Results tagged “Guest Writer”

Hollywood Fringe Festival: Head Over Heels

Eve eats a polar bear. Ophelia dishes about the other man. A downsized middle-aged woman blackmails her employers to get her job back. Head Over Heels joins the long list of Fringe shows with something to say, but kind enough to allow the audience to have fun while it does so. A laugh-out-loud funny yet thought-provoking piece on what it means to come into existence as a woman, this series of vignettes features an array of characters both infamous and unknown confronting their fears, heartaches and own sense of power.

The Next Food Network Star Episode 3: 'HOT HOT HOT!'

Aarti has her red carpet interview moment (Photo courtesy The Food Network/Used with permission) For its sixth season, The Next Food Network Star was shot in Los Angeles, and among the 12 finalists vying for their very own Food Network show are 3 locals, including food blogger and LAist alumn Aarti Sequeira. Each week, Aarti will give us her take on the episode, from her unique insider's perspective. Will she be named The Next...

Hollywood Fringe Festival: That Great and Dreadful Day: Tall Tales from the American Swamp

The murky swamps of the the Louisiana Bayous brings a surprisingly sweet smell -- and even better music -- to Hollywood as That Great and Dreadful Day: Tall Tales from the American Swamp joins the lineup at this week's Fringe Festival. A soulful, acoustic "swamp operetta," the show is a bluesy journey through the life of musician Laurence Douglas Miner and his band from their Depression-era beginnings into the free-spirited 60s. The production utilizes a narrator format, as an elder Laurence tells tales that are inter-weaved with flashbacks and original songs.

Hollywood Fringe Festival Diary: Three Solo Shows

Fringe festivals around the world, typically abundant in small stages and frighteningly short load-in times, are always especially good venues for one-person shows. The three of these that we've caught so far during the opening days of the new Hollywood Fringe--though very different from one another--are each perfect specimens of the quintessential Fringe solo show genre in all its glory.

Theater Review: The Jesus Hickey

An awkwardly attempted make-out session down by the embankment in the Irish town of Sligo turns into a miracle when the hickey that appears on the girl’s neck the following morning bears a striking resemblance to Jesus Christ himself. Plus: the hickey proves to have a genuine healing effect on anyone who touches it. The girl with the Jesus hickey is cautiously glad that her suddenly-achieved curative powers can help people; her cantankerous, unemployed, hard-drinking father sees a chance to make lots of money off of her.

Breaking Down LA Opera's Ring Cycle, Part 2: Siegfried and Götterdämmerung

The LA Opera has embarked on its final push through the epic undertaking of Richard Wagner’s Ring cycle. All four of the operas that comprise the Ring cycle, share the same daring design by Achim Freyer (director, designer), Amanda Freyer (costumes) and Brian Gale (lighting)...

Breaking Down LA Opera's Ring Cycle: A Recap of Das Rheingold and Die Walküre

The LA Opera is days away from beginning its final cycle of Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen. The entire Ring cycle is comprised of four self-contained operas that run well over 16 hours including intermissions and curtain calls. With our current multitasking lifestyles and short attention spans, it’s amazing that that an event like this is something that attracts us and compels us. But it certainly does.

The Next Food Network Star Episode 2: 'How in the world do you cook for 100 people?!'

Aarti serves up her savory take on Funnel Cake at the Santa Monica Pier (Photo courtesy Food Network/used with permission) For its sixth season, The Next Food Network Star was shot in Los Angeles, and among the 12 finalists vying for their very own Food Network show are 3 locals, including food blogger and LAist alumn Aarti Sequeira. Each week, Aarti will give us her take on the episode, from her unique insider's perspective....

LAist Film Calendar: The Devil Drove Into Whiz Kids

Photo courtesy of Sandbar Pictures If you've ever given or sought consolation for receiving an A- instead of an A, you'll feel right at home in Whiz Kids. The documentary, which opens this weekend at Laemmle's Music Hall, charts three teen scientists as they prepare for the Intel Science Talent Search, high school's equivalent of the Nobel Prize. There's a lot of hard work and a little heart break along the way, but this...

Wagner's Ring Cycle at the LA Opera

After all the buildup, the promotion and the hype, the stakes for the LA Opera’s first performance of Richard Wagner’s complete Ring cycle were equally high to the stakes that characters face within the opera. Do or die. Succeed or fail. Win all or lose everything.

The Next Food Network Star Episode 1: 'Your lentils are burning, Flower Girl!'

Aarti at work (Courtesy The Food Network) For its sixth season, The Next Food Network Star was shot in Los Angeles, and among the 12 finalists vying for their very own Food Network show are 3 locals, including food blogger and LAist alumn Aarti Sequeira. Each week, Aarti will give us her take on the episode, from her unique insider's perspective. Will she be named The Next Food Network Star? We won't know until...

LAist Film Calendar: Explosive '80s-ploitation, Abstract Artists & Dance Camera West

With horror, skin-flicks, sword & sorcery, and even family fare to his (and MANY pseudonyms') credit, Jim Wynorski is a rambunctious renaissance man. Long known (and feared) amongst b-movie lovers, general interest is at a bloody, busty peak thanks to Wynorski doc Popatopolis (which premiered last week)...

CD Review: Experimental Sounds from So Percussion and Matmos on Treasure State

What happens when you trust the Brooklyn experimental ensemble So Percussion's sounds with the electronica innovating masters Matmos? The simple answer is that you get Treasure State, a collaborative album that will be digitally released on June 8th (physical release July 13th) via Cantaloupe Music.

