Movies Till Dawn: Continental Cowboys, Malibu Princes and Austrian Maharajahs

Fritz Lang’s Indian Epic (“The Tiger of Eschnapur” and “The Indian Tomb”)” (1959, Film Movement Classics) Strapping young German engineer Paul Hubschmid (a.k.a. Paul Christian)  is invited to India to improve the infrastructure of the (fictitious) city of Eschnapur, but falls in love with Eurasian temple dancer Seetha (American actress Debra Paget), which puts him in the crosshairs of his jealous employer, Prince Chandra (played by Austrian actor Walther Reyer). Lavishly appointed and deliriously plotted two-part adventure made by pioneering German director Lang in the twilight of his storied career; though the liner notes by Tom Gunning in this two-disc Blu-ray make a case for the “Indian Epic” as part of the director’s explorations into the dangerous whims of fate (see “Beyond a Reasonable Doubt“), the two films are probably best enjoyed as rip-roaring, serial-styled exotica thrills (Lang’s penchant for elaborate subterranean lairs is in full effect with the array of secret passages and traps in “Indian Tomb”) that teeter on the border of camp, especially Ms. Paget’s over-the-top dance numbers and threats from a menagerie of stuffed jungle animals. Some viewers’ enjoyment, however, may be tempered by the abundance of white actors in brownface. Film Movement’s set includes a full 4k restoration of both films, expert commentary from historian David Kalat, a making-of doc that details the production’s history (“Epic” was a remake of a 1921 German film Lang wrote with wife Thea von Harbou) and a video essay on Paget. Continue reading

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Studio Movie Grill in Glendale Serves Cocktails and Munchies Right to Your Theater Seat

Studio Movie Grill in Glendale’s bar. Photos by Elise Thompson for The LA Beat.

With six other locations in California, and many more across the country, Studio Movie Grill has opened its newest location in Glendale in the former location of the MGM Grand 5-Star Cinema. The 10-screen multiplex is located in two buildings just off of Brand, one of which has a 20-foot long bar in the lobby. The other building has a small bar on the second floor. A number of theaters–the Arclight and the Burbank AMC 16–have bars, that’s not the news. Studio Movie Grill serves cocktails as well as full meals and your usual movie snacks right to your seat. You don’t have to miss a minute of the movie when you need a refill.

I imagined the servers taking orders all around me during the movie and I thought, “This is going to drive certain friends of mine insane.” But during a recent press preview it wasn’t that annoying. Most orders are taken before and during the previews, and the bills are dropped off as the credits start rolling. There is a tiny lamp at each seat to help you see the bill. The servers also move quickly and stealthily, bent over to not block the screen as they drop orders on your little table. Of course, there were only around 20 of us in the audience; a full theater could get really distracting. And the strong cocktails don’t hurt when it comes to not being bothered. Continue reading

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The First Krampus Run Held at Alpine Village was a Swatting Good Time for Both the Naughty and the Nice.

Krampus Run at Alpine Village 2019. All photos by Elise Thompson for The LA Beat.

Last Saturday at 5 o’clock the doors to one of the chalets at Alpine Village began disgorging Krampus of all shapes and sizes–horned, furry, blue, black, and white, with glowing eyes, protruding tongues and pointy teeth. And they were not alone. Saint Nicholas was on hand to benevolently counter the Krampus’ punishments. The Saint Nicholas was excellent this year, inquiring in a voice you would expect from Santa as to how good everyone had been, and referring to some of them as “naughties.” One Krampus was huge, like a Syd and Marty Kroft creature, and there was even a black goat–Black Phillip perhaps?

In certain Alpine Villages, the Krampus is Saint Nicholas’ menacing companion who punishes the naughty children. Every year there is a traditional Krampuslauf, or “Krampus Run,” where villagers dress in animal pelts, carved masks and horns, and playfully chase the children around dispensing swats with a switch made from twigs. Krampus L.A. brought this tradition to Los Angeles in 2013, and the fun has not stopped since. The local Krampus Run has traditionally been held in conjunction with the DTLA Art Walk, but this year it is joining the Krampus Ball at Alpine Village in Torrance.

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Offbeat L.A.: Finding the Spirit- A Queen Mary Christmas

Three Drummers Drumming (photo by Elise Thompson)

With visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads and the smell of fresh pine, the holidays allow us to hit the pause button, celebrate, and remember to express our goodwill. The season, abuzz with so much activity, can make choosing events difficult, but The Queen Mary comes through once again this year by creating a little bit of Christmas magic in the majestic shadow of the now-docked historic ocean liner. It’s a family affair with sparkling lights, an outdoor ice rink, festive food, live performances and a little bit of old fashioned pizzaz. There are photo opportunities galore with giant gumdrops, nutcrackers, a 3-dimensional moon prop, sudsy soap snow flurries and a meet & great with Santa and his wife. A beautiful vintage style carousal is fun for all ages and so it is a little toy train trip. The ice skating rink is 6,000 square feet and comes with skate rental, so it pays off to be courageous and take a few slippery spins to burn off the abundance of sugary treats.

