Kirk Douglas, the actor and the man

Film
A guest writer on the blog, Shannon Kelley, Head of Public Programs for the UCLA Film & Television Archive, contributes this appreciation of actor Kirk Douglas. The Archive is mid-stream in a comprehensive Douglas retrospective that runs through September. KIRK DOUGLAS: A CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION, commemorates the career and the life of the great Hollywood star, ...

Kirk! UCLA Film Archive kicks off sweeping centenary celebration

Film · Visual arts
Would not dream of missing Friday’s opening night — or viewing many of the 25 film titles featured therein — of UCLA Film & Television Archive’s centenary retrospective for actor Kirk Douglas (b. 1916). In his 60-year career he appeared in 90 movies, so claims Wikipedia. The massive movie star still lives among us. Kirk ...

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 ...

Great movies meet great graphic design: Saul Bass

Architecture & Design · Film · Visual arts
An illustrated lecture by Jan-Christopher Horak, director, UCLA Film & Television Archive, presents a selection of film titles, shorts and commercials by Academy Award–winning filmmaker Saul Bass (1920–1996). Best known as the designer behind the iconic, era-defining title sequences for such films as The Man with the Golden Arm (dir. Otto Preminger, 1955), Vertigo (dir. ...

Jack Cole choreography for GILDA set to sizzle on UCLA Film Archive big screen 1

Dance · Film
Do you enjoy this classic image of Rita Hayworth as GILDA? It’s a capture from  Hayworth’s iconic high-end striptease, “Put the Blame on Mame,” choreographed by Jack Cole, the brilliant dance maker who rocked Hayworth’s world at Columbia Pictures in the 1940s. Cole’s dance numbers (“Put the Blame on Mame,” “Amado Mio“), taken together, raise ...

Lizabeth Scott a ‘Tigresse’ to die for

Film
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A take-no-prisoners film noir, “Too Late for Tears” is saddled with a title that has all the clout of an unused tissue. Its alternate title, “Killer Bait,” is marginally less flimsy. But it was under the far more fitting French handle, “La Tigresse,” that a duplicate negative of the 1949 low-budget picture, which had badly ...

George Chakiris in double NYC honor: first MoMA, then Juilliard

Dance · Film
In fitting recognition of a great dancer whose searing, Oscar-winning performance as “Bernardo” in “West Side Story” was filmed on NYC’s Upper West Side terrain where the Juilliard School now stands, George Chakiris will visit the renowned conservatory for an interview and dance conversation. Location shooting of the playground sequences that open “West Side Story” ...

Pardon our French, but we’re loving “Hollywood Exiles in Europe” @ UCLA Film & Television Archive

Film
Whose good idea was this film series? One person, Rebecca Prime, author of the recent Hollywood Exiles in Europe: The Blacklist and Cold War Film Culture, certainly inspired it.  Working with UCLA Film & Television Archive, Prime has co-curated a line-up of works by Jules Dassin, Joseph Losey, Cy Endfield, Ben and Norma Barzman, and ...

Ivan Kirov, the dancing star of “Specter of the Rose”

Dance · Film
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“I’m no good. I’m just some muscles that can dance. The rest of me is rubbish — broken glass and rubbish.” So self-describes the lead character, Andre Sanine, of “Specter of the Rose” (1946, Republic Pictures). He’s mouthing writer-producer-director Ben Hecht’s lurid and kitsch-adjacent movie dialogue. Hecht created “Specter” in a couple of weeks, for ...

Specter of Nijinsky haunts Republic Pictures’ “Specter of the Rose”

Dance · Film
The photo captures the marvelous opening scene of “Specter of the Rose,” a ballet movie from 1946 and a precious artifact of high-Hollywood dance-schmaltz. Dame Judith Anderson, seated at left, knitting, plays “Madam La Sylph,” the ballet mistress whom Ben Hecht, in his at-once overheated and acerbic screenplay, refers to as “the remains of a ...