Taking a Break From Blogging

Blogger Break
Blogger Break

Monday September 15, 2014, 05:32AM, EST

Hello Readers:

I just completed a great Toronto International Film Festival and have lots of images and some stories to share. Also, I networked with some awesome people who talked to me about wanting to see my scripts.

Being especially propelled by my excellent placement in this year’s Academy Nicholl’s Fellowship (besting my previous placement by a HUGE percentage), I feel I need to take a break from blogging for awhile and concentrate a little more on my screenwriting.

I might come back to blogging in a couple of weeks or a few months or a year. But until I do, I just want to Thank you for reading my indie blog and letting me write about things big and small and somewhere in between. I have much gratitude to those of you who reached out and commented on my blogs or advanced their reading via Social Media.

I’ll keep in touch on Social Media and you can always find me on FaceBook, Twitter, Flickr and Instagram.

Stay Healthy and Creative…

Thanks kindly,


Dear Readers – I Have a Horrible Flu Bug

Dear Faithful Readers: I have been off for almost a month with that nasty flu hit North America.  I’ll re-publish in early May. I’ve been doing a lot of research for some fun stuff coming up.

By the way, below is a picture of my beloved rescue cat named Bizo. He passed away March 16 just 2 weeks shy of his 14th Birthday. He was my cuddle buddy, my ‘thunder buddy’, my big man and my writing partner. When I wrote from my home office he’d sleep in a pillow on my desk. He also liked to snuggle in my big Italian leather chair when I watched Films and Awards shows.

If you’d like to learn more about him, feel free to friend his FaceBook Page Here.

Stay healthy and creative… and drop me a line 🙂

Bizo Boudreau O'Kelly March 1999-March 16, 2013
Bizo Boudreau O’Kelly March 1999-March 16, 2013

Oscar News: Record Breaking 71 Films Vie for Foreign Langauge Oscar Consideration

by Shannonn Kelly
06:52AM, EST, October 09, 2012

According to a press release from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the country of Kenya is a first time entrant in the 85th Annual Academy Awards® and among a record breaking 71 countries all vying for consideration in the Foreign Language Category.

Among the films were some of my “70 Handpicked Films You Should See at TIFF 12“: such as: “Amour,” Michael Haneke, Austria; “No,” Pablo Larraín, Chile; “Mushrooming,” Toomas Hussar, Estonia; and “Blancanieves,” Pablo Berger, Spain.

2012 Foreign Language Submissions are:

  1. Afghanistan, “The Patience Stone,” Atiq Rahimi, director;
  2. Albania, “Pharmakon,” Joni Shanaj, director;
  3. Algeria, “Zabana!” Said Ould Khelifa, director;
  4. Argentina, “Clandestine Childhood,” Benjamín Ávila, director;
  5. Armenia, “If Only Everyone,” Natalia Belyauskene, director;
  6. Australia, “Lore,” Cate Shortland, director;
  7. Austria, “Amour,” Michael Haneke, director; Continue reading “Oscar News: Record Breaking 71 Films Vie for Foreign Langauge Oscar Consideration”

Michael Jackson’s Hometown Showcases Black Filmmakers

by Shannonn Kelly
06:03AM, EST, Monday October 08, 2012

While I’m not a fan of ‘niche’ festivals, I am a fan of any city that wants to bring independent cinema to it’s community.

TV Producer, Filmmaker, Actor Robert Townsend

The 2nd Annual Gary Indiana International Black Film Festival ran this past weekend from Friday October 5th to October 7th.

I am a big fan of this man: One of major events was an appearance by TV producer, filmmaker Robert Townsend (The Meteor Man, Hollywood Shuffle, Five Heartbeats, The Parent Hood) who screened and discussed his latest film “In The Hive” starring the late Michael Clarke Duncan (his 2nd last screen appearance). To read my blog on the passing of this gentle giant, please click Here.

In The Hive also stars the lovely Loretta Devine, Vivica A. Fox, and Roger Guenveur Smith who got his start with Spike Lee starring in his 1st two films “School Daze” (1988) and “Do the Right Thing” (1989) as “Smiley” the mute.

