Make ’em laff! with eccentric dance

Dance
ed. note: the opening words, here, from “The Motion Picture Academy Celebrates Eccentric Dance” published by Dance Magazine August 15, 2019. The author is artsmeme‘s Debra Levine. There’s a type of dance you’ve never heard of: It’s called “classical ballet.” The progenitors included Mathilde Kschessinska, Vaslav Nijinsky and Anna Pavlova. The art form passed through ...

Albert Finney, a renegade who influenced a generation of actors 1

Film
Albert Finney, Night Must Fall (1964) Our very good friend of arts·meme, Mike Kaplan, sends a heartfelt tribute to the great English actor who passed away on February 7, 2019. Writes Mike, Albert Finney (1936-2019) was a giant talent. His vibrant, unpredictable, mischievous, challenging presence was as seismic a change for a generation of actors ...

Agnes Varda’s Oscar picnic

Film
Flowers and an Oscar? What more could a woman want? These mementos so richly deserved by the French woman of cinema, Agnes Varda. On Nov. 11, at the 9th annual Governors Awards ceremony of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), Varda received an honorary Oscar. Varda’s artful, thought-provoking, highly personal auteur films ...

Female artists of film animation honored @ AMPAS

Visual arts
From the earliest pioneers of hand-rendered animated films, to the advent of digital technology, women have been at the forefront of the animation medium. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will celebrate the women who have been at the forefront of film animation Mindy Johnson, author of Ink & Paint: The Women of ...

Gypsy dancer shop-talk at the Academy

Dance · Film
It was a night of dance chatter at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. A highly vaunted circle, including veteran gypsy dancers, a choreographer for the camera, and an Oscar-winning actor, gathered at AMPAS prior to a screening of “West Side Story” Monday July 18, 2016. In the photo, Maria Jimenez, who danced ...

‘West Side Story’ feted, dissected, appreciated at the Academy

Dance · Film
Fascinating film lore revealed by producer Walter Mirisch, at Monday’s panel discussion prior to a special screening of West Side Story (1961) at the Academy. Apparently Jerome Robbins, WSS’s creator/co-director, was extremely resistant to the location shooting, in New York City, of the “Prologue” — the movie’s brilliant opening minutes when an overhead shot drills into ...

Want to be a movie star? Line up here.

Film
A super interesting evening upcoming at the Academy that examines a critical backstage process in film making — casting. Acclaimed casting directors Lynn Stalmaster, Juliet Taylor and Mike Fenton will sit down with the governors of the Academy’s Casting Directors Branch to discuss the evolution of their profession and the essential role the casting director ...

God dances. Bow down!

Dance
At arts·meme, the words ‘Fred Astaire’ are not necessary. We believe the short code, “god,” will suffice. Here the 70-year old hoofer (now hoofer-in-heaven) gets pulled, ever modestly and reluctantly, into a solo performance by Bob Hope, at the 1970 Academy Awards show at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The brilliant solo (we love his ‘do-the-swim,’ ...

Queen Liz gorgeously garbed in ‘Hollywood Costume’

Fashion · Film · Visual arts
The pinnacle (for this viewer), tour-de-force display of the Motion Picture Academy’s “Hollywood Costume,” now on view at LACMA’s May Company building, comes about mid-way through the multi-room exhibition and stretches across a long platform. “A Royal Romance” features a sumptuous swathe of historic Hollywood costumes that have dressed movie characters of British nobility — ...

Brilliant at ‘transforming people’ says Tippi Hedren of Edith Head

Fashion · Film
One of the marvelous interactive exhibits at the just-opened “Hollywood Costume” exhibition, a co-presentation by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and the Victoria & Albert Museum at LACMA’s May Company building, is a virtual conversation between three movie collaborators. Two, alas, are deceased, but one is still vibrantly alive. Director Alfred Hitchcock ...