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Angelyne Identified

from The Hollywood Reporter

The Mystery of L.A. Billboard Diva Angelyne’s Real Identity Is Finally Solved

by Gary Baum

An Angelyne billboard in the 1990s.Scott McKiernan/ZUMA Press/Newscom

Way before Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, the enigmatic blonde bombshell was famous for being famous, perpetually driving the streets of Hollywood in that pink Corvette. But her true identity has remained secret all these years … until now.

“Would you be interested in a story on Angelyne’s true identity?” the man wrote last fall under a pseudonym, referring to the enigmatic L.A. billboard diva who has been a pop culture icon of self-creation and self-marketing since the early 1980s — and is now regarded as a forerunner to Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and every personal-brand hustler on social media. “I have many details on her life — all well documented — from when her parents met to early adulthood. It’s very different from her public, concocted story — and more interesting.”

Angelyne is one of the vanishingly few contemporary public figures whose background has remained shrouded in mystery, along with the conceptual artist Banksy, Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto and aircraft hijacker D.B. Cooper. The man, who claimed to work in an undefined role for the federal government, said he was a hobbyist genealogist, occasionally taking on paid assignments in the field as an amusing side gig. A few years earlier, he’d decided it’d be fun to set himself the challenge of cracking Angelyne’s case. “And I did,” he explained.

Later, at the 101 Coffee Shop in Hollywood, the genealogist — who looks like Michael Kelly’s contained political operative Doug Stamper from House of Cards — unfurled an elaborate story of Angelyne’s past, based on material he contended he’d enterprisingly pulled and synthesized from a global network of public databases. He laid down a folded printout of a row of yearbook photos.

[ click to continue reading at THR ]

Posted on August 4, 2017 by Editor

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Russo Bros.

from DEADLINE

Fox Sets Russo Brothers In Co-Finance & WW Distribution Deal For New Movie Projects

by Mike Fleming Jr

Jonathan Hordle/REX/Shutterstock

EXCLUSIVE: Avengers: Infinity War directors Joe and Anthony Russo are zeroing in on a major deal with 20th Century Fox for their unnamed production company that will fully launch in January after they complete back-to-back Avengers sequels. Sources said the Russo Brothers are closing a long term non-exclusive pact for Fox to co-finance and distribute worldwide features generated by the new venture. The company will have put pictures included, and the venture will provide the other half of the financing for its films. I understand there was competition among studios to land the deal.

The Russo Brothers had a comfort level with and respect for Fox film chief Stacey Snider that goes back to her days at Universal. Snider was the entry point, and they met and hit it off with production chief Emma Watts, sources said. The duo has been working on the launch of this venture for over a year, with an eye toward directing films and producing others, and creating a feeder system for emerging talent. The Fox deal will allow them to start as a funded mini-major.

[ click to continue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on July 25, 2017 by Editor

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Romero Gone

from Deadline Hollywood

George A. Romero Dies: ‘Night Of The Living Dead’ Director Was 77

by Greg Evans

George A. Romero, the director who all but invented the modern zombie genre with his 1968 horror classic Night of the Living Dead, has died at 77 of lung cancer.

Infused with social commentary and a realistic, midnight-movie terror, Romero’s brazenly stark thriller, and the sequels that followed, made as large an impact on the genre and a culture’s nightmares as any horror film since the Universal Studios monster chillers of the 1930s.

The Pittsburgh native’s low-budget, black and white film went from cult favorite to blockbuster franchise with Romero’s 1978 sequel Dawn of the Dead, 1985’s Day of the Dead (1985), Land of the Dead (2005), Diary of the Dead (2007) and finally 2009’s Survival of the Dead. His take on the vampire genre, Martin, was released in 1978, and he wrote the 1990 Night remake, directed by Tom Savini.

As a producer, Romero delivered TV’s seminal 1980s horror anthology Tales From the Dark Side.

“Hard to quantify how much he inspired me & what he did for cinema,” tweeted Hostel director Eli Roth. (See other Hollywood reactions here.)

[ click to read full obit at Deadline ]

Posted on July 16, 2017 by Editor

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Mahoney

from The Hollywood Reporter

Meet the High Priest of Hollywood Tattoo Artists

by Gary Baum

Mahoney doesn’t share prices but larger custom pieces cost thousands, depending on the time required.Photographed By Brian Bowen Smith

Johnny Depp calls him brother. Adele and Angelina are clients. After 40 years of body ink, Mark Mahoney, whose style now dominates the craft, has become an icon of the Sunset Strip.

A life spent injecting ink into flesh has taken Mark Mahoney, Hollywood’s most influential and respected tattoo artist, across the human experience. He began tattooing drunk Hell’s Angels beneath a swastika flag in a Massachusetts motorcycle club, then made his way for a time to Manhattan, where he set up shop at the bohemian Chelsea Hotel. (Sid Vicious was a client.) Now, with the fully mainstream acceptance of what was an outlaw aesthetic when he started in the business 40 years ago, he finds his booked-six-months-out appointment calendar filled with green-juice-toting “mothers and their daughters from Beverly Hills. I feel like I’m dreaming.”

Also stars: David Beckham is covered in Mahoney’s work, a fine-line style involving solely black-and-gray ink known as “single needle” that he has popularized — and that a coterie of younger practitioners has propagated on increasingly dewier millennial dermis. Other clients include Adele, Angelina Jolie, Rihanna, Jared Leto and Lana Del Rey, who cast him as her muse in two music videos.

In the past, he offered his services to rivals 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. — the latter just days before he was killed. (Quincy Jones has joked that musicians thank “God and Mark Mahoney” at the Grammys; awards season in general is particularly busy for him, with extra house calls and visits to the Four Seasons hotel on Doheny Drive.) Longtime patron and friend Mickey Rourke stopped calling to get together after he couldn’t be squeezed in before a boxing match in Russia. “People have told me he’s gettin’ over it,” says Mahoney. “But it breaks my f—in’ heart.”

[ click to continue reading at THR ]

Posted on May 22, 2017 by Editor

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California A-flower

from NBC Los Angeles

Photos: California Bursts With Spring Colors

By Jonathan Lloyd

The hills are alive with the colors of spring. California’s bright colors are in full bloom after one of the state’s wettest winters in years nourished wildflowers, some which had been dormant for years. Check out some of the amazing scenes from the late winter season after a series of storms that pumped life into the Antelope Valley poppy fields, Griffith Park’s hillsides, vast expanses of the Central Valley and the bright fields of flowers near the tiny town of Borrego Springs, where the spectacular wildflower display that has drawn record crowds and traffic. An estimated 150,000 people have visited the town about 85 northeast of San Diego in the past month to see the bright spring colors. The colors are expected to continue in May with different species blooming at different elevations. Send your photos to isee@nbcla.com.

