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Taste of the Mideast Side -- at the Los Angeles County Store

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 8, 2014 04:00pm | Post a Comment
Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography

Taste of the Mideast Side


If there are regular readers of my column here on the Amoeblog, they've probably seen some of the hand-drawn and hand-painted maps which I include in my series of Southland explorations I call California Fool's Gold. Right now a series of new maps are on display at the Los Angeles County Store in East Hollywood. None, except the Los Feliz map, have been the subject of Eric's Blog entries yet. 

Eric Brightwell Cartography Art Show Los Angeles County Store

The Los Angeles County Store is a great retail shop which features only goods designed and manufactured in Los Angeles County. The opening has already passed but the maps can still be seen in person if you head over there soon -- the show ends on 21 September

Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's Map of the Mideast Side (3rd Edition)
Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography's Map of the Mideast Side (3rd Edition)

I refer to the set of paintings as Taste of the Mideast Side -- a reference to Taste of the Eastside, a four-year-old food event which despite its name never features restaurants from the Eastside unless you clarify that you're talking about the Eastside of Central Los Angeles (aka the original Westside). By the way, there is an older pre-existing event called The Taste of East L.A. which as its name correctly suggests, features restaurants from East Los Angeles -- a neighborhood actually located in the Eastside
Anyway, here are the maps included in the show (which you can vote for me to write about here). 

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Bad Meaning Really Bad is Theme of "Bad Movie Night" At The Dark Room, SF

Posted by Billyjam, April 12, 2014 08:14am | Post a Comment

Conspiracy Theory screens this week (April 13) at Bad Movie Night as part of the Mel Gibson series


I recently had online access to view any new movie released in the past year. From that experience what struck me most, besides the sheer volume of movies released that I had never even heard of or that made it to your local cineplex, was just how really bad the majority of movies being made these days are. Most are awful lackluster affairs with bad acting and poor unbelievable story-lines that are simply unwatchable. To sit through these bad movies would be pure torture unless you somehow turned these lemons into lemonade by poking fun at them and having a laugh at their expense. Such is the idea behind the Bad Movie Night Sunday night series at San Francisco's The Dark Room on Mission Street this April the theme is bad movies starring Mel Gibson and next month it will be "Legendary Flops" bad movie month, while June will be bad George Lucas films.

"It's pretty simple: we show movies. The hosts talk back to the screen. So do you. And we all laugh," state the organizers of Bad Movie Night who have been "desecrating art since 2005" and whose irreveratant approach to movie screening is done in the tradition of MST3 (Mystery Science Theater 3000) whereby intently watching the film on screen and seriously following its storyline is out the window in favor of purely poking fun at this projected waste of money. "Will this movie suck?" ask Bad Movie Night presenters. "Yes it will. But we blow back," they assure audience members who make it to their weekly screenings. Held each Sunday eve at 8pm, April 13th's bad movie will be Mel Gibson's Conspiracy Theory, next week's will be Lethal Weapon 4, and the following week is Hamlet (1990). And bad as these are, there are even worse movies such as their scheduled June 1st Bad Movie Night screening of George Lucas' Howard The Duck (1986) that on Rotten Tomatoes got only a 15% Tomatometer critics rating. But the worse the movie the better the talk back to the screen promises to be.
 

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All Roads Lead to Culver City -- Exploring the Heart of Screenland

Posted by Eric Brightwell, September 17, 2013 06:24pm | Post a Comment
INTRODUCTION 

Culver City title image

Imagine for a moment that you are a contestant on the game show Jeopardy and you were presented with the answer, "This community's slogans have included 'The Motion Picture Capital of the World,' 'The Heart of Screenland,' and 'Where Hollywood Movies are Made?'" If you're like me you'd probably ask, "What is Hollywood?" with some confidence. If you did, however, Alex Trebek would make that slightly pained and disappointed expression and tell you that "the question we were looking for is "What is Culver City?" And again, if you're at all like me, you'd probably go, "Huh?" By the way, Jeopardy! has been filmed in Culver City since 1994.

Artwork in Culver City highlighting Hollywood
Artwork in Culver City highlighting Hollywood

Culver City is, in fact, both currently and historically a major hub in the production of mainstream American Cinema (you know, the ones usually referred to as "Hollywood" films) but for whatever reason -- and despite the best efforts of many Culverites -- it has been far less successful than the Hollywood neighborhood in connecting its name to the entertainment industry in the global public's mind. In fact, I'd wager that more tourists and Angelenos associate Burbank, North Hollywood, Studio City, and Universal City with "Hollywood" film production than they do Culver City.

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Los Angeles's Secret, Foreign Language Movie Theater Scene

Posted by Eric Brightwell, May 7, 2013 01:18pm | Post a Comment

Los Angeles is a film town -- maybe the film town. Like the Hollywood district contained within it, the name "Los Angeles" a metonym for American film industry in the minds of many. "La La Land," "The Entertainment Capital of the World" and all that. I love movies; however, in my mind, the Hollywood film thing actually ranks pretty low in the long list of what makes Los Angeles the greatest city in the world. This is possibly (probably) shocking to hear/read if you're a cog in the blockbuster factory or a celebrity worshipper but better you find that out now than never. Luckily, Los Angeles doesn't just make movies, it also shows them. There are few cities in the world with as robust a film culture as Los Angeles.

For those who love celebrity-driven, gazillion dollar CGI superhero franchises you're in luck; there are multiplexes in every mall and Redboxes at every 7-11. Thankfully for other varieties of cinéastes, there's a lot more to Los Angeles’s mise en scène than that. There are architecturally beautiful picture palaces, romantic drive-ins, dingy dollar theaters, high profile revival houses, low profile smut houses, and actual art house chains. Additionally there are all sorts of special screenings and festivals that take place every week of the year.

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15th Annual Festival of Film Noir, Final Week at The Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood!

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, April 15, 2013 01:10am | Post a Comment


The Mrs. and I were fortunate enough to catch three of last week's showings, including the fantastic Saturday night tear jerker Chicago Calling.  Unfortunately we'll be gone for the final week of the festival.  Hopefully some of you will make it out as there are some stellar pictures being offered!

Wednesday brings the powerhouse all star combo of Cry of the City and The KIllers.  The Cry cast includes Richard Conte, Victor Mature, Shelly Winters and most importantly Hope Emerson KIllers stars Ava Gardner and Burt Lancaster at their most ravishing and William Conrad at his creepiest.

Thursday brings a pair of lesser knowns in Undercover Man and So Dark The Night.  So Dark has quite a cult following and could prove to be a goodie.

The Native Son and No Way Out combo on Friday should be spectacular.  No Way Out is a gritty, racially charged classic, featuring Sidney Poitier, Richard Widmark, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee and Harry Bellaver.  The criminally underrated Bellaver, best known as Detective Frank Arcaro from the Naked City TV series, is great as the deaf/mute brother of Ray Biddle, Widmark's maniacal, psycho racist.  Richard Widmark throws his whole self into character and really summons up some demonic forces in this film.  Native Son is an Argentinian/French production based on the well known Richard Wright novel.  Directed by Pierre Chenal of Le Dernier Tournant (1st adaption of Postman Always Rings Twice) fame, this is a very rare screening and is well worth the price of admission.

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