Movies Till Dawn: TV Archaelogy (Part 2 – Martian Sentai Octopus Edition)

The Martian Chronicles” (1980, Kino Lorber) Six-hour, three-part miniseries attempts to translate Ray Bradbury‘s collection of short stories and prose poems about the fallout of an attempted colonization of Mars by Earth astronauts. Screenwriter Richard Matheson uses mission commander Rock Hudson as the unifying element to pull the source material into a single, cohesive plotline, but the canvas is too vast in regard to tone, language, and perspective to string together without sacrificing cohesiveness. British filmmaker Michael Anderson (“Logan’s Run”) is further hampered by some very low-wattage special effects, but benefits from exceptional locations (Malta, the Canary Islands) and an all-pro cast that includes Roddy McDowall, Darren McGavin, Bernadette Peters and an adolescent Laurie Holden (“The Walking Dead”). Kino’s Blu-ray includes a saucy interview with character actor James Faulkner (“Game of Thrones), who relays the challenges of playing an extraterrestrial, and trailers for other Kino sci-fi titles, including “The Earth Dies Screaming.”

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We Continue Following Quentin Tarantino Around: Pandora’s Box in Hollywood

Pandora’s Box Tarantino shooting Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Photos by Brian Donnelly.

Pandora’s Box was a coffee house and music venue on Sunset Boulevard and Crescent Heights. Starting in the late 50s, the club hosted jazz acts and later acts like Sonny and Cher. It was one of the main clubs that sparked the 1966 riot on Sunset Strip. The club and others like it were accused of snarling traffic, excess noise, and harboring teenage drinking and drug use. The club was demolished in early August 1967 (Wikipedia and Domenic Priore’s “Riot on Sunset Strip.”)

The crew for Tartantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” has rebuilt Pandora’s Box on Ivar and Yucca. As far as we know, the movie’s timeline is limited to 1969. Maybe there is a flashback. But Brad Pitt’s Wardrobe in these shots and the bus ads appear to be true to 1969. Rain Friday night threatened the shoot, but by Saturday afternoon the skies were once again passable for a summer’s day in 1969.

More photos after the break!

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Movie Review: ‘Softness of Bodies’ at the 2018 Los Angeles Film Festival

Charlotte Parks lives in Berlin; Charlotte hula hoops; Charlotte is a cyclist, Charlotte is a poet; Charlotte rolls her own cigarettes; Charlotte is a shoplifter and Charlotte is going to face a reckoning . . . maybe, maybe not. Charlotte, played by Dasha Nekrasova, is an American expat, who nestles herself in Berlin’s artist subculture as a poet but is near her undoing at any moment. The film production is set in a muted color palette that befits a 90’s indie film: dull and dispassionate. The film has a sense of the claustrophobic and mundane, restless in a dire form of its own neutrality. Charlotte is bored, snarky, amoral, disenfranchised, narcissistic and mildly sociopathic. Her roommate, Remo, played by Johannes Frick, says it best in an early scene in the film when he says, “You can stop living like a cockroach.” Charlotte is relateable and yet she’s deplorable. Continue reading

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TODAY! San Gabriel Valley Pride 17th Annual LGBTQ Pride Event at Pasadena’s Central Park

San Gabriel Valley Pride Festival Car Show. Photo by Mitch Braiman.

“San Gabriel Valley Pride: Now! More Than Ever!” 17th Annual LGBTQ Pride Event and Car Show will present their 17th annual LGBTQ Pride celebration On Saturday, October 13, 2018, from 11 a.m. To 9:30 p.m. in Pasadena’s Central Park.

As October is National LGBTQ History month and this year’s pride event in Pasadena is “designed to provide an environment that fosters a more engaged interaction.”

A Classic Car Show will be featured, as well as areas for family, health and wellness, an Authors Forum, participation in Big Draw LA, Carnival Gaymes, a Drag Queen show, a Beer and Wine garden hosted by Three Sisters Catering and Foothill/Twohey’s Restaurants, all day entertainment, and more.  Continue reading

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L.A. Film Festival’s ‘Funke’ Takes a Not-So-Cheesy Look Into the Art and Business of Pasta

Evan Funke of “Funke.” Photos courtesy of Tastemade Studios.

A very tasty inclusion to this year’s L.A. Film Festival was Director/Producer Gabriel Taraboulsy’s documentary film with Tastemade, “Funke.”

