Category Archives: entertainment

SYLVIO is Simply DiVine at Hofstra

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)

Q:  Where does a 180-pound gorilla sit?

A:  If he’s the gentle gorilla who’s the title character of SYLVIO – the fantasy film based on “Simply Sylvio” Vine videos – he wants to sit on the floor behind a table he uses as a stage to act out scenes of “Quiet Times with Herbert Herpels” with his hand puppet Herbert.

Hempstead, New York, USA. October 30, 2017. Film event of screening of SYLVIO, a fantasy feature film, and Q and A with ALBERT BIRNEY, KENTUCKER AUDLEY, and mdoeraotr RUSSELL HARBAUGH, is hosted by Radio, Television, Film Department of Lawrence Herbert School of Communication of Hofstra University.

Hempstead, NY, USA. Oct. 30, 2017. SYLIO screening and Q&A with (R-L) ALBERT BIRNEY, KENTUCKER AUDLEY, & moderator RUSSELL HARBAUGH, is presented by Herbert School of Communication, Hofstra. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Before Twitter shut down Vine, “Simply Silvio” had over 500,000 followers. But when I heard Hofstra’s Herbert School of Communication was having a screening of SYLVIO, followed by a Q&A with ALBERT BIRNEY and KENTUCKER AUDLEY – the film’s co-directors & more – it was the first time I’d heard of the character.

So, based on the movie poster, I could tell Sylvio was an anthropomorphic gorilla who wore clothes and red sunglasses, and that’s about it. Which is why I was cautiously looking forward to seeing the film.

Hempstead, New York, USA. October 30, 2017. At screening of SYLVIO, a fantasy feature film, Sylvia the gorilla has Harold the puppet act out scenes of

Hempstead, NY, USA. Oct. 30, 2017. At Hofstra screening of SYLVIO film, Sylvio the gorilla uses hand puppet Harold to act out scenes of “Quiet Times with Harold Herpels.”  (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

SYLVIO

Early in the film, Sylvio, who doesn’t speak, is at his job making calls at a debt collection agency. The one thing he likes about it is watering his cubicle plant.

Then he’s ordered to make an outside call to collect a debt from a man who hosts a talk show in his basement. When Sylvio arrives, he’s mistaken for a juggler, and since he isn’t one, ends up dropping things that break, loudly.

The talk show audience loves this, and Sylvio ends up chained to a wild on-air persona the opposite of who he wants to be. 

Hempstead, New York, USA. October 30, 2017. Film event of screening of SYLVIO, a fantasy feature film, and Q and A with ALBERT BIRNEY, KENTUCKER AUDLEY, and moderator RUSSELL HARBAUGH, is hosted by Radio, Television, Film Department of Lawrence Herbert School of Communication of Hofstra University.

Hempstead, NY, USA. Oct. 30, 2017.  Sylvio reluctantly becomes the “What’s the Ape Gonna Break?” TV personality, in SYLVIO, screened at Hofstra. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Q&A

After the SYLVIA screening, Albert Birney, Kentucker Audley and Prof. Russell Harbaugh held a Q&A.

VIDEO Panel discusses the central concept of the movie,  what’s most important to Sylvio the gorilla, and more in this excerpt:

Birney is the creator of the “Simply Sylvio” Vine character, and he and Audley are the film’s directors, and, with Meghan Doherty, its screenwriters.

The gorilla who doesn’t talk and the talk show host make a solid team.

Wordlessly, Birney expressively plays Sylvio Bernardi, who at least gets to grunt a few times. I’m not surprised I didn’t figure out on my own who played Sylvio, but I didn’t even realize Audley co-starred as Al Reynolds, the financially strapped talk show host, until he talked about it.

Hempstead, NY, USA. Oct. 30, 2017. After SYLVIO film screening and a Q&A, KENTUCKER AUDLEY and ALBERT BIRNEY chat with Prof. WILLIAM JENNINGS, of Radio, Television, Film Department of Lawrence Herbert School of Communication of Hofstra University. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

Hempstead, NY, USA. Oct. 30, 2017. After SYLVIO film screening and Q&A, (L-R) KENTUCKER AUDLEY & ALBERT BIRNEY chat with Prof. WILLIAM JENNINGS at Hofstra University. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

PEACE & QUIET

Sitting in the audience at Hofstra’s Breslin Hall that night, I was so moved by Sylvio and his quest to lead a simple, peaceful life that I have a feeling he’ll quietly be with me for a good while.

