Category: Film

'Glee's' Lea Michele could star in 'Spring Awakening' movie

February 10, 2012 |  7:22 am

Lea Michele could be tapped to star in the film adaptation of “Spring Awakening.”

Lea Michele could get her stage-to-screen wish. The "Glee" star, who was up for a part in the soon-to-come movie musical "Les Miserables" (she played young Cosette on Broadway), could be tapped to star in the film adaptation of "Spring Awakening."

Michele originated the female lead of Wendla in the Tony-winning Broadway musical, and director McG (Joseph McGinty Nichol) says he's in talks with Michele to reprise her role on screen, if her "Glee" schedule allows.

"I love Lea; we've talked about it," McG told E! Online. "When I first got turned on to the show, she was in it, so it's her voice that echoes in my heart. I really think she's wonderful, and we'll see where it takes us."

The rock-style show is based on Frank Wedekind's 1981 German play of the same name, which follows a group of teenagers as they deal with abortion, homosexuality, child abuse and suicide.

Doesn't sound far off from a Ryan Murphy script, minus the slushies, of course.

ALSO:

Moby is leaking L.A.'s secrets on his new architecture blog

Theater review: "Old Wicked Songs" at the Colony Theatre

Ai Weiwei and Herzog & de Meuron to build Serpentine pavilion

-- Jamie Wetherbe

Photo: Lea Michele arrives at the premiere of the movie "New Year's Eve" in December. Credit: Jason Merritt / Getty images

Arts on TV: 'Smash'; Michael Feinstein; making of 'The Artist'

February 9, 2012 |  6:00 am

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“Smash”
Midnight, Thursday Bravo; G4; Oxygen; Style; midnight Thursday/Friday USA; and 12:30 a.m., Thursday/Friday  E!; 10 p.m., Saturday NBC: A replay of the pilot episode: Successful writers Julia and Tom team up with producer Eileen to create a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe; Ivy, a seasoned chorus singer, competes with a new actress, Karen, for the starring role. 

“Michael Feinstein's American Songbook” 9 p.m., Friday KOCE: Lost and Found: An undocumented song is located; unpublished song by composer Jerry Herman.

“Michael Feinstein's American Songbook” 10 p.m., Friday KOCE: Best Band in the Land: Popular songs promote patriotism during World War II; history of big bands of the 1940s, USO shows, V-disks, and war-bond rallies.

“Movie: Brooklyn Boheme” (2011) 10:30 a.m., Saturday Showtime: Historian Nelson George paints a portrait of the black arts movement that exploded in Fort Greene from the mid-1980s through the '90s.

“Soul Mates: Dr. Maya Angelou & Common” 11 a.m. and 11 p.m., Sunday BET: Hip-hop artist Common; Angelou honored by President Obama.

“The Artist: The Making of a Hollywood Love Story” 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., Sunday NBC: The story behind the love letter to film fans.

“Land of the Dragon” 3:30 p.m., Sunday KCET: Architecture of China : Modern skyscrapers stand next to preserved buildings that are hundreds of years old. (Part 1 of 2)

 “Real Life 101” 4:30 p.m., Sunday KCAL: The Salvador Dalí museum in St. Petersburg, Fla. 

“Good Evening Ev'rybody: In Celebration of Louis Armstrong” 7 p.m., Sunday KVCR: At the 1970 Newport Jazz Festival, legendary musician Satchmo performs songs that include “What a Wonderful World” and “Hello, Dolly.”

“BET Honors 2012” 9 p.m., Monday and 10 p.m., Wednesday BET: At the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., Maya Angelou, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Spike Lee, the Tuskegee Airmen, Beverly Kearney receive honors for contributions to their respective fields; host Gabrielle Union.

Smash10 p.m., Monday  NBC: “Callbacks” Ivy and Karen work to please the director as they pursue their dream role; Julia and Frank struggle with the adoption process; Eileen works to finance the musical.

ALSO:

'Clybourne Park' will move from Taper to Broadway after all

L.A. Philharmonic 2012-13: John Adams, 'Wild Things,' 'Angels in America'

Should replicas of destroyed sculptures be in a museum show?

-- Compiled by Ed Stockly

Photo: Maya Angelou. Credit: Jose Luis Magana /Associated Press

Clint Eastwood makes the Smithsonian's day

February 2, 2012 |  7:05 am

  Eastwood

Clint Eastwood made the Smithsonian Institution's day by paying a visit to the National Museum of American History in Washington to help inaugurate a new screening room dedicated to presenting the history of Hollywood.

The screening room bears the name of Warner Bros., which donated $5 million to the Smithsonian for the creation of the facility. Eastwood has had a long professional association with Warner Bros., having directed most of his movies for the studio.

On Wednesday, Eastwood joined Warner Bros. CEO Barry Meyer and Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who is a member of the Smithsonian Board of Regents, for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the museum.

The intimate screening room, with a seating capacity of 264, is actually a renovation of an existing auditorium at the museum, outfitted with new technology such as digital 3-D projection.

