Art in L.A.—Part 2

Since there’s more to L.A. and Hollywood than the movie industry …

The Geffen Museum down in L.A.’s Japantown used to be known as the Temporary Contemporary, back when the idea of a new museum of modern art—you know, the kind San Francisco and San Jose need desperately—had neither finances or a structure. Now [...]

Seinfeld reference strikes again

I swore I wasn’t going to keep track of any more “life imitates Seinfeld” moments, but I can’t help myself. A follower of this blog alerted me to a prime example. In the ongoing farce-trial in Oakland of Hans Reiser, accused of murdering his wife, the prosecution got the defendant to admit [...]

Let’s Look at Paintings in L.A.!

Before going over the roster of my six-day, five-museum trip to L.A., I’d like to plug Dave’s Chillin and Grillin. It’s easy to say, “I’ll never go to Eagle Rock!” Friends, even Barack Obama ended up in Eagle [...]

Sarah Marshall, I Hate Your Billboard

Sarah Marshall, 32, whose street name is “Speed Queen,” was once a member of her high school debate team back in Van Buren, Ind. That was before the voices in her head started to talk to her. She roams the streets at night looking for half-finished fast food, and bottles and cans she can return [...]

Point Break Washes Up Onstage in Bay Area

Go ahead and laugh—many have. But Kathryn Bigelow’s 1991 surf-and-robbery thriller Point Break is one of the most purely entertaining movies ever made. In addition to being Patrick Swayze’s greatest role (even better than Road House in the pantheon of Swayzedom), as Bodhi, the wave-riding criminal mastermind; in addition to the great novelty [...]

Last member of the Mighty Marvel Marching Society dies, age 97

Haunting YouTube, I haven’t found the actual video for the Iron Man song circa 1966. In those days, a (highly) limited animation of some of the Marvel Universe characters was broadcast to tragic kids who didn’t realize how shoddy it was. We were dazzled. Even though the famous “Spider-Man” song (c. 1967) appears in the [...]

L.A. Dreaming

I’m heading south to the land of my birth, like those diseased looking pinkish-green salmon in the last reel of a nature doc. I’m probably operating out of Pasadena, because I know a clean motel that’s under $80 (the Best Western Pasadena Inn: a coveted 90 percent rating on!). Longtime Los Angeleans will attest [...]

Black History Minute

While writing this listing for the indie horror flick The Signal on Metroactive’s movie reviews index page, I snuck in a jab at VH1:

This horror flick is about strange broadcasts that drive viewers insane. Yeah, too many VH1 marathons of ‘I Love New York’ and ‘Flavor of Love’ will do that to you. Oh and [...]

Election Ads—Old School

I’ve been avoiding campaign ads for the sake of my mental health, but I did run across an amazing political artifact in the fascinating new DVD collection Saved From the Flames (Flicker Alley). This compilation of nitrate-stock oddities includes Hell-Bent for Election, a 12-minute pro-FDR cartoon from 1944, animated by none other than Chuck Jones [...]

Nobody Expects the Spanish Inquisition—except the Bush Adminstration

Monty Python once riffed on the catchphrase “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.” What was funny on the Flying Circus doesn’t seem so amusing after Steven G. Bradbury, who serves in an acting capacity in the Office of Legal Counsel for the Justice Department, testified before Congress about how the administration keeps tabs on “rough interrogation” [...]