Music, Tommy Page

No More Shoulder To Cry On… RIP Tommy Page (May 24, 1970 – March 3, 2017)

I haven’t thought of Tommy Page in years. Maybe more than 20 years, but for some reason his death recently hit me quite hard.

I often heard people said why should you feel sad when a celebrity died when you didn’t know them personally? So, now I am trying to find the answer why his death hit me hard and why I took his death quite personally. Maybe I wouldn’t find the answer, but here it goes.

When I was around 8 or 9 years old, I decided I wanted to learn English. I knew it’s important language, but unfortunately English wouldn’t be taught until middle school and I was still in elementary school.  Since I wanted to have a head start right away,  I had this idea that I should start by listening to English songs.

My mom bought me probably the cheapest album she could find and she didn’t even realize it was a karaoke album and it wasn’t even sung by the original artists. I didn’t care. I just wanted to learn English so bad.

One of the songs of the album was Shoulder to Cry On by Tommy Page. Of course it was sung by “fake” Tommy Page, but I like it anyway. I like the melody. I thought it was beautiful and I played it everyday. I didn’t know the meaning, of course, but at least I could learn how to pronounce the words.

Then one day,  I was watching a show on a TV, and the host said that they will close the program with the “Shoulder To Cry On” video from Tommy Page. I was so surprised and excited! Finally I’d get to see the real voice from  the real singer of the real song that I’ve been listening so often lately.

Then the video started to play. I saw a piano and a pair of hands playing it. So, this guy Tommy Page was actually playing a piano. Then… bam! I saw him… and I just couldn’t believe my eyes. At 9 years old, I swore I had never ever seen anything as beautiful as him. I was mesmerized!

I didn’t get to see that video again until many years later and here it is:

After the video was over, I just couldn’t stop thinking about him,  his voice, his face and how classy he looked like. Of course, I didn’t really know what classy meant at that time. But I remember, how angelic his sounded like.

He was actually quite famous in teenagers world. I started to see his face everywhere in every teen magazines, but since I was quite young I didn’t realize that. I remember making a promise that I’d be his fan until I was 80 years old. I didn’t remember why I chose that exact number, but I remember making that promise, which I broke in just about two years later. Soon, I already forgotten all about him. I was already moved on to another singer, well..it’s a band, actually. Ironically, one of the reasons I started to listen to that band, because the male singer sounded like Tommy. I was and I am still a fan to that band ’til today.  I went to see them in Argentina, Germany, Indonesia, Sweden and In USA, but I have never been to any of Tommy’s concerts, even to just one and I regret that so much.

Well, actually few months ago, I did think about Tommy. That’s because a show “Fuller House”. I was watching an episode when they had NKOTB as guest star so I did some research to see who else were the guest stars in their older episodes in Full House and I learned that my former idol, Tommy Page was in it, so I checked YouTube and there was a video of that episode. I watched it and I thought it was cute and that’s about it.

And then on March 4, 2017. I was checking my Twitter-feed and I saw Candace Cameron’s message:

candace

My heart was stopped. But why he died in such a young age? Then of course,  in just a minute I learned what happened.” Tommy Page dies of apparent suicide”, the news headlines said.

So, maybe that’s one of the reasons why his death hit me harder than any other celebrities death. Plus, the fact that he’s only 46 years old. Also, I guess with his death, I felt the part of my childhood gone with him too. Then, I realized something else. Not only he was my first celebrity crush, as silly as it might sounds, but he was probably also my first crush ever.

Ever since the news broke, I was obsessed with finding information about him.  Not about how he died, but all the things about him that I’ve missed all these years.

From all the articles and the interviews I found he seemed happy, down to earth, a family person, a loving father to his three children (I didn’t know he had children until recently and I also didn’t know he was gay), a loving husband. He was so loved by his fans, though he prefer to call them as his friends than his fans. So, we probably would never know why he killed himself and I don’t think we even had the right to know his reasons, except that depression sucks and let just hope that everyone with depression got the helps that they really needs.

