Category Archives: Movies

Garnerville plays unsung role supporting Adam Driver in Jim Jarmusch movie ‘Paterson’ (now with video)

Driver Paterson.jpeg

Adam Driver behind the wheel in “Paterson” (Photo by Mary Cybulsky)

I finally saw Jim Jarmusch‘s latest movie, “Paterson” with , last Sunday afternoon at the Fabian 8 Cinema, only movie theater left in the City of Paterson, New Jersey.

Adam Driver and Golshifteh Farahani in "Paterson" (Photo by Mary Cybulsky)

Adam Driver and Golshifteh Farahani in “Paterson” (Photo by Mary Cybulsky)

I have known the city for a long time, but can’t say I’m intimately acquainted with it.

Even so, I was hit with a strange feeling early in my viewing of “Paterson” that something wasn’t quite right — aside from the fact that the family bulldog, a male named Marvin, was a gender-bending role for a female named Nellie.

It was more than the occasional script misstep, like the reference indicating that that Driver’s character, Paterson, worked for the city when his bus is clearly marked NJ Transit, a statewide transit agency.

Some of the settings, while authentically gritty, reminded me of somewhere else.


Look familiar? This scene from the movie “Paterson” wasn’t shot in the movie’s namesake city. (Photo by Mary Cybulsky)

Take, for instance, Paterson’s walk home from the Paterson bus depot, which took him through a brick archway past a “Paterson” sign painted on the wall. Something about the location reminded me of the Garnerville Arts & Industrial Center just a couple of miles from my home in Rockland County, New York.

Click through to the jump for the photographic evidence.

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UPDATE: ‘The Little Prince’ gets special screening with the director in Yonkers Sunday, along with theatrical run and Netflix premiere (Video)

Mark Osborne.jpg

Mark Osborne

It had to be at least a little demoralizing for Mark Osborne, the veteran “Kung Fu Panda” director from Hastings-on-Hudson, to see his lyrical take on classic children’s book “The Little Prince” get pulled from the Paramount Pictures release schedule just a week before its U.S. premiere this spring.

The Little Prince

“The Little Prince”

After all, it was a film he felt “destined” to make, he told me in an interview for The Journal News/lohud, because he was introduced to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s beloved 1943 illustrated novella by the woman who is now his wife.

“She gave me her copy of the book when we were going to have to separate” when he decided to transfer to the West Coast for college. She wanted “to keep us connected,” he said “She would quote from the book in letters to me.”

Story continues below trailer.

He did get a chance to see it on the big screen in special one-off sneak preview at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville just days before Paramount pulled the plug.  img_0220

Although, Netflix stepped in and picked up the film almost immediately, it appeared that the lovely film would be for streaming only, and not generally available in a theater.

While streaming is probably the method many families would prefer to use to watch the family flick, there’s something sad about the idea that Osborne’s gorgeous creation would not be available on a bigger screen as a communal moviegoing experience.

Luckily for film buffs of all ages, the “Netflix Exclusive” is scheduled for a theatrical run that begins Friday, the same day it’s available for streaming. The IFC Center in Manhattan’s West Village has the exclusive, which was announced in a splashy full-page ad in Sunday’s New York Times.

For a real treat, see this one in the theater.

The IFC Center is at 323 Sixth Ave. (at Third Street) in Manhattan. Go here for showtimes and tickets.

NEW:  You’ll also have one chance to see the movie on a big screen without making the trip into Manhattan. There’s a special screening with the director at 6:30 p.m. Sunday Aug. 7 at Alamo Drafthouse, 2548 Central Park Avenue in Yonkers. GO HERE to buy tickets at $13.25






‘The Little Prince’ makes USA Today

Mark Osborne on USAT Life Cover 20160303.jpg

I’m not given to bragging here, but I have to share the news that my feature for The Journal News/ got picked up by USA Today. It made the Life hompage. Check it out by going here.


Hastings-on-Hudson movie director Mark Osborne’s princely labor of love 

Embed from Getty Images

If you think animated movies are just for kids, think again and be sure to check out “The Little Prince,” a beautifully animated retelling of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s beloved illustrated novella, brought to the silver screen by “Kung Fu Panda” director Mark Osborne.

