Hollywood on the Potomac

Breslin and Hamill

January 28, 2019

Guests at the Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) screening of HBO’s Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists at the Carnegie Institution for Science were in a New York state of mind, courtesy of Amphora Catering. The 240 guests that included filmmakers, diplomats and journalists noshed on pretzels, tacos, hotdogs, toasted cheese sandwiches and popcorn prior to the screening and panel that followed with moderator Margaret Brennan of Face the Nation and directors Jonathan Alter, John Block and Steve McCarthy.

About the film: “Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill’s brilliant, honest and courageous writing defined New York City journalism. For five decades, these colorful columnists and longtime friends spoke for ordinary people and brought passion, wit and literary merit to their reporting on their city and nation. Their writings probed issues of race, class and the practice of journalism that resonate powerfully today. Born and raised in working-class New York City neighborhoods, Breslin and Hamill were products of fractured Irish-American families. They rose through the ranks of reporting without formal training or college degrees. Sometimes working on competing newspapers, and sometimes working on the same publication, they became good friends who challenged and inspired each other. They were also swashbuckling, often controversial personalities whose TV appearances and comings-and-goings around town could be as entertaining as the stories they wrote. Filled with the humor and gusto they both personified, the documentary is a poignant look at two literary giants who epitomized New York during its last and greatest period of print journalism, whose pioneering influence still reverberates today.” HBO


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'Argo' Wins Big

January 22, 2019

Tony Mendez, the former CIA technical operations officer who orchestrated the 1980 rescue of six American diplomats from Iran and who was portrayed by Ben Affleck in the Academy Award winning film “Argo,” has died. He was 78.  

 

Argo was the big winner at the SAG awards.  Hollywood on the Potomac looks back at the DC Premiere.

 

Arch Campbell remembers the 1979 Iran Hostage crisis: “You would drive by the Islamic Mosque on Massachusetts Avenue where The Rock Creek Parkway goes and there was always a huge demonstration. It was a very scary, a very tense frightening time.

There was a demonstration on Mass. Ave. every day. All these demonstrations started there.”  We caught up with TBD’s movie critic at the Washington screening of ARGO at the Regal Gallery Place Theater in Penn Quarter.


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'Life is Wonderful: Mandela's Unsung Heroes'

January 21, 2019

Just when you thought you knew everything about Nelson Mandela – South Africa’s anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 – along comes writer/director Sir Nick Stadlen. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) hosted a private screening at Georgetown’s AMC Theater preceded by a reception at Dyllan’s Raw Bar and followed by a discussion featuring H.E. Mninwa J. Mahlangu, Ambassador of South Africa for his new movie: Life is Wonderful: Mandela’s Unsung Heroes.

About the film: “Discover the story behind the famous Rivonia Trial, where Nelson Mandela fought for the freedom of South Africa and changed history. Everyone knows about Mandela’s brave fight against apartheid. But he did not act alone. In this award winning new film, based on never before seen interviews, former English High Court Judge Sir Nick Stadlen tells for the first time  the story of  Mandela’s  co-defendants and lawyers. It is an inspiring story of courage and self-sacrifice on the part of a small  multi racial group of idealists who took on the might of a ruthless police state. It sowed the seeds of  the peaceful transition to a multi-racial democracy when Mandela emerged from prison 27 years later.”

“We discovered that there were  three surviving codependents of Mandela and three members of his legal defense team still alive, and with razor sharp memories whose stories have not been recorded. Since they were and are such inspiring stories, we thought that they should be recorded.” Stadlen told us. “And if I was a young South African, disillusioned with the then corruption and craze, I would want to know that my physical freedoms have been won by such heroic figures, some of whom are still alive, and they are very inspiring stories.”


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