[ click to continue reading at NBC LA ]

Posted on April 12, 2017 by Editor

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Camille on Oscar

from The Hollywood Reporter

Camille Paglia on Oscar Glamour Then and Now: “Grandeur of Old Hollywood Is Gone” (Guest Column)

by Camille Paglia

Terry O’Neill/Getty Images; Peter Kramer/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Faye Dunaway, shown after her Oscar win. (Inset: Paglia)

The social critic and author of the upcoming ‘Free Women, Free Men: Sex, Gender, Feminism,’ writes that Elizabeth Taylor’s 1961 win was “a huge cultural watershed, a prefiguration of the coming sexual revolution,” which predated a new generation of “hip, smart and cynical” stars.

As a child, I had two pagan high holy days every year. The first was Halloween, where I advertised my transgender soul by masquerading as a matador, a Roman soldier, Napoleon or Hamlet. The second was Oscar night, when Hollywood put its dazzling glamour on heady display for the whole world.

As I was growing up in the drearily conformist 1950s and early ’60s, it was hard to find information about popular culture, which wasn’t taken seriously. Deep-think European art films were drawing tiny coteries of intellectuals to small, seedy theaters, but flamboyant mainstream Hollywood was still dismissed as crass, commercial trash.

[ click to continue reading at THR ]

Posted on February 23, 2017 by Editor

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The Bombing Of The L.A. Times

from KCET

Infernal Machines: The Bombing of the Los Angeles Times and L.A.’s First ‘Crime of the Century’

by Hadley Meares

timesbombing.jpgBombed-out building of the Los Angeles Times at First Street and Broadway, 1910 | Security Pacific National Bank Collection, Los Angeles Public Library

It never fails to astound me. The tales we remember collectively. And the stories we forget. I first learned of the 1910 bombing of the Los Angeles Times on a walk around Hollywood Forever Cemetery. There, next to graves of the Otises and Chandlers, is a grand monument to “Our martyred men,” the 20 employees of the Los Angeles Times who had lost their lives in the early morning hours of Saturday, October 1, 1910. There is a list of the deceased, fourteen of whose remains are buried beneath the monument. They had been hard at work at the Times’ headquarters, often called “The Fortress,” on the northeast corner of First and Broadway, when a series of dry blasts starting at 1:07 a.m. shook downtown Los Angeles to its foundations.

When I was growing up my father ran a paper and a printing press. I spent many happy nighttime hours at the press — running in and out of the revolving doors of the dark room and climbing on the great rolls of newspaper. I can still remember the smell of the ink, the clanging rhythm of the insert machine, and the dark ink smudges on the pressmen’s shirts. There was a sense of camaraderie among the folks who worked at the paper — the odd hours, the stress of deadlines, and the constant noise. Perhaps these memories are why this story so resonates with me.

At the current home of The Los Angeles Times on Spring Street, faded and half empty, there are few references to the bombing. There is a brief blurb about it in a historical timeline exhibit in the lobby. There is the cornerstone laid in 1934 by Harry Chandler, which contains a copper box with a list of the dead and other mementos. The words “True Industrial Freedom” are etched into the building’s façade, a reference lost to most casual pedestrians.

Across the street is an empty lot where “The Fortress” and its immediate successor had once approximately stood. The day I visit, there is a faint smell of urine and trash, and the detritus of the city clogs the lot’s chain link fence. Weathered signs proclaim that the block will soon be a city park, and flowering bushes have already reclaimed much of the area. Stray sheets of newspapers blow through high, rustling weeds. The ruins of a later government building are visible, and a desk and chair sit on ghostly guard at the top of a set of stairs overgrown with weeds. Rumor has it that the future park’s retaining walls were made with the debris of “The Fortress,” but it is only a rumor. The truth is there’s nothing much left of the disaster that once gripped the nation and dramatically capped off decades of class warfare and labor struggle. There are just scattered pieces of remembrance, here and there.

[ click to continue reading at KCET ]

Posted on February 9, 2017 by Editor

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Old Venice

from KCET

The Lost Canals of Venice of America

by Nathan Masters

Secreted away from the hustle and bustle of the famous boardwalk, the picturesque canals of Venice, California, are one of the seaside community’s hidden charms. But in Venice’s early years, the canals that survive today were only a sideshow. The main attraction – the original canals of Abbot Kinney’s Venice of America – are lost to history, long ago filled in and now disguised as residential streets.

In planning Venice of America, Kinney incorporated several references to the community’s Mediterranean namesake, from the Italianate architecture to his fanciful notion of launching a cultural renaissance there. But Venice of America would not have lived up to its name were it not for its canals.

When it opened on July 4, 1905, Venice of America boasted seven distinct canals arranged in an irregular grid pattern, as seen below in Kinney’s master plan for the community. Totaling nearly two miles and dredged out of former saltwater marshlands, the canals encircled four islands, including the tiny triangular United States Island. The widest of them, appropriately named Grand Canal, terminated at a large saltwater lagoon. Three of the smaller canals referred to celestial bodies: Aldebaran, Venus, and Altair.

[ click to continue reading at KCET ]

Posted on January 28, 2017 by Editor

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Arrivederci Yellow Spaghetti

from TimeOut LA

Say goodbye to LACMA’s beloved yellow spaghetti installation

By Michael Juliano

While droves of visitors are busy posing in between the lamp posts of “Urban Light” or pretending to hold up the 340-ton “Levitated Mass” for a fun photo, LACMA regulars know that the Miracle Mile museum’s most fun photogenic installation is a hands-on piece from 1990 that resides next to the entrance of the Ahmanson Building. But it turns out those swinging spaghetti strands won’t be around for much longer.

Jesús Rafael Soto’s “Penetrable,” a thick curtain of yellow plastic hoses, will wrap up its stay at LACMA on February 12. The kinetic installation has invited visitors to get lost in its tangle of human-scale strands since 2011. We had grown so accustomed to the late Venezuelan artist’s sculpture that we assumed LACMA owned the piece, but it was instead part of a long-term loan from the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, to which it’ll return next month.

