Category Archives: Movies

Win Tickets to Pina 3D at the Downtown Independent

Winners have been selected and notified via email. Thank you for your comments!

It’s hard to remember when I was last affected by a film as much as I have been by Wim Wenders’ Academy Award nominated 3D documentary Pina. I’ve seen it in the theater three times and love it more each time.

PINA is a feature-length dance film in 3D with the ensemble of the Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch, featuring the unique and inspiring art of the great German choreographer, who died in the summer of 2009.

PINA is a film for Pina Bausch by Wim Wenders.

He takes the audience on a sensual, visually stunning journey of discovery into a new dimension: straight onto the stage with the legendary Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch ensemble, he follows the dancers out of the theatre into the city and the surrounding areas of Wuppertal – the place, which for 35 years was the home and centre for Pina Bausch’s creativity.

Pina is going to being showing at the fabulous Downtown Independent starting Friday, March 2nd through Thursday, March 8th. Blogging LA has FIVE (5) PAIRS OF TICKETS TO GIVE AWAY TO THE SCREENING OF YOUR CHOICE AT THE DOWNTOWN INDEPENDENT.

Leave a comment by 12pm on Thursday, March 1st stating why you would like to see Pina. Five winners will be selected and notified by email.


Mapgasm: The Stars In 1937’s Hollywood Galaxy

If I’m getting redundant in my topics — maps, cycling, birds, maps — file your complaint with the other contributors here who have far better things to do than post. In the meantime, I just keep plugging away in this lonely place — this time with another historic map from Big Map Blog — and  just in time for that local trade association’s annual function known as the Academy Awards this Sunday. If I were giving out the Oscars, Big Map Blog would get one for bringing all us little people out there in the dark this awesome and timely 1937 addition to its collection of cartrography: Hollywood Starland, at right (moderately embiggenable if clicked).

Sure the artist misspells Katharine Hepburn’s name, and strangely enough the then 14-year-old Hollywoodland sign isn’t anywhere to be found. But don’t let those oversights keep you from clicking on over and marveling at the full-size version of this otherwise meticulously glorious representation of a bygone era in celebrity worship so bitingly chronicled just a couple years later in Nathanael West’s “Day of the Locust.”


Jewmas Movie Pick: Battle Royale

As I’ve mentioned here in the past, it’s a fine tradition of my people to celebrate the 25th of December with Chinese food and a movie. This year, I’ll be in Tucson, but were I in LA, I’d be at Cinefamily washing down the General Tsao’s chicken with a big heaping glass of Japanese teenager bloodlust. Yes, that’s right, Battle Royale is screening at the Cinefamily December 24 through January 2, in what is, apparently, its first ever North American theatrical run.



This Weekend: Inaugural LA EigaFest

It somehow didn’t hit my radar until just now, but this weekend the Japan Film Society is hosting its first-ever LA EigaFest. The films will screen at the Chinese Theaters, kicking off Friday night with the West Coast premiere of Milocrorze: A Love Story (which looks like it’s going to be amazing) and closing out on Sunday with a 2011 remake of the Japanese classic, Hara-Kiri. If you don’t already have plans for the weekend, this looks like a lot of fun. I’m going to try to make it to at least one screening if I can.

An Ode to Rocket Video

Courtesy communicatrix via the Blogging LA Flickr pool.

Rocket Video, the independent video store on La Brea, closed at the end of September after three decades of supplying esoteric and hard-to-find films to amateur and professional film buffs alike.  The reasons probably are obvious – the Amazon of independent video shops, Netflix, ate up a huge chunk of its customers, plus the shitty economy – so, in a way, it’s a little surprising that it managed to survive as long as it did.  Manager Jeffrey Miller penned a lovely tribute to his store over on Zocalo, recalling a few fond memories about his great customers:

My favorite was Faye Dunaway. Certainly, she could be a little demanding. The first time I encountered her, she bounded through the doors of the store and yelled, “Quick, I need Reservoir Dogs right now! I’m double parked on La Brea!” Another time, when we called to tell her a certain title had come in, she was livid. “What are you doing calling me?” she yelled into the receiver. “I am trying to write! Don’t you know I have to answer my own phone?”

Continue reading An Ode to Rocket Video

“North By Northwest” and other Movies on Deck at Santa Monica Place

Dining Deck
The Dining Deck at Santa Monica Place

Now through October 26, Santa Monica Place is screening classic “Movies on the Deck” on Wednesday nights outside on the upper dining level. Of particular interest next Wednesday night, Oct. 5, Sixties sex bomb Dyan Cannon, who has a new book out about her life with former husband Cary Grant, will make an appearance in connection with the screening of “North By Northwest”, one of Grant’s (or anyone’s) best.

The shows start at 7 p.m. Bring your beach chairs, food, & beverages, or take out from one of the many eateries at the Place. And don’t forget those layers — due to the proximity to the beach and the time of year, it may be like Hollywood Forever/Cinespia, only chillier.

Win Tickets to See Cane Toads: The Conquest in 3-D!


