• Journalists are heroes in latest TV dramas

    Journalists are usually vilified by some, but more recently Journalists have been playing the heroes in the latest TV dramas, including one of my favorite show “The Newsroom”. But with budget problems and some print newspapers closing down, is this at odds with what we are seeing on TV?

    “…Yet if Hollywood still sees journalists as viable heroes, this image-boosting vote of confidence comes as actual jobs have disappeared faster than guest stars in many of these programs. Moreover, the profession’s esteem in the public’s eyes remains under siege.”

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  • Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains

    “A story, if broken down into the simplest form, is a connection of cause and effect.”

    This is a great post on the power of storytelling. The brain remembers stories and that is the main argument the author makes in this article. Stories are powerful and now there is scientific evidence to prove it.

    “If we listen to a powerpoint presentation with boring bullet points, a certain part in the brain gets activated. Scientists call this Broca’s area and Wernicke’s area. Overall, it hits our language processing parts in the brain, where we decode words into meaning. And that’s it, nothing else happens. When we are being told a story, things change dramatically. Not only are the language processing parts in our brain activated, but any other area in our brain that we would use when experiencing the events of the story are too.”

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  • The 15 Best Movies About Journalism

    The list. The 15 Best Movies About Journalism

    “1. His Girl Friday (1940)
    Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell butt heads in this story of an ex-husband and editor trying to win back his star reporter and ex-wife, whom he still loves. But it’s about more than that. It’s about the dehumanization of their subjects. There’s one bleak exchange about changing the time of a hanging to make the evening edition. It’s cutthroat. Russell’s character laments that she doesn’t want to be a reporter, she just wants to be a woman. It’s a bit dated, but the ethical dilemmas are devastating. And in the end, Hildy is more journalist than lady.
    2. All The President’s Men (1976)
    There’s three types of freshman journalism majors: ones who want to be Carrie Bradshaw, ones who want to write for Rolling Stone, and ones who want to be Woodward and Bernstein. I was the last one. All The President’s Men follows the Watergate scandal and features Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as sexier versions of Woodward and Bernstein. Nice.”

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  • Good films are back in season

    “The Toronto Film Festival is universally considered the opening of Academy Awards season, and the weary moviegoer, drained after a summer of exhausted superheroes and franchises, plunges in it with joy. I’ve been attending since 1977, and have watched it grow from a bootstrap operation, with the schedule improvised from day to day, into one of the big four (with Cannes, Venice and Berlin).”

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  • “The Newsroom” on HBO

    “Much of McAvoy’s diatribe is bona-fide baloney—false nostalgia for an America that never existed—but it is exciting to watch. And if you enjoyed “The West Wing,” Sorkin’s helpful counterprogramming to the Bush Administration, your ears will prick up. The pilot of “The Newsroom” is full of yelling and self-righteousness, but it’s got energy, just like “The West Wing,” Sorkin’s “Sports Night,” and his hit movie “The Social Network.” The second episode is more obviously stuffed with piety and syrup, although there’s one amusing segment, when McAvoy mocks some right-wing idiots. After that, “The Newsroom” gets so bad so quickly that I found my jaw dropping. The third episode is lousy (and devolves into lectures that are chopped into montages). The fourth episode is the worst. There are six to go.”

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  • Aaron Sorkin on The Newsroom , Sorkinism, and Sounding Smart

    On June 24, HBO will air the debut of The Newsroom, the first cable series from Aaron Sorkin, the Oscar- and Emmy-winning creator of The West Wing and writer of The Social Network. The show is not just a return to television but a series about television — in particular, television news and its squandered powers.

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  • Inspired by ‘Mad Men’

    A look at vintage-inspired ads with a “Mad Men” flavor. Read more


  • Land of Blood and Honey

    During the Bosnian War, Danijel, a soldier fighting for the Serbs, re-encounters Ajla, a Bosnian who’s now a captive in his camp he oversees. Their once promising connection has become ambiguous as their motives have changed… View movie website


  • Tinker Tailor Solider Spy

    In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6’s echelons… View movie website


  • Ideas of March

    Ambition seduces and power corrupts in a nerve-wracking thriller from director George Clooney. Idealistic campaign worker Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling) has sworn to give all for Governor Mike Morris (Clooney), a wild card presidential candidate whose groundbreaking ideas could change the political landscape. However, a brutal Ohio primary threatens to test Morris’s integrity. Stephen gets trapped in the down-and-dirty battle and finds himself caught up in a scandal where the only path to survival is to play both sides. The all-star cast includes Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood… View movie website


  • My Week with Marilyn

    Colin Clark, an employee of Sir Laurence Olivier’s, documents the tense interaction between Olivier and Marilyn Monroe during production of The Prince and the Showgirl… View movie website