[ click to continue reading at TimeOut ]

Posted on January 24, 2017 by Editor

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Rural Hollywood

from KCET

L.A.’s Lost Valley: When Hollywood Was ‘the Pride of the Cahuenga Valley’

by Nathan Masters

Panoramic view of Hollywood showing Orchard Street and Orange Drive, ca.1905Panoramic view of Hollywood showing Orchard Street and Orange Drive, circa 1905. Courtesy of the USC Libraries – California Historical Society Collection. [source]

The Santa Monica Mountains loom large in L.A.’s cultural topography, dividing the city into “the Valley” to their north and a sprawling coastal plain to their south.

Residents of the coastal plain in Hollywood or Beverly Hills would never mistake their homes as valley communities.

A century ago, however, they were.

From the early 1880s through the 1910s, the broad drainage basin of the Ballona Creek between the Santa Monica Mountains and Baldwin Hills was commonly known as the Cahuenga Valley.

Likely invented by area boosters, the Cahuenga Valley name first entered the regional lexicon when farmers discovered a frost-free belt along the base of the Santa Monica Mountains. Soon, Cahuenga Valley became renowned as a horticultural wonderland where bananas ripened, lemons glowed, and delicate vegetables were harvested early in winter for frostbitten markets in Denver and Boston.

Later, after the real estate boom of the 1880s deposited townsites like HollywoodColegrove, and Sherman in the area, “Cahuenga Valley” became shorthand for a suburban subregion, an equal of the San Fernando, San Gabriel, and Pomona valleys. As with these other valleys, agricultural riches inspired the boosters’ suburban dreams.

[ click to continue reading at KCET ]

Posted on December 24, 2016 by Editor

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The Farmer’s Daughter

from LAist

How A Seedy Motel Called The Farmer’s Daughter Became A Boutique Hotel

BY JULIET BENNETT RYLAH

flying-bacon.jpeg“Flying Bacon” by Jessie Azzarin (Photo via Farmer’s Daughter Hotel)

The farmer’s daughter, in fiction, is an attractive, pure-hearted young woman who grew up on a bucolic farm. She’s Daisy Duke. She’s Dolores Abernathy of Westworld. She’s Mary Ann, stranded on an uncharted desert isle. Technically, she’s even The Walking Dead‘s Maggie Greene. She appears in songs, she’s a central character in crass tavern jokes, and she turns up in many an adult film. But in Los Angeles, Farmer’s Daughter is also a hotel.Peter and Ellen Picataggio bought the Farmer’s Daughter Hotel on Fairfax Avenue in 1997. At that time, Ellen said it already bore its peculiar name, but it was something of a “no-tell motel.” It’d been there since the ’60s, had its halcyon days through the ’70s, and fell into disarray thereafter. For a short period of time, it was a Best Western, but not when the Picataggios got their hands on it. Ellen described the owner they got the property from as “absentee.”

Looking at old photos supplied by the Picataggios reveals the kind of unremarkable, bland, yet oddly endearing decor of any mediocre American motel. The off-white bathroom with the hair dryer attached to the wall, the small closet stacked with unused phonebooks, the green carpeting you rarely see outside of motels and dated transit hubs, and the plain bed, dressed in pink and green patterned comforters, positioned beneath uninspired paintings of ambiguous landscapes. These pedestrian rooms served as the accommodation for many a CBS studio guest, including those who went to sleep dreaming of spinning The Big Wheel and winning a lump sum from Bob Barker. The sign was a big, yellow roadside eye-catcher, with a smaller marquee below that read, “Our Rooms Are Tops” on one side and “Extra Nice Rooms” on the other.

“Gotta love the cheap art on the wall,” Peter said of the old rooms. “I think I might have kept a piece somewhere just for fun and memories. Never forget where you came from.”

The original yellow sign, too, is now a part of the hotel’s office.

[ click to continue reading at LAist.com ]

Posted on December 1, 2016 by Editor

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Laurel Canyon Legacy

from Vanity Fair

An Oral History of Laurel Canyon, the 60s and 70s Music Mecca

They made music together, took drugs together, formed bands together, slept together. But none of the legends of the Laurel Canyon scene that flowered in L.A. in the late 60s and early 70s—Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, Linda Ronstadt, and others—remember it quite the same way.

by 

Stephen Stills and Peter Tork in Stills’s Rolls-Royce, 1968. Digital Colorization by Lorna Clark; © Nurit Wilde.

Some say the Laurel Canyon music scene began when Frank Zappa moved to the corner of Lookout Mountain and Laurel Canyon Boulevard in the late 1960s. Former Byrds bassist Chris Hillman recalls writing “So You Want to Be a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” in Laurel Canyon in 1966 in his house, on a steep winding street with a name he doesn’t remember. The Doors’ lead singer Jim Morrison reportedly wrote “Love Street” while living behind the Laurel Canyon Country Store. Michelle Phillips lived with John Phillips on Lookout Mountain in 1965 during the Mamas and the Papas’ heyday. Books and documentaries have mythologized and romanticized this woodsy canyon nestled behind Sunset Boulevard in the Hollywood Hills. Still, misconceptions continue.

For a start, the scene was more metaphorical than geographical. Nearly everyone who was there was, at one time or another, stoned; nobody remembers everything the same way. What is undeniably true is that from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s some of the most melodic, atmospheric, and subtly political American popular music was written by residents of, or those associated with, Laurel Canyon—including Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Chris Hillman, Roger McGuinn, J. D. Souther, Judee Sill, the Mamas and the Papas, Carole King, the Eagles, Richie Furay (in Buffalo Springfield and Poco), and many more. They made music together, played songs for one another with acoustic guitars in all-night jam sessions in each other’s houses. Many of those houses were cottages with stained-glass windows, and fireplaces that warmed the living rooms in the chilly L.A. nights. They took drugs together, formed bands together, broke up those bands, and formed other bands. Many of them slept with each other. The music was mislabeled “soft rock” or “folk rock,” especially in the Northeast, where critics panned it as granola-infused hippie music—too “mellow” and too white. But in truth, it was an amalgam of influences that included blues, rock and roll, jazz, Latin, country and western, psychedelia, bluegrass, and folk. It certainly was a forerunner of today’s “Americana.”

[ click to continue reading at VF ]

Posted on October 29, 2016 by Editor

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Venetian First, Angeleno Second

from The LA Times

As Venice booms, some residents wonder whether L.A. is holding them back

by Sarah Parvini

Venice exploring cityhood effort

There are few places so ingrained in the identity of Los Angeles as Venice — the quirky artistic vibe, the bustling boardwalk and the designer real estate.

