September 14, 2021

Met Gala Meets John Waters

permalink | September 14, 2021 at 08:47 PM | Comments (0)

September 6, 2021

Omar Little/Chalky White Dead

Michael K. Williams died today at age 54.

permalink | September 6, 2021 at 04:01 PM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2021

Four More At The Apple Store Grand Opening

These were all shot on Ilford Delta 400 film.
Apple Tower Theatre Grand Opening (13)

Apple Tower Theatre Grand Opening (11)

Apple Tower Theatre - Drinking Fountain Detail
Drinking fountain detail
.

Apple Tower Theatre - Ceiling Detail

permalink | July 22, 2021 at 08:48 PM | Comments (0)

July 21, 2021

Academy Museum Announces Inaugural Programming

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will kick off its actual (not virtual) programming with a 70mm copy of Malcolm X on September 6. Following that will be The Wizard of Oz, accompanied by the American Youth Symphony.

permalink | July 21, 2021 at 12:44 PM | Comments (0)

July 19, 2021

Another Four From Los Angeles

These photos were shot on Bergger Pancro400 film.

Gateway To Los Angeles (3)
Gateway To Los Angeles
, public art on the Los Angeles Street overpass over US 101.

Los Angeles Union Station (6)
Los Angeles Union Station
.

Los Angeles Union Station (3)
The north hall at L.A. Union Station
. Generally, this area is barricaded off so you can't walk in there, but one can certainly look and photograph. This part of the station is used mostly as a filming location — you've seen it many times.

Here is IMDB's list of more than 150 films that used Union Station as a filming location including the aptly titled Union Station, starring William Holden.

Los Angeles Union Station (4)
Turn 180° from the north hall and you're looking at this
.

permalink | July 19, 2021 at 07:13 PM | Comments (0)

July 16, 2021

Four More In L.A.

Again, all of these were shot on Rollei Retro 80S film.
Spirit of Growth by Tony Sheets
Spirit of Growth by Tony Sheets
on the side of a parking garage in L.A. More info here.

Broadway-Spring Arcade (1)
The Broadway-Spring Arcade
.

Douglas Lofts
The Douglas Lofts
at Spring Street and Third. More info here.

Los Angeles Theatre (1)
Los Angeles Theatre
. Wikipedia article. You can see some of the interior of the theater in this video from 2009:

permalink | July 16, 2021 at 07:53 PM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2021

The Sopranos Prequel

Tony as a boy.

permalink | June 29, 2021 at 08:16 PM | Comments (0)

June 25, 2021

Apple Tower Theatre Opening

Yesterday the Apple Store in the Tower Theatre (first in L.A. to be wired for talkies, hosted sneak preview of The Jazz Singer, first in L.A. to be air conditioned, 1927) in downtown Los Angeles opened. The building had been sitting unused since 1988. This certainly seemed like a worthy event to travel to. I've wanted to see the interior of this theater for years, I'd never been to an Apple Store opening, and this one promised to be a bit more than the opening on El Paseo in La Quinta. So I got up early and drove to Rialto to get Metrolink. This is the first time I've tried parking at Rialto and it was totally fine. The parking lots were about three-quarters empty. And, it's not San Bernardino. Metrolink is still requiring masks for everyone on their trains (and even platforms), but they appear to permit eating and drinking on board?!

Union Station is looking pretty nice. I took some shots on film and continued shooting film as I walked to the Apple Store. I got there about 10:30 and the line to enter was not long at all and moved very quickly. They actually did the applause thing as our bunch walked in. And then I switched to my digital camera, because I just wanted to shoot a lot of photos under a wide variety of lighting situations. So I just walked everywhere and took pictures of everything. It was easy to spot Tim Cook - it was like finding the queen bee in a hive. Just look for all the congestion and wiggling abdomens.

Once I felt I had seen and photographed everything, I switched back to my film camera and walked around taking more photos. There's a chance I may have gotten an okay shot of Tim Cook on film...but I'm finding my film predictions are often wildly wrong.

Here's a nice, short article about the store.

Walked back to Union Station, made the train with like five minutes to spare, got to Rialto and the truck was fine and even in the shade!

The complete set of photos (so far) from Apple Tower Theatre is here. And here are some of them:

Apple Tower Theatre Grand Opening (2188)
Apple Tower Theatre shot with my iPhone
.

