Redford, Loneliness and the Ocean

Anyone who has never been in the middle of an ocean surrounded by an eternity of waves can ever imagine  how lonely it can be. Time has no meaning and distance is a dream on an empty sea, whether you’re on a cruise ship, a troop ship, a battle ship or a canoe. It’s all the same in a cosmic vision. The ocean is a metaphor for loneliness. Robert Redford, the actor who once seemed to offer little more than …

Remembering Jessica Savitch 30 Years After Her Death

This week I’ll travel from my home in Kentucky to stand at the spot in New Hope, Pa., where NBC News anchor Jessica Savitch (right) died 30 years ago tonight on the rainy fall evening of October 23. I’ll be wearing one of her amethyst birthstone rings – a gift from her sister, Lori, whose website celebrates Savitch’s legacy as a a groundbreaking TV news star of the 1970s and ’80s. Though I never met Savitch, I feel like I’ve known …

Psst! How to Get Redford to Star in Your Movie

Director J.C. Chandor had an ingenious plan for getting Robert Redford to star in his one-man adventure film, All is Lost. He asked him. To hear Redford tell it, of all the directors young and old whose films have been featured at his Sundance Film Festival over the years, only Chandor thought to propose a movie role for him. Related: Robert Redford: 10 Great Roles Even Chandor admits it’s a bit hard to believe, but it’s a story he’s more than willing …

Movies for Grownups Weekend Preview Oct. 18

Is this the biggest movie weekend of the year? Possibly! You’ll never get to all these openings in a couple of days, but two sure-fire Oscar contenders – All is Lost and 12 Years a Slave – should be at the top of your must-see list. 12 Years a Slave Chiwetel Ejiofor as a free black man kidnapped and sold into slavery leads a powerful cast. Movies from Roots to Django Unchained have shown us the evils of slavery: 12 Years a Slave makes …

Karen Black: Five Great Movie Appearances

Of all the eras in Hollywood history, the decade that stretched from 1969 to 1979 was perhaps the most daring, a time of experimental masterpieces that shocked audiences into seeing the world in a different way. In the era’s edgy eloquence, Karen Black portrayed quirky women who found themselves in trouble. The Chicago-area native, who passed away on Aug. 8 at age 74 in Los Angeles, appeared in nearly 200 movies and TV shows in a career that stretched from …

Zelda Fitzgerald: More Interesting Than ‘Gatsby’

“Did you know The Paris Wife has revived ‘Hadley’ as a girl’s name?” The book publicist who dropped that pearl at lunch the other day was referring to Hadley Richardson, the first Mrs. Ernest Hemingway (there would be four in all), whom Paula McLain restored to vivid life in her bestselling 2011 novel. It got me thinking: If a single book exerts that much sway, might 2014 be a year of babies named Zelda? It could be-especially if the parents …