For decades, the beach district has served as a cultural touchstone for the larger city, from the days of beatniks, Jim Morrison and the Z-Boys to the upscale Venice of today, with its Silicon Beach money, trendy restaurants and avant-garde homes profiled in architecture magazines.

Now, some Venice residents believe the connection to Los Angeles is holding the neighborhood back and are exploring a cityhood effort that would break free from L.A. government.

Though even backers say secession is a long shot, it has heightened a long-running debate in Venice about the future direction of the community, a reckoning for the once counter-culture stronghold that has grown into an affluent hot spot with some rough edges.

Venice residents speak less of specific issues than a general feeling that City Hall — about 20 miles to the east — isn’t serving their needs and that local government would serve residents better.

Some cityhood supporters look to Santa Monica as a model for an independent government, with its booming shopping district and innovative focus on environmentalism and sustainability. Cityhood skeptics, on the other hand, see their upscale neighbor to the north as exactly what Venice doesn’t want to become.

“If Venice was its own city, it wouldn’t be encumbered by all of Los Angeles’ issues,” said Nick Antonicello, chairman of the ad-hoc neighborhood council committee on cityhood. “There’s a great pride of living here, and I think people believe the services are lacking — whether it’s repaving or public safety.”

“People perceive themselves as Venetian first and Angeleno second,” he added.

[ click to continue reading at The LA Times ]

Posted on October 17, 2016 by Editor

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LA Timelapse

Posted on August 16, 2016 by Editor

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Ruscha Does Sunset

from LAist

How Ed Ruscha Photographed Every Building On The Sunset Strip

BY JULIA WICK

car.gifFor his iconic book “Every Building on the Sunset Strip”, Ruscha used a motorized camera to shoot a “long picture” of the Sunset Strip. (Via YouTube)

Contemporary artist Ed Ruscha has lived in Los Angeles for more than sixty years. Though he is surely one of our brightest art world luminaries, his work has done far more than just shape the meaning of L.A. art—Ruscha has fundamentally shaped the way we see the city itself, making art of our vernacular landscape and sanctifying the California mundane. We truly seeour palm trees, dingbat apartment buildings, billboards and gas stations in large part because Ruscha showed them to us.

In Ed Ruscha: Buildings and Words, a new short documentary commissioned by MOCA, director Felipe Lima presents the story of Ruscha’s art practice and immersion in Los Angeles, from his word paintings to his photographing of Los Angeles apartment buildings.

Narrated by Owen Wilson—who promises that he isn’t going to try and explain Ruscha’s work to us, just show us what there is—the mini-doc blends archival footage and personal photographs with new interviews, taking viewers on a rapid-fire, immersive tour through the work and obsessions of one of America’s most iconic living artists.

[ click to continue reading at LAist.com ]

Posted on July 29, 2016 by Editor

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Iron Man Moving To Sonoran Desert

from WLEB 21

Robert Downey Moving to Yuma, Arizona

photo by Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0 / croppedphoto by Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0 / cropped

YUMA, Arizona – In a big surprise to everyone in Los Angeles, Hollywood actor Robert Downey Jr reveals in a new interview that he is moving to the Yuma, Arizona area. He tells the magazine that he is “tired of the L.A. lifestyle” and is looking for a big change in life.

“I’m just tired of the L.A. lifestyle and the fake people, honestly, and I feel like, at this point in my life, I’d rather just live in a place full of real, genuine people. I’ve been to Yuma a few times over the years and the people there are real… they’re genuine people, and yeah every community has its problems but the people there are good, decent people and they care about their community. Those are the things I find most important in deciding where to live,” Downey told the magazine.

[ click to continue reading at WLEB 21 ]

Posted on April 15, 2016 by Editor

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Go Amblin!

from The New York Times

Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Studios in Deal to Form New Company

By 

Amblin_Partners

LOS ANGELES —  Steven Spielberg said on Wednesday that he and his DreamWorks Studios would join Participant Media, Reliance Entertainment and Entertainment One to form an entertainment company called Amblin Partners to produce movies, television shows and digital content.

At the same time, Universal Pictures said it would distribute films from the new company, beginning with “The Girl on the Train,” to be directed by Tate Taylor with Emily Blunt in a lead role, in October 2016.

The new venture, which will be based on the Universal lot, appears poised to absorb and redirect the creative output of DreamWorks Studios, which has distributed its films under a deal with the Walt Disney Company since 2009. That distribution arrangement was set to expire next August.

Amblin Partners also will become an exclusive vehicle for Mr. Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, including a television division that is already making 13 episodes of the series “American Gothic” to air on CBS next summer. Further, the new company will produce many, though not all, of the films, television shows and other projects developed by Participant Media, an issues-oriented media company owned by the entrepreneur Jeff Skoll.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on December 16, 2015 by Editor

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George Barris Gone

from The Los Angeles Times

George Barris, creator of the Batmobile, dies at 89

By Elaine Woo and W.J. Hennigan

Barriss(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

In 1965, producers of the “Batman” television show needed a supercar that Adam West could wield to battle the Joker and the Riddler.

There was just one man for the job: George Barris.

“I saw the script and it said, ‘Bang,’ ‘Pow,’ ‘Boom,’ ” Barris told The Times in 2012. “That’s exactly what I wanted the car to be able to do. I wanted it to be as big a character as the actors themselves.”

It took 15 days and $15,000 for Barris to transform a 1955 Ford Lincoln Futura into the iconic midnight black and fluorescent-red-pinstriped Batmobile with plexiglass bubble windshields — “bulletproof,” of course. He didn’t forget the Bat Ray, with its dual 450-watt laser beams for obliterating obstacles, the Bat-O-Meter for identifying the bad guys, or the oil squirters for repelling evildoers.

Barris, the Southern California custom-car legend who created many of the most memorable and outrageous automobiles ever seen on film and television, died Thursday at his home in Encino. He was 89.

A man nearly as flamboyant as his cars, Barris also designed special vehicles for many of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and John Wayne.

For his everyday use he drove a Toyota Prius that was tricked out in true Barris fashion — sprayed gold with emerald green metallic accents and doors that opened upward, like a Lamborghini.

[ click to read full obit at The LA Times ]

Posted on November 5, 2015 by Editor

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The Vineyard

from The Hollywood Reporter

Beverly Hills’ $1 Billion “Vineyard”: The Bizarre Saga Behind L.A.’s Last Real Estate Trophy

By Scott Johnson

The 157 acres atop the city has traded hands from the Shah of Iran’s sister to Merv Griffin to the mogul behind Herbalife. Then came unknown Chip Dickens, who managed to procure the property for no money at all. Now, The Vineyard is on the market, and the strange, stressful story behind the $1 billion property can be told.

