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Don't just sit there ...

Academy Awards presenter David Niven reacts as an uninvited guest, streaker Robert Opel, goes for his Oscar moment in 1974. (Courtesy: www.cba.ca)
Come to the Movie Memories cabaret!

The new year is under way and many of you are booking speakers for your groups, filling your calendars with events to attend or just looking for something invigorating and worthwhile to do to just get out for a little while.

Full disclosure:  This is a pitch to include a Movie Memories presentation, a non-credit college class and/or a bus day trip hot on the trail of Bonnie and Clyde as part of your 2013.  And to borrow a slightly altered phrase from late-night talk show host David Letterman, "Hey, why can't we have all three?" 

Gotta love Oscar

Whether you treat the Academy Awards as the most important television event of the year or find it mildly entertaining, the annual event looks to be exciting this year.

My Movie Memories presentation, "The Academy Awards:  Oscar's Winners and Losers," spans over 80 years of exhilarating-to-embarrassing events that took place while Hollywood's elite were patting each other on the back and handing out the golden statuettes.  We'll enjoy film clips of Sally Field's "You like me" speech in 1985 and David Niven being forced to deal with a streaker in 1974.

But we'll also dig deeper to explain the story behind both famous incidents.  Why was Field so happy, and how did Niven handle the sudden appearance of his naked co-star?

I've had the pleasure of covering the Academy Awards on a couple of occasions.  So we'll also go behind the scenes to answer these questions:

Which Oscar winner led the entourage encircling her to the wrong escape limo with her golden statuette in hand?

What happened that made me just miss holding Clint Eastwood's Best Director Oscar for "Unforgiven"?

And, who was the mystery superstar who appeared to climb over the fence to enter the ceremonies through the back door to avoid the swarm of reporters and fans out front?

All of these questions and more are answered in the "Academy Awards:  Oscars Winners and Losers" presentation.  The Academy Awards are Feb. 24 this year, and slots are filling up fast.  Call 972-599-2150 to book your group's presentation today.

Black history, 'All the President Men' 

Octavia Spencer took home a Best Supporting Actress Oscar last year for her portrayal of Minny Jackson in "The Help." (Courtesy: Dreamworks)
February, is Black History month.  It's also the month where we take time out to honor our nation's presidents.

I'm honored to once again teach non-credit classes as part of the Richland College Emeritus plus 50 Program this year.  In February, a series of four classes will examine the early social struggles, changes in neighborhoods, pivotal men and women and great people, great struggles of African-Americans in our society.

The class is titled "Black History Month at the Movies."  In addition to discussion, we'll look at film clips from "The Color Purple," "Driving Miss Daisy," "Precious," "The Help" and many more.  The course runs from 10:30 a.m. to noon four Mondays in February, beginning Feb. 4.

There will be no homework and no final exam, just a chance to explore an important segment of film history in a friendly environment of fun and learning.

If you have a group, club or business organization and would like to book a look at black history in the movies as a Movie Memories presentation, we can do that as well.  Also, you might want to consider the "All the President Men" presentation.  It's a fun-filled look at all the actors who have portrayed presidents -- real and imaginary -- throughout movie history.

Let's fill the bus again

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow in a photo found by police at their Joplin, Mo. hideout in 1933. (Courtesy: http://en.wikipedia.org)
Thanks again to all of you who joined us for the Richland College Emeritus plus 50 Program/Movie Memories bus trip to cinematically historic Waxahachie last April.

We've got a dandy day bus trip follow-up planned for this April, and, once again, it is my goal to make Richland Emeritus plus 50 leader Mitzi Werther order a bigger bus.  That's where you come in.

It's time to sign up for the "Bonnie and Clyde Bus Tour."  It all kicks off with a screening of the 1967 Oscar-nominated crime-spree classic "Bonnie and Clyde" Friday evening, April 19.  The next morning, we'll get on a comfortable bus and begin our tour at the CRM Studios in Las Colinas.  Tim Eaton, who so eloquently guided us around Waxahachie last year, is back to show up around celebrity-themed dressing rooms at the CRM studios.

After lunch, we'll tour Dallas-area locales where notorious outlaws Bonnie and Clyde gunned down two law enforcement officers, other related sites of interest and finally visit the couple's grave sites, which are not together in case you are wondering.

Charles Heard, author, cinephile and collector of movie memorabilia, will guide us along the Bonnie and Clyde part of the tour.  Sign up early, please.  Once the bus is full, it's full.  You can call 972-238-6147 to register for the bus tour.  Here's a link with all the info:  http://www.richlandcollege.edu/emeritus/trips.php



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