Sergei Polunin’s glowing moment in Southern California

Dance · Film
We all seek our place in the sun don’t we? Sergei Polunin, the balletic wunderkind who has been much viewed on youtube, will soon seize his in southern California’s extended summer. A true exemplar of a glorious classical technique, Polunin will be among us, on screen and on stage, stretching into September. First, the movie. ...

George Chakiris recalls ‘West Side Story’ filming 1

Dance · Film
“All of Jerry’s choreography in this film is dialogue. It’s feeling. It’s not just dance steps.” So said George Chakiris apropos the choreography of Jerome Robbins, during “A Conversation with George Chakiris” at The Ellen Theater in Bozeman, Montana, in 2015. Robbins personally cast Chakiris as Bernardo, leader of the Sharks gang, for West Side ...

Maxing out on Jerry Lewis @ the Aero

Film
The king of comedy will appear in person following a screening of his film, “Max Rose” hosted by the American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre. Professional pianist Max Rose (Jerry Lewis) takes pride in his long career but even greater joy in his marriage to Eva (Claire Bloom). He is devastated when she dies – ...

Love for Ethel Martin

Dance · Film
Yes, love for Ethel Martin, the career-long Jack Cole dancer whose consistent, forthright and outspoken advocacy for Cole is nourishing my research. I agree with Ethel’s assessment whole-heartedly; she saw in Cole a great Unsung Genius. She devoted her career and all of her feisty spirit to him. In turn, I am doing my best ...

Let’s go to the drive-in.

Architecture & Design · Film · Visual arts
Projection for Two Stations a looping video will transform the parking lot of Bergamot Station Arts Center into a nightly pop-up drive-in movie. The clever creator of this best possible use of a Santa Monica evening is artist Alia Malley (b.1973, California). Malley received her BA in Critical Studies from USC School of Cinematic Arts ...

Movie machinations by Vincente Minnelli

Film
A crazy-good pairing of movies, both which pull the audience behind the camera and into the world of film creativity, will close UCLA’s Kirk Douglas: A Centennial Celebration. Both flicks are biting fun, tongue-in-cheek. Both are directed by Vincente Minnelli. Both star Kirk Douglas. TWO WEEKS IN ANOTHER TOWN (1962) concerns the wild-and-crazy scene filming ...

Gypsy dancer shop-talk at the Academy

Dance · Film
It was an occasion for dance-chatter the other evening at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. A highly vaunted circle, including veteran gypsy dancers, a choreographer for the camera, and even an Oscar-winning actor, gathered at AMPAS prior to a screening of “West Side Story” Monday July 18, 2016. In the picture, Maria ...

‘Group’ therapy … at the movies

Film
Good to get this announcement from Laemmle Anniversary Classics… ***** At a time when critics lament the poor roles for women on screen, Laemmle Anniversary Classics is rolling out a goodie: a celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Group, a rare Hollywood movie to center on eight intelligent, spirited, well-educated women. The film is ...

Kirk Douglas, the actor and the man

Film
A guest writer on the blog, Shannon Kelley, Head of Public Programs for the UCLA Film & Television Archive, contributes this appreciation of actor Kirk Douglas. The Archive is mid-stream in a comprehensive Douglas retrospective that runs through September. KIRK DOUGLAS: A CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION, commemorates the career and the life of the great Hollywood star, ...

‘West Side Story’ feted, dissected, appreciated at the Academy

Dance · Film
Fascinating film lore revealed by producer Walter Mirisch, at Monday’s panel discussion prior to a special screening of West Side Story (1961) at the Academy. Apparently Jerome Robbins, WSS’s creator/co-director, was extremely resistant to the location shooting, in New York City, of the “Prologue” — the movie’s brilliant opening minutes when an overhead shot drills into ...