE. “The greatest experience I ever had in a movie theater was at Star Wars,” he says. “That film really shaped how I looked at the world in my imagination.” “My imagination was so small before I walked into that theater to see Star Wars,” Will Smith recalls. “When I walked out, I couldn’t figure out how someone came up with that and made me feel that way.” “It was an...

The Revenant Movie Review

  COMING OUT OF The Revenant I felt like I had just been beaten to an emotional pulp after a relentless brutal battle against man and nature, much like the hero of this story who was mauled by a grizzly bear to within an inch of his life.  And that’s just the beginning of his problems as he miraculously manages to overcome his injuries despite many attempts by angry native tribes and some of his own companions to kill him off....

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