Five Reasons To See ‘The Light In The Piazza’ At LA Opera

Now playing at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion through October 20, The Light in the Piazza is a musical that you probably shouldn’t miss. I am set to receive complimentary tickets to see the project this Saturday, but here are five reasons I’m excited to check it out!

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Esther Williams Exhibition Lands September Debut At The Catalina Island Museum

Esther Williams was known as “America’s Mermaid” during Hollywood’s Golden Era of filmmaking, and the late actress will be front and center with the national debut of “Esther Williams: The Swimming Queen of the Silver Screen” at the Catalina Island Museum on September 6.

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Scarlett Johansson Hosts Black Panther Screening And Reception At Crosby Hotel

 

Movie fans are abuzz with the debut trailer for Avengers: Endgame, and though it’s great to see several of “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” attempt to save our world, a little bit of reflection is also welcome. Scarlett Johansson, prominently featured in the aforementioned trailer as Black Widow, was on hand December 8 to host a screening and reception of Black Panther.

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Carol Burnett Receives Honorary Degree From American Film Institute

Actress/comedienne Carol Burnett and lifelong collaborators/filmmakers Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick received honorary degrees at the AFI Conservatory’s Class of 2017 Commencement Ceremony. The celebration occurred today at Hollywood’s TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, Ca.

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Los Angeles Film School Spotlights Oscar Nominated Scribes

 It was a film centric Monday for me, as I started the day co-hosting Behind The Lens with film critic/interviewer debbie lynn elias over at Adrenaline Radio, where we discussed the new documentaries Backstreet Boys: Show ‘Em What You’re Made Of and Energizing Our World (narrated by Edward James Olmos, whom we interviewed on the show).

But the day was far from over, as I trekked to Hollywood to catch an evening discussion with this year’s Oscar nominated screenwriters. The “Q&A With Jeff Goldsmith” event took place at The Los Angeles Film School, a venue which, along with being an educational institution, also offers up free screenings and discussions for the general public.

Pictured (L-R)  Damien Chazelle, Anthony McCarten, Graham Moore, E. Max Frye, Jeff Goldsmith,  Alex Dinelaris Jr., Jason Hall, Dan Gilroy.
Pictured (L-R) Damien Chazelle, Anthony McCarten, Graham Moore,
E. Max Frye, Jeff Goldsmith, Alex Dinelaris Jr., Jason Hall,
Dan Gilroy. Credit: The Los Angeles Film School

Although Foxcatcher scribe E. Max Frye humorously complained to Goldsmith that the group was much funnier during their Santa Barbara International Film Festival panel, Monday evening’s discussion was definitely informative. Each scribe reflected on the most challenging moments of their screenwriting careers and broke down the challenges of creating their respective narratives.

Along with Frye, the attendees included writers Damien Chazelle (“Whiplash”), Anthony McCarten (“The Theory of Everything”) Graham Moore (“The Imitation Game”), Alex Dinelaris Jr. (“Birdman”), Dan Gilroy (“Nightcrawler), and Jason Hall (“American Sniper”).

Graham Moore - Writer, "The Imitation Game."
Graham Moore – Writer, “The Imitation Game.” Credit: The Los Angeles Film School
Damien Chazelle, Writer/Director of "Whiplash" (Credit: The Los Angeles Film School)
Damien Chazelle, Writer/Director of “Whiplash” (Credit: The Los Angeles Film School)

For more information on the Oscar nominated screenwriters panel and The Los Angeles Film School, click here.

‘Dom Hemingway’ Hits Hollywood With Blu-Ray Madness

Dom Hemingway

Being firmly ensconced in the suburban confines of the San Fernando Valley, a nighttime Hollywood trip is, at my middle-aged slumber, an inconvenience. But Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment was holding a screening of Dom Hemingway in celebration of its recent Blu-ray and DVD release, and watching Jude Law go balls out as a vulgar and hot tempered safecracker was too tempting to pass out.

The event took place at Hemingway’s Lounge, an impressive oasis with books and typewriters adorning the surroundings. With A Moveable Feast and the short story A Clean, Well Lighted Place serving as constant inspirations, partaking in any festivity inspired by Ernest Hemingway was also a no-brainer, especially since a huge part of me misses Century City’s Harry’s Bar.

Nostalgia aside, the Dom Hemingway enabled bloggers, journalists, and other guests to munch on a few snacks and libations before the proceedings, and since I’m a glutton for photo opportunities with movie branding slathered next to my unimpressive visage, having  Dom Hemingway partake in my photographic history was a distinct pleasure.

Dom Hemingway

The film, directed by first rate filmmaker Richard Shepard (The Matador, The Hunting Party) continues Shepard’s love of unpredictable storytelling. One never knows where Dom Hemingway (Jude Law, doing inspired work) is headed, and even with his loyal best friend in tow (Richard E. Grant), Dom is a force of nature that can’t be controlled.

If you’re ever in Hollywood, Hemingway’s Lounge is worth a look, especially if you’re the literary sort who loves rooms filled with books. I didn’t try the Death in the Afternoon cocktail, but maybe I’ll give it a shot when fatalism enters my picture. As for Dom Hemingway, the Blu-ray comes includes audio commentary from Shepard, several featurettes, the theatrical trailer. I’ll be writing up a Blu-ray review of Dom Hemingway over the weekend, but the movie itself is definitely worth checking out (Dom’s opening monologue, in which he extols the virtue of his penis, is worth the price of admission).

If you’ve already seen Dom Hemingway or even checked out Hemingway’s Lounge, I’d love to read your opinions. Feel free to comment on my blog and we’ll also be having a Dom Hemingway giveaway next week. There’s going to be a ton of Dom on the blog in the coming days, so please stay tuned!

Animation Block Valentine’s Day Showcase Heads To The Troubadour

Animation BlockValentine’s Day is usually an animated time for lovers who really need to express themselves. Although restaurant reservations are probably part of the experience, a bit of creativity may also do the trick.

The Animation Block Valentine’s Day Showcase, which will be held at the Troubadour in West Hollywood on February 13, will feature “love” themed cartoon shorts mtv(other), Six Point Harness, Loopedeloop, and Nickelodeon.

A cartoon bumper from famed artist and Oscar nominee Bill Plympton will kick off the proceedings (the doors open at 8 pm). Live music from Blackbird Blackbird and Colleen Green will also be part of the event.

As the beautiful standard goes, I “don’t get much around anymore,” but that doesn’t mean an evening of animation, music, and a little bit of love shouldn’t be shared by the more extroverted set.

For tickets to the show, which will be hosted by Animation Block Casey Safron, click here.

As for Blackbird Blackbird, check out the clip for “It’s A War.”