Arts & Culture »

How teaching Shakespeare to middle schoolers transformed a struggling actor

Posted October 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Mel Ryane and her new book at KCRW

Mel Ryane, a classically trained actor, thought the idea seemed simple enough: Volunteer at a local public school to teach kids an appreciation for Shakespeare. Share the joys of literature and the Bard’s life lessons with kids who might not otherwise learn them. Her time on the stage had to have prepared her for the task–no? Well, it turns out, definitely not. Nothing could have primed Ryane for the terror and …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, LA Noir, News »

How Jewish Émigrés Impacted the Birth of Film Noir

Posted October 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Film still for Double Indemnity (1944), © Paramount Pictures. Courtesy of the Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Shown from left: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck.

In the 1930s, as the National Socialist Party gained power in Germany, people around the world did what they could to help Jews escape the Nazi threat. Jewish filmmakers and producers found refuge in Hollywood, and their contributions forever changed American cinema and culture. Those stories are told in several new museum exhibits across Los Angeles.

The 1942 classic Casablanca follows a complicated love story …

economy, Issues, News »

Think your rent is pricey now? Just wait until 2016

Posted October 7, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
dingbat

How much are you paying for rent right now?
Well, a new study says that if you’re a typical Southern California renter – you can expect to add about 8 to 10 percent to that monthly payment in two years.
USC’s Lusk Center for Real Estate projects that the average rent in L.A. County will be $1,856 by mid-2016, an 8.2 percent increase. In Orange County, …

Arts & Culture, News »

Demystifying a blockbuster hit (in pajamas)

Posted September 26, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Frozen1

If you’ve had any interaction with a little girl who is around five years old, you know the fever: They’re very likely gaga for the animated Disney princess-film, Frozen, which has earned over a billion dollars since its release last year.
What is it about this movie that seeps into young impressionable minds so deeply that girls want to see it over, and over, and over again? Just how did …

Arts & Culture, News, Politics »

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti on film and TV tax credits

Posted August 27, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo of The Hollywood Sign by Eugene Wei via Flickr/CC.

Governor Jerry Brown has signaled that he will sign off on a deal that would more than triple the tax breaks for movies and TV shows filmed in California.
The bill would boost the tax credits to $330 million a year over the next five years.
While the legislation would significantly increase the incentive pool from $100 million, it’s still well shy of the $450 million …

Environment, Issues, News, Politics »

Half-built Target project could face the wrecking ball

Posted August 26, 2014 by | 6 Comments | ]
targethollywood

A half-built Target store and shopping center going up in Hollywood will be staying in its current, unfinished state for the foreseeable future.
L.A. officials have reluctantly ordered Target to halt work on the project at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Western Avenue.
The order follows a court ruling that found that city officials improperly approved the project. The issue is height: Community groups sued …

Arts & Culture, Issues, News »

Movie studios. Kodak team up to save film, for now

Posted August 1, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
FILMCANISTERS

We live in a digital world, and Hollywood is no exception. But that doesn’t mean film is obsolete just yet, at least not in the hearts of some filmmakers.
In order to secure a steady supply of actual film, a coalition of major Hollywood studios has agreed to buy up to 450 million feet of the stuff a year from Eastman Kodak. The Wall Street Journal …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Interviews, News »

Photos: Remembering Pacific Ocean Park

Posted July 23, 2014 by | 10 Comments | ]
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From the late 1950s to the late ‘60s, Angelenos looking for music, dancing and rides, found the party at Pacific Ocean Park.
The beachside theme park – that jetted out into the Pacific – sat on 28 acres of land at the border of Santa Monica and Venice.
It featured rides created by Hollywood set designers, setting it apart from the standard, ordinary rides at Santa …

Arts & Culture »

The actress who influenced Hollywood’s greats

Posted May 2, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]
stella-adler-still

The actress Stella Adler’s influence on American theater and Hollywood was enormous. Among the greats who have thanked her include: Marlon Brando. Arthur Miller. Peter Bogdanovich. Harvey Keitel. Judy Garland. Melanie Griffith. Elizabeth Taylor.  And yet, outside the industry, little is known about her.
A new biography of Adler examines her life and influence as a teacher, from her birth to a prominent Yiddish theatrical …

Arts & Culture, Education, Interviews, News, Politics, Runaway Production »

Runaway production: Inside the ‘Poacher’s Convention’

Posted April 4, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Utah's booth at the Association of Film Commissioners International conference at the Hyatt Regency in Century City.

Hollywood is no longer the go-to place for shooting feature films and TV shows.
Just eight percent of big budget Hollywood films were made in LA in 2013, down from 65 percent in 1997.
And from 2005 to 2013, California’s share of one-hour TV series dropped from 64 percent to 28 percent.
Why the big exodus? States like Georgia, New York and Louisiana, and countries like the …

Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, News, Summer »

Planning for huge Grand Park concert hits a sour note

Posted April 3, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]
grandpark

Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Councilman Jose Huizar are clashing over a proposed Labor Day concert in Grand Park that could bring 50,000 people to downtown L.A. Huizar wants the city to withhold approval of permits for the two-day event until more details are provided. Huizar, who represents downtown, says he was left out of discussions for the Budweiser Made in America Music Festival, …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

Trail to Hollywood sign temporarily closes

Posted March 24, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
View from behind the Hollywood sign, reached by Hollyridge Trail. Photo via OrangesandAvocados.com.