Sylvio twitter: @simplysylvio  movie: SylvioTheMovie.com

My SYLVIO Hofstra event photos:   SLIDESHOW    GALLERY

LIIFE 2017 Long Island International Film Expo

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry ( ann-parry.com )
July 22, 2017

“Laugh about it, Shout about it….”

Wednesday afternoon I visited the Filmmaker’s Lounge and Bellmore Movies, where the Long Island International Film Expo was in full swing. LIIFE was celebrating its 20th Anniversary!

Bellmore, New York, USA. 19th July 2017. Comedian LOU DIMAGGIO makes a funny face as Director BRAD KUHLMAN looks at him hamming it up, at the Long Island International Film Expo LIIFE 2017. (© 2017 Ann Parry)

Bellmore, NY, USA. 19th July 2017. Comedian LOU DIMAGGIO, hamming it up, and Director BRAD KUHLMAN, Director of “Where Have You Gone Lou DiMaggio?” participate at Long Island International Film Expo LIIFE 2017.  (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

After capturing photos and a short video of MAGGIE WAGNER, the vivacious actor who plays Mom in the short film MOM, I spoke with TRISH APPELLO, the festival Coordinator and Secretary of the non-profit LITV/Film Foundation, which, along with the Nassau County Film Commission, presents the Festival.

When Appello told me about the feature documentary Where Have You Been, Lou DiMaggio? – the last filmed being screened that last night of the festival – I decided to return after dinner to catch it.

“MARIAM’S DAY OFF”

That night I arrived in time to first watch Mariam’s Day Off, a foreign film by Director ARSHAK AMIRBEKYAN, who filmed it in Armenia.

“Look around you, all you see are sympathetic eyes….”

I found the placid-on-the-surface story about a young prostitute who ends up spending a day with an artist and his family at his art studio so emotionally compelling and poignant that it wasn’t until about half way into the short film (0:44:22 min) that I thought to myself, “Oh, it’s in black and white!”

  • Click Slideshow link at end to see more photos of LIIFE 2017
Bellmore, New York, USA. 19th July 2017. Director and writer ARSHAK AMIRBEKYAN speaks during a Q&A at the Long Island International Film Expo LIIFE 2017. (© 2017 Ann Parry)

Bellmore, NY, USA. 19th July 2017. ARSHAK AMIRBEKYAN, Director of “Mariam’s Day Off” short film, speaks at LIIFE 2017. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

“WHERE HAVE YOU GONE, LOU DiMAGGIO?”

The next and final screening was the documentary Where Have You Gone, Lou DiMaggio? – a feature film (75 min) directed by BRAD KUHLMAN about comedian LOU DiMAGGIO considering returning to comedy after being away from the stage for 20 years.

For more than one reason, I was glad Appello had enthusiastically recommended seeing, Where Have You Gone, Lou DiMaggio?

For starters, it was fun to see so many of DiMaggio’s fellow comedians – including Joy Behar, Richard Belzer, Rebecca Corry, Larry David, Susie Essman, Jeff Garlin, Howie Mandel, Colin Quinn, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Jerry Seinfeld.

And Lou DiMaggio’s stand up comedy sets on his road to comeback were certainly memorable, and for wildly different reasons.

“We’d like to help you learn to help yourself….”

And what likely made the strongest impression on me in Where Have You Gone, Lou DiMaggio? was cautionary advice DiMaggio’s fellow comedian gave him about returning to stand up comedy – for it reminded me, in a way, of advice my late mom, a professional opera singer when she was single, gave her children and voice students:

The world has more outstanding singers than it can afford to support. And the difference between the best and next best in a major competition or audition can be imperceptible even to an expert – so luck will play a big part in the career each has. —  When you’ve got to choose if you’ll pursue a living in the arts – follow that path only if you’re absolutely driven to AND you can handle the competition and pressure.

Bellmore, New York, USA. 19th July 2017. L-R, HENRY STAMPFEL, BRAD KUHLMAN, LOU DiMAGGIO, TRISH APPELLO, woman, and ANNE STAMPFEL pose during final Screening Night of Long Island International Film Expo 2017 at Bellmore Movies. The last film screened was the feature documentary

Bellmore, New York, USA. 19th July 2017. L-R, HENRY STAMPFEL, BRAD KUHLMAN, LOU DiMAGGIO, TRISH APPELLO, MARIA PUSATERI, and ANNE STAMPFEL pose during final Screening Night of Long Island International Film Expo 2017 at Bellmore Movies. (© 2017 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

FILMMAKERS Q&A

“We’d like to know a little bit about you for our files….”

