Film review: In bracing black/white, photography by George Platt Lynes 1

Film · Reviews
George Platt Lynes working in his studio. The life of the singular, visionary photographer George Platt Lynes (1907-55) was a brief, intense, whirlwind. Lynes packed a lot into his 47 years—working, partying, boldly living an openly gay life, creating a remarkable archive of work—and then apparently destroying portions of it. He interacted with a fascinating ...

Rauschenberg a pawn in Cold War politics, asserts new doc TAKING VENICE

Dance · Visual arts
A new documentary that addresses a seminal moment in which the art world came mano-a-mano with political intrigue is director Amei Wallach’s TAKING VENICE , from Zeitgeist Films, which opens tonight at the Laemmle Royal theatre in West Los Angeles, followed by a Q/A with the director. The doc examines the rumors that the 1964 Venice ...

A sensory feast as ‘Queen’ 1981 rock concert gets IMAX revisit

Film · Music
A fleeting window into rock’s pantheon opens from January 18th to 21st, as IMAX presents Queen Rock Montreal, a visceral document of the band’s incandescent live energy and artistry. Queen’s deep respect and unwavering generosity toward their audience shines through every frame and every note of this documentary film that captures two nights of performances ...

Superlative studio musicians of ’70s rock revealed in ‘Immediate Family’ doc

This is the portrait of an artist. Don’t recognize him? His name is Waddy Wachtel. Never heard of him? That’s intentional. Wachtel, whom Keith Richards calls a “natural maestro,” made a life decision — to become, and remain, a top-notch, back-of-house studio musician. Playing behind front-line artists like Carole King, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Keith ...

Oh, to be as ‘Driven’ as Tony Pearson

I very much enjoyed Driven: The Tony Pearson Story, a documentary that is the labor of love of its director Andrew Menjivar. It details the life and career of legendary bodybuilder Tony Pearson, a product of several seminal training gyms up to and including Venice’s Muscle Beach and Gold’s Gym, where, ahem, I am a new member~! ...

The Stone who stopped rolling: Nick Broomfield doc about Brian Jones

Film · Music
As a schoolboy aged 14, Nick Broomfield, later a British filmmaker and award-winning documentarian, met Brian Jones, by chance, on a train. Jones was at the height of his success. Six years later he would be dead. Nick Broomfield’s new documentary THE STONES & BRIAN JONES explores the legacy of Brian Jones, who, in this ...

Lewitzky doc to open Dance Camera West at Barnsdall Art Park

Dance · Film
I was delighted to learn that the annual DANCE CAMERA WEST festival will take place this year, the weekend of January 19, in the cozy underground theater of Barnsdall Art Park, one of the truly happy places of our fair city. The urban-rustic setting fits well with the California theme of the Festival’s opening film, ...

Review: ‘Ailey,’ the choreographer, the man, the figurehead, in PBS American Masters doc

Dance · Film · Reviews
The opening moments of Ailey—Jamila Wignot’s deeply rewarding documentary about Alvin Ailey’s life, work and company—show the choreographer receiving a huge ovation as a Kennedy Center Honoree. Cicely Tyson speaks movingly about the depth of his achievements; his company performs a fervent finale from Revelations as he takes evident pride in watching them. Ailey, 57, ...

Film review: ‘In Balanchine’s Classroom,’ a dance documentary

Dance · Film · Reviews
George Balanchine (1960s). Photo: Ernst Hass. As seen in In Balanchine’s Classroom. A film by Connie Hochman. A Zeitgeist Films release in association with Kino Lorber. Watching In Balanchine’s Classroom, the new dance documentary directed by Connie Hochman, you wait and hope for a movie about a significant, if rarefied, subject to add up to ...

Meet director Roselynde LeBlanc of ‘Can You Bring It,’ Bill T. Jones doc

Dance · Film
‘Can You Bring It’, courtesy Kino-Lorber films This most compelling image is from a dance work dating from 1989, Bill T. Jones’s “D-Man in the Water,” which was a tour de force group work Jones fashioned in response to the AIDs epidemic. So why does that matter now? We have a new pandemic to worry ...