Friday, August 9, 2013
Marion Dougherty, the legendary Hollywood casting director, is helping protect the lives of domestic violence victims and their pets, even after her passing. Her estate has donated $80,000 to the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals to establish the Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund to help victims of domestic violence and their pets to find safety, together.
The donation coincides with the HBO premiere of CASTING BY, featuring Dougherty as one of Hollywood’s most influential casting directors.
Dougherty died in 2011 at the age of 88.
According to Margaret Whitton, one of her closest friends, Marion Dougherty lived a paradox.
“By day, Marion was a powerhouse. By night, she was a victim of spousal abuse. At age 50, after 20 years of abuse, Marion fled her marriage and was forced to leave behind her beloved cats. But until the effects of repeated concussions and Alzheimer’s took away her memory, she remained haunted by the animals she left behind.”
The Marion Dougherty Safe Haven Fund will support the Helping Pets and People in Crisis program. It will fund the Alliance’s work finding shelter for domestic violence victims and their pets together, and will help pay for temporary shelter and care of pets who are separated from their owners in domestic violence situations.
Jane Hoffman, president of the Alliance, said, “This generous gift from Marion Dougherty will go a long way to protect vulnerable people and pets and help them remain together during times of crisis.”
Friday, August 2, 2013
Monday, July 29, 2013
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Steve W. Schaefer has been a public librarian for over thirty-five years and had the pleasure of meeting plenty of Fionas during his professional career. In fact, he is married to a librarian who has more than a passing similarity to the aforementioned. Apart from his career as a librarian, Schaefer has been a film critic for nearly twenty years and had the opportunity to preview "A Bird of the Air." He is glad he did and was more than happy to share his opinion of the film.
A Bird of the AirOn September 20th, at the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, the first film of the South Arts Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers will be “A Bird of the Air.”Many of the films in the series are documentaries, usually most compelling. But the first film this year is a straight Romance---sort of a modern version of the classic screwball comedy genre of the 1930s and 1940s. This film will be released this fall, so here is an opportunity to enjoy a pre-screening of this very entertaining, unique, and compelling film.It is about a withdrawn man, stoic and hermitic (because both parents were killed in an auto accident when he was four). His family’s identity could not be verified so he is a man with no name---called Lyman---just Lyman (Jason Hurst)---a name just for convenience. He works as one of those angels of the highway---rescuing folks stranded on the highway at night---or scraping up road kill if necessary---or picking up items scattered about that might be a hazard to drivers and riders. He is invisible.The film is narrated by a Margie, a waitress (Linda Edmond), who often serves the taciturn Lyman. That is a very nice touch…she never plays a major role in the action of the film…something like the narrator in a Greek play---there but not there; important, essential, but not very “showy.”One day, a parrot flies into his trailer. The parrot’s vocabulary is most intriguing and soon our lonely Lyman becomes obsessed with the parrot and wonders where did he come from---what owner taught him those words and phrases? And thus he goes on a quest.For help, as any intelligent person would know, he goes to a library and a librarian. The librarian is a free spirit named Fiona (Rachel Nichols). With her help, he discovers that the parrot had more than one owner---in fact, many, many owners.Through his journey, as you might expect, Lyman finds more than answers to the parrot’s mysteries; he finds himself. And Fiona, hardly the suppressed stereotype of a librarian, finds something as well.I was taken aback by “A Bird of the Air.” I did not expect anything this fresh and original. I see a lot of films, hundreds a year and “A Bird of the Air” is the kind of surprise that makes trudging through cinematic drek worthwhile.The oddball characters that parade through the film, mostly as former owners of the parrot, including Buck Henry, is like going through a Whitman’s Sampler---a sweet experience that includes some delicious nuts.The acting is light but totally convincing, not unlike the style and ease of “Little Miss Sunshine” released back in 2006. This is what happens when talented actors feel comfortable with their characters and are given respect and freedom from their director. My hat goes off to Margaret Whitton, an actress, who is making her feature film debut as a director with this gem of a film. I look forward to more from her as a director.There is some sentimentality in this film; no harm there: it is a feel-good film, but do bring your tissues…the movie’s tug of the tear ducts might be a bit manipulative---but “A Bird of the Air” is so charming, all is forgiven.And there is a dog. And any movie with a charismatic librarian who likes dogs over cats is OK by me. More than OK by me; it gets extra bonus points from me.I do have one complaint. “A Bird of the Air” kind of spoiled me for the following weekend of film viewing. I keep thinking, “This isn’t as good as "A Bird of the Air.’” Now, that was a serendipitous discovery---a bird of a different color if you will---from the usual cinematic fare.Steve W. Schaefer