Standing atop a verdant summit near Benedict Canyon, Brad Pitt smoked a cigarette and gazed toward the ocean. A gentle afternoon sun played over the chaparral and sage below. It was 2002, and Pitt had come to Beverly Hills to take stock of a coveted piece of real estate. From the San Gabriel Mountains to Malibu, Los Angeles stretched out in a quiet, glittery panorama. It was the highest peak for miles, a true king’s plot. He turned to Gary Morris, a developer and friend. “So?” mused Pitt. “You think I should buy this?”

Morris told Pitt that if he “made another movie or two,” he could probably afford it. An L.A. native with salt-and-pepper hair and a wiry frame born of years of ultra-marathons, Morris knew better than to be more than a sounding board. He had watched as one figure after another became entranced with the property known as The Vineyard Beverly Hills before moving on. A few years after Pitt’s visit, Tom Cruise placed about 3 percent of the $25 million sale price for one lot in escrow. But on the last day before the transaction went “hard,” locking the actor’s money in, Cruise’s business manager canceled the order, according to multiple people familiar with the transaction. There had been other offers, and yet two decades after Morris first got involved, a single house never had been built.

Perched on a summit ridgeline with huge views looking down on the homes of some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, The Vineyard is one of the last undeveloped plots in Beverly Hills, and arguably the most impressive. Visitors can peer down on estates belonging to Warren Beatty, Seth MacFarlane and the rooftop mansions of Beverly Park. For decades, the 157-acre property has bewitched some of Hollywood’s most illustrious residents, from Merv Griffin to the Shah of Iran’s sister. With little money, no real estate license and a lot of gumption, the de facto owner for the past 11 years has been Charles “Chip” Dickens. “I’m the most improbable character in this whole thing,” Dickens, 54, tells The Hollywood Reporter. His main partner is an amiable convicted felon named Victorino Noval; together, the two now are marketing The Vineyard for $1 billion.

The saga behind one of the most pedigreed and controversial pieces of property in L.A. could be torn from the pages of a Coen brothers script. After 15 years of intense legal drama over ownership, family squabbling and an inheritance, The Vineyard might be changing hands again. And what once was no more than a dusty mountaintop has been transformed into an exquisite plateau with a helicopter pad and ample room for any architect’s wildest fantasies. “It’s the most spectacular property anywhere in Los Angeles,” says Robert Mann, an attorney who is familiar with The Vineyard. Now, with real estate prices soaring in Los Angeles and foreign buyers pouring in, The Vineyard is poised to be the most talked-about trophy property in years. “This is one of the most exceptional properties I’ve ever seen in my 30-year career,” says Jeff Hyland, whose agency, Hilton & Hyland, has exclusive rights to The Vineyard. “This is as good as it gets.”

[ click to continue reading at THR ]

Posted on September 15, 2015 by Editor

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Noah Davis Gone

from The LA Times

Noah Davis, 32, Artist and Founder of Underground Museum in Los Angeles, Dies

Noah Davis, in an undated photo, founded the Underground Museum in Los Angeles. Credit Ed Templeton

Noah Davis, a painter and installation artist who founded the Underground Museum, an exhibition space in a working-class neighborhood of Los Angeles that provides free art shows, died on Saturday at his home in Ojai, Calif. He was 32.

He learned he had cancer a few years ago, his family said in confirming the death.

Mr. Davis’s paintings were mostly figurative works depicting blacks in surreal landscapes, sometimes with their features distorted or smeared in a manner reminiscent of Francis Bacon. He drew inspiration from sources as varied as Richard Brautigan’s 1968 novella “In Watermelon Sugar” and “The Jerry Springer Show.”

“The palette is very moody and evocative, and he has an extraordinary ability to convey emotional effect,” Helen Molesworth, the chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, said by telephone Tuesday.

Mr. Davis founded the Underground Museum with his wife, the artist Karon Davis, in 2012 (they had married in 2008) in a row of storefronts in the Arlington Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. Mr. Davis organized eclectic shows there like “The Oracle,” which combined sculptures by Henry Taylor, 19th-century carvings from Sudan and a video installation by his brother, the video artist Kahlil Joseph. The work, titled “m.A.A.d,” is a 15-minute paean to the Compton neighborhood of Los Angeles set to the music of Kendrick Lamar.

[ click to read full article at LAT ]

Posted on September 1, 2015 by Editor

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Hallucinatory Collages in Culver City

from The LA Times

Object Lesson: Hallucinatory collages tell the story of the U.S.-Mexico border

by Carolina A. Miranda

Rites of Passage, 2014 by Einar and Jamex de la TorreCross-border brother artist team Einar and Jamex de la Torre are known for creating wild collages and assemblages that fuse the high and the low, such as this 2014 lenticular piece, “Rites of Passage,” which takes on the U.S.-Mexico border as its subject. (Einar and Jamex de la Torre / Koplin Del Rio)

As far as art forms go, it doesn’t get more lowbrow than lenticulars, the 2-D printed pictures that, with the aid of a rippled, plasticized coating, appear three dimensional, often with animated effects. Think of those thrift store portraits of Jesus that appear to be winking.

Artists Jamex and Einar de la Torre have used this technology — generally reserved for popular religious art and advertising campaigns — to fantastic effect.

In fact, a current show of their work at Koplin Del Rio in Culver City offers a bounty of pieces that employ the device. Among them: a mandala-type design studded with images of skulls, anatomical sketches and religious iconography and a Last Supper-style scene in which the disciples’ faces have been replaced with those of the artists. (I made a Vine of the former, to capture the trippy sense of movement these pieces have when you see them in person.)

Among the most elaborate works are a pair of lenticulars that take on the U.S.-Mexico border as their subject: “Rites of Passage,” shown at top, and “Border Park of Earthly Delights,” both of which were made in 2014. (Unfortunately the images shown here don’t capture the works’ psychedelic effects, which is why it’s best to see them in person.)

[ click to continue reading at LATimes.com ]

Posted on August 20, 2015 by Editor

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Roger Steffens & The Family Acid

from The Huffington Post

Roger Steffens: Reggae Encyclopedist and “Family Acid” Photographer

by

If you know anything about the world of reggae music, you know the name, Roger Steffens, the man who began the first radio broadcast of the “Reggae Beat” on KCRW (along with Hank Holmes) on Oct. 7, 1979. It was the only reggae show in Los Angeles at the time, and it went on to set annual fundraising records for the radio station, L.A.’s local NPR affiliate, which is still going strong.