This week it’s going to get a little harder to get an up-close view of the Hollywood sign.
The entrance to the Hollyridge Trail near the Hollywood Sign will be closed for about five weeks, starting Tuesday.
The city of Los Angeles is about to erect a heavier and bigger gate that’s harder for people to jump over.
Residents are celebrating. Tourists are grumbling. And it’s all …

Education, Environment, Issues, News, Politics »

Tourist trap: New gate on popular Hollywood Sign trail

Posted March 24, 2014 by | 6 Comments | ]
hollywoodsign

A popular hillside trail that offers one of the best views of the Hollywood Sign is shutting down tomorrow for five weeks. City crews are installing a new gate at the Hollyridge Trailhead in an effort to keep people out at night. The trail at the top of Beachwood Drive is ground zero in the debate between residents and city officials over access to …

Arts & Culture, economy, Environment, Issues, Politics, Warren Olney, Water and the Drought »

Residents keep wary on hillsides as rain pours down

Posted February 28, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]
STORMYL.A.

Concerns about mud and rock slides are increasing as a second, more powerful storm drops heavy rain on Southern California. Residents of more than 1,000 homes in the foothill communities of Glendora and Azusa have been ordered to evacuate, and the CHP has shit down a 10-mile stretch of PCH north of Malibu. Forecasters say the storm that blew in last night could drop …

Arts & Culture »

Oh, the horror: ‘Trophy Heads’ may not yield a statuette, but fans devour

Posted February 26, 2014 by | 3 Comments | ]
IMG_1882 2

This week, while everyone else has been pontificating and speculating about the Academy Awards, I went to a loft building between Little Tokyo and Skid Row and got an inside glimpse at the other side of Hollywood: the film empire of Charles Band and his Full Moon Features.
In his 30 year career, Band has produced and directed hundreds of films, mostly of the horror …

Arts & Culture, Education, Interviews, News »

Hollywood’s diversity problem

Posted February 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo of The Hollywood Sign by Eugene Wei via Flickr/CC.

Don’t look to TV and movies if you want to get a true sense of America’s racial diversity.
That’s according to researchers at UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies. A new report from the Westwood campus says minorities are not making the final cut in Hollywood.
The U.S. Census Bureau says non-whites make up about 36 percent of the U.S. population. But UCLA …

Arts & Culture, economy, Education, Environment, Issues, News, Politics »

Nichols exits but mystery of DWP non-profits persists

Posted January 10, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
nihols

City leaders hope the departure of General Manager Ron Nichols will help them solve the mystery of how $40 million in ratepayer funds was spent by two Department of Water and Power trusts created to improve labor relations. Nichols led one of trusts, and DWP union chief Brian D’Arcy heads the other. City officials have been stonewalled in their efforts to get information about …

Arts & Culture, Environment, News, Politics »

Foes of denser, taller Hollywood cheer court ruling

Posted December 12, 2013 by | 1 Comment | ]
hollywood

A judge says a zoning blueprint for denser development in Hollywood is fatally flawed. Approved last year, the Hollywood development plan cleared the way for denser projects and taller buildings. But Superior Court Judge Allan J. Goodman says the city didn’t fully consider the environmental impacts of such development. He’s ordered the city to rescind the plan and to stop issuing new permits. A …

Arts & Culture, economy, Interviews, News »

President Obama visits DreamWorks, VFX animators protest

Posted November 26, 2013 by | 0 Comments | ]
President Obama greets audience members on Nov. 26, 2013, when he visited the DreamWorks Animation studios in Glendale. (Credit: KTLA)

President Obama is back in Washington after a two-day swing through Los Angeles. Why was he here? To raise money and highlight the motion picture and television industry’s place in the economy.
In a speech at the DreamWorks Animation studios in Glendale, Obama praised the entertainment industry, noting that it supports “hundreds of thousands of middle-class jobs.”
Obama raised an estimated $2.5 million  for House and …

Environment »

Photos: LA’s elusive cougars

Posted November 19, 2013 by | 5 Comments | ]
Photo by Steve Winter/National Geographic
A hidden camera records Hollywood’s most reclusive star—this male cougar first seen in Griffith Park in Los Angeles almost two years ago. A radio collar tracks his moves, but residents see scant sign of him.

If you’ve hiked in Los Angeles, you’ve probably been on the lookout for mountain lions. Also known as cougars, the cats are actually pretty hard to find. Photographer Steve Winter teamed up with biologist Jeff Sikich in LA. Together they figured out a way to photograph the cats for a series called Ghost Cats, which appears in the December issue of National Geographic. The ultimate …

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