November 15, 2010

Sterling’s Gold: Wit and Wisdom of an Ad Man
Admit it: You”€™ve taken to smoking and drinking your Sunday nights away now that Mad Men‘s off the air. There’s a cure for that”€”even more paraphernalia related to the crackerjack AMC hit. Roger Sterling spent the fourth season dictating his memoirs, including dalliances with Miss Blankenship (God rest her soul) and his beloved redhead, Joanie. The marketing geniuses have swung a deal with a publisher to actually produce the silver fox’s tale (this is a show about advertising, after all). Appearances are deceiving. It’s not an actual memoir, but a compilation of quotes on business and marriage lifted straight from the show. They still go down as easy an Old Fashioned after a long day in the office.

Made in Dagenham, Opens in limited theatres, November 19
It’s impossible to resist the allure of the “€˜60s. Sally Hawkins, equally as charming as she was in Happy-Go-Lucky, stars in this rousing story of the women in Dagenham, England who demanded”€”and received”€”equal pay to men. Sounds like a snoozer, but trust us, it’s not. Critics are already falling over themselves praising the “€œcrowd-pleasing David and Goliath”€ story, and Hawkins, cheeky and daring enough to challenge her bosses at the Ford factory, is a lock for an Oscar nomination. Supporting performances by Bob Hoskins and Miranda Richardson, and expert direction under Nigel Cole (of the splendid Calendar Girls) makes this a satisfying feel-good film.

Sally Mann: The Flesh and the Spirit, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, Virginia, Open now “€“ January 23, 2011
Sally Mann is getting personal. Her latest photography exhibition in Virginia explores the human body and features nude portraits of her husband, who has a degenerative muscle disease, alongside images of her children’s youth and vitality. No boundaries escape unbroken”€”Mann’s interested in upending the traditional studies of the human body and transporting the viewer to a vulnerable and contemplative state. For those who can”€™t make it down south to the show, a book has also been published of her photography which includes her platinum prints from the late “€˜70s, Polaraids, landscapes, and surprising self-portraits. The show itself is slightly graphic and not suitable for young, budding Irving Penns.

30 Rock: Original Television Soundtrack
Some of the best”€”and most subtle”€”moments on 30 Rock are hidden in the numerous musical numbers the show’s provided over the years. Michael Buble, Donald Glover, Cheyenne Jackson, and Elaine Stritch make appearances on this deluxe soundtrack, which drops Tuesday, and blasts songs like “€œBoys in Gayland”€ and the instant classic “€œWerewolf Bar Mitzvah.”€ And good thing it’s a dual-disc because screen hog Jenna (played by Jane Krakowski) never met a ditty she didn”€™t love and want to scream from the rooftops. Tina Fey’s husband, Jeff Richmond, is also the show’s composer, making this an all in the family affair. The album comes with a book for the biggest 30 Rock devotees who want to ogle photos of the show’s set.

Leo Fuchs: Special Photographer from the Golden Age of Hollywood
The cover alone is worth the price of admission, but the remainder of Leo Fuchs”€™ photos are equally worthy of your attention. Before TMZ and Us Weekly, photographers were actually invited to hang out on sets and document the lives of stars as they filmed their next hit. Cary Grant, Rock Hudson, Shirley MacLaine, and Frank Sinatra look so at ease”€”and it’s stunning to see candid shots that don”€™t feel invasive (as modern ones snapped by paparazzi from across the street usually do). Fuchs”€™ trick was befriending the stars as a “€œspecial photographer”€ on set, enabling him to capture something much more real than what comes across on the screen. There’s Alfred Hitchock lounging in an office, a pensive Paul Newman, and even a rare shot of To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee. It’s easy to long for Old Hollywood when it looks this good.

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