Photo by Bill Dow; Courtesy of the Hollywood Museum
It was a night of nostalgia, nimble precision, and nestling, and as throngs of stars, classic, current and transcontinental convened at the Hollywood Museum to commemorate, if not celebrate, the 46th anniversary of the airing of the Six Million Dollar Man, and the 42nd anniversary of that of The Bionic Woman as museum President and Founder Donelle Dadigan welcomed the latest exhibit in honor of the classic TV Franchise. Additionally a very special nod to Catwoman reigned supreme as an ancillary, but exemplary, display convoking six life sized feline goddesses (from small to silver screen) could be witnessed right across from a plethora of disguises sported by the Bionic Man himself (in a disguise all his own by way of alien-like faceless mannequins). According to Dadigan: “This exhibit will be the first time that Batman’s lifelike Catwomen will be together. We are also thrilled that the Bionic Woman and the Six Million Dollar Man will join our 20th Century Superhero Legends exhibit, and be at the Hollywood Museum forever!”
Keith Richards at The Sunset Marquis. All photos by Ivor Levine.
You know that any post anywhere that starts with the words, “Keith Richards” has got to have a great time embedded in it. Last night at The Morrison Hotel Galleries was no exception. I say “Galleries” because the event, “Keith Richards, Unfiltered,” was launched simultaneously in all three locations last night; New York, Los Angeles, and Maui, which makes the presence of Mick Fleetwood in Los Angeles a little bit curious (he is the proprietor of the Maui location). I asked him, “Shouldn’t you be in Maui right now?” and got a quizzical look and a chuckle.
It’s no secret to anyone who’s read any of my posts here that I consider the Morrison Hotel Gallery at The Sunset Marquis the nexus of rock and roll and photography in Los Angeles. Last night was no exception, as the rock stars came out in full force to honor Keith Richards, weeks ahead of the kickoff of The Stones’ North American tour.
The trailer for The Dead Don’t Die, the new Jim Jarmisch film that just premiered at Cannes. The zombie comedy features an ensemble cast including Bill Murray, Selena Gomez, Chloë Sevigny, Steve Buscemi, Tilda Swinton, Tom Waits, Danny Glover, Rosie Perez and Carol Kane. The little town of Centerville gets overrun with zombies and it’s up to the local police force to deal with it. (Elise Thompson)
Svengoolie on MeTV While I don’t miss paying an exorbitant monthly ransom to DirecTV, cutting the cord has also severed my ability to catch Svengoolie on MeTV (Apple TV’s “nostalgia” channel is the truly awful Cozi). Rich Koz has been donning Sven’s stovepipe hat and King Diamond-styled makeup to host a weekly creature feature program on Chicago TV since 1979 (with a break between 1986 and 1994), and more recently, he’s brought his rubber chickens and jabbering skulls to a national audience through MeTV. Sven’s screenings – horror and sci-fi titles, both delightful and dreadful, from the Universal library – and penchant for unruly behavior (ribbing and occasionally “breaking into” the film) mint him as a living link to the great, anarchic horror hosts of the past, including Zacherley, Ghoulardi, and Los Angeles’s own Vampira. Svengoolie (Paul Gaita)
In this year’s April 29th issue of the New Yorker, Guinevere Turner relates stories about her childhood in a cult. She writes, “ I’ve always been struck by the sensationalist and reductive way that sixties and seventies cults are portrayed in the media.” Turner, the screenwriter of “Charlie Says,” an original new film about the 1969 Manson Family murders, points out that cults and other longstanding belief systems are not all that disparate. “Sheer popularity and longevity can do a lot to render odd convictions reassuringly familiar.”
The film’s plot centers around the characters of Leslie Van Houten, (Hannah Murray) Patricia Krenwinkel (Sosie Bacon), and Susan Atkins. (Marianne Rendón). The script is partially based on the book by Karlene Faith, (Merritt-Weaver) the graduate student who taught the three women using a jarring women’s lib curriculum during their early years in prison.
Thankfully, this is not a film that traffics in nostalgically valorizing Charles Manson as a charismatic villain we secretly love. This Charlie, played by a spot-on Matt Smith, is an insecure, impotent, embarrassing bully. Skilled at nothing but textbook maneuvers of manipulation and abuse, he spends the movie sulking and guarding the reality that he has no real power. We see the women desperate to make him infallible, filling in and covering for him at every turn. It is their work, their bodies, and their relationships that carry the “family.”
Bass-baritone Christopher Job will make his LA Opera debut in La Traviata
Bass-baritone Christopher Job is a Southern California native who has been busy making a name for himself in the opera world. Having cut his teeth in Orange County with Opera Pacific, Mr. Job has sung all over North America and Europe, including performances with the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall and locally with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. He will be making his LA Opera debut June 1st through 22nd as Dr. Grenvil in La Traviata at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. The singer took some time out of his schedule to talk about growing up in California, and his love of opera and heavy metal.
Welcome back to Southern California. In addition to appearing with LA Opera, I see that you are going to be inducted to Mater Dei High’s ring of honor. It seems like quite an auspicious homecoming.
