Archive | April, 2017

Mother: The Next Big Short*

3 Apr

Family, friends, and fans of Darlene Cates suffered a tremendous loss last week when the Forney based actress passed away at the age of 69. Without any formal training, she rose to prominence with her role as housebound matriarch Bonnie Grape, fiercely protective mamma to then rising stars Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio in 1993’s What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, but, make no mistake, Ms. Cates more than held her own among her high-profile co-stars and went on to appear in a handful of movies and TV shows, always turning in riveting performances; however, as amazing as she was to watch onscreen, she was just as amazing in her off-screen life, effortlessly slipping into her roles as devoted wife (of more than 50 years), loving mother and grandmother, sister, role model, and dear friend. She shared her story, her warmth, and her talent with the world and inspired many, many of us in the process, and, now, the world will be a much different place without her though still a better place for those whose lives she touched with her affection, kindness, and laughter. As tribute, I am reposting this piece from 2014 and the occasion of her last film appearance. Rest in peace, dearest Darlene.

Confessions of a Movie Queen

I sometimes think that if a good movie gets made these days, it must be an accident. I mean, it must be a miracle. Of course, money is the biggest issue. Even the most low budget offering still costs thousands if not millions of dollars, and there are no guarantees that backers will ever see a return on their investments. Also, distribution–getting the finished film into theatres–is a racket unto itself. Of course, social media have made marketing more accessible than ever as evidenced by the whole Sharknado phenomenon. True independent filmmakers often take enormous risks to get their visions onscreen, and if/when that happens, well, yes, it’s a miracle. Miracles are good.

Mother poster designed by Jonas de Geer Poster for Franz Maria Quitt’s short film, Mother (2014), designed by Jonas De Geer. Clockwise from top: Darlene Cates, Ryan Jonze, Alexander Rolinksi, and Kaylyn Scardefield. I think Quitt’s movie is exquisite on its own terms though…

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