Happy 75th birthday, Laemmle Theatres!

Film
At arts·meme, we love movie theaters and none has sustained us better over the past two decades than the wonderful seven-location art-house chain Laemmle Theatres. Over the next week, the Laemmles are celebrating a significant birthday, with great screenings and charitable donations. Two of the screenings here, Monday, December 16, Noho Seven, North Hollywood: Wim ...

“La Passion Noureev” to premiere in Los Angeles for Dance Camera West

Dance · Film
The beautiful and moving documentary, La Passion Noureev, a labor of love by Fabrice Herrault, a filmmaker who is also a respected New York City dance instructor and himself the product of the French ballet academy, will have its American premiere in Los Angeles on Thursday December 5, 2013. The film was previously screened in ...

“An Evening with George Chakiris” passes beautifully @ UCLA Film & Television Archive

Dance · Film
Prior to a screening of French director Jacques Demy’s auteur-masterpiece, “Les Demoiselles de Rochefort,” in which the dancer-actor-singer appears prominently, UCLA Film & Television Archive honored George Chakiris with clips from his many appearances on television variety shows and an interview that touched on both his singing and his dancing career. The full-evening event took ...

Rokia Traoré brings Malian magic to the Luckman

Music
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Though Rokia Traoré began her genre-, culture- and gender-bending incursion into the international music scene in the late 1990s, I didn’t encounter her until Peter Sellars’ 2006 New Crowned Hope Vienna festival, celebrating the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth. Reconceiving the composer as a griot traveller between Paris and Mali’s capital of Bamako, Traoré’s glorious ...

Claire Denis’ City of “Bastards”

Film
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Her first feature, “Chocolat”—autobiographical, set in Africa, brazen in the extreme—announced Claire Denis as Europe’s most daring writer-director. She still is, with only a few filmmakers from Iberia (Pedro Costa, Joao Pedro Rodrigues, Albert Serra, Miguel Gomes, all much younger than Denis) as serious competition. Her latest, “Bastards,” (at Laemmle’s Town Center 5 in Encino) ...

Koehler on Cinema: Clips

Film
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A new James Benning movie is enough news in itself and enough for a simple request: Just stop everything and see it. Now, Benning’s “Nightfall” (Los Angeles Filmforum, Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, Sun. 7:30 p.m.) isn’t exactly new. It was digitally shot in 2011 in the Sierras, near his property where he built exact ...

A la française: food & fashion films

Fashion · Film
If you are me, you’re going to the movies this weekend. You’re going to skip “Rush,” but there are two oh-so-French movies opening, one which I have seen and recommend highly. I loved “Haute Cuisine.”  Hortense Laborie (Catherine Frot), a renowned chef from Perigord, is astonished when the President of the Republic (Jean d’Ormesson) appoints ...

“Un Flic,” c’est fantastique

Film
A cool flick … concerns un flic. Alain Delon plays a French cop (“un flic”) who spends his days and nights chasing criminals, but doesn’t see the crook right under his nose. Simon (Richard Crenna) a smooth nightclub owner, works with a small crew to execute daring heists with big payoffs, while the la belle ...

Exceptional French film to spool at Laemmle Theatres 1

Film
Laemmle Theatres and Rialto Pictures present Marcel Carné’s Port of Shadows (1938) in a new DCP restoration featuring an all-new translation and subtitles by Lenny Borger. When Jean (Jean Gabin), a deserter from the Colonial Army, arrives in Le Havre searching for a place to lie low, he doesn’t expect to wind up in the ...

Southwest Chamber Music’s French Chef-inspired performances @ The Huntington

Music
I’m attending a beautiful chamber music concert in San Marino, just south of Pasadena, this weekend. It’s the Southwest Chamber Music Summer Festival at The Huntington. It’s part of a beautiful themed food & music summer festival celebrating the centenary of the French Chef, Julia Child. Child was born in Pasadena. Her years in post-WWII ...