It was the happiest day of Phillip Cho's life. Shortly after New Year's Day in 2005, he learned that he had acquired a fortune of $600 million — a windfall from his brother, who had won a settlement in a corporate espionage lawsuit, and who planned to give Cho access...
Just as organizations such as A/V Geeks and the Prelinger Archives have been busy digitizing Super-8 and 16mm home movies, instructional films, and other forms of celluloid ephemera, Everything Is Terrible (EIT) is dedicated to finding the most god-awful casualties of VHS and virtually every kind of media thereafter. Everything Is Festival is a series of public screenings showcasing some of the most mind-glowingly bad shit out there. This year's fun, five-day film fest, Everything Is Festival: The 5th Dimension, kicks off with EIT's very own Memory Hole, a visual assemblage of rejects from America's Funniest Home Videos, which offers a window into America during the last quarter-century. Ticketed presentations include the 1991 amusing atrocity Samurai Cop (with star Matt Hannon in person!) and the sophomore edition of The Most Outrageous Video Games. Other highlights: Barry Hansen aka Dr. Demento's favorite finds, as well as the Found Footage Battle Royale, a community invitational for anyone hankering to share their own funny and/or disturbing under-recognized gems. Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax District; Thu., Aug. 28 to Mon., Sept. 1 (various showtimes); opening night free. All other screenings $12/$15, members free. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org.More
With more than 60 performances on offer in hip-hop, ballet, tap, modern, tribal, contemporary, jazz, belly and pole dancing, the Mix Match Dance Festival returns with its annual terpsichorean tasting menu of local dance troupes. Billed as L.A.'s largest dance festival, the Hart Pulse Dance Company–hosted event has some repetition in groups and dancers over its four days, but each of the four shows has a distinctive and different lineup. Friday's groups include Ashley L. Jones, Lexi Stillanos, Hazel Clarke, Kelela Batinga, Diane McNeal Hunt's Elevate, Merge Dance Theatre, Amaterasu Dance Company, Gabriela Hernandez Cardenas, J.J. Dance, Brooklyn Hughes Melton, Julianna LaRosa, Sara Kempa-Leon, OdDancity, Rosie Trump (With or Without Dance), Reach Dance Academy Burbank and the host company. Now in its eighth year, Mix Match Dance Festival is a weekend of shows offering an unmatched chance to measure the temperature of current SoCal dance. For the full lineup and tickets, go to hartpulsedance.com. Miles Memorial Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica; Thu.-Sat., Aug. 28-30, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 31, 2 p.m.; $17. (661) 755-2182, brownpapertickets.com/event/239532.More
Game lovers will be gathering at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport over Labor Day weekend for Gateway 2014. Part of the Strategicon family of holiday weekend gaming events, this four-day convention features tournaments, demos and more, for board game lovers and card sharks alike. A full roster of events is planned every day right up until Monday afternoon, so check out strategicon.net for the schedule. For those who want to simply play with friends, head to the library. It's stocked with old favorites and more recent titles. Whether you're looking for something with zombies, Cthulhu or Dungeons & Dragons, there is something here you can take on loan for a few hours. Hilton Los Angeles Airport, 5711 W. Century Blvd., Westchester; Fri., Aug. 29-Mon., Sept. 1; $60 weekend pass ($50 in advance), day pass $30 (Sat.-Sun.)/$15 (Fri., Mon.)., $5 kids under 12 with adult admission. strategicon.net.More
The Los Angeles Times kicks off its annual food festival, the Taste, on Labor Day weekend. The folks from that paper's Food section join local chefs for a weekend of discussions, cooking and cocktail demos, wine seminars — and actual food and drink. Among the many activities: cooking demos by Nancy Silverton, Jimmy Shaw, John Sedlar, Karen Hatfield and Casey Lane, among many others; a butchery demo by Amelia Posada; Russ Parsons chats with Thomas Keller; Jonathan Gold and Betty Hallock host a mixology demo; and a farmers market cooking panel with Roxana Jullapat, Jessica Koslow and Josiah Citrin. A weekend pass goes for $299; tickets for individual events run from $175 down to a kids' brunch for $5. Check out the website for details and to buy tickets. (LAT subscribers get a $25 discount.).More
fri 7/25 Dierks Bentley GREEK THEATRE For the better part of the past decade, Dierks Bentley has helped usher in a new era of country music. His catalog has spawned seven No. 1 hits on Billboard's Hot Country Songs charts and cemented his status as one of mainstream country's superstars...
