"Skid Row Ricky" has his system down: He sets up shop outside rehab centers and sells beers to homeless people for $2 a tall boy ($1 if you're his buddy). He used to store his merchandise in a big, blue recycling bin. After about five years and dozens of arrests,...
Above are photos from the the Euromaidan protests centered around Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) in Kiev, Ukraine. Ukrainians involved are vying for their country's closer integration into the European Union after its leadership has been accused of widespread corruption.
Photos by C.S. Muncy for the Village Voice over the weekend of February, 22, 2014.
The Fremont Street district was known as the "original Las Vegas Strip" over 50 years ago. Within the last decade, Fremont Street East and its surrounding neighborhood has been under revitalization, and has introduced an updated look to bring people back into the area.
This includes the much awaited opening of Container Park, an open area of locally owned retail shops and eateries all constructed of recycled shipping containers; the Inspire Theater, a two-story structure featuring a theater, a full bar, a cafe, and a conference-style screening room; and the Emergency Arts building, which supports local artists and businesses. All photos by Aimee Candelaria.
Bring on the food coma, because this is the foodie event of your dreams. This Sunday, L.A. Weekly will host its annual food and wine event, The Essentials, with a new name, new downtown location and better restaurants than ever. Now christened in honor of our 99 Essential Restaurants special issue, the event will feature some of the top eateries in the city: Animal, Lucques, Hinoki & the Bird. We're talking 44 of our city's best chefs preparing delicious dishes, along with (for the first time) specially chosen wine pairings by Wally's Wine & Spirits. Unfortunately this event is sold out, so if you don't already have your tickets, you're out of luck. But hey, there's always 2015! L.A. Mart, 1933 Broadway, 2nd floor; Sun., March 9, VIP entry at noon, general admission 1 p.m.; $45 general, $65 VIP. (310) 574-7380, laweekly.com/essentials.More
That clatter of castanets and quicksilver, percussive footwork announce Gala Flamenca led by a quartet of flamenco stars who strut into town with a clutch of supporting dancers, live musicians and rave reviews from last year’s Flamenco Festival in London. (Yes, London hosts a significant flamenco festival.) The show opens with the stars, Antonio Canales, Carlos Rodríguez, Karime Amaya, and Jesús Carmona, displaying their prowess in solo turns before the program erupts with more competitive duets.More
The audience gave a standing ovation at the first of four performances of Los Angeles Ballet’s Quartet with two world premieres and two 20th-century masterpieces. Choreographer Sonya Tayeh (So You Think You Can Dance) returns for her fourth LAB commission, Beneath One’s Dignity. The second world premiere is the company’s first commission for Christopher Stowell, former artistic director of Oregon Ballet Theatre, who teamed with composer Noah Agruss for Cipher. The two classics are Jirí Kylián’s exquisite Return to a Strange Land and Balanchine’s rousing Stars and Stripes set to John Phillip Sousa marches.More
This month’s edition of the ongoing flamenco series features José Tanaka and Company with dancers Mizuho Sato, Oscar Valero and special guest Carola Zertuche from San Francisco. They get help from cantaor (singer) José Cortes and guitarists Gabriel Osuna and Tanaka.More
Thirty-two-year-old tenor saxophonist Kamasi Washington has been playing for nearly two decades with 10-piece band West Coast Get Down. A little more than a year ago, they went into a Silver Lake studio and recorded six albums in 30 days. Washington's contribution to that effort is called The Epic, a...
The Country Music Hall of Fame held their "All For The Hall - Los Angeles" benefit concert at Club Nokia on Tuesday night featuring performances by Vince Gill, Emmylou Harris, Ann and Nancy Wilson, Jason Mraz, Holly Williams and Rita Wilson. All photos by Timothy Norris.
On Sunday, March 2, Beverly Hills' Saban Theater hosted the first annual So-Cal Drum Bash. The only one of its kind in Los Angeles, the So-Cal Drum Bash featured seven drummers who ranged from world renowned to street artist. Giving away thousands of dollars worth of gear including top-of-the-line Meinl cymbals and a drum kit by DW, the evening left the city eager for its return next year. Drum roll please...
