DOUBLE HARNESS

If there was a running joke for this year’s TCM Classic Movie Film Festival, it was certainly among those who failed to get into the 1933 pre-Code comedy, Double Harness. Presented on a 35mm print from the TCM collection at UCLA Film & TV Archives and introduced by James Cromwell — the actor and director John Cromwell’s son — and TV host Alicia Malone, Double Harness drew enough of a Friday morning crowd that roughly 100 pass holders were turned away from Chinese Multiplex House #4 once the 177 seat theater was filled. For the remainder of Friday, and well into … Continue reading DOUBLE HARNESS

ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

The Walt Disney Company has had a long and storied relationship with Lewis Carroll’s Alice books. When Walt Disney struck out on his own to make a hybrid of live action and hand-drawn animation, he turned to Alice for the 1923 short, Alice’s Wonderland. It was a success and Disney milked the Alice Comedies for another 56 installments, over the course of the three years, and allowed Disney and his brother, Roy, to head out west to make their name in Hollywood — animator Ub Iwerks and cameraman Rudolf Ising followed. Twenty-eight years later, Disney returned to Carroll’s works with the … Continue reading ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

THE NICE GUYS

What does it take to make a good movie these days? Money? Star power? A dedicated auteur? A pastiche of ideas that resemble a movie? On the surface, The Nice Guys looks like a movie: it’s got Warner Brothers’ money, it’s got Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe in the leads, it’s got writer/director Shane Black doing Shane Black shtick and it’s got murder, mystery, hard-boiled detectives and the gritty streets of L.A. set in 1970s post-modern neo-noir. Check, check, check, double-check. On the surface, The Nice Guys should be a good movie, but surfaces can be deceiving. Set in smoggy … Continue reading THE NICE GUYS

RIO, I LOVE YOU

What makes up a city? The people? The locale? The flavor of the food, the smell of the streets, the sounds of the crowd? When author Reyner Banham concluded his exhaustive study of the city of Los Angeles in The Architecture of Four Ecologies, he described viewing LA from the vantage point of an aircraft: Within its vast extent can be seen its diverse ecologies of sea-coasts, plain, and hill; within that diversity can be seen the mechanism, natural and human, that have made those ecologies support a way of life … Overflying such a spectacle, it is difficult to … Continue reading RIO, I LOVE YOU