Archive for the ‘celebrities’ Category

Five in Focus: American Expat Bloggers on Italian Movies

In conjunction with the release of George Clooney’s The American, I was one of the American expat bloggers asked by Focus Features to choose the five films I feel sum up Italy for me.

Please click on the screenshot to go see the five films I chose…

and then please come back and let me know what yours are and why in the comments.

And by the way, have you seen The American? What did you think?

P.S. I’ve put up a “Media Buzz” page to gather some of the other places that mention Bleeding Espresso. Have a look see!

Calabria Pride: Noi Ci Mettiamo Il Cuore

I just couldn’t resist sharing this *gorgeous* video promoting the Region of Calabria featuring one of our favorite sons, Gennaro Gatuso:

Gah! I *love* this video!

Don’t you just love the distinctly Calabrese feel to Gennaro’s words…simu o no Calabrisi? Are we Calabrians or not?!

For non-Italian speakers, the last line before the video montage is “Calabria has everything,” and then the closing line, which so perfectly describes my bella Calabria:

We put our hearts into it.

Viva la Calabria!

So, when are *you* coming to visit us here in the toe of the boot?

“Inside the Actors’ Studio” Questionnaire

James Lipton on WikipediaJust before my mom arrived, one of my fascinations became watching episodes of Bravo TV’s Inside the Actors Studio with James Lipton on YouTube.

[Loved when Will Ferrell did his Lipton impersonation on Saturday Night Live!]

I’m not a movie or theater buff by any means, but I find something so inspirational and moving in watching real actors–and by that I mean those who are truly artists–speaking about their craft, life, love and more.

Some of my favorite interviewees have been Robin Williams, Al Pacino, Jodie Foster, Kevin Spacey, Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia (of course!) . . . the list could go on and on.

Seriously, I recommend setting aside a few hours if you start exploring this YouTube option.

And P.S. if anyone is able to put more clips on, I’d love to see Morgan Freeman, Sydney Pollack, Carol Burnett, David Duchovny, Peter Falk, oh just all of them (see a list of all past guests here.)

The most well-known part of the program is probably the 10 questions that come from the French series Bouillon de Culture hosted by Bernard Pivot; Lipton asks these of each and every guest on Inside the Actors Studio and the answers are often witty, always intriguing.

Since I don’t anticipate appearing on that stage anytime soon, I thought it would be fun to do on the blog; here are the questions and my answers:

  1. What is your favorite word? Lollygagging
  2. What is your least favorite word? Hate
  3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? Someone pursuing their passion
  4. What turns you off? Condescension
  5. What is your favorite curse word? Cazzo (Italian slang for penis but equivalent to our F-bomb in severity)
  6. What sound or noise do you love? Laughter, laughter and more laughter
  7. What sound or noise do you hate? Mosquitoes
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Pastry chef
  9. What profession would you not like to do? Trash collector
  10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Your family is this-a-way

What are your answers?

Please feel free to play along in the comments or post to your own blog!

Hey, did I just create a meme?

Buon weekend and
check out Judith‘s sandwich buns for La Buona Cucina Americana!

hey where my girls at?! (and is rachael ray a terrorist?)

The answer to the first question is:

Soon to be in Warner Village Cinema in Lamezia Terme anxiously awaiting:

Sex and the City!

Sex and the City movie

And that’s where I’ll be shortly too.

Wanna come?

Or are you having your own girls’ night out in celebration?

But before you answer, let’s move on to the second question in the post title.

Did you hear about the Dunkin’ Donuts ad with Rachael Ray that was pulled because of what she’s wearing?

Scantily clad, you’re thinking?

Rachael Ray of EVOO and the Garbage Bowl?

OUR Rachael?

Not exactly.

Here’s a still shot from

Rachael Ray and her scarf pushing Dunkin' Donuts

Can you spot the offensive article of clothing?

Michelle Malkin said Ray’s neck accessory resembles a kiffiyeh, a head scarf “popularized by Yasser Arafat and a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists appearing in beheading and hostage-taking videos.”

