A common sense public policy overview from David in South Florida, offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt./public policy, sports and pop culture of the U.S., #SoFL and Europe, esp. the #UK, #Sweden and #France, via my life in #Texas, #Memphis, #Miami, #IU, #Chicago, #WashingtonDC & #SoFL. In particular, #Broward & #MiamiDade County, and the cities of #HallandaleBeach, #HollywoodFL & #Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln.

Photo in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A, September 2008; March 2018 photo below of HB's North Beach and southern Hollywood Beach, looking left-to-right, looking north, HYDE Condominium, Etaru Japanese Robatayaki restaurant, and Hollywood Beach in the distance, with umbrellas. All photos by me, © Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Remembering and appreciating someone who captivated me as a kid, and then later proved the maxim about what's old becoming new -and popular- again! Actor Michael Parks, from 'Then Came Bronson' and so much more...

"A Harley Roadster, a bedroll, a lonely stretch of highway: Jim Bronson (Michael Parks) is traveling where the road and the day take him, trying to make sense of things after the suicide of his close friend (Martin Sheen). He doesn't go far along a magnificent stretch of California's coastal Big Sur before he meets Temple Brooks (Bonnie Bedelia), a runway bride just as adrift as Jim is. Together, they'll ride that Harley all the way to New Orleans. Together, they might find what they're looking for."

Trending at Hallandale Beach Blog: What's old becomes new -and popular! again! Actor Michael Parks is finally getting the overdue respect and attention he was due; from 'Then Came Bronson' to the 2012 actor in demand in Hollywood

Then Came Bronson (Intro) S1 (1969)

"Then Came Bronson" NBC Fall Preview for 1969, narrated by Hugh Downs
Michael Parks as 'Jim Bronson,' a former San Francisco newspaper reporter turned motorcycle-driving vagabond, seeking to make sense of his own life and connect-the-dots in an ever-changing world around him. 
Shown above in still of video, the delightful and beguiling Bonnie Bedelia. 😍😍😍😍

I hate to report that my cinematic muse #michaelparks has passed away. Michael was, and will likely forever remain, the best actor I've ever known. I wrote both #RedState and @tuskthemovie FOR Parks, I loved his acting so much. He was, hands-down, the most incredible thespian I ever had the pleasure to watch perform. And Parks brought out the absolute best in me every time he got near my set. From the moment I saw him steal the opening scene of #fromdusktildawn at an advance screening at the Sunset 5 back in the mid-90's, I said to @samosier "Could you imagine what it must be like to work with a Yoda of acting like that guy? I gotta write for him one day." It took me 15 years but my dream came true on Red State (for which Parks won Best Actor at the @sitgesfestival) and then again years later with #tusk. Only Michael Parks could have delivered the line "Is man indeed a walrus at heart?" and make it scary as fuck. My favorite memory of Michael is watching him and #johnnydepp act with and at each other, like a couple of dueling wizards, in their shared scene in Tusk. Parks was in Heaven that day, sharing the screen with another brilliant actor and creating an unforgettable performance. He elevated any flick or TV show he was in and elevated every director he ever acted for. I was so fucking blessed to have worked with this bonafide genius. But really, I was just lucky to have known him at all. My heart goes out to James (Michael's son), Oriana (Michael's wife), Quentin Tarantino (Michael's biggest fan) and any movie or music lover who was ever dazzled by the talents of Michael Parks. Farewell, old friend. I'll see you farther along... #KevinSmith #actor #genius #rip #walrusyes
A post shared by Kevin Smith (@thatkevinsmith) on

A confession: this TV show from 1969 remains one of my ten favorite all-time American TV shows. I was only eight years old when this first aired on TV, yet I was smart enough even then to realize that THIS is what compelling acting was. 
I completely believed everything Michael Parks said and did in his Jim Bronson persona. 
It ALL made sense to me.

Especially the way that he would use the anger or upset that other people he encountered along the road had kept bottled up and carried with them for years, like an open sore, and inevitably find a timely way to turn that anger and hurt or resentment on its ear by making that other character see that maybe-just-maybe, they and their own choices (or lack of action or emotional support) actually bore a larger share of the blame for their particular present misfortune than they were willing to acknowledge.
That was especially the case when another family member who was the person being blamed for the present unhappy circumstances.
Someone almost inevitably needed to forgive someone else, but first, they had to forgive themselves! #kaboom! 
(Presaging Michael Landon in Highway to Heaven? Yep!) 

They are the very qualities that so thoroughly captivated me as a kid in 1969 -and all my friends at Fulford Elementary School in North Miami Beach. Though I was just eight years old when this TV show, yet I was smart enough to realize even then that THIS is what compelling acting was. 
I watched every episode religiously every Wednesday night on NBC-TV, and was thoroughly captivated!

If VCRs and DVRs had existed then, I surely would have watched the episodes over-and-over trying to make sure that I had drained every nuance and anecdote I could out of it before I went to school the next day at school.
Though you may find it hard to believe now, my friends and I talked about the show the next day in detail like I later would talk about sports and politics -with enthusiasm and great curiosity about what others thought about what we'd all seen, and most importantly, what it all really meant.
Like it was philosophy!

For those of you who never saw the show in the first place and who'd like to know more details about it, see this Wiki entry which seems pretty accurate to me:
"Curiously, though the opening promises a journey of self-discovery, the premise of each episode is that Bronson enters someone else's life at a crucial point and acts as a catalyst for change."

Yes, but that's one of the main things I loved about the show!

I haven't always seen eye-to-eye with film director Kevin Smith on various subjects or even liked all of his films, but the words and qualities he uses above in his Instagram post to describe his friend and film muse Michael Parks could not possibly be more spot-on to me.

This show is when I first fell in LOVE with Bonnie Bedelia!  The first time I saw her, when she was just twenty-one, I was smitten like a kitten! 😍😍😍😍

In retrospect, I sometimes think that the entire time I was at IU, I was looking for a Bonnie Bedelia doppelgänger, hoping that one of my smart and clever friends at the IU sororities which would have strong competitors for that Bonnie comparison -Tri-Delt, Delta Gamma 
and Kappa Kappa Gamma and Kappa Alpha Theta would come thru for me.
I was set-up with lots of amazing sorority "sisters" of friends that were close to capturing her spirit and personality, but ultimately, alas, no cigar. 

The talented and lovely Leighton Meester reminded me of the sweetness of a young Bonnie
 from the first time I ever saw her in NBC's cute sci-fi show "Surface" in 2010 when she was 19. 
Now, every time I see BB I think of LM and vice-versa.



You scream, I scream, we all scream for... Gossip Girl. Photo by Terry Richardson.


Me in 2011: Michael Parks -What's old becomes new again!

9/5/11 LA Times: Michael Parks goes from nowhere to go-to guy The actor remembers when his phone rarely rang. Now he's coveted by directors such as Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and Kevin Smith.



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