LAFF Day 8

P-047 In addition to the films and happenings that I’ve been covering at LA Live, the Los Angeles Film Festival boasts programming and events throughout downtown and Los Angeles as whole. Venues include the Bing Theater at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the REDCAT theater, and the Grammy Museum. Last night, a bunch (read…)

LAFF: Director Kirby Dick on his documentary “The Invisible War”

Oscar-nominated documentarian Kirby Dick has made a series of powerful documentaries, often implementing his signature style of peeling back iron curtains that few others would have the courage to peer beyond. Twist of Faith (for which Dick was nominated for Best Documentary Feature) followed a man confronting his past sexual abuse by a Catholic priest. (read…)

Jack Nicholson

Oh, Jack Nicholson
Remember how great you were
Before The Joker?

Play Misty for Me (1971)

Play Misty for Me (1971) Directed by Clint Eastwood. Clint Eastwood as Dave Garver and Jessica Walter as Evelyn Draper (not pictured). Dave: “Men have destroyed the roads of wonder, And their cities squat like black toads In the orchards of life. Nothing is clean, or real, or as a girl, Naked to love, or (read…)

LAFF Day 7: The Duplass Brothers Strike Again

Steve Zissis and Jennifer Lafleur in Mark and Jay Duplass’ Do-Deca-Pentathlon Last night was another robust one at the Los Angeles Film Festival site at LA Live. The big tickets events were the Summer Showcase of Searching for Sugar Man and the Gala screening of Brave. The festival also hosted a special screening of The Do-Deca-Pentathlon (read…)

Teasing Disney/Pixar’s “Monsters University”

I know it isn’t most people’s favorite Pixar, but I’m an unapologetic fan of Monsters Inc. The idea of a sequel though, I’m not entirely crazy about. There’s a fine line between nostalgia for something you love and an unappealing sense of deja vu. This teaser I’m afraid gives me more of the latter. It’s (read…)

Barton Fink (1991) – Happy 60th Birthday, John Goodman!

Barton Fink (1991) Written and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. John Goodman as Charlie Meadows. Charlie: Come on, Barton. You think you know pain? You think I made your life hell? Take a look around this dump. You’re just a tourist with a typewriter, Barton. I live here. Don’t you understand that?

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Keira Knightley, Gillian Jacobs, T.J. Miller and Steve Carell If the world was ending and I was looking for a friend and that friend turned out to be Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, I would put a gun in my mouth and pull the trigger. It’s a black comedy with a (read…)

LAFF Day 6: Neil Young turns up Le Noise

Take a ride with Neil Young Journeys Electricity was literally and figuratively in the air last night at the Los Angeles Film Festival site at LA Live. Although the red carpet was all about Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, the longest audience lines and most excitement surrounded Neil Young Journeys. When (read…)

Teaser #2: Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” – Now with 42% more mastery

I’m told that this is a new teaser for one of the most eagerly anticipated movies of the year. I can’t confirm or deny it because I’m not going to watch it.

Gilda (1946)

Gilda (1946) Directed by Charles Vidor Rita Hayworth as Gilda and George Macready as Ballin Mundson (not pictured) Ballin: Gilda, are you decent? Gilda: Me? Sure, I’m decent.

LAFF: Pixar’s “Brave”

[Brave christens the 3,400 seat Dolby Theatre (formerly the Kodak) for pass holders tonight as part of the Los Angeles Film Festival. It screens again tomorrow night downtown for general audiences and it opens in theaters across the country on Friday.] Even after the relative disappointment of Cars 2, Pixar has been cruising along at (read…)

LAFF Day 5: Home of the Brave

Yesterday at the Los Angeles Film Festival was the most film-centric day many film lovers, myself included, have experienced thus far. The top floor of Regal LA Live was alive with the electric energy of impassioned cineastes darting from one theater to another to see up to five movies in a row. First up for (read…)

#1. Death Becomes Her (1992) – Happy 60th Birthday, Isabella Rossellini!

Death Becomes Her (1992) Directed by Robert Zemeckis Meryl Streep as Madeline Ashton and Isabella Rossellini as Lisl Von Rhuman Lisl: So warm, so full of life and already it ebbs away from you. This is life’s ultimate cruelty. It offers of the taste of youth and vitality and then makes us witness our own (read…)

#2. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970) – Happy 70th Birthday, Roger Ebert!

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970) Directed by Russ Meyer. Screenplay by Roger Ebert from a story by Roger Ebert and Russ Meyer. Edy Williams as Ashley St. Ives and David Gurian as Harris Allsworth Ashley St. Ives: Harris, you’re so square. You kids are supposed to be swingers! I think it’d be a (read…)

The Rite of Watercooler Spring – Igor Stravinsky’s 230th Birthday

It’s almost summer, but today is Igor Stravinsky’s 230th birthday and I can’t think of a stronger movie-Stravinsky connection than The Rite of Spring in Walt Disney’s Fantasia so this is your Watercooler Musical Interlude for the week. I’m busy with the fourth day of the Los Angeles Film Festival and trying to keep up (read…)

LAFF: The Sundance award-winning debut “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

