Tag Archives: Laemmle Playhouse 7

HALSTON

Nearly thirty years after his death, Halston—the master of American minimalism and fashion’s greatest cautionary tale—has finally received a documentary worthy of his contributions. Unlike the designs of its subject, the film is somewhat padded with yards of unnecessary material. But this should not deter its intended audience from enjoying the ensemble.

Directed by Frédéric Tcheng—the filmmaker behind documentaries about Raf Simons (Dior and I) and Diana Vreeland (The Eye Has to Travel)—HALSTON hits an early peak when, one after another, his core house models—dismissively labeled “Halstonettes” by Loulou de la Falaise—testify to the talent of the man who could throw a bolt of fabric onto the showroom floor and, within minutes, create the basis of a couture gown:

“[Wearing a Halston dress imparted] elegance and ease. A sense of owning power without being masculine. And honoring the body you have.” — Alva Chinn

“You were free inside his clothes.” — Karen Bjornson

“He took away the cage. You didn’t really need the structure as much as you needed the woman. He really based most of his collections on us girls.” — Pat Cleveland

So where did it all go wrong? Cocaine and Studio 54 may have started the slide—and in the film, jewelry designer and Halston confidante Else Peretti gives a hilarious digression on mind-altering substances and their use:

“We worked all night… we didn’t get high… yes, we smoked, but no hard drugs… well, maybe a little coke…”

Because when you’re working all night…

But the man who introduced Halston to Studio 54, illustrator Joe Eula, traces the designer’s fall to the delusions of grandeur that set in after the move to the Olympic Tower studio, with its lofty, across-the-street view of St. Patrick’s spires.

The irascible, amphetamine-dependent fashion genius Charles James, who briefly worked with Halston Limited, was—typically—incendiary:

“Halston is a middle-of-the-road man who’d be better as a buyer in a store, or a stylist. He knows how to select good things to copy. But his passion is to put his name on it, for which action the word ‘plagiarism’ is correct.”

In the film, Fred Rottman, a workroom supervisor at Halston, is quick to deflect:

“Halston didn’t copy. He took concepts of Charles James’ and relaxed them.”

Halston’s era—the 1970s and early ’80s—was the time of out-of-control franchising. A designer sold his name to and sometimes designed for an array of manufacturers, slapping the cachet of his or her moniker on, yes, perfume and handbags, but also bedsheets, luggage, rugs, car interiors, and—in Halston’s case—uniforms for Braniff Airlines and the Girl Scouts of America.

This obsession to design everything for everyone, trading “class” for “mass,” led to the sale of his company to a conglomerate—a subject the film spends far too much time on. Suffice to say, Halston lost his judgment: How could he imagine that Bergdorf Goodman would want to carry a brand that was also hanging on the racks at J.C. Penney?

The film includes interviews with the designer’s friends Liza Minnelli, Bob Colacello, Marisa Berenson, Iman, Joel Schumacher, Naeem Khan, and his niece Lesley Frowick.

HALSTON

Through Thursday, June 6.

Nuart Theatre

11272 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Los Angeles.

The director will participate in post-screening Q & A’s after the 7 pm shows on Friday and Saturday, May 31 and June 1.

On June 7, HALSTON will open at the Monica Film Center in Santa Monica, the Playhouse 7 in Pasadena, and the Town Center 5 in Encino.

From top: Halston at work in his Olympic Tower studio; Halston in the 1960s, photograph © Jean Barthet; the designer with Anjelica Huston—a frequent model for the house—and Liza Minnelli, photographs by Berry Berenson (2); U.S. poster; Halston in 1973 at 33 East 68th Street, New York City, photograph © estate of Charles Tracy. Images courtesy CNN Films and 1091 Media.

IF THE DANCER DANCES

“The beauty of dance… is that it gets passed from one body, one soul, to another. There’s something so beautiful, so precious about that. It comes out of the body, it goes into the air, and then it disappears.” — Stephen Petronio

In the afterglow of the Merce Cunningham—Night of 100 Solos events, the immersive new documentary IF THE DANCER DANCES tells a different Cunningham story: the 2015 restaging of the choreographer’s RainForest by the Stephen Petronio Company.