Although at the center of the film is Chef Evan Funke, handmade pasta maestro of Felix Trattoria and son of Oscar award-winning Visual Effects Director Alex Funke, this documentary is largely about the struggle of the Los Angeles restaurant business—making the balance between art and business, navigating L.A. Building and Safety red tape, courting fickle restaurant patrons, keeping up with the culinary landscape as a whole, and working the scary math throughout.

But tucked within is also a beautiful film about the art of pasta making and Funke’s sincere love and appreciation of handmade pasta. Taraboulsy goes deeper than the honing of skill or the mastering of the dying art that is handmade pasta. He takes us with Funke through his process, watching him work magic with semolina, eggs, and human will. Continue reading

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The Flesh Eaters to Release a New Album! Check Out their First Music Video!

Not only are The Flesh Eaters releasing their first album since Miss Muerte, which came out on Atavistic Records in 2004, but they are reuniting their classic lineup from 1981, which also played the band’s recent reunion shows in 2006 and 2015. Chris Desjardins–better known as Chris D.–, Dave Alvin, John Doe, Bill Bateman, Steve Berlin, and DJ Bonebrake have come together to record I Used to be Pretty. The musicians hail from The Blasters, X, and Los Lobos, leading many journalists to refer to The Flesh Eaters as a “supergroup,” but I don’t think they have enough ego to do more than roll their eyes at that moniker.

Although The Flesh Eaters is a project with a constantly revolving musical lineup, the musicians on their sophomore album, A Minute to Pray, A Second to Die, is considered the classic lineup. They only played a few gigs before going their separate ways to rejoin their primary bands, but in 2006, when Mudhoney was curating the bands for All Tomorrow’s Parties in England, it was the Minute to Pray lineup that was specifically requested. I was lucky enough to be there, and also at their LA warmup gig. They came back together again in 2015 and just recently in January of 2018. And every show has been awesome.

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We Continue Following Quentin Tarantino Around: El Coyote

Tarantino filming at El Coyote. Photo by James Cherry.

On October 9th, Photographer James Cherry of Street Style LA spotted the equipment for an indoor night shoot at El Coyote Café. Even though none of the actors were in sight, we knew we had found Tarantino once again, because that is the restaurant where Sharon Tate and three of her friends shared what was fated to be their last meal. Every year, Angelenos still gather at El Coyote on August 8th, hoping to get the blood-red leather booth in the corner that the party occupied.

Blanche March and her husband, George, opened the Mexican Café on March 5, 1931. It was originally located on 1st Street and moved to its current location in 1951. Autographed photos of movie stars line the walls and the clientele once included John Wayne, Ricardo Montalban and even Princess Grace. They are known for their strong margaritas, crappy salsa and kitschy décor.

The website, Cielo Drive states, “On Friday, August 8, 1969, Jay Sebring made an 8 o’clock dinner reservation for Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, Sharon Tate, and himself. After waiting 15 minutes in the bar, the four were seated and unknowingly ate their last meals, leaving at around 9:45pm, heading back to Cielo Drive.”

Sharon’s sister Debra Tate talked about Sharon in 2003 on what would have been Sharon’s 60th birthday. The topic of her favorite restaurants came up, and El Coyote was one of them. According to Debra, Sharon’s favorite dish at El Coyote was made with blue corn tortillas which they only made one month out of the year. Read the full Debra Tate Interview here. Although according to Dearly Departed Tours, Sharon Tate ordered enchiladas that night.

Los Angeles Magazine writer Chris Nichols confirmed our suspicions with this great exterior shot of El Coyote with a billboard for Tanya tanning oil and butter. It was a real product of the era, but I have to wonder if they intentionally got a little Patty Hearst reference in.

El Coyote Tarantino shoot. Photo by Chris Nichols.