Eventually “Reggae Beat” was syndicated to 130 stations worldwide. Steffens first guest on the show was Bob Marley, and Steffens spent two weeks on the road with Marley in 1979 on the original “Survival” tour. Since then, Steffens has written six books about Marley and the history of reggae, and he has lectured internationally for the past 31 years on “The Life of Bob Marley,” in a multi-media presentation that has been seen everywhere from the bottom of the Grand Canyon, to the Smithsonian to the outback of Australia. I saw the show twice, once at Steffens reggae exhibition installed on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, a second time, more recently, at USC’ s School of Cinematic Arts. Roger spoke while his wife, Mary, ran the slides and videos.

Steffens’ world-famous reggae archives are housed in a labyrinthine maze below the first floor of his home in Echo Park, filling the entire lower level of seven rooms from floor to ceiling. “We’ve had to move twice just to house the collection,” he told me. “And now we’re about to burst this one too. We need a permanent institutional home, just in case you know of one.”

His Marley collection has been called the most complete in the world, by the very Wailers themselves, Bob’s band members. It’s not just shelves of records, tapes, and CDs pushing out from every corner, but tens of thousands of reggae photographs, 30,000 reggae fliers from all over the world, 2,000 reggae posters (many of them signed by the original artists), 140 cubic feet of alphabetized clippings, and an array of invaluable books and magazines, including the full 48-year run of Rolling Stone. (He bought the first issue the day before he went to Vietnam.)

Yet Steffens is not only a reggae “encyclopedist” and collector. He has also hosted programs of African music, poetry, the Sixties, and a wide-open talk show, called “Offbeat.” He has interviewed countless colorful musicians, and he is the man who turned Paul Simon on the Ladysmith Black Mambazo for his landmark and Grammy-winning 1986 “Graceland” LP. Steffens was the first speaker at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and the most frequent, nine times. In 2013 he spent the first two months of the year on the road as the Wailers’ opening act on their international “Survival Revival” tour.

Where is the reggae guru from? What’s his story? Well, Steffens, who was born in Brooklyn in the early Forties, likes to begin his story of influence with serving for the last 26 months of the Sixties in the army in Vietnam. He was assigned to Psychological Operations in Saigon, but when the TET Offensive hit the capital, Roger found 52 families living in sewer pipes outside his barracks. He began a refugee campaign that raised over 100 tons of food and clothing, mainly from Racine, where he had read poetry in the school before being drafted. He built villages and brought medical and dental assistance to war victims from the DMZ to the Mekong Delta. For his actions, he was awarded a Bronze Star.

“I’ve always had a Hippie heart,” Steffens says proudly. And after a post-war ‘we gotta get out of this place’ year in Marrakech, Morocco in 1971, he moved to Berkeley, California. He photographed his activities hanging with early Rolling Stone writers, musicians, artists, poets, painters, and fellow actors, as avidly as he had taken photos during the Vietnam War. Since that time, all the slides (1967-1993) and prints (1993-2007) stayed hidden behind closed doors — 100,000 images that virtually no one outside the family had ever seen, except in living room slideshows. (He’s taken another 240,000 digital images since.)

Then, in 2013, Roger’s son, Devon Steffens, spent a year digitizing some 40,000 slides. Next, his daughter, Kate, asked, “Why don’t I start an Instagram site?” Right on cue, Steffens replied, “What’s an Instagram?” After his daughter explained and her dad agreed, she began posting two pictures a day under the rubric “The Family Acid,” so called, she said, because her childhood friends told her that her family was “like the Waltons on Acid.” The fact that Roger and his wife, Mary, met on an acid trip in a pygmy forest in Mendocino under a total eclipse of the moon on Memorial Day, 1975, may have also helped influence the title.

[ click to read full article at The Huffington Post ]

Posted on August 14, 2015 by Editor

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The Kings of YA

from The Hollywood Reporter

‘Paper Towns’ Producers on Keeping Up With ‘Twilight’ Stars and Making John Green Cry

by Rebecca Ford

Wyck Godfrey (left) and Marty Bowen Wyck Godfrey (left) and Marty Bowen / Hussein Katz

Temple Hill’s Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey went from Hollywood roommates to kings of YA movies after producing the ‘Twilight’ series. Now, as they follow ‘The Fault in Our Stars,’ they explain how they discover unknown actors and how much power they give authors.

Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey were 27-year-old acquaintances climbing the Hollywood ladder when they moved into a house together on Temple Hill Drive in Beachwood Canyon. Perhaps because they met during their formative years, the roommates turned best friends have kept their production company young at heart, with a focus on low- to midbudget films aimed at teens, young adults and women (the occasional Nerf war in the hall helps).

Bowen, a former UTA partner, and Godfrey, a veteran producer, founded Temple Hill in 2006 and hit paydirt with the Twilight franchise, producing five films in three years that went on to earn a collective $3.34 billion worldwide. They found YA gold again in 2014 by adapting John Green‘s book The Fault in Our Stars into a $12 million Fox film that earned $307.2 million. Bowen and Godfrey, both 47, moved quickly to adapt Green’s Paper Towns (out July 24) and next will take on the author’s debut novel, Looking for Alaska, at Paramount. In the process, they have made stars of such unproven talents as Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, Shailene Woodley and, they now hope, Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff of Towns.

With books-to-film as its backbone, the 10-employee Temple Hill has juggled multiple projects at once, producing Nicholas Sparks adaptations (Dear John and The Longest Ride) and the Maze Runner franchise (the second installment, The Scorch Trials, is set to open Sept. 18) while also working in TV on the upcoming Fox series Rosewood. The duo also signed to produce a Power Rangers reboot and James Frey‘s Endgame. And they’re expanding into publishing, teaming with HarperCollins to develop emerging authors. Bowen, a married father of 3-year-old twins and a newborn, and Godfrey, a married dad of three teen boys, sat down with THR to discuss Green’s allure, how they find stars and female voices in Hollywood.

[ click to continue reading at THR ]

Posted on July 26, 2015 by Editor

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Chris Burden Gone

from The LA Times

Chris Burden dies at 69: Artist’s light sculpture at LACMA is symbol of L.A.

