Arts & Culture, economy, Issues, LA Noir, News, Oscars2014, The Mixer, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: Hollywood’s diversity problem

Posted February 20, 2015 by | 30 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

This Sunday, hundreds of millions of people around the world will gather at their sets to watch stars walk the red carpet, and then award each other with golden trophies.
It’s an annual tradition, but one thing you won’t see this year is a lot of diversity. In fact, the last time there were this few Oscar nominees of color was in 1998.
The Washington Post even had …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

A painting with your movie ticket: Hollywood’s digital transition means more space for art

Posted February 18, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

It’s a Thursday night at the Laemmle movie theater on Lankershim. Patrons are streaming in for the evening shows. As they make their way down the corridor to the theaters, they’re greeted with a series of bright, floral paintings by the San Diego collaborative duo Hill and Stump –and art patrons, sipping wine.
Much has been said about the transition to digital movie projection, but …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

Oscar Goes Outdoors: Hollywood and the Santa Monica Mountains

Posted February 12, 2015 by | 0 Comments | ]

On this Valentine’s Day weekend, if you love movies as much as your significant other, you might want to check out some Hollywood history.
“Oscar Goes Outdoors!” is an event this Sunday that’ll give local film fanatics a chance to see some classic Hollywood settings within a short drive of L.A., from “Gone with the Wind” to “American Sniper.”
The event will be at King Gillette Ranch, …

Arts & Culture, News »

How ‘Tradition’ became a classic: Celebrating ‘Fiddler’ at 50

Posted December 12, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Lines of people swarmed the box office as soon as Fiddler opened/photo: Photofest

The Tony award-winning Broadway show turned Oscar-winning film, “Fiddler on the Roof,” didn’t look from the start to be a work that would endure for decades. It took the team who wrote the work, based on the 1905 writing of Sholem Aleichem, a number of attempts to massage it into the classic it became. “Twelve things a day,” was the mantra after early lackluster reviews in pre-Broadway tryouts, as …

Arts & Culture »

Forget Oscar: We want books!

Posted February 28, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]

Everyone knows that when you win an Academy Award, you get a shiny gold statue plus instant (if fleeting) additional fame and fawning attention. So what happens if you win a big prize in the literary world? If, say, on March 13th, you get the nod from the prestigious National Book Critics Circle, you get to… go to a party!
For authors, making the short …

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 | ]

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, Oscars2014 »

5 things we learned from Oscar expert Dave Karger and Elvis Mitchell on The Treatment

Posted February 27, 2014 by | 2 Comments | ]

Self-professed ‘Oscar nerd’ Dave Karger hosts Fandango FrontRunners, and serves as the official ‘Oscar expert’ for shows like Access Hollywood, E! and TODAY. This week on KCRW’s The Treatment, he and host Elvis Mitchell dish on the most interesting stories coming out of this year’s Academy Awards:

1. “Oscar-nominated” is not always synonymous with “good,” and vice versa.

Inside Llewyn Davis was a favorite among cinephiles …

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, Oscars2014 »

Inside the $80,000 ‘Everyone Wins’ Oscar gift bag

Posted February 26, 2014 by | 12 Comments | ]

The day after the Academy Awards ceremony, 21 lucky losers will receive gift bags made by Distinctive Assets, a company founded by the enthusiastic Lash Fary– a man sometimes referred to as “The Gift Fairy.”  They call them the “Everyone Wins” gift bags, though in truth, only the host– who this year is Ellen Degeneres– and the 20 Oscar-nominated directors, actors and actresses who …

Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Issues, News, Oscars2014, Politics »

‘Gravity’ and ‘American Hustle’ lead Oscar hopefuls

Posted January 16, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]

“American Hustle” and “Gravity” cemented their Oscar frontrunner status with 10 Academy Award nominations apiece, including nods for best picture and best director. “12 Years a Slave” was also nominated in those categories, and received a total of nine nominations. There were nine films nominated for best picture this year, one short of the maximum. In addition the aforementioned trio, the nominees are “Philomena,” …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News, Politics »

Oscars draws protests from visual effects industry

Posted February 25, 2013 by | 2 Comments | ]

The folks who put a tiger on a boat for “Life of Pi” won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects last night – but it was a bittersweet triumph.
Rhythm & Hues, the Marina del Rey studio that led the effects team, has filed for bankruptcy.
Some of the artists who lost their jobs were among about 400 people protesting at Hollywood and Vine last night …

