Culture war erupts over cellphone useage @ AFI Fest

Language & ideas
It was the aggrieved versus the entitled in an unsurprising yet noteworthy altercation that broke out at AFI Fest, as the shared public viewing experience ratchets down. The depressing incident (ironically occuring at a screening of a new biopic on British painter William Turner) perhaps serves as a cautionary tale for those of us aggrevated ...

Pharrell Williams “happy” to jam with Herbie Hancock

Fashion · Music
A highlight of last Sunday’s 2014 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition was pianist Herbie Hancock kicking it with Pharrell Williams, the massively popular young r&b vocalist and music producer. The duo reworked Williams’ percolating hit song “Happy” as a jazz arrangement. Williams won my approval with his cool fashion, his trademark chapeau by model-turned-hat-designer Nick ...

Tyrone Power, divine, disheveled

We’re super looking forward to seeing Tyrone Power in a less discombobulated state than in this make-up test for “Nightmare Alley.” That is on offer Friday night at a screening of jazz movie, ALEXANDER’S RAGTIME BAND (1938), at wonderful Barnsdall Art Park. The 100th birthday party for the handsome actor will feature introductions by his children, ...

Bill Clinton, jazz guy

TMIJ, Show Nov. 9, 2014
First, an incredible “pick-up band” comprising Jimmy Heath, Joshua Redman and Wayne Shorter (saxophones), Stefon Harris (vibes), Jon Faddis (trumpet), Herbie Hancock (piano), James Genus (bass), TS Monk (drum) performed “Flying Home” in his honor. [It was played at his first inaugural ball.] Then Kevin Spacey imitated him, razor sharp. [“I love jazz,” drawled Spacey ...

Review: Ohad Naharin’s masterful “Sadeh21″ @ CAP-UCLA

Dance · Reviews
Days after watching Batsheva Dance Company bring choreographer Ohad Naharin’s splendid full-evening work, “Sadeh21,” to vivid life in its U.S. premiere at the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, I am struck by the inadequacy of still photography in capturing the dance’s essence. The benign ring-around-the-rosy image, above, does not represent the multi-chaptered ...

Queen Liz gorgeously garbed in ‘Hollywood Costume’

Fashion · Film · Visual arts
The pinnacle (for this viewer), tour-de-force display of the Motion Picture Academy’s “Hollywood Costume,” now on view at LACMA’s May Company building, comes about mid-way through the multi-room exhibition and stretches across a long platform. “A Royal Romance” features a sumptuous swathe of historic Hollywood costumes that have dressed movie characters of British nobility — ...

JazzAntiqua lives, with live music @ Nate Holden Center Nov 15

Dance · Music
Alex and Autumn-full
If there’s anything I’m a bigger fan of than live jazz accompanying dance, it’s a great dance photograph … artistic director Pat Taylor has both on tap in promoting the premiere of “Song in a Strange Land,” a new work for her JazzAntiqua Dance Ensemble. Founded in 1993, the award-winning JazzAntiqua honosr the jazz tradition ...

Eighteen minutes of dance greatness: James Brown, T.A.M.I Show (Oct 1964)

Dance · Music
Fifty years ago! James Brown’s ballistic performance at the T.A.M.I. Show, Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, October 28 and 29, 1964. Because even standing still, James Brown is one of the greatest-ever American  dancers. High-Heeled Sneakers Prisoner of Love Please Please Please Night Train Like this? Read more: James Brown’s rhythm ecstasy, Paris 1971 James Brown ...

From Bernardo to “Bebo’s Girl”: George Chakiris tribute @ MoMA 6

Dance · Film
Balmy Indian-summer weather added pleasure to the late-October opening weekend of “To Save and Project,” The Museum of Modern Art‘s annual film-preservation festival whose tasty programming included a tribute to Oscar-winning actor-dancer-singer George Chakiris. In “George Chakiris: A Life in Film,” a wide-ranging interview that could not begin to encapsulate his decades-long activity in film, ...

“Bebo’s Girl,” at fifty, to screen at MoMA’s “To Save and Project”

bebo's girl-2
Fifty years ago, in November 1964, a beautiful and moody Italian film, La Ragazza di Bube (Bebo’s Girl) opened in theaters. Based on an acclaimed novel by Carlo Cassola, the film recounts a love triangle in an anguished and entangled setting: Italy’s post World War II struggle to come to grips with its fascist experiment ...