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 ...

Robert Frank doc, ‘Don’t Blink,’ opens soon in L.A.

Film
Robert Frank, now 91 years old, is among the most influential artists of the last half-century. His seminal volume, The Americans, published in 1958, records the Swiss-born photographer’s candid reactions to American poverty and racism. It helped define the off-the-cuff, idiosyncratic elegance that are hallmarks of Frank’s artistry. Director Laura Israel (Frank’s longtime film editor) ...

Worldly woman shocks small-town America! Pola Negri, you go girl.

Film
“A Woman of the World” (1925) stars Pola Negri in a comedy about a sophisticated European countess (do they make ’em unsophisticated?) who encounters culture shock during her visit to small-town America. Her continental freedoms — she smokes in public, she wears flashy makeup — clash with local morals. A crusading District Attorney enters the ...

Kirk! UCLA Film Archive kicks off sweeping centenary celebration

Film · Visual arts
Would not dream of missing Friday’s opening night — or viewing many of the 25 film titles featured therein — of UCLA Film & Television Archive’s centenary retrospective for actor Kirk Douglas (b. 1916). In his 60-year career he appeared in 90 movies, so claims Wikipedia. The massive movie star still lives among us. Kirk ...