Apple Tower Theatre Grand Opening (2190)
A look down at Tim Cook from the balcony
.

Apple Tower Theatre Grand Opening (6520)

Apple Tower Theatre Grand Opening (6498)

Apple Tower Theatre Grand Opening (6492)

Apple Tower Theatre Grand Opening (6468)
They restored the drinking fountains, and they work
.

Apple Tower Theatre Grand Opening (6454)
Part of the ceiling over a balcony that overlooks the entrance lobby.

Apple Tower Theatre Grand Opening (6459)
The loftier parts of the entrance lobby
.

Apple Tower Theatre Grand Opening (6429)
I can't imagine the theater actually had windows along 8th Street
, unless they were just for display cases where they'd put their movie posters. These are hinged, but I don't think you'll find them standing open while the store is operating.

Apple Tower Theatre Grand Opening (6424)
THe proscenium
.

Apple Tower Theatre Grand Opening (6410)
The big, main false skylight
. There's another, smaller one over the balcony, mostly obscured in this shot.

Apple Tower Theatre Grand Opening (6379)

permalink | June 25, 2021 at 09:02 PM | Comments (0)

June 23, 2021

The Circle (Der Kreis)


I've just finished watching this film (got the DVD from Netflix) and I highly recommend it. I'm moderately familiar with gay history back to Walt Whitman, but this story was entirely new to me. Switzerland never had a law like Germany's Paragraph 175 and in Zürich a small community of gay men formed around a magazine called Der Kreis. The documentary follows that group as rampant homophobia flared up in Switzerland. It shows how the "logic" of the police and judicial system effectively made the murder of gay men permissible. Nonetheless, many of the men involved in Der Kreis were still quite alive when the documentary was made in 2014, and interviews with some of those men are sandwiched into the movie to great effect.

It's got a happy ending!

Viewable for free on Kanopy if you have a library card and your library participates in Kanopy (Riverside County libraries do). According to JustWatch it's also available on The Roku Channel and on Microsoft.

permalink | June 23, 2021 at 07:59 PM | Comments (0)

March 18, 2020

Shot in the Coachella Valley: "They Made Me A Criminal"

I just happened to run across They Made Me A Criminal (from 1939) on the local OTA movie channel one night a couple of weeks ago. I was surprised to see a sequence that was obviously shot in the Coachella Valley, as Mt. San Jacinto can be clearly identified. I got the DVD from Netflix and grabbed that short bit to share below. After walking to a date grove, star John Garfield settles in romancing the blonde lady who owns the grove and teaching some east coast juvenile delinquents (played by The Dead End Kids) boxing. All is paradise until Claude Rains shows up.

IMDB identifies the shooting location as "Palm Desert, California," but nothing of Palm Desert existed in 1939.

permalink | March 18, 2020 at 05:11 PM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2018

Wende Museum Of The Cold War

I recently visited the Wende Museum of the Cold War in Culver City, which had been on my gotta-see list for quite a while. Open to the public Friday, Saturday and Sunday; no charge for admission; check the website for variations on that. It's right next door to Veterans Memorial Park which is right next door to Veterans Memorial Auditorium.

City of Culver City (4838)

On the other end of the museum sits the House of Warrior Poetry (Dance. Parkour. Acrobatics. Action Arts. Yoga. Movement.).
House of Warrior Poetry (4829)

Veterans Memorial Auditorium - Culver City (4836)
Veterans Memorial Auditorium - the marker out front was placed in 1950, so call it 1950.

Kimmy Schmidt Fashion (4850)
In the museum I thought the cover of this magazine said "1961."
Only when I went to edit it did I see it was actually 1981! It sure has the look of 1961.

Yuri Gagarin (4862)
Yuri Gagarin hanging out with kids.

Wende Museum of the Cold War (4874)
Sly Lenin.

Entertainment Center (4877)
Soviet radio.

You can see all the photos here.

permalink | October 15, 2018 at 11:12 PM | Comments (0)

April 11, 2017

The 14th Factory

Not long ago I paid a visit to 14th Factory in Los Angeles. I already posted the video. Now here are the still photos.

14th Factory - 2001 Room (1151)

14th Factory - 2001 Room Exterior (3820)
People waiting to get into the replica "2001" room
.

