Category Archives: Jeanne Talks

JUNGLETOWN Gives Us a Taste of Paradise

There’s such an avalanche of shows to watch that it’s overwhelming to make a choice. I’m going to help you cut through the clutter. You’ve got to see JUNGLETOWN the new docuseries on VICELAND​ which airs Tuesday nights at 10 pm.

The NY Times called it “mesmerizing.” The Hollywood Reporter said, “It’s a reality show for people too cool to watch a reality show.” And Sling TV went even farther, concluding “It might be the most fascinating thing to watch on television.”

Why all the hyperbole? I’ve seen JUNGLETOWN and I was hooked from the very first episode. Award-winning documentary filmmaker, Ondi Timoner, has brought to the screen a compelling story of the real-life struggle to create a new world called Kalu Yala in the rainforest of Panama. Founder, Jimmy Stice, recruited the young and idealistic “interns” – mostly young college grads from the U.S. – who are trying to tap into their own dreams of a new life that will give them new hope for the future. A lot of them left privileged lives behind without giving a thought to the risk.

Sounds a little cliché doesn’t it? Not when Timoner puts you in the middle of a battle as these kids try to build a commune, fight the jungle, fight among themselves and, ultimately, grapple with whether it’s worth it to stay. It’s a wild ride. You’ll burst out laughing, you’ll cry and scream, sometimes you’ll want to look away, but you’ll keep coming back for more. And you’ll root for them to make it. I don’t know why. Maybe because in these tough times, these Trumpian times, we are all longing for a little slice of utopia ourselves.

Oops – The story as seen from the Academy Awards press room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What?! What’s going on? How could this happen? What went wrong? WOW! Oh my God!  The F-word flying in the air.

In such a wild lightning bolt of a moment minds explode with a jumble of reactions and parallel narratives. Nervous laughter, adrenaline driven shouts, everyone guessing at an explanation, asking each other for an urgent reality check.

Call outs of “Is this a first? What Oscar mistakes have there been over the years?”

Eyes turn to the TV screen as the craziness continues to play out on the air. How are these people going to handle this beyond-belief moment? Take a look!

A bizarre calamity – some froze and panicked, some did their job and sped to make things right. Protocol and set plans for mistakes – out the window. Anger and bewilderment dominate.

The show goes off the air with a charged mix of joy and bafflement.

The buzz escalates. “What took so long to fix the error? Who caused this mess-up?” – and typical of a room full of reporters to ask, “Is someone going to make a statement?”

I wondered to myself. How would I have responded? Getting a dream of Best Picture snatched away in front of the world has got to be an emotional tsunami

I can only hope I’d be equal to Jordan Horowitz, “La La Land” producer. His grace and poise and out and out goodness superseded what had to be a thud of a let-down.

To quote Stephanie Merry and Lindsay Bever from The Washington Post:

“Amid the confusion, there was one person willing to take charge and explain, even though he had just given an acceptance speech for a career-defining award he did not actually win.

Horowitz marched up to the microphone to make an announcement.

“‘Moonlight won,” he declared.

“Guys, guys, I’m sorry. No. There’s a mistake,” Horowitz added. “‘Moonlight,’ you guys won best picture.”

“This is not a joke,” he continued.

“Come up here,” he commanded, motioning for the “Moonlight” team to come to the stage and collect the top Oscar that Horowitz briefly thought his film had just won.

While the people in the audience were gasping with surprise, Horowitz — as if to assure them this wasn’t fake news — held up the card just pulled from the correct award envelope, so that the cameras could zoom in.

“I’m going to be really thrilled to hand this to my friends from ‘Moonlight,’” he said.

Horowitz wasn’t just a gracious loser; he became the closest thing the Oscars can get to a folk hero.”

Tom Ford Gave Armie Hammer a Makeover

Armie Hammer and Wife

Talk about perfectly groomed hotties. Armie Hammer and Aaron Taylor-Johnson who co-star in Tom Ford’s “Nocturnal Animals” accompanied fashion-designer-turned-film-director Tom Ford to a soiree to hype the dark thriller at Mr. Chow’s. Hammer was wearing perfectly fitting black jeans and a trendy black sweater while Taylor-Johnson wore a neatly tailored dark suit that he showed off from the Tom Ford collection. The young celebs were dressed to kill and I was sure they did it for Ford. The handsome director admitted to me that he cared a lot about how his stars looked, especially Hammer. “When I met him, I told him to lose fifteen pounds for the movie and he did. He was too good looking to have that extra weight. And, of course, the way he looked on film mattered very much. Then Hammer revealed Ford’s control of fashion on the film set. “I’m going to get in trouble for telling you this,” laughed Hammer as he sipped his martini topped with two perfect olives. “When my character is not as suave and fashionable at the start of the movie Tom told me he’d dress me in Brooks Brothers. Then when I got rich and fancy and stylish he put me in all Tom Ford clothes.” Note his Ford suit with his wife at the premiere of “Nocturnal Animals.”
Ford’s fashion sense is all over “Nocturnal Animals” from the sets to the cinematography. But, more important, he delivers a stunning and suspenseful cliffhanger that will leave you limp. It’s way more than the look and feel of the movie that gets you, it’s the powerful story.
By the way Ford was wearing signature black suit, white shirt, collar pin, and tie. Armie swore and Tom affirmed that he dressed like that every day on the set – except the desert scenes where he was in boots, jeans, and a chapeau from his own cowboy hat collection. Ford may be Paris and Madison Avenue now but he’s a Texas boy at heart.

Jeanne Wolf with Tom Ford

 

The Real Way the Election is Being Rigged

The Best Democracy Money Can Buy from Cinema Libre Studio on Vimeo.

“The Best Democracy Money Can Buy” entertained and engaged me. It also thoroughly frightened me by exposing evidence of extreme hanky-panky surrounding efforts to suppress votes.
The approach is clever and appealing – so much that it can take us away from the message. The attention-getting style is fun in the way that “The Big Short” and Michael Moore took on significant subjects with statistics and smirks. The resources and research are very compelling and extremely terrifying. If we know about the dirty tricks and tricksters why isn’t more being done to clean up our voting system?
So, I say, see the film- it will make an impression. But don’t stop there. Pay attention and help shine a light on every horrific plot to deny the dignity and the vote to thousands of people.

Has Ashleigh Banfield Given Up Her Trademark?

Ashleigh Banfield Glasses vs No Glasses

OK, it’s not like Budweiser changing its name to America, if only briefly, but when you have product identification you have to be careful about messing with the brand.
Am I the only one who noticed that Ashleigh Banfield just returned from her 3 week vacation to anchor “Legal View” on CNN ditching what has set her apart from almost every cable TV anchor, maybe all of them (I haven’t done a survey.) Ashleigh wasn’t wearing her glasses. The specs she’s worn throughout her career were missing. I did a double-take, which is not to say that she didn’t look great. Actually, she looked just as hot to me with the glasses.
I did some research on Google. Check out every image of Ashleigh and she’s got those glasses on and check out all the women who want to know what brand and style she’s wearing. Clearly, they’re ready to take a stand themselves against “men don’t make passes at women who wear glasses.” It’s like Ashleigh was striking a blow for everyone who just wanted to forget the bloody contacts and be up front about whatever they need to see more clearly.
I guess you could call it a bold move. I love Ashleigh’s style and I’m always ready for her to surprise us with her take on a major story. So I’ll be trying to concentrate on what she’s saying. But I keep wondering… frame or frameless?