Happy birthday, Jerry! Love, WSS kids

Dance · Film
When was the last time a film clip got a standing ovation? Well, it happened last night. The audience at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills erupted in appreciation after watching Rita Moreno and George Chakiris, on screen, kicking it to Leonard Bernstein’s thumping music and Stephen Sondheim’s wicked lyrics (all still ring ...

‘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 ...

Jets & Sharks rumble @ Laemmle Anniversary Classics WSS screening

Dance · Film
A great evening on Wednesday when film critic Stephen Farber interviewed Russ Tamblyn (“Riff”) at a 55th anniversary screening of “West Side Story” before a very full house at the Laemmle Ahyra Fine Arts Theatre. A slew of dance royalty attended the screening: Dancer Bobby Banas (“Joyboy” in the movie), Barrie Chase of Fred Astaire ...

Be the swingin’est thing. Be a Jet … @ Laemmle Anniversary Classics

Dance · Film · Theater
The film version of the legendary, game-changing Broadway musical was released 55 years ago, in 1961. arts•meme’s Debra Levine will offer opening remarks to the the movie at this week’s Anniversary Classics screening in Beverly Hills. Levine will share her dance appreciation of the musical’s creator and movie co-director, choreographer Jerome Robbins. She will also ...

Russ recalls Rusty Tamblyn, child star of GUN CRAZY @ UCLA Film & Television Archive

“I never owned one and could care less about guns,” said the gentle-spirited Russ Tamblyn before a sold-out house at the Billy Wilder Theater on Friday night. The conversation with Shannon Kelley, Director of Public Programs for the UCLA Film & Television Archive, followed a screening of cult-classic, GUN CRAZY (Monogram Pictures, 1950). Tamblyn, then ...

“Gun Crazy”‘s Russ Tamblyn in person @ UCLA Film & Television Archive

Super looking forward to Friday night at the Billy Wilder Theater for a screening of Joseph H. Lewis’ GUN CRAZY at UCLA Film & Television Archive.  The film noir cult classic is a stylish example of the doomed-lovers-on-the-lam prototype; it anticipated “Bonnie and Clyde” two decades hence. The screening of “Gun Crazy” opens the UCLA ...

Matt Mattox (1921-2013) leads off in “Lonesome Polecat” 5

Dance · Film
Big guy Matt Mattox leads off his “brothers” in this lovely unhurried number choreographed by Michael Kidd for SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS (MGM, 1954). The precision! Matt’s mournful singing, “Can’t make no vows … to a herd of cows” is dubbed in the movie by Bill Lee. Like this? Read more: Matt Mattox, memorialized ...

Happy 100th Gene Kelly! Love, Oscar 2

Dance · Film
A parade of Technicolor-tinged dance sequences enchanted a full house at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater Thursday night. “A Centennial Tribute to Gene Kelly,” the first of a two-part event hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored the beloved dancer-choreographer-director in this most effective manner — by screening his sensational dance clips. ...

Experimental films by Topanga Canyon creatives @ Los Angeles Filmforum

Film · Ideas & Opinion
An upcoming program at Los Angeles Filmforum — screening experimental and avant-garde film and video art, documentaries, and experimental animation — captures my interest. It’s the ninth installment of Filmforum director Adam Hyman’s extensive and rigorous 24-program exhibition of experimental films made in L.A. between 1945 and 1980. This survey fits neatly into the time ...

Chakiris, Tamblyn, Moreno cement their memories @ Grauman’s 1

Dance · Film · Theater
A touching trio of memories left behind at Grauman’s Chinese Theater on November 15, 2011, as three “West Side Story”‘ stars join the Hollywood ritual and deposit paws and hooves in cement. Long live the dancers! Like this? Read more: Enjoy arts·meme‘s “West Side Story” thread