A young, brooding Marco Pierre White stares out over the bustling dining room of République. The huge black-and-white photo above the bar catches the legendary London chef at his most intense: cigarette dangling, brow heavy with genius. République chef Walter Manzke put the picture up just a few weeks ago,...
It's unfortunate that we sometimes lose our most beloved and most frequented neighborhood restaurants. Why does a well-established eatery, with years of operating experience and a loyal customer base behind it, simply close? Sometimes gentrification in a neighborhood makes the rent skyrocket to a price the owner can longer afford. Owners sometimes wish to retire and there's no family to pass the business on to. What may be harder to answer is why some of these long-standing (some historic) Los Angeles restaurants sit empty and vacant for months, sometimes years. It's a rare thing to find in a city that's not particularly known for preserving the past.
Here's a look at some such restaurants we've lost: Buggy Whip Steakhouse, El Conquistador, Bahooka, Fung Lum Restaurant and Rubin's Red Hot. All photos by Jared Cowan.
Espresso lovers, drinkers, and connoisseurs alike celebrated all things coffee this past weekend at the “Big Western” U.S. Barista Championship in Downtown L.A. It was a proud showing of the Los Angeles coffee community and all of the rich flavors, textures, and brilliant baristas that decorated the event. All photos by Sammi Cohen.
Architects Catherine Johnson and Rebecca Rudolph stand amidst the scaffolding and concrete dust as they discuss electrical wiring locations with their contractor and client, Andre Guerrero. By springtime, this dumpy former sushi joint will morph into the Hollywood location of Guerrero's Oinkster, the next restaurant in his growing empire of...
Because they switch intermittently from Super 8 to HD and from black-and-white to color, and because one character has a satyr's face and pours red wine on his naked lover, the 17 vignettes in Dara Friedman's film Play are eerie. Each features a different couple. Agam, braless in a white T-shirt, tells Juan, in only boxers, about how her mother kept her on a 1.5-meter-long leash. Juan thinks that's actually a lot of freedom. Ashish and Kimberly practice embraces in a dimly lit cabin. It's as if the scenes are building up to or taking a break from something scary, which can sometimes make the film, screening in Kayne Griffin Corcoran's back gallery, seem too absorbed in its own significance. But mostly, the couples are awkward, eccentric or charming enough to engross you. 1201 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-City; through March 8. (310) 586-6886, kaynegriffincorcoran.com.More
The dining booth Joel Kyack installed alone in a dim room of François Ghebaly's new space doesn't move, but the light above the table and the painting behind the seats do, going back and forth, emulating the rocking of the sea. Everything in Kyack's show "Old Sailors Never Die" has a nautical theme — there's a boat upright on scaffolding, made to look like a face, with foam nose and tongue protruding from its seats. It has the irreverent energy typical of Kyack, but in these big sculptures especially, the irreverence feels competent and unapologetic, like an old sailor who doesn't give a damn. 2245 E. Washington Blvd.; through March 8. (310) 280-0777, ghebaly.com.More
The Amazing Acro-Cats have gone Hollywood! Along with trainer Samantha Martin, these cool kitties have been rocking, jumping and rolling around town the past two weeks, and there's only a few more chances to see them in Tinseltown. The small production features felines doing big-top feats, ending with a climactic band jam as "The Rock Cats," complete with a "chick" on Tambourine, and the show's star, Tuna, adding "more cowbell" to the mix. Brian Setzer and Peter Criss, eat your fiddles out! See here for more info on upcoming shows.
Fearless photog Austin Young, known for his "Tranimal" workshops and pop-tacular "Your Face Here" show from a couple years ago, threw another interactive photo shoot, exhibit and shindig this past weekend at China Town's Good Luck Gallery, this time inspired by the shopping mall "Glamour Shots" of yore. Saturday night was the packed opening party, but Sunday afternoon was quite a soiree as well, with a mix of eccentrics, androgynous types, kids and even dogs getting transformed and captured by Young's lens. Everyone loves a makeover, and Lina in L.A. is no exception! Here, a sneak peek at Young's glam squad, some of the people who shot with him and our own fairy-esque styling and photo shoot, which ended up a fabulous family affair.
Art may not be more important than human lives. But on the list of things that mean something to human lives, across centuries, it ranks pretty high. That's what's so compelling about the story of the Monuments Men, a group of people from 13 nations who volunteered to protect cultural...
