Yesterday in New York, Meryl Streep presented the 2017 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award to composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim at the PEN America Literary Gala, at the American Museum of Natural History. Sondheim has delighted audiences worldwide for more than six decades with witty lyrics, contagious melodies, and unforgettable characters that comprise some of America’s most beloved and timeless musicals such as West Side Story, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Sunday in the Park with George, which just completed its Broadway revival starring Jake Gyllenhaal. He is also the winner of at least 60 individual and collaborative Tony Awards, eight Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Pictures can be found in the photo gallery and Meryl’s introduction can be watched below and in the video archive.
Sad news today. Jonathan Demme, best known for directed “The Silence of the Lambs”, for which he won a Best Director Academy Award, has died at 73. Meryl Streep has spoken out on the passing of filmmaker Jonathan Demme, who directed the Oscar winner in 2015’s rocker comedy, “Ricki and the Flash.” In a statement provided to TheWrap, Streep praised Demme as: “A big hearted, big tent, compassionate man- in full embrace in his life of people in need- and of the potential of art, music, poetry and film to fill that need- a big loss to the caring world.” Demme died Wednesday in New York of esophageal cancer and complications from heart disease. He was originally treated for the disease in 2010, but suffered from a recurrence in 2015. His condition deteriorated in recent weeks leading to his passing. In “Ricki and the Flash,” Streep played an aging rocker coming to terms and dealing with the reconciliation of her music life and her family life. “Juno” Oscar winner Diablo Cody wrote the screenplay. Streep sung and played guitar live for the role. Her and Demme were friends prior to making “Ricki the Flash.” Demme’s other credits include “Philadelphia,” “Rachel Getting Married,” “Melvin and Howard,” “Swing Shift” and “Something Wild.”
Steven Spielberg’s upcoming “The Post” (which seems to be a working title) hasn’t even started filming, but has already snagged the most prominent release date for the 2018 awards season. Here’s news on the film courtesy Sascha Stone’s AwardsDaily: This election year is reminiscent of both the 1968-1972 political atmosphere, and it is also similar to WWII – where there was global upheaval like we’re seeing here and all over Europe. Nixon was a secretive president – on the level of Donald Trump, which was probably why it took Deep Throat (Mark Felt) to blow the whistle on his illegal activities. Felt was a republican. Both Edward Snowden and Julian Assange fancy themselves on the level of Daniel Ellsberg but indeed both are great pretenders out of notoriety, with little or no care for consequences. Ellsberg, however, helped reveal to the American people information they needed to know about the Vietnam war. Spielberg’s film stars Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks and is going to cause Breitbart Generation to flip out. Expect much backlash. Variety reported the story, saying the film is getting a December 22 release date. It will likely be screened well before then – I hope it goes to Telluride. Then it has a better shot at winning Best Picture. The heavyweights this year are already starting to stack up – with Dunkirk, of course, right at the top of the list. Steven Spielberg’s untitled Pentagon Papers drama announced itself as a major awards season contender in this year’s Oscars race.
Since yesterday’s update on the video archive (and lamenting on how long it may take to have it completed), I’ve been on a good roll, thanks in particular to the bad weather, and have finished all remaining categories. The news segments are now done with all clips from 2010 to 2017, including lots of entertainment shows interviews and red carpets bits. The public appearances feature all kind of press conferences, conversation panels and premieres and the miscellaneous section boasts a great collection of vintage and recent public service announcements, and basically everything that doesn’t fit into the other categories. I’m sure there are still some clips missing, and some waiting to be discovered. But for now, that big part of Simply Streep is back and ready to be discovered. Enjoy!
As previously announced, Meryl Streep was among the guests of the Academy of American Poets’ 15th Annual Poetry and the Creative Mind on Thursday, and the Literary Hub has a nice article on the evening and the poems that were read. The sweeping Alice Tully Hall was full, the lobby had been swarmed for almost an hour before, and tickets had sold out in about three minutes. The state of our world is precarious, and it’s hard not to feel uncertain or desperate; the poems chosen for the night seemed to speak precisely to that. As the final speaker of the evening, Meryl Streep said that she was thinking about what Uzo Aduba said about the first poem she ever loved; hers was the lullaby her mother used to sing to her. “It’s not on the program, but I think I have to sing it.” And she did. After the song, she read Gary Snyder’s “Mother Earth: Her Whales,” and then, to cheer us up, “Good Bones” by Maggie Smith. “Life is short and I’ve shortened mine in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,” a mother begins, before saying she will keep it from her children: I am trying to sell them the world. Any decent realtor, walking you through a real shithole, chirps on about good bones: This place could be beautiful, right? You could make this place beautiful. Would it be too sentimental to say that a large room of poets, singing their childhood memories and pleas for resistance, reading poems that enriched and inspired and devastated them, felt like it had filled in the bones of Lincoln Center and New York and the world for just one evening? When Meryl Streep reads poetry to you, it’s hard to resist romance. Pictures from the evening have been added to the photo gallery.
