Ashley Wren Collins
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Blog Entries by Ashley Wren Collins

Magnificent Presence Uses the Past to Teach Human Lessons of the Present

(1) Comments | Posted June 25, 2012 | 6:29 PM

Magnificent Presence follows sweet, naïve, lonely Pietro (played by actor Elio Germano), a gay pastry chef and wannabe actor who is short on worldly experiences but high on a gentle, loving nature, as he scores an incredible apartment, leaving the old apartment he shared with his cousin Maria, and moves...

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Joshua Leonard Cannot Tell a Lie

(0) Comments | Posted November 17, 2011 | 11:05 AM

One may never have expected 'that kid' from The Blair Witch Project, the 1999 faux documentary that left audiences screaming and catapulted Joshua Leonard to fame and fortune, to stick around. Show business is, after all, fickle. His co-stars have long since left Hollywood, but Joshua Leonard is still kicking,...

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Thomas Schlamme Takes Flight With Pan Am

(13) Comments | Posted September 25, 2011 | 8:20 AM

At Studio 3 of Steiner Studios in the former Brooklyn Navy Yard, atop the circular table just outside the doors labeled "Prepping Pan Am Director" and "Nancy Hult Ganis, Pan Am Executive Producer," sit 2 coffee table-worthy books -- Beat Generation: Glory Days in Greenwich Village, by Fred W. McDarrah...

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Seeking Cinematic Sustenance in a Saturated World

(0) Comments | Posted September 21, 2011 | 4:06 PM

"Well, I would say that the Hollywood movies have become ever more formulaic," says J. Hoberman, allowing himself a brief phone break from the nearly 100 movies he watches on a monthly basis as veteran film critic at The Village Voice for 33 years and counting. "That's something that was...

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Frick Collection Doesn't Frickin' Get It

(5) Comments | Posted August 29, 2010 | 9:20 PM

Last week I played host to one of my favorite house guests, my six-year-old nephew. Quite the swinging little bachelor when he comes to visit his aunt in the Big Apple, my nephew is always game for that particular visit's adventure, patiently and enthusiastically looking forward to whom we might...

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"The Play's the Thing": Getting Butts in the Seats

(1) Comments | Posted August 18, 2010 | 2:41 PM

"My interest in American culture is accessed through an immersion in international issues, international cultures, and other theatre from other cultures," says Anne Bogart via phone from upstate New York, on a break from writing another (still untitled) book, pre-London bound, and following a preemptive apology for nibbling on her...

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Your Recession-Proof Entertainment Guide to Finishing Out the Summer

(2) Comments | Posted July 29, 2010 | 2:04 AM

The great flood for which Noah built an ark lasted 40 days and 40 nights. Little is known as to how Noah, his family, and all those animals passed the time, cooped up with nowhere to go while Mother Nature's epic flood, sent by God to destroy the Earth, raged...

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The Disappearance of McKinley Nolan: Must-See Vietnam Feature Doc Asks All the Right Questions

(7) Comments | Posted June 30, 2010 | 9:58 AM

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Deep in the cotton belt of Washington, Texas, where the grass bends to the whimsy of the wind and the soil is dark and rich, McKinley Nolan told Mary Nolan, his young, beautiful bride: "I want to explore the world."

The time was...

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Using Michael Jackson's Legacy to Open Can of Whoop Ass on Youth Work Ethic

(39) Comments | Posted June 23, 2010 | 10:13 AM

If you consider that the first president I really remember is Ronald Reagan, you're reading this and probably thinking, "She's just a baby." I can picture that blue folder (which may have been co-opted from my sister) I had with individual cameos of the faces of all 40 American presidents...

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Top New York Agent Wears Heart on Sleeve in New Book

(0) Comments | Posted June 15, 2010 | 11:01 AM

"I looked at him and I thought, 'I know who you are,''" says the stunning and articulate Robyn Stecher, Executive Vice-President of the bi-coastal talent agency, Don Buchwald & Associates, and author of a new book, There's Something About Daniel (The Write Place, 2010). The book contains a series of...

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Didactic Cinema Transcends Art, Forms Socio-Historical Compass

(4) Comments | Posted June 9, 2010 | 8:10 PM

In the early 1990s, Mrs. Bauer, my high school Advanced Placement American History teacher, did what she did for all her juniors every spring; she diverted from the standard curriculum to teach an entire unit on the Holocaust. The United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. opened that same year,...

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Dr. Oz Supports Addiction Treatment at Caron Gala

(0) Comments | Posted May 28, 2010 | 2:38 PM

"The reality I've learned is that if you have an emptiness in your life, caused by whatever, but essentially a lack of feeling that you are loved, then you will fill it desperately, because we all need to feel loved," says Dr. Mehmet Oz, heart surgeon, New York Times bestselling...

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Rock and Roll and the American Dream in the Modern Age

(4) Comments | Posted May 26, 2010 | 1:10 PM

"This guy is the George Harrison from Pakistan. That's awesome, and that's something people should know about. Not only is he the George Harrison of Pakistan, but also if you were to take all five Traveling Wilburys and distill them into one man from Karachi, what you would end up...

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Gael García Bernal: Revolución in a Bergman-less World

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2010 | 3:18 PM

Riot police held back protesters and security was extra tight Friday at the Palais of the Cannes Film Festival in response to the protest surrounding the screening of Rachid Bouchareb's Hors-la-loi (Outside the Law), which takes place during the Algerian struggle for independence from France after World War II.

Just...

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All Is 'Fair Game' in Cannes and Why You Should Care

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2010 | 3:01 PM

At about 60 minutes into Ukrainian filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa's world premiere of Schastye Moye (My Joy) at 10:30pm yesterday evening, festivalgoers hiked up gowns, gripped toes to hug high heels, snapped off bowties, and powered up cell phones as flash lights to make their way out of the steep balcony...

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Cannes: Hope Dawns Where Art Meets Commerce

(0) Comments | Posted May 19, 2010 | 2:25 PM

"The only way certain films like this can get made is by hustling every little thing down that you can, and just praying and begging and borrowing and stealing. That's all you can do. You hope you don't end up in jail or dead!" laughs Alistair Banks Griffin, squinting at...

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Cannes: Dollars and Sense

(0) Comments | Posted May 18, 2010 | 1:30 PM

"I don't have to produce Batman," says Simone Bachini from the comfort of a lounge chair in the Italian Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival in his charming, stilted English.

"This is a good thing," I think to myself. As much as I enjoyed Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight...

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Cannes You Dig It? The Film Industry Champions Joint International Effort

(0) Comments | Posted May 17, 2010 | 1:30 PM

In its 63rd year, the Cannes Film Festival is marked by the classic images that give it the glitz and glamour it is known for all around the world - the impossibly long staircase bathed in a cascading carpet the color of cherry berry Bazooka gum, palm trees swaying in...

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Benicio Del Toro Looks to Cannes, Getting Behind the Camera

(0) Comments | Posted May 12, 2010 | 2:58 PM

"Being on the jury is a job. It's a serious thing. Right?," inquires Benicio Del Toro over the phone last Friday afternoon in Los Angeles.

He's referring, of course, to serving on the jury of the Cannes Film Festival, presided over by Tim Burton and including fellow film world...

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Alexander Siddig Is Part of Julian Schnabel's Latest Cinematic Canvas

(2) Comments | Posted May 7, 2010 | 4:27 PM

"I am so confused about who I am in my life now, it's not even funny!"

The musicality of his pleasant, lilting English accent drifts through the phone to fall softly on my ears, followed by a smack in the face with the static heat of my un air-conditioned office...

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