Preview: Downtown Drive-In Hosted by Devil’s Night

Devil’s Night, a Los Angeles production company and radio station, starts its drive-in summer series this Saturday night with the John Hughes’ classic Pretty in Pink. The summer series continues with two films per month into September. Located on an elevated parking lot downtown, the drive-in offers a needful escape from summer in the city. Patrons have the option of driving in and staying in the car or enjoying the film on Astroturf provided by staff. According to Devil’s Night owner Morgan Higby Night, the lot, located on Broadway and Fourth, “has this great feeling of seclusion and a great view of the skyline.”

A Few Seats Left for Last Remaining Seats

Last Remaining Seats (LRS), a classic film series organized by the Los Angeles Conservancy, takes center stage this May and June in downtown’s historic Broadway theatre district. The event includes three historic movie palaces, the Orpheum, Million Dollar and the Los Angeles theatres for six different shows, four of which have already sold out. Since 1987, the series offers an answer to Angelenos seeking out both classic architecture and classy film.

DVD Review: I'm No Dummy

When it comes to ventriloquism, my knowledge is pretty hollow. The only bits I could throw off the top of my head are Charlie McCarthy and the Anthony Hopkins thriller Magic. Enter I'm No Dummy, filmmaker Bryan W. Simon's invigorating introduction to the world of venting (as performers dub it). The loving tribute documentary spotlights puppets, performers, vintage TV clips and even a guided tour of the world's only venting museum to trace the roots...

Theater Reviews: Full Disclosure and second

- by Lyle Zimskind Two plays that just opened in LA are being performed not in typical theater spaces, but rather in fully furnished private homes on quiet streets in unassuming neighborhoods. The Filament Theatre Co. is presenting the west coast premiere of a drama called second in three different rooms of a large house in Echo Park (with spectacular views in two directions from the bedroom, by the way). Full Disclosure, a new work developed by the Chalk Repertory Theatre, is currently playing at a smaller house (but check out the nice-sized swimming pool and putting green in the backyard) near Lake Balboa, way deep in the heart of the San Fernando Valley.

LAist Film Calendar: Hola Mexico, South East European & LA Harbor Film Festivals!

Film festival season approacheth! Since this isn't Phoenixist, we can start with the Hola Mexico Film Festival. The festival opens Thursday at the Arclight with gritty crime drama Bitten Bullet (if you habla Espanol, Edward James Olmos introduces the film in this clip) and, for aficionados, the Opening Night Fiesta featuring Bostich & Fussible of Nortec Collective...

Movie Review: No One Knows About Persian Cats

In an attempt to wipe the slate clean-slash-lower my various chemical tolerances, I am currently abstaining from coffee, booze, sugar and just about anything else worth digesting. With this "cleanse" comes a certain level of manufactured self-pity that I feel entitled to drag around with me like a tacky diaper bag. As I plopped down into the cushy theater seat and unloaded my ammo -- two oranges, one banana and one orange and banana fruit juice -- I opened up my press kit and the internal dialogue began...

LAist Film Calendar: Bollywood & Bloody Good: The Indian Film Festival & 35 Years of Troma

The world's biggest democracy brings the world's biggest films to center stage, as the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles returns to the Arclight. This year, the line-up boasts Bollywood blockbusters My Name is Khan (presented in its international director's cut), 3 Idiots (the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time), Kaminey and...

LAist Interview: Henry Jaglom & Cindy Kleine

Jessie Kahnweiler: Hi Henry, thanks so much for speaking with me today. How are you? (robotic voice saying, "call recording on") Henry Jaglom: Wait, wait a moment, I think someone is trying to say something. JK: Yes, that's just the audio recording beginning. Is that okay? HJ: Of course. (Interviewer begins to praise subjects new play, 45 Minutes from Broadway, to which subject praises interviewers review of the play = this verbal love fest continues...

Movie Review: Breaking Upwards

"You should go to this screening tonight, Jessie. it's right up your alley," my amazing boss offered while downing his daily breakfast of diet coke and movie blog sites. "Cool, what's it about?" I half-ass asked, knowing full well I'd go almost anywhere for free. "It's a new indie about a couple in New York. Made on the cheap - exactly your thing. I'll get you on the list with a plus one." "Perfect!" I...

Thursday is 'Bike Night at the Hammer!'

Tomorrow night (April 8) the Hammer Museum in Westwood presents its very own homage to the bicycle with the program Bike Night at the Hammer! The free event will include valet bike parking, vegan food and a screening of the seminal biking classic, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. Also in the works is a “super secret guest,” whose identity remains a mystery even to this reporter.



Theater Reviews: The Wake in Culver City, Lascivious Something [Inside] the Ford

Two different plays that opened their world premiere runs in Los Angeles this past weekend both begin with the news that a Republican is about to become president. In Sheila Callaghan's Lascivious Something a young Greek woman tells...

Theater Review: Blood and Thunder

Photo courtesy of Moving Arts "Hello everyone. Please take your seats and, if you have not done so already, visit the restroom now" the chirpy usher announced from the center of the stage of the cozy Hyperion Station theatre. "If you have to, please go now as there is no intermission and no access to our restroom once the show begins." As I gripped my complimentary ironic cheap beer, panic set in -- "Oh...

Theater Roundup: Recently Opened Productions

Salam Shalom The personal and the political are stuck with each other in actor-playwright Saleem’s 1996 Harvey Fierstein Award-winning Salam Shalom, now running in a new, substantially revised version at the Greenway Court Theater in West Hollywood. Thrown together as roommates in UCLA graduate student housing...

Theater Review: The Black Dahlia Offers Forgiveness

Young Ben is on his way to meet his fiancée Jill’s father Sam, stepmother Penny, and stepsister Jillian for the first time this weekend. As the couple drive down the highway, only a few minutes away from Jill’s childhood home...

