Michelangelo Antonioni, Director: 1912-2007

Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni died yesterday, the same day as Ingmar Bergman. He was 94. If the Swedish filmmaker was a cornerstone of 1950s international cinema, the same applies to Antonioni in the 1960s. Along with Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut and others, Antonioni was one of the filmmakers who helped expand the conventions of movie (read…)

Ingmar Bergman, Director: 1918-2007

Another giant of foreign cinema is gone. Sweden’s Ingmar Bergman has died at age 89. Between Kurosawa, Fellini and Bergman, the three ‘big ones’ who helped reintroduce American movie audiences to foreign film 1950s, I came to Bergman last. I discovered Kurosawa in high school, probably because so many of his films had an approachable action (read…)

FOX, Early Film Reviews and You

FOX owner and “billionaire tyrant” Rupert Murdoch explains to Homer Simpson just who’s really in charge Lately it seems like the people running FOX have really been freaking out about their ability to spin the perception of their films before they’re even released to the general public. Maybe they are or maybe I’m reading it (read…)

Tuesday Evening at the New Beverly Cinema

Intermission at The New Beverly Cinema 7/24/07 The New Beverly Cinema has been many things over the years, but until Sherman Torgan came along it never seemed to be the same thing for very long. In the 1930s it was a vaudeville theater. In the 1940s, mobster Mickey Cohen turned it into a nightclub called (read…)

Can a Billion Chinese Be Wrong?

I obsessively check up on how many people are viewing this blog and why, partly because I’m an attention whore and partly because I’m curious to know what people are responding to even if they don’t leave a comment. It turns out for example, a lot of people have been searching for the name of the (read…)

Weekend Forecast: 7/27/07

  This week in wide release: The Simpsons Movie. I love the Simpsons and yet I’ve never felt like I needed a movie about them. They’re still on TV in new episodes and in regular reruns and this whole thing feels about 10 years too late. I assumed everyone felt the same way until I (read…)

The New Beverly Cinema Reopens…For Now

The New Beverly reopened Tuesday night with a grindhouse double feature of Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks and The Sinful Dwarf (AKA Abducted Wife) brought to you by Harry Novak’s Boxoffice International Pictures, purveyor of fine exploitation fare throughout the 1970s. During intermission, the staff announced they would definitely be open at least until the end of July. (read…)

New Beverly Cinema Update

This went up today on the New Beverly website: July 23, 2007 Link to L.A. Times obituary is here. Due to the sudden and completely unexpected passing of my dear beloved father Sherman, the New Beverly’s programming will be cancelled until further notice. Sherman was my father and my best friend, and his passing has (read…)

Laszlo Kovacs, Cinematographer: 1933-2007

The first thing I saw when I logged on this morning was that Hungarian born cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs had passed away. A graduate of Budapest’s Academy of Drama and Film Art, Kovacs came to Hollywood in 1956, fleeing the Hungarian revolution. He had his first notable success working for producer Roger Corman on Hell’s Angels (read…)

Sherman Torgan, New Beverly Cinema: 1944-2007

This won’t mean much to you if you don’t live in LA, but I do and it does. Hollywood Elsewhere announced this morning that Sherman Torgan, the owner and manager of The New Beverly Cinema passed away while bike riding in Santa Monica yesterday (7/18). No details have been given regarding a memorial and there (read…)

Weekend Forecast: 7/20/07

I’m sure there’s some kind of Royale with Cheese joke here, but whatever. …And we’re back. I can’t think of a better way to get the ball rolling once again than a little Weekend Forecast. Here’s what’s new in wide release this weekend: Hairspray. Though I haven’t seen it in 15 years, I remember having (read…)

On Vacation

  I’ll be on vacation from July 6 to July 16, 2007. I’ll have computer access, but I don’t know how much writing I’ll be doing until I get back.  I’m hoping to do a lot of reading and photography and relaxing and I think it will be good to take a rest from movies. I (read…)

Writers of the Lost ‘Ark’

Star Steve Carell enjoys an on-set beverage with two of the writers of Universal’s flop Evan Almighty. Even as a person of dubious faith, the thing that offended me most about Evan Almighty was the idea that, because of the enormous success of Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ, some cynic actually believed that a veneer of (read…)

Holiday Forecast: July 4th

  In wide release for the holiday: Transformers® (July 2, 8pm). Further evidence that women are different from men (besides, you know, ovaries and stuff): Would wives and girlfriends the world over be dragging their husbands and boyfriends to see a live action Cabbage Patch Kids movie in freakishly high numbers? How about Care Bears? (read…)

Notes from the LA Film Fest – Final

On Sunday July 1st, Owl and the Sparrow (Cu va Chim Se Se) (USA, Vietnam 2007) won the audience award for narrative feature at the 2007 LA Film Festival. Set in Vietnam, Stephane Gauger’s drama tells the story of 10-year-old Thuy who runs away to Saigon and lives on the streets there. The LA Film (read…)

Notes from the LA Film Fest – Part 5

Nantarat Sawaddikul in Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s Syndromes and a Century If the 2007 L.A. Film Festival was porn, then for me Syndromes and a Century from Thailand’s Apichatpong Weerasethakul was the money shot. This is why I bought tickets for a bunch of movies I’d never heard of before. This is why I drove back and (read…)

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