May 16, 2001 |
Ancient Egypt holds out three magnets for movie makers: its connections to the Bible through Moses and Joseph, the eternal allure of Cleopatra and, above all, the mystery of mummies. It is the last of the trinity that brings forth one of the summer's big sequels, "The Mummy Returns." The grandeurs of early civilizations gripped the minds of filmmakers since the days of the early Italian cinema and the first epic by D.W. Griffith, the 1913 "Judith of Bethulia."
May 8, 2001 |
No one wrote about sex with more breathless comic verve than Preston Sturges, the ringmaster of 1940s screwball comedy. In "The Palm Beach Story," Mary Astor, who plays a ditsy socialite, throws herself at Joel McCrea, the failed inventor of a midair airplane landing strip. (Screwball comedies are full of ditsy socialites and madcap inventors, two characters you don't get to see much of in, say, a Rob Schneider movie).
April 24, 2001 |
What if you woke up one day and every movie portrayed Americans as dumb, dirty and ignorant? What if every TV show you tuned into showed Americans as fat, lazy and inbred? What if every actor was cast as The Ugly American--greedy, materialistic and arrogant? Welcome to how the rest of the world feels when it watches Hollywood portray its countries and cultures. No one is as good--or as persuasive--at making other cultures look as simplistic and backward as Hollywood.
April 5, 2001 |
Fay Wray will always be remembered for being carried by King Kong as he scales the Empire State Building, but the real high mark of her long career occurred early in Erich von Stroheim's late silent-era masterpiece "The Wedding March" (1928). The American Cinematheque is screening it at the Egyptian Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m. with live musical accompaniment.
March 29, 2001 |
Director Stanley Kramer's comedy smorgasbord, "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," will be shown Saturday at the Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro. "Mad," released in 1963, was the late director's extravagant, slapstick caper movie featuring a who's who of comedians, including Milton Berle, Phil Silvers, Jonathan Winters, Buddy Hackett, Sid Caesar, Dick Shawn and Mickey Rooney, part of a ragtag bunch chasing after a bank robber's buried cash. Spencer Tracy also stars as Captain C.G. Culpeper.
January 12, 2001 |
Four women who came to California to become the most powerful actresses of early Hollywood are being saluted by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Film Department over the next two weekends. As part of the continuing "Made in California" exhibit, the careers of Mary Pickford, Norma Shearer, Marion Davies and Gloria Swanson are being recognized with two films each beginning tonight and continuing Saturday, next Friday and Jan. 20 in the Powerful Actresses of Early Hollywood Film Series.