Love among the geniuses

Film · Music
Read this story on The Huffington Post. Two recent biopics portray the torrid love lives of great artists — one of our favorite subjects. First, Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (2009), a chicly decorated French film about a purported love affair between the stern couturière and the equally rigorous modernist composer — all while Mme ...

All hail Travis Banton, Paramount Pictures costume designer

Fashion · Film
LACMA’s retrospective of Ernst Lubitsch comedies, made in America with a classy European sensibility, opened with the giddy perfection of the German-born director’s “Trouble in Paradise” (1932). Of all the ingredients simmering in this film’s sweet stew, it’s the pre-code evening gowns in which “Trouble”‘s two leading ladies circulate the sound stage dropping witty dialogue ...

Ernst Lubitsch’s 90-minute tour of paradise

Film
Tonight at LACMA — the launch of Ian Birnie’s 16-film retrospective of the American-made comedies of Ernst Lubitsch. Both films run a dreamy 90 minutes long! Let’ s see how much great entertainment the German expat could pack into 1.5 hours. Nicola Lubitsch, the director’s daughter, will be in the house for a curtain talk. ...

Second star to the right …

Film
Second star to the right … and straight on till morning. With that lovely language, Peter Pan ‘google-maps’ his Neverland address, informing his new buddy Wendy where he and the tribe of Lost Boys reside. The fetching 1924 silent-movie version of the J.M. Barrie classic charmed nearly 2,000 adults who poured into the Orpheum Theater ...

Lizabeth Scott @ the Academy 5

Film
Co-published on Huffington Post arts page. Monday night’s edition of the Academy’s first-rate full-summer film series, “1940s Writing Nominees from Hollywood’s Dark Side,” now at mid-schedule, enjoyed the tremendous pleasure of a guest appearance by actress Lizabeth Scott. The heavy-browed, sultry-voiced Scott graced 22 movies, primarily film noirs made between 1945-57 in which she played ...

Jane Russell remembers “Gentleman” Jack Cole 2

Dance · Film
“Yes,” answered Jane Russell last Wednesday evening, nodding emphatically when asked if choreographer Jack Cole had directed the dance sequences in Howard Hawks’s “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (1953). Russell’s brown eyes flashed and she became animated on hearing Cole’s name. The brunette bombshell of the 1940/50’s, appearing at a Hollywood Heritage event this past week, chatted ...

John Waters celebrates Johnny Mathis

Film · Language & ideas · Music
Sixties singer Johnny Mathis‘s name has popped up in surprising ways recently. DJ Josh Kun spun the velvet-voiced crooner’s version of “Kol Nidre” at “Get Down, Moses,” Kun’s Jewish/African-American “listening party.” Then, John Waters, the witty, loquacious, and dapper film director, cited Mathis as one of his key “role models.” It happened at an ALOUD ...

John Waters & Carrie Fisher dish at ALOUD 1

Film · Language & ideas
This just in from Louise Steinman, curator-turned-impresario of the Library Foundation’s ALOUD book talk series. Louise has nailed down what promises to be a wild and wonderful evening of conversation Filmmaker John Waters communes with his interlocutor, Carrie Fisher. Two of show business’s sharpest minds (and fastest tongues!) meet to discuss their role models! John ...

Robert Ryan fan club 2

Film
arts·meme, when she is not kvelling on symphony or ballet, is a fan girl. She has favorite movie actors. The male contingent includes Ralph Fiennes, early Peter Saarsgard, early Tim Roth, and the red-headed Briton, Damien Lewis. But why oh why was the great b-movie guy, Robert Ryan, heavily featured in LACMA’s recent series on the cinematography ...

Pina Bausch films at Dance Camera West

Dance · Film
Kudos to hardworking impresario Lynette Kessler on the launch of the ninth annual installment of Dance Camera West, the month-long series celebrating the best-of-the-best of the filmed dance experience. Here is Dance Camera's West's full schedule. I'm particularly drawn to Lynette's June 12 symposium on German choreographer Pina Bausch, a great force in dance who died ...