Patricia Morison remembers … Martha Graham, Kiss Me Kate, more 5

Dance · Film · Theater
We so enjoyed a charming conversation with Broadway and Hollywood doyenne Patricia Morison at her Los Angeles home July 6, 2017. The originator of the role of “Kate” in Kiss Me Kate, still vivacious and chatty at age 102, shared happy  memories of her career. She took special care to describe the role that dance ...

Summer fun: ‘Il Boom’ lost De Sica comedy comes to town

Film
IL BOOM is a rare and undervalued example of director Vittorio De Sica’s long and fruitful collaboration with screenwriter Cesare Zavattini — a canon that includes other landmark neo-realist films Shoeshine, Bicycle Thieves and Umberto D.  IL BOOM is considered a minor masterpiece of the commedia all’italiana, a mordant form of film comedy that arose ...

Weird scenes inside the goldmine: L.A.’s 1967 rock venues 1

Architecture & Design · Fashion · Film · Language & ideas · Music · Theater · Visual arts
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editor’s note: Harvey Kubernik’s new coffeetable tome, 1967: A Complete Rock Music History of the Summer of Love (Sterling), is a both a scholarly examination and a sensuous immersion into the pivotal year in 1960s youth culture through a mosaic of voices. Kirk Silsbee’s sidebars from his essay in the book, excerpted and condensed here, ...

‘Summer of Love’ in pop-up film-fest

Film · Music
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As a nod to recurring “Summer of Love” fever, the American Cinematheque presents a pop-up 1960s mini film fest. Martin Lewis curated the fondly-recalled “Mods ‘n Rockers” series at the Egyptian Theatre, and he’s chosen a handful of titles to be screened at Santa Monica’s Aero Theatre this weekend. “Mods ‘n Rockers” was great fun ...

Must the show really go on? 2

Dance · Film · Language & ideas
In a world in which ‘norms’ seem at best untethered and at worst unhinged, everything is under revision, everything feels up for grabs! And thus we question that most sacredly-held tenet … that the show must go on. In this purposefully ‘bad’ dance number from Cover Girl (1944) courtesy of B-movie factory Columbia Pictures, the ...

A voyage through French cinema hosted by Bertrand Tavernier

Film
Described by director Bertrand Tavernier as “an expression of gratitude to all those filmmakers, screenwriters, actors and musicians who have erupted into my life,” the documentary, A VOYAGE THROUGH FRENCH CINEMA, is manna from heaven to fans of French film. Spanning nearly half a century of the country’s cinematic history, the clips and reminiscences here ...

‘Last Remaining Seats’ super-good throughout June

Film
Glancing through the roster of the Last Remaining Seats (LRC) for the summer of seventeen, I was struck by a better-than-usual selection of flickers and programs. The first three offerings, all in the first half of June, beg attention. The massively popular summer screening series (ahem, hosting the LRS screening of West Side Story in ...

Not a ‘witch hunt,’ Mr. Trump, decries daughter of John Garfield

Film · Language & ideas
Mr. Trump, words matter. If not to you, then to the rest of us. Trump’s repeated flinging of the loaded expression ‘witch hunt’ (yet again this morning, via Twitter) in a moment of his wounded narcissism strikes a deep, deep chord. It brings painful memories of a shameful chapter of American history. It brings rage ...

Kim Basinger, Guy Pearce pay tribute to ‘L.A. Confidential’ director Curtis Hanson

Film
”He was my friend. I loved the man,” said actress Kim Basinger of film director Curtis Hanson, who died tragically at a too-young age in September 2016. Basinger’s two films for Hanson included L.A. CONFIDENTIAL (1997) and 8 MILE (2002).  The super slender blonde, a down-home stunner, sparkled alongside co-star Guy Pearce in a joint ...

‘Starring Europe’ top film picks: from France, from Italy

Film
Well, they all look so good, don’t they? The fourth annual European film festival in Los Angeles, Starring Europe: New Films from the EU, kicked off with a swinging red carpet/gala reception in the peerless courtyard of Hollywood’s Egyptian Theatre last night. Remarks prior to the opening-night feature, MELLOW MUD, a Latvian film, indicate that ...