Hollywood on the Potomac

'I Have An Idea'

March 4, 2019

“Jean, I have an idea.” Those were the scariest words in the English language for Jean Becker during the 25 years of working as Chief of Staff for President George Walker Herbert Bush after his presidency in 1995 and as First Lady Barbara Bush’s deputy press secretary.


Jean joined a panel, along with a distinguished group of experts who worked closely with both President Bush Senior and Junior as well as the first ladies, after screening of CNN’s six-part original series that examines the Bush family and their impact on Amercian political history at the U.S. Navy Memorial Burke Theater in Washington, DC. 

Narrated by Academy Award nominated actor Ed Harris, the series explores the Bush family’s internal dynamics, the influential matriarchs, sibling ambitions, and unceasing competitive spirit, which drove them to power. The series premiered CNN Sunday, March 3rd art 9:00 pm titled, “Fathers and Sons.”

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Free Solo!

March 3, 2019

For those of you who wonder why RBG’s documentary didn’t win the Academy Award for Best Documentary, you probably didn’t see Free Solo that won.  Here is a look back at Hollywood on the Potomac’s interview with the filmmakers and stars of Free Solo, from October of 2018.

By all accounts, according to National Geographic’s documentary Free Solo, Alex Honnold was a melancholy child, shy and with expectations toward perfection. Since the future is often formulated in childhood, we asked him about that at a private screening in Washington, DC. 

Was he striving for perfection because it was expected of him?  “I don’t think that, I mean I’m sure it all contributes,” he told Hollywood on the Potomac. “I don’t think it’s easy to put your finger on one thing like that because I think there’s a lot of things that the film maybe doesn’t go into as much which is just general climbing, culture and history. The fact that I grew up looking up to some of the people like Peter Crops, the fellow you see in the film who’s like a hero, is in my childhood. I think there was a lot of just history of free solo climbing that sort of drew me to it as well. It’s not just the whole psychological side with family and whatever – part of it is just that it’s fun. I just like it. It’s just cool. But the thing is that everybody … plenty of people just have drive in their life for whatever reason – wants to do well in something. It doesn’t need to be some dark childhood, it could also just be that you want to be good at what you do.”

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'A Modern Contagion'

February 26, 2019

"I mainly wrote this book because I saw a gap in the historiography of the country," Amir Afkhami told Hollywood on the Potomac at a book party in his honor at the Kalorama home of Juleanna Glover and Christopher Reiter in Washington, DC. "This is a story that wasn't told. It was a story with a lot of implications in understanding what's going on in contemporary Middle East, both in terms of the Shiite-Sunni conflict that's going on and a lot of the public health issues that are going on, such as the cholera epdicemic in Yemen, the substance abuse problem in Iran and some issues tied [to] the roots of the 1979 Iranian revolution." He thought the book: A Modern Contagion needed to be written to inform how we understand all of the seminal events in what's on in the Middle East today. His reading audience is made up of mainly historians, public health specialists, policymakers and people who are interested in the rgeion in general. And of course us, the lay people, who find navigating the landscape of Iranian and the Middle East culture and politcis to be as they say on Facebook: It's complicated.

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