35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors

I have four or five solo albums by Robert Plant, his duos with Page and with Alison Krauss, and even a cassette of Plant’s group The Honeydrippers.

The television program I always watch between Christmas and New Years is the Kennedy Center Honors; it is generally quite entertaining. “The Honors recipients [are] recognized for their lifetime contributions to American culture through the performing arts-whether in music, dance, theater, opera, motion pictures, or television…” The event took place on Sunday, December 2. The Gala will be broadcast on CBS on December 26, 2012, at 9:00-11:00 p.m., ET/PT.

The awardees this year are Buddy Guy, Dustin Hoffman, David Letterman, Natalia Makarova, and Led Zeppelin.

I admit not knowing much about ballerina/choreographer Natalia Makarova.

The selection of talk show host David Letterman really surprised me. I like him well enough, but his gift just didn’t seem to be at the level of many of the past selections. Maybe it’s that it seems premature; in another decade. Maybe.

Historically, the choices tend to be people such as Buddy Guy, who is a blues pioneer. He has “been a tremendous influence on virtually everyone who’s picked up an electric guitar in the last half-century, including [Eric] Clapton, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Slash, ZZ Top, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and John Mayer.” Here he is playing Sweet Home Chicago. I have only two or three of his albums.

Speaking of Jimmy Page, I have a LOT of albums from Led Zeppelin: the first four albums, and some others, on vinyl; a box set on CD. Additionally, I have four or five solo albums by Robert Plant, his duos with Page and with Alison Krauss, and even a cassette of Plant’s group The Honeydrippers.

It’s Dustin Hoffman, though, who, like Buddy Guy, is the archetypical selection. A LONG career with a lot of success. Hoffman movies I’ve seen:
The Graduate, 1967 – the only one I saw on video, and only in the last four years; I’ve owned the soundtrack for decades.
Midnight Cowboy, 1969 – I saw this four times in the first year or so after its release. Has one of my favorite quotes: “I’m WALKING here!”
Lenny, 1974 – much of what I first knew of Lenny Bruce, i learned from this
All the President’s Men, 1976 – the Watergate film which gave me hope about a free press since dissipated
Kramer vs. Kramer, 1979 – the first “divorce movie” I recall
Tootsie, 1982 – apparently, Hoffman was a PITA making this film, which he poured into the Michael (pre-Tootsie)character
Death of a Salesman (TV movie), 1985 – first version of this I ever saw
Rain Man, 1988 – possibly Tom cruise’s best role, plus a great soundtrack
Wag the Dog, 1997 – a faux war made plausible
Finding Neverland, 2004
I Heart Huckabees, 2004 – did not love this
Meet the Fockers, 2004
Stranger Than Fiction, 2006 – definitely the best film I’ve seen that Will Farrell made

30-Day Challenge- Day 21 – Favorite Movie Quote

I used to BE a Census taker, so maybe I take it personally.

I love the movies, and I love movie quotes. When the American Film Institute presented its list of 100 Top Movie Quotes, you know I had to be watching. The Wizard of Oz is a particular yeasty source of quotes.

The one I may have actually used most often in real life is #27, from Midnight Cowboy: “I’m walking here! I’m walking here!” when Ratso Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman) almost gets run over by a cab. I hear Hoffman explain that he almost DID get run over by that cab, who was supposed to be blocked off while the crew filmed the scene.

The one that creeps me out the most: A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti; I used to BE a Census taker, so maybe I take it personally. That line’s from The Silence of the Lambs, which I never actually got all the way through, spoken by Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins).

Ultimately, though, the all-encompassing quote is what I need to go with: Davis (Steve Martin) saying in the movie Grand Canyon: “That’s part of your problem: you haven’t seen enough movies. All of life’s riddles are answered in the movies.” I’m not 100% sure that’s true. But it might be.

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