Perhaps the coolest thing about these four pictures of Farrah Fawcett skateboarding has little to do with her fantastic all-American looks. Yes, of course, the iconic Farrah Fawcett hairstyle is in fine form and she sports a pair of old school Nikes that would be worth a heap today, but what I’m enjoying the most about these “action shots” is their ostensible reason for existing.  You see they are associated with a specific episode of the originals Charlie’s Angels called “Consenting Adults,” wherein Jill (Farrah) mastered the skateboard to elude a rackateer’s henchman.   Just knowing that this was not a just a random photo shoot or public relations effort but, rather, a visual documentation of how angel Jill Munro got away from the bad guys, makes it so much more satisfying.  Don’t you agree?

As anyone who remembers the original show will confirm, Farrah escaping danger on a skateboard  is a very typical Charlie’s Angels plot device and part of what gave the original series its old-school charm.  Every single episode had them and they were nothing more than excuses to see Farrah and fellow angels Jaclyn Smith, Kate Jackson and, later, Cheryl Ladd and Tanya Robers, showing off a special skill (“Hey, Farrah can skateboard!”) and, usually, wearing as little clothing as prime time TV would then allow.  Hence we have these wonderful pictures of Farrah on a skateboard.  Because I watched Battle of the Network Stars religiously, I knew that athletic, outdoorsy Farrah was an asset to any team.  I’m so glad we have some photos to prove it.

Farrah Facett skateboard Nike

(Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

Farrah Fawcett Skateboarding

Farrah Fawcett skateboards, 1977. Photo courtesy of Associated Press

Farrah Fawcett wearing Nike   Farrah Fawcett skateboard

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All New Yorkers know that leaving town often is one of the only things that ostensibly keeps us sane—a head scratcher that in and of itself might set off a light bulb for anyone who hadn’t already lost it.  To wit—and with a respectful tip of my hat to Pauline Kael—if I’m gonna lose it, I might as well lose it at the movies.  With both these things top of mind, I am back in Texas to participate in the 9th Annual Dallas International Film Festival.  If the scope and quality of its eleven days and nights of programming is any indication, this is going to be time well-spent.  Executive Director Lee Papert, Artistic Director James Faust, and the rest of their team, have shaped a film celebration that befits Dallas’ apparent emergence as the city for the arts.  From my perspective, this is articulated not just by its emphasis on the arts in the life of the city, but also because Dallas is a place in which an artist can actually, you know, have a life.  If New York and Los Angeles are the bitchy twin sisters of cinema, maybe Dallas is the middle sister—the one you’d actually want to talk to at party. Dallas Film Festival 2015 Speaking of parties, the festival kicks off tomorrow night with a screening of the Brett Haley-helmed I’ll See You in My Dreams, a film that seems poised to bring some much overdue recognition to its star, the great Blythe Danner (who has produced much more than Gwyneth Paltrow, thank you very much).  The actress will be in attendance to accept an award and bring some east coast glamour to the proceedings—on this last point I am grateful for Ms. Danner’s willingness to take some weight off my shoulders, capable as they are.

The fact that the festival is leading with a character-driven film for people who remember and care about such things, augurs well for the next eleven days of dense, diverse programming.  I’ll See You in My Dreams also stars Sam Elliott, June Squibb (Oscar nominee for Nebraska), Rhea Perlman, and Malin Akerman (familiar to gay men far and wide as Juna from The Comeback—did anyone but gay men watch The Comeback?).

The Majestic Theater, Dallas, interior, John Eberson

Dallas’ Majestic Theater, built by impresario Karl Hoblitzelle and designed by John Eberson, one of the foremost designers of theatres in the early 20th-century.

As a great lover of movie palaces, one of the highlights of the festival’s opening night will certainly be the chance to see the Majestic Theater, an amazing 1700 seat stunner that was built in 1921 as a top-tier vaudeville house, before becoming a movie theater in the 1930s.  After projecting its last film in 1973 (yes, I said “projecting,” in our digital age this word suddenly seems quaint), the theater went dark.  Like a lucky few of its ilk, it was reborn in the 1980s and has been completely restored to its original splendor.  Exploring these breathtaking temples of 20th-century show business and symbols of the former primacy of film in popular culture, is one of my greatest pleasures when I travel.  Stargayzing readers can look forward to my reports over the next eleven days.  Finis, for now.

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Screen Shot 2014-09-06 at 5.39.56 PM

Andy Warhol famously said, “In the future, everybody will be famous for fifteen minutes.”  But even with the proliferation of reality TV and instant Internet superstars, the truth is that most people won’t even be famous for fifteen seconds.  See what happens when I took a custom-made portable red carpet out for a spin to bring a little red carpet glamour to average New Yorkers, in this new man on the street sizzle reel called Stargayzing with David Munk: On the Red Carpet.  Hopefully it will lead to a bevy of on-camera hosting opportunities; alternatively, it may just bring a smile to your face.

Many thanks to Patrick Pocklington for introducing me to  Joe and Lauren Avallone at RevealNYC, Stargayzing contributor and artist Corinna Tomrley for the star portraits, and to Cam Corrado for all the graphics, B roll camera and all of his support and help throughout the production.  I couldn’t have finished this without all of you.  Much gratitude to all of the on-camera interviewees—especially Lisa Jurick and Nikki Haskell, for giving me something to work with and Douglas Gumm, one of the “finest artisans in New York,” for the carpet.

Feel free to share it and please let me know what you think.

https://vimeo.com/103252176