To be young, gifted & Aretha Franklin: Queen of Soul in ‘Amazing Grace’

Film · Music
“Amazing Grace,” with two-million vinyl discs exiting record stores, was the top-selling gospel record of all time and Aretha Franklin‘s top-selling album. Released in June 1972, the album coincided with the very same month I graduated from an all-white high school in suburban Pittsburgh. Right around that time, on Sunday afternoons, I used my new ...

“Mary Poppins, step in time!” cries Van Dyke to Breaux & Wood choreography 4

Dance · Film
Kick the knees up! Step in time Votes for women! Step in time It’s the master! Step in time Step in time. As we enter movie theaters in anticipation of the fun and joy director Rob Marshall and his choreography partner, John DeLuca, have in store for Mary Poppins Returns, let’s step in time … ...

Marilyn could play comedy … or tragedy … according to her directors

Film
Henry Hathaway, on MM and high drama: I think her whole life might have changed in Darryl Zanuck would have let her  … I wanted to do Of Human Bondage with Marilyn and Jimmy Dean way back then … because after I did that picture with her [Niagra] I found her marvelous to work with, ...

Do look now at Nicolas Roeg’s ‘Don’t Look Now’

Film
A fitting tribute to British director Nicolas Roeg, the man who just fell from Earth passing away on November 23, 2018, at age 90 is a screening of his eerie, atmospheric thriller from 1973, ‘Don’t Look Now.’ The New Yorker recommends the film. But, in Los Angeles, we have a big-screen viewing of it, with ...

Torturing Rock Hudson

Featured · Film · Language & ideas
Ed. note: Can a writer and her editors truly be so clueless? Or was this ‘hetero-normative’ article, excerpted below, part of the Hollywood cabal to cover up Hudson’s gayness? Whatever was the case, writer Jane Wilkie by-lined the following interview with Rock Hudson in ‘Modern Screen’ magazine, December 1954.  Excerpted here. BY JANE WILKIE ■ ...

‘Gigi,’ at 60. Bring on the champagne!

Film
At 60, she’s still charming the gents. You’ll soon see why. As played by the winsome Leslie Caron in one of the most beloved and acclaimed musicals of all time, Laemmle Anniversary Classics is throwing her a birthday party. Since they already invented champagne, that should be the drink of choice at the Dec 8 ...

Mazowsze, the Polish folkloric dance troupe inspiring ‘Cold War’

Dance · Film · Music
Director Pawel Pawlikowski‘s visually beautiful and emotionally gripping Cold War, which opens December 21, rises from the ruins of post-war Poland where is set a seemingly impossible love story. Cold War earned Pawel Pawlikowski the Best Director award at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. In the film produced by Amazon Studios, two fictional lovers meet ...

Make ’em laff, ladies, at Palm Springs International Comedy Festival

Film
We all need a laff. Pardon my French, but I laughed my a** off watching the exquisite comic timing of Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant in delivering the brilliant script of CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME. A very funny movie with a woman director — highly recommended. I am equally pleased to see Kathy ...

Los Angeles dance companies to take El Capitan stage in backing Misty Copeland in Disney ‘Nutcracker’

Dance · Film
Ready, set, go! As soon as the calendar page turns to November, off with the Halloween costume and on with the Sugar Plum regalia! That’s ‘cuz the newest Disney live-action movie, THE NUTCRACKER AND THE FOUR REALMS, will open that night at the wonderful, retro El Capitan Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. Playing “the Ballerina,” in ...

All hail the Cinerama Dome at 55

Architecture & Design · Film
Again we travel to 1963, the year when the groovy Robert Frost Auditorium found footing in Culver City, California. Across Los Angeles, those 55 years ago, a geodesic structure boasting a movie screen of 32 x 86 feet with a 146 degree curve opened on Sunset Boulevard. It’s very exciting to wish The Cinerama Dome, ...