Over the Christmas weekend, Tom and I saw several movies he borrowed for free from our wonderful local library. We’d never seen any of them before so each movie was a new experience for us.
Roman Holiday” This delightful film was released in 1953 and features Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn in her first role. The story was Gregory Peck viewed the film before its release; the producers had put “Introducing” and Hepburn’s name in small letters, Peck told them, “Make her name the same size as mine. She’s going to be a big star.” The producers did, and Peck was right: Hepburn won a Best Actor Oscar for her first role. She’s totally believable as an aristocratic princess (“a direct descendant to the throne”) whose busy schedule in touring other countries has her mentally distraught. She dons civilian clothes, escapes the palace she’s staying in at night, and encounters Peck, a newspaper reporter. I thought of Peck’s serious roles, but he’s very, very funny in “Roman Holiday”. At the beginning of the film, a caption says “Filmed entirely in Rome” and some sets feature famous antiquities like an ancient aqueduct and the Colosseum, while other sets feature the busy modern Roman streets with taxis and buses and cars and bicyclists and pedestrians chaotically traveling. Highly recommended.
Harry Houdini” The PBS documentary is excellent just like “The Gold Rush” we saw over Thanksgiving weekend, combining live action, vintage photographs, letters, and voice-overs. He led an eventful life. He took ice baths. The film suggests that Houdini was a masochist. With brief interviews with stage magicians like David Copperfield and Randi. Recommended for viewers who like stage magic..
Klimt” Featuring John Malkovich as Klimt. This is a weird movie—nude women walk around Klimt’s studio, he painted BIG paintings (but the film shows Klimt putting one brushstroke and one only), and he discussed with his colleagues “What is beauty?” Klimt had syphilis, which affected his perceptions of reality—as the movie amply shows. Recommended only for Klimt fans and viewers who like stories about artists.
Children of the Stars” This documentary is about a cult of people who believe they lived other lives on planets other than Earth. They weep when they tell their stories; I quite believed they were sincere. They believe Nikola Tesla was an angel who lived other lives, too, which Tesla would be amused by. Recommended only for viewers who enjoy exploring weird cults.
The Last Waltz” A rock music documentary by Martin Scorsese from 1978 is about The Band, the back-up ensemble for Bob Dylan and a band in their right—Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Rich Manuel, and Robbie Robertson. I thought from their songs (“Cripple Creek”, “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down”), they would be good ol’ boys from Alabama but they were not. They were from Canada, all slim and handsome, all can sing, and all are excellent on their instruments. Robertson, the lead guitar, was as good Eric Clapton. (I say this in past tense because three Band members have died.) The film intersperses interviews with Band members and live sets performing their own songs and sets with other musicians including Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, Emmylou Harris, Muddy Waters, the Staple Sisters, Ringo Starr, Ron Wood, Dr. John, Paul Butterfield, and Ronnie Hawkins. People consider this the most beautiful rock documentary ever made, and Friends on Facebook had high praise for the film. Highly recommended.

Finding Nemo” We relaxed with this 2004 children’s film and I’m glad we did. The animation is particularly beautiful, especially the coral reef and the aquarium (dozens of artists worked on each of those sequences). The story is significant—a father (Marlin) is distraught after a barracuda eats his wife (Coral) and all of their eggs save for one—Nemo. The father is overly protective of Nemo, and Nemo rebels, getting captured in the process by humans and set in a dentist’s aquarium. Except for the evil barracuda, all the fish are good, even the sharks, and all the humans are evil. Oh, well. Scary, sad, and humorous. Highly recommended for the viewers young at heart.
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From the author of ODDITIES: 22 Stories is on Kindle worldwide, including in the US, in the UK, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, in the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, India, and Japan. ODDITIES: 22 Stories is in Print as a beautiful trade paperback in the US, in UK, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia
CHROME (five-stars) an ebook on Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo. And on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, India Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, and Mexico Kindle. IN PRINT at U.S. print as a beautiful trade paperback. Also in U.K. print, in German print, in French print, in Spanish print, in Italian print, in Japanese print, and in Australia.
Summer of Love is a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and a San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book.
Find the Print book of SUMMER OF LOVE in the U.S., U.K.,  France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, and New in Print in Australia The ebook is on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands
The Gilded Age (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback in the U.S., the U.K., in France, in Germany, in Italy, in Spain, in Japan, and in Australia.
The Garden of Abracadabra (“Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! Find the beautiful trade paperback in Print in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, and in Australia.
Arachne (a Locus Hardover Bestseller) is an ebook on US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle worldwide in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. Back in Print! Find the beautiful trade paperback of ARACHNE in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, Italy, in Japan, and in Australia.
Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne) is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also Kindle worldwide on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle. Back in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, in Japan
, and in Australia.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle at US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is in Print in the U.S., in the U.K., in Germany, in France, in Spain, in Italy, and in Japan. New! Now in Print in Australia
One Day in the Life of Alexa (“Five stars! An appealing narrator and subtly powerful emotional rhythms”). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. Order the beautiful trade paperback of One Day in the Life of Alexa in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, and in Australia.
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition, A Lily Modjeska Mystery (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle worldwide in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.
Visit me at www.lisamason.com for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, worldwide links, covers, reviews, interviews, blogs, round-tables, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, and more!

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