Among the other films that premiered were “Soul Food Junkies” by Byron Hurt, “The Interrupters” by Steve James and “Gun Hill Road” by Rashad Ernesto Green. Continue reading “Michael Jackson’s Hometown Showcases Black Filmmakers”

Actress Carole Lombard – A Feisty, Foul-Mouthed, Sexy Screwball

by Shannonn Kelly
09:36AM, EST October 06, 2012

Sexy Screwball – actress Carole Lombard


Today would have been the 104th birthday of actress Carole Lombard, a feisty, foul-mouthed, sexy screwball. She was 2nd cousin to the legendary screwball comedy director Howard Hawks, who said of Lombard, “Marvelous girl. Crazy as a bedbug” –so maybe, there’s something in the genes.

Making 78 pictures before her untimely death at 33, Lombard was known for her bawdiness – – her favorite phrase being, “I don’t give a fuck.” She was also known for starring in probably some of the best comedies ever produced during Hollywood’s ‘Golden Age‘.

Born Jane Alice Peters in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1908, Lombard was discovered playing baseball in the street by silent-era movie director Allan Dwan, who was actually born in Toronto, Canada, April 03, 1885.

Continue reading “Actress Carole Lombard – A Feisty, Foul-Mouthed, Sexy Screwball”

Johnny Depp Lone Ranger ‘Teaser’ Poster Online Today

by Shannonn Kelly
05:33AM, EST, October 03, 2012

Johnny Depp as ‘Tonto’ and Armie Hammer as ‘The Lone Ranger’

No matter how many headaches a movie endures for it’s stars and its producers, if it’s starring Johnny Depp – – People want to see it! From budget issues to on-set deaths to Native American disapproval of Depp’s interpretation of Tonto – – will the wait and the hassle be worth it?

The 2013 theatrical release of The Lone Ranger stars, Johnny Depp as Tonto, Armie Hammer as John Reid / The Lone Ranger, as well as Helena Bonham Carter and three of my all-time fave character actors: William Fichtner, Tom Wilkinson and Barry Pepper.

My Rule Is: If a Screenplay has more than two writers credited, (in this case Ted Elliott, Justin Haythe, Terry Rossio) that’s the kiss of death as far as I’m concerned. So I’m a little worried for this film. We’ll just have to wait and see what director Gore Verbinski does with the 3-manned script. July 03 2013 is just around the corner, so the wait won’t be that long for The Lone Ranger to hit theaters.

In the meantime, for a peek at the poster and fancy new production stills, please click Here.

TIFF 2012 : : BlackBerry People’s Choice Documentary Winner – Artifact

by Shannonn Kelly
9:42PM, EST, September 16, 2012

“Artifact” is the story of record label EMI and their spirit crushing attempt to destruct Jared Leto and his band Thirty Seconds To Mars.

Artifact” the rock-umentary on Jared Leto and his band Thirty Seconds to Mars label war with EMI wins the BlackBerry® People’s Choice Documentary Award at the 37th Annual International Toronto International Film Festival.

The documentary “Artifact” is the story of record label EMI and their spirit crushing attempt to destruct and bankrupt Jared Leto and his band ‘Thirty Seconds To Mars‘ with members Sarajevo-born Tomo Miličević and brother Shannon Leto.

All 3 screenings at TIFF 2012 were stuffed with an enthusiastic ‘meow mix‘ of adoring female fans and it’s an informed guess that it was the female vote that pushed “Artifact” over the top to win. You can read my ‘mini-review’ Here. Continue reading “TIFF 2012 : : BlackBerry People’s Choice Documentary Winner – Artifact”

TIFF 2012 : : BlackBerry People’s Choice Award Winner – Silver Linings Playbook

by Shannonn Kelly
9:06PM, EST, September 16, 2012

Harvey Weinstein Does It Again! David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook” Wins the BlackBerry® People’s Choice Award at the 37th Annual Toronto International Film Festival.

The films stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro in a dark comedy about a teacher (Cooper), after spending time in a mental institution moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when he meets a mysterious girl with problems of her own.

Russell, also wrote and directed “Three Kings“, “I Heart Huckabees” and “The Fighter” nominated for 7 Academy Awards in 2011 and won Best Supporting Oscars for both Christian Bale and Melissa Leo.

The Weinstein Company (TWC) is an independent American film studio founded by Harvey CBE (Hon) and Bob Weinstein in 2005 after the brothers left the then Disney-owned Miramax Films, which they had co-founded in 1979. The Weinstein Company represents “Silver Linings Playbook”.

Harvey Weinstein also represents “The Master” which many filmgoers at TIFF thought would win as it did when it swept up awards at the recent Venice Film Festival. Entertainment Weekly calls it ““one of the great movies of the year!” ”The Master” written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and starring the strong cast of Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams goes into wider release Friday September 21.