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Taylor Swift won't be in movie version of 'Les Miserables'

February 1, 2012 |  7:52 am

 

Taylor Swift has lost out on the role of the tragic Eponine in the all-star movie version of "Les Miserables"

Taylor Swift might be golden when it comes to selling her music and winning trophies, but the popular country singer has lost out on the role of the tragic Eponine in the all-star movie version of "Les Miserables."

Swift lost the role to British actress Samantha Barks. Others who were reportedly considered for the part included Lea Michele, Evan Rachel Wood and Scarlett Johansson.

Cameron Mackintosh, the producer of the original stage and upcoming film version of "Les Miz," announced the news Tuesday evening at a theater in London where Barks was performing in "Oliver!"

Barks became known through Mackintosh's talent TV show, "I'll Do Anything," which aired in Britain and the United States. She finished third in the reality-show competition, which cast the role of Nancy for Mackintosh's stage production of "Oliver!"

The official "Les Miserables" Twitter account followed up Mackintosh's announcement with this tweet: "Big news: @SamanthaBarks will be Eponine in the Mis film! Mr Mackintosh knows how to pull off a coup de theatre, eh?"

Barks followed up with this tweet: "Words cannot express how much I appreciate all the amazing support I have received from everyone! I haven't stopped smiling!! :) :)"

Tom Hooper is set to direct the film. Already announced in the cast: Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, Russell Crowe as Javert, Sacha Baron Cohen as Thenardier, Eddie Redmayne as Marius, Aaron Tveit as Enjolras, Amanda Seyfried as Cosette, Anne Hathaway as Fantine and Helena Bonham Carter as Madame Thenardier. 

ALSO:

Cast of "Les Miserables" parodies Jay-Z and Alicia Keys

Mark Taper Forum's 'Clybourne Park' Broadway run derailed

Frank Gehry is working for free as architect of new Jazz Bakery

-- Sherry Stern

twitter.com/sherrystern

[For the record.: An early version of this story misspelled Samantha Barks.]

Photo: Taylor Swift. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Ai Weiwei documentary gets middle-finger salute at Sundance

January 30, 2012 |  7:19 am

Ai Weiwei made a specialty of photographing his own middle finger in front of national monuments around the world. Audiences at Sundance saluted the Chinese artist with their own raised middle fingers over the weekend

When filmmaker Alison Klayman accepted a Sundance Film Festival award over the weekend for her documentary "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry," she asked everyone in the room to raise their middle fingers in salute to the Chinese artist whose online activism has repeatedly gotten him into trouble with Beijing authorities.

Why middle fingers, you may ask? The impolite gesture is a reference to Ai's photographic series known as "Finger," in which he brandishes his middle digit in front of famous national monuments and structures around the world, including the White House, the Eiffel Tower and Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

The middle finger has become a kind of artistic calling card for Ai -- a playfully rude symbol that encapsulates the artist's jovial and rebellious spirit.

Continue reading »

Before 'Pina': Memorable moments in dance on film [Video]

January 28, 2012 | 10:30 am

Pina

I once asked Alvin Ailey about a particularly unfortunate video shoot and he shrugged, saying that directors who can get the financing for dance projects aren’t always the ones who can do right by the artists involved. Wim Wenders’ "Pina" is an exception. It arguably provides a limited view of Pina Bausch’s importance as a groundbreaking theater artist, but otherwise represents a touchstone of dance-for-camera excellence.

The wonders of 3-D---and Bausch’s innovations---get all the attention in Wenders’ interviews. But if it’s true that most academy members will see "Pina" on the 2-D discs provided them rather than at any 3-D screenings, then, obviously, his Oscar chances in the best feature-length documentary category will depend more on how brilliantly he shoots dance rather than any stereoscopic wizardry. And, for audiences, "Pina" may be most valuable in reminding us of the dimensional vision informing some of the greatest 2-D Hollywood dance films.

Read more about "Pina" and the legacy of dance on film.

Most theater choreographies work across the stage-space but the greatest film dances rotate that axis for greater immediacy. An iconic example is "Cool," a rare dance in "West Side Story" (1961) actually shot by co-director/choreographer Jerome Robbins. (He was fired midway through production.) In a sequence full of in-your-face dancepower, watch the Jets’ oh-so-menacing yet oh-so-cool confrontation with the camera in the final shot.

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Oscar nominee Christopher Plummer, 'Beginners' and LACMA

January 24, 2012 | 10:36 am

Beginners1 

Christopher Plummer, who received a supporting-actor Oscar nomination Tuesday for his role in "Beginners," is an odds-on favorite to take home the golden statuette on Feb. 26. (He's already won the Golden Globe for his performance.) For local art fans, Plummer's character should hold special significance because the actor plays a retired curator from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Plummer takes on the fictional role of Hal Fields, a 75-year-old art expert who comes out of the closet as gay, much to the surprise of his son, Oliver (Ewan McGregor). The movie follows their complicated relationship through flashbacks as Hal takes a much younger boyfriend and deals with a cancer diagnosis.

