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18 YEAR-OLD MELANIE JULIANO’S SHORT FILM “100 LIKES” (3 minutes, 11 seconds) has been chosen as one of the finalists in the ‘Jersey Filmmakers of Tomorrow Bergen County High School Film Festival’ to be held at Fort Lee High School on November 8th. We are all so proud of her!!!!
Available in HD! My submission to the Jersey Filmmakers of Tomorrow Bergen County High School Film Festival.

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Allan left ICU last night and is now on ward 11 which I believe is surgical ward, he has had a very good night’s sleep and is settled nicely.Things are really looking up for him, full report when we have visited today. LOL xx  - Anne Cafferkey

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bird man

by Sam Juliano

The extraordinary Allan Fish Bonanza Encore Series will continue unabated till Tuesday, October 28th, but in reality it will not end there by a long shot.  The site will continue to exhibit Allan’s priceless work every Saturday and every Sunday until the middle of May, at which point it is anticipated Allan’s new reviews will be ready to post.  I also reserve the option to post one of Allan’s reviews during the week should the new material lag off.  In any case no matter how you read it, Allan will be here with us, even as he continues to make great progress from his recent operation in a British hospital.  Thanks again to all who have stepped up to the plate with their selections, as well as with insightful comments and page views to keep the celebration going full throttle.  Anyone wishing to make further suggestions, by all means add them to any current site thread, and they will be honored.

The supremely talented young lady Melanie (Jane) Juliano has again completed a stupendous short video, this time on the recent trip to Baltimore.  Though it is up on FB getting some much appreciated raves this eight-minute summation of the trip will also be posted as the very first comment under this thread.  As always’s Melanie’s editing and musical selections are fantastic.

With a school presentation (for Melanie) occupying a good part of the weekend, Lucille and I visited some older family members and the young son of a very close friend who went through an operation to solve a collapsed lung.  We were running around all week, and only got to see a single film on Saturday night.  But what a film it was.  I’ll play conservative right now and go with a 4.5 of 5.0 rating, but this could still go to 5.0 after I take in a second viewing. (more…)

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divine and kids

melanie and poe

by Sam Juliano

The Allan Fish Bonanza Encore Series is moving ahead magnificently, and will continue until October 28th.  I have decided to add a third full week in view of the series’ success, and simply because when Allan is around even if only in spirit, Wonders in the Dark is just such an incomparably exciting place.  Furthermore, even when we do reach the 28th, the series will not end, but will continue every weekend with postings on both Saturday and Sunday!  And this schedule will be rigidly maintained until May of 2015, at which time it is anticipated that Allan will be back in print with new stuff.  In any case we would like to thank all the readers and regulars who answered the call of duty by making some fantastic selections in the comment section of the announcement post, with a few others reaching me by e mail.  Deepest thanks too are extended to those who have contributed some wonderfully inspiring comments under the encore postings of some of the best film reviews ever written by anyone.  It has been a great ride and frankly the fun has only just begun.

Lucille, the kids, Broadway Bob and I took a day-trip down to Baltimore on Saturday, and managed an incredible number of stops until we departed home at around 8:30 P.M.  Arriving at around 11:00 A.M., we visited Divine’s (Glenn Harris Milstead)  grave at Prospect Hill Cemetery in bordering Towson about five miles out of downtown Baltimore.  We then toured the small cemetery alongside Westminster Church, where Edgar Allan Poe is laid to rest along with his beloved young bride and family members.  We visited the Poe House, a short distance away in a run-down area of town, where the literary icon lived in his late 20’s.  We then caught the pulse of the city, encircling Camden Yards, where thousands of Orioles fans descended on the popular ballpark for the 4:00 P.M. playoff game with the Kansas City Royals.  (The Orioles lost that game to go down 0-2 in the best-of-seven-series for the American League pennant).  One ticketless fan told me he’d pay a scalper’s price of $500 for a ticket, but of course we had none to offer.  It was quite an exciting place to be with the pennant fever in the air.  We then visited St. Jude’s Shrine, the mid-week home of our own Our Lady of Grave Pastor, the Rev. Peter Sticco.  We made a stop at The Senator movie palace, where John Waters movie all had their premieres and much enjoyed all the fantastic sidewalk engravings for many films that opened there dating back decades.  We also eyed the storefront that was once the “Hefty Hideaway” in Hairspray, and finally Fells Point along the harbor, where numerous quaint shops were toured, including the storefront once owned and operated by beloved Waters regular Edith Massey.  The kids absolutely loved the city and are hot to trot for a return visit.  We dined at an Old Country Buffet in a Baltimore suburb, and then headed back home.  We covered a remarkable amount of ground for the relatively short period we were there. (more…)

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Note: This review of Abbas Kiarostami’s ‘Through the Olive Trees,’ is the ninth posted in the Allan Fish Bonanza Encore series.  It was chosen by Film Noir writer extraordinaire Tony d’Ambra, who confided that Allan himself always favored this piece as one of his own best.

by Allan Fish

(Iran 1994 104m) not on DVD

Aka. Zire darakhatan zeyton

25 or 65?

p  Abbas Kiarostami  d/w/ed  Abbas Kiarostami  ph  Hossein Jafarian, Farhad Saba

Mohamad Ali Keshavarz (the director), Farhad Kheradmand (Farhad), Zarifeh Shiva (Miss Shiva), Hossein Rezai (Hossein), Tahereh Ladanian (Tahereh),

It’s difficult to say where the story begins, or indeed when.  1987 seems a good place to start, with the release of Where is the Friend’s House?  Kiarostami’s film was simplicity itself, following one little boy’s search for another boy in his class because he’s accidentally picked up the other boy’s notebook and, if he doesn’t return it, said other boy could be expelled from school.  The location of the tale is Koker, northern Iran, is not especially important at this time.  There was an old lady who swallowed a fly…

Koker would become known for other reasons soon enough, as the whole area was effectively flattened by a terrible earthquake in 1990.  Around 50,000 people lost their lives, still more lost their homes. Kiarostami, concerned about the people who had welcomed him to make the film a few years previously, decided to make a film about it.  And Life Goes On… would be about a fictional film director, essentially himself by proxy, travelling with his little boy, back to the region to try and find trace of survivors from the earlier film and see how they are coping with their lives after such a calamity.  He has with him a poster of the earlier film, with the little boy from the film, Ahmed, on it.  He asks various people along the way if anyone knows the boy.  One man says he does, but also says he doesn’t know if the boy or his family have survived.  The director goes on and his journey becomes less about the boy and more about seeing people going about their daily shattered lives, including a newly married man and woman.  We don’t find out what happened to the boy.  There was an old lady who swallowed a spider… (more…)

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This week’s Monday Morning Diary will become the Tuesday Morning Diary, a shifting I often employ when there are three-day holiday weekends.  So the normal MMD thread will appear late Monday night, and for this week will be published as the Tuesday Morning Diary.     -Sam

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by Anne Cafferkey

Well here we are one week later and what a week it’s been.  Allan is progressing really well.  The ventilation tube is out and the oxygen supply is being reduced daily.  He can now converse with his medical team and his parents and we were informed that yesterday they actually had him standing for a few moments – not easy for him but he is trying. He also asked for a crossword book to pass the time so his mind is bright. Allan only does the Daily Telegraph crossword which is out of my league.  The Doctors and Nurses are all very pleased with his progress so here’s hoping things get better everyday.   I will let you know when Allan is out of ICU and on the recovery ward. PS ALLEN SAYS HELLO TO YOU ALL and THANK YOU FOR YOUR GOOD WISHES..from his family we say love to each and every one of you. xxx

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