Bullock’s Wilshire former retail glory @ Art Deco Society talk & screening 1

Architecture & Design · Film
A beacon of Art Deco wonderment, the iconic Bullock’s Wilshire Department Store still stands on Wilshire Boulevard. Designed by Parkinson and Parkinson in 1928, the legendary building is considered a preservation success story; it is now repurposed as the Southwestern School of Law’s law library. Eh. Okay. They dare not tear it down because among ...

My father John Garfield: a portrait by Julie Garfield

Film · Visual arts
This wrenching portrait of actor John Garfield recently won a ‘red dot’ award at The Art Students League. The facial expression is imagined — as the artist Julie Garfield has only distant and vague memories of her father. He perished when she was just six years old. John Garfield, who was hounded by HUAC and ...

Curtain-up on Curtiz retrospective @ UCLA Film & Television Archive

Academy Award-winning director Michael Curtiz (1886-1962) whose best-known films include Casablanca (1942), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) and Mildred Pierce (1945) directed over 180 films — 94 of them during more than a quarter-century at Warner Bros. He helmed tearjerkers, swashbuckling adventures, westerns, musicals, war epics, historical dramas, horror films, melodramas and film noir. Curtiz’s protean ...

‘Darkest Hour’: Churchill again smokes cigars on The Queen Mary

In WWII’s most harrowing days, Prime Minister Winston Churchill made several cross-Atlantic forays to convene with allies on our side of the pond. From the proverbial bowels of the noble Queen Mary, which now rests in retirement in the Port of Long Beach, Churchill persisted in running his war strategy. A party celebrating Darkest Hour, ...

Creative women SoKo & Loie Fuller align in new film ‘La Danseuse’

Dance · Film
We are looking forward to meeting SoKo, the French singer/songwriter/video artist, in her film performance playing modern-dance pioneer Loie Fuller, in La Danseuse (The Dancer). The movie opens tomorrow, Friday, at Laemmle Theatres. Fuller (1862 – 1928), the great modern-dance pioneer, is now considered, in retrospect, to have been a prescient multi-media artist for her ...

Hollywood’s cross-genre master Michael Curtiz gets biography

Film · Language & ideas
Academy Award–winning director Michael Curtiz (1886–1962)—whose best-known films include Casablanca (1942), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Mildred Pierce (1945) and White Christmas (1954)—was in many ways the anti-auteur. During his 27-year tenure at Warner Bros., Curtiz directed swashbuckling adventures, westerns, musicals, war epics, romances, historical dramas, horror films, tearjerkers, melodramas, comedies, and film noir masterpieces. The ...

Olivia de Havilland: still fighting “Feuds” at 101 2

Revelations of predatory behavior against women first exposed in the film industry have spread to other corridors of power. The headlines have overshadowed a parallel story involving the shameless disrespect of an iconic figure of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She fought for, and changed, the way the entertainment business is conducted. That woman, now 101 years ...

‘Rebels on Pointe,’ a film about the pursuit of human happiness

Dance · Film
“I can be myself. I can wear tutus. Why not?” asks the Cuban-born ballet dancer. Carlos Hopuy, in a matter-of-fact tone. He adds, “Those little things change the world.” Hopuy voices these comments with the candor of a liberated person — he’s one of the members of the male-travestie troupe Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte ...

Thanksgiving love for 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.

Agnes Varda’s Oscar picnic

Flowers and an Oscar? What more could a woman want? These mementos so richly deserved by the French woman of cinema, Agnes Varda. On Nov. 11, at the 9th annual Governors Awards ceremony of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), Varda received an honorary Oscar. Varda’s artful, thought-provoking, highly personal auteur films ...