Several scenes in the movie were shot on location at LACMA. The museum said the scenes were shot over the course of one day in November 2009 in the modern art galleries at the Ahmanson Building, as well as the Balch Art Research Library.

The LACMA scenes feature a young Oliver (Keegan Boos) and his eccentric mother (Mary Page Keller) touring the museum galleries and interacting with patrons. In one scene, the mother poses in front of David Smith's "Cubi XXIII," a geometric sculpture with sharp right angles. The sculpture, which is situated near Clyfford Still's painting "1955-H," can be found at the Ahmanson Building, Room 217.

Continue reading »

Oscars 2012: 'Pina' by Wim Wenders lands documentary nomination

January 24, 2012 |  7:10 am

Pina

"Pina," the 3-D dance documentary directed by Wim Wenders, has received an Academy Award nomination for best documentary feature, it was announced Tuesday morning. The movie was also Germany's official submission for foreign film but failed to earn a nomination in that category.

"Pina" is a tribute to the late German modern-dance choreographer Pina Bausch and captures selections of her work performed by members of the Tanztheater Wuppertal, the group that she took over in 1973.

The nomination for "Pina" is shared by Wenders and producer Gian-Piero Ringel.

Bausch passed away in 2009 just before filming of the movie began. Wenders told The Times last year that he canceled the film only to revive it later the same year as a tribute to the late choreographer. Among the pieces performed in the movie are selections from "The Rite of Spring," "Vollmond," "Cafe Muller" and "Kontakthof."

The movie sets some of its dance sequences outdoors amid the industrial architecture and open landscapes of the city of Wuppertal, located in the western part of Germany.

Continue reading »

Monster Mash: Ai Weiwei film opens; Julia Roberts in 'Normal Heart'

January 23, 2012 |  7:45 am

Aiweiwei

Eagerly awaited: The new documentary on artist Ai Weiwei premiered Sunday at the Sundance Film Festival. (Los Angeles Times)

Star power: Julia Roberts has signed on to appear in the movie adaptation of Larry Kramer's "The Normal Heart." Alec Baldwin and Mark Ruffalo have also joined the cast. (Hollywood Reporter)

Stepping down: Cate Blanchett and her husband, Andrew Upton, will conclude their run as the artistic directors of the Sydney Theatre Company at the end of the 2013 season. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Back home 1: New Zealand received 20 ancestral heads of Maori ethnic people once held in several French museums as a cultural curiosity. (Associated Press)

Back home 2: Italy has returned the head of a 2,000-year-old statue that was smuggled out of Libya in the 1960s. (Associated Press)

Coming soon: The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, still reeling from last season's strike, has announced its 2012-13 season. (Detroit Free Press)

Artistic couple: Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Reynolds are expected to star in the movie "Big Eyes," a biopic of painters Margaret and Walter Keane. (Variety)

New leader: The Japanese American National Museum has appointed G.W. "Greg" Kimura as its new chief executive officer. (Los Angeles Times)

Expensive: A Stradivari cello has sold for more than $6 million. (New York Times)

Also in the L.A. Times: Music critic Mark Swed reviews the performance art programs of Pacific Standard Time; a review of Cirque du Soleil's "Ovo" at the Santa Monica Pier.

-- David Ng

Photo: Alison Klayman, center, director of the documentary "Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry,"  with the film's editor Jen Fineran, left, and composer Ilan Isakov at the premiere of the film at the Sundance Film Festival. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press

'Leonardo Live' coming to big screens in February

January 18, 2012 |  4:43 pm

'Leonardo Live' coming to big screens in FebruaryNext month "Leonardo Live" will hit the movie theaters, billed as a high-definition tour through England's National Gallery’s sold-out exhibition "Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan," which opened in November 2011. "Leonardo Live" features commentary from scholars and curators, but sorry, no 3-D. You'll have to see "Pina" for that.

Opening on Feb.16 in nearly 450 theaters across the country, "Leonardo Live" will showcase major works from the Italian Renaissance polymath, including the “Belle Ferronière," the “Madonna Litta," a full-scale copy of the “Last Supper" and "Salvator Mundi," a painting known for many years but only recently attributed by some Renaissance scholars to Da Vinci.

Last year Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight traveled to the UK to review the exhibition. He wrote: "Leonardo's greatness lies in his capacity to create belief in the fiction you see. Endless nonsense gets written analyzing his various sitters' psychology — think "Mona Lisa" — as if such a thing were possible. But really it's belief and love that animate his art."

RELATED:

Did Leonardo da Vinci paint 'Salvator Mundi'?

Getty Museum denies interest in Leonardo da Vinci painting 

Leonardo da Vinci gets his first museum show of paintings

-- Margaret Wappler 

Photo: "The Last Supper" in downtown Milan's Santa Maria delle Grazie church. Credit: Antonio Calanni / Associated Press.

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