“Oklahoma!” choreographer, Agnes deMille, appreciated 2

Dance · Film · Theater
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TCM Classic Film Festival 2014 opens Thursday April 10, 2014, with a screening of “Oklahoma!” at Grauman’s TCL Chinese Theatre. Shirley Jones, the film’s star, will be honored. Let’s learn about “Oklahoma!”‘s great choreographer who transferred groundbreaking stage choreography to the screen in 1955. AGNES (George) deMILLE b. Harlem, New York, Sept 18, 1905 d. ...

Story of Tanaquil

Dance · Film
We are so looking forward to Dance Camera West‘s special screening of “Afternoon of a Faun” at the Aero Theatre next Thursday evening, co-presented with the American Cinematheque. I will be interviewing Nancy Buirski, the documentary film’s director, after the screening. It portends to be an amazing event, mixing and matching a crowd of dance ...

George Chakiris, choreographer’s assistant for Judy Garland’s 1956 Vegas revue 2

Dance · Music
An amazing zoom back in time with George Chakiris, who is not only Hollywood dance royalty but a gifted actor and Capitol Records recording artist. George, who celebrates his birthday today, worked with major talent over the course of his long career in stage, film, television and nightclub. He shared memories of assisting dance-director Robert ...

Opening Fridita’s closet

Visual arts
I loved learning about the opening of the closet of Frida Kahlo at Casa Azul, the great Mexican painter’s home in Mexico City. Fridita died six months, to the day, before I was born! So I (like to) think, well, wish that a little of her transferred over to me. Like this? Read more: In ...

Koehler on Cinema: L’avventura

Film
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When asked last year by Sight & Sound magazine, the venerable film journal of the British Film Institute that publishes a once-per-decade list of the best films of all time (from polls of critics, filmmakers, scholars and programmers), to contribute my own list, it was a struggle. Where to place one of the Anthony Mann/James ...

Gene Kelly’s witty number in “It’s Always Fair Weather” 3

Dance · Film
We enjoyed watching Illeana Douglas host “It’s Always Fair Weather” (MGM, 1955, dir: Stanley Donen) recently on Turner Classic Movies. The song-and-dance number in the video above, Thanks a Lot, But No Thanks, bears so much influence of Jack Cole (he, too, worked with Gray, coaching the non-dancer in “Kismet” and “Designing Woman,” both at ...

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 ...