Blogs by Casey St. Charnez

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"

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August 14, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Week of August 15th, 2014

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August 13, 2014 at 12:57 PM

The Hundred-Foot Journey is Heavenly Foodie Fodder

“That movie should have been in Smell-o-Vision”

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August 8, 2014 at 3:39 PM

Week of August 8th, 2014

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August 5, 2014 at 11:22 AM

A Movie Review

‘I Origins’

'A clumsy title that’s going to kill this fine flick at the box-office'

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July 31, 2014 at 1:42 PM

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Week of August 1st, 2014

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July 25, 2014 at 12:49 PM

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Week of Friday July 25th 2014

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July 17, 2014 at 2:19 PM

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Week of Friday July 18th 2014

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July 11, 2014 at 11:59 AM

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Week of Friday July 11th 2014

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July 7, 2014 at 3:11 PM

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Week of Friday July 4th 2014

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July 3, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Week of Friday June 27th 2014

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June 24, 2014 at 12:15 PM

My Book Report: ‘Tripping the Bardo With Timothy Leary: My Psychedelic Love Story’

A kiss-and-toke-and-tell saga whose subtitle says it all

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June 23, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Week of June 20th 2014

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June 20, 2014 at 1:45 PM

Always Fond of Fonda

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June 16, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Jeepers!—A Free Movie at the CCA

A free sneak preview of 'Snowpiercer' comes to CCA, June 18

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June 12, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Video Library New Releases

Week of June 13th 2014

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June 10, 2014 at 11:56 AM

‘Every Old Movie is New Again’

'Kindly turn off your cell phone…'

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June 6, 2014 at 2:40 PM

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Week of June 6th 2014

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May 30, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Video Library New Releases

Week of May 30th 2014

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