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6 items from 2015

Sliff 2015 Review – Silver Skies

7 November 2015 6:24 AM, PST | | See recent news »

Silver Skies screens Sunday November 8th at 6:45pm at The Tivoli Theater as part of this year’s St. Louis International Film Festival. The film’s director, Rosemary Rodriguez, will be in attendance and will receive Sliff’s ‘Women in Film’ Award.Ticket information for the event can be found Here

Review by Dana Jung. 

Today, more than ever, with our shortened attention spans, inundation by multi-media delivery systems, and almost obsessive need for instant information, it is easy to forget the wonderful actors of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s who inspired and influenced us.  So many great moments created by sometimes iconic performers live on in the movies and television of certain eras.  From Mr. Spock to Archie Bunker, Annie Hall to James Bond, or Mrs. Peel to Lieutenant Columbo, these and other memorable characters fueled everything from fashion choices to sexual fantasies.  That’s why the new »

- Movie Geeks

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Sliff 2015 Interview: Rosemary Rodriguez – Director of Silver Skies

6 November 2015 7:26 AM, PST | | See recent news »

Silver Skies screens Sunday November 8th at 6:45pm at The Tivoli Theater as part of this year’s St. Louis International Film Festival. The film’s director, Rosemary Rodriguez, will be in attendance and will receive Sliff’s ‘Women in Film’ Award.Ticket information for the event can be found Here

With humor and compassion, Silver Skies chronicles the unexpected developments that occur when a group of eccentric seniors have their lives turned upside down by the sale of their beloved apartment complex. A refreshingly original story about getting older and trying to hold tight to the American Dream, the film features a cast of much-loved screen icons: George Hamilton, Valerie Perrine, Barbara Bain, Jack McGee, Alex Rocco, Mariette Hartley, Jack Betts, and Howard Hesseman. Far from playing their usual roles, however, the actors fully inhabit characters of real complexity: Long-time pals Phil and Nick (Hamilton and McGee) tenderly »

- Tom Stockman

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St. Louis International Film Festival Selects Nominees For Awfj Eda Awards

27 October 2015 1:56 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

The St. Louis International Film Festival has announced the films nominated for the Awfj Eda Awards.

Awfj will partner once again with Sliff to recognize the Best Female-Directed Narrative Feature and Best Female-Directed Documentary. The 24th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival will be held Nov. 5-15, 2015. Check out the full lineup here.

Here’s a glimpse of the films that have been selected:


Fidelio: Alice’S Odyssey – Lucie Borleteau (France)

A rare woman in the man’s world of seafaring, 30-year-old Alice signs on as a replacement engineer on the freighter Fidélio. Although she loves her job and does it well, Alice remains a woman even when wearing greasy blue overalls, and there’s some doubt that the all-male crew will remain totally insensitive to her charms. The situation has further complications: Alice has a fiancé back on shore, but when she discovers that the Fidélio is captained by Gaël, »

- Michelle McCue

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A Conversation With Director Rosemary Rodriguez About Her New Film 'Silver Skies'

2 October 2015 6:30 AM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

I had the pleasure of speaking with writer and director Rosemary Rodriguez in midtown Manhattan two days before her film "Silver Skies" will have its United States premiere at the Woodstock Film Festival on Saturday October 3.

Rosemary Rodriguez wrote and directed the feature, "Acts of Worship, "which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards, including the John Cassavetes Award for Best Feature. Her episodic TV work includes "Empire," "The Good Wife," (where she is a regular director), "Manhattan," "Rake," "Elementary" and "Vegas." She is currently directing the new Marvel series on Netflix, "Jessica Jones."

"Silver Skies," Rosemary’s second feature, chronicles a group of seniors whose lives turn upside down when their Los Angeles apartment complex threatens to be sold out from under them.

We began our conversation talking about the evolution of "Silver Skies."

Rodriguez : It took about ten years. I ended up going to the MacDowell Colony with an outline for "Silver Skies" and wrote the script while I was there. Then, when I directed a "Law and Order" episode, I hit it off with (star) Dennis Farina and he loved the script. He helped to get the movie made. Fast forward almost two years later I called Dennis and told him we got the money. We picked the start date, and then he passed away two weeks later. I was devastated when he passed away. But then things fell in place. Fred Roos and Arthur Sarkissian came to the reading of the script, and they said, ‘let’s do this movie.’ The movie is dedicated to Dennis. He was my guardian angel.

Kouguell: In "Silver Skies," the theme of ageism is tackled straight on. The characters in this ensemble piece are threatened with the possible loss of their homes and livelihood. You describe "Silver Skies" as very personal and inspired by your parents’ aging. The characters of Nick and Phil are inspired by your father, who was a bookie in Boston, and the character, Eve, by your mother.

Rodriguez : Valerie Perrine’s character always has flowers; that was my mother. I watched my parents get old when I was still young. I saw how their relationships changed. You think logic would say life would get easier when you get older, but the emotional truth is that life still happens on its own terms. I think seniors don’t have a voice in this world. These are people who want to have sex. They want to work. They want to spend money. Make money. Have money.

Kouguell: You don’t shy away from thought-provoking issues, facing this generation, including the sexual assault of one female character and another main character’s choice she made of personal survival that causes the death of her spouse.

Rodriguez : My role model for directors is Robert Altman. His movies were a slice of life. The ironic thing about being a human being on this planet is that you have no idea what is going to happen next. The movie is real life. You’re going on a roller coaster ride; there are parts you’re laughing because life is like that, and then the rug gets pulled right out from under you.