[Lighting up the festival circuit since its debut at Sundance in January, Benh Zeitlin’s Beats of the Southern Wild played before an appreciative Los Angeles Film Festival audience Friday night. It opens theatrically on June 27th.] An invigorating, homespun American fairytale, Beasts of the Southern Wild is about perseverance in the face of calamity rooted (read…)

LAFF Day 4: The Ugly, the Bad and the Good

LAFF Saturday Highlight: Vampira and Me Yesterday was full of films and festivities at the Los Angeles Film Festival site at Regal LA Live 14. Yet the day took on a slightly different air than the previous two. Without any Gala/red carpet events, or preview screenings of studio offerings, festival-goers relished in the experience of (read…)

Chinatown (1974) – Happy Father’s Day from the Father of the Year

Chinatown (1974) Written by Robert Towne. Directed by Roman Polanski. Jack Nicholson as J.J. Gittes and John Huston as Noah Cross J.J. Gittes: Why are you doing it? How much better can you eat? What can you buy that you can’t already afford? Noah Cross: The future, Mr. Gits! The future! Now, where’s the girl? (read…)

LAFF Day 3: LA Breaks Bad while Jackson brushes off Friday and charges headlong into Saturday

David Fenster’s Pincus making its World Premiere tonight at the Los Angeles Film Festival Although the Los Angeles Film Festival was in full-swing last night, I have to say that I experienced a fairly quiet Friday night at LA Live. Although the entire Regal LA Live 14 was abuzz with excitement, I decided to forgo (read…)

Super-Rabbit (1943)

Super-Rabbit (1943) Story by Tedd Pierce. Directed by Charles M. Jones. Bugs Bunny voiced by Mel Blanc Bugs Bunny: This looks like a job for Super-Rabbit! Ehh, whoops! Pardon me. Wrong costume.

LAFF: “To Rome With Love” red carpet shennanigans

“I like being in Los Angeles for a couple of days. Would not like to move here… but two, three days out of the year is perfect for me” – Woody Allen on Los Angeles at last night’s LA Film Festival screening of To Rome With Love Actually that sums up a lot of people’s (read…)

LAFF: Chris Pine and Elizabeth Banks shine as “People Like Us”

Chris Pine, Elizabth Banks and Michael Hall D’Addario [People Like Us makes its World Premiere tonight at the Los Angeles Film Festival. It opens in theaters on June 29th] People Like Us is the surprisingly moving story of two wayward strangers who are drawn together by a shared secret. Finding each other, it turns out, (read…)

LAFF Day 2 Preview: Beasts of the Southern Wild, People Like Us, freakin’ Friedkin, E.T. turns 30 and much more

Tonight at LAFF: Chris Pine, Michael Hall D’Addario and Elizabeth Banks are  People Like Us The Los Angeles Film Festival got off to a roaring start last night with the Opening Night screening of Woody Allen’s latest film To Rome with Love. I more or less agree with Craig’s thoughts on the film, which he (read…)

Bullets Over Broadway (1994)

Bullets Over Broadway (1994) Written and directed by Woody Allen. John Cusack as David Shayne and Dianne Wiest as Helen Sinclair Helen: Well, what are we going to do about that canine loving ingénue? Did you cast her because you thought she was attractive? David: Well, she’s pretty, but more importantly she has a certain… (read…)

LAFF: Woody Allen’s “To Rome With Love” by way of Los Angeles

[This review also appears at Awards Daily] The stars came out tonight to launch the 18th Annual Los Angeles Film Festival and even Woody Allen, whose character Alvy Singer once famously asked of L.A. “Who would want to live in a place where the only cultural advantage is that you can turn right on a (read…)

LAFF: Alex Karpovsky’s “Red Flag”

If you’ve seen Lena Dunham’s terrific Girls on HBO or her film Tiny Furniture, you’ll instantly recognize Alex Karpovsky who plays perhaps the least likable of all the characters in both. Based on the trailer for his new film Red Flag which makes its World Premiere tomorrow night at the Los Angeles Film Festival, Karpovsky (read…)

A Simple Plan (1998)

A Simple Plan (1998) Directed by Sam Raimi. Bridget Fonda as Sarah and Bill Paxton as Hank. Sarah: You gotta remember how people see you. You’re just a normal guy. A nice sweet normal guy. Hank: They’re gonna know! Sarah: No they won’t! Nobody would ever believe that you’d be capable of doing what you’ve (read…)

Life During Wartime (2009) – Happy 50th Birthday, Ally Sheedy

Life During Wartime (2009) Written and directed by Todd Solondz Ally Sheedy as Helen Helen: I try. I really do, but… you and Keanu and everyone thinks I mock them, that I’m cruel and condescending, that I have no heart and it’s really hard. It’s hard on me because I really do love you. I (read…)

LiC’s 2012 LA Film Festival Preview starring Woody Allen, Steven Soderbergh and many, many more

Penelope Cruz (left) in Woody Allen’s To Rome With Love, the LA Film Festival opening night film It’s almost summer which must mean that the Los Angeles Film Festival is upon us once again. That’s right, LAFF kicks off its 18th year on Thursday, June 14th at LA Live with the North American Premiere of (read…)

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