Our good luck! 13 years of ‘German Currents’

Film
What is the German word for cinephile? “Cinephile”! Germany has its own illustrious film culture and history, with a lineage of giants bearing names like F.W. Mureau, Fritz Lang, Ernst Lubitsch, Max Ophuls in the realm of classic cinema. Subsequent key names include Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Volker Schlöndorff, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Werner Herzog, Tom ...

Merce’s marvelous movie

Dance · Film
Seen yesterday in Cunningham, the new Merce Cunningham documentary shot in 3-D by writer/director Alla Kovgan: imagery and brief excepts from “Summerspace,” the choreographer’s legendary ‘no-center’ ballet dating from 1958 and performed in Robert Rauschenberg’s pointillist costumes/decor to music by Morton Feldman. The film, which may bring the rarefied artist his most widespread exposure with ...

REVIEW: BODYTRAFFIC’s Wallis residency opens strongly

Dance · Reviews
by 
BODYTRAFFIC performs (d)elusive minds by Fernando Hernando Magadan (l-r) Guzmán Rosado, Tina Finkelman Berkett. Photo by Don Lee. Some dance performances give us gorgeous bodies, abstract movement and music we can hum: an escape from politics, madness and murder. Others use dancers for polemics and not much else; these may be worthy, but hard to watch. On Friday, ...

Tango Revolution: Quinteto Astor Piazzolla at The Soraya

Music
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Ed note: This story by Kirk Silsbee was originally written for The Younes & Soraya Nazarian Performing Arts Center and is reprinted on artsmeme with permission. When Astor Piazzolla, Argentina’s paramount composer and bandoneon player, introduced his revolutionary quintet of the 1960s, tango adherents didn’t embrace his innovation. Fistfights, even death threats, were not uncommon. ...

‘Judy was not nasal,’ says vocal coach Bob Garrett

Film · Music
Does Zellweger, at right, convey Garland’s physical stance to your eye? Garland kept her body taut to channel her breath. Also, note the shape of Renee’s mouth. Drop that jaw, sister! Viewing the big new biopic, JUDY, which opens tomorrow in cinemas, I did not feel that Renee Zellweger caught the great Garland’s essence particularly ...

As the clock ticks, time well spent on ‘The Day’

Dance · Music
Who can resist the alluring image, above, from a new theatrical production, THE DAY, presented at CAP UCLA and featuring two strong women of the performing arts, former New York City Ballet dancer Wendy Whelan (she is now associate director of the company) and cellist Maya Beiser, described as “a force of nature” by The ...

Donald Trump’s ‘perfect call’ taps Mario Puzo playbook

Film · Language & ideas
From the Zelensky call transcript: July 2019 telcon Donald Trump to President Zelensky of Ukraine

Bienvenue, COLCOA 2019!

Film
Les Miserables (2019) director Ladj Ly Our yearly reminder that life is worth living — because the French are still making movies — arrives Monday, Sept 23, 2019. That’s when the 22nd annual COLCOA French Film Festival pops the cork not on Prosecco, not on Cava nor sparkling wine, but real Champagne. It happens at ...

Complexions brings dances for ‘now’ to Long Beach

Dance · Language & ideas
Complexions Contemporary Ballet performing WOKE.  photo: Nina Wurtzel Complexions Contemporary Ballet continues to prod, provoke, and entertain. When choreographer Dwight Rhoden and dance-superstar Desmond Richardson co-founded their rainbow coalition of a ballet troupe in 1994, it took hold. Spurred by their mentor Alvin Ailey, the two men staked their claim on the power of dance ...

Erin Trefry: art works ‘hard-wired’ with intimacy

Visual arts
In a Los Angeles gallery season just crammed with new shows, something caught my eye in the announcement of artist Erin Trefry‘s solo exhibition at Lowell Ryan Projects, If The Moon Turns Green. I felt drawn to the images of Trefry’s paintings; in particular, her assemblage and sculptures spoke to me, I realized, on a ...