August 11, 2009 |
The beloved puppet show "Kukla, Fran and Ollie," the creation of puppeteer Burr Tillstrom, had millions of ardent fans, among them Orson Welles, John Steinbeck and James Thurber. The show was also a major influence on future generations of puppeteers, such as Jim Henson. In fact, the Muppets' creator publicly said, "We owe everything to Burr Tillstrom and 'Kukla, Fran and Ollie.' " The classic series is celebrating its 60th anniversary with the release today on DVD of 39 episodes of the show that aired on PBS and in syndication from 1969-71 and the unveiling of a new stamp commemorating the series, which was among the first to appeal to both children and adults.
July 16, 2009 |
Charlyne Yi, who co-wrote, executive produced and starred in the low-budget indie comedy "Paper Heart" (which screened at the Los Angeles Film Festival earlier this summer and will see limited release Aug. 7), came up with an inexpensive way to illustrate the true-life love stories of the interview subjects in her film: She used puppets, which she made herself. "I always enjoyed making puppets as a kid," Yi said. "I put on shows for my family.
July 4, 2009 |
"Killing's just about power, man." So says a character -- actually, a puppet version of a character -- in "Jerk," the first story in Dennis Cooper's new collection, "Ugly Man." "Jerk" asks us to imagine the last member of a murderous cabal of teenage boys. Having helped videotape a series of snuff films, he is now presenting his puppet-show recounting of the experience.
June 12, 2009 |
Elimination beckoned, and we all figured we knew what that meant. The run was over, here comes summer vacation, it's time to go fishing. Except the Nike puppets didn't go away. Even without LeBron James in the NBA Finals, Nike continues to run ads with the LeBron and Kobe Bryant puppets, playing on the theme that Kobe made the Finals and LeBron has to stay home baby-sitting the little kid next door, Lil Dez.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 4, 2009 |
A parade of puppets managed to string along Los Angeles City Council members long enough Wednesday to persuade them to designate a West 1st Street marionette theater as a historic-cultural landmark. The animated figures danced and pranced atop the council's ornate horseshoe-shaped desk in the City Hall chambers before officials voted 14 to 0 to place the Bob Baker Marionette Theater on the monument list.
May 31, 2009 |
So much for Kobe Bryant and LeBron James settling the who's-best debate on the court. The Lakers officially have an opponent in the NBA Finals, and it's not the Cleveland Cavaliers, though the Orlando Magic will be more than last-second stand-ins, thanks to a horde of accurate long-range shooters and a tough-to-stop protagonist, center Dwight Howard. The Lakers, however, are already in better shape than they were a year ago because they have home-court advantage in the Finals.
May 17, 2009 |
A marionette lies limp, facedown, on a box the size of an upturned milk crate, in the middle of a crowded room. Strains of Louis Armstrong issue from a source hidden inside the box, and slowly the marionette begins to crawl. He has few distinguishing features to speak of, but it's clear in an instant that he's seen better days. He moves slowly, achingly; he never makes it up off his knees. Is he dying? Drunk? Heartbroken? Stricken with some kind of curse?
May 12, 2009 |
"Sewn Together," the new album by desert outlaws the Meat Puppets, is a bit like a declaration of liberation. It's the second full-length release from the veteran band, formed by brothers Curt and Cris Kirkwood in a Phoenix suburb in 1980, since bassist Cris was released from prison after serving 18 months on assault charges.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 11, 2009 |
Evgenios Spatharis, 85, a Greek master of shadow puppet theater, died Saturday in an Athens hospital days after being injured in a fall down a staircase while on his way to a performance, a state news agency reported. He was well-known throughout Greece for his puppet theater stories revolving around the hunchbacked character Karagiozi, who came to represent the virtues and vices of the average Greek. Cunning and rebellious, Karagiozi was often shown as a liar and petty thief who wormed his way out of difficult situations.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 6, 2009 |
Pinocchio danced on the table and wise-cracking Fred Mingo sat on it Thursday as they helped convince Los Angeles officials to consider making a marionette theater near downtown an official city cultural site. Fans of longtime puppeteer Bob Baker pleaded for his puppet stage and workshop at 1345 W. 1st St. to be protected with the landmark designation as they struggle to keep the Bob Baker Marionette Theater afloat.