Agnes Varda smiles. So does Ava DuVernay. 2

Film
One of the most prodigious female artists of our lifetime, the fanciful, thought-provoking, highly humane and feminist filmmaker, Agnès Varda (1928 – 2019), received kudos, a showering of affection, and shared solace over her recent death Saturday at ARRAY360. The rich film festival, which took place at the superlative cinema-campus founded in Echo Park by ...

REVIEW: Twyla’s back and Herman’s got her, in ABT’s ‘A Gathering of Ghosts’

Dance · Reviews
by 
Aran Bell, Calvin Royal III and Catherine Hurlin in Twyla Tharp’s A Gathering of Ghosts. Photo: Rosalie O’Connor. Twyla Tharp is back working with American Ballet Theatre. So for at least one evening — Wednesday’s much-anticipated premiere of her new ballet at the David Koch Theater — all seemed right with the world. Her prior ...

Space is the place, Americans

Film
natalie in the sky with diamonds Is Donald Trump president of outer space? No? Well, then, I’d like to go there immediately. Thanks to Hollywood, we have a few options. I enjoyed the new Natalie Portman movie, Lucy in the Sky, about a female astronaut who in observing that “space is so big and we ...

Erin Trefry: art works ‘hard-wired’ with intimacy

Visual arts
In a Los Angeles gallery season just crammed with new shows, something caught my eye in the announcement of artist Erin Trefry‘s solo exhibition at Lowell Ryan Projects, If The Moon Turns Green. I felt drawn to the images of Trefry’s paintings; in particular, her assemblage and sculptures spoke to me, I realized, on a ...

Not a man’s dance-world, says ‘Femme Fetale,’ speaking in bodytalk

Dance
Of the three-woman dance crew, ‘Femme Fetale,’ comprised of a Korean, a Mexican and a French dancer, one of the ladies is named Marie Poppins. Femme Fetale dance crew

Sleepless nights? Let Gwen read you nursery rhymes.

Dance

University action fails to address racism of ‘The Birth of a Nation’

Film
Bette Davis and Lillian Gish in The Whales Of August (1987) Ed note: The following is an excerpt from a long interview with film marketing strategist/producer-director Mike Kaplan, a friend of artsmeme, concerning the removal of the name of Lillian and Dorothy Gish from a screening auditorium at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. The ...

From the politically toxic Lillian Gish

Film
Friend-of-artsmeme Mike Kaplan shares an image of a movie poster personally autographed by Lillian Gish. Kaplan produced THE WHALES OF AUGUST (1987), which starred the then-elderly but still luminous Gish, in marvelous scenes that convey her screen magic with Bette Davis, who also stars in the film. Featured here is a Gish movie from another ...

The new American intolerance: Gish Film Theater shorn of name

Film
by 
ed. note: With a heavy heart, we publish words submitted by Mike Kaplan, a friend of artsmeme whose peerless collection of dance movie posters now hangs at the National Dance Museum in Saratoga Springs. Mike, the producer of ‘The Whales of August’ (1987) starring Bette Davis and Lillian Gish, is at the forefront of controversy ...

Transcending ‘correctness’: Lillian Gish

Film
I’ve never been in style, so I can never go out of style. – Lillian Gish