Um, is that what you thought when you saw that photo?

I mean, I’m not exactly lovin’ the scarf for fashion purposes, but personally
I just want some Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee, extra cream no sugar. YUM!

Buon weekend everyone!

And be sure to check out Ms Adventures in Italy for Sara’s
La Buona Cucina Americana recipe!

heath ledger: 1979-2008

  Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain
I wasn’t planning on writing a post about this, but I just have to. I was literally lying awake the other night thinking about the sudden death of Oscar nominated actor Heath Ledger, so I knew I’d have to write.

Because that’s what I do when I need to work through something.

And seeing as though nearly a week has passed since Ledger’s death but it hasn’t strayed far from my mind for more than a few minutes at a time, clearly I need to work through this.

I wasn’t a particularly huge Heath Ledger fan, and I’m not one to be emotionally involved in the lives of celebrities in general, so what’s the deal here? Why does the mere thought of his smiling face send me into an emotional downward spiral?

I don’t know how many 28-year-olds die every day in the world. However many it is, it’s too many, and each one of those deaths is tragic. But it’s Ledger who has made me stop and look squarely at death.

Death that comes at all ages, sometimes when we expect it, but more often when we don’t.

And I think of Ledger’s 2-year-old daughter Matilda, who, by all accounts, he simply adored. Indeed, being a father was a “cosmic” experience for Ledger–and it showed to anyone who caught of a glimpse of him and his little girl around New York City.

And then I think of his former fiancée and mother of his child, Michelle Williams, just four years younger than I am, raising her daughter in a world without Ledger.

Obviously I don’t know what happened between them, but as their split is only a few months old after three years and a child together, well, I have to believe that there are still a lot of deep feelings involved. My heart truly goes out to her–and to all young parents who have lost their partner in raising a child.

It’d be nice if the media would leave Williams and her daughter alone right now, but we know that won’t happen.

Here on the homefront, P didn’t know precisely who Ledger was until I pointed him out (P’s not great with names of foreign actors), but once he realized who Ledger was, P, too, was drawn into a pool of sadness–very unlike him, might I add. He’s not what I’d call into the whole celebrity gossip scene.

Sono sempre i migliori quelli che se ne vanno,” he said while shaking his head–the rough Italian equivalent of “only the good die young,” a sentiment that Robin expressed the other day as well and to which I replied that I couldn’t help thinking of Natalie Merchant’s song “River” about the tragic death of 23-year-old River Phoenix in 1993. Not all the lyrics apply, but they’re pretty close to how I feel about Ledger’s situation as well.

A piece from the The Huffington Post written by Star Jones entitled Reporting on the Dead also does a good job.

Toxicology reports and the final word on what caused Ledger’s death will be coming in soon, but honestly, it doesn’t matter to me what killed him–unless, of course, it was, as suspected, a fatal prescription drug combination that others may learn from.

What I mean is that no matter how Ledger died, his life, his work, his passion, his down-to-earth way of living touched millions of people, and perhaps in death, he’s reaching out to even more of us.

I still can’t put my finger on why this has affected me so deeply, but I know that others feel the same way. Even though they didn’t know one another, actor Daniel Day-Lewis couldn’t get Ledger off his mind during an interview with Oprah Winfrey during which he was supposed to be discussing his Oscar nomination for There Will Be Blood:

“I didn’t know him. I have an impression, a strong impression, I would have liked him very much as a man if I had. I’d already marveled at some of his work, and had looked forward so much to seeing the work that he would do in the future.”

I think this sums up how a lot of us feel about Ledger–he just seemed like a guy you’d love to hang out with at the pub and yet also someone who took his work, his craft, and his family so seriously that you couldn’t have anything but respect for him as a man.

And I do hope this remains his legacy. He deserves nothing less.

Heath Ledger sidewalk memorial


[tags]heath ledger, michelle williams, river phoenix, daniel day-lewis[/tags]

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

Calabria Guidebook

Calabria travel guide by Michelle Fabio



Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake