French swashbuckling powers “On Guard” @ COLCOA Classics

Film
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

Dance

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

Film
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 ...

How beautiful! French art bequeathed to LACMA

Architecture & Design · Visual arts
Love the work of French artist Pierre Bonnard and his inimitable ‘interior’ paintings, an example, “Apres le repas,” from 1925, above. That’s just one canvas of a huge trove of French and other European art bequeathed last November as a major gift to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) by the Los Angeles-based ...

New Patrice Leconte comedy splendid Sunday attraction @ COLCOA

Film
A very appealing prospect on Sunday afternoon at COL*COA film festival, now on at the DGA Building on Sunset Boulevard, is a new film by French comedy writer/director Patrice Leconte. Leconte who burst forth in 1989 with “Monsieur Hire” and “The Hairdresser’s Husband,” has led a long career making films of wide-ranging themes, many with ...

Classics of COL*COA 2015

Film
The wonderful French film festival in Los Angeles, COL*COA (City of LIghts*City of Angels), a big favorite chez arts·meme, kicked off its 19th edition last night with a baguette-et-fromage-strewn cocktail hour in the lobby of the Director’s Guild of America. A fun flick, a gothic thriller, “The Ideal Man,” opened the festival. Now a nine-day ...

What a woman! Josephine Baker struts her stuff in “Bananas”

Dance · Theater
Just in time to celebrate Women’s History Month, the great Josephine Baker, as channeled by vivacious actress Sloan Robinson — whose pet project this is — will again rule the roost in “Bananas.” The award-winning production (it garnered the NAACP Theatre Awards in 2009) recounts La Baker’s rise from the slums of East St. Louis ...

Oscar party a la francaise

Film
Generous pours of crisp Sancerre. Platters of gooey cheese. Smoked salmon and fresh shrimp cocktail. A complement of pristine patisserie. Perhaps not your typical luncheon fare for a workaday Monday. But on the day following the Academy Awards, it proved a bountiful buffet at a plein air reception for the cream of the crop of ...

The gorgeous sound of Godard’s ‘Goodbye to Language’ 1

Film · Ideas & Opinion
The handwritten scrawl below comes from the pen of cinéaste-provocateur Jean-Luc Godard. The influential director, still working in his eighties, shares the scenario for his startling new film, “Goodbye to Language” (“Adieu au langage”), now in an exclusive run at the American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre through much of next week. Godard’s 43rd film, a ravishing ...

‘Ivan the Wonderful’ fans the “Flames of Paris”

Dance
    Russia’s latest Sputnik-in-orbit, Ivan Vasiliev, swapped between adorable, formidable, and simply irresistible as French revolutionary “Philippe” in Mikhailovsky Ballet‘s production of “The Flames of Paris” tonight at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. It was a West Coast debut for the Mikhailovsky, an impressive second-tier player to Russia’s Bolshoi and Kirov ballets. High above the Segerstrom stage, Ivan ...