DVD Review: Moscow, Belgium

Working mother Matty faces each day with a bleary-eyed scowl and grievance list a mile long. Her children? Completely withdrawn, when they can be bothered to come home. Her housework? Piling higher and higher with no end or help in sight. Her post office job? Literally walling her off from the outside world. Her only friend? A repeat customer who chats her up between shipments of funeral invitations. Her husband Werner? Living across town with an art student young enough to be his daughter. To top it off, her car is rear-ended by a long-haul truck in the grocery parking lot. The truck's driver, Johnny, escapes with a serious tongue-lashing, only to show up at her apartment to repair vehicles and relations. Has Matty finally found a bright spot in her life, or is this budding romance just another trial to join her list?

Theater Review: Just 45 Minutes From Broadway

"Wow, you're really going all out!" my friend Kiel said, giving me the old once-over as we strolled down the Bavarian beer mug image that is Saturday night in downtown Santa Monica. "What do ya mean... I dress up sometimes, when the occasion calls for it," I argued, adjusting the safety pin on my pink polka dot dress and tripping over absolutely nothing at all in my brand-new vintage pumps. "Besides," I pleaded as I...

A Celebration of African American Short Films and Filmmakers at Egyptian on Saturday

by Jon Peters, special to LAist This Saturday night, the Egyptian Theatre is presenting its annual African American Filmmakers Celebration, a collection of shorts curated by Hollywood Shorts, a local film outreach organization. This year features five selections, many of which have already racked up awards on the festival circuit.

Theater Review: Once Upon a Nightmare, the latest Urban Death Extravaganza from Zombie Joe's Underground

You’ll definitely know right away whether you’re about to love the Zombie Joe’s Underground theater group's Once Upon a Nightmare or whether you’d rather be somewhere - anywhere - else once its first shocking image assaults your senses mere moments after the house lights dim.

'Intimate Lighting' at the Silent Movie Theatre on Saturday

Tomorrow night Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre presents a rare gem from the Czechoslovak New Wave, Intimate Lighting, directed by Ivan Passer. (Passer is perhaps best known as Milos Forman’s co-writer on such classics as...

LAist Film Calendar: Bad Biology, Good Awards

Frank Henenlotter is the J. D. Salinger of exploitation cinema - a few game-changers and he's gone. Sure, Brain Damage (about a hallucinogenic space worm), Frankenhooker (a romantic retelling of Frankenstein with dismembered hookers) and the Basket Case series (horror-comedies starring homicidal siamese twins) may not be required reading at your local high school, but his latest, Bad Biology, is required viewing at your local Cinefamily. It's a black-humored, black-hearted love story, with an oversized...

Alive and Well: Better off Dead Celebrated at the Aero

Better off Dead celebrated its 25th anniversary at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica yesterday. In attendance was director “Savage” Steve Holland along with a coterie of stars including Diane Franklin (French exchange student Monique), Curtis Armstrong (snow snorting best friend Charles De Mar), and E.G. Daily (the intoxicating singer at the dance). Sadly, John Cusack, who some think landed his breakout role in this movie, was not in attendance. The rest of the cast, however, provided sometimes illuminating and always funny commentary during the film.

LAist Film Calendar: John Cusack vs. Dave Gahan

Concept art for Dave Gahan's forthcoming French retro anime electro concept album | Photo courtesy of this! As long as he steers clear of movies with numbers for titles, John Cusack's all right with me. Sunday, the New Bev pairs Cusack classic High Fidelity with (500) Days of Summer, both in Scenesteround Sound! The Aero continues the Cusack attack with Better Off Dead, featuring a live commentary from writer-director "Savage" Steve Holland & cast-members...

Theater Review: bobrauschenbergamerica

"Why does a man in a chicken suit cross the stage?" is not the only existential inquiry tackled by Charles Mee’s challenging but rewarding theater piece bobrauschenbergamerica. There’s also: "Does man have the power to forgive himself?" "What’s it like to swim in a giant martini?" "Do men and women deceive each other or themselves when they fall in love?" And, of course, "Did somebody make a mistake with the slide projector before the show started tonight?"

Coral Tree Cafe's Panini-Off Gives Top Honors to Vegan Entry

The stage was set and the pressers positioned. After countless entries were submitted last December, five finalists emerged to go head to head at The Coral Tree Café Panini-Off last Tuesday, January 19. Brentwood would be the setting to determine just who makes the best panini in town. A rainy January night would prove to be the perfect backdrop, as few things are more comforting than hot-pressed sandwiches. Cecilia Fabulich’s fusion-esque Shanghai Spice Pork Loin Panini was the sweet-spicy selection of the night and came with a topping of pickled onions. Michael Haddad’s Breakfast Panini with Egg, Prosciutto, Gruyere and Chive Oil was a perfect morning hangover solution. Firefighters crowded around Tsz Chan and her comforting Holiday Ham Panini to ask for seconds (and thirds and fourths - but who’s counting?).

Scenes from this Weekend's Go Green Expo

This past weekend the Go Green Expo rocked the Los Angeles Convention Center, bringing a diverse array of vendors, activists and entertainers downtown. A traveling tour of all things green, this was the Expo’s second year in Los Angeles. More than 300 booths, grouped into several sections, from “Green Jobs” to “Eco-Pet Expo,” offered options for every stripe of environmentalist. (More than 5,000 attended on Saturday). Activist and actor Ed Begley Jr. gave the keynote address, providing one of the highlights of the fair.

New Theater Company Premieres September 11 Play at the Odyssey

Breadline Productions, a new theater company in these parts that presented more than 20 original plays in a previous Chicago incarnation, is now introducing itself to Los Angeles audiences with the world premiere staging of 11, September at the Odyssey Theatre on Sepulveda Boulevard. Written by and co-starring company artistic director Paul Kampf, 11, September mostly takes place in the New York apartment of a young waitress who hooks up with one of her café customers, an out-of-town professor participating in a conference to commemorate the eighth anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. Whether by fate, design or coincidence, then, the pair’s respective disclosures reveal that their lives are more tightly, and tragically, entwined than their evidently random initial encounter had indicated.

