Back-up singers to the fore in “Twenty Feet From Stardom” 1

Film · Music · Reviews
Providing a spectacular opening event of the second season of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science’s “Oscars Outdoors” series: “Twenty Feet from Stardom.” The badly titled but otherwise smashing new documentary concerns a great subject: the art of the pop music back-up singer. Directed by Morgan Neville, it’s a must-see movie about American ...

Ballet bends-and-stretches for Marilyn 2

Dance · Film
The photos are from a Life Magazine ‘A Day in the Life of a Starlet’ photo spread. Pictured are ballet instructor Nico Charisse (husband of Cyd) and his keen pupil, Marilyn Monroe. Writes Joshua Ireland, who shared the photos with arts·meme: *        *       * “I am working on a research project about Los Angeles dance ...

We love the women of TCM Classic Film Festival 2013

Film
This was our fourth year attending the marvelously programmed, super well-organized TCM classic film festival right in the center of our city. The Festival opened with a bang — a screening of Barbra Streisand’s powerhouse film debut in FUNNY GIRL (1968). It continued through the weekend, highlighting many admirable women of the classic Hollywood community. ...

Hollywood royalty, the Fonda family

Film
Concurrent to her own hand-and-foot print ceremony at the erstwhile Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, now called TCL Chinese Theatre, Jane Fonda and her brother Peter paid a visit to their Dad’s sidewalk square. Fonda père cemented his Hollywood legacy with an enduring note to the theme-theater’s original owner/developer: “To Sid, A Great Guy, Henry ...

Streisand’s “Funny Girl” on Grauman’s big screen 2

Fashion · Film
Director William Wyler’s “Funny Girl,” TCM Fest 2013‘s opening-night film, vividly restored and splashed across Grauman’s huge screen, proved a tour de force beyond our memory of it. In her motion picture debut, Barbra Streisand performs in every possible context: she’s sings in comic numbers and torch songs; she sings while dancing and amidst love ...

Mitzi Gaynor opens TCM Fest 2013 1

Film
Because we love her… yes, we love you Mitzi … here’s to you.

Strong female film characters on parade @ COL*COA

Film · Reviews
French actress Jeanne Moreau, platinum blonde and wrapped in a feather boa, poses in vast ennui in BAY OF ANGELS (1963) written and directed by Jacques Demy. Moreau plays a bored upper class housewife on an existential bender in the south of France. She gloms onto a young drifter, Jean, first by his pocketbook and ...

L.A. billboard update

Film · Visual arts
Trolling Sunset Boulevard (which is normally a lot of fun) got an added boost in the form of this huge placard, an open birthday card to Zsa Zsa Gabor, who is now resting at home in Beverly Hills.  Zsa Zsa’s main squeeze, aka Prince Frederic von Anhalt, enjoys using billboards as a means of self-expression. ...

British diva, Dame Shirley Bassey, to appear on Oscars 2

Film · Music
We learned from arts·meme‘s friends at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences that Dame Shirley Bassey will make a special appearance on the Oscars® show broadcast on Oscar Sunday, February 24, at the Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center. The sublime chanteuse, a prima diva, Bassey is best known for recording the ...

Meredith Monk muses on “our intimate connection to nature”

Dance · Language & ideas · Music
Perusing program notes after enjoying Meredith Monk’s wonderful ensemble of songbirds at CAP-UCLA last night, I was moved by the veteran performance artist’s statement. After a bruising week of human destruction, with cataclysms in Algeria and Moscow, where the head of the Bolshoi Ballet was horribly attacked, the essay struck me as tonic. Writes Meredith ...