Visual allure often isn't a virtue we value when chasing obscure flavors in L.A.'s international neighborhoods. In fact, adventurous diners tend to appreciate the opposite: The grungier the location, the more accomplished we feel for having sought it out. Looks be damned — let the fireworks happen on the flavor...
The Los Angeles art world has been saying a collective "hallelujah" since the arrival in January of Philippe Vergne as MOCA's new director. Although some East Coast commentators condemned the appointment — citing in particular a budget crisis scandal in which Vergne resorted to selling off a number of works...
If you know painter Joe Goode, who road-tripped to L.A. from Oklahoma in 1959 to make his go as an artist, you probably know his drawings of torn paper or paintings of blue skies. They're pretty nonchalant and usually modestly sized, so it's surprising to see how big and majestic the new paintings in his "Flat Screen Nature" show at Kohn Gallery are. They're two-tone expanses of color painted on sheets of fiberglass. Even though you could tumble right into those deep blues, Goode's still not taking himself too seriously. Every piece has weirdly ragged edges and the titles are jokes: Honk if You See Jesus for one with a ghostly shape near the bottom, or Coming Attraction for one that looks like a big-screen sunset. 1227 N. Highland Ave., Hlywd.; through Aug. 29. kohngallery.com.More
An enormous steel structure, like a giant birdcage by Escher, rises up from the grounds of Materials & Applications, an independent, progressive design studio off Silver Lake Boulevard. Architect Warren Techentin's installation, La Cage Aux Folles, presents nested helixes in a complex system of small lines and hyperbolic dimensional math, which occupies sculptural space and explores traditions of simple-shelter and decorative architecture — but it turns out it's also a stage. It opened in April with a series of performances that occupied and activated the space in ways linked to its name's semiotic origins: cage and folly, as in "inside and outside, captivity and protection, function and ornament, shape and line, stasis and dynamism." The installation remains open every day through Aug. 29, but this weekend, La Cage welcomes Matt Kivel to celebrate the release of his appropriately named and suitably experimental new album, Days of Being Wild. Known for his complex, subtly asymmetrical, lyrical style, Kivel's work rather echoes the spirit and form of the cage; his afternoon also features solo sets from Sophia Knapp and Kevin Morby (Woods, The Babies), plus beer by Craftsman Brewery. Materials & Applications, 1619 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake; daily thru Aug. 29. (323) 739-4668, emanate.org.More
Weep at another whiff of an Elmore Leonard adaptation, one that nails down neither the peppery laughs nor the street-crime desperation that are key to the writer's work. Instead, the comedy is too broad to take the characters seriously, and the vibe is breezily aimless, a mistake in a story...
After The Princess Bride made Robin Wright a star, she shocked Hollywood by saying no. No to The Firm and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. No to Jurassic Park, Dirty Dancing, Born on the Fourth of July and Batman Forever. She even said no to the cover of Vanity Fair...
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The secret art farm — better known as the home of artist Fritz Haeg.
It's 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday, and the sun has just risen over eastern Los Angeles. One by one, people ascend the stairs to Fritz Haeg's home, high in the hills of Glassell Park, overlooking the city. They are here for Haeg's latest project: the L.A. Seminary for Civic and Embodied Arts.
