Tag Archives: Laemmle Town Center 5

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 a 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.

See HALSTON, edited by Steven Bluttal, essays by Patricia Mears (New York: Phaidon, 2001).

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.

CLAIRE DENIS’ SUNSHINE

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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.

BAUMBACH’S STORIES

Elvis Mitchell: “You’ve made a film where art has replaced religion… The artist, played by Dustin Hoffman, feels patronized by the world. [Through his dialogue] he’s a narcissist writing history as it happens, as if no one around him is living it at the same time.”

Noah Baumbach: “Dustin told me that his lines were hard to remember because they referenced nothing external, but were all self-referential self-assessments… The best compliment I ever got was from Mike Nichols…”

Mitchell: “Well… ” [laughs]

Baumbach: “Nichols said, ‘You realize how embarrassed we all are.’ ”

(Conversation from the October 12 LACMA screening of Baumbach’s THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES (NEW AND SELECTED), which was followed by a Q & A with Mitchell, curator of Film Independent at the museum.)

Embarrassment—recognized and shared—is always a delight in a room full of fellow movie-goers watching a new comedy by Noah Baumbach. And while Baumbach is happy for his current Netflix association, he’d prefer that you see his work in a cinema.

 

THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES (NEW AND SELECTED), through October 26.

LANDMARK, 10850 West Pico Boulevard, Rancho Park, Los Angeles.

landmarktheatres.com/los-angeles/the-landmark/film-info/the-meyerowitz-stories

LAEMMLE NOHO, 5240 Lankershim Boulevard, North Hollywood.

laemmle.com/films/42922

Opening Friday, October 27:

LAEMMLE MONICA FILM CENTER, 1332 2nd Street, Santa Monica.

TOWN CENTER, 17200 Ventura Boulevard, Encino.

THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES (NEW AND SELECTED), now streaming on Netflix.

netflix.com/title/80174434

Noah Baumbach (left) and Elvis Mitchell at LACMA, October 12, 2017. Image courtesy of WireImage and Film Independent.

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DALIDA

A star was born last spring at the COLCOA screening of DALIDA, a sweeping, big-screen biopic in the manner of Love Me or Leave MeLady Sings the Blues, and I’ll Cry Tomorrow. This week, Angelenos can see what the fuss was about in a series of Monday night screenings, courtesy of Laemmle.

In the title role, Sveva Alviti pulls out all the stops as the towering, tragic international chanteuse Dalida, climbing the charts while unsuccessfully navigating perfidious showbiz, bad marriage choices, and an irreversible spiral of despair.

 

DALIDA, Monday, October 23, at 7:30 pm.

LAEMMLE ROYAL, 11523 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Los Angeles.

LAEMMLE PLAYHOUSE, 673 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena.

LAEMMLE TOWN CENTER, 17200 Ventura Boulevard, Encino.

LAEMMLE CLAREMONT, 450 West 2nd Street, Claremont.

laemmle.com/films/42735

 

DALIDA is also the opening night feature at this year’s ARPA International Film Festival in Hollywood.

Friday, November 3, at 8 pm.

EGYPTIAN THEATRE, 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles.

arpafilmfestival.com/

 

DALIDA, video on demand, from December 5. All platforms.

Sveva Alviti and Nicolas Duvauchelle in Dalida (2017). Image credit: Under The Milky Way.

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KOGONADA’S COLUMBUS

To the list of modernist structures that have become cinematic characters in their own right—Casa Malaparte in Godard’s Le MéprisVilla Necchi Campiglio in Luca Guadagnino’s Io sono l’amore—add the libraries, office buildings, churches, banks, and private homes designed by Eero Saarinen, Eliel Saarinen, Myron Goldsmith, Deborah Berke, James Stewart Polshek, and Edward Bassett that provide sanctuary for damaged souls and stand sentry against superfluity in the new film COLUMBUS.

Written and directed by Kogonada, and set in Columbus, Indiana—a modernist Oz 230 miles south-southeast of Chicago—COLUMBUS centers on Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), a recent high-school graduate in her gap year (or two, or three), attuned to her city’s masterpieces, and grateful for the sense of order imposed by her surroundings. Her new friend Jin (John Cho), a new arrival, is the son of a visiting, and recently stricken, architect. At one point, Casey mentions to Jin that a building they’re walking toward is “asymmetrical, but also still balanced.” She could be describing herself.

The film takes the form of Modernism itself: spare, mysterious, inspiring contemplation, at times deliberately elliptical—but richly rewarding for viewers willing to stop and look and listen.

COLUMBUS, September 29 through October 5.

MUSIC HALL, 9036 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills.

Through September 7.

PLAYHOUSE, 673 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena.

Through August 31.

LANDMARK, 10850 West Pico Boulevard, Rancho Park, Los Angeles.

MONICA FILM CENTER, 1332 2nd Street, Santa Monica.

Through August 24.

TOWN CENTER, 17200 Ventura Boulevard, Encino.

laemmle.com/films/42766

landmarktheatres.com/los-angeles/film-info/columbus

COLUMBUS, through August 10.

Kogonada will participate in a Q&A after the 5 pm and 7:30 pm shows on Sunday, August 6.

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

landmarktheatres.com/los-angeles/nuart-theatre/film-info/columbus

Also see:  landmarktheatres.com/columbus-filmmaker-letter

and:  kogonada.com

Bottom: Miller House, Eero Saarinen, 1953. Interior design by Alexander Girard. Garden design by Dan Kiley.

Image credit: Indianapolis Museum of Art.

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