Future of arts criticism @ MOCA

Language & ideas
The Museum of Contemporary Art and the Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will sponsor a March 25 conversation in the Ahmanson Auditorium at MOCA Grand Avenue on “The Future of Arts Criticism.” Growth of the Internet and the decline of traditional media will be discussed. Program, 6:30 – 8 pm, is ...

Hitler’s emigres & exiles in Southern California 1

Language & ideas · Music
Prominently marked in my calendar for February 16 is a book talk at the L.A. Central Library’s ALOUD series by my friend Dorothy Lamb Crawford. Dorothy, a musicologist whom I met at the Ballets Russes centenial celebration in Boston last year, writes about the brilliant gathering of composers, conductors, and other musicians who fled Nazi Germany to ...

Mike and Julia 4

Film · Language & ideas
After immensely enjoying the Nora Ephron film, “Julie and Julia,” I remembered that decades ago my father, Mike Levine, interviewed Julia Child on his talk show on KDKA, Pittsburgh’s 50,000-watt AM radio station. My dad, who during the “Madmen” era looked, dressed, and smoked like Don Draper, interviewed everyone — from his days as a ...

Shtetl shport 1

Language & ideas
Jewish guys are not wimps — never have been. This according to shtetl shpecialist Yale Strom, a San Diego-based documentary filmmaker/photographer, leading ethnographer of klezmer music, and an unbelievably talented klezmer violinist who has taken more than sixty cultural research trips to preserve central European yiddishkeit. In a talk at the Yiddish Cultural Institute, Strom ...

Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch

Language & ideas
It’s not pining… It’s bleeding demised. It’s passed on. This parrot is no more. It has ceased to be. It’s expired and gone to meet its maker. This is a late parrot. It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! If you hadn’t nailed him to the perch, it would be pushing up the daisies! Its metabolic processes are now ...

Jewish geography

Language & ideas
I immensely enjoyed Jewish Geography, the festival of ideas — and shmoozing — held on the UCLA campus Sunday. The festival posed difficult questions that trouble diaspora Jews, especially we Americans who survived the genocide of Europe and who evade the current mess in Israel. I most enjoyed the panel “Things Past: Memory & Space,” confronting such profound questions as: How do ...

Debra Winger asks, “Do you know what a meme is?” 1

Film · Language & ideas
I went to see Debra Winger give a book talk (she wrote one) at the Los Angeles Central Library Wednesday night. I’ve always liked Debra Winger’s performances, especially in three films: Shadowlands, The Sheltering Sky, and Terms of Endearment.  Image above is from Bernardo Bertolucci’s sumptuously cinematographic “Sheltering Sky.” In the book talk, Debra Winger described how much she ...