Thursday, June 25, 2020

Lawsuit for Shooting Death of Vanessa Marquez

Below is a press release from the law offices of of Vicki I. Sarmiento; Schonbrun Seplow Harris Hoffman & Zeldes LLP; and the Law Office of Dale K. Galipo regarding the filing of a wrongful death action over the shooting death of my dearest Vanessa Marquez on August 30 2018. While the action was filed yesterday, I had known about it for sometime beforehand, from both Vanessa's mother Delia and her lawyer Vicki Sarmiento. As mentioned in the press release, friends and supporters of Vanessa gathered at South Pasadena City Hall to announce the filing. A protest, organized by London Lang, was also held by South Pasadena Youth for Police Reform. I only wish that I could have been there.

I must say that I am very happy that a wrongful death action has been taken on behalf of Vanessa's mother Delia. I know the past 20 months have been difficult for her. I know for myself that losing Vanessa has been made all the more worse by the fact that there has been no justice for her. I do not believe for a moment that the Los Angeles County District Attorney Office's report on  Vanessa's death was fair, unbiased, or truthful. I honestly believe that the City of South Pasadena, the South Pasadena Police Department, and the police officers present in her apartment on that day showed depraved indifference to Vanessa's life and used excessive force in killing her. Since the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office was derelict in their duty to see that Vanessa received justice, then perhaps she can receive justice in the civil courts.

Anyway, below is the press release.



The Law Offices of Vicki I. Sarmiento; Schonbrun Seplow Harris Hoffman & Zeldes LLP; and the Law Office of Dale K. Galipo announce the filing of a wrongful death action over the killing of Vanessa Marquez by South Pasadena police officers in August 2018. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Ms. Marquez’ mother Delia McElfresh this morning in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Ms. Marquez achieved fame as an actress in the popular 1988 movie Stand and Deliver. Ms. Marquez was living in South Pasadena when a friend asked paramedics to check on her. The paramedics brought South Pasadena police officers who disregarded the paramedic’s decision that Ms. Marquez had a right to refuse to be taken to thehospital and instead created a confrontation that led to her unnecessary death.

“This is exactly the kind of lethal and unnecessary police action,” said Vicki Sarmiento, one of the lawyers in the case, “that has led so many in the country to call out for police reform”. This was a situation in which Ms. Marquez was in her home minding her own business and instead of receiving assistance from medical professionals she was shot to death.”

Ms. McElfresh was hesitant in initiating litigation and had hoped that police officers who killed her daughter would be held accountable. However, seeing that this will not happen she is filing suit against the police because her daughter deserves justice and her day in court. This is a time when the killing of innocent people by police officers must be investigated fully and the officers held accountable.

Supporters of Ms. Marquez, including actor Richard Montoya and members of the cast of Stand and Deliver, Patrick Baca, Will Gotay, Ingrid Oliu and Daniel Villarreal will gather on the grounds of the South Pasadena City Hall at 2PM on Wednesday June 24th.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

The Late Great Sir Ian Holm

Sir Ian Holm, who starred in such movies as Alien (1979), Chariots of Fire (1981), Brazil (1985), and two of the three films in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, died on June 19 2020 at the age of 88.

Sir Ian Holm was born on September 12 1931 in Goodmayes, Essex. His father was a psychiatrist and superintendent at the West Ham Corporation Mental Hospital. His mother was a nurse. He attended Chigwell School in Essex. He took an interest in acting while very young. He trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, with his studies there interrupted by National Service in the British Army. He graduated from RADA in 1953. He went on to the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford and became part of the Royal Shakespeare Company when it was founded in 1960.

Sir Ian Holm made his London stage debut in 1956 in a production of Love Affair. He  made his television debut in 1957 in episodes of ITV Play of the Week.  In the late Fifties he appeared in television productions of Robert's Wife and A Midsummer Night's Dream. In the Sixties he appeared in the mini-series The War of the Roses, playing Richard of Gloucester. He appeared on the TV series Theatre Night, The Power Game, Mystery and Imagination, The Wednesday Play, ITV Saturday Night Theatre, and Armchair Theatre. He appeared in the movies The Bofors Gun (1968), The Fixer (1968), A Midsummer Night's Dream (1969), and Oh! What a Lovely War (1969). He appeared on Broadway in 1967 in The Homecoming.

In the Seventies Mr. Holm appeared in the mini-series Napoleon and Love, Conjugal Rights, The Lives of Benjamin Franklin, Jesus of Nazareth, and We, the Accused. He appeared on the TV shows Review, ITV Playhouse, The Man from Haven, The Frighteners, Orson Welles' Great Mysteries, Masquerade, BBC Play of the Month, Jubilee, and The Lost Boys. He appeared in the movies A Severed Head (1971), Nicholas and Alexandra (1971), Mary, Queen of Scots (1971), Young Winston (1972), The Homecoming (1973), Juggernaut (1974), Robin and Marian (1973), Juggernaut (1974), Robin and Marian (1976), Shout at the Devil (1976), March or Die (1977), and Alien (1979).

In the Eighties Sir Ian Holm appeared in the movies Chariots of Fire (1981), Time Bandits (1981), The Return of the Soldier (1982), Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984), Laughterhouse (1984), Brazil (1985), Wetherby (1985), Dance with a Stranger (1985), Dreamchild (1985), Another Woman (1988), Henry V (1989), and Hamlet (1990). He appeared on the TV series The Bell, Tales of the Unexpected; Play for Today; Artists and Models; and Game, Set, and Match. He appeared in the mini-series The Endless Game.