LAist Film Calendar: Girls Rock While The Boys Get Violent

Girls expressing themselves with bloody bathtubs! | Photo courtesy of After Dark Films If you've got a daughter, take her to Girls Rock! this Sunday at the Echo Park Film Center. It's a pretty inspiring rawk dawc. If you don't have a daughter, take yourself. The funny looks will be worth it, because there's plenty fun for adults too. Then sit tight - because right about the time it sinks in that Rock 'n'...

LAist Film Calendar: Echo Party, Dahmer vs. Gacy & Golden Globes Nominees

What I wouldn't give to be a cup of tea right now... | Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics For one night only, two juggernauts join together for the ultimate music & movie mixtape. To celebrate the release of DJ/MC/producer/psychedelic-master Edan's latest mixtape Echo Party, Stones Throw Records & Cinefamily unite for Echo Party, the... party! With Edan on the decks, Tom Maharajah (the evil genius behind the Cinefamily's "Mondo..." series) on the eyes,...

LAist Film Calendar: The Egyptian Gets Medieval & The Nuart Gets Bitch Slapped

Bloodied girls in tight clothes rule! | Photo courtesy of Epic Slap, LLC The Hammer comes out swinging this week! Thursday, see Youth in Revolt - with your very own Michael Cera & Miguel Arteta! If the line's too long, hike it up to campus for another youthful, revolting picture, when Melnitz Movies hosts Australian Oscar submission Samson & Delilah and director Warwick Thornton. Sunday, Fly Away back to the Hammer for youth in...

LAist Film Calendar: Resolutions for the Revival House

W.C. Fields: A face fit for radio, a persona fit for the pictures. | Photo courtesy of mtsofan via flickr I'm always stuck when it comes to New Year's resolutions. I've already got a great job, a beautiful lady & a weekly soap-box to rave about my favorite theaters. But there's always room for improvement. For instance, I'm not as curmudgeonly as I'd like. Luckily, the Aero has my late lifecoach, W.C. Fields, and...

LAist Film Calendar: Herzog For The Holidays

Holiday dinner before the egg nog... | Photo courtesy of Industrial Entertainment Herr Claus may be the most sought-after German this week, but his countryman Herzog is also comin' to town. He'll see you, sleeping or awake, at the Downtown Independent, for a screening of his latest, My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done. If two Herzog films in one season isn't enough of a treat, gorge yourself on the other names in...

LAist Film Calendar: South Korean Genre Meets New Zealand Melodrama Meets Blaxploitation Awesome!

Photo courtesy of Apparition On this icy weekend, nobody's more explosive than Black Dynamite! The blaxploitation tribute lights up Long Beach this Friday, with exclusive giveaways & Adrian Younge, the Dynamite composer who brings more funk than the junk in your trunk! Want even more bang for your buck? The New Beverly has a neo-grindhouse triple-threat of Black Dynamite, Planet Terror & Death Proof sure to make your Sunday sizzle. Or go to LACMA...

LAist Film Calendar: Star Treks, Space Cases & Evangelical Musicals

Santa Claus Conquers the Cardboard Planet. | Courtesy of Niceness via Flickr Weekend plans still up in the air? If 20,000 feet isn't enough elevation for you, boldly go to the Aero for screenings of JJ Abrams' Star Trek, fanboy tribute Free Enterprise, and a Trek triple: Wrath of Khan, The Search for Spock & The Voyage Home. TrekMovie.com has organized panels reuniting the cast & crew of Free Enterprise, and welcomes writer/director Nicholas...

LAist Film Calendar: Thanksgiving Brings Few Turkeys to LA Theaters

You keep your turkey, I've got BEEFCAKE | Photo courtesy of Props, Inc. This Thanksgiving, classics abound, while the family's in town. The Alex Theatre brings the slapstick with its 12th annual Three Stooges event featuring four Curly titles & 100% pure Shemp, in eye-poking 3D! If that's not rare enough, feast your eyes on the special guests & Stooges memorabilia raffled off at intermission. Nyuck nyuck. The American Cinematheque celebrates 70 years of...

10 Years Later, the Lodestone Takes a Final Bow with Grace

Since its inception in 1999, the members of the Lodestone Theatre Ensemble "have always done the shows we wanted the way we wanted,” asserts company co-founder Philip W. Chung. “We were all young back then, and none of us had any experience running a theater company. Maybe if we knew better, we wouldn’t have done it that way. But we’ve maintained our identity the whole time and we never deviated from our initial mission: to stretch the definition of Asian-American theater."

Film Calendar: Cult Classics, Real Classics & Pirates

I said Caribbean Pirates, not Pirates of the...forget it. | Photo courtesy of Joe Penniston via Flickr A fun bit of trivia for film snobs & martial arts fans: Jackie Chan's Supercop was originally released on laserdisc by the prestigious Criterion Collection. The Nuart pays tribute to this cinematic masterwork with a midnight screening on Friday. The New Beverly features fellow Criterion alum, Krysztof Kieslowski, with two out of Three Colors, and the Aero...

Movie Review: Up in the Air*

Up in the Air is a comedy-drama directed by Jason Reitman (Thank You for Smoking and Juno.) It is an adaptation of the 2001 novel of the same name, written by Walter Kirn. According to Reitman, “The movie is about the examination of a philosophy -- what if you decided to live hub to hub, with nothing, with nobody?” Well, what if the “you” was George Clooney? In that case, you would be dressed as...

