Love for Violette Verdy (1933 – 2016)



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MoMA plots Jerry Lewis movie-birthday-bash

Featured · Film

Jerry Lewis turns 90 on March 16, 2016. That provides Museum of Modern Art film curator Dave Kehr with a solid reason to honor this most American of cinema artists with a career retrospective. Lewis’s best movies, all presented in rare 35mm prints, will be amped by special features: outtakes, screen tests, home movies, and behind-the-scenes footage.

Kehr and independent curator Robert Furmanek (Lewis’s personal archivist) are throwing this kiddie party for grown-ups. Having just wrapped up All That Jack (Cole), which illuminates the cinematic invention of an under-appreciated Hollywood choreographer, Kehr moves from strength to strength, stretching the boundaries of heady movie-making assignation, the auteur.

Film roster here:

Artists and Models. 1955. USA. dir Frank Tashlin
Smorgasbord (aka Cracking Up) 1983. USA. dir Jerry Lewis
Hollywood or Bust. 1956. USA. dir Frank Tashlin
The Ladies Man. 1961. USA. dir Jerry Lewis
Rock-a-Bye Baby. 1958. USA. dir Frank Tashlin
That’s My Boy. 1951. USA. dir Hal Walker
The Bellboy. 1960. USA. dir Jerry Lewis
The Disorderly Orderly. 1964. USA. dir Frank Tashlin
The Errand Boy. 1961. USA. dir Jerry Lewis
The Geisha Boy. 1958. USA. dir Frank Tashlin
The King of Comedy. 1982. USA. dir Martin Scorsese
The Nutty Professor. 1963. USA. dir Jerry Lewis
The Patsy. 1964. USA. dir Jerry Lewis
The Caddy. 1953. USA. dir Norman Taurog

Happy Birthday Mr. Lewis: The Kid Turns 90 | The Museum of Modern Art | Mar 1 – 15

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Thank you, New York! It ended with THE I DON’T CARE GIRL

Dance · Featured · Film

A force stronger than Jack Cole — Mother Nature — led to the rescheduling of snow-cancelled programs, giving a new finale to “All That Jack (Cole)” at the Museum of Modern Art. The closing picture was THE I DON’T CARE GIRL, a “B” movie musical whose titular dance number, as I wrote on MoMA’s “Inside/Out” blog, changed my life.

I returned to Los Angeles much invigorated by “All That Jack (Cole).” My heartfelt thanks to MoMA for taking on a comprehensive roster of 18 Cole-choreographed movies. In their scope and range, the films unambiguously establish Cole not just as a great dance maker but as a seminal, and influential, film artist. Thanks to all the great colleagues in MoMA’s film department — from curator Dave Kehr to all of the Museum’s top professionals, in administration, public relations, right down to projectionists. It was an unforgettable joy to present to the superb New York audience who sent me home to Los Angeles with notes, business cards and phone numbers, all key connections and inspirations on a continuing artistic journey with Cole.

Pictured below, one particularly beautiful memory, a conversation with Carmen de Lavallade, February 2, 2016, accompanying her film-clip dancing in a Haitian voodoo dance number with Cole in “Lydia Bailey” (1952).


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Life is sweet: “La Dolce Vita” turns 55

Featured · Film
Laemmle Theatres celebrates one of the first foreign films to figure prominently in the Academy Award voting. La Dolce Vita earned four Oscar nominations in 1962, including Best Director Federico Fellini and Best Original Screenplay and it won the Oscar for Piero Gherardi’s elegant costumes. Fellini’s sardonic epic about the decadence of modern Rome was ...

Check it … check your body

Dance · Film
Check Your Body at the Door, a film conceived by dance historian Sally R. Sommer and dancer Archie Burnett, documents some of the remarkable House dancing styles in New York’s underground scene in the 1990s. Through interviews and rare dance footage, “Check Your Body” memorializes the enduring legends of House dance and contextualizes a wide ...

From “Fame” to “Freeze Frame,” Debbie Allen ties dance to real world

freeze frame
Dance critic Gillian Anne Renault anticipates Debbie Allen’s “Freeze Frame” at The Wallis. I first fell in love with three-time Emmy Award-winner Debbie Allen when she choreographed and acted in the 1980s escapist TV series “Fame.” Now, decades later, after a wide-ranging career, she’s taking on big, serious issues far removed from the rarefied atmosphere ...

Barrie Chase meets Fred Astaire once again

Architecture & Design · Dance · Featured · Visual arts
Hollywood dancer Barrie Chase, in New York for appearances at “All That Jack (Cole),” the historic film retrospective offered now at The Museum of Modern Art, burst into a spontaneous expression of physical joy in seeing the Fred Astaire caricature in Ed Sorel’s mural at The Monkey Bar on East 54th Street. Barrie, who danced ...

L.A. Dance Project to dance in L.A.

Some are still in a huff about Benjamin Millepied’s decision, in 2014, to leave Los Angeles and L.A. Dance Project, the much-hyped dance collective he co-founded less than two years earlier. But how could he not accept the offer to be dance director of the Paris Opera Ballet, one of the world’s oldest and most ...

Barrie Chase: a beautiful doll who danced for Jack Cole

Dance · Film
She’s a dancer’s dancer, a real stunner. The ballet-trained Barrie Chase was the leggiest creature since Cyd Charisse to hit the Hollywood gypsy-dance circuit when she got a gig as a chorus dancer in Vincent Minnelli‘s KISMET (1955). The choreographer? The great Jack Cole whom The Museum of Modern Art is honoring in All That ...

Architects discuss the art (and politics) of performing arts centers

Architecture & Design · Language & ideas · Music · Theater
Performing arts centers define our cities and serve as architectural landmarks. These landmarks can rapidly transform the cultural and economic fabric of a city, bringing renewed prosperity as well as design inspiration. What is the essence of an iconic performing arts center? Enjoy a lively discussion combined with a memorable concert, and light refreshments. Moderator Thomas Small, ...