Category Archives: Letter From The Editor

Parasite Sweeps The Oscars

South Korean director Bong Joon-ho accepts the award for Best International Feature Film for “Parasite” during the 92nd Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on February 9, 2020. Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP via Getty Images. Used with kind courtesy, ©2020 A.M.P.A.S. ®

The first ever foreign language film to win an Oscar for Best Picture, “Parasite” dominated the awards, winning also for, Best Director, Best International Film, and Best Original Screenplay.  Director Bong Joon Ho paid tribute to one of his inspirations during the night; Martine Scorsese.

We have a saying in Korea; “The more personal you get, the more creative you are.” –Bong Joon Ho

The following is the excerpt of Oscar Winner Bong Joon Ho, backstage at the Oscars.

Q (…)What does this (win) do for the acceptance in this country of foreign language films, films with subtitles? Is this a breakthrough moment, do you think, and allows you, other people from — who make films in foreign languages?

A. [Bong Joon Ho Translated] So during the Golden Globes I mentioned the one-inch barrier of subtitles, but I feel like that was already a little late. People were already overcoming these barriers. There are streaming services, YouTube, social media, and the environment that we currently live in, I think we are all connected. So I think naturally we will come to a day when a foreign language film — or not, it doesn’t really matter — a foreign language film winning this won’t be much of an issue later on, hopefully.

Q. This is amazing. This is history tonight. This is history, not just for the Academy Awards, but for South Korea. Can you please talk about that significance?

A. [Kwak Sin Ae Translated] So it’s the first time a Korean film has been nominated for the Oscars, so to just win one award would have been a huge celebration, but to win in four categories, six Oscars in total, I can’t even imagine the atmosphere in Korea right now and what would happen when we get back. But I did once imagine what it would mean to win Best Picture. To win Best Picture means that this film was voted by the members of the Academy, and I realized that that would signal the beginning of a different kind of change for international cinema, not just for Korea. So in that sense, it would have been great to win. We did win.

Q. What a historic night. Four historic wins for South Korea and also for Asians in general. So, Mr. Joon Ho, can you talk about your early influences, Asian directors in particular, who influenced you when you were growing up and to make you what you are now?

A. [Bong Joon Ho In English] It’s quite many. So first of all, the Kim Ki-young, the Korean big master, he is a huge master in the 1960s and ’70s who made THE HOUSEMAID, the movie digitally restored by the Martin Scorsese Foundation, you can find out that movie in the Criterion DVD, I strongly recommend. And I also strongly inspired by many Japanese directors, like Imamura Shohei, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, all those masters, and also, yeah, quite many wonderful Asian directors. For example, the Taipei New Wave directors, like Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Edward Yang, they also — they made always so beautiful movie which I admire so much, yeah.

Q. Your win is not just a win for South Korea, but it’s a win for international films, especially Asian cinema. My question is, what is your message for the actors of Asian descent that are based in Hollywood? It’s more than winning an Oscar, more than getting a nomination. They’re just fighting to get more work. What is your message? What does this award mean to them?

A. [Bong Joon Ho In English] Yesterday, in the Indie Spirit — Indie Spirit Award, THE FAREWELL, Lulu Wang, won the Best Picture, so I was so happy with her. I really love her works and — [Bong Joon Ho Translated] but I don’t think it’s necessary to separate all the borders and divisions, whether it’s Asia, Europe or the U.S. If we pursue the beauty of cinema and focus on the individual charms that each piece has, I think then we will naturally overcome all these barriers.

Transcript ©2020 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ® used with kind courtesy.
Laura Dern accepts the Actress in a Supporting Role award for ‘Marriage Story’ onstage during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 9, 2020 in Hollywood, California. Getty Images, AMPAS, used with kind courtesy.
Happy New Year from The Hollywood Sentinel! We are already into February, with the new awards season upon us. The Golden Globe and Grammy Awards have commenced, and the Oscars have now commenced.

Congratulations to all of the nominees, and winners. 

