Thank you, New York!

Dance · Film · Theater
A big bravo to Manhattan, Mecca of the Arts, where I have been in residence since September — aka The Season! I joined the furious tour of the performing arts, hitting the ground running, while on a Fellowship from The Center for Ballet and the Arts at NYU. Forays to Lincoln Center, the Joyce Theater, Brooklyn ...

Busby Berkeley brings it to Bette Davis in ‘Fashions of 1934’

Dance · Film
A great dance movie starring Bette Davis. Who knew? Apparently Film Forum director of repertory programming, Bruce Goldstein, did. He programmed FASHIONS OF 1934, smart and smashing in a 35mm print and preserved by Library of Congress, as part of Film Forum’s recent nine-day Busby Berkeley festival. It’s a really good movie, well acted and ...

‘Dance Masters’ Chakiris & Chase in ‘An Evening at the Barn’

Dance · Film
Two great dancers. Two beautiful people. Both with Los Angeles dance roots. Both gypsy dancers in the great decade of movie-musicals, the 1950s. Between them, their titles include: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, There’s No Business Like Show Business, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, Meet Me in Las Vegas, The I Don’t Care Girl, Daddy Long ...

Pasta & moving pictures: Cinema Italian Style 2016

Film
It’s that time again … for the cinema of charisma and Chianti. Now in its 12th annual edition, Cinema Italian Style, a joint festival hosted in tandem by a whole roster of Italian movie-loving people — American Cinematheque and Luce Cinecittà, under the auspices of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, ...

On arts·meme’s front page: ‘The Front Page’

Film · Language & ideas
So very excited to see the restored (by the Academy Film Archive ·and the Film Foundation) first film version of Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur’s 1928 Broadway comedy, “The Front Page,” which kicks off To Save and Project at the Museum of Modern Art. According to MoMA adjunct curator Dave Kehr (he and curator Josh ...

Happy birthday, Barrie Chase! 1

Dance · Film
Wishing a wonderful birthday to a leggy lady, the great Hollywood dancer Barrie Chase. She not only graced Fred Astaire as his final partner, she brought her own strong, vixen presence as a solo dancer (on view in the video, dancing to “The Girl from Ipanema”) to millions of American television viewers in the 1960s. ...

Terence Donovan, British photog who chronicled sixties

Fashion · Film · Music · Visual arts
by 
Photographer David Bailey (born 1938) is said to have given us a visual vocabulary with which we remember Swinging Sixties London. But he didn’t do it alone. Though not as celebrated, Terence Donovan (1936-1996) and Brian Duffy (1933-2010) did groundbreaking work in their own right. All three triangulated fashion photography with movies and pop culture ...

Review: ballerina Wendy Whelan in new documentary 1

Dance · Film
We all have problems, right? In the case of Wendy Whelan, the equivalent of a prima ballerina assoluta if only New York City Ballet had that designation, the problem in dance season 2013-14 was how to gracefully exit the stage and transition to civilian life. For thirty years, the reed-thin, Kentucky-born ballet-thoroughbred reigned as the ...

Ed Wood’s ‘Plan 9’ joins forces with marionette ‘Spooktacular’

Film · Theater
Director/auteur Ed Wood’s low-budget classic, Plan 9 From Outer Space, was loathed by critics upon release. It became a cult classic. The cast of the film included Maila Nurmi, credited as Vampira, and Bela Lugosi, who famously died during production and was replaced by Ed Wood’s chiropractor, Dr. Tom Mason. The making of Plan 9 From ...

‘German Currents’ Film Festival reaches 10-year mark

Film
It’s a decade, this year, for the annual German Currents film festival in Los Angeles, co-sponsored by The Goethe Institute and the American Cinematheque. Fittingly, the program has been expanded to include 10 Los Angeles premieres, peppered with conversations with prolific German directors, writers and actors. Award winning director Wolfgang Becker (“Good Bye Lenin!”) will ...