Archive for June 17th, 2019

by Sam Juliano

The brilliant Jay Giampietro’s “Best Picture” which features Yours Truly as the main character and narrator screened Sunday night as part of the 2019 BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) Film Festival in front of a sold out audience in the showcase 300 seat theater of the Jay Sharp Building. The short focuses on this past March’s Oscar Party at Fairview’s Tiger Hose Firehouse. Adam Ferenz, Tony Lucibello, John Grant, Bart Talamini, Cliff Bernunzio, the Lampmanns and my family appear in the film, which received a thundering reception. I appear with Jay prior to the event in the theater’s lobby by the festival press boards; similarly with my entire family.  This was an evening we’ll never forget.

His passing was imminent as he’s been ill for several years and recently turned 96, but Italian opera icon and film director Franco Zeffirelli is a maestro like few others. His 1968 “Romeo and Juliet,” lush and youthful is arguably the greatest film version of the popular Shakespeare play, and his 1973 “Brother Sun Sister Moon” is a rapturous work that was initially misunderstood but is now seen by many as a supreme masterpiece. His television mini-series “Jesus of Nazareth” is the best work of its kind and perhaps most of all his opera productions like La Boheme, Tosca, La Traviata and Turandot (all staged at the MET and seen by Lucille and I many times) remain the standards to this day. Zeffirelli was a controversial figure for sure, but what he gave to our culture will leave us eternally enriched. R.I.P. A mover of mountains, this great Italian……The past week also saw the sad demise of the great actress Sylvia Miles, whose supporting role in Midnight Cowboy will be forever unforgettable.

We spent the weekend in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, though we returned in time for our big film event.  The Gettysburg trip is taken once a year. (more…)

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