Arts & Culture, News »

This week’s entertainment buzz: Oscars & VFX

Posted February 25, 2013 by | 117 Comments | ]

And the Oscar Goes To… 
Kim Masters, host of KCRW’s The Business and Editor-at-large for The Hollywood Reporter joined Warren Olney on “To The Point” today to talk about some of the highs and lows of the Oscars. “It was kind of  like a bumper car,” she told Warren.
Spectacular effects have become the driver for why many people still go to the movie theater. This …

Arts & Culture, economy, Education, Today's News »

Today’s News: ‘Argo,’ Affleck come up gold; Special effects protest; Sequester cuts

Posted February 25, 2013 by | 0 Comments | ]

Hollywood’s night. The Iranian hostage drama “Argo” was the big winner at the 85th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre, but no single film dominated the Oscars ceremony. Daniel Day Lewis won his third Best Actor award and Jennifer Lawrence her first. Ang Li was top director for “Life of Pi.” There were a few surprises, a few eyebrows raised by host Seth MacFarlane …

Arts & Culture »

Life After Oscar: Documentary filmmaker T.J. Martin

Posted February 22, 2013 by | 1 Comment | ]

Documentary filmmaker T.J. Martin won the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 2012 for his film “Undefeated,” which follows a high school football team from Memphis. The film chronicles the life of underprivileged teenagers on and off the field.  Martin says that having Oscar on his mantel hasn’t changed his life. ” I’m not flying to Tahiti,” says Martin, but winning  Oscar does help him get meetings. “In a …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

The sound designers behind ‘Django Unchained’

Posted February 20, 2013 by | 2 Comments | ]

The Academy Awards are coming up on Sunday. Before the stars walk the red carpet, reporter Ari Karpel has one final look at some of the less heralded artists who worked below the line on one of the Oscar-nominated features, Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained.”
Karpel recently sat down with Mike Minkler, sound re-recording mixer, and Wylie Stateman, supervising sound editor for the film.
Minkler is a …

Arts & Culture »

Ever wanted to hold an Oscar? Now’s your chance

Posted January 30, 2013 by | 1 Comment | ]

Ever wondered what it would be like to hold an Oscar?
Starting Monday, movie fans in a handful of cities across the country will get a chance to hold the prestigious film award statuette as part of a national tour that’ll culminate with the Academy Awards next month.
The tour will begin Monday in New York, and then move to cities including Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

Surprises in today’s Oscar nominations

Posted January 10, 2013 by | 2 Comments | ]

Oscar nominations are out. There were some surprises, and some not-so-surprising developments from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as they released their list of those up for awards this year. That ceremony coming up on Sunday, February 24th.
Stephen Galloway from The Hollywood Reporter spoke to Steve Chiotakis with his thoughts on the nominees. The two discussed that, among several surprises this …

Arts & Culture, economy, Issues, Politics, Today's News »

Today’s News (Updated): Brown’s budget; ‘Lincoln’ leads; Hollywood and violence

Posted January 10, 2013 by | 0 Comments | ]

Update: School shooting in Kern County.
This morning an armed 16-year-old student walked into Taft High School in Kern County and shot one student. He reportedly fired at another and then missed. A teacher and another staff member managed to to talk him into surrendering. The injured student was flown to a Bakersfield hospital and is in critical condition. Following the shooting Sen. Dianne Feinstein, released …

Arts & Culture, News »

This week’s entertainment buzz

Posted January 7, 2013 by | 2 Comments | ]

Is Zero Dark Thirty Fact or Propaganda?
The movie “Zero Dark Thirty“, directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written and produced by Mark Boal tells the story— or a version of the story— of the CIA’s hunt for Osama bin Laden. Many consider it among the best films of 2012. And the filmmakers come to the material off of tremendous critical success– if not box-office boffo– …

Arts & Culture, economy, Issues, Today's News »

Today’s News: Church abuse files; LA crime rates; Clippers roll

Posted December 28, 2012 by | 0 Comments | ]

Naming names. The fight over secret church files dealing with sexual abuse cases isn’t over yet. The L.A. Roman Catholic Archdiocese’s $660 million settlement with abuse victims included an order that the files be made public. Previously, a judge ruled that the names of officials – including Cardinal Roger Mahony – should be redacted to avoid further embarrassment for the church. But an L.A. …

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