14th Factory - Nine Gamma (3811)
This is their trademark (I guess)
which I read as "nine gamma," but that makes no sense, not even in context, so I don't know its significance.

14th Factory (1159)
One of the pieces of art was this park
.

14th Factory (3836)
Pitchforks!

14th Factory (3844)
The item on the left resembles a plow
.

14th Factory (1172)

14th Factory (3865)

The complete set of photos is here.

permalink | April 11, 2017 at 08:00 PM | Comments (0)

March 15, 2017

All Of MST3k

Here are reviews and a ranking of all 176 episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Here's the #1 episode:

1. Ep. 910, The Final Sacrifice, 1990

Movie pain meter: Low
Best riff: Troy, to grizzled old prospector: “You knew my father?” Servo: “KNOW him? He was delicious!”

We’re finally here: The #1 episode of MST3k of all time. If you’ve actually been reading this piece from start to finish, the quality of the light outside has almost certainly changed since you begun. Perhaps you started before lunch, and the sky is now purpling with a beautiful sunset: The kind of sunset that Zap Rowsdower would stare into pensively, while thinking “I wonder if there’s beer on the sun.” Yes, that’s the name of our Canadian hero: Zap Rowsdower. The dumbest, and thereby most unforgettable name in cinema history. He teams up with a young, snarling-faced kid named Troy to take on an evil cult that wants to revive an ancient, powerful Canadian lost civilization that “ruled this one acre for a week; nobody knew.” The dynamic between the Larry Csonka-worshiping, irritating Troy, who is searching for the cause of his father’s death, and the beer-swilling drifter Rowsdower is the stuff of MST3k legend. Every minute of screen time is packed to the gills with more memorable moments than you can possibly summarize, from eye-rolling “Canadian villain Garth Vader” to grizzled old prospector Mike Pipper, whose tortured voice is a source of constant riffing. It showcases the incredibly obscure, geeky sense of humor that is at the heart of this show, such as Servo’s comparison of Pipper to Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia. I mean honestly—what show has both the knowledge and the faith in its audience to make jokes about Ethiopian history? What show on TV, before or since, has had such depth and breadth to its sense of humor, and drawn on so many different influences? What other show can make you laugh so hard, but simultaneously teach you so much, and give you a greater appreciation for cinema itself?

That’s why MST3k is the greatest TV comedy of all time. And by extension, I suppose that makes The Final Sacrifice the greatest TV comedy episode of all time. Long may it reign.


permalink | March 15, 2017 at 09:08 PM | Comments (0)

February 19, 2017

OMG! OMG! OMG!


Coming on FX March 5.

permalink | February 19, 2017 at 07:36 PM | Comments (0)

January 10, 2017

Kodachrome?

At CES "The Kodakery" spoke with several representatives from Kodak. Most of the discussion is about their Super 8 camera, but near the end Steven Overman discussed the return of Ektachrome and tosses off the comment that they are also "investigating" what it would take to bring back Kodachrome.

Here's the part with the "iconic films" discussion:

Discussing Ektachrome live from Kodak Studios at CES by The Kodakery

.

permalink | January 10, 2017 at 08:21 PM | Comments (0)

November 21, 2016

Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission

On Thursday morning last week I attended a 9 AM meeting of the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission in LA City Hall. They had two things on their agenda that morning: first was to consider designating the Bob and Dolores Hope Estate in Toluca Lake as a monument; second was to go visit and tour Hotel Cecil and the Catalina Swimwear Building. It was the second thing that I came for, but the Bob Hope house issue was very interesting.


Above is the Google Earth view of the estate.

Below is what the public could see from the street.

The place is owned by the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation. First the staff made its presentation with a slide show and talk all about how ultra famous Bob Hope was. Under Los Angeles law there are two different bases that can justify declaring something a monument. One basis is the usual: great cultural, historical, architectural (etc.) significance. The second is that it was the home of a celebrity. The Bob Hope house was proposed (by a city council member) due solely to the celebrity status. Staff admits it has no cultural, historical, architectural (etc.) significance. In discussion the Commissioners said that in L.A. they obviously are not going to declare every residence of every celebrity a monument or they would consume a significant portion of the housing market. But they agreed that Bob Hope was just about the most famous person in the world.

