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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April 19, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Hooray for George!: Local ‘Game of Thrones’ Author George R.R. Martin Acquires Jean Cocteau Cinema

"I can’t see how this could fail, especially if George R.(aymond) R.(ichard) himself is making the popcorn"

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April 5, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Missing Roger Ebert

"Now there will be no more from him, and aren’t we all the sadder for it"

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March 25, 2013 at 1:16 PM

I, Moderator: Theater Grottesco’s 30th Anniversary Panel Discussion

"The Grottesco Ensemble rekindles interest in live performance by juxtaposing classical and modern theatrical styles with a daring, poetic research of culture and imagination..."

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March 12, 2013 at 3:23 PM

2 Zom-B or Not 2 Zom-B?

"...most zombie movies are really ghoul movies."

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February 11, 2013 at 9:28 AM

From (A)rgo to (Z)elazny

"...the suspenseful film is a genuine nail-biter that, with its seven Oscar nominations, is turning out to be an up-and-comer, with a serious shot at Best Picture"

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January 25, 2013 at 3:42 PM

Foal Disclosure

A visit with a small band of rescued mustangs at Sky Mountain Ranch...

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January 11, 2013 at 3:18 PM

85th Academy Awards Nominations: Wieners and Losers

Who will win the coveted gold statues?

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December 24, 2012 at 12:22 PM

XD me, baby!

"This isn’t so much a movie review as a movie theater review."

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December 17, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Pi-Eyed: Media Rare Film Review

"...what a gorgeous, gorgeous production. Ravishingly beautiful"

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November 7, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Darth Mickey

"Walt Disney has bought Star Wars from George Lucas for $4 billion and change"

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October 22, 2012 at 9:52 AM

My Book Report - ‘Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?’

"Doubting Shakespeare has gone on for a few hundred years.."

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October 8, 2012 at 9:18 AM

Media Rare:

Nazis is the Cwaziest Peoples

"...it really is that good"

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October 8, 2012 at 9:17 AM

The Great Lady’s House: Greer Garson

"I speak most appreciatively and fondly of the Duchess of Pecos, Greer Garson."

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August 2, 2012 at 2:57 PM

Opera for a Song

"The SFO experience, from entrance to exit, is a memorable, life-lasting experience"

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June 28, 2012 at 9:32 AM

Media Rare: The Man Who Loved Naked Women

"...the essence of a man who utterly adores females and the feminine form"

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June 11, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Media Rare: Adoring Doris Day

"Que sera, sera..."

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May 16, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Poll Position: Ten Movie Questions

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April 10, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Media Rare #17

R.I.P. Capt. John Carter, 1912-2012

"Only three weeks after first release on March 9, the bean-counters proclaimed the movie a box office bomb..."

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March 26, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Media Rare #16

Blue Hawaii, Texas, New Mexico

"Blue Hawaii was shot on location over a half-century ago at the Coco Palms Resort on Kaua'i, and the hotel still offers 'Blue Hawaii' wedding packages..."

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