Remembering Kevin McCarthy 4

Film
Guest writer Michael Schlesinger contributes this reminiscence of actor Kevin McCarthy, who died earlier this week. I met Kevin McCarthy through our mutual friend, actor James Karen; we sometimes all had lunch at Musso & Frank’s. And it turned out that Kevin lived a few blocks from me in Sherman Oaks, so I happily chauffeured ...

Jane Withers charms CINECON in “This is the Life” 2

Film
She wasn’t as pretty as her compatriot at 20th Century Fox, Shirley Temple. Both girls had high energy and talent to burn. But child star Jane Withers had something extra: disarming credibility. Appearing in person at a screening of her surprisingly moving film, “This is the Life” (Fox, 1935, dir: Marshall Neilan), Withers approached the microphone ...

Don Murray held Marilyn Monroe close in “Bus Stop”

Film
Read this story on The Huffington Post. We passed the Labor Day weekend inhaling the Egyptian Theater’s popcorn-soaked oxygen during  the 46th annual CINECON — a festival of the weird, the wonderful, and the rarely viewed. Cinecon is a connoisseur’s festival; and the key word is rare — movies that for whatever reason haven’t been ...

First lady of nation recognizes first lady of dance

Dance · Film · Music
The freewheeling creativity that flourished in 20th century America spawned three indigenous art forms: film, jazz, and modern dance. The first two on this list (in descending order of magnitude), have functioned relatively adeptly in the market economy. Why? Because entrepreneurs recorded them on celluloid and disc, then packaged, promoted and distributed movies and records. Poor ...

Pauline Wagner, 100, remembers James Cagney

Film
“The man you saw on the screen was certainly not Jimmy Cagney,” said former studio-system contract actress Pauline Wagner, 100, following a screening of “White Heat” at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Monday. Cagney was “one of the nicest persons in Hollywood,” so unlike Cody Jarrett, the homicidal psychopath with a mother ...

Cleopatra reclaims the Egyptian Theater 1

Film
What better place to celebrate the art (and commerce!) of Cecil B. DeMille than the Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard? An under appreciated director who mined the nexus of the lofty and the lusty, DeMille fits well with the Egyptian Theater’s ornate aesthetic. His influence was ingrained in mainstream American culture by the time Sid Grauman ...

Charlie Chaplin to reappear at Cinecon

Film
I’m looking forward to attending the 46th annual Cinecon Classic Film Festival at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood California over Labor Day weekend, September 2-6, 2010. The big event at this year’s festival is the screening of a previously lost Charlie Chaplin film, “A Thief Catcher” from Keystone Studios, 1914. Film collector Paul Gierucki found ...

Antonioni’s sophisticated chick flick

Film
How pleasant to stroll onto the campus of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and travel in time and space to Italy of the 1950s — and totally avoid LAX. At LACMA we enjoyed Michelangelo Antonioni’s “Le Amiche” (“The Girlfriends,” 1955), the great Italian director’s refined social melodrama. The film depicts the world of ...

Ken Russell & Dr. Kildare tackle Tchaikovsky

Film
It was touching to see Richard Chamberlain with his wild-man director of forty years ago, Ken Russell, at Sunday’s screening of the octogenarian’s exuberant Tchaikovsky biopic, “The Music Lovers” (1970). The reversal of the usual post-screening Q&A set-up also seemed fitting. The actor and the white-haired cinema maestro sat not before the audience, on a stage, but ...

Kenneth Anger recalls blacklisted Jack Cole dancers 1

Dance · Film
The first time I heard the name Jack Cole was not from a dance person but from experimental filmmaker Kenneth Anger. Upon hearing that I am a dance critic, Anger, 83, said: “Someone needs to write about Jack Cole.” Kenneth Anger has distinct memories of hanging out with Jack Cole dancers in Paris: “Hollywood was ...