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 ...

‘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 ...

Want to be a movie star? Line up here.

Film
A super interesting evening upcoming at the Academy that examines a critical backstage process in film making — casting. Acclaimed casting directors Lynn Stalmaster, Juliet Taylor and Mike Fenton will sit down with the governors of the Academy’s Casting Directors Branch to discuss the evolution of their profession and the essential role the casting director ...

God dances. Bow down!

Dance
At arts·meme, we feel no need to publish the words ‘Fred Astaire.’ We believe that the shortened appellation, “god,” will suffice. Here the 70-year old hoofer (now hoofer-in-heaven) gets pulled, ever modestly and reluctantly, into a solo performance by Bob Hope, this at the 1970 Academy Awards show at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The brilliant ...

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 — ...

Walk this way … to “Young Frankenstein”‘s 40th birthday party

Film
As the young Doctor (“Frankensteen“) has now advanced to prime middle age, his story, told with pinpoint historic accuracy in the great Mel Brooks movie spoof, “Young Frankenstein” (1974), will spool at the Academy in celebration of his fortieth birthday this year. Brooks, twice that age, will submit to interview by Leonard Maltin at the ...

Visit Spain, Czech Republic, both on Wilshire Boulevard

Film
Two European films, both from a similar era, will enjoy screenings soon, along the Wilshire corridor: “Goya” at the Goethe Institut and “Closely Watched Trains” at the Academy. Having attained boundless wealth and iconic status as a painter in the court of King Carlos IV, Goya falls head over heels for a beautiful princess while ...

Oscar was a dancer 2

Dance · Film
This amusing photo of Oscar-winning dancer George Chakiris (Best Actor in a Supporting Role, “West Side Story,” 1962) and dance critic Debra Levine taken by Dana Ross last Saturday night at “Oscars Outdoors” sparked an email from Hollywood dance expert Larry Billman. Writes Larry, “The “original Oscar” was a dancer named Emilio Ferandez who modeled ...

At “Oscars Outdoors,” gentlemen still prefer blondes 1

Dance · Film
It was a super-special 60th anniversary screening, at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science’s “Oscars Outdoors” summer series, of 20th Century-Fox’s comic classic from 1953, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” the movie that blasted off the career of Marilyn Monroe. And the flick’s funnier than ever. Lead actresses Monroe and Jane Russell zing out hilarious ...

George Chakiris to introduce GENTLEMEN at Academy; Debra Levine to discuss Jack Cole

Dance · Film
Sixty years after appearing as a chorus dancer behind Marilyn Monroe in “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” George Chakiris will host the Academy’s “Oscars Outdoors” screening of GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES Saturday night, August 3, 2013. In the photo at right we see George, a young man with fake grey highlights spraypainted in his hair. ...