Lara Gabrielle on Marion Davies and MANK – Nell Minow interviews

Marion Davies, movie star and long-time love of the wealthy media powerhouse William Randolph Hearst, is a featured character played by Amanda Seyfried in Mank, the story of Herman Mankiewicz as he wrote the original screenplay for Citizen Kane. Davies is better remembered as the inspiration for the untalented Susan Alexander character Kane tried to make into an opera star in Citizen Kane than for her own appealing appearances in film. Film historian Lara Gabrielle, author of a forthcoming book about Davies, discusses the real-life actress.

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MANK – Review by Diane Carson

Articles, books, and films have interrogated the creation of director/co-writer Orson Welles’ iconic 1941 Citizen Kane. Director David Fincher’s Netflix film Mank won’t settle any arguments given its clichéd treatment of Hollywood luminaries, with name dropping replacing complex development. Here’s the essence of this take on the troubled attribution of Kane’s screenplay.

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VERONICA MARS, Season Four – Review by Martha P Nochimson

In its first three seasons, Veronica Mars was widely regarded as a sparkling feminist television series. Well, its fourth season, airing on Hulu, would seem to unmask the show as creator Rob Thomas’ 21st century version of the kind of backlash entertainment that appears right on cue whenever women make new strides toward independence, personhood, and realization of their talents and goals. Like running for president and “me too”? Suddenly, Veronica has emerged as a sinister warning to any girl who would be her own person while female. And in a very big way.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK March 3 – 10: THE LAST WORD

motw logo 1-35Where would we be without Shirley MacLaine? Since her first appearance in cinema (Hitchcock’s The Trouble with Harry), La MacLaine has played a wild card in the best sense of the term, injecting tartness, intelligence and slyness into performances that elevate even well-trod narrative tropes. Now, at age 82, she brings her heightened verve to The Last Word. Read on…

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