Chris BurdenArtist Chris Burden created Urban Lights, a sculpture in front of the entryway to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, that consists of guniune street lamps from Los Angeles historic past. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Chris Burden, the protean Conceptual artist who rose from doing controversial performances in the 1970s to become one of the most widely admired sculptors of his generation, died early Sunday at his home in Topanga Canyon. He was 69.

“Urban Light,” Burden’s 2008 sculpture at the entrance to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, has become a symbol of the city. It takes the form of a Classical temple composed from 202 restored cast-iron antique street lamps.

[ click to read full obituary at LATimes.com ]

Posted on May 10, 2015 by Editor

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Go Go Buke-zilla!

from The LA Times

Celebrating Charles Bukowski, ‘poet laureate of L.A. lowlife’

By CAROLYN KELLOGG

Charles BukowskiCharles Bukowski, “poet laureate of L.A. lowlife,” became one of the best-known poets in America. (Richard Robinson / Black Sparrow Press)

Charles Bukowski was called many things: “poet laureate of L.A. lowlife,” “the enfant terrible of the Meat School poets,” “the prophet of the underemployed” and “a flamboyant provincial.” Those comments are all from our own reporters.

The L.A. Times was slow to warm to Bukowski’s charms. Even in 1985, when he was one of America’s bestselling poets, we were still describing him as “A low-life drifter from out of the ’40s whose gnarled face is to ugliness and abuse what Paul Bunyan’s body was to size and strength.”

Two years later, when Mickey Rourke starred in the semi-biographical film “Barfly” based on Bukowski’s semi-autobiographical novels, the Los Angeles cultural establishment finally, grudgingly, came around.

Bukowski was born in Germany on Aug. 16, 1920. His family soon moved to Los Angeles, where he grew up with an abusive father. He was an outcast in school. He started drinking. He moved around the country, living on the margins, during World War II and after. He wound up back in Los Angeles as unlikely a candidate for becoming a poet, much less an acclaimed one, as you might find.

Of course, that was part of his appeal. Plainspoken poetry set in the streets and bars, peopled by shady characters — including his hard-drinking, big-hearted, angry, gambling, womanizing self. One of our readers, upset by seeing him written about in print, called him “an X-rated Oscar the Grouch,” which might actually not be all that insulting after all.

To celebrate the anniversary of the birth of the poet laureate of L.A. lowlife, here are 18 things he wrote and said and did –

[ click to continue reading at LATimes.com ]

Posted on August 15, 2014 by Editor

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Charlie Haden Gone

from The LA Times

Appreciation: Jazz musician Charlie Haden spoke for beauty

CHRIS BARTON

Charlie HadenCharlie Haden founded the Cal Arts jazz program in 1982. His instruction made an impact on generations of jazz artists around the country, including Ravi Coltrane and Ralph Alessi. (Tom Copi)

I’d probably only been covering jazz for the Los Angeles Times for a year or so when the phone rang at my desk and on the other end was Charlie Haden.

For a half-second, I was terrified. Was this how I was going to find out that the tiny voice in my head, the one that plagues so many writers, was right all along? Was Charlie Haden, an unquestionable music giant who contributed to a skyscraper’s worth of immortal jazz recordings, the one who finally figured out I was a fraud?

Of course, that wasn’t the nature of this phone call — or, for that matter, Charlie Haden. Instead, we talked about music. He spoke with a joyful, bebop-like cadence that pushed against his recognizably thin voice — a wispy reminder of the bulbar polio that afflicted him as a child and eventually claimed his life Friday at age 76.

[ click to continue reading at LATimes.com ]

Posted on July 19, 2014 by Editor

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Marilyn Beck Gone

from The LA Times

Marilyn Beck, longtime syndicated Hollywood columnist, dies at 85

Hollywood columnist Marilyn Beck(Ron Galella, WireImage)

STEVE CHAWKINS

Marilyn Beck, a syndicated Hollywood columnist who for decades dished out delectable dollops on celebrities hooking up, splitting up and cracking up, has died at her Oceanside home. She was 85.

At its peak, Beck’s column was featured in some 500 newspapers with a total circulation of 38 million. She also was a familiar presence on television’s syndicated “PM Magazine” and E! Entertainment’s “The Gossip Show.”

As an interviewer, Beck was genial but brash. In a TV appearance, she asked her longtime friend Barbara Walters, then in her 50s, whether she’d had cosmetic surgery. (The answer was no.) She also tried to pin down Bob Hope on the size of his fortune and discovered it was more than $100 million but less than $500 million. (Time magazine got the half-billion-dollar estimate from “some kid backstage,” Hope fumed.)

[ click to continue reading at LATimes.com ]

Posted on June 3, 2014 by Editor

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Spec Script Alive

from The LA Times

Hollywood ‘spec script’ is making a comeback

By Daniel Miller

image acquired at The Writer's Store - click to visitIndependent producer Lawrence Grey sold the screenplay for “Section 6” for $1 million after setting off a bidding war between the major studios.

Six months later, in March, he sold the screenplay for “Winter’s Knight” the same way, for the same price.

The sales of the speculatively written properties, both of which Grey will produce, put Hollywood on notice that the “spec script” was on the rebound and reminded some executives of the 1990s, when $1-million-plus spec sales were common.

Movie studios, then flush with money, were pumping out more than 20 films a year and constantly in search of new material. Specs were coveted because they enabled studios to circumvent the often costly and time-consuming development process.

BEST MOVIES OF 2013: Turan | Sharkey | Olsen

Big sales such as the $3-million purchase of Joe Eszterhas’ “Basic Instinct” and the $1.75-million acquisition of Shane Black’s “The Last Boy Scout” touched off a decade-plus of freewheeling spending.

But as studios stockpiled material, says J.C. Spink, a veteran manager and producer who has worked in the spec market for years, “they were buying so much material that they didn’t make that they began to think, why are we doing this?”

[ click to read full article at LATimes.com ]

Posted on April 1, 2014 by Editor

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Nobody In Los Angeles Wears Panties

from The Star Tribune

‘Hee Haw’ honeys bared too much for the camera

Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune

Misty Rowe

If there are developments more astonishing than media reports of, gulp, “Hee Haw the Musical,” being, gulp again, Broadway-bound, it is that Harold Crump’s brain has not been picked for story lines.

Over lunch a long time ago when Crump was GM of KSTP-TV, he mentioned working on “Hee Haw,” the CBS country music variety show that ran for 20 years in local syndication.

