L’Enfer: Clouzot’s movie project from hell 1

Film · Visual arts
Film director Henri-Georges Clouzot nearly lost his mind, as well as his career and even his life, obsessing over the Austrian-born multilingual actress Romy Schneider. In 1963, Clouzot, then one of France’s most acclaimed filmmakers, began work on “L’Enfer,” a tale of male jealousy and madness. A blank check from Columbia Pictures burning in his ...

SNL jabs “Black Swan”

Dance · Film
“She’s brilliant. She stuck her gum in my ear.” Probably the best review published on BLACK SWAN. By the way, I heard that the Royal Ballet box office is getting calls asking on what nights Natalie Portman would be performing in “Swan Lake.” [Apologies for the commercial on this clip; it was this, or a bad ...

Dance ambassador Lula Washington heads to Middle Kingdom 2

Dance · Music
A U.S. consulate representative’s positive feedback of a Vladivostok performance by Lula Washington Dance Theatre — they were in Russia in November and December on a 20-city tour — resulted in a six-figure grant in support of a visit to China for the ebullient Los Angeles-based dance troupe. The Washington-ites will visit Henan and its neighboring central ...

A glimpse of Jack Cole coaching Monroe

Dance · Film
In the photo at left (yes, from an ebay sale) choreographer Jack Cole rehearses Marilyn Monroe in “My Heart Belongs to Daddy” on the set of Let’s Make Love” (1960) Click on the photo for a better view. If you examine Cole’s head and shoulders, and Marilyn’s, you’ll see the difference between a trained dancer ...

Eek-A-Mouse 2

What was the first Mickey Mouse cartoon? If you are thinking “Steamboat Willie,” you would be wrong. Mickey Mouse got his start in “Plane Crazy,” but not a single distributor bought it. Undaunted, Walt Disney began work on the second Mickey Mouse cartoon, “Gallopin’ Gaucho,” released on December 30, 1928. You can see both classic ...

Please do not discriminate.

Like “Gentlemen”? Read more: Girl power

Early Balanchine/de Chirico collaboration feted in Aussie costume exhibit 1

Architecture & Design · Dance · Visual arts
Ballets Russes expert Dr. Robert Bell, Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the National Gallery of Australia, shares these images of Giorgio de Chirico’s original costumes for “Le Bal,” an early Balanchine work based on a Boris Kochno libretto. The “Le Bal” costumes are part of an exhibit now on in Canberra of ...


Film · Language & ideas
The world is one-one-one-one today. Happy birthday world.

Ringing in 2011 at the Neujahrskonzert

Dance · Music
They’re gonna have to tie me into my seat when the Strauss waltzes kick in at this weekend’s Neujahrskonzert at Walt Disney Concert Hall. New Year’s concerts — famous, festive, and now franchised — are an old Austrian tradition. You know, like sacher tortes and California governors. [How did the Austrians come up with something ...

Natalia Makarova’s 40-year anniversary in the West

It was a blunder. I thought I was calling her assistant to arrange an interview. Instead, I dialed the New York number and Natalia Makarova herself answered the phone. Frozen in fear, I tried to recover gracefully and still get an interview. She wasn’t feeling well and demurred. Later that day, a statement concerning her ...