LAist Film Calendar: Italians, Honey Bunny Redux & D.W. Griffith

WWJD? Mope. | Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers Pictures Italia How do you make alt-porn even alt-ier? The Echo Park Film Center knows, with Honey Bunny v2, a video-remix of 2008's Honey Bunny. Re-imagineer Margie Schnibbe is on hand for every moan & groan, and for all the would-be Jeremih's out there, it's her birthday. If you prefer your alt-film on the straight and narrow, EPFC also hosts Los Angeles As A Character, a...

Movie Review: Precious

There was a time, not long ago, when the early hours of Sunday night meant only one thing: Mo'Nique. Yes, when that supremely confident "big girl" hosted Showtime at The Apollo, a good time was had by all. You could be sure that the audience would be left in stitches, and by the end of the show, anyone who wanted could come on stage to do the Electric Slide with her. Oh sure, I could...

LAist Film Digest's Hellish Halloween Edition! With Devilish Dancers & Ghouls-A-Go-Go!

TMZ's exclusive footage of Count Chocula in Rehab | Photo courtesy of -- wait, it's public domain! This is it! The weekend horror hounds have been waiting for all month - everyone & Bates' mother has a Halloween Event, all guaranteed to be a scream! Go old school with Noise-feratu, Downtown Independent & Summer Fun Time Society's live performance of ghoulish grandaddy Nosferatu, featuring hardcore bands Kill Kill Kill, 0rgan Music, 8-bit blooper WMX,...

The Taste of Soul 2009: Cobbler and Bean Pie

The Taste of Soul 2009 was hot, hot, hot. And that’s even before you start talking about feasting on the hot links and Cajun-spiced fare. The festival of food and music that turns Crenshaw Boulevard into a state fair kind of ambience happened during last Saturday's steamy afternoon.

Movie Review: Antichrist

I don't typically review films via print, but Lars von Trier's latest body of artwork, Antichrist, wasn't really a typical film. It was more beautifully shot than some of the most gorgeous movies I've ever seen; it was scarier than any run of the mill horror film, and more disturbing than anything that's ever disturbed me in my life, in a very outside-of-the-spectrum of what-you-would-drop-your-jaw-at-because-of-its-astonishing-shock-value kind of way. I don't know what the normal protocol...

Movie Review: Astro Boy

For a movie about robots, Astro Boy is surprisingly wooden. But that’s not to say it doesn’t have heart. Based on the work of Japanese comic book artist and animator Osamu Tezuka, this CGI version of what’s widely regarded as the first anime is largely faithful to the beloved character. First published in 1952 and animated in 1963, the future-set Astro Boy is the story of Dr. Tenma (voiced by Nicolas Cage), top scientist at the Ministry of Science whose son Toby (Freddie Highmore) dies in a tragic accident...

LA Beer Week: Celebrate Beer Culture in LA

LA Beer Week started October 15th and promises a veritable cornucopia of local beer bars, brewpubs, breweries, beer, cuisine, tasting, events and demos in both LA and Orange County. Celebrate local beer culture at one of many events being held at the great beer establishments of the Southland. LA Beer Week is encouraging individual pubs and breweries to promote their own events through October 24th.

From Market to Menu: An Interview With Chef Neal Fraser

Chef Neal Fraser of Grace and BLD believes the art of cooking needs daily cultivation. Even if he has 10 restaurants, he will always be exactly where he wants to be - in the kitchen. As an LA native he has “a personal vendetta” to elevate LA into the echelon of the best restaurant cities in the world. With the development of a new Grace like fine dining restaurant downtown that will grow at least a third of the produce on site, and a new BLD slated to open in Pasadena early next year, Chef Fraser shows no signs of leaving the kitchen. LAist caught up with the busy chef at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market (as he bought green beans for his daughter) to provide details about moving Grace to downtown, the struggle of when to pull a dish from the menu and how he is inspired by Wonderbread.

The Imbiber’s Ultimate Playboy Fantasy Wine Tour

Santa Monica’s Pourtal Wine Bar and Playboy.com’s Imbiber Dan Dunn have teamed up to present The Imbiber’s Ultimate Playboy Fantasy Wine Tour. A flight of eight wines has been inspired by eight of Playboys classic Playmates. At the October 6th launch party, winosseurs sipped, swirled, and mingled with Dan and his Playboy ‘mates’. Pourtal showed the lineup on their high tech Enomatic Machines. The wines remain available by the taste, glass or bottle at Pourtal through the end of October.

It's a Wrap: Final Thoughts on This Year's Filmmaker Forum

If you haven’t heard of Film Independent's Filmmaker Forum, it's best described as a three-day cinematic tornado of an event, that’s definitely worth getting caught up in, provided you can handle the price of admission, and you’re serious about gaining some kind of a foothold in the world of independent film. The event is thrown each year by the good folks at Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization also in charge of the Independent Spirit Awards, and Los Angeles Film Festival.

LAist Film Calendar: Warning!!! Pedophile, Dr. Horrible & Plenty of Creeps

Photo courtesy of Alter Ego Cinema It's easy to write off Warning!!! Pedophile Released sight unseen as cheap exploitation. Besides all those exclamation marks in the title, there's the convenient release on the heels of Roman Polansky's high-profile arrest for child-rape, an appearance by porn star Joanna Angel & a lead actor coming off of Silent Night, Zombie Night and (ahem) Vaginal Holocaust. Never mind the accompanying Dakota Fanning vehicle Father Xmas (at one...

Scoring at the Filmmaker Forum

If you’re an aspiring filmmaker, and you’ve got the money, get yourself down to the DGA on Sunset, for Film Independent’s FILMMAKER FORUM. Admission for Sunday is costly ($180 for members, $200 for non-members), but rewarding and interesting to say the least.