“The folks from ‘Hee Haw’ would come in twice a year and tape all these segments that we would edit and then package after they left that would turn into the different shows, putting them together with various music acts that came in and performed on the show. They would bring in some technical people from Los Angeles and of course, all the other folks they wanted outside the country music type folks we had in Nashville,” Crump said.

“Mainly this was all the young women, that you saw on there. You remember they had these girls dressed in next to nothing in all the skits and that sort of stuff?” he asked.

“The funny thing is that each time the girls came in I’d have to have a meeting with them on the second day and explain to them that we were having problems getting everything shot as it should be because our cameramen were so distracted by the apparel,” said Crump. “Maybe the lack of apparel,” he corrected himself.

“I explained that while they were in Nashville and while they were at the station, that on the air they had to wear panties. And they kept telling me that nobody in Los Angeles wore panties. I told them, ‘Well, I don’t care about that. In Nashville you have to wear them.’

“They’d be jumping up and down and putting their legs up on props and all sorts of stuff. It’s not that the cameramen had to be so low,” Crump said. “They were being exposed. I thought it was funny that we had to do this every time.”

[ click to read complete article at StarTribune.com ]

Posted on March 18, 2014 by Editor

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The Most Beautiful Storage Building In The World

from Curbed LA

LA’s Most Beautiful Storage Building Was Also a Speakeasy

by Bianca Barragan

The work of Los Angeles architect Arthur E. Harvey includes some of the city’s most recognizable and storied buildings (the Scientology Celebrity Centre [originally the Château Élysée], the Villa Carlotta), but he’s also behind what was supposedly hailed on its opening as the most beautiful storage building in the world: the American Storage Company Building. Yes, if you’ve been wondering what awesome purpose the 14-story-tall, Deco/Spanish Revival beauty at Beverly and Virgil was designed for, we’ve got news for you: It was built in 1928 as a glamorous repository for people’s overflow belongings. But it does have some excitement in its past; during prohibition, its top floor housed multiple speakeasies, as Eastsider LA wrote about recently. According to a long-ago Curbed tipster, the freight elevators were used to bring guests secretly to the top floor, and there are some remains of what might have been the bandstand still up there. Here’s a brief roundup of the building’s debaucherous past….

[ click to continue reading at Curbed ]

Posted on March 16, 2014 by Editor

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“A frenzied mustang stampede”

from The LA Times

Rebirth of Jackson Pollock’s ‘Mural’

The landmark painting stands magnificently, no less so after the debunking of a myth regarding its creation

Jackson Pollock's  “Mural,” regarded by some as the most important modern American painting ever made, is the focus of a Getty exhibition opening TuesdayJackson Pollock’s “Mural,” regarded by some as the most important modern American painting ever made, is the focus of a Getty exhibition opening Tuesday. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times / March 7, 2014)

By Christopher Knight

Myths die hard. Especially creation myths. Messing with the symbolic origins of a world isn’t something to be undertaken lightly.

Jackson Pollock‘s mammoth 1943 painting “Mural” — nearly 8 feet high, 20 feet wide and covered edge-to-edge with rhythmic, Matisse-like linear arabesques, muscular abstract shapes and piercing voids, all of which he likened to a frenzied mustang stampede — was something entirely new for American art. The great painting represents an early, galvanizing leap toward the emergence of the New York School of Abstract Expressionist art in the aftermath of World War II.

The pivotal painting, owned by the University of Iowa’s Museum of Art, goes on public view at the J. Paul Getty Museum on Tuesday — minus a chunk of its myth. It has been undone by science.

[ click to continue reading at LATimes.com ]

Posted on March 11, 2014 by Editor

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Exodus Hollywood

from Variety

Hollywood Continues to Flee California at Alarming Rate

 / Film Reporter / @Variety_DMcNary

James Walton

When Paul Audley took the job as president of FilmL.A. in late 2008, he was astounded to discover that physical production on the $70 million pic “Battle: Los Angeles” wasn’t being done in Los Angeles.

“It stunned me that the movie was shooting in Louisiana, and that the state of California was letting this happen,” he recalls.

In the subsequent five years, the situation has only worsened, despite the film production incentive program California enacted in 2009, which provides for $100 million a year in tax credits for what’s usually 20% of production costs. That’s significantly smaller than programs offered by other states such as New York, which offers $420 million a year in credits for 30% of production costs.

The trend has been mounting for high-profile films set in the Golden State to be filmed almost entirely outside California, due to lucrative tax breaks elsewhere that producers can’t turn down. One key component of new legislation to strengthen California’s incentive program, introduced Feb. 19, would raise to $100 million the current budget cap of $75 million on eligible productions. To drive home the need for state support, attendees at a Feb. 22 rally in Burbank held by Hollywood unionists were handed petitions to send to Sacramento citing that only one of 41 big-budget feature films shot in 2012 and 2013 was shot entirely in California.

The latest example of a locally set runaway is New Line’s upcoming earthquake thriller “San Andreas,” in which a helicopter pilot played by Dwayne Johnson rescues his daughter in San Francisco after a 10.0 quake. Except for six planned days of shooting in San Francisco, the entire $100 million movie will be made in Australia at the Village Roadshow Studios in Gold Coast, Queensland.

[ click to continue reading at Variety ]

Posted on March 9, 2014 by Editor

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“The first high-art electronic pop record.”

from The LA Times

Kraftwerk’s ‘Trans Europe Express’ started the musical revolution

Critic’s Notebook: Those relentless thumps in electronic dance music and works by Jay Z, Timbaland and even Katy Perry trace to ‘Tran Europe Express’ by Kraftwerk.

By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic

KraftwerkRalf Hütter, left, Henning Schmitz, Fritz Hilpert and Stefan Pfaffe of Kraftwerk at the Museum of Modern Art on April 10, 2012, in New York City. (Mike Coppola / Getty Images)

Kraftwerk’s “Trans Europe Express” is the most important pop album of the last 40 years, though it may not be obvious

The first high-art electronic pop record, “Trans Europe Express” set the tone for the coming revolution, became one of the central texts of hip-hop, pop and electronic dance music. Recorded in the same few months of mid-1976 when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak incorporated Apple Computers in Cupertino, “Trans Europe Express” and its predecessors, “Radio-Activity” and “Autobahn,” sparked a similarly massive upheaval with sound.

That it was built by a couple of Germans searching for new ideas in a postwar land longing for a modern reboot makes it even more astonishing and its span of influence more notable.

[ click to continue reading at LATimes.com ]

Posted on March 7, 2014 by Editor

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