You have a  chance to win 2 tickets to a rare screening tomorrow, September 18th, of Cane Toads: The Conquest, a 3-D documentary by Mark Lewis. The director, whose previous works include Cane Toads: An Unnatural History and The Natural History of the Chicken, is known for his irreverence and humor. Not only is this film highly entertaining, but it is also Australia’s first digital 3D feature film.

Leave a comment by midnight tonight if you would to win tickets. Winner will be notified by email early Sunday morning. Click here for more information about the screening.

LA3DClub presents Cane Toads: The Conquest
Sunday, September 18th, 2011 at 2pm
Downtown Independent Theater
251 S. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90012


No Budget Film Festival Tonight


Heads up: Tonight is the No Budget Film Festival, a nifty experiment in which filmmakers are challenged to make a movie without a budget.  Literally – these aren’t movies made on a shoestring budget; these are made without the shoestrings, period.  Filmmakers only could rely on things they already had, things they could borrow, or things that were donated.

Out of the 50 or so films that were entered in the festival, 15 were chosen for tonight’s screening at the Downtown Independent. And, of course, there will be prizes: the Critic’s Choice Award, as well as the Audience Choice Award, chosen by you, truly.

Tickets are $10 online and $15 at the door.

I’ve Seen “Blade Runner” Remakes You People Wouldn’t Believe

The number of versions of “Blade Runner“, which had already jumped the shark, has now jumped the Loch Ness Monster: director Ridley Scott plans to make yet another “Blade Runner” movie. It is not yet known whether the new “Blade Runner” will be a sequel, prequel, reboot, or otherwise. Either way, what can Angelenos expect if the new “Blade Runner” is again set in Los Angeles?
Continue reading I’ve Seen “Blade Runner” Remakes You People Wouldn’t Believe

Locals Only – Shorts Showcase at the Egyptian

art from goldstar site

We Angelenos are certainly no strangers to the old saw about everyone in LA having a screenplay they are working on or trying to sell, but here at Blogging.LA we know that’s not true. The city’s waitstaff don’t have screenplays, because they’re waiting for their big acting break.

But LA is not a city where everyone is simply waiting for something big to happen; some folks are out there really doing it. To wit: the Egyptian is showcasing some local talent next Wednesday night with a screening of short films by LA filmmakers. According to the theater’s website, there will be nine short films screened, followed by a discussion with the filmmakers.

What: Locals Only! Showcase of Short Films
Where: Egyptian Theater, Hollywood
When: Wednesday, July 13th, 7:30pm

Goldstar has tickets here.

A “Blade Runner” Video to Un-Jade the Jaded

“Blade Runner” is, for Angelenos, part of our cinematic DNA. It envisions a dystopic future Los Angeles that borrows from the past but, to some, it disturbingly resembles the present. However, I suspect that more than a few Angelenos are jaded by the repeated “Blade Runner” viewings and the comical number of versions that have been released, especially the “Blade Runner For Dummies” narration of the original U.S. theatrical release. As one such Angeleno, I was mesmerized upon discovering the above video showing the real-life “Blade Runner” filming locations matched shot-for-shot with their depictions in the movie.
Continue reading A “Blade Runner” Video to Un-Jade the Jaded

Summer time is drive-in movie time!

I love going to a movie at a drive-in theatre:  it’s one of my top ten summertime things to do.  This is partly due to a bit of a nostalgia factor – my mom would occasionally bundle my sisters and I up in the car when we were kids and take us to see movie at the drive-in, and we were allowed to wear our pyjamas, which was awesome.  But it’s also because I am both incredibly snarky and unfailingly polite, which is something that can cause a great deal of inner turmoil at a conventional movie theatre:  my inner snark demands that I point out, with glee, all of the ridiculousness and inaccuracies in every summer blockbuster that I see.  However, my inner Miss Manners demands that I hold myself back lest I ruin the movie-going experience of my fellow cinephiles.  The drive-in, therefore, is the perfect place to go see a ridiculous, inaccurate (but still fun, don’t get me wrong!) summer blockbuster:  I can be as snarky as I want, in the comfort of my own car, and only the (equally snarky) friends who are with me need to hear it.  Thank you, drive in movie theatres, for being the solution to very trivial problems!

If you’ve never been to a drive-in theatre (and I’m always surprised at how many people haven’t!) you should go.  There are a few good drive-ins around LA to choose from.  Last week, I caught Pirates 4 at the Mission Tiki Drive-In near Pomona, which has a fabulously decked-out retro tiki snack bar.  There’s also the Vineland Drive-In in City of Industry.  Devil’s Night Drive In takes place once a month in Downtown LA, on the 2nd floor roof parking lot at 240 W. 4th Street, and they have carhops to serve you food!

Sadly, most of the other drive-ins in LA county are shuttered (the LA county page on is almost like a tragic graveyard of abandoned drive in sites) but there are a few left somewhat further afield – Riverside has both the Rubidoux and the Van Buren.  And the Southern California Drive-In Movie Society is doing what they can to keep people interested and drive-ins open.

Photo by Kenneth Adam.