Hardest hit on ‘White Christmas’ movie set? Dancers. 2

Dance · Film
The lyric may be “iconic,” but it’s also “ironic.” Robert Alton’s sumptuous dance duet, “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing,” a classy, flowing number for Vera-Ellen and Danny Kaye, in White Christmas (1954) reveals the choreographer’s signature moves. Alton [Easter Parade, There’s No Business LIke Show Business, White Christmas] could move bodies around a ...

Ain’t there anyone here for love? Ladies, let’s do this! 1

Dance · Film
Okay, Messrs Weinstein, Schneiderman, R. Kelly, Richard Meier, Charlie Rose and the rest of you sexual predator power-guys! Formidable glamazon Marilyn Monroe, in Jack Cole’s “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” from GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953) wants to share her version of gender politics. A big boomerang of woman power heading your way, back at ...

Whatever happened to Robert Aldrich? FEUD’s pattern of distortion 2

Film
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Breaking news: On May 6, 2018, the California Supreme Court received a petition to review the California appeals court decision to dismiss Olivia de Havilland’s lawsuit against television network FX and Ryan Murphy which reversed her original legal win that she had grounds to pursue her fight against how she was depicted in FEUD. The ...

Farber on Film: the strong cinematic women of TCM Fest 2018

Film
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In the year of #MeToo, it seems only appropriate that some of the most resonant films shown at the TCM Classic Film Festival had strong women front and center. Both onscreen and off, 100-year-old Marsha Hunt has long been an inspiring figure. Known for her principled stand against the Hollywood blacklist, which damaged her career, ...

Bullock’s Wilshire former retail glory @ Art Deco Society talk & screening 1

Architecture & Design · Film
A beacon of Art Deco wonderment, the iconic Bullock’s Wilshire Department Store still stands on Wilshire Boulevard. Designed by Parkinson and Parkinson in 1928, the legendary building is considered a preservation success story; it is now repurposed as the Southwestern School of Law’s law library. Eh. Okay. They dare not tear it down because among ...

Curtain-up on Curtiz retrospective @ UCLA Film & Television Archive

Film
Academy Award-winning director Michael Curtiz (1886-1962) whose best-known films include Casablanca (1942), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) and Mildred Pierce (1945) directed over 180 films — 94 of them during more than a quarter-century at Warner Bros. He helmed tearjerkers, swashbuckling adventures, westerns, musicals, war epics, historical dramas, horror films, melodramas and film noir. Curtiz’s protean ...

Hollywood’s cross-genre master Michael Curtiz gets biography

Film · Language & ideas
Academy Award–winning director Michael Curtiz (1886–1962)—whose best-known films include Casablanca (1942), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Mildred Pierce (1945) and White Christmas (1954)—was in many ways the anti-auteur. During his 27-year tenure at Warner Bros., Curtiz directed swashbuckling adventures, westerns, musicals, war epics, romances, historical dramas, horror films, tearjerkers, melodramas, comedies, and film noir masterpieces. The ...

Olivia de Havilland: still fighting “Feuds” at 101 2

Film
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Revelations of predatory behavior against women first exposed in the film industry have spread to other corridors of power. The headlines have overshadowed a parallel story involving the shameless disrespect of an iconic figure of Hollywood’s Golden Age. She fought for, and changed, the way the entertainment business is conducted. That woman, now 101 years ...

‘Variety’ got it dead wrong: NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) 1

Film · Visual arts
On the occasion of the hugely talented, innovative and original filmmaker George Romero receiving his star on Hollywood Boulevard (the auteur director died in July) and the wonderful tribute event we attended (screening Romero’s marvelous and underrated CREEPSHOW) this past week, we sense that Romero’s pioneering in the horror genre can’t have been easy. A tough ...

Hollywood harassment nothing new, says Barrie Chase 4

Dance · Film
The brouhaha over movie producer Harvey Weinstein’s decades of inappropriate sexual aggression with actresses brought back sixty-year-old memories from Barrie Chase, one of the most superb dancers to work in film and television. Her story concerns Arthur Freed, the renowned MGM producer with an A-list roster of movie-musical titles to his name, a revered high-quality ...