Liberace and the Ring of Terror

The Scott Thorson/Liberace biopic — Behind the Candelabra — premiered last night on HBO, and while it was a sharp looking movie with excellent acting from Matt Damon and Michael Douglas, one could not help but feel the pure terror of Liberace’s life and how his sexuality pinned his desires and did not allow him to be the man he was in private in his public life.  That sort of forced hiding creates an internal, ringed, terror and that fear makes men monsters.

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God is the Bigger Elvis, but Dolores is Bigger than God

Dolores Hart used to be a movie star.  Now she’s a nun.  “God is the Bigger Elvis” is her redacted life story in HBO documentary form and the whole, sordid, film is one sorry sad sack of an unimaginative, wasted, life:

IT is a story straight out of Hollywood. A beautiful young starlet walks away from a blossoming movie career to become a nun, and 50 years later she returns to the Academy Awards ceremony — as the subject of an Oscar-nominated film.

The real-life drama of Dolores Hart, known as Mother Prioress to the nuns here at the Abbey of Regina Laudis, unfolds in the HBO film “God Is the Bigger Elvis,” one of five nominees for best documentary (short subject). The 35-minute film examines Mother Dolores’s transformation from a Hollywood ingénue and the recipient of Elvis Presley’s first on-screen kiss to a cloistered Benedictine nun at the abbey, where for the past nine years she has been the prioress, the second in authority below the abbess, Mother David Serna.

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The Girls Review

I first found out about the HBO show Girls when I was heading home from the office where I work — there were ads at the Lexington Avenue / 63rd Street station showing the main characters from the show sitting together with just the name of the show, “Girls”, on it. The image was striking in its simplicity and I discussed it with my wife Elizabeth, and we decided to give it a go. (We hoped it would go better than Gossip Girl, which is finally coming to an end after seemingly every character has hooked up with every other one…)

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Luck Runs Out… of Beating Dead Horses

Luck was one of those sorry cable television series on HBO — from David Milch and Michael Mann — that looks good on paper, but in execution and airing, the drama and the ideals of the show failed.  Yesterday, HBO mercy killed Luck — but blame for the extermination was placed on the deaths of three horses who died during filming instead of the real reason:  The show had lousy ratings despite its mega-star power and HBO renewed it for a second season much too early.

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Game Change: The Aftermath

I spent my Saturday evening watching the HBO debut of — Game Change — the misanthropic story of how Sarah Palin almost ruined our nation by becoming Vice-President.

I did not appreciate Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin because she was too reserved and imitative instead of inhabitative.  I much prefer Tina Fey’s combative sendup of Ms. Palin because she better characterizes the manic wackiness that made Palin so ridiculous and so very dangerous — we laugh because we are terrified of what could have been.  Ed Harris as McCain was ordinary and not angry enough and not stiff enough to be convincing.  Woody Harrelson was magnificent.  He stole the show as campaign advisor Steve Schmidt.

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You Don't Have to Be Where You're From

On a recent Bill Maher show on HBO, Levi Johnston was a guest, and Bill gave the young lad some excellent advice:  “You don’t have to be where you’re from.”

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When Sex Was Fun

There was a time in America when sex was fun, unrepressed, and a delight to be held. Behold now, if you dare, a delicious sliver in time from 1992 when sex was burning in the mind of Sandra Bernhard and clawing in the voice of Tom Jones as they perform together a wild rendition of “You’re Unbelievable” live on her HBO show “Sandra After Dark” — a satire on Hugh Hefner’s original “Playboy After Dark” show from 1968:

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