In 2017, when Ooga Booga founder Wendy Yao was awarded the White Columns/Shoot theLobster award—”presented annually to individuals who selflessly create a context for other artists’ ideas and seek to build communities around them”— Asher Penn wrote:
Ooga Booga has become a non-institutional hub within the Los Angeles area; a go-to place for its selection of books, multiples, fashion items, and accessories. Outside Los Angeles, Ooga Booga is an icon of independent entrepreneurship, participating in art and book fairs, opening temporary satellite stores, creating online resources for independent publishers, and organizing events in various venues.
PARIS LA is one of countless publications that Yao has supported over the years, facilitating introductions to future collaborators and providing a platform for imagination to take flight.
Ooga Booga’s Chinatown store is closing this weekend—Sunday, September 1 is the last day. Stop by and visit one last time. (The web shop is scheduled to continue operations.)
London, 1977. A year of nascent punk rock explosion and the rebirth of soul. Pirate DJs and the Queen’s Jubilee. Love on the run and racist skinheads on the prowl. YOUNG SOUL REBELS—an early feature by Isaac Julien—is part-thriller, part-musical, and a groundbreaking exemplar of the New Queer Cinema movement of the 1990s.
Starring Mo Sesay, Valentine Nonyela, Jason Durr, and Sophie Okonedo, the film screens this week in Westwood as part of the Outfest UCLALegacy Project Screening Series.
ALTERED AFTER—a group show at Participant Inc featuring work by Darrel Ellis, fierce pussy, General Idea, Jerrythe Marble Faun, Leslie Kaliades, Kang Seung Lee, Ronald Lockett, Jonathan Molina Garcia, Cookie Mueller, Raúl de Nieves, Jason Simon, Manuel Solano, GailThacker, JulieTolentino, and XFR Collective—incorporates “archives, archaeology, salvaged objects, material migrations, inherited knowledge, and bequests in response to HIV/AIDS.”*
The exhibition is curated by Conrad Ventur for Visual AIDS.
“I’ve learned that we have to find our own saviors. For me, I like to create a fantasy, and one of the ways I’ve found beauty is by stacking beads on top of each other. I usually work in circles and let time shape the work…
“I guess I choose shoes as a vehicle to adorn myself, to give off different identities… The shoes are very organic. I actually see them grow. It pushes me to want to learn more about weight and design, to push them into new forms. But I also want them to design themselves in a way.” — Raúl de Nieves
In conjunction with ALTERED AFTER, Anthology Film Archives and Visual AIDS present RECORD TIME, a free evening of films and videos on August 8, curated by Carmel Curtis and LeeroyKun Young Kang.
The program includes SOMETHING FIERCE (1989)—Greg Bordowitz and Jean Carlomusto’s video for Gay Men’s Health Crisis—Colin Campbell’s SKIN (1990), NguyenTan Hoang’s K.I.P. (2002), Hayat Hyatt’s VILLANELLE (2015), Tran T. Kim-Trang’s KORE (1994), Barbara Hammer’s VITAL SIGNS (1991), and Jim Hubbard’s THE DANCE (1992).
Long before her international fame as editor-in-chief of Vogue in the sixties and the “Empress of Fashion” at the Met’s Costume Institute in the seventies and eighties, Diana Vreeland was a legend in Manhattan creative circles. As Harper’s Bazaar‘s fashion editor, she was the inspiration for Allison Du Bois in the KurtWeill-Ira Gershwin-Moss Hart musical Lady in the Dark (1941). And Kay Thompson played Maggie Prescott, a version of Vreeland, in the dazzling Paramount musical FUNNY FACE (1957, directed by Stanley Donen).
Upon discovering Jo Stockton (Audrey Hepburn), a lovely, philosophical clerk in a Greenwich Village bookstore, Prescott and photographer Dick Avery (Fred Astaire, in a role based on Richard Avedon) sweep Jo uptown for a test shoot. Maggie orders her office minions to chop off Jo’s hair and paint her with a “marvelous mouth.” Jo resists, but gives in once she realizes her new modeling gig comes with a paid trip to Paris, home of Jean-Paul Sartre.
This weekend, as part of its series Runaway Hollywood—Global Production in a PostwarWorld, the UCLA Film and Television Archive will screen FUNNY FACE, followed by the black-and-white Paul Newman-Sidney Poitier vehicle PARIS BLUES (1961, directed by Martin Ritt). The story of two American jazz musicians in Paris, the tourists they fall for (Joanne Woodward and Diahann Carroll), and the Latin Quarter dives at the center of their expat scene, PARIS BLUES features a score composed by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.
From top: Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face; Kay Thompson performing the “Think Pink” number; Thompson, Fred Astaire, and Hepburn after wrapping up “Bonjour, Paris!”; Verve album cover; Diahann Carroll and Sidney Poitier in Paris Blues; Joanne Woodward and PaulNewman; Louis Armstrong (left), Poitier, and Newman on set.