For the Q&A, eight filmmakers associated with the films screened that night participated. After hearing the candid, detailed answers to the audience’s thought-provoking questions, I wished I’d arrived in time to watch all the films.

Watch the following video of comedian Lou DiMaggio at Q&A to find out these answers:

  1. Why didn’t DiMaggio need a mic to answer the audience question?
  2. What did DiMaggio find was the biggest obstacle, for himself, to making the movie?
  3. What did DiMaggio’s say when he saw the movie the first time?

Video Above: Lou DiMaggio answers Q&A question at LIIFE 2017.  [The Q&A did not take place aboard a ship on stormy seas, despite appearances to contrary.]

“And here’s to you….”

The next night at the Long Island International Film Expo Awards Ceremony, LIIFE celebrated its 20th Anniversary and 2017 winners, including the Best Documentary Feature“Where Have You Gone Lou DiMaggio?”

“Wo, wo, wo”

Simon & Garfunkel site:  “Mrs. Robinson”  lyrics

LIIFE:   longislandfilm.com    2017 Winners

My LIIFE 2017 imagery:   Lou DiMaggio video    GALLERY     SLIDESHOW

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U.S. Presidential Inauguration Parade 2017

From LONG ISLAND – by Ann Parry (ann-parry.com)
December 31, 2016

Yesterday, I read the exciting news that Long Island’s own Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums will participate in the Inauguration Parade on January 20, 2017.

Originally known as “Fir Na Tine” (Gaelic: Men of Fire), it’s America’s first Volunteer Firefighter Pipe Band, and has performed widely, including at St. Patrick’s Day parades, at halftime shows for NY Jets, and band members were the 11 Pipers Piping in a Christmas commercial.

Fundraiser for firefighter Ray Pfeifer - battling cancer after months of recovery efforts at Ground Zero following 9/11 2001 Twin Towers attack - draws supporters from New York, Massachusetts and more, on Saturday, March 31, 2012, at East Meadow Firefighters Benevolent Hall, New York, USA. The Nassau County Firefighters Pipes and Drums band performed. [NOTE: Background tent color altered digitally to blue] (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

East Meadow, NY, USA. March 31, 2012. Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums band performs at firefighter Ray Pfeifer Benefit. [NOTE: tent digitally altered blue] (© 2012 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

Also, Nassau County Firefighters Pipes and Drums has been an inspiring, stirring part of many memorials and benefits. In spring 2012, I covered the band when it played at the Ray Pfeifer Benefit at the East Meadow Firefighters Benevolent Hall. Retired FDNY firefighter and Hicksville resident Ray Pfeifer is a true profile in courage, perseverance, and brotherhood.

FYI From Long Island: After the 9/11/2001 Twin Towers terrorist attacks, Pfeifer helped recovery efforts at Ground Zero, and by 2008 was battling cancer. Pfeifer – along with Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, Representatives Peter King and Carolyn Maloney, and others – helped make sure the 2010 James Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act was eventually extended to 2090.

Fund raiser for firefighter Ray Pfeifer on Saturday, March 31, 2012, at East Meadow Firefighters Benevolent Hall, New York, USA. The Nassau County Firefighters Pipes and Drums band performed. (Ann Parry/Ann Parry, ann-parry.com)

East Meadow, New York, USA. March 31, 2012. The Nassau County Firefighters Pipes and Drums band performing at Ray Pfeifer Benefit. (© 2012 Ann Parry/Ann-Parry.com)

When the Nassau County Firefighters Pipes and Drums Band participates in the U.S. Presidential Inauguration Parade in Washington DC in a few weeks, it will be continuing its mission of proudly representing the Nassau County Fire Service.

To help the band reach its $10,000 goal to cover transportation & lodging costs for its 40+ members, the band manager created and runs a gofundme fundraiser: “Presidential Inauguration Parade” for the Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums. To visit its fundraiser page: https://www.gofundme.com/js9n5w

  • Photo Video of Ray Pfeifer Fundraiser, with Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums music:


Thank you to Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums, esp. Band Manager Alan Jacoby, for permission to use their music in above photo video of 2012 Firefighter Ray Pfeifer Benefit.

  • UPDATE 1/18/2107:  $17K+ of revised $20K goal has been raised at gofundme

slideshow: Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums

slideshow: Firefighter  Ray Pfeifer Benefit

band’s official site: Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums

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