A Holliday for Dodger Fans

After the stunning conclusion of Game 2 of the NLDS yesterday at Chavez Ravine, Cardinals’ shortstop Brendan Ryan told the St. Louis Dispatch "It makes me sick, absolutely sick to my stomach." Moments before Mark Loretta sent a looping liner into center field for a walk off winner, I knew how Ryan felt. Cy Young candidate Adam Wainwright had been tying Dodger hitters in knots for eight innings. It was a slow death he was dealing us.

Cognac Tasting with Remy Martin

Photo by Greg Thompson for LAist It is natural to think that Champagne Cognac was named to borrow prestige from the famous bubbly. However, it was really "borrowed" from the Romans who planted vineyards all over Europe. Champagne derives from the Latin 'Campagnia' or plains and refers to a layer of chalky soil under the plains. Perfect to grow grapes, absorbing and slowly releasing excess water. and reflecting sun to warm the vines &...

Death of the USC-Cal Rivalry

Sports Ed. note: With USC taking a week off, our guest writer Zack Jerome takes a look at this supposed rivalry. I went to Agoura High School. If you asked any of us back then who our rival was, we’d have told you Westlake High School, home of the Warriors (and a really disturbing wrestling hazing incident). We never beat Westlake. I mean never. I was watching SportsCenter years later while attending USC and...

Gearing up for The Dead: El Dia de Los Muertos Art Workshops at Self Help Graphics

We’re only a few weeks past summer and Southern California is already doing a pretty good impression of fall this week, with record lows hitting some cities. But even if the heat comes back later in the month, as we all know it almost certainly will, the spirit of the season in East Los Angeles won’t be deterred, no matter the weather.

Move Over, Rocky Horror: The Girl Scouts Are Coming

First, there was Rocky Horror. And in recent years, moviegoers have recited favorite lines and lyrics from such campy musical romps as The Sound of Music, Mamma Mia, and the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And now, the looming 20th anniversary of an 80s cult classic begged for an exuberant celebration of fans publicly displaying an affection so epic it would be deemed a fan flick phenomenon. Enter Troop Beverly Hills: The Experience, which is described by its organizer as a” sing-a-long, dance-a-long, quote-a-long, and if we're lucky, Shelley Long!”

Historic Filipinotown Tours

For a time, the neighborhood squeezed between the Hollywood Freeway and Temple Boulevard seemed to be filled with sharp dressed men in Macintosh suits, Fedoras on their heads and little money in their pockets walking up the hilly streets serenading women on their balconies. Through the magic of UCLA’s Hypercities and ReMap mobile technologies and a partnership with the Pilipinos Workers Center, more than 200 Angelenos were able to experience Historic Filipinotown like never before.

Banned at Home: Belarus Free Theatre Comes to REDCAT

Banned in its own country, its participating artists imprisoned and removed from their jobs, the underground Belarus Free Theatre troupe challenges the repressive powers of “Europe’s last dictatorship” with clandestine productions staged in private apartments, bars, and other inconspicuous locations around the nation’s capital city of Minsk. On occasions when the Belarusian KGB has been tipped off to these performances, state police raids have culminated in the arrests of company members as well as those who just came to see the show.

LAist Film Calendar: Trick 'r Treat, John Hughes & Living People Too!

He sticks pumpkin; I'll stick Paquin | Photo courtesy of Warner Home Videot A wise man was once misquoted: "Beer is proof that God loves us". May I further bastardize: "And so are horror movies!" It's no coincidence both are celebrated in October, the most wonderful month of the year. Par ejemplo: long-awaited horror anthology Trick 'r Treat. Scheduled for release years ago, the film was instead shelved in a nasty trick, despite a...

Man’s Best Friend Goes Off the Grid in Long Beach

By Willy Blackmore/Special to LAist Other than some tote bag-carried celebrity dogs whose personal grooming budget may exceed the average Angelino’s paycheck, canines aren’t likely to have large carbon footprints. But when it comes to dog parks—those off-leash heavens for owners and dogs alike—the lighting, the expanses of often half-dead grass, can be a drain on resources. Today, however, with the grand opening of the K9 Corner in Long Beach, a new style of dog...

Wines from "A Taste of the Americas"

It was a beautiful day and a great turnout for the San Antonio Winery's "A Taste of the Americas" Festival Sunday. The 200 plus people in attendance seemed pleased with the quality of these reasonably priced New World wines. Let's look at the wines in greater detail. We'll start with our host winery and our home state.

Historic Filipinotown Tour Launches Tomorrow

Don’t be ashamed if when you hear the term Hi Fi you still think of a 1980s stereo playing R.E.O. Speedwagon. But it’s a new millennium and going forward Hi Fi is now short for Historic Filipinotown. In August of 2002, Los Angeles designated the neighborhood south of the 101 Freeway and north of Beverly Boulevard, between Glendale Boulevard and Virgil Avenue, as Historic Filipinotown. It’s Echo Park adjacent.

Movie Review: Coco Before Chanel

When one thinks of the fashion label Chanel, one generally thinks of high-priced clothes and the long-running commercials for Chanel No. 5 perfume that featured The Ink Spots' song "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire." In the movie Coco Before Chanel, we're reminded that the label began with fashion icon Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, who fought her way up from being born in a poorhouse to founding an empire. And though the movie...

LAist Film Calendar: Conspiracies Real & Imagined (Plus Spies! In Technicolor!)

I can't tell you where or how I first learned of Damon Packard, but his experimental-nostalgic-acid-horror-collage Reflections of Evil melted my brain forever. Packard excels at melding "borrowed" footage from '70s TV, science fiction & God knows what else with his own paranoid fantasies for pure cinematic psychosis.