Haeg, an artist, architect and community advocate, has spent the past nine years turning front lawns all over the world into edible gardens. But he's back home in L.A. for the summer, with a group of curious artists once again at his house.
The home includes three stories of geodesic dome–topped living space and sprawling gardens. "Since I've lived here for 15 years, it's always been a place for semi-public activity," he says. But this is the first iteration of the seminary, 12 consecutive Saturdays of mindful activity and thoughtful conversation, which Haeg frames as "less like a school and more like a retreat."
This year at San Diego Comic-Con, I stayed with some friends who, by luck of the hotel lottery system, landed a room at a high-end establishment across the street from the convention center. It's the kind of place better known for hosting exclusive, red carpet parties than for housing the regular folks who attend the convention every year.
Throughout the weekend-and-change of festivities, the crowd outside the hotel grew, a mishmash of fans and paparazzi jerking their heads and cameras as they followed nerd royalty from limos to the door. I don't know if anyone famous was actually a guest there. Inside, I saw little more than security guards and publicists, but still had to show a room key to get past the ropes that blocked the route from entrance to elevators.
The movie star rush that comes with this sort of exclusivity wore away after the first adventure past the gatekeepers. As the days passed, the ritual of squeezing through crowds and flashing keys was irritating enough to make even the biggest cynic feel a touch of sympathy for the celebrities who stopped by for a party appearance. This was more like Oscar weekend in Hollywood than a nerdfest.
This week's dance events include two dance festivals, a Dream event, Spanish dance from Cuba and a lady in a tower.
5. Kickstarter dance
With funding from a successful Kickstarter campaign, Licia Perea, her Latina Dance Theater and the ever-adventurous Bootleg Theater return with a new edition of BlakTina 2. The obliquely named showcase spotlights mid-career and emerging Latino and African-American choreographers based in L.A. The ten selected choreographers offer a blend of premieres and previously staged works. Dancemakers Cyrian Reed, Dorcas Román, Marina Magalhães/Allison Gray and Michelle Funderburk contribute the new works. Sofia Carreras, Rande Dorn, Joshua Romero, Crystal Sepúlveda and Maura Townsend offer previously restaged pieces. The styles range from dance/theater, hip-hop, tap, jazz and spoken-word including poetry by Maya Angelou. At Bootleg Theater, 2200 Beverly Blvd., Echo Park; Thurs.-Sat., Sept. 4-6, 7:30 p.m., $20. 213-389-3856, www.bootlegtheater.org.
He was never supposed to be the celebrity. Tom Smuts, a cycling enthusiast who pedals to work three days a week, was just the organizer. But after being nominated for his first Emmy this year, the Mad Men producer thought he might be able to use his connections to get a bunch of famous people to bike together to the awards show.
The problem is that no actual famous people wanted to make the trip.
"Of course I emailed Jon Hamm and all the Mad Men cast members, all of whom said something about their hair or sweat," Smuts says. "It was important to me that the people riding up to the red carpet would be Hollywood people."
Why did so few people see Sin City: A Dame to Kill For over the weekend? That and other topics are discussed in this week's edition of the Voice Film Club podcast with the Village Voice's Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek, joined as always by Amy Nicholson of the L.A. Weekly via the magic of the Internet.The trio also discusses the latest YA adaptation If I Stay, the BDSM doc Kink, and they wrap with Alan and Amy split on relationship movie The One I Love, starring Elizabeth Moss and Mark Duplass.
This week, one artist dresses as a clown and another shows that sloppiness can happily coexist with polish.
Twice each year, the MAK Center hosts young artists from outside the United States, giving them an apartment they can stay in for three months while working on a project based on Los Angeles. The spring-summer residency just ended and Copenhagen-based Maria von Hausswolff is showing the four-minute film noir she made. It delves into suicide, scandal, murder and romance. Vienna-based Björn Kämmerer made a 16mm film inspired by the "bad guy" targets used for shooting practice. 1137 S. Cochran Ave., Mid-Wilshire; Opening Thurs., Sept. 4, 7-9 p.m.; on view through Sept. 7. (323) 651-1510,makcenter.org.