Osborne, who lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, may have made his mark in Hollywood with the Jack Black-voiced panda in 2008, but he’s deeply devoted to his latest project, which hits theaters March 18 after a special preview event at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, New York, on Sunday, March 6.

He tells me that he’s eager to make sure adults see the film, which took him 5 1/2 years to make, because it’s for them as well as their children and grandchildren.
“I think people will be surprised at how much this movie is like the book,” he tells me. “It’s designed to be for the child that we all once were — or currently are … No matter how grown-up you are, you were a child once. And you can’t erase that, no matter how much you want to get away from that.”

Osborne spend some time talking to me about the project — a family affair that involved at one time or another his wife, Kim, and their children, Maddie and Riley — the other day.

Go here to read the interview on, or pick up a copy of The Journal News on Wednesday. 


Deli man Ziggy Gruber dishes out Spring Valley recipes deep in the heart of Texas

Deli man Ziggy Gruber, right. (Cohen Media Group)

Third-generation deli man Ziggy Gruber never set out to star in a movie — all he wanted to do was help keep the kosher deli tradition alive.

David Ziegfeld Gruber — who caught the deli bug 38 years ago at his family’s Spring Valley restaurant, Cresthill Kosher Deli — possesses an oversized personality, the gift of gab and an unquestioning love of the hearty fare that sustained his ancestors.
Those characteristics helped propel him into the lead of “Deli Man,” a culture-and-cuisine documentary released on DVD earlier this month.
Gruber talked with me about his Rockland County roots in an interview published Saturday in The Journal News and online at Go here to read the full article

Singer-Songwriter Jamie Block’s independent film gets East Coast premiere in Brooklyn next week

Haverstraw-based singer-songwriter Jamie Block overlooking the Hudson River at Flywheel Park in Piermont. N.Y., on Sept. 7, 2013. (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

Haverstraw-based singer-songwriter Jamie Block overlooking the Hudson River at Flywheel Park in Piermont. N.Y., on Sept. 7, 2013. (Photo © 2013, Steven P. Marsh)

When I met Jamie Block for the first time, back in 2013, the onetime anti-folk singer-songwriter he was on the comeback trail. The longtime Rockland County resident had gotten through a difficult time in his life. By his own account, he had hit bottom and found his way up again before releasing the impressive “Whitecaps on the Hudson,” his first album in seven years.

His effort to promote that album led to a relationship with Brooklyn filmmaker Onur Turkel, which at first apparently was intended to produce some music videos. But things blossomed and what resulted is a full-length comedy, “Abby Singer/Songwriter,”  starring Block, daughters Johanna and Sophie, and the filmmaker. And you’ll be able to see it here in the New York City area for the first time next week.

I’ve seen clips, which are quite funny, but haven’t seen the finished product yet. So here’s a description of it from a film festive website:

A comedy with real heart, Abby Singer, Songwriter tells the tale of a filmmaker and a musician who meet and start working together in a union that at times seems the most ill-fated creative partnership in history. Luckily for us, it’s also one of the funniest, as terrible music video ideas come to life, recurring jokes land perfectly and don’t hold back on political correctness and the film builds layer upon layer of character driven conundrums to form its perfect NYC-set universe. Featuring real-life musician Jamie Block and real-life director Onur Tukel playing fictionalized versions of themselves, the film is a throwback to great independent films as a unique story and structure pay off in spades. As Jamie tries to survive Onur and make a real connection with his daughters he must also face the prospect that the two things are becoming increasingly, hilariously intertwined.

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John Cohen: ‘I’m drowning in my past’

John Cohen  (Photo: Carucha L. Meuse/The Journal News)

John Cohen (Photo: Carucha L. Meuse/The Journal News)

I got the chance recently to spend an hour or so talking to John Cohen, one of the legendary figures of the musical and artistic scene of Greenwich Village in the 1960s, for The Journal News/

Cohen, the founder of the New Lost City Ramblers is still making music — now with a trio of much younger musical traditionalists in the Down Hill Strugglers — promoting his documentary films, working creating a cultural center in his hometown of Putnam Valley, New York, and preparing to start painting again.