In the Nineties Mr. Holm appeared in the movies Kafka (1991), Naked Lunch (1991), Blue Ice (1992), The Hour of the Pig (1993), Frankenstein (1994), The Madness of King George (1994), Big Night (1996), Loch Ness (1996), Night Falls on Manhattan (1996), The Fifth Element (1997), The Sweet Hereafter (1997), A Life Less Ordinary (1997), eXistenZ (1999), Simon Magus (1999), Shergar (1999), The Match (1999), Joe Gould's Secret (2000), Esther Kahn (2000), Beautiful Joe (2000), and Bless the Child (2000). On television he appeared in the mini-series The Borrowers.  He appeared in the TV series Screen Two, Chillers, The Return of the Borrowers, and Performance. He was the voice of Squealer in a TV movie adaptation of Animal Farm.

In the Naughts Sir Ian Holm appeared in the movies From Hell (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003), Garden State (2004), The Day After Tomorrow (2004), The Aviator (2004), Strangers with Candy (2005), Chromophobia (2005), Lord of War (2005), The Treatment (2006), and O Jerusalem (2006). He provided voices for the animated films The Emperor's New Clothes (2001) and Ratatouille (2007).  In the Teens he appeared in the films The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014).

Sir Ian Holm was an actor of incredible talent who gave a number of impressive performances and played a diverse number of roles. Among his best was lawyer Mitchell Stephens in The Sweet Hereafter, whose relationship with his drug addict daughter was very strained. Among his best known roles is Ash in Alien, the relatively emotionless and logical science officer of the Nostromo. In Brazil he was the anxiety-ridden Kurtzmann. He played some very famous figures from both history and literature. He played Napoleon multiple times, in the TV mini-series Napoleon and Love and the movies Time Bandits and The Emperor's New Groove. And, of course, he was Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. In Robin and Marian he played King John. Sir Ian Holm won multiple BAFTA awards, as well as numerous other awards. Given his talent in delivering great performances in multiple roles, there should be little wonder why.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Announcing the 7th Annual Rule, Britannia Blogathon

I am proud to announce the 7th Annual Rule Britannia Blogathon, which will take place on September 25, 26, and 27 2020. Many of you might remember that the blogathon has traditionally taken place the first week of August, but I have two reasons for moving it. The first is that it totally slipped my mind to announce the blogathon, which I usually do in late May or early June. Since it is now late June, I thought a later date would give participants more time to choose the movie they want to write about. The second is that August is a truly difficult month for me, as many of you may well know. Given both these reasons, it seems to me that a late September date is better.

While many people think of Hollywood when they think of classic movies, the fact is that the United Kingdom made many significant contributions to film over the years. From the Gainsborough melodramas to Hammer Films to the British New Wave, cinema would be much poorer without the British.

Here are the ground rules for this year's blogathon:

1. Posts can be about any British film or any topic related to British films. For the sake of simplicity, I am using "British" here to refer to any film made by a company based in the United Kingdom or British Crown dependencies. If you want to write about a film made in Northern Ireland or the Isle of Man, then, you can do so. Also for the sake of simplicity, people can write about co-productions made with companies from outside the United Kingdom. For example, since 2001: A Space Odyssey is a British-American co-production, someone could write about it if they chose.

2. There is no limit on subject matter. You can write about any film in any genre you want. Posts can be on everything from the British New Wave to the Gainsborough bodice rippers to the Hammer Horrors. I am also making no limit on the format posts can take. You could review a classic British film, make an in-depth analysis of a series of British films, or even simply do a pictorial tribute to a film. That having been said, since this is a classic film blogathon,  I only ask that you write about films made before 2010. I generally don't think of a film as a classic until it has been around for thirty years, but to give bloggers more options I am setting the cut off point at ten years ago.

3. I am asking that there please be no duplicates. That having been said, if someone has already chosen to cover From Russia with Love (1963), someone else could write about the James Bond series as a whole.

4. I am not going to schedule days for individual posts. All I ask is that the posts be made on or between September 25, 26, and 27 .

If you want to participate in the Rule, Britannia Blogathon, you can simply comment below or get a hold of me on Twitter at mercurie80 or at my email:  mercurie80 at
Below is a roster of participants and the topics they are covering. Come September 25 I will make a post that will include all of the posts in the blogathon:

Liberal England: A Canterbury Tale
Caftan Woman: I See a Dark Stranger (1946)
Wide Screen World: Black Narcissus (1947)
 A Scunner Darkly: Oliver Tobias in The Stud (1979)
Realweegiemidget Reviews:  Deadly Strangers (1975)
Taking Up Room: A Yank at Oxford
Silver Screenings: Rich and Strange (1931)
Dubsisim: ffolkes (1980)
Moon in Gemini: Howard's End (1992)
Lorna DupreThe Draughtsman's Contract (1982)
Crítica Retrô: British film pioneers
Cinematic Catharsis: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
18 Cinema Lane: Nicholas Nickelby (2002)
Poppity Talks Classic FilmThe Manxman (1929)
The Wonderful World of Cinema: So Long at the Fair (1950)
A Shroud of Thoughts: The Dam Busters (1955)
In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood: Anne Bancroft's British films
Cinema Essentials: The Belles of St. Trinian's (1954)
Diary of a Movie Maniac: The Devils (1971)
Below are several banners for participants in the blogathon to use (or you can always make your own):