  • Verdingbub

    is the story of the orphan Max His biggest dream is to be part of a “real family” – and actually seems to fulfill this: Max is hired to a farmer’s family. But instead of love and appreciation, but here he is treated by his foster parents as a workhorse and humiliated by their son, Jacob, out of jealousy. The hand-organ playing is the one thing nobody can take him. Here he draws courage to survive and get the necessary bit of self-esteem. Recognized as a new teacher from the town his musical talent, Max may even swing hard at the front of the entire local community play. Happiness is only of short duration. Jealousy and envy is stronger… View movie website


  • The Tudors

    THE TUDORS brings us through the final turbulent, controversial and dramatic years of King Henry 8, one of the greatest figures of English history… View tvshow


  • TV Show Recommendations


    Sarah Michelle Gellar stars as a woman who, after witnessing a murder, goes on the run, hiding out by assuming the life of her wealthy identical twin sister – only to learn that her sister’s seemingly idyllic life is just as complicated and dangerous as the one she’s trying to leave behind.

    Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior

    Unit chief Special Agent Sam Cooper is a mentally and physically fierce natural leader who is not afraid to put his career on the line in order to stand by his convictions. Cooper strives to avoid political bureaucracy and has handpicked an eclectic group of profilers to work outside the confines of Quantico. They include Beth Griffith, strong-willed and outspoken, the newest member of the team who joins them from the FBI Threat Assessment Task Force; Former British Special Forces soldier Mick Rawson, confident and handsome, works as a highly-skilled marksman with an undiluted eye for rooting out evil; John “Prophet” Sims a former convict with a street-smart edge and a calm, Zen-like presence, who is determined to make amends for past sins; Gina LaSalle an attractive, tough agent armed with a cunning sense of perception; and Penelope Garcia, a computer wizard who has spent years aiding Agent Hotchner and his BAU team on its toughest cases.


    Unforgettable stars Poppy Montgomery as Carrie Wells, an enigmatic former police detective with a rare condition that makes her memory so flawless that every place, every conversation, every moment of joy and every heartbreak is forever embedded in her mind. It’s not just that she doesn’t forget anything – she can’t; except for one thing: the details that would help solve her sister’s long-ago murder. Carrie has tried to put her past behind her, but she’s unexpectedly reunited with her ex-boyfriend and partner, NYPD Detective Al Burns (Dylan Walsh), when she consults on a homicide case. Despite her conflicted feelings for Al, she decides to permanently join his unit as a detective solving homicides – most notably, the unsolved murder of her sister. All she needs to do is remember.

    Family Guy

    Meet the Griffins — Peter, the big, lovable oaf who always says what’s on his mind. Lois, the doting mother who can’t figure out why her son keeps trying to kill her. Their daughter Meg, the teen drama queen who’s constantly embarrassed by her family. Chris, the beefy 13-year-old who wouldn’t hurt a fly, unless it landed on his hot dog. Stewie, the maniacal one-year-old bent on world domination. And Brian, the sarcastic dog with a wit as dry as the martinis he drinks. The animated adventures of this outrageous family will have your whole family laughing out loud.

     Law and Order SVU

    Law & Order: SVU, the first series spun from the powerful Law & Order franchise, is a hard-hitting and emotional drama that chronicles the life and the investigations of the elite Special Victims Unit of the New York City Police Department. Having become one of TV’s most-watched programs thanks to its provocative crime stories, Emmy-winning performances, and dynamic ensemble, Law & Order: SVU boldly enters its 11th season with stakes that have never been higher.

    CSI: NY

    CSI: New York, the third incarnation of the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation franchise and the spin-off of CSI: Miami, is a crime drama about forensic investigators who use high-tech science to follow the evidence and solve crimes in the Big Apple. Detective Mack “Mac” Taylor is a dedicated and driven crime scene investigator who believes that everything is connected and for everyone there is a story. He and his partner, Detective Stella Bonasera, a workaholic and a jack-of-all-trades, share a passion for the job. They lead a team of experts amid the gritty and kinetic city that never sleeps. Their team includes Danny Messer, a Brooklyn-born investigator with rugged good looks, an unflappable spirit, and a colorful family history; and Dr. Sheldon Hawkes, a reclusive coroner who walked away from a promising surgical career after the traumatic loss of two patients. Joining them is homicide Detective Don Flack, an edgy, hardcore investigator with a quick wit, impressive forensic insight, and limited patience with potential suspects. Rounding out the team is Aiden Burn, a smart and sexy investigator whose chameleon-like behavior allows her to adapt to any situation at any time. These skilled investigators, who see New York City in a whole different light, follow the evidence as they piece together clues and eliminate doubt to ultimately crack their cases.

     CSI: Miami

    Having successfully premiered as an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (Season 2: “Cross-Jurisdictions”), CSI: Miami begins its inaugural season with the investigation of a spectacular plane crash (“Golden Parachute”). Horatio Caine and his team of skilled investigators take to the streets, beaches, and swamps of Miami with a sweet Humvee and the ability to arrest their suspects (a power their Vegas counterparts do not possess). They have their work cut out for them this season with many difficult cases to solve including the deaths of a priest (“Ashes to Ashes”), a male stripper (“Breathless”), and nearly an entire family (“Slaughterhouse”). One of the cases involves the death a little girl at a children’s play center (“Broken”). There’s plenty of action in “Dispo Day,” which features a violent shootout. By the end of the season we learn plenty about the personal life of Horatio and the story of his brother Ray (“Simple Man” / “Freaks & Tweaks”). The Horatio/Ray storyline is a continuing thread through the first few seasons.


    Flashpoint is a drama that depicts the emotional journey into the tough, risk-filled lives of a group of cops in the SRU (inspired by Toronto’s Emergency Task Force). It’s a unique unit that rescues hostages, busts gangs, defuses bombs, climbs the sides of buildings and talks down suicidal teens. Members of a highly-skilled tactical team, they’re also trained in negotiating, profiling and getting inside the suspect’s head to diffuse the situation to try and save lives.

    Prime Suspect

    If being a homicide detective in New York isn’t tough enough, having to contend with a male-dominated police department to get respect makes it that much tougher. And that’s exactly what Jane Timoney has to do. She’s an outsider who was just transferred to a new precinct where a fraternity of cops isn’t willing to give her the benefit of the doubt – especially given the way they think she got the job after an illicit affair with her boss. Jane is by no means perfect, and with her own vices and questionable past she can be forceful, willful, rude, and downright reckless. She’s also a brilliant cop with an uncanny ability to see what others miss, and get inside a criminal’s head like no one else. While she wouldn’t admit it, she wants the respect of the men in her life – including her commanding officer, her fellow detectives, and her complicated boyfriend and his young son – but above all, she keeps her eye on one thing: the prime suspect. From director Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) comes the re-imagining of the British television hit starring Maria Bello (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, A History of Violence, The Cooler) as the tough-as-nails detective who doesn’t know when to quit.

    Shark Week, Discovery Channel

    Shark Week is back with a vengeance and this year it brought a friend! Comedian Andy Samberg is Discovery’s Chief Shark Officer (CSO) and he joins the sharks to combine comedy and action to this summer’s must-see television event. With seven new programs, Discovery Channel explores these predators’ psyche—How do sharks hunt? What makes them unique? Why do they attack? Learn the answers in Shark Week 2011!


  • Favorite TV series so far

    Brothers and Sisters (Great Cast)

    Ugly Betty

    Without a Trace

    Criminal Minds

    The Mentalist


    Eleventh Hour


  • Favorite Films

    The Visitor

    A college professor travels to New York City to attend a conference and finds a young couple living in his apartment.

    Director: Thomas McCarthy
    Writer: Thomas McCarthy
    Stars: Richard Jenkins, Haaz Sleiman and Danai Gurira


    Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

    A Mumbai teen who grew up in the slums, becomes a contestant on the Indian version of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” He is arrested under suspicion of cheating, and while being interrogated, events from his life history are shown which explain why he knows the answers.

    Directors: Danny Boyle, Loveleen Tandan
    Writers: Simon Beaufoy (screenplay), Vikas Swarup (novel)
    Stars: Dev Patel, Freida Pinto and Saurabh Shukla



    The story of Harvey Milk, and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California’s first openly gay elected official.

    Director: Gus Van Sant
    Writer: Dustin Lance Black
    Stars: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin and Emile Hirsch


    The Dark Knight

    Batman, Gordon and Harvey Dent are forced to deal with the chaos unleashed by a terrorist mastermind known only as the Joker, as he drives each of them to their limits.

    Director: Christopher Nolan
    Writers: Jonathan Nolan (screenplay), Christopher Nolan (screenplay), and 3 more credits »
    Stars: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger and Aaron Eckhart


    Mamma Mia!

    The story of a bride-to-be trying to find her real father told using hit songs by the popular ’70s group ABBA.

    Director: Phyllida Lloyd
    Writers: Catherine Johnson (screenplay), Catherine Johnson (musical book)
    Stars:Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Amanda Seyfried



    outspoken young Iranian girl that begins during the Islamic Revolution.

    Directors: Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi
    Writers: Marjane Satrapi (comic), Vincent Paronnaud (scenario)
    Stars: Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve and Gena Rowlands