Previously on The LA Beat:

Tarantino Turns Back Time in Hollywood

Following Tarantino Around Burbank

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Movies Till Dawn: TV Archaeology (Part 1 – Ash, Sid and Joan Edition)

Ash vs. Evil Dead: The Complete Series” (2016-2018, Anchor Bay) Five-disc Blu-ray set packages the gore-soaked TV adventures of Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell), the bloviating, abuse magnet hero of Sam Raimi‘s “Evil Dead” trilogy. Here, as in the films, it’s Ash’s inherent stupidity that imperils the world (he reads from the Book of the Dead to impress a girl and releases a horde of demons), as well as his motivation to save it, believing that a chainsaw and a corny quip are the best defense against supernatural forces. He more or less proves that notion over the course of three seasons, which deliver the franchise’s trademark mix of extreme bloodshed, slapstick humor and genuine chills; Campbell’s Big, Dumb performance (reportedly his last as Ash) anchors the whole affair, though there’s excellent support from sidekicks Dana DeLorenzo and Ray Santiago, as well as Lucy Lawless as a wild card demon fighter and briefly, Lee Majors as Ash’s equally knuckleheaded dad. “AvED” also features one of the best TV soundtracks in recent memory (Season 1 alone has the Stooges, Funkadelic, Death and Frijid Pink), and the set includes commentary by cast and crew and making-of featurettes. Absolutely essential for “Evil Dead” fans; primitive screwheads need not apply.

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Hollywood Museum President & Founder Donelle Dadigan Teams up with Amalgamated Dynamics Founders Alec Gillis & Tom Woodruff Jr. to Curate “30 Years of Make-Up, Monsters & Magic”!

Tom Woodruff, Jr., Donelle Dadigan, Alec Gillis; Photo Courtesy of Bill Dow Photography/Courtesy of The Hollywood Museum

Just in the nick of time for the commencement of the most witching month out of all 12, some eerily malevolent creature was in the process of nicking time in full ironic parallel with anything and everything reminiscent of sharpened claw to bio-switch blade (Freddy Krueger-style) at the World-Famous Hollywood Museum!!!

Yes, to add to the Hollywood Museum’s diverse lexicon of cinematic/televised history, the Dungeon of Doom in the old Max Factor basement is now an additional option by which to experience all chills and thrills. Commencing at the spawning of the age of the most vexing and hexing month sporting 8 proverbial legs into the year, two months before its demise, The Hollywood Museum, in conjunction with the Academy Award ® Winning Studio Amalgamated Dynamics Inc. opened its “30 Years of Make-Up, Monsters & Magic” exhibit!!!

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Spend a Beautiful Day at Pacific Park Celebrating the 22nd Annual Pier del Sol! Food! Rides! Kennedys! Philanthropy!

This year’s honorees: Richard and Gloria Pink pictured with with a medal winner in track & field. Photo by Elise Thompson

This Sunday, from 10 AM until 2 PM, Pier del Sol’s annual fundraising brunch will once again take place on the beautiful Santa Monica Pier. Stroll along the boardwalk enjoying the ocean breezes as you sample small plates from more than 30 of LA’s top chefs and restaurants. You will also have exclusive, unlimited free access to the park’s rides, including the now-iconic ferris wheel, as well as tickets for the games of chance, crafts, entertainment and a beer and wine garden. This fundraiser benefits the Special Olympics Southern Californian athletes, and this year it will be a real celebration as it is the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Special Olympics.

Some of our favorite participating restaurants are Playa Provisions (Chef Brooke Williamson) Angelini Osteria (Chef Gino Angelini), Melisse Restaurant (Chef Josiah Citrin), Providence (Chef Michael Cimarusti), The Baklava House (Chef Brenden Collins),  El Cholo (Chef Gerardo Ochoa), Hache LA (Chef Jimmy Su), Dylan’s on Crenshaw Soul Food (Chef Greg Dulan), and Sprinkles Cupcakes (Chef Candace Nelson).

Pier del Sol takes place Sunday, October 14, 2018, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The event is family-friendly. Every year Pier del Sol honors a chef who has contributed something special to the event. This year’s honoree is Pink’s Hot Dogs, who are always there to support the Special Olympics. Honorary Co-Chairs are Maria Shriver and Bobby Shriver.

Admission to the VIP Brunch is $175 per adult ticket (Includes 1 VIP brunch ticket • Unlimited ride wristband • 12 game tickets • Gold medal beverage garden access) and $75 for children (ages 5 to 12 – available at the door on the day of event only). Children under five are free, but will not receive a meal/beverage coupon nor game tickets. No children will receive Gold medal beverage garden access, in case you were wondering. General Admission – $75 • Ages 5 and up • 1 Pacific Park ticket • Unlimited ride wristband • 8 game tickets • A meal and beverage coupon for Pacific Park’s food plaza (Note that GA does not include entry for the super awesome brunch. But if you are more into the rides than food, it might be the ticket for you.)

Getcher tickets here!

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