Two new documentaries show how acting affects different types of personalities. One focuses on an unusual group of Chinese students involved in a musical theatre project in Hong Kong. The other pays tribute to one of the greatest talents (and egos) in the history of film and theatre.
Today marks the 73rd anniversary of The Battle of Los Angeles, also known as The Great LA Air Raid, one of the most mysterious incidents of World War II -- and one of the most colorful tales in all of UFO lore. It's also a tale we couldn't resist turning into a movie.
The Hotel Florida, like the mythical Hotel California in the song by The Eagles, is one of those places where "you can check in but you can never leave." Or so it seemed for the foreigners who used it as their home base in Madrid during the Spanish Civil War.
Was Alejandro Jodorowsky's Dune, "the greatest movie never made?" The South African director Richard Stanley makes that claim in Frank Pavich's documentary about the ill fated project, currently playing at Film Forum.
I've argued that the rise of high-profile Kickstarter campaigns is already shifting the paradigm of how movies are funded, and that's probably a good thing. But with filmmakers getting financing directly from their fans, won't the Hollywood studios lose their raison d'etre?
I've got paintings of redheads on my walls and seek out gifts and cards with photos and drawings of those luscious locks. So naturally, I took notice when I saw the ad on the back of an LA city bus -- a fetching, red-haired woman named Tanna Frederick was starring in a play called The Rainmaker.
Every 10 years, leading film critics around the world choose a list of top films. While the Top 10 changes, one thing has long remained unchanged: Citizen Kane is the greatest film ever. But The Godfather is doing some creeping of its own.
Marc Blitzstein's musical DNA -- strict adherence to economy of means, a passion for combining words and music, the belief that music can promote social justice, an abhorrence of pretension -- are woven inextricably into the music I compose.