Thank you very much. It’s great to be back. Yes, quite auspicious and serendipitous. No one at Mater Dei knew that I was coming back for this production, as I had planned on reaching out to our alumni group within a week of my arrival in L.A. Out of the blue I get a phone call from the President of Mater Dei High School, Patrick Murphy. First of all, I think back to my relatively rebellious teenage years and say to myself “How in the world did we get to this point in life where I’m getting a personal phone call from a highly revered superior at my high school? He leaves me a highly detailed message about the honor they have chosen to give me, and I was just floored; so incredible. Someone had nominated me, I was unanimously selected…just so unbelievable. Now, for those who haven’t gone to Mater Dei, it’s hard to explain how special this is. Mater Dei is truly a family, and it seems like more than just a high school..if I went on it would just sound plain arrogant. But suffice it to say, this recognition is something that I will remember, and cherish, for the rest of my life. I’m very proud to have even been in the discussion.
What happens to your pet if something happens to you? It’s not something anyone wants to think about, but if you love your animals, maybe you should. In case of your unexpected death or incapacitation, your animal companions don’t need to be left at the mercy of friends, or left languishing in an animal shelter. Get real answers on how you can ensure their well being from estate lawyer Lane Lopez at this free event, that will in addition serve as a benefit for Luxe Paws cat rescue.
This seminar, hosted by the Order of the Good Death will take place at Stories Books and Cafe in Echo Park on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, from 7 PM until 8:30 PM. Event page.
David Yow, Gibby Haynes and Aaron Tanner at Zebulon Café Concert. Photo by Jordan Schwartz.
An interesting event at the Zebulon Cafe in Frogtown celebrating the release of the book “Butthole Surfers What Does Regret Mean?” The book focuses on graphics and photos with a smaller bit of text from those who experienced the band. I have a few photos from their first gig in L.A. at the Grandia Room in ’82 and a copy of the flyer of that amazing gig is in the book too.
The place was packed, and I had missed the book signing. I was waiting in the back and heard a familiar voice–Keith Morris. We chatted about his successful reading in the girls’ locker room at Pier Avenue Junior High in Hermosa last week, and bit about the Flag gig coming up this Saturday at Punk Rock bowling.
Then Moderator David Yow, Author Aaron Tanner , and Gibby hit the stage for a wild and wack Question and Answer session. To do a proper interview with Gibby, it needs to be a bit of a trainwreck, and Yow was the right conductor to plow through the fairly inebriated Zebulon crowd.
Tequila and Dan at The Punk Museum. Photo by Paul Picasso.
Just days before his untimely death, Punk Museum founder Tequila Mockingbird promised the Germs’ legendary front man, Darby Crash, that she would keep punk alive. And the Punk Museum has been doing just that for the last seven years. Since its inception, the Museum has presented photography and art exhibits, lecture series, film festivals, benefits and live performances all over Los Angeles.
Over Memorial Day weekend, the Museum celebrates its seventh anniversary with three days of films, exhibits and performances. On display will be a collection of punk memorabilia and rare photography from eminent punk photographers like Ed Colver, Dietmar Kohl and Paul Picasso, plus a special exhibit from the UCLA Punk Archives. Original art will be on view from local artists, including Stacey Wells, Brian Tucker, Edward Stapleton, Uli and Nora Novak. Nervous Gender Reloaded and Strange Little Things are a few of the films that will be screened.
“The Street Fighter Collection” (1974, Shout! Select) Lunatic martial arts action trilogy starring grindhouse favorite Sonny Chiba (“Kill Bill”) as Tatsuma Surugi (Terry Surugy in the English dub), a gleefully malevolent killing machine who laid waste to both sides of the law in three gore-soaked features, all directed by Shigehiro Ozawa. Surugi fit perfectly into Toei Films’ stable of violent, amoral anti-heroes (see “Street Mobster” below): a short-tempered, sneering brawler who relished the opportunity to beat and main his opponents (or anyone within reach) with vicious, full-contact kyokushin karate (whose founder, Masutatsu Oyama, appears in the first two films). Those on the receiving end of his meathooks include Japanese yakuza and American Mafia; saturnine Masashi Ishibashi‘s Junjo, who gets his throat ripped out in the first film but returns for more in the second; various femme fatales and underworld flotsam (including killers dressed like mariachi), and the poor bastard whose skull is seen shattered in an “x-ray” shot (see cover art). Such over-the-top violence earned the first “Street Fighter” an X-rating (later trimmed to an R for American release) and deity status for Chiba among the drive-in faithful; Shout! Select’s three-disc set includes all three “Street Fighter” films (including “Return of the Street Fighter” and “Street Fighter’s Last Revenge,” which introduced Etsuko “Sue” Shiomi’s Sister Street Fighter – see below), all in either uncut form or with Japanese and American edits; “Street Fighter” also features a lengthy interview with Chiba and Jack Sholder (director of “The Hidden“) who edited the outrageous American “Street Fighter” trailer for New Line, while U.S. and Japanese trailers and promotional material are included with all three films.