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FDL Movie Night Preview: Happy New Year–Celebrating the (Lucille) Ball Together

2:47 am in Uncategorized by Lisa Derrick

The ball in Time Square is going to drop in a just a few hours, and since New Years Eve is time of both hilarity and glamor, what better way to celebrate it than by embracing tonight in the form of Lucille Ball? Groundbreaking media pioneer, the first woman in television to head a production company, Lucy is one of the greatest American icons, full of glamor, strength and style. Heck, even FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, in the midst of the 1950′s Red Scare — Ball gave sealed testimony to House Un-American Activities Committee  because she’d registered to vote in 1936 as member of the Communist Party – said Lucy and her husband Desi Arnaz were

among his  “favorites of the entertainment world.”

Tonight we’ll be discussing Lucille Ball, I Love Lucy, and her other shows, and as a special treat, we’ve uncovered this: Lucy’s Really Lost Moments, featuringthe  only appearances of the cast of I Love Lucy in color and as guests on The Bob Hope Chevy Show sponsored by Chevrolet, along with other moments (some of which have been colorized). Segments of this compilation are fascinating because they really reveal the heavy, obvious level of sponsorship of early TV programs: The plot of one segement revolves around Ricky wanting a deal with Westinghouse for their new show, while Lucy just want new appliances. Another segment, I’ve Got a Secret, sponsored by Clairol with lots of signage, shows Lucy trying to affect the panel (including a young Johnny Carson), with her changing moods. And as a bonus, on his program, Bob Hope appears to the strains of “Aulde Lang Syne!”

See you tonight!

(And special geek alert: Desilu Productions, which Ball formed with husband Desi Arnaz, was the production company behind the original Star Trek, producing the show’s first season. By the second season, Ball sold the company to Gulf+Western, which renamed it Paramount Television. The couple had founded Desilu in 1950 to produce I Love Lucy; Ball bought out Arnaz after their divorce, and became the company’s head. Desilu also produced The Dick Van Dyke Show, and several other classics.)

Who Bombed Judi Bari? Tonight on FDL Movie Night

10:57 am in Uncategorized by Lisa Derrick

Tonight at 5pm west coast/8pm east coast we’ve got an amazing discussion scheduled with activist/producer Darryl Cherney and director Mary Liz Thomson centering around their film Who Bombed Judi Bari, Earth First!, and the couple’s federal lawsuit against the Oakland Police Department and the F.B.I. Movie Night is on the main, front page of firedoglake.com.

I learned about the film from FDL’s The Dissenter who wrote:

In May of 1990, Earth First! organizer Judi Bari and her fellow activist Darryl Cherney were preparing for the biggest demonstration they’d ever mobilized: a convergence of thousands of eco-warriors from all over the country on an expanse of California old growth redwoods targeted by the timber industry for clear cut. They were calling the event “Redwood Summer,” after the Civil Rights Movement’s Freedom Summer of 1964.

Redwood Summer took place, but without Bari. Instead of standing on the front lines of a massive battle against the destruction of the Headwaters Forest in Humboldt County, she spent the next several months recovering from a car bomb blast that had crippled her body and nearly took her life. At the same time, she was fending off accusations from the Oakland Police and the FBI that she was an eco-terrorist responsible for her own permanent and life-changing injuries….

Bari filed a civil lawsuit against the FBI and the Oakland Police Department in 1991, alleging that officers and agents knew that she and Cherney were innocent, and had arrested them as part of a misinformation campaign to discredit Earth First!. (Some believe the FBI’s complicity in the bombing went further still.) The suit was still wending its way through the courts when Bari died of breast cancer in 1997.

Please join us for this exciting discussion. To comment/ask questions you need to be resitered on FDL (it’s free) and logged in.  The film opens in December, and there is $50,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.