Arie Posin's romantic drama tips its hand when we see that protagonist Nikki (Annette Bening), a widowed interior decorator, has chosen posters for Andrei Tarkovsky's Nostalghia and Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo for the house she's currently sprucing up.
This might be the most convincing of all the praise heaped on the Trappist monk who gives Thomas Keating: A Rising Tide of Silence its name: "He is not speaking Catholic doctrine — he is using Catholic doctrine to speak universally."
Bring on the food coma, because this is the foodie event of your dreams. This Sunday, L.A. Weekly will host its annual food and wine event, The Essentials, with a new name, new downtown location and better restaurants than ever. Now christened in honor of our 99 Essential Restaurants special issue, the event will feature some of the top eateries in the city: Animal, Lucques, Hinoki & the Bird. We're talking 44 of our city's best chefs preparing delicious dishes, along with (for the first time) specially chosen wine pairings by Wally's Wine & Spirits. If you're interested in taking the first bite, you can purchase VIP tickets for an early entrance at noon; otherwise, prepare your taste buds along with everyone else for general entrance at 1 p.m. Although you must be 21 or older to drink, all ages are welcome to appreciate the culinary styling of the Los Angeles food scene. Tickets should be purchased in advance online, since it's not clear if there will be any left at the door. L.A. Mart, 1933 Broadway, 2nd floor; Sun., March 9, VIP entry at noon, general admission 1 p.m.; $45 general, $65 VIP. (310) 574-7380, laweekly.com/essentials.
The past decade has seen a boom in the number of marijuana dispensaries, with estimates placing the number within L.A. city limits at over 1,000. A recently approved ban by the city council could mean the end of marijuana dispensaries, though medical marijuana activists are fighting back. Our gallery of some of the marijuana dispensaries of Los Angeles. All photos by Susan Slade Sanchez.
Whether you think of 4/20 as a celebration for an oppressed minority or just another day for layabouts to get high, this weekend stoners across the country got baked. So from the east to west, from states with legal access to medical marijuana to states without, here are the highest people across America.
As next weeks issue of this paper will prove conclusively, tis
the season for list-making, when not just Santa Claus but movie critics and other
pundits set about distilling the past 12 months into tidy inventories of naughty
and nice. Even as I write, an e-mail pops up on my computer from the American
Film Institute listing six moments of significance from the past year in film,
as selected by a 13-member jury that included a handful of academics; critics
David Denby, Kenneth Turan and David Thomson; and filmmakers Norman Jewison and
Martha Coolidge. Among their chosen moments from 2005 were the continuing corporate
consolidation of Hollywood by which both the oldest (MGM) and the youngest (DreamWorks)
of film studios were absorbed into larger conglomerates and the precipitous
downturn in theatrical attendance, as moviegoers opted for the company of their
DVD players, video-game systems and big-screen televisions over the company of
their fellow men. Once upon a time, the AFIs press release reminds, strangers
came together in the dark and were awed by images of light and a story well told
an experience that may soon seem as distant a cultural memory as vinyl records
and the world before cell phones.
As David Ehrenstein reported in these pages earlier this year, even rave reviews from the major daily newspapers are no longer any guarantee that a foreign-language picture will perform in New York, and most distributors and exhibitors remain of the opinion that if you cant make it there, you cant make it anywhere. Not that the news is especially encouraging for those movies that speak English as a first language. Just two weekends ago, Michael Almereydas scintillating sci-fi/film noir/romance Happy Here and Now opened on both coasts after nearly four years in distribution limbo and took in $1,800 in its first three days of release. (Just goes to show how far being the Film Pick of the Week in the L.A. Weekly will get you.) By comparison, Debra Graniks excellent Down to the Bone, which recently won Best Actress honors (for star Vera Farmiga) from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, has amassed a relative fortune $25,000 since opening a month ago, which is still less than half of what Brokeback Mountain has been making on an average weekend at The Grove. No wonder then that at Indianapolis Keystone Art Cinema and Indie Lounge, the newest multiplex in the Landmark Theaters family, the current lineup includes not only Brokeback, but Syriana and Memoirs of a Geisha, collectively consuming more than half of the theaters seven screens. Will the same programming philosophy reign supreme when Landmark (which proudly touts itself as the nations leading exhibitor of foreign and independent films) opens its long-in-the-works 14-screen multiplex at the Westside Pavilion in early 2007?