The video archive takes longer to be completed than I have expected, simply because there are so many videos left to be added. But at least I’m making progress. Today, clips from news segments, ranging from 2006 to 2010 have been added. Within these 5 short years, Meryl’s career blossomed from “the star of the old days” to a global superstar, thanks to the successes of “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Mamma Mia”, not to mention the releases of “Doubt”, “Julie & Julia” and “Its Complicated” within a year. It has been great to revive all these clips from international promotion tours and red carpets, and to be reminded that HD isn’t that old fashioned – most of these clips are in a rather bad quality – but Simply Streep wouldn’t be a proper archive without this “old stuff”. I’ll do my best to finish the news segments and also the other remaining categories to have the video archive finished in time. Until then, enjoy the new old additions.
Viola Davis is among TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2017. She appears on the cover and inside the magazine, with written words by her friend and co-star Meryl Streep: When you spend your life embodying other lives, if you are successful, the one that belongs to you can silently slip behind. But Viola Davis’ hard-won, midlife rise to the very top of her profession has not led her to forget the rough trip she took getting there. And that is why she embodies for all women, but especially for women of color, the high-wire rewards of hard work and a dream, risk and faith. Viola has carved a place for herself on the Mount Rushmore of the 21st century – new faces emerging from a neglected mountain. And when she tells the story of how she got from where she was to where she is, it is as if she is on a pilgrimage, following her own footsteps and honoring that journey. Her gifts as an artist are unassailable, undeniable, deep and rich and true. But her importance in the culture – her ability to identify it, her willingness to speak about it and take on responsibility for it—is what marks her for greatness.
Meryl Streep is among a host of celebrity narrators on Sheila Nevin’s “You Don’t Look Your Age: And Other Fairy Tales”. The famed documentary producer and President of HBO Documentary Films for over 30 years, Nevins has rightfully been credited with creating the documentary rebirth) finally steps out from behind the camera and takes her place front and center. In the spoken version of her book, you will hear about the real life challenges of being a woman in a man’s world, what it means to be a working mother, what it’s like to be an older woman in a youth-obsessed culture, the sometimes changing, often sweet truth about marriages, what being a feminist really means, and that you are in good company if your adult children don’t return your phone calls. Among the powerhouse voices are Cynthia Adler, Alan Alda, Bob Balaban, Christine Baranski, Kathy Bates, Ellen Burstyn, Glenn Close, Katie Couric, John Henry Cox, Blythe Danner, Lena Dunham, Edie Falco, Tovah Feldshuh, Diane von Furstenberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Gayle King, Diane Lane, Sandra Lee, Judith Light, Jenna Lyons, Audra McDonald, Janet Mock, Sheila Nevins, Rosie O’Donnell, Jean Richards, RuPaul, Liz Smith, Lesley Stahl, Gloria Steinem, Martha Stewart, Meryl Streep, Marlo Thomas, Lily Tomlin, and Gloria Vanderbilt. “You Don’t Look Your Age: And Other Fairy Tales” will be released on May 2 by Macmillan Audio and can be pre-ordered on Amazon. Many thanks to Frank for the heads-up.
A couple of nice magazine additions, ranging from last year’s July to recent March 2017 issues and including a great article from the French Le Figaro and some Oscar coverage from this year. Many thanks to Alvaro for the contribution! Much appreciated :-)
Photo Gallery – Magazine Scans – 2017 – People Magazine (USA, March 13, 2017)
Photo Gallery – Magazine Scans – 2017 – US Weekly (USA, March 13, 2017)
Photo Gallery – Magazine Scans – 2017 – Entertainment Weekly (USA, February 24, 2017)
Photo Gallery – Magazine Scans – 2017 – The Daily Telegraph (UK, January 25, 2017)
Photo Gallery – Magazine Scans – 2016 – 100 Women Who Changed Our World (USA, December 2016)
Photo Gallery – Magazine Scans – 2016 – Le Figaro (France, July 2016)
On this day 40 years ago, Meryl Streep was first seen by a broad television audience in the CBS movie of the week “The Deadliest Season”. In it, Michael Moriarty plays a hockey player who struggles with getting older and uses more and more violent tricks on the field to remain in form, until one of his actions land him in court. Meryl Streep plays his wife, which says pretty much everything about her character – there’s not much to do or anything poignant to say (if you don’t count “When I watched you in a game it turned me on”). This short period of being an unknown film actress lasted for only a year until her breakthrough performances in “The Deer Hunter” and “Holocaust” in 1978, so it’s kind of fun to see Meryl Streep in a bit part, and how she manages to give this character depth and meaning after all. For more information about the film, visit the career page with additional production notes and pictures. To celebrate its anniversary, six exclusive clips have been added to the video archive, with many thanks to Simona for helping me out. Enjoy!