When a stranger is shocked at another strangers random act of kindness, you know that  we are in dark times. But are they indeed that dark? 

Since the creation of man, there has always been one man or group of men seeking to impose their whims upon the will of another man or group by force. There has always been what some call “evil” on this planet. But there is also good.

Most people are basically good, and want peace, and random acts of kindness happen every day; more than acts of evil. The good is just not usually reported. 

If human beings were not mostly good, the world would have ended long ago. And if any group of men in any church or government knew how to save all of humanity from ourselves, that would have happened by now too.

Both good and evil are within us all. It is up to us to choose. What master do you follow? Is anger, hatred, and cruelty your way? Or do you seek to be calm, forgive others and yourself, and try to be kind to yourself and others?

I have never met a man who tried to do good, who wished instead he were bad. But I have met many bad men who were ashamed at who they were, and wanted to turn good.

It has been said that the only thing for evil to triumph, is for good men to do nothing. And so what good does it do the world when good people are silent? When evil is not confronted? Is this who are? Should we allow comedians, politicians, or reporters to tell us to sit down and shut up, and then obey in silence?

The nature of a human being is to be free.  Free to choose what we do, so long as it does not harm another. And our nature is to be free to speak and express ourselves as we see fit. If that means expressing ourselves in the media, on the stage, or in the streets, then so be it. We may not always get it right. Contrary to the delusions of some–no one is perfect. But at least we can say we tried. At least we can lift our hearts and our voices with our spirits united, and fight for what we believe in.

The world doesn’t need another verbally abusive public figure, whether that person is hosting an awards show, or hosting the governments of the world.  It’s not cool to be a jerk anymore. * Perhaps the only people not tired of mean, abusive people, are other mean and abusive people themselves.

And so let us fight the good fight. Follow what you know is true and good in your own heart and mind, and fight for what you believe in. Don’t let anyone silence you into submission now because they say you were not loud enough before. Do not be afraid of bullies or tyrants. Do not deny your soul the freedom it demands–to tell the truth, to condemn evil, and to be free. This isn’t just being a good American–it’s being a good human being.

Being an artist is not just about creating your art. Being an artist who is true to yourself is about ‘living’ your art. At that means being true to who you are and what you believe in.  Be brave. Dare to change the world for the better.   And happy new year.

Enjoy the new issue.

–Bruce Edwin

©2020, The Hollywood Sentinel

 

 

The Land of Artists

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD;  In Theaters November 22, 2019. Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in the drama of “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about empathy, kindness, and decency from America’s most beloved neighbor. Directed By: Marielle Heller. Written by: Micah Fitzerman-Blue & Noah Harpster. Inspired by the article “Can You Say. . . Hero?” by Tom Junod. Produced By:  Youree Henley, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub, and Leah Holzer. Cast: Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Susan Kelechi Watson, and Chris Cooper. Image, (c) 2019, Sony, Columbia, Tri-Star, used with kind courtesy. All world rights reserved.

Soulless Hollywood and the Bad People in It

I recently met someone who supposedly follows the so-called “law of attraction.”  Yet one of the first things she said to me was to criticize “Hollywood,” and in their words, all of the “soulless, terrible people in it.”

What exactly is Hollywood? In reality, Hollywood is one of over 100 neighborhoods in Los Angeles with a population of around 85,000 people. According to the Los Angeles Times, the median income for Hollywood proper residents is around $34,000 per year.

West Hollywood, an actually incorporated city, has a population of around 37,000, and an average annual income of around $67,000.  Are these the people this person was attacking, and that so many others thoughtlessly, automatically attack? No.

When most people think of Hollywood, they think of the entertainment industry. And more particularly, the music industry and even more so, the motion picture industry.

There is not one person in civilization who has not been affected by the entertainment industry, whether it be radio, music,  movies, TV, or today, motion picture on the internet.

Yet although Hollywood is known as the entertainment industry; the entertainment capitol of the world of Hollywood–and the motion picture industry, is actually all throughout Los Angeles County.  And the wider entertainment industry is of course, existent throughout many parts of the United States and the world.

