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Remembrance

Remembering the Many Artistic Faces of David Bowie

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It’s difficult to find the words to exactly describe David Bowie, who passed away January 10, just days after his 69th birthday and the release of his latest studio album, Blackstar. His mercurial image and musical style paved the way for many of the biggest names in popular music today, and his lyrics have transcended generations to become some of the most well-known and most beloved songs of all time. His son, director Duncan Jones, announced his father’s passing with a heart-wrenching tweet. Longtime producer Tony Visconti told Rolling Stone, “His death was not different from his life–a work of art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift.” A life as expansive and impactful as Bowie’s is difficult to…

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The Night Ends on Elm Street

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I was 5 years old and a man with knives for fingers was telling me to go to hell. But it wasn’t Freddy Krueger – it was my mom’s boyfriend Tim. I’d been woken from a dead sleep in an attempt to terrify me with a reference I neither understood nor appreciated. But that wasn’t the last time Wes Craven’s monsters would invade my cultural landscape. Years later I was home alone on a stormy night when the power cut out. Being from the South (land of actual storms), I was pretty used to this sort of thing and gave it only a passing thought. I was less composed, however, when my cell rang and the raspy voice at the…

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James Horner composed the film scores of our dreams

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James Horner may have been the most important film composer not named John Williams to work in the movie industry. He scored music for more than 100 movies, won two Academy Awards, and through his music, provided the emotional context for some of the most beloved films of our time. It’s rare that movie viewers even notice the music that plays under the scenes that they’re watching (Williams’ duuuh-dum! that accompanies the shark in Jaws might be one of the best examples of a film score stepping to the forefront). Horner, however, was a master of striking just the right note in the emotional accompaniment to the action on screen. “You have to make an audience connect to [the film]…

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Leonard Nimoy: Actor, Vulcan, Renaissance man, friend

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It’s too easy to say that he lived long and prospered, although many writers will begin their remembrances of Leonard Nimoy with his time-honored catchphrase. Nimoy—who was a writer, poet, photographer and musician as well as an actor—prospered in a singular and unique way. He was the breakout star playing the breakout character in a short-lived science fiction TV series 50 years ago. His work in that series (and in subsequent endeavors) touched and changed the lives of generations of fans in ways that few actors have ever known. It’s not an overstatement to say that Star Trek’s Mr. Spock was one of the great folk heroes of the 20th century, and the half-human, half-Vulcan Starfleet officer will continue to…

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Remembering Robin Williams: the genie who brought books to life

in Fiction by

The news of Robin Williams’ passing generated near-palpable shock across social media, television, and around the world Monday. Fans lost a brilliant and gentle (if troubled) soul who delighted countless millions across five decades with a brand of comedy that was unique in its tenor and unparalleled in its inspired lunacy. Williams was all four Marx Brothers squeezed into one pair of pants, a cyclone of comedic energy made up of equal parts childlike innocence and late-night Vegas-strip bawdiness. Williams’ rocket-fueled brand of comedy, however, sometimes eclipsed his formidable talents as a serious dramatic actor. In his youth he was granted a full scholarship to study theatre at the prestigious Julliard School at the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts in…

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