The sexual quality and hint of narrative in this 1968 dance—with music by David Tudor, costumes by Jasper Johns, and décor by Andy Warhol (the silver, helium-filled pillows)—create an atmosphere distinct from almost every other Cunningham work. The challenge for the stagers—and Cunningham company veterans—Andrea Weber, Meg Harper, and Rashaun Mitchell is replacing the continuous-movement ethos of the Petronio dancers with Cunningham’s non-momentum aesthetic. As the film demonstrates, how to do this is perhaps a subject of dispute:

“The focus needs to be exactly on what you’re doing, and not on an image of anything.” — Meg Harper

RainForest… transcended pure movement… [The dancers] need to hear images that might help them.” — Gus Solomons, Jr., Cunningham company veteran

IF THE DANCER DANCES—directed by Lise Friedman and Maia Wechsler—mixes extensive performance and interview footage of Petronio’s dancers and their teachers with scenes of Cunningham rehearsals from the 1960s. This essential document of modern dance making and Cunningham’s philosophy and practice is playing around town through May 9.

IF THE DANCER DANCES

Through May 9.

Q & A with former Cunningham dancers following 3 pm show on May 4.

Music Hall

9036 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills.

.

Monday and Tuesday, May 6 and 7.

Q & A with former Cunningham dancers following 7:30 pm show on May 6.

Royal

11523 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Los Angeles.

Playhouse 7

673 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena.

From top: Nicholas Sciscione and Davalois Fearon in If the Dancer Dances, performing Merce Cunningham ‘s RainForest; Jaqlin Medlock and Sciscione rehearsing RainForest; Meg Harper (center) with Fearon in rehearsal, Gino Grenek behind Foster; Stephen Petronio Company, Grenek, Fearon, and Sciscione, RainForest performance, Joyce Theater, April 2015, photograph by Yi-Chun Wu, image © 2015 and courtesy the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, and the photographer; Stephen Petronio. Film stills courtesy of Monument Releasing. Below: Merce Cunningham in RainForest, 1968, photograph by Martha Keller, courtesy of the Merce Cunningham Trust.

HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING

“I’ve believed that straying from structured acts of seeing can produce the strongest connection with an audience.” — RaMell Ross

HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING—a lyrical, experimental documentation of lives in a small Alabama community, directed by RaMell Ross—will screen this week at the Downtown Independent.

Following the film, Ross and Jheanelle Brown, co-curator of Black Radical Imagination, will discuss the writer-director’s work.

Ross will also present the film at the Hammer Museum and the Aero in early 2019

HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING

Wednesday, February 6, at 7:30

Aero Theatre

1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica.

Tuesday, January 8, at 7:30.

Billy Wilder Theater, Hammer Museum

10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood, Los Angeles.

Thursday, September 20, at 7 pm.

Downtown Independent

251 South Main Street, Los Angeles.

Through Thursday, September 27

Playhouse

673 Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena.

Monica Film Center

1332 2nd Street, Santa Monica.

Hale County This Morning, This Evening (2018). Image credit: Idiom Film.

BARRY LYNDON

Image result for marisa berenson barry lyndon

Misunderstood in Great Britain and the States at the time of its release, BARRY LYNDON (1975) has always been appreciated by Europeans as a work of great beauty, director Stanley Kubrick’s journey into a Visconti-like wonderland.

In the film, Lord Bullingdon is played by Leon Vitali, who quit acting to become Kubrick’s right-hand man. Vitali is the subject of Tony Zierra’s new documentary FILMWORKER.

 

BARRY LYNDON, Saturday, May 19, at 11 am.

FILMWORKER, through May 24.

NUART THEATRE, 11272 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Los Angeles.

landmarktheatres.com/barry-lyndon

landmarktheatres.com/nuart-theatre/filmworker

FILMWORKER, May 25 through May 31.

LAEMMLE PLAYHOUSE, 673 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena.

LAEMMLE FINE ARTS, 8556 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills.

laemmle.com/film

See: dazeddigital.com/why-barry-lyndon-is-stanley-kubricks-masterpiece

Above: Ryan O’Neal and Marisa Berenson in Barry Lyndon.

Below: Berenson.

Related image

Marisa_Berenson_and_Ryan_O'Neal_in_Barry_Lyndon

barry-lyndon-peinado

CLAIRE DENIS’ SUNSHINE

DOSqOjPVQAAn_5K

LET THE SUNSHINE IN—the brilliant new film from Claire Denis that is not, contrary to reports, based on Barthes’ Fragments d’un discours amoureux—has been held over by Laemmle until June 21.

LET THE SUNSHINE IN

June 15 through June 21.

Monica Film Center

1332 2nd Street, Santa Monica.

 

Through June 14:

Royal

11523 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Los Angeles.

 

Through June 7:

Playhouse

673 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena.

 

Through May 31:

Town Center

17200 Ventura Boulevard, Encino.

Juliette Binoche (below with Nicolas Duvauchelle) in Let the Sunshine In.