Casey St. Charnez has been video editor for Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide since 1986 and buyer for Lisa Harris' Video Library since 1981. He likes Lisa, cats, crosswords, and the Metropolitan Opera, probably in that order.
Topic: Media Rare
"Let's Start at the Very Beginning, A Very Good Place to Start"
I was always into the arts. Never sports. Meh.
My family sat front-row center at the symphony. Operas, too. I saw Madama Butterfly at age six.
They knew the local rag's entertainment editor. He'd take us to art openings, plays, and concerts. One time we went backstage to meet Arthur Fiedler.
They were friends with Sopranos' Mary Costa and Miliza Korjus. Henry Mancini phoned whenever he came through town on tour.
My father's law office represented rockers Gene Vincent and Eddie Fontaine. He sued a local dentist on Buddy Holly's behalf ("a snaggle-toothed country bumpkin," according to my dismissive mother).
Then I earned a B.A. with a double major in fine arts and English lit, also serving as arts editor for the campus daily.
I could go on...and I did. To NYU (which is a whole bunch of stories, like "Hair"'s last night on Broadway, hanging with Fosse, almost getting run over by Elliott Gould).
Over the years--verily, decades--I've reported on the arts for newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and the Web. Also wrote a book on Steve McQueen. Gee, I've done all kinds of stuff. Even I am impressed.
Still, this is my first blog. What can be done here that I haven't done before? The goals remain identical: To inform, reflect, and amuse, probably not in that order.
When Scott Hutton approached me about writing for his reimagined SantaFe.com, he suggested movie reviews or doing something else.
This is the something else.
Though being a film critic seems enviable (free movies, wow!!), the truth is somewhat other, as I've learned from writing for everything from my mimeographed elementary school paper forward.
Editors, for instance, do not permit picking and choosing. You're as likely to be assigned Battle: Los Angeles as Jane Eyre. Fine, that comes with the territory, but so do wrenching experiences like Antichrist and Biutiful, which I could have gone my whole life without seeing. Jeez!
Even Leonard Maltin puts me to task, commissioning writeups for Little Fockers and Nutcracker in 3-D. I don't know which was worse.
Further, unlike the other arts, taking a good/bad stance on a flick can lead to being accosted at, say, a grocery store:
"Why did you give The Beaver only one star? That is the most emotional, touching movie I have ever seen. What is wrong with you?"
To which I might reply, "The fault, dear Crudus, lies not in ourselves but in our stars, directors, and writers." Then I'd pay and leave, if I was still upright.
So I'm hauling my carcass over to a new arena. This one. Where the chance to reach a new and different audience in a fresh way is irresistible.
Being overeducated and piquantly opinionated, I must say this seems like a perfect forum from which to praise, point out, and celebrate, or to bitch my face off, as the occasion warrants.
And so it begins.
Next time: "When the Movie Stopped"
February 14, 2014 at 3:38 PM
March 3, 2014 at 3:15 PM
"As the first motion picture theater in New Mexico to serve liquor with the flickers, George RR Martin’s JCC offers a major new reason to get up and go out to the movies."
February 17, 2014 at 2:16 PM
January 10, 2014 at 1:27 PM
"The Screen, on the SFUAD campus, opened 15 years ago this week, and tonight they’re having a birthday party."
January 3, 2014 at 2:12 PM
"Jean Cocteau Cinema time travels backwards this week with a couple of great classic musicals..."
December 20, 2013 at 2:32 PM
"It’s hard to believe, but the absorbing and eye-opening The Girls in the Band—now playing at The Screen--is not on the 15–title short list..."
December 16, 2013 at 12:54 PM
New Mexico's ties to some of Hollywood's late great actors
November 22, 2013 at 12:27 PM
'This Thanksgiving weekend, our town gets a rare chance to see a quartet of terrific flicks on the big Lensic screen.'
October 15, 2013 at 2:09 PM
"Now is the time of the fifth annual Santa Fe Independent Film Festival (SIFFF), Oct. 16-20"
August 20, 2013 at 4:46 PM
"In years past, the place has been packed, and the action hoppin’"
August 11, 2013 at 11:39 AM
'A treasure-packed morning, afternoon, and evening roster of features, documentaries, shorts and more.'
August 9, 2013 at 12:29 PM
'This little boy, the son of a longshoreman whose family lives nearby in the projects, will turn eight come September 20, and he is very, very ready for the movie.'
July 29, 2013 at 4:43 PM
"'Sharknado' will play Albuquerque’s Regal Cottonwood Stadium 16 for one day only Friday, August 2nd. Make that one night only, as it’s a midnight show, one of 200 across the nation."
July 27, 2013 at 4:56 PM
Originally seating 127, the auditorium has been re-fitted for handicapped seating, so the total is now 120.
July 10, 2013 at 4:09 PM
"Hollywood bomb lightning has struck New Mexico twice now, with two ill-conceived, ill-fated big-budget movie versions of that tale of an ambushed Texas Ranger who returns from the practically dead to become a masked hero with an Indian saddle buddy."
July 8, 2013 at 10:37 AM
"For it was he who mandated the nation’s very first state film commission in 1968..."
July 5, 2013 at 2:49 PM
"Now, of course, any rabid operagoer could spend a bundle pigging out on this high-calorie musical menu. But you don’t have to, necessarily. There are ways. Here are a few."