Memo to L.B. from W.R. re: ‘hoodoo’ president

Film · Language & ideas
Excerpted from “Lion of Hollywood,” by the award-winning film historian Scott Eyman, whose new book, “Hank and Jim” concerning the lifelong friendship between Henry Fonda and James Stewart will be out in November 2017. In his 2005 biography of MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer, Eyman captures a fascinating exchange between two prominent right-wingers of ...

God dances, courtesy of director Charles Walters, on TCM

Dance · Film
Fred Astaire wants to be a dancin’ man in THE BELLE OF NEW YORK (1952). Do you think he succeeds? Part of Turner Classic Movies Friday Night Spotlights devoted to the dancing movies, and more, of director Charles Walters.

Cecil B. DeMille’s “Madam Satan,” dance-dissected, March 15 5

Dance · Film
Delighted to announce my talk, “Theodore Kosloff & Cecil B. DeMille Meet Madam Satan” concerning the notorious early talkie-musical, co-sponsored by the American Cinematheque and the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles. The “illustrated lecture” is slated for Saturday March 15, 2 pm, coupled with a screening of MADAM SATAN (MGM, 1930), at the Egyptian ...

Jack Cole invites you to a ball 4

Dance · Film
From MGM’s “The Merry Widow” (1952) Jack Cole’s beautifully calibrated waltz sequence pours forth. Minutes and minutes of on-screen dancing. Audiences apparently used to like this; I guess they don’t anymore.  Enjoy! Cole’s gigs at MGM were fewer then at Columbia or Fox (at MGM: Kismet twice: 1944, 1955, Les Girls 1957, Designing Woman 1957). ...

The latest from Leo the Lion

Film
I very much enjoyed seeing Jack Goldstein’s art film, “Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer” (1975) screened by LA Filmforum as part of  “Industry Town: The Avant-Garde and Hollywood,” one of Pacific Standard Time’s offerings around L.A. This journey through eight short experimental films amply showed the shadow side of filmmaking in Los Angeles. Directors as disparate as Kenneth Anger, ...