The issues women go through, and with this female character with her husband abusing her, and feeling guilty over surviving, doing whatever she had to survive, whatever way she needed to behave was maybe ‘not as a good girl’ would, and coming to terms with that. Sexual abuse to elders is real. Elder abuse is real. I wanted to bring that issue in, as well as bring in that feminist message in there.

Kouguell: In "Silver Skies," the trepidation and excitement of newfound love is complicated by raw emotion as seen in one character’s personal and financial insecurities with a recent widow.

Rodriguez : Love doesn’t stop people at a certain age, it doesn’t stop their desires. It doesn’t matter what age we are. To work with these wonderful actors and Alex Rocco in particular -- he was just like a teenage boy when doing his scenes with Valerie Perrine, saying: “I’m used to playing killers, I’m not used to playing lovers.”

(Alex Rocco passed away July 18 of this year.)

Rodriguez : The recent memorial for Alex was on the racetrack: “Friends of Rocco” – it was the seventh race, it was dedicated to him. I loved him dearly. I miss him dearly. It was intended as a celebration of this wonderful man. His character reminds me of my dad. As I told my dad when it became clear he had to retire, I told him, “You always wanted to go out a winner.”

Kouguell: The film stars Barbara Bain, George Hamilton, Jack McGee, Valerie Perrine, Mariette Hartley, Howard Hesseman, Jack Betts, and Alex Rocco. Did they have any input into the script?

Rodriguez : They definitely did. They stuck to the script a lot. I’m a big collaborator; I want to hear what people have to say. In the film George Hamilton’s character is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Jack McGee’s brother, George Hamilton’s mother, and my dad, all had Alzehimer’s and we shared our respective experiences to further develop George’s character. In a way it was a tribute for George to his mother, for Jack to his brother, and mine to my father.

Kouguell: You’ve earned great success as a director on "The Good Wife." How has directing television influenced your work as a director on "Silver Skies"?

Rodriguez : I can work efficiently and quickly, and in television that’s some of the skill set that gets developed. My instincts are very sharp. The idea out there is that we’re less creative working in television, but the real truth is we’re under such pressure that we can make decisions quickly, and also go with your heart and instincts. It’s very quick and very satisfying, and of course millions of people see your work in a shorter window of time and that is opposite of a movie.

Kouguell: Currently, you are the 4th Vice President of the Directors Guild of America. Although there is more media attention on the low percentage of women directors getting work in the industry, the numbers are still not rising fast enough.

Rodriguez : The DGA works very hard and we all work hard to address the issue of diversity. It’s been a problem for many years. My involvement in the DGA is reflective of how much the DGA cares about women directors and minority directors, and wants to get us out there. It’s a benefit to the Guild. There’s a lot of content there now and opportunity for diversity. I want to be meeting with you in a few years when this isn’t an issue any more; where there are not “female directors” – that there are just great storytellers and that we don’t have to separate each other.

Kouguell: Some final words about "Silver Skies"?

Rodriguez: The way these actors enriched my life was unexpected and so profound. These are people with 50 and 60-year careers in a tough industry. These actors showed up and put their hearts in these characters. They’re artists. They were there for the love for what they do. They just loved the characters. They had beautiful chemistry together. We are part of each other’s lives. I never could give back to them what they gave to me.

"Silver Skies" premieres at the Woodstock Film Festival on Saturday, October 3.

Award-winning screenwriter and filmmaker, Susan Kouguell teaches screenwriting at Purchase College Suny, and presents international seminars on screenwriting and film. Author of Savvy Characters Sell Screenplays! and The Savvy Screenwriter, she is chairperson of Su-City Pictures East, LLC, a consulting company founded in 1990 where she works with writers, filmmakers, and executives worldwide., »

- Susan Kouguell

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Watch: George Hamilton Spies a Beauty Over Breakfast in Exclusive 'Silver Skies' Clip

25 September 2015 11:43 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Read More: Woodstock Film Festival Celebrates 16 Years in Official Poster Art  Fresh off her work on the upcoming Netflix series "Jessica Jones," Rosemary Rodriguez (whose credits also include "The Good Wife" and "Empire") has written and directed the ensemble comedy-drama "Silver Skies." According to the official synopsis, "'Silver Skies' chronicles a group of seniors whose lives are turned upside down when their cozy Los Angeles apartment complex is threatened to be sold out from underneath them." The film, which features acting veteran George Hamilton, Valerie Perrine and Barbara Bain, will have its U.S. premiere at the Woodstock Film Festival on Saturday, October 3.   Watch the charming clip above.  Read More: 16th Woodstock Film Festival Reveals Full Slate, Including Centerpiece 'The Walk' »

- Aubrey Page

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Walk of Fame honorees: Bradley Cooper, Quentin Tarantino, Adam Levine, Bruno Mars ...

23 June 2015 7:50 AM, PDT | Gold Derby | See recent Gold Derby news »

Among those famous folks to be feted with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame are three of the most recent Best Actor nominees -- Steve Carell, Bradley Cooper and Michael Keaton -- and two-time Oscar winner Quentin Tarantino. The other bold-faced names being honored for their movie work are: Ashley Judd, Kurt Russell and Toshiro Mifune. -Break- Watch dozens of video chats with 2015 Emmy contenders Those being tapped for their TV roles include Emmy champs Barbara Bain, Kathy Bates, Allison Janney, Debra Messing and Gary Sinise. Also on the roster are Roma Downey, David DuchovnyRob Lowe, Tracy Morgan and the late William S. Paley. Each of the music honorees -- Shirley Caesar, LL Cool J, Cyndi Lauper, Adam Levine, Bruno Mars, Itzhak Perlman and the late 'Mama' Cass Elliot -- has at least one Grammy. Those drawn from the live theatre and live performance category are Angelica M. »

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