October 8, 1998 |
Just in time for Halloween season is Kino on Video's new series "The Silent Scream," which features three digitally remastered silent horror films from the 1920s ($25 each), plus a new documentary that examines 50 early silent films--both popular and obscure. Though it's a bit slow moving, the 1920 chiller "The Penalty" offers one of the remarkable Lon Chaney's most terrifying performances.
July 26, 2004 |
Tipped toward the 10 o'clock hour, it's five deep at the bar. Drum-and-bass tracks skulk out over the stereo. Skin and gin flow through freely, the proceedings all cordoned off by the requisite stone-faced bouncer. Just another Thursday night in Hollywood, some would say. Not so for Jerry Stahl -- or rather, not so anymore.
September 10, 2007 |
Not only did he have "It," Rudolph Valentino also possessed the "S" factor -- he was sexy, sensuous, smoldering and swarthy. The original "Latin Lover" and the screen's first superstar, the Italian-born actor still mesmerizes audiences 81 years after his untimely death of a perforated ulcer at the age of 31.
October 20, 1991 |
Roosting in the maw of the velvet-covered console with a spotlight bathing his broad shoulders, organist Bill Field holds the audience at El Segundo's Old Town Music Hall in the palm of his hand. With a flick of a finger, a snap kick at the crescendo pedal and a laser-like jab at the combination pistons, Field performs a rousing rendition of "76 Trombones"--all glockenspiels, tubas and trumpets blaring as if the Music Man himself were leading the march down the center aisle of the theater.
March 15, 2009 |
"Never has a film left so little to chance," the French director Eric Rohmer once wrote of F.W. Murnau's 1926 epic "Faust." It's an apt assessment of this baroque morality tale: a battle between good and evil, told through the elaborate interplay between light and shadow. "Faust" was one of the great spare-no-expense blockbusters of its time, and along with another effects-heavy superproduction, Fritz Lang's "Metropolis," it brought about the financial ruin of its legendary studio, UFA.
June 17, 2010 |
Two vastly different cinematic icons are being feted this week by the American Cinematheque. You will smile even as your heart breaks at the Aero's "Cine Lights: Charlie Chaplin on the Big Screen," which begins Thursday and continues through June 27. During the silent era, Chaplin's' endearing Little Tramp character was one of the most indelible figures worldwide. And some 80 to 90 years after they were made, the humor, pathos, sadness, pratfalls, sentiment and grace of his short and feature-length films still strike a chord with audiences.
September 28, 2011 |
About 150 crew members, supported by three motor homes, a giant crane and 10 semi-trucks, huddled under downtown's 6th Street Bridge to film a "winter scene" on the Los Angeles River. Tampering with the river, which is regulated by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, was off-limits. So producers of the "Batman" sequel "The Dark Knight Rises" built a platform over the riverbed designed with a special surface to make it look like ice. The sequence for the movie -- which is scheduled for release in theaters in July -- was part of a nighttime shoot that lighted up the industrial area, complete with fake snow, fireballs and plenty of billowing smoke.
June 26, 2002 |
At the Butterfield auction house in Los Angeles, a woman's voice is heard on a cassette recording pleading with her bird, Feisty, to talk. In her strong Brooklyn accent, she implores her pet to say something: "Pretty baaaby. Come on, pretty baaaby" The woman's voice is etched with pain and heartache, and the recording plays like a scene from Billy Wilder's "Sunset Boulevard."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 17, 1990 |
A housing tract under construction in Valencia passed for a developing San Fernando Valley neighborhood in the late 1940s in "The Two Jakes," the sequel to the Academy Award-winning movie "Chinatown." The old Saugus train station, built in 1876 and since moved to Newhall, was used for a scene featuring two down-and-out travelers in "The Grifters," a new Martin Scorsese film now in production. Magic Mountain in Valencia was a destination for "National Lampoon's Vacation."
March 21, 2011 |
Springtime is here, so the baseball exhibition season is in full swing with the regular season soon to follow. Baseball has been a rich subject for movies since the game's (and cinema's) earliest days. On occasion, baseball players themselves took a swing at being Hollywood stars themselves. Most were strictly minor league as actors, but a few nearly hit a home run. Here's a lineup of baseball giants who tried their luck in front of the camera. Babe Ruth The Sultan of Swat was the subject of a dreadful 1948 biopic, "The Babe Ruth Story," starring a totally miscast William Bendix, but the real Ruth appeared in several films and shorts during his years with the New York Yankees.