ESPN Throws LA Under the Bus

Sometimes I wish I had a job at ESPN. This wish stems from the hope of saving something I love. I grew up with ESPN. I watched it evolve from amateur hour. Remember Charlie Steiner being a Sportscenter host long before calling games for the Yankees and Dodgers? Remember how he’d spontaneously burst into uncontrollable laughter sometimes like Adam Sandler did during SNL skits with Chris Farley?

Infinite Summer Party at Skylight Books Tonight

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace by Lyle Zimskind for LAist Because even the Infinite Summer must come to an end, Skylight Books is throwing a party on this first day of autumn, as readers participating in the season-long virtual book club reading of David Foster Wallace’s magnum opus, Infinite Jest, finally reach page 981. Literate revelers, whether they’ve finished the book or not, are invited to sample the same cookies that Wallace himself...

Beefeater Tea Party

Written by Greg Thompson/Special to LAist Any dapper young man who ordered a "Beef Up' at a venue like the Playboy club in the 70's was likely to be met with an approving nod and maybe the single pistol hand gesture. Shortly following would be a refreshingly icy Beefeater gin with a thimbleful of vermouth poured up in that classic triangular stemmed glass. It would be garnished, if at all, with a squeeze of lemon...

Perry Hates Dodgers Eighth Inning Tradition

Earlier this season, I wrote a post that chronicled the absolutely awful decision to feature Journey’s karaoke jam “Don’t Stop Believin’” during the 8th inning of Dodger games. Feel free to read back for the laundry list of reasons why this song and the Dodgers go together worse than an handful of glass and a slap in the face.

Movie Review: Deadgirl

In its conception, Deadgirl plays like a long lost Twilight Zone episode, revolving around the perfect kind of conflicted fall guys who make questionable moral choices as influenced by certain dark forces. The difference, of course, is that Deadgirl is fucking perverted. Playing hooky one sunny afternoon in Nowheresville, USA, high school juniors J.T. (Noah Segan) and Rickie (Shiloh Fernandez) decide the best place to take cover from the sun while they polish off their...

Oaks Christian Lives Up To Hype Against Alemany in Season Opener

It’s sort of a cliché, but only because it’s so often true. In the Oaks Christian-Alemany high school football season opener Friday night, the well-known position players got the glory, but the game was won on the line of scrimmage. In other words, it was the biggest players—players like six-foot, five-inch, 288-pound Cassius March—who came up biggest for Oaks Christian of Westlake Village on Friday as the Lions opened their 2009 season with a 28-17 win at Alemany in Mission Hills.

USC’s Anyone, Anywhere Attitude

This morning ESPN.com posted a chart containing some very telling team-by-team statistics that certainly confirm a belief many West coast college football fans have had for years: the SEC is in the “cupcake” business when it comes to out of conference opponents. The chart is essentially a simple listing of nonconference games versus ranked opponents. Bear in mind the vast difference between a team ranked 25th and a team ranked 5th.

3 Generaciones on Cloud 9

Last week the beautifully restyled pool area of Westwood's sleek W hotel was the backdrop for two nights of tequila tasting and cocktails. The event was part of Sauza's campaign to introduce three newly designed bottles for the expanded line of three Tres Generaciones triple distilled 100% blue agave Tequilas.

Movie Review: The Baader Meinhof Complex

Some people just say they want a revolution. During West Germany's tumultuous late 1960s and 70s, the Red Army Faction delivered. The Baader Meinhof Complex, directed by Uli Edel and based on the book by Stefan Aust, chronicles the RAF and its leaders, including Andreas Baader (Moritz Bleibtreu), his partner-in-crime Gudrun Ensslin (Johanna Wokalek) and reporter-turned-revolutionary Ulrike Meinhof (Martina Gedeck). It was a Golden Globes and Oscars Best Picture nominee this year, but is only...

Orlando Hudson Always an All-Star

Baseball is often used as a metaphor for life. In so many ways, it is about the moments. Not just the moments on the field, but every moment from the time you enter the stadium gates until you leave. Some are content to gloss over these details, fixated on box scores and home runs and batters charging the pitcher’s mound. To leave it at that is to miss the more human side of the game, the side that makes you ignore the bloated player salaries and the excessive cost of beer and hot dogs at the stadium. There’s humanity in the tiniest moments.

Broxton Finally Gets His Intro

While I stand by my previous claim that Journey’s "Don’t Stop Believin’" as our 8th inning anthem is a bigger mistake than putting mayo on french fries, I must give credit where credit is due. Recently, the Dodgers finally gave Jonathan Broxton his customized intimidating 9th inning intro. Despite his recent injury woes, the hefty Dodgers closer is an All-Star. All-Star closers are supposed to have a 9th inning intro to intimidate the opposing team and to whip the home crowd into a frenzy.

Movie Review: Beeswax

On his third album Graduation, Kanye West opines "everything I'm not may be everything I am". While the glitzy, slick musician couldn't be more different than understated, "mumblecore" filmmaker Andrew Bujalski, West's sentiment is most appropriate for Bujalski's third film Beeswax. It's Bujalski's own graduation of sorts; his no-fi camerawork has expanded to colorful scope, and his awkward 20-somethings have grown into even more awkward 30-somethings. Maintaining a fiercely independent lifestyle has real stakes for...

LAist Film Calendar: Anniversaries Aplenty: Temple, Blair, Sirk & Priscilla...of Doom!

You're once, twice, three times an Indy...and I loooooove you! Temple of Doom turns 25 this year, and serves itself up every day this weekend. Friday, Temple's a la carte at Cafe Minuit Fairfax, Sunday nets you a side of Raiders at the New Bev, or an organic Indy combo (hold the cubic zirconium) Saturday at the Aero! Surprisingly, not a single guest is in sight (come on, what's Short Round really up to these...

