Jets & Sharks rumble @ Laemmle Anniversary Classics WSS screening

Dance · Film
A great evening on Wednesday when film critic Stephen Farber interviewed Russ Tamblyn (“Riff”) at a 55th anniversary screening of “West Side Story” before a very full house at the Laemmle Ahyra Fine Arts Theatre. A slew of dance royalty attended the screening: Dancer Bobby Banas (“Joyboy” in the movie), Barrie Chase of Fred Astaire ...

Kathryn Altman memorialized as gracious, effervescent

Film
Barely a week after savoring Kathryn Altman’s crystalline memories of the filming of McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971), shared by the widow of director Robert Altman at an entrancing 45th anniversary screening of the precious movie, we learned that this elegant and classy woman had passed away. A shocker. So we’re very pleased to excerpt ...

‘Tooner’ trio tipped to tell ’bout time at Hanna-Barbera

Film · Visual arts
A trio of ‘tooners’: Tony Benedict, Willie Ito and Jerry Eisenberg, talented, original animators from the Hanna-Barbera Studio in the sixties, will share memories of working at the legendary animation house — the home of Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, the Jetsons, and the Flintstones. The ‘kid fun for grown-ups’ program will address how Bill Hanna and ...

Wyler’s ‘House Divided’ rises from the vaults @ MoMA

Film · Reviews
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A House Divided — it’s one of those handy generic titles that has lent itself to half a dozen movies and a whole lotta TV episodes over the years. Back in 1931, it was an especially apt name for an early talkie starring Walter Huston, neatly encapsulating the drama’s dark oedipal stew. It’s a work ...

We love Hollywood ballet

Dance · Film
‘Normal’ ballet is so boring: Petipa, Balanchine, Tudor, Robbins, Ratmansky.  Those guys never put girls in pointe shoes on pianos. We prefer fancy, Hollywood-style ballet, like this photo from KING OF JAZZ (1930) made at Universal Pictures and featuring dancing by Russell Markert dancers (Markert, who, not surprisingly, founded the Rockettes, is listed as the ...

The son rises again: Universal Pictures producer Carl Laemmle, Jr. canon @ MoMA

Film · Music
Our friends in the film department at The Museum of Modern Art are launching a truly groundbreaking and fascinating retrospective that highlights a decade of distinguished moviemaking at Universal Pictures, the Hollywood film factory often wrongly valued primarily as a purveyor of horror fodder. Writes Universal Pictures: Restorations and Rediscoveries, 1928–1937 film curator Dave Kehr: ...

TCM Fest: Angela Lansbury brings wit, hauteur, menace to ‘The Manchurian Candidate’

Film
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In 1961 Angela Lansbury was playing the mother of rising star Warren Beatty in All Fall Down, an intense family drama adapted by playwright William Inge from the novel by James Leo Herlihy. In that film she seemed thoroughly convincing as the overbearing mother to Beatty, even though she was only 11 years older than ...

TCM Fest: Stacy Keach recalls his fighting form for ‘Fat City’ 1

Film
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“I was a hero that day,” Stacy Keach told a TCM festival crowd Sunday afternoon. He was talking about the time, on the movie set of “Doc” in Almeria, Spain, when the legendary filmmaker John Huston paid him a visit, hoping he would star in his next feature, Fat City. There may be no conventional ...

Dark doings under SoCal sun in “Private Property” at TCM Fest

Film
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The Big Sleep and Horse Feathers are among the treasured favorites unspooling in spiffed-up restorations at the TCM Classic Film Festival, which kicks off Thursday night in Hollywood. But it’s not all starry A-listers on this year’s lineup. The vintage-film faithful will have a chance to discover an obscure and deeply weird independent film from ...

LACMA’s purchase of movie poster collection a boon to Los Angeles, says Michael Govan 2

Film · Visual arts
Joyful news as the artistic merits of the marketing of movies during the High Hollywood era gets strong validation with the addition of an important movie-poster collection at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). Michael Govan, LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director,  announced on Saturday April 16 the acquisition of the Mike Kaplan ...