Queen Mary Christmas runs from Friday, November 29th, 2019 through Wednesday, January 1st, 2020. Tickets start at $29. The Queen Mary 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach, CA 90802. Continue reading

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Liquid Kitty Punk Rock BBQ at Harvelle’s in Santa Monica

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LA Through a Cracked Lens: December 8, 1980

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watt’s picture of the week – saturday, december 7, 2019

“she’s in the water!” restoration continues on the tall ship swift of ipswich as she’s lowered into the sp slip here in my pedro town yesterday. still missing her masts, she’ll be part of the topsail youth program once she’s shipshape. plans are to make “banning’s landing” in wilmas her future home.

photo by mike watt

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mike watt’s hoot page

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Rip Taylor’s Life Honored in most Heartfelt and Humorous Fashion at El Portal Theatre Preceding Thanksgiving

Photo Courtesy of William Kidston

It was a confetti-filled cavalcade of celebrities, cake, and comedy the Sunday before Thanksgiving, as comedians and classic sitcom stars the valley over descended upon the El Portal Theatre’s Debbbie Reynold’s stage to honor the man most aptly embodying all things celebratory (and sidesplitting) all in one upturned fell swoop: Rip Taylor.

The lobby, fully decorated pre-maturely for Christmas, was additionally festooned with Rip Taylor photos signed (and au natural) from nearly every celebrity/film project/sitcom in which he had ever appeared. Flanking the retrospective: A cake the size of a magician’s suitcase, sandwiched between two large piles of white chocolate mustaches courtesy of Hollywood Chocolatier Frank Sheftel.

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The 2019 Krampus Run is Happening at Alpine Village in Torrance Saturday!

Krampus Run 2018. All photos by Mike Guerena.

UPDATE Saturday 12/07 12:06 PM: The Krampus Run is on.

UPDATE 3:45 Friday 12/06/91 Krampus LA will decide by tomorrow at 4 PM whether or not they need to cancel the run due to weather.

The Krampus Run, or Krampuslauf, during which dozens of European-inspired Krampuses run through the streets dispatching spankings to the deserving, will be held at Alpine Village in Torrance this year, just west of the 110 freeway. In previous years, even though the Krampus Ball is traditionally held at Alpine Village, the run has been a separate event held in conjunction with the Downtown LA Art Walk. Holding the free, all-ages Krampus Run on Saturday from 6 PM until 7 PM, just before the ball, is a nice consolation prize for the many people who couldn’t get tickets to the always-sold-out party. The ball has awesome bands this year, including Rosemary’s Billygoat, so if you do get a chance to get on the list or buy a last-minute ticket, I strongly recommend you go for it.

According to Krampus Los Angeles, the new setting “will be the closest thing yet to the experience you’d enjoy in a little town in the Alps. Not only will the festivities take place amid the faux-Bavarian splendor of Alpine Village’s chalet-styled shops and chapel, but we’re also going to MAKE IT SNOW.” The new location is ideal, because it “creates more space, more twists, turns, and hiding places for chases and for surprises encounters with switch-bearing devils.”

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The Intown Report’s Gig Picks of the Week 12/5/19 – 12/11/19

Looking for cool live music this week? Here’s some show recommendations:

Thursday 12/5

Malone’s – Big Rig Dollhouse, Ascen, + Tragic Radicals

The Observatory – The Hu, + Crown Lands; From Indian Lakes, Queen of Jeans + Yummm (Constellation Room)

Redwood Bar – The Tearaways (feat.Clem Burke), The Reflectors + Mogg

The Satellite – Salute to Lou Reed with Angie Bowie, LoveyDove, The Dick & Jane Family Orchestra + Mary Woronov

Friday 12/6

The Doll Hut – Reagan Youth, Functional Lunatics, The Lewd, Damaged, Justified Anger, Ciphors of Transcendence, Krovak, The Order of Nine Angels, The Outskirts + Pig City, 6pm

Garden Amp – The Adolescents, The Zeros, The Crowd + more!

House of Machines – The Dickies, Cheap Tissue + DM Tina & The Bumps

Lodge Room – Surfbot, Dumb Fucks + Nice

Maui Sugar Mill Saloon –Dr. Savage &The Shrunken Heads, Super Villian + Caroshi

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