I just hope that somehow, he knew that his song “Shoulder To Cry On”, has helped many of his fans gotten through the worst time in their life, and to know that he wrote this song when he was only 16 or 17 years old at that time was very impressive.

When you  compare him to today’s pop-stars, he actually wrote his own songs while today’s artists usually have tons of writers and producers behind them. Plus,   I love that he often dressed like old movie stars, with tux and tie (and sometimes fedora… how cool was that!)

And I’d like to think that maybe after many years he had let his shoulder for the place for us, his fans to cry on, at least that’s how, we the fans, like to think his role to us through his music and his songs, so finally after all time being so generous, it was his turn now to rest and I hope whenever he is, he finally gets the peace that he deserves. Dear Tommy. Thank you, for everything. Thank you for your music, which by the way, I still have  A LOT to catching up.

Shoulder To Cry On

Life is full of lots of up and downs
And the distance feels further
When you’re headed for the ground
And there is nothing more painful than to let your feelings take you down
It’s so hard to know the way you feel inside
When there’s many thoughts and feelings that you hide
But you might feel better if you let me walk with you
By your side

And when you need a shoulder to cry on
When you need a friend to rely on
When the whole world is gone
You won’t be alone, cause I’ll be there
I’ll be your shoulder to cry on
I’ll be there
I’ll be a friend to rely on
When the whole world is gone
You won’t be alone, cause I’ll be there

All of the times when everything is wrong
And you’re feeling like
There’s no use going on
You can’t give it up
I hope you work it out and carry on
Side by side,
With you till the end
I’ll always be the one to firmly hold your hand
No matter what is said or done
Our love will always continue on

Everyone needs a shoulder to cry on
Everyone needs a friend to rely on
When the whole world is gone
You won’t be alone cause I’ll be there
I’ll be your shoulder to cry on
I’ll be there
I’ll be the one you rely on
When the whole world’s gone
You won’t be alone
‘Cause I’ll be there

And when the whole world is gone
You’ll always have my shoulder to cry on

(Written by Tommy Page)

Another video by Tommy Page

(Some people said with the look like that, he should have gone to acting instead. But, I think he fit more in classic films. What do you think?)

Another one below was my second favorite song from him, which unfortunately has no video. If I remember correctly was written by him for his late grandmother, but now it’s fitting for everyone who lost someone and now it made me thinking of him.

2015, film, list, top10

The best films of 2015!

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While everyone is talking about the best things from 2016, I am still stuck in 2015. So, let me start with my favorite films from 2015 according to Flickchart  (a site that I use to track every films I watched). For 2015 releases, apparently I have only seen 23 films and here are my  top 10.

1. Hitchcock/Truffaut
It’s a documentary that I’ve longed to see for a while. It’s a very fascinating to watch, especially if you’re a Hitchcock fan like me. But I think every die-hard movie fans will find this documentary very informative and entertaining.

2. Inside Out
Probably the most serious Pixar film ever made. It definitely made you think. This film felt so personal to me and I couldn’t explain why, so I would just leave it like that.

3. Room

Did I tell you I love film where it took place in one single place? Because it’s such a challenge to make a film that way without ended up being boring and uninteresting. I blame Hitchcock for introduce me to such setting and idea is possible, although  I should I direct the proper credit to the theater people, but it was Hitchcock film that got me fascinated about that kind of setting at the first place.

4. Spotlight

It’s been so long I’ve longed about watching the film where the main focus was simply about the investigative journalism and not about their personal life or dramas. Spotlight is exactly like that and it works! Dear Hollywood, please make more film like that.

5. Tomorrowland

I had such such a low expectation especially after reading the negative reviews about this film. I even decided not to see it on a theater. This is the kind of film that need to be viewed on a big screen. The bigger the better.

6. Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

Very intriguing documentary. When I heard that HBO had to hire 160 lawyers just to make this documentary, I am sold.

7. Mad Max: Fury Road

The BEST looking film I’ve seen this year and maybe one of the best looking films of all time. Now I can’t wait to see he black and white version of this film.

8. The Hunting Ground

Another documentary and this is a must watch film for everyone and probably the most important film on this list. It’s so heartbreaking to watch.

9. Everything is Copy

I saw five documentaries released in 2015 and three of them are included on my top 10. This time is about Nora Ephron, the woman behind You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally.

10. Darling

Another good looking film. The difference between this and Mad Max: Fury Road  is the budget. They clearly don’t have the big budget but still manage to make such a beautiful film not to mention creepy. I am just so glad that once upon a time, I was so bored that Netflix made a suggestion that I’d like this film. As creepy as it sounds, they were  right! From now on I am gonna start pay attention to anything Mickey Keating made. He was the director of this wonderful film, by the way.

actor, actress, amyadams, arrival, film, list, scifi, top10

New “Arrival” On My Top 10

 

arrival-new-character-poster-2There’s a new arrival on my top 10. Coincidentally, the name of the new comer itself was”Arrival”.

It was directed by Denis Villeneuve. He also made Prisoners, which I didn’t really like, even though it was critically acclaimed, so I though at best I’d probably enjoy this film (the trailer looked great and I adore Amy Adams).

I didn’t know that I’d be so invested by it, that I’d be thinking about it and I don’t think I want to watch anything else for now, well for a few days at least. It just so hard to just switch to something else at the moment. To be honest, I almost got another ticket after I was done watching the film so I could experience it again, but then I realized, I still need time to really absorb the film, to really think about it.

The film itself based on a short story by Ted Chiang called “Story of Your Life”, which made more sense, but less commercial, I supposed while “Arrival” was not, but it could also interpreted  like alien invasion types  to some people. I saw some walked out of theater because they probably expecting something more fun and exciting. However, if you want something that will make you think and effect you in more emotional level, this one is for you.

“Arrival” now is sitting on my #6

Here’s my Top 10, if you’re interested:

  1. Mulholland Dr (2001)
  2. Rope (1948)
  3. Rear Window (1948)
  4. 12 Angry Men (1957)
  5. Dial M for Murder (1954)
  6. Wendy and Lucy (2008)
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
  8. Arrival (2016)
  9. Up (2009)
  10. Blue Valentine (2010)

And if you wanna see my Top 1546 (yes, it’s not a typo), just click here

 

 

actor, actress, broadway, play

11 Facts about Blackbird: My Own Experience

  1. It’s my first Broadway play ever!  In fact, it was my first play ever, that if I didn’t include the school or churches play I saw as a child. I saw it twice and was about to see it for the third one, but I got sick.
  2. I met Michelle Williams in person and she was one the most humble, kind, stunning human being I’ve ever met. We even had a little exchange. I told her I can’t wait to see her new film “Certain Women“, to which she happily replied with the light in her eyes, that she couldn’t wait to see it too because she hasn’t seen it.
  3. Blackbird was Michelle’s second Broadway play. She was in Cabaret as Sally Bowles two years ago and I missed it and regretted it ever since.
  4. Blackbird left me emotionally and physically exhausted just by watching the two actors (Williams and Jeff Daniels) perform on a stage. Also, the subject matter was controversial. It wasn’t a kind of play where you could bring your parents along.
  5. Daniels and Williams were so amazingly good, that I’d be pissed off, if they didn’t get nominated for Tony.
  6. A film version is already in the making with Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn. It was hard to imagine if they could top the performances of Williams and Daniels, but I am willing to give them the benefit of a doubt.
  7. I love New York, but I wasn’t made for cold and rainy days. I do hope next time Michelle decided to do another play (and I hope she will), it will be during the summer. Though, knowing me, I knew I’d try to make it anyway no matter what.
  8. Blackbird was a play written in 2005 by Scottish playwright David Harrower and directed by “Joe Mantello“.
  9. Williams and Daniels performed from eight times a week (including twice on Saturday) in Belasco Theater, New York. I didn’t even know how they get the energy with only the two of them onstage (there was another minor character, but I couldn’t tell more about it or it will be a spoiler). The play run for almost two hours with no intermission. At the end of it, both  actors looked like they had been hit by a train and so did the audience. In fact, they were still in characters when they gave their last bow to the audience. You could see Michelle still looked devastating while Daniels seemed to hate himself. That’s just how powerful it is.
  10. In both times I went, they got standing ovation each times.
  11. Blackbird is a story of a sex offender (Jeff Daniels) who was confronted by a young woman (Williams), 15 years later after the abuse. But the story and their “illegal relationship” are more complex than that.
actress, film, list