When people refer to Hollywood however, they often refer to all of mass media, including the news, radio, magazines, and newspapers. While indeed Hollywood, and to be more accurate–Los Angeles–is the media capitol of the world, it is obviously, not the only place where mass media is created.

Those that work in Hollywood; the entertainment industry, often get maligned by those who do not work in our industry, just as this supposedly enlightened woman I encountered, so callously spoke.

With an average of 600 movies made per year, and nearly 500 TV shows made last year, “Hollywood” is a multi-billion dollar per year industry, that employs people around the world. In addition to adding to the economy, the motion picture industry gives entertainment, happiness, and pleasure to literally billions of people–with the help of the internet; around the world.

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there are around 400,000 people working in the motion picture industry. Think of that; just under a half a million women and men; most of who have dreamed, trained, struggled, and finally made their dreams come true of working on a creative field they love so much.

From the hair and make up person, the film editor, sound designer, wardrobe designer, set designer, writer, producer, actor, actress, casting director, special effects artist, fine artist, and even the set construction crew, transportation crew, and more, Hollywood is filled with both skilled and creative labor and talent from many areas of industry and the creative arts.

Hollywood is made and kept alive not only by its audience, but by the creative artists who struggle, work, and make manifest their labor, creative vision, and dreams every day. Many work 12, 14, or more hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week. When the film or show is wrapped, most are unemployed, and go back to hustle and try do it all over again.

Hollywood is not a thing or a place to hate. Instead, Hollywood is more like a state of mind of an artist, and the manifestation of the artists work in the biggest of ways.

To hate that; to hate Hollywood, and to call us all soulless, bad, or evil, is not only foolish and immature, it is dangerous and reckless. It is feeding the same biased, stereotypical, hateful propaganda used by certain alt-right media and alt-right politicians to degrade and denigrate an entire group of people–the artists of the world. It is to contribute to the very degradation of a society that Hollywood simply, largely reflects.

Hollywood is a rich, beautiful, exciting place filled with dreamers, believers, and creators who MAKE their dreams happen. It is a place where the artists of the world dream of coming to, and some do, to share their dreams and talents with the world. It is a place not to hate and scorn, but to celebrate. Because ultimately, Hollywood is the land of artists. It is the land where, as Dorothy said in the Wizard of Oz, “Dreams DO come true.”

May YOUR dreams come true, and may you enjoy this new issue of The Hollywood Sentinel.

–Bruce Edwin

©2019, Bruce Edwin, Hollywood Sentinel; all world rights reserved.

 

 

 

Success is the Best Revenge

I Love Lucy: A Colorized Celebration (c) 2019 CBS Home Entertainment and Fathom Events, used with kind courtesy of CBS and Fathom Events, all rights reserved.

What does success mean to you? And when you feel someone does you wrong, how do you deal with that? Many people out there–especially in our industry of Hollywood, scoff at that line above of “Success is the best revenge.”  To many, “Revenge is the best Revenge.”  But is it?

Imagine you are walking down the sidewalk, and accidently bump into someone, and they drop their phone. Would you grip your phone tightly, expecting them to jump up to their feet, and bump in to you, purposefully knocking your phone out of your hand? Or would you pick it up and hand it to them, and quickly apologize?  Obviously, you would apologize and be courteous, because you know it’s the right thing to do, and it’s how you would want treated.

The line of “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you,” otherwise known as “The Golden Rule,” has some serious truth to it. The law of reciprocity says that when you treat another person kindly, they are inclined to act back in a kind way. Not that good sense is necessarily common, but if it were, this would be it. Likewise, the reverse is true. If you speak to someone with rudeness or anger, they will most likely respond back in a similar manner.

Allowing for the fact that we are not perfect–we all make mistakes, and sometimes accidentally hurt people that we didn’t mean to; especially the ones we deal with the most and love the most, doesn’t it make sense that if we want to be forgiven, and not have every accidental slight we cause another held against us with retaliatory action, that we should forgive others first?

