‘America’s Fright Factory!’ Episode 1: Tiffany 1

Ideas & Opinion
Ed. note: Netflix has nothing on us. We have streaming serialized television ‘content’ too! We are pleased to present author Robert Johnson’s latest script for his new (ahem, his first) hit series … we’re publishing it in three parts. First episode here! WELCOME TO ‘AMERICA’S FRIGHT FACTORY!’ Today’s premiere episode is hosted by world-renowned survival ...

From darkness, a new dance film @ Dance on Camera virtual festival 2

Dance · Film · Reviews
Peggy Baker was a memorably striking and unusual dancer during her years performing with Lar Lubovitch‘s company. Tall, powerful, seemingly gawky, with lashing limbs, she was never a pretty figure onstage, but more of an energized force field. After spending most of the 1980s with Lubovitch, she was invited to be part of the unique, ...

How Cali staves off COVID: by reviving the drive-in 2

photo by danny nero Dateline: Downey, California July 11 2020 There is a certain group of go-go people in Los Angeles that even COVID-19 cannot keep down. They are F.O.C.s, also known as “Friends of Chris.” The man of the evening (he hosted the event), Chris Nichols, is a modern-day town crier, a staff journalist ...

Shake it! Bump it! Wiggle that Thing in the privacy of your living room — with Toni Basil

Dance · Film
COVID classes for the non-contagious contingent The last time we checked out Toni Basil, it was, ahem, a different world. Seated at her dining room table, I interviewed the high-energy, hugely eccentric dancer/choreographer about her amazing contribution to the look, feel, sound and spirit of Quentin Tarantino’s ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD (2019). My ...

Social distancing — from John Wayne

Film · Ideas & Opinion
When film historian Scott Eyman published his comprehensive biography, John Wayne: The Life & Legend, in 2014, John Wayne, who died in 1979, was long since a controversial figure — and a polarizing one. But surely never in Eyman’s imagination could he predict that six years hence, the Democratic Party of Orange County, California, would ...

In defense of John Wayne … a statement from his son

Film · Ideas & Opinion
ed note: Among the many jolting erasures of our time, a call has arisen to revert John Wayne Airport, named in 1979 in honor of the movie star, to its original name Orange County Airport. We are pleased to publish these words written by Wayne’s son Ethan. John Wayne was not a racist. That term ...

Best COVID-19 short video: Mark Morris Dance Group’s ‘Lonely Tango’

Dance · Film
It’s unclear whether Morris and his gang (MMDG) assembled this Ode to Isolation prior to the pandemic or thereafter. I *think* I see a face mask in the grocery-shopping sequence. But it’s not that important: The dead-and-deader spirit suits the moment well. This is a COVID-era-disseminated short video — utterly witty in its minimalist approach ...

Don’t just sit there … jive with your hands!

Dance · Film · Music
Ed. note: We’re pleased to feature a fun item contributed by an expert in American popular dance, Julie Malnig. Take it away, Julie! The Hand Jive was one of the most popular rock and roll group dances of the late 1950s and became a hit on televised teen dance programs of the era such as ...

Through the eyes of Milton Glaser 2

Architecture & Design · Visual arts
If you lived in America in the last half of the 20th Century, you saw the country, in part, through the eyes of illustrator and graphic designer Milton Glaser (1929-2020). So prolific and widespread was his visual sense that, for a while, almost all good design looked like his. He co-founded Push Pin Studios, the ...

Show some respect! for Martha Graham … and Jack Cole 5

I was intrigued to learn, while doing research, that Jack Cole, a great dance pedagogue, instructed his pupils as follows: “Jack asked us to stand when he entered the dance studio, like Martha Graham‘s students,” one of Cole’s late-life students at UCLA told me in an interview. Cole was long an admirer of Graham with ...