100 Greatest Performances Ever by an Actress

The recent (and shocking death) of Patty Duke inspired me to write this post. I haven’t seen enough of her works, but one thing I know for sure,  her portrayal as Helen Keller was mesmerizing.  So, I decided to make a list of top 100 (yes, I am not kidding) of all the greatest performances by an actress. Of course, this is MY personal list, so don’t get upset if your favorites aren’t in this list.  I am sure there are still many great performances that I haven’t got a chance to see yet, but for now here’s my complete list:

1. Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine.
It’s raw. It’s real. It’s like watching a real person, not a character. Williams first entered my radar when I saw her in Brokeback Mountain and have decided to follow her career ever since.  However, her performance in this film that assure me that she is really one of the greatest living actor right now.

Here’s not one, but two clips that really showcase her talent. Choosing the clip was the hardest part, because she was amazing in every single scene.

Bonus: You’ll get to see Ryan Gosling  gave the best performance of his career.  Perhaps next time, I should make a list of my top 100 Greatest Performances Ever by an Actor.

And another one:

2. Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice
If you’re a movie fan like me, you probably know this scene, or at least have heard about it. Her performance was so haunting that when I found this scene, I was too terrified to watch it again. I sometimes wonder what it’s inside her mind when she did the scene. This is the kind of performance that stays with you.

3. Naomi Watts in Mulholland Drive
It’s a crime that one of the greatest performances ever embrace the screen wasn’t recognized by the Oscar. I was completely shocked when I learned that Watts didn’t even get nominated. In this film, she played an aspiring actress trying to make it in Hollywood.  It’s hard to describe her role, because it’s so complex. One thing that I can do now is to share my favorite Naomi Watts’s scene from this film.

4. Diane Keaton in Godfather
Yes, I am choosing Godfather instead of her iconic role, Annie Hall. Sometimes a scene can be the most powerful even when the actors don’t say anything at all. That’s what Keaton did at the ending scene of Godfather. She didn’t say anything.  Just take a look at her eyes and her whole expression  as the door slowly closing right in front of her. Godfather was a film with many memorable scenes, but that ending with Keaton was, in my opinion, the best one.

5. Patty Duke in The Miracle Worker
Finally, someone that inspired me to write this post. I was upset when I learned that Mary Badham from To Kill a Mockingbird was lost to another child actress during the Oscar race that year. Who on earth could top her performance? Then I learned it was Patty Duke for her act as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker. I knew I had to see this one. I was skeptic at first, but  the minute the film started, I was engaged right away and I was blown away by the performance of, not only by Duke, but also Anne Bancroft as Keller’s teacher. This scene below was left me in awe. It’s exhausting to watch, but at the same time, I almost didn’t want to blink. I am sure the two lead actresses were also exhausted by it. When the film was over, I believe now that Oscar made the right decision. Duke’s winning was well deserved.

… And here are the rest of my list. I have read it  and changed the order multiple times. I still need it’s not a perfect, but I decided to publish it anyway.