Raising such questions always risks earning the ire of distributors and exhibitors who like to blame each other for their woes to say nothing of readers. Why do so many reviewers feel compelled to reference these obscure films that most of us have never even seen? asks one of my recent correspondents, calling herself an advocate for frustrated moviegoers and proceeding to invoke the pleasures of Dukes of Hazzard and Fantastic Four while deriding those audiences who crave some sort of intellectual stimulation from the screen. For some reason, reading that letter brought to mind the image of a deranged mob setting fire to an art-house cinema, then dancing joyously amid the flaming ruins. So it is with due caution that your intrepid critic dons his asbestos jumpsuit and heads into the breach to offer a users guide to the best movies you couldnt see at least not in L.A. in 2005:
Far Side of the Moon
The Far Side of the Moon
Canadian film and theater director Robert LePages tour de force premiered at Toronto in 2003, and snuck into New York in early December. It will play San Francisco in February, but as of press time distributor TLA Releasing had not confirmed a Los Angeles booking. In the meantime, interested parties can order a copy of the Canadian DVD from www.amazon.ca. Nearly as impossible to describe as it is wondrous to behold, this deliriously clever human-scaled epic stars LePage himself in a spectacular dual performance as two radically different brothers one a vain TV weatherman, the other a neurotic graduate student each coping in his own way with feelings of solitude in this vast universe of ours. One resigns himself; the other explores, hoping against hope that he might better understand his own place in the cosmos and, just maybe, break free of the literal and figurative gravity that binds him to his lonely existence.
A grizzled recluse (the sublime Michel Subor) searches for an old life and a new heart a quest that takes him from a remote French-Swiss border region to the tropical isles of Tahiti, with a stop in Korea en route to purchase the boat that will become, in a sense, his aquatic coffin. But that story is itself merely the vessel by which the visionary French filmmaker Clare Denis (partially adapting a text by the philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy) examines the idea of intrusion in all its physical, emotional and geopolitical dimensions. The Intruder adheres not to a linear narrative, but to the private logic of a dream a dream about a world that is at once increasingly global and ever more isolationist until, in its final moments, you feel you are witnessing nothing short of the birth of a new cinematic language. More to come when The Intruder finally reaches L.A. in March 2006.
My Mothers Smile
Before making Good Morning, Night, Bellocchio (Fists in the Pocket) emerged from a long creative funk with this scabrous portrait of the Catholic Church as monarchy and multinational, and of a people subservient to its whims. Taken together, the two films offer a fascinating self-portrait of a former radical looking back, through the prism of experience, at the implacable ideals of youth. When atheistic artist Ernesto (Sergio Castellito) learns that his late mother is a candidate for canonization, he also finds that his brothers, aunts and long-forgotten childhood acquaintances even his own wife want him to play ball, to help ensure things proceed smoothly. Sainthood, it seems, is more (or less) than just a spiritual achievement its a big business too, complete with Web sites, artistic commissions, the redemption of the guilty and the restoration of tarnished reputations. The premise may suggest farce, but My Mothers Smile is closer to a soulful rumination with flashes of paranoid thriller about the exploitation of faith in a world where nothing is without its price. Sadly, distributor New Yorker Films has no plans for an L.A. release.
(bottom): The Power of
The Century of the Self | The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics
Two brilliant documentaries by Adam Curtis, the first about how the nephew of Sigmund Freud single-handedly invented the field of modern public relations; the second a deconstruction of the myths and realities of global terrorism, niftily paralleling the rise of Islamic extremism in the east with the dawn of neoconservatism in the West. Both are revealing and sometimes absurd records of the mass opiates (namely, consumerism and fear) of the latter part of the 20th century, marked by Curtis crack skill at tracing complex social phenomena back to their very DNA. The films lengths (four and three hours, respectively) and wall-to-wall use of film and music excerpts licensed only for the initial BBC broadcasts have thus far proved hindrances to theatrical release, yet both works have secured surreptitious berths in New York and demand further underground showings.