While the philosophy of “Might is Right” and “An Eye for an Eye” may  appear “tough” and “cool” to some, it is– we are seeing more and more in this new age–this is NOT how the world works. Karma is REAL. The liars, cheats, crooks, cons, and murderers generally always go down, and down hard.

No one respects the “screw me over and I will screw you ten times harder” politician or punk on the street. The only one that perhaps likes them, are other similar jerks,  and–they are the first one’s to be surprised when their devilish friend or hero screws THEM over. What?! A person who embraces evil did ME wrong?! I thought it was only  for THEM! Duh.

Befriend a snake, and don’t be surprised when your slithery friend acts like one.

If I had a list of every person who did me wrong; looked at me the wrong way, spoke rudely to me, didn’t bag my groceries correctly, hurt my feelings, lied to me, wasted my time, flaked, cheated, gossiped, libeled, attacked, or more, it would make up quite a large notebook full of many pages. And sure, I could try go after each and every one–attacking back, and getting even. But who would it serve?  For one, it would take up years of my time, and by the time I was finally done getting even, I’d have yet another new notebook full of enemies to try get back or destroy.

Mean people want you to think, obsess, and worry about them. The more you focus on the jerks of the world, the less you are focused on your goal.

Hate, plotting revenge, and getting angry will literally make you sick. Stress causes disease; a slow death that still yet surely kills. The perfect weapon your enemy would love is; knowing you are talking about them, thinking about them, worrying about them, and stressing about them all night, without sleep.

When you feel hurt or angry, repeat these mantras:

Revenge is not worth my time.

Revenge is not worth my health.

I deserve to be at peace. 

I deserve to feel good and be happy. 

While the path of revenge promises you power, in actuality, it weakens you, distracts you from your goals, and pulls you into an endless battle of fighting the enemy more, and yet more endless rows of new enemies.

Even the most crazy and wicked of politicians generally try to avoid war. They generally know and care about the reality, that what we reap, we sow.

By no means am I sitting here professing to be an angel, and saying that I always immediately forgive everyone. I don’t. But I eventually try.  And the times I lived my life  with forgiveness, grace, and a positive outlook, were vastly more happy, lucrative, and successful than those earlier years that I focused on anger, hatred, and pessimism.

Now, the more you try to live a life of peace, grace, and forgiveness of yourself and others, oftentimes, the more you may be attacked. Attacked not only by others who see you as a soft, easy target who will not fight back, but also attacked by certain spiritual forces that prey on those seeking to create a heaven on Earth–rather than a hell.

The solution on the physical plane is to resist the urge to fight, focus on the good, and keep moving forward. With that said, don’t allow yourself to be a victim. By all means, defend yourself, your loved ones, your community, and your business when you have to.

The solution on the spiritual plane, is to remember that words–which effect our unconscious mind, have power. For this reason alone, the art of prayer is a real, and a workable tool, as you speak out loud that which you want to change and manifest, through the help of the creator. If you don’t believe this and all worlds were created by anything other than a random accident, then you can at least speak your intentions out loud. Focus on the good, cleanse your energy with a nice bath or shower, or walk outside in nature, and write down the WAY you want your life to be, in the present tense.

If the devil ‘is’ real, he’s probably a politician, but you DON’T have to vote for him.

Vote for Peace, and peace of mind instead.  Love, Laugh, and Follow the Light, Your Happiness and Success will surely follow.

We hope you enjoy the new issue.  As always, contact us through this site or at 310-226-7176 if you have any questions or comments.  We might even publish your words in our next issue, for the world to see. 

About the image: One of the most famous television sitcom’s in American history,  on August 6, Fathom Events and CBS Home Entertainment paid tribute to “I Love Lucy” and its legendary star Lucille Ball with “I Love Lucy: A Colorized Celebration” that screened in movie theaters nationwide for one night only on the comedienne’s birthday.

–Bruce Edwin

This content is (c) 2019, Bruce Edwin, Hollywood Sentinel, all rights reserved.