Real, fake, honest, or corrupt? UCLA Film & Television Archive’s clever ‘Quiz Show’ program

Film · Ideas & Opinion

An exceptional double bill this Saturday night, June 1, at UCLA Film & Television Archive, where clever film programs are screened at the Billy Wilder Theater of the Hammer Museum.

This one bears particular tongue in cheek, as part of the Archive’s “Small Screen/Big Screen” series. It’s a clever pairing of a feature film, QUIZ SHOW (1994), in its 30th anniversary screening, a well received docudrama by Robert Redford. QUIZ SHOW is paired with an archive specialty, the source of Redford’s movie, viewable with our own eyes, an episode of the actual game show, Twenty-One, that spawned a congressional inquiry into fraud.

Thoughtful fun, which is very much our cup of tea. We’re going. Screenings at the Archive are free. So go.

Quiz Show / Twenty-One | UCLA Film & Television Archive | Billy Wilder Theater | June 1, 7:30 pm

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Rauschenberg a pawn in Cold War politics, asserts new doc TAKING VENICE

Dance · Visual arts

A new documentary that addresses a seminal moment in which the art world came mano-a-mano with political intrigue is director Amei Wallach’s TAKING VENICE , from Zeitgeist Films, which opens tonight at the Laemmle Royal theatre in West Los Angeles, followed by a Q/A with the director.

The doc examines the rumors that the 1964 Venice Biennale, the sui generis of international art fairs, was rigged – by the U.S. Government and a team of highly placed insiders – so that their chosen artist, Robert Rauschenberg, could win the grand prize.

The machinations begin with an ambitious curator gaining a foothold in influencing the participants in the U.S. Pavilion of the Biennale in the context of the Cold War. Together with art dealer, Leo Castelli, they embark on a daring plan to make Rauschenberg the winner of the Grand Prize. 

Rauschenberg’s groundbreaking “combines” merged painting and sculpture with found objects and pop culture images in new ways that had not been seen before. In a coup d’art, the American team pulls out the plum for the artist, bumping up against the hegemony of Ye Olde European Art Establishment. USA! USA!

Dance fans will enjoy seeing footage of the early European performances of Merce Cunningham Dance Company as part of the Biennale. Rauschenberg, of course, was the dance company’s visual-arts advisor and took a stab at donning black tights as well.

Essential viewing for those fascinated by mid-Century visual and performing arts.

TAKING VENICE, with director Q/A | Laemmle Royal Theatre | May 24, 7:20 pm, running thereafter

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Revisiting ‘Seven New Dances’ as a periscope to Paul Taylor’s future, at 92NY

It has become a celebrated and notorious moment in modern dance history: Paul Taylor’s Seven New Dances, the evening of purposely un-dancey pieces that inspired the now-famous blank newspaper review by Louis Horst. On May 13, reconstructions of works from that evening will take the stage of Kaufmann Concert Hall at the 92nd Street Y, ...

arts•meme glimpses Francis Ford Coppola’s soon-coming ‘Megalopolis’

Our first glimpse, in single photo, above, of Megalopolis, a Roman Epic fable set in an imagined modern America, a soon-coming motion picture directed, written, produced by Francis Ford Coppola. It goes like this, or so it is said to: The City of New Rome must change, causing conflict between Cesar Catilina, a genius artist ...

Melvin Kaminsky lives. [slideshow]

Melvin Kaminsky (born June 28, 1926) aka Mel Brooks was in fine fettle interviewed at age 97 by Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz during the 2024 TCM Classic Film Festival in its 15th annual staging in Hollywood, California. He explained to an audience gathered at TCL Chinese Theatre for a screening of “Spaceballs” (1987) ...

Rosie, her cat Buttermilk, and her creator Maurice Sendak, at Skirball Center

Visual arts
Maurice Sendak, Rosie and Buttermilk, her Cat , character studies for Really Rosie animation,1973, watercolor and ink on paper, 13 ¾ x 15 5/8”©The Maurice Sendak Foundation Maurice Sendak (1928-2012) is much known as the artist/creator of acclaimed children’s books Where the Wild Things Are (1963), In the Night Kitchen (1970), and Outside Over There ...

Hilarious! Quentin Tarantino directs ‘Pulp Fiction’ dance number

Dance · Film
An on-set devil captured footage as Quentin Tarantino directed Uma Thurman and John Travolta in their iconic twist to a Chuck Berry song. It does beg the question: Is that how John Ford directed? Tarantino demonstrated on a British talk show host his inspiration for the choreography. artsmeme interviews a dancer/choreographer who did not do ...

Neutra’s quiet revolution in residential design: Silverlake’s Ohara House (1959)

Architecture & Design
Los Angeles is a living museum of mid-Century modern architectural design, those notably pared- down geometrically driven homes that interact copacetically in nature. So the house on view here is one of many. But it’s special. It’s historic. It’s one of the nine homes built on the edge of Silver Lake as a “Neutra Colony,” ...

Pre-Code movies rediscovered in Los Angeles (TCM Fest) & New York (MoMA)

loretta young, spencer tracy, man’s castle At the fifteen annual Turner Classic Movies TCM Fest, just completed in Hollywood, we most enjoyed two marvelous movies, Only Yesterday (1933) in which Margaret Sullavan bucks the stigma of her single motherhood and The Good Fairy (1935) with Sullavan, again, playing a young innocent entangling with marital norms, ...

Attend New York City Ballet — in a sensitive way 1

On a day when five highly sensitive creatures — a cluster of the British monarchy’s beautifully bred military horses — got “spooked” (an actual term for when horses react and skitter and scamper) and proceeded to throw their riders and gallop around London causing havoc, it’s time for human beings face the limits of our ...