Bienvenue, COLCOA 2019!

Film
Les Miserables (2019) director Ladj Ly Our yearly reminder that life is worth living — because the French are still making movies — arrives Monday, Sept 23, 2019. That’s when the 22nd annual COLCOA French Film Festival pops the cork not on Prosecco, not on Cava nor sparkling wine, but real Champagne. It happens at ...

Gwen & Bob make personal appearance — as Michelle & Sam

Dance · Film
It was delightful to see, appearing in person, Michelle Williams and Sam Rockwell at a special screening event held on the erstwhile Twentieth Century-Fox lot (soon Disney). The duo, emitting body language that indicated real closeness, participated in a q&a session that celebrated FOSSE/VERDON’s many nominations for Emmy Awards — a whopping seventeen. The August ...

Dig it! Betty Grable in ‘Diga Diga Do’ 1

Dance · Film
A fabulous YouTube find, a compendium of song-and-dance numbers performed by Betty Grable, in 1954, during a live television broadcast: the premier edition of Chrysler “Shower of Stars” on CBS. Opening the video is Grable in a sizzling demonstration of how song and dance were integrated during the period — in “Diga Do,” a specialty ...

‘Jay Myself’: the bricks & mortar of art

Film
It’s really a movie about photography, the art of direct observation. But it comes wrapped in a tale of transition. A renowned commercial photographer and artist, Jay Maisel, after forty-eight years living there and at 88 unable to fund its upkeep, must sell his home. His digs are unique — the 36,000 square-foot, 100-year-old landmark ...

‘Exuberant’ Peter Fonda, remembered by film historian Scott Eyman

Film
peter fonda, scott eyman, tcm fest 2015 Ed. note: A personal reminiscence of the recently departed actor by the biographer of his father, Henry Fonda. Scott Eyman contributes this anecdote to the blog: I was drinking a Coke in the Green Room when Peter Fonda walked in with a drink – a martini with an ...

Tarantino & Toni

Dance · Film
Toni Basil at home in Los Angeles.Credit Amy Harrity for The New York Times LOS ANGELES — When Toni Basil’s agent told her that an anonymous filmmaker from an unidentified production company wanted to chat, she was intrigued. It was something about the 1960s, she was told, so she mopped her dance-studio floor in case ...

Cinematography & editing enhance Toni Basil choreography for ‘Head’ 2

Dance · Film · Music
I have found a new obsession in this brilliant “ear worm” song and early music video, “Daddy’s Song.” This extraordinary dance-film number was choreographed by Toni Basil who appears in the video in tandem with Davy Jones, of the Monkees. It’s from the cult-favorite movie Head (1968) co-written by Jack Nicholson, directed by Bob Rafelson ...

Dear Hollywood Boulevard … love, The Lare

Film
boulevard of dreams … and nightmares ed. note: a letter contributed by artsmeme’s friend Jeff Mantor of Larry Edmunds Bookshop on the cusp of the opening of ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD. Dear Hollywood Boulevard, You are a short street, but a long road. A place & idea. A dream & a dirty nightmare ...

Can it possibly be fifty years since ‘Goodbye, Columbus’?

Film
One of the landmark comedies of the 1960s and perhaps the best screen rendition of the work of Philip Roth was the adaptation of the author’s National Book Award-winning novella, Goodbye, Columbus. The movie launched the careers of its two stars, Richard Benjamin and Ali MacGraw, who will both join Laemmle Anniversary Classics host Stephan ...

Jets ‘do the hustle’

Dance · Film
The filmmakers behind the re-do of WEST SIDE STORY (1961) did not win a lot of internet love upon the release of a production still of Steven Spielberg’s redux filming of Jerome Robbins/Robert Wise’s iconic WSS “Prologue,” with menacing gang members dance-trawling the streets of Manhattan. It’s hard to give fewer points for either the ...