The 82-year-old says he has explored so many ways of expressing his creativity over the years that “I’m drowning in my past.”

Check out the full interview online at by tapping or clicking here. Or pick up a copy of the Tuesday, March 10, edition of The Journal News.

Remember Fab 5 Freddy?

Are the hip hop pioneer and one-of-a-kind filmmaker Jonathan Demme planning to work together again?

It was cool enough that Jonathan Demme was at the “Something Wild” screening at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, N.Y., on Sunday night.

I got to meet him as he strode out of the theater for a chat with someone 15 minutes before the movie started.

But his companion was someone just as exciting: Fab 5 Freddy, the hip hop legend and visual artist.

Demme stopped to say hello and introduced Freddy to my friend and me. At that point, my friend said his day was made, even before the screening and the live performance by The Feelies.

I regret not getting a photo of the momentous occasion, but I just wasn’t prepared to see Demme at that moment, let alone Freddy — pioneering “Yo! MTV Raps” veejay and star of the classic hip hop movie, “Wild Style,” the 1983 release written and directed by Charlie Ahearn. (If you’ve never seen it, or haven’t seen it in a while, it’s worth checking out. It’s readily available on streaming Netflix)

Here’s a classic clip from the movie, with Grandmaster Flash spinning while Freddy’s character, Phade, looks on.

Why was Freddy meeting up with Demme? I didn’t ask. But the two have a history. Demme has cast Freddy as himself in his 2008 release “Rachel Getting Married” and as a political pundit in ‘The Manchurian Candidate” (2004).

Stay tuned.

Exclusive Interview: The Feelies’ Glenn Mercer and director Jonathan Demme talk about ‘Something Wild’

The Feelies in Jonathan Demme's "Something Wild."

The Feelies in Jonathan Demme’s “Something Wild.”

Glenn Mercer of The Feelies and director Jonathan Demme did me the honor of talking to me about the special bond between the band and the filmmaker ahead of Sunday’s special screening of Demme’s cult classic movie “Something Wild,” which features The Feelies as a high school reunion band. Please tap or click here to READ THE INTERVIEW on

Here’s how it’s promoted on the front page of the Thursday edition of  The Journal News of White Plains, N.Y.:



Jonathan Demme (Photo by Bob Vergara)

Jonathan Demme (Photo by Bob Vergara)

The movie is being screened at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday as part of “Something Wild: The Films of Jonathan Demme,” a festival honoring the Rockland County-based director at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, N.Y.

The Sunday show is going to be extra special, though, because The Feelies,  a band that’s a special favorite of Demme’s, will be playing a set after the movie. It should be a wild evening.

Tickets for the special Sunday show are  $30 for nonmembers, and are available online here.  More information and directions to the Jacob Burns Film Center, 364 Manville Rd., Pleasantville, tap or click here.


The Feelies perform on the silver screen and live in Westchester County

The Feeles perform as The Willies in Jonathan Demme's 1986 movie "Something Wild."

The Feelies perform as The Willies in Jonathan Demme’s 1986 movie “Something Wild.”

Music and film fans will get a rare opportunity to see some time travel at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, N.Y., on Sunday, June 1, when The Feelies take the stage.

The band is booked at the celebrated film center as part of “Something Wild: The Films of Jonathan Demme,” a festival that runs through June 11 to celebrate the director (and longtime Feelies fan) of “Something Wild,” “Stop Making Sense,” “Storefront Hitchcock,” “Rachel Getting Married,” “Philadelphia,” and many, many more.

The Feelies are taking the stage after a screening of Demme’s dark 1986 romcom (did that conflation even exist back then?) “Something Wild.” The truly wacky movie about two good-hearted, but not exactly honest, people (Melanie Griffith and Jeff Daniels) searching for truth and love, features The Feelies (playing The Willies in the movie), along with a superbly curated soundtrack of pop songs from the era. Continue reading