Koehler on Cinema: A great movie week

Film
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It’s pure coincidence that this is one of the best opening weeks for new movies in Los Angeles in recent memory. Not only are “The Lego Movie,” “In Bloom” and “The Last of the Unjust” all essential viewing—along with “A Field in England,” the latest brilliant black comedy from director Ben Wheatley and writer Amy ...

Respect for Godard’s “Contempt”

Film
Laemmle Theatres and Rialto Pictures have teamed to present Rialto Pictures’ new 50th anniversary restoration of Jean-Luc Godard’s CONTEMPT (1963). The exclusive Los Angeles engagements begin Friday, January 17 at the Royal in West L.A. and Playhouse 7 in Pasadena. The director’s look at a crumbling marriage stars Brigitte Bardot, Michel Piccoli, Jack Palance, and, ...

A six-year “tradition”: Laemmle Theatres “Fiddler” fest

Film · Music
We had a ball this holiday season when friends gathered last Tuesday night for Laemmle Theatre‘s sixth annual “Fiddler on the Roof” Sing-a-Long screening. For the first time, the venerable family-owned theater chain (in 2013, it  marks its 75th anniversary) rolled out the Christmas Eve event city-wide. Spreading from Santa Monica, by the sea, to ...

Forget your tsuris! Attend Laemmle Theatres’ “Fiddler” sing-a-long. 1

Film
For an “alternative” Christmas Eve, not restricted to the Jewishly oriented but for shower-stall-soloists of every persuasion, we have a suggestion. Try Laemmle Theatres’ sixth annual “anything goes” (and we’re not talking Cole Porter) “Fiddler on the Roof Sing-a-Long.” Belt out your holiday spirit — or your holiday angst — with your fellow meshuggenahs while ...

Koehler Clips: Camille Claudel, Lenny Cooke, Vermeer

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CAMILLE CLAUDEL 1915 The brilliant female sculptor Camille Claudel, according to the 1988 movie version starring Isabelle Adjani, was oppressively dominated by the towering presence of Auguste Rodin and effectively driven insane by jealous but more powerful men. But writer-director Bruno Dumont isn’t interested in that version or chapter of Claudel’s life. Dumont is one ...

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 ...

Koehler Clips: Sondheim, Fosse, Nicolas Rey

Film
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For those of us who think that the decline of the American musical theater (putting aside “The Book of Mormon,” coming back soon to the Pantages) is a pretty sad spectacle, we have a nice fix of the real thing with “Six by Sondheim,” an ingeniously conceived look at Stephen Sondheim’s art directed by his ...

Sokurov’s astonishing bargain with “Faust”

Film
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The Faust legend is so absorbed into the culture that any artist can make it their own. Alexander Sokurov, a director who always makes any story his own (“Mother and Son,” “Russian Ark,” “Alexandra”), took on the legend as the finale of a tetralogy on power which began in 1999 with the astonishing Hitler movie, ...

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) ...

Around the world with Enzo Avitabile

Film · Music
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One of globalization’s least noted benefits has been the rise of world music, led by a motley crew of legends ranging from Peter Gabriel and Mickey Hart to Djivan Gasparyan and Enzo Avitabile. Drums and frets form the basis for the cross-cultural exchanges, even though an artist like the Naples-born Avitabile is a singer and ...