6. Shirley MacLaine in The Children Hour

7. Mary Badham in To Kill a Mockingbird

8. Anne Bancroft in The Miracle Worker

9. Faye Dunaway in Chinatown

10. Sigourney Weaver in Alien

11. Shirley MacLaine in The Apartement

12. Liv Ullmann in Persona

13. Glen Close in Fatal Attraction

14. Linda Blair in The Excorcist

15. Meryl Streep in Kramer vs. Kramer

16. Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca

17. Jodie Foster in Taxi Driver

18. Judith Anderson in Rebecca

19. Jodie Foster in Silence of the Lambs

20. Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry

21. Tang Wei in Lust Caution

22. Grace Kelly in Dial M for Murder

23. Kirsten Dunst in Melancholia

24. Michelle Williams in Wendy and Lucy

25. Joan Fontaine in Rebecca

26. Kirsten Dunst in Interview with the Vampire

27. Sissy Spacek in Carrie

28. Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby

29. Mia Farrow in Rosemary’s baby

30. Robin Wright in Forrest Gump

31. Sissy Spacek in Night, Mother

32. Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard

33. Julie Andrews in Sound of Music

34. Nicole Kidman in The Others

35. Sandra Bullock in Gravity

36. Emma Thompson in Saving Mr. Banks

37. Carey Mulligan in Shame

38. Jessica Lange in Frances

39. Annette Benning in American Beauty

40. Laura Linney in The Squid and the Whale

41. Audrey Hepburn in the Children Hour

42. Kim Novak in Vertigo

43. Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl

44. Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally

45. Anna Chlumsky in My Girl

46. Clara Bow in Wings

47. Sigourney Weaver in Death and the Maiden

48. Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

49. Claire Danes in Brokedown Palace

50. Julianne Moore in Still Alice

51. Keira Knightley in The Duchess

52. Julianne Moore in The Kids Are Alright

53. Saoirse Ronan in Atonement

54. Thelma Ritter in Rear Window

55. Geena Davies in Thelma and Louise

56. Kathleen Turner in The War of the Roses

57. Sigourney Weaver in Aliens

58. Maia Morgenstern in The Passion of the Christ

59. Michelle Williams in Brokeback Mountain

60. Susan Sarandon in Dead Man Walking
61. Annette Benning in The Kids Are Alright

62. Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married

63. Jean Arthur in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

64. Bette Davies in All About Eve

65. Claire Danes in Little Women

66. Elle Fanning in Super 8

67. Diane Keaton in Marvin’s Room

68. Julianne Moore in Far From Heaven

69. Adèle Exarchopoulos in Blue is the Warmest Color

70. Michelle Williams in My Week with Marilyn

71. Inma Cuesta in Blancanieves

72. Isabella Rossellini in Blue Velvet

73. Naomi Watts in Ellie Parker

74. Meryl Streep in Doubt

75. Emily Watson in Hilary and Jackie

76. Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road

77. Anne Baxter in All About Eve

78. Amy Adams in Doubt

79. Kate Winslet in Titanic

80. Ingrid Bergman in Notorious

81. Janet Leigh in Psycho

82. Sharon Stone in Casino

83. Jessica Lange in The Music Box

84. Patricia Arquette in Boyhood

85. Samantha Morton in In America

86. Kathy Bates in Misery

87. Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday

88. Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine
89. Jodie Foster in The Accused
90. Rachel Griffith in Hilary and Jackie

91. Judy Dench in Note on a Scandal

92. Julie Christie in Away from Her

93. Ellen Page in Hard Candy

94. Felicity Huffman in Transamerica

95. Michelle Williams in Take This Waltz

96. Natalie Portman in The Professional

97. Debra Winger in In Terms of Eandearment

98. Charlotte Rampling in Under the Sand
99. Bibi Anderson in Persona
100. Meg Ryan in When a Man Loves a Woman