A Taste of Small Town USA: A Day at The Watermelon Festival

If you’re in the mood to get a taste of small town America, The Watermelon Festival presented by the Sunland-Tujunga Lions Club at Sunland park, with its game booths, watermelon seed spitting contest and all the carnival food a glutton can handle, is the place to be this weekend. Though today is the last day for the festivities, there’s still plenty of action left, including a watermelon eating contest, greased watermelon relay race, music by 60s and 70s cover band The Heist, and a drawing for a $500 grand prize.

Please Stop Believin'

For as long as I remember, the Dodgers always did one thing very right. When the Dodgers win a game, Randy Newman’s “I Love L.A.” blared through the stadium speakers with the lyrics on the scoreboard accompanied by palm trees. The song is a little silly, but it’s our tune. It’s by a guy who does movie music. He calls out street names in it. They play it when the L.A. Marathon starts (I know, I ran in it). Even the Lakers play it when they win.

LAist Film Calendar: Cinefamily's Crafty, It's Just My Type!

The Cinefamily regularly makes movie-going an event, with mega-rare film screenings, musical performances, crazed clip compilations & backyard barbeques. This weekend, the group goes beyond even their usual gusto for those proud souls stitching & hoisting the DIY flag. Thursday, their "Don't Knock The Rock" series features I Need That Record!, a documentary tribute to the independent record store...

LAistory: The Battle of Santa Monica Bay

On August 1, 1939, California Attorney General Earl Warren sent 250 local and state officers to raid four gambling ships anchored off the coast of Santa Monica and Long Beach. The Tango and Showboat idled off Long Beach while the Texas and the Rex anchored off Santa Monica. Local and state authorities, riding in Fish and Game boats and 16 rented water taxis, easily boarded the Tango, the Showboat and the Texas. Once aboard, raiding officers eagerly threw roulette wheels, dice tables, black jack tables and slot machines into the Pacific Ocean. Upon approaching the S.S. Rex, officers were greeted with armed gunmen and high-pressure fire hoses. A nine-day standoff ensued, which newspaper men dubbed "The Battle of Santa Monica Bay."

Movie Review: A Perfect Getaway

How did a movie called A Perfect Getaway get away with having a script so manipulative, so self-aware as to be cloying and so bad in terms of its dialogue? I'll admit that writer/director David Twohy had me going for a while. The awesome jungle setting of Hawaii (with Puerto Rico and Jamaica standing in) and the beautiful Milla Jovovich (Cydney) and Lost's Kiele Sanchez (Gina) were nice to look at. Steve Zahn (Cliff) at...

Manny's Missing Mouthguard

Last night after the game, I was listening to Dodger Talk with co-hosts Ken Levine and Josh Suchon. I was trying to get any added insight to the retaliation pitch Dodger reliever Guillermo Mota bounced off of Milwaukee Brewer Prince Fielder’s sizable gut. During the broadcast, a caller shifted gears and asked the hosts, “Why doesn’t Manny wear his custom mouthguard anymore?” I knew the answer and decided I’d call in.

Movie Review: Julie & Julia

The genre of "foodie movies" demands that the Los Angelean viewer have an after-movie plan. If you're seeing Tampopo, make haste for Daikokuya. If it's Soul Food, M&M Soul Food better be no farther than 20 minutes away. And now with Julie & Julia... well really, is there any place in Los Angeles where you can find the exquisite French food featured in the movie? Oh sure, there's Kendall's Brasserie or Church & State. But the best thing about Julie & Julia is that you're gonna wanna cook. Maybe not like Julia Child, but you'll be inspired to break out the pots and pans, and maybe even the pen and paper.

LAist Film Calendar: Joe Dante Returns, Wesley Willis Jams & Quentin Tarantino Mugs

Studio found it cheaper to re-make Gremlins and Bullitt into one film. | Photo courtesy of brokentrinkets via flickr Joe Dante returns to the New Bev, and this time he's brought company! Living legend Roger Corman joins Dante for a double-feature of his films St. Valentine's Day Massacre (Corman's first directed for a major studio) & Not Of This Earth (far from his first directed for a schlocky drive-in). The inferno rages all-day Saturday,...

Dodgers Bolster Bullpen, Trade Deadline Looms

Intent on adding arms to a very tired bullpen, the Dodgers finalized a trade bringing them left-handed relief pitcher George Sherrill from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for minor leaguers Josh Bell and Steve Johnson. Sherrill, the Orioles All-Star closer, became available when the Orioles fell out of playoff contention sometime between Spring Training and Opening Day when it was confirmed the team was still in the AL East alongside the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays.

The Dodgers Are Buying, But Who Is Selling?

With the Friday trade deadline rapidly approaching for Major League Baseball, teams are looking at themselves in the mirror asking the perennial question: “Are we buyers or are we sellers?” With a one-game lead on the New York Yankees for the best record in baseball to coincide with their eight-game lead over the Colorado Rockies in the NL West, the Dodgers are clearly buyers.

They Came From the Deep: The Mermen Resurface in Redondo

Post by Jack Skelly/Special to LAist/ Photos by Blake Ferris and Chris Kim A for LAist The Mermen are not your everyday psychedelic surf band. Returning to L.A. last Thursday for the first time in half a decade to play Brixton at Redondo Beach pier, the San Francisco trio offered gleaming, kaleidoscopic, hard-edged, instrumental pearls. Several numbers stretched up to 10-minutes or more, but you'd never call The Mermen a jam band. The songs are...

From Market to Menu: An Interview With Chef Ben Ford

Ben Ford, head chef and owner of Culver City’s Ford’s Filling Station speaks of the farmer’s market and its farmers with great reverence. Chef Ford grew up with his hands in the soil, gardening from a very young age so his respect for the food grown by the farmers comes naturally.

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