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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 ...

Fred of our dreams

Dance · Film
From our friends at Julien’s Auctions, a pair of black-and-white silver gelatin prints of Fred Astaire taken by Andre de Dienes circa 1938. Both hand printed by de Dienes on double-weight paper and stamped by the photographer on verso. Sold at auction March 28, 2016.

Pre-tax pleasure: ‘Starring George Chakiris’ April 14

Dance · Film
We’re fans and we’re friends. That’s why we are so pleased that Turner Classic Movies is showcasing the creative output of actor/dancer/singer George Chakiris, whose triple-threat talent and smoldering good looks were made for the movies. Though a huge teen heartthrob in the sixties, Chakiris was often cast as a dark figure, famously in WEST ...

This diamond ring … needs you 2

Fashion · Film
From Shirley Temple, to you, with love. Price tag $35-45 mil The Shirley Temple Blue Diamond ring is seeking a new owner. Weighing an impressive 9.54 carats, the charming cushion-cut Fancy Blue Diamond ring was purchased by the child star’s father George Temple for $7,210 in 1940 as the film The Blue Bird was completed. Just in ...

Happy holidays from arts•meme … and Betty Grable!

Film
Just back from shopping at Bullock’s Wilshire! Wishing you and yours Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Love, Betty *          *         * They don’t make movie stars like Betty Grable anymore. She was a massive star, a household presence, a vivacious hoofer, a charismatic singer/dancer/commedienne. We’ll honor Grable by screening two of three movies she ...

Jack Cole’s “Down to Earth” recast as Kenny Ortega’s “Xanadu”

Dance · Film
I like this freewheeling, highly cinematic dance number for nine women, “I’m Alive,” choreographed by Kenny Ortega for Xanadu (1980). Its hyper-realism, fresh swapping of perspective, and other charming trickery prove what the camera can do with dance that’s not possible on stage. Smooth editing and special effects enhance the number. “I’m Alive” and the ...

Jack Cole’s pinnacle, “Ladies in Waiting” 3

Dance · Film
Mitzi Gaynor, at right above, in a sotto voce-hiss to Kay Kendall in Jack Cole‘s brilliant “Ladies in Waiting” dance sequence from LES GIRLS (MGM, 1957), delivers bad news. Kendall will soon be exposed as a chorus dancer to her fiancé and his proper family. The number, full of drama both comic and tragic, uses ...

Historic Jack Cole film retrospective to MoMA

Dance · Film
ALL THAT JACK (COLE) celebrating a great Hollywood choreographer 18-film retrospective/interviews/talks coming to The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY Jan 20 – Feb 4 2016 save the dates – film listings in december

On Veteran’s Day, Hollywood legend Norman Lloyd to introduce “The Great Dictator” 1

Film
photo credit: Valerie Macon/Getty Images For November’s edition of “Evening @ the Barn,” the fun monthly presentation series of Hollywood Heritage, a fitting event will truly let freedom ring, American-style. Charles Chaplin‘s political satire, “The Great Dictator” (1940, starring Chaplin, Jack Oakie, Billy Gilbert and Paulette Goddard) will have a special Veteran’s Day screening at the ...

Thank you, Gene Allen

Dance · Film · Visual arts
Saddened to learn today that the great Hollywood art director Gene Allen, the man who converted director George Cukor’s vision to rich mise-en-scene, died October 7 of natural causes in Newport Beach. Allen, who lived a long life, perished at 97. Yes, Gene Allen, the much hallowed Academy Award-winning art director of MY FAIR LADY ...