What do you get when you mix a porn star, three horny teenage guys and sex ed? The makings of a hilarious high school comedy with the likes of Elisha Cuthbert, Emile Hirsch and Timothy Olyphant. The Girl Next Door celebrates its 10th anniversary with a screening at the New Beverly Cinema at midnight, presented by @moviedude18. Director Luke Greenfield, whose Let’s Be Cops is currently in theaters, and actor Chris Marquette (Eli) are scheduled to appear in person.
Saturday, Aug. 30
Gi suilon! Pedig edhellen? If you understood that, chances are this epic 11 hours plus event is right up your alley. Starting at 1 p.m., the Aero Theatre will show the entire Lord of the Ringstrilogy back to back (with 20-minute breaks). The Meat in the Middle food truck will be parked outside for your first and second supper needs. Also, TheOneRing.net will be offering trivia games. (P.S. I wrote, “I greet you! Do you speak Elvish?”)
Charlie "Yardbird" Parker has been dead for almost a half-century, and yet the saxophonist’s name and music have a stubborn staying power. From Clint Eastwood’s 1988 biopic to the annual Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, Bird remains a potent pop culture icon. But the question is: Why?
In Willard Manus’ Bird Lives!, the playwright looks beyond Parker’s music and offers a raw examination of the man behind the legend. The 70-minute production, directed by Tommy Hicks at the Chromolume Theatre at the Attic, unravels like a Shakespearean tragedy, laying bare a brief and hard life, which makes Parker's musical accomplishments seem all the more remarkable in retrospect.
“Why do you live where they do this to colored people?” asks 18-year-old Bulrusher, who grew up one of two black people in pastoral yet progressive Boonville, California. It’s the summer of 1955, and Vera, who’s just off a train from Birmingham, has shown her new friend a magazine photo of Emmett Till’s mutilated face.
“’Cause we’re tired of running,” Vera replies.
Eisa Davis’ Bulrusher, which was a Pulitzer Prize finalist, was first produced almost a decade ago. But with most of the country riveted by Ferguson, Missouri, where an unarmed black teenager recently was shot and killed by a police officer, this exchange could not feel timelier or more chilling.
The renovation of Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus route stops began in 2009, when city stakeholders chose local firm Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects to re-think the functionality, look and feel of the city's stops, and accommodate for new amenities like solar lighting and real-time arrival information. Five years later, the stops are being unveiled one block at a time.
Recently, after installers pulled the plastic wrap from the stations near Santa Monica City College, L.A. Weekly asked one bus riding student, Maricela Ramos, what she thought of the new design, “It's kind of dinky and small,” said Ramos. Hers is a reaction that's been common so far.
To be fair, the stops come in three different “sizes” or configurations depending on locations that serve higher or lower rider volumes (for instance, some stops at major intersections will have more seats and more canopies). At minimum the stops consist of one oblong column with a bright blue disc atop for shade (also a solar collector), one trash can and one recycling bin clad in a wavy, triple-tone blue pattern of metal strips, and one or two low blue metal seats.
He was never supposed to be the celebrity. Tom Smuts, a cycling enthusiast who pedals to work three days a week, was just the organizer. But after being nominated for his first Emmy this year, the Mad Men producer thought he might be able to use his connections to get...
It's 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday, and the sun has just risen over eastern Los Angeles. One by one, people ascend the stairs to Fritz Haeg's home, high in the hills of Glassell Park, overlooking the city. They are here for Haeg's latest project: the L.A. Seminary for Civic and...
This year at San Diego Comic-Con, I stayed with some friends who, by luck of the hotel lottery system, landed a room at a high-end establishment across the street from the convention center. It's the kind of place better known for hosting exclusive, red carpet parties than for housing the...