The Weeping Meadow
Like so many films by the Greek master director Theo Angelopoulos, The Weeping Meadow is about the havoc wrought on individual lives by the turbulent tide of history here seen through the eyes of a woman named Eleni from her early childhood (as an exile from Odessa in 1919) through to the end of World War II. This film is intended as the first in a trilogy that will eventually follow the characters across Europe and the Atlantic before ending in present-day New York, thus mirroring the 20th-century migration of so many Greeks driven from their homeland by tireless civil strife. The set pieces in The Weeping Meadow including the flooding of an entire village Angelopoulos had constructed from scratch for the filming are remarkable, but above all, the movie feels like a summary of everything Angelopoulos has done, and a renewal. As Eliot said, In my beginning is my end. And vice versa.
RADIO BROADCAST #242 11-17-13 See also: Henry Rollins: Empowerment Through Libraries Fanatics! It is cold here in Toronto. I hit the street and the wind stings immediately. Our second track of the evening is perfect for my present location. Two new additions to our ever growing arsenal tonight, Satellite Sky
Toronto Mayor Rob Ford stopped by L.A. City Hall today. If he was looking to score, he came to the wrong place. City Hall hasn't had a coke problem since the 1990s. He would have better luck a few blocks to the south. Ford tweeted photos from his visits with...
RADIO BROADCAST #246 12-15-13 See also: Henry Rollins: The Glorious Cold Fanatics! I have good news and better news. The good news is that we have a great night of music ready for you. The better news is that you are reading this now and are eagerly anticipating what will
RADIO BROADCAST #243 11-24-13 Fanatics! Is this our last show for November? I think it is! Well, I hope you have enjoyed what we've been putting across so far. We have already prepared a few of our December shows. As you might know, I am still here in Toronto Canada,
Like it or not, in a country of melting-pot mongrels, the dislocating immigrant experience is part of our cultural DNA. So it is no surprise that performer Tara Grammy's partly autobiographical solo show (co-written with Tom Arthur Davis) about Toronto's Iranian expatriate community should resonate with such poignant and universal...
Our critics are split on Wes Anderson's latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, but inarguable is the filmmaker's meticulous attention to detail in this movie that sees a limited release this weekend and opens widely on March 14. Here are images from the film and a few behind-the-scenes shots of Anderson with his actors.
Here's a brief rundown of the 2014 Oscar winners, led by Best Picture victor 12 Years a Slave. The Steve McQueen film also took home two other trophies, matching the three-win total of Dallas Buyers Club. In terms of volume, Gravity dominated the evening, winning seven categories. Conversely, American Hustle eluded a statue in each of the ten categories for which it was nominated. Rounding out the ceremony were single-category winners like Blue Jasmine, The Great Beauty, and Her. By Danny King.
Bill Murray first appeared in a Wes Anderson picture in 1998's Rushmore and since then, he's had a role in every one of the Texan's movies. The Grand Budapest Hotel -- in theaters March 7 -- marks Murray's seventh appearance in an Anderson film. (Bottle Rocket, Anderson's first feature, is his only film not to feature Murray.) To commemorate the occasion, we have compiled images and descriptions of Murray's roles throughout the Anderson canon, from the brief cameos (The Darjeeling Limited) to the inspired leading performances (The Life Acquatic with Steve Zissou). The slideshow presents the roles chronologically, which allows for some fun temporal tracking of Murray's facial hair. Words by Danny King.
If you were to survey people who pay attention to movies — to go door to door with a clipboard, a sharpened No. 2 pencil and a sheaf of forms with the word SURVEY printed in clean block letters across the top, later to be tabulated on a vintage Underwood...
Leave it to Wes Anderson to make a film about World War II without mentioning Germany. In The Grand Budapest Hotel, a wundercabinet set in the fictitious Eastern European republic of Zubrowka circa 1932, Anderson captures the collapse of a kingdom and rise of a reich without so much as...
Man, woman, straight, gay, bi: There's something for everyone in 300: Rise of an Empire, the XXL sequel to the also-larger-than-life Greeks-in-shinguards extravaganza 300. In that picture, directed by Zack Snyder and based on Frank Miller's graphic novel about the three-day Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C., the Spartans and...