Review: Jean Genet’s ‘The Maids’ @ A Noise Within

Reviews · Theater
Jean Genet had a remarkable career – a thief, a jailbird, an internationally celebrated playwright whose work often embodied his compatriot’s Jean-Paul Sartre’s famous line, “Hell is other people.” That was from Sartre’s play “No Exit,” and Genet’s play “The Maids” (1947) depicts a particularly suffocating hell. Two sisters, maids in a bourgeois French household ...

Frolic the Hall of Mirrors with Louis XIV in “Versailles”

Architecture & Design · Dance · Fashion · Film
In the dance world, we know King Louis XIV for his balletomania, which led to the first formal classical ballet, “Le Ballet de la Nuit.” Louis himself danced the lead role, embodying a character modestly called ‘The Sun King.’ (As Mel Brooks sagely noted, it’s good to be king.) A reenactment of the performance appears ...

Armand & Henry & Vincent & friends have a play date

Visual arts
Industrial tycoons Henry Huntington and Armand Hammer, two of Los Angeles’s most significant arts barons, ruled over great collections that form the core of major museums in Los Angeles. (Collectors respectively of the early and mid 20th century, Huntington and Hammer still pale by comparison, in their acquisitive nature, to L.A.’s tycoon-collector of the day, Eli ...

William Friedkin reveals his French Connection

Reverence reigned in the room; it was a stirring evening of movie worship. An enthralled, somewhat dazed, audience emptied onto Wilshire Boulevard only at 11:30 pm, following the 45th anniversary screening of THE FRENCH CONNECTION (1971) hosted by film critic Stephen Farber for Laemmle’s Anniversary Classics. In a post-screening Q & A, the movie’s director, ...

A visit with Anna Karina @ TCM Fest 2016

Looking forward to hearing French New Wave film goddess, Anna Karina, introduce Jean-Luc Godard’s Band of Outsiders at TCM Fest 2016 this weekend. Karina, a Danish-French actress, director and writer is known for roles in influential French New Wave films, including A Woman is a Woman (1961), Band of Outsiders (1964), Alphaville (1965) and Pierrot ...

Film maestro Claude Lelouch’s visual symphony, “Un + Une”

Film · Reviews
Director Claude Lelouch (far right) with his A-list cast of “Un + Une” — Jean Dujardin, Christophe Lambert, Elsa Zylberstein. The director of some fifty films brought his latest to COLCOA French film festival’s big screen last night. The film explores Lelouch’s central theme and his career concern: to plummet the love that exists between ...

French music hall revisited with “Monsieur Chocolat” @ COLCOA

Film · Reviews
“Monsieur Chocolat,” a biopic set in the fin-de-siècle world of French circus and music hall opened the 20th anniversary edition of COLCOA French Film Festival in Los Angeles last night, bringing exotica and rich visual zing to the big screen of the Director’s Guild of America. The film’s talented director Roschy Zem and its star, ...

French swashbuckling powers “On Guard” @ COLCOA Classics

The yummy goodies that add piquancy to the jam-packed opening-night reception of COLCOA, Los Angeles’s premier French film festival celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2016, carry forth to a rich movie-menu of new releases. There’s even an ‘evergreen’ mini-festival, COLCOA Classics which provides a second look at great movies reprised on the big screen. Romance ...

Love for Violette (1933 – 2016) 1


The French named it … let’s see how they do it … film noir

The French coined the term “film noir” (both for dark plot lines and shadow-soaked visuals). In a land that reveres cinema like no other, France has hidden in its oeuvre crime films and dark melodramas that capture the essence of noir. A series spooling at the Aero Theatre this weekend, “The French Had a Name ...