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SMART LIST: Inside L.A.'s modern art scene with 'Cool School'

Also this week: 'Daria' on DVD, Crash Test Dummies' 'Oooh La La!,' 'Keeping Up With the Joneses' and 'Letters to Juliet'

May 09, 2010|By Yvonne Villarreal, Los Angeles Times

You should talk about "The Cool School: How Los Angeles Learned to Love Modern Art"

Being screened at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the film tells the story of L.A.'s Ferus Gallery, which launched the careers of several artists featured in "Collection: MOCA's First Thirty Years," including Ed Moses, Billy Al Bengston and Wallace Berman. The documentary features vintage footage, photographs and interviews with artists John Baldessari, Frank Gehry, Dennis Hopper and Edward Ruscha, among others. (Sunday)

Frustrated with MTV's current primetime lineup? Talk about "Daria."

Before pickle-eating Snooki ("Jersey Shore") was a household name, MTV had a different kind of influential female character in its primetime lineup in the form of a sardonic cartoon. And now fans of "Daria" can relive the animated series with the long-awaited release of the show's DVDs. (Tuesday)

Nostalgic for toys — or the music of a few Canadian rockers? Talk about "Oooh La La!"

Crash Test Dummies — remember their '90s song "Mmm, Mmm, Mmm, Mmm"? — return with their first record in six years. And they're giving a whole new meaning to "toying around." "Oooh La La!" features singer-songwriter Brad Roberts' deep bass-baritone voice in 11 tracks conceptualized using '70s-era analog musical toys. (Tuesday)

Bored with Bravo's "Housewives" franchise? Talk about "Keeping Up With the Joneses."

There's a different kind of domestic diva in the midst. In this latest reality show — airing on Centric, a new 24-hour entertainment network launched by BET — watch as Houston-based Tracy Ferguson raises her two children while juggling the task of moving her publication, Jones Magazine, from regional to national. (Thursday)

If penmanship holds a special place in your heart, talk about "Letters to Juliet."

Before there was texting, IM-ing and tweeting, lovestruck folks would — gasp! — write letters. In Amanda Seyfried's latest romantic flick, she plays a young American who travels to Verona, Italy, home of Juliet Capulet of "Romeo and Juliet" fame, and joins a group of volunteers who respond to letters addressed to Juliet seeking advice about love. It leads to a whirlwind search to bring long-lost love together again and a discovery of her own. (Friday).

yvonne.villarreal@latimes.com

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