CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 6, 2012 |
Budd Burton Moss is in his upstairs office at his Westwood Village house, working his computer to find work for actor Maxwell Caulfield. He signs on to a Hollywood casting service - to which he subscribes for $250 a month - that lists the acting roles that production companies around town are seeking to fill. Moss notices the synopsis of an episodic TV crime show that is looking for someone to play the part of an attorney. With a few clicks on his computer, he pulls up a photo of Caulfield dressed in a suit and tie and composes a quick note to the show's producers, inviting them to attend the play "Helen," in which Caulfield was performing at the Getty Villa.
August 18, 2012 |
"What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" Looks like we're about to find out again. And actresses of a certain age everywhere must be quivering in their orthopedics at news of a remake. After all, the 1962 original, a delicious hot mess of black comedy/chiller thriller, earned late-career cred for two of golden Hollywood's declining and long feuding queen bees. Bette Davis camped it up as "Baby Jane" Hudson, a former child star-turned-abusive, frowzy caretaker. Joan Crawford was invalid sister Blanche, a onetime star in her own right, crippled years earlier in a mysterious car wreck.
June 21, 2012 |
Lon Chaney stands pretty much alone in the history of American film. He became one of the biggest stars of the silent era by playing deeply human, invariably grotesque characters. Chaney's best-known role, the Phantom in "The Phantom of the Opera," is a classic, but until now some of his other equally remarkable parts have been harder to come by. Now the Warner Archive Collection has reissued several of them, many directed by Tod Browning, the filmmaker who was increasingly on his wavelength.
May 15, 2012 |
While getting started for her debut in Culture Monster's Influences column, brassy Broadway veteran Elaine Stritch, 87, wanted to make one thing clear: She's never been influenced by anyone. "I am not influenced by other human beings," she says. "But I am inspired. If I see a great performance on television, onstage, in the movies, I go to work the next day with a renewed energy and less fear. These great artists take me out of my life and make me want to go there. But I never imitated anyone.
July 30, 2011 |
When it comes to makeovers at the movies, the rules have always been fairly straightforward: Girls get a Cinderella story, while guys get Spider-Man. It's pretty much been that way since the dawn of the movie makeover genre, which authors Elizabeth A. Ford and Deborah C. Mitchell trace to 1942's "Now Voyager" (starring Bette Davis) in their 2004 book "The Makeover in Movies. "That film may not be familiar, but the story arc certainly is, and it can be found in movies ranging from the animated "Cinderella" (1950)
March 3, 2011 |
I've been writing about the incomparable UCLA Festival of Preservation for nearly 20 years, and every time a new edition appears, I fear I'll run out of fresh adjectives to describe the UCLA Film & Television Archive's gift for restoring the widest possible spectrum of fascinating and hard-to-see cinema. I'm clearly getting low on superlatives, but UCLA has not run out of films for its festival, which opens Thursday at the Hammer Museum's Billy Wilder Theater with Robert Altman's "Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.