TIFF 2012 : : Final Day – Last Chance Films and That’s a Wrap!

by Shannonn Kelly
03:24AM, EST, September 16, 2012

Today I saw:

  • Artifact” (USA)  As one of the few present at today’s screening that is not a big “Thirty Seconds To Mars” fan, I have to say, “I get it.” Jared Leto is accessible, charming and of course talented. I first discovered Leto in “The Thin Red Line” and thought he was outstanding in “Requiem for a Dream” (as did everyone else).

    Also, the fact that he was born and raised near Shreveport, he gets an automatic cool badge, as I love everything about that state on my 22 visits to Louisiana.

    Watching Leto go through the pains of a label war with EMI records showed me a another side of him I never really knew, always striving to be ‘zen-like’ in his approach and reaction to the hailstorm of shit around him while he and his band members, brother  Shannon Leto (drums, percussion) and Tomo Miličević (lead guitar, keyboards) try to record a new album. Kudos!

    Add “Artifact” to the list of super cool music rock-umentaries that can proudly stand as the spirited* kid brother beside “It Might Get Loud” and “Pearl Jam Twenty“.My upload of the Jared Leto “Artifact” Q&A can be found below.

  • Miss Lovely” (Mumbai) Story of the Duggan brothers who produce sleazy C-grade horror/porn films in the mid-1980s Bombay. Everything about the film was grimy and unsavory. I would’ve liked to have known from the director if the sets still existed or was it all dressed. Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui who played younger brother Sonu reminded me of an early era Tony Curtis)
  • Jayne Mansfield’s Car” (USA) Taking place in 1969 Morrison, Alabama, this is the story of a family of 3 brothers and sister ripped apart when their mother leaves them for a life in England 20 years earlier. She’s died and her English step-son calls Alabama to say she wants to be buried back home. Written, directed and starring Billy Bob Thornton, I was expecting something to equal or surpass “Slingblade“. It didn’t. )

I’m writing this blog after the final film in the 24th installment of TIFF Midnight Madness. I just finished my day with “John Dies At The End“, directed by Bubba Ho-tep helmer Don Coscarelli.

Featuring a no-name cast for the exception of genre fave Clancy Brown, this last film was an efficient, funny and fairly fast paced “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” for the Midnight crowd based on the book by John Wong. My blog reviews for some of these films will follow post TIFF 2012.

Continue reading “TIFF 2012 : : Final Day – Last Chance Films and That’s a Wrap!”

TIFF 2012 : : Day 10 – Films You Should See and MUST See

by Shannonn Kelly
03:38AM, EST, September 15, 2012

Fran Kranz in “Much Ado About Nothing” by Joss Whedon

I feel I must make a confession. I never saw a single episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” or “Firefly” or “Angel” or “Dollhouse“.

I get that many of the cast in “Much Ado about Nothing” are from Whedon’s popular TV series, including actor Fran Kranz (who was superb in the film). But, when Nathan Fillion popped up playing Dogberry as a seasoned cop/tired film noir gumshoe, I roared. So did the audience.

Yesterday,  I officially became a Joss Whedon fan.

I first learned of Nathan Fillion from “Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place” where he played Johnny Donnelly. TGAGAAPP also brought attention to the much under-used Richard Ruccolo and now Hollywood A-lister Ryan Reynolds. Other than the occasional film, I never watched Nathan Fillion in much until I saw him again in “Desperate Housewives“.

Then last year, I discovered “Castle“. It’s now my guilty pleasure thanks to people urging me on GetGlue to check out the previous seasons.

Nathan Fillion was among a very unusual and fresh feeling cast that makes Whedon’s modern retelling of Shakespeare’s classic comedy about two pairs of lovers a clever, thinking-person’s hit at the 37th Toronto International Film Festival. Thank you @JossWhedon. My blog review will follow post TIFF 2012.

Today I also saw:

  • Men At Lunch” (Ireland: A moving documentary that unearthed the mystery about who were those 11 men sitting high atop a Manhattan girder  having lunch in 1932). My blog review will follow post TIFF
  • The ABC’s Of Death” (Various: 26 filmmakers from 15 countries cinematically walk you through an alphabetized list of blood, guts and gore. Many of those filmmakers were in attendance at Midnight Madness. The Q&A was pretty laid back. The standout letters of the film were: D, F, L, O, Q, R, T and X. The runners up were letters A, H, N, S and Y )

Continue reading “TIFF 2012 : : Day 10 – Films You Should See and MUST See”