After the staff report the Foundation got up to make their comments. They were daughter Linda Hope and a couple of other people, one of whom may have been an attorney. They told us quite a different story than staff told. Right off the bat, Linda Hope said they had the wrong address. The correct address is 10346 Moorpark Street. Staff had supplied the address as 10350 Moorpark Street. No points for staff there. Then she went on to explain that while staff had described the house as French Chateau style, only the original house was French Chateau and that Dolores Hope had almost continually added wings and additions so that now the house was some sort hodge-podge of no significance. She also disputed their description of the grounds which staff said included a "one-hole par 3 golf 'course'." Linda Hope said it was only a small decorative thing that could not really be used for golf.

Worse, she said, was that there was no way the Los Angeles public could access the house. In the '90s the Hopes had considered making it into a museum, but quickly learned that since it was in a quiet upscale residential area with narrow streets, there was no way it could be a museum open to the public. So the Hopes' final instructions were to use the estate to help fund the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation. The intention of the trustees was to sell it. The place had been sitting on the market for ages but not long ago the first decent offer was submitted. That was when the city council member asked that the Cultural Heritage Commission consider the property. The decent offer was immediately withdrawn.

Linda Hope listed all of the memorials to Bob Hope that are scattered over the Los Angeles area. She said each and every one of those was more significant to the legacy of Bob and Dolores Hope than the estate. Later, Commissioners said they were surprised by the list, not realizing there were already so many memorials; so obviously staff didn't do that research either.

A couple of residents got up to also speak against the designation, but the essence of their arguments was that Toluca Lake is a beautiful, quiet community and any kind of monument there would bring traffic, noise and lower property values. The President of the Commission interrupted both of those commenters (!) to tell them that was of absolutely no concern to this Commission.

One Commissioner suggested giving monument status to only the hedge and gate in front of the house, because those were the only things the public would ever see. I was pretty sure that was a joke, but the President went ahead and explained how impractical that would be.

Finally, a Commissioner made the motion to deny monument status and that was approved 5-0. The decision now goes to city council, since it had originated there and city council could overrule this decision.

The meeting was adjourned and we headed out on our field trip.

permalink | November 21, 2016 at 07:04 PM | Comments (0)

March 14, 2016

Made In USA

This very well made little documentary is in the style of the classic factor tour films, but it builds very slowly like Ravel's Bolero. However, there is no "key change," if you get my drift, if you know what I mean, wink wink, nudge nudge.


from Nikias Chryssos on Vimeo.

permalink | March 14, 2016 at 09:57 PM | Comments (1)

October 23, 2015

Hitchcock/Kubrick

The Red Drum Getaway. This is great stuff.

permalink | October 23, 2015 at 09:33 PM | Comments (0)

September 24, 2015

Monkey Chant

This year at Burning Man I got to fulfill my desire to participate in a monkey chant. The monkey chant is also known as "Kecak". The monkey chant is taught Monday through Thursday at HeeBee GeeBee Healers and then on Friday they do a big monkey chant in Center Camp. I was unable to make it to the big event on Friday because that's when we host our party at Burner Buddies. The chant requires a lot of physical activity as well as mental alertness as the changes come unpredictably.

Here's a longish video of the monkey chant in Center Camp in 2014. It's not too different from practice chants done earlier in the week. I suppose they expect a lot of newbies to join the chant, so some of what you see is teaching the chant. The action begins to pick up after the 4 minute mark.

Ideally, we would have made it look like something created by Hollywood choreographers, like this scene from The Fall which is possibly the most beautiful movie ever made.

permalink | September 24, 2015 at 05:32 PM | Comments (0)

August 24, 2015

Thunderdome In Spherical Virtual Reality

This is the best video for conveying the atmosphere of Thunderdome. You can scroll around, up and down, while the video is running. And that's Thunderdome. Too bad they didn't get them chanting "Two may enter, one may leave." And while we're wishing for that, how come Tina Turner has never come to Burning Man and put in an appearance at the Thunderdome?

Obviously, a lot of stuff at Burning Man was inspired by the earlier Mad Max films, but the most recent Mad Max seemed to be inspired by Burning Man.

This is not the latest Mad Max. This was made from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

permalink | August 24, 2015 at 09:53 PM | Comments (0)