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Archive for June 4th, 2012

David at Lake Otsego, in upstate New York, a cherished retreat

by Sam Juliano

Note: This is the thirteenth entry in an ongoing series that honors creative bloggers who have really made a difference, raising the bar for quality and productivity on the cultural front.

The cynic might well apply the ‘diverse interest’ qualification as proof parcel of one who dabbles with many interests but is a master of none.  In the case of Garden State author and erstwhile purveyor of literature and cinema David Schleicher, it’s more a case of the Midas touch in action.  Schleicher, whose independent novel The Thief Maker brought him a fair share of attention and acclaim,  is a man of ceaseless activity and a hankering for passionate immersion in the arts, politics, travel and sports, with each pursuit a glowing example of spirited commitment.  Born and raised in south-central New Jersey a stone’s throw from Philadelphia, Schleicher has proctored a blog titled The Schleicher Spin for five years running to allow him to expand on his voracious opinions on movies, books and even art exhibits and eateries, that he has seen and frequented in the wide range of settings from Philadelphia to the Big Apple.  Schleicher is wildly opinionated and is never bashful to lock horns with those who he differs with, though he’s as amiable as any blogger out there, and within the sphere of a wide range of opinions and tastes he’s humble and generous with praise for others.  Schleicher knows he’s talented, but has long acknowledged there are others standing under that same umbrellas with him.

Like several other of his colleagues Schleicher enjoys the compilation of a good list here and there, and at The Schleicher Spin he’s often asked those who comment under his reviews to add a numerical appraisal of a specific director’s work, which provides enhancement for the discussion at hand.  A number of movie genre lists have graced the threads of The Schleicher Spin with just the right dose of expertise, passion and bravado, and never with less than a comprehensive assessment of the subject at hand.  Schleicher’s appreciation of the ‘life experience’ has manifested itself in some fascinating features on local restaurants and historical landmarks for which the young author has further demonstrated a propensity for the photographic image.  No ‘movie’ blog out there has diverted into other spheres of interest as often as Schleicher’s, and few have offered documentation as regularly. (only Twenty Four Frames’ John Greco is as notable in this direction).  The writer concedes his original intent with his blogsite was to display his own writing, mainly on the movie front, he quickly developed some good friends and a devoted following after initially posting some views on politics. While regularly posting at The Schleicher Spin, David has moved forward with his digital literary magazine.  Says Schleicher:  “Most recently I launched my own digital literary magazine, The Stone, which has thus far produced two issues featuring new writers from North America, Europe and Asia as well as some of my own short fiction. My goal is to make it a truly global magazine delivering great stories to the masses in the digital age utilizing the most cost-effective, democratic, easiest to access way possible – which is currently through the Kindle app.” (more…)

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William Powell and Carole Lombard in supreme screwball classic ‘My Man Godfrey’ screened at Loews Jersey City Landmark on Saturday night

by Sam Juliano

Proms, graduations and and various end of the school year celebrations are ready to go, while others have completed vacations plans.  Here in the New York City area, a Film Forum Festival on spaghetti westerns has launched, (I really want to see Django especially) while the Erich Von Stroheim Monday program continues on tonight with screenings of Hello Sister! (1933) and As You Desire Me (1932).  Meanwhile, the comedy poll has commenced with final Top 60 ballots being cast and forwarded by Marilyn Ferdinand,  Ed Howard, Maurizio Roca, Allan Fish, Bob Clark, Dennis Polifroni and Your Truly.  The final deadline is July 1st.  Richard R.D. Finch is gearing up for his widely anticipated Wyler blogothon at The Movie Projector, which will be running from June 24th to the 29th.  It is hoped that Wyler and classic film fans will be making The Movie Projector a prime stop during the six days the blogothon will be conducted.

Here at Wonders in the Dark, much of the blogger interest has been aimed at Allan’s year-by-year voting for the top categories in the cinema, but stellar work by Jamie Uhler, Jim Clark, Jaime Grijalba, Bob Clark and Allan himself continues in force, with everyone pursuing a theme or continuing series.

Lucille and I didn’t see any new releases this past week (actually that’s wrong as Lucille and my two daughters,  Melanie and Jillian did see a Saturday matinee of Snow White and the Huntsman which I stood back on) but we did see three screen classics, one a beautiful restored presentation at the Film Forum, and two in nice prints on the 50 foot screen of the Jersey City Loews Landmark movie palace.  We also took in a staging of Night of the Living Dead: The Musical at an off-Broadway lower eastside theatre.

What can I say here about Night of the Dead: The Musical?  Well, it was a nice albeit hot -but with no humidity- Thursday evening, and the theatre was comfortably air-conditioned.  I liked the outside decor as you entered the theatre.  I also liked the slice of broccoli pizza Lucille and I ate at a nearby corner pizzeria, and I enjoyed the container of blueberries I bought for desert from a sidewalk fruit vendor.  I loved listening to Jerry Goldsmith’s score to The Sand Pebbles on the car CD riding in, and was relieved and excited when the actors stepped up to take a bow after the 70 minute production ended.  Ah yes, what about that production?  I won’t go there.  The real question is why did Lucille, Broadway Bob and I attend it in the first place? (more…)

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