Party on, Marion Davies, at the Beach House!

Film
1927: Conrad Nagel (1896 – 1970), Marion Davies (1897 – 1961) and cast and crew of the MGM film ‘Quality Street’ celebrate director Sidney Franklin’s birthday. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images) Marion Davies (1897 – 1961) — silent film actress, party hostess and the original occupant of the (now called) Annenberg Beach House — is ...

Prop poster portrays choreographer’s bad-taste pinnacle

Dance · Film · Visual arts
This prop poster from The Producers (1968) is displayed outside the theater during the premiere of “Springtime for Hitler,” and is also visible at greater length in the “Playhouse Outtake” on the DVD. It is on auction December 10 at Bonhams as part of the TCM presents: 1939, Hollywood’s Greatest Year sale. “Springtime for Hitler” ...

Sin in style! High-fashion pre-Code double-bill at The Egyptian

Dance · Fashion · Film
Made between 1930, when the restrictive Production Code was adopted, and 1934, when it was in full effect, “pre-Code” films are beloved for their provocative content and risqué style. A Sunday double-bill screening program devoted to pre-Code films is hosted by the Art Deco Society of Los Angeles. The afternoon begins at one p.m. with ...

Thanksgiving with Lydia the Tattooed Lady 1

Film · Music
Our holiday pick: The Brothers Marx in their ode to the much-marked Lydia the Tattooed Lady. In Thanksgiving gratitude for Yip Harburg‘s brilliant lyric, “And a torso even moreso!” Kermit loves her too. Guitarist Gary Lucas plucks the polyphony – and poetry – in Groucho Marx’s torch song to the scribbled dame.

Boy enslaved: ‘Buoyancy’ (2019)

Film · Reviews
A real stunner — and a stunning achievement for a first-time feature-film director named Rodd Rathjen — Buoyancy, the Australian entry for Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards. At age 14, Charka (Sarm Heng) chomps at the bit to escape his daily labor in Cambodian rice paddies under his father’s tyrannical command. ...

Be with Merce — in books, films & classes

Dance · Film
498 Third Avenue, photo courtesy of James Klosty, “Merce Cunningham Redux“ Looking in the rear view mirror, it appears that no artist in our great century of American dance — the 20th — had a more revolutionary impact on the art form as did Merce Cunningham. His genius (it long endured; he lived and worked ...

Reviewing ‘The Report’: Adam Driver to next play Martha Graham? 2

Dance · Film · Reviews
The two faces of Martha We just endured the earnest-but-meh new movie, The Report (2019), written and directed by Scott Z. Burns with the backing of producer Steven Soderbergh. The film’s noble mission is to recount yet another norm broken in our once-shining nation: the Geneva Convention. A ‘backstage drama’ (an underground “scif” in CIA’s ...

Agnes Varda smiles. So does Ava DuVernay. 2

Film
One of the most prodigious female artists of our lifetime, the fanciful, thought-provoking, highly humane and feminist filmmaker, Agnès Varda (1928 – 2019), received kudos, a showering of affection, and shared solace over her recent death Saturday at ARRAY360. The rich film festival, which took place at the superlative cinema-campus founded in Echo Park by ...

Farruquito, flamenco master, brings troupe to The Soraya

Dance · Film · Music
Juan Manuel Fernandez Montoya, aka Farruquito Ed. note: This article was commissioned and first published by The Soraya. It is reprinted on artsmeme with permission. The brilliance was there from the start. At age 11, Juan Manuel Fernández Montoya, the reigning superstar of flamenco who performs under the sobriquet of Farruquito, appeared in Carlos Saura’s ...

Dame Helen rules, in new HBO drama “Catherine the Great”

Film
The face that launched a thousand ships. Good old Helen! Wait, wait … that was Helen of Troy. Our Helen, Dame Helen Mirren, equally regal as squired by her husband, the director Taylor Hackford, looked simply spectacular in an ensemble custom-designed by Badgely Mischka for a launch party for her new miniseries, “Catherine the Great.” ...