Amoeblog

Upcoming Satyajit Ray screenings in Los Angeles, London, and Vienna

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 26, 2013 11:56am | Post a Comment
Satyajit Ray

Satyajit Ray
fans have cause to celebrate with several upcoming film events coming up involving a large body of his film work. Satyajit Ray was a Bengali film director from India who is widely considered to be one of the world's greatest filmmakers. During his life (1921-1992) he directed 36 films, including features, documentaries, and shorts. Nineteen of his films have been restored by the Academy Film Archive and are being shown in screenings taking place in Los Angeles, London, and Vienna through a partnership between the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the British Film Institute (BFI), the American Cinematheque, and the Austrian Film Museum (Österreichisches Filmmuseum).

Ray co-founded the Calcutta Film Society in 1947. He began filming Pather Panchali, his debut, in 1952. After its completion and theater debut in 1955, he was immediately widely acclaimed. His second film, Aparajito, won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. Akira Kurosawa later said of his films, "Not to have seen the cinema of Ray means existing in the world without seeing the sun or the moon." 

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Don't Knock the Rock 2013 is coming

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 18, 2013 09:00pm | Post a Comment
Don't Knock the Rock is a film festival that's taken place now for ten years. Each year filmmaker Allison Anders (Gas, Food Lodging, Grace of My Heart, and Mi Vida Loca) and her daughter, Tiffany, curate probably the best film festival of its sort in Los Angeles, focusing on rare or new music documentaries about personality-driven cult bands and under-exposed music movements and scenes.

Last year I attended the screening of Jobriath A.D. (2012). The year before I was at The Beat Is The Law: Fanfare For The Common (2010), the sequel to 2001's Made In Sheffield -- about the independent music scenes of Sheffield, UK. All screenings take place at The Silent Movie Theatre in Fairfax Village (on the border between the Fairfax District and Beverly Grove) and are hosted by Michael Des Barres of the TV series MacGyver.

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Jon Moritsugu Retrospective in Downtown Los Angeles plus his latest film, Pig Death Machine

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 12, 2013 11:28am | Post a Comment
Pig Death Machine posterJon Moritsugu (click here to read an Amoebog interview) and Amy Davis's latest film, Pig Death Machine, is playing in Downtown Los Angeles for one week (9 August till 15 August).


For those that aren't familiar with him, Jon Moritsugu is an auteur in the proper sense of the word. From 1986's Mommy Mommy Where's My Brain till  to his latest, all films have all reflected a distinct, personal creative vision. He has his own section in Cult Cinema on the mezzanine of Amoeba Hollywood.


Here's a trailer and plot summary of his latest:


"Starring Davis as a nerdy, yet doornail-dumb hottie who eats undercooked, paraside-laden, pink piggy and is transformed into a dangerous genius, while across town, a punky-buxom-botanist eats the same meaty treat and ends up endowed with the supernatural ability to 'hear' her specimens."




"A sci-fi/psych-horror/screwball ride of chaotic, day-glo fever dreams and glitter-dusted nightmares, shot in the stunning wilds of New Mexico and featuring the music of Deerhoof, Dirty Beaches, Polvo, and industrial legend Monte Cazazza (Throbbing Gristle)."

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Upcoming outdoor film screening -- Monsoon Wedding

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 5, 2013 10:58am | Post a Comment


Although summer movies are usually associated with blaring GCI spectacles playing throughout the world's multiplexes, in Los Angeles we're blessed with a popular alternative option -- outdoor screenings. Instead of Crows, Goobers, JujyfruitsRaisinets, and delicious but nauseating gallons of buttered popcorn a ttendees can in many cases pack a picnic basket or grab some proper grub from a food truck.

Now in its second year, The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences hosts a series of outdoor film screenings in Hollywood called, straightforwardly, Oscars Outdoors. So far this year they've shown Much Ado About Nothing (2012), Twenty Feet from Stardom (2013), National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), Peter Pan (1953), Vertigo (1958), LA Story (1991), Beetlejuice (1988), What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), Groundhog Day (1993), Clueless (1995), King Kong (1933), Risky Business (1983), Point Break (1991), Short Term 12 (2013), Big (1988), Blazing Saddles (1974), Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios - 1988), American Graffiti (1973), and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953).

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What you neighbors know about the Dirty South? -- A South County primer

Posted by Eric Brightwell, July 31, 2013 04:44pm | Post a Comment
YES, THE STEREOTYPES, THERE MUST BE MORE TO LIFE

Most of us know the stereotypes and are familiar with the frequent characterizations of Orange County. It’s supposedly culture-less and even somehow history-less. Anyone who’s spent any time in Los Angeles has no doubt heard the same hollow, bafflingly ignorant observations made of about that richly cultured city yet sadly, many Angelenos (who ought to no better) still nevertheless cling to the dated, and increasingly disconnected stereotypes about their neighbors to the south.


Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of South Orange County
Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's map of South Orange County

Of course anyone who’s spent any time in Orange County knows that the popular images of that County have as little in common with reality as the prevailing stereotypes of Los Angeles do. I'll acknowledge that there’s a degree of truth to some of them but as Orange County grows more urban, more diverse, more liberal, and more interesting, spreading them reveals more about the vastness of the spreader's ignorance than their insight or knowledge about the subject.


As of 2012 roughly 31% of Orange Countians were registered Democrats whereas 42% were registered Republicans so neither corporate political party can claim the majority (for now although the percentage of the former grows whilst the latter declines). Of all Orange Countians, 45% speak a language other than English at home. With a population that is 44% white*, 34% Latino**, 18% Asian, 2% black, and 1% Native American, there is no racial or ethnic majority. Forbes magazine recently placed Orange County above Los Angeles County in its list of the most diverse communities. Orange also has the third largest county population in California, just behind that of San Diego. But Orange’s population density is contained much higher. 1,472.3/km2 versus San Diego’s is 260/km2,making it more than five times as dense as the second biggest county in the state and therefore hardly a big, sleepy suburb.

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