They went that-away

Posted in mixed media by Diane on May 31, 2010

Shifting my blogging efforts back to Look for links, rants and raves over there, por favor.

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The MPAA’s changing role: Would YOU want the job?

Posted in movies, studios, Variety by Diane on May 29, 2010

Sure it pays well, but you’ve got to get kowtow to studio chiefs and fight piracy everywhere you look. Here’s my weekly Variety cover story on the movie lobbying org. Peter Bart also weighed in on Bob Kerrey’s  prospects as new CEO.

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Old stomping grounds

Posted in misc by Diane on May 29, 2010

Hey, middle-aged lady with the giggling teenage daughter in the diner: Did we go to high school together?

Did I go to high school with anyone here?

And when did they remodel this place? I think I liked it better when it seemed like an old-fashioned diner.

How long has it been since I visited? I wish I could remember.

Best advice all day

Posted in media by Diane on May 17, 2010

“Calm down.”

Urged the executive as I scrambled to settle on “one last question” following a publicist’s directive.

“You’ve got time.”

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Catchup clicks

Posted in 3D, digital media, media, studios, Variety by Diane on May 8, 2010

Joe Roth, former studio head and erstwhile producer, could not help but stage manage his keynote appearance at Variety’s Entertainment and Technology Summit on Monday, asking to move his chair up closer to the aud at the Loews Hotel in Santa Monica. He then held forth on a number of topics, stressing the benefit of marketing through social media. Before he was done, he also championed the notion that studios once again own theaters in the U.S. This has been a no-no for more than 60 years, but Roth, who got caught in the crossfire between Disney and international exhibitors over “Alice in Wonderland,” argued it no longer makes sense. My Variety story on the confab is here.

Top execs admitted they don’t know the answer to sweeping technological changes but said they can’t wait until the dust settles to figure it out. My report from the Milken Global Conference panel on the outlook for the entertainment industry.

Getty Images, which has been aggressively going after the U.S. entertainment photo biz since at least 2003, scooped up Hollywood stalwart Berliner Studios late last month. I was in charge of Variety’s event coverage when Getty came on the Hollywood scene and can attest to the turf battles between it and rival agencies. Variety, you see, had a deal with Getty, which was determined to get as much access as possible.

Variety also held a day long conference for BritWeek late last month. British reality king Nigel Lythgoe, who helped found the celebration, sounded off on his difficulty getting American networks to take his advice.

Also covered 3D Gaming Conference for Variety, during which I learned why the technology makes me so queasy. “Avatar” was on everyone’s lips at the two-day confab.

The Eyes Have It…

Posted in mixed media by Diane on April 30, 2010

Let Us Now Praise: ‘Sex and the Single Girl’

Posted in Let Us Now Praise, movies, Sixties sex comedies by Diane on April 19, 2010

How much do I love “Sex and the Single Girl”? It’s so retro Sixties sex comedy: Light on carnal activity, but heavy on farce. Natalie Wood stars as Helen Brown, a cute but prim psychologist who has authored a book about single women; Tony Curtis is the lascivious magazine writer Bob Weston who wants to get the goods on her.

Already you can probably tell where this is going: The prim woman falls for the wolfish seducer that isn’t really that wolfish when you get right down to it.

Doris Day starred in a number of similar farces in the era, including “Pillow Talk.” Wood, better known for serious dramas leading up to “Sex and the Single Girl,” displays a nice comedic touch in the movie. Just watch her face as she tries to resist the charms of her duplicitous patient.

And let’s face it: She looks quite ravishing. (Walking through the room while I watched it on cable yesterday, my husband asked: How young was she? Answer: 26.)

Tony Curtis is also fine, but familiar to this terrain, as the filmmakers acknowledge with a few winks at “Some Like It Hot” in the dialogue. Henry Fonda and Lauren Bacall also have fun with their roles as the bickering marrieds, though I doubt I appreciated their sublime presence when I first saw the movie on TV in the Seventies.

Nor did I understand the cultural significance of Helen Gurley Brown — my tastes ran to Mademoiselle, rather than Cosmo — and the book that provided the basis for the movie. Only yesterday I learned from TCM that Joseph Heller adapted it for the bigscreen. That still boggles my mind — the author of “Catch-22” laboring over an adaptation of a Helen Gurley Brown book.

My point is this: You don’t have to know any of that to enjoy “Sex and the Single Girl.” But if you do, you’ll like it that much better.

MoMa paintings: How many can YOU name?

Posted in art by Diane on April 19, 2010

Before I moved to L.A., I used to go to museums on a regular basis. I’m not saying I did it all the time, but fairly frequently as these things go. Heck, I even worked at a couple museums. So why don’t I go to them more frequently here? Beats me.

This video reminded me of my East Coast days, and visits to NYC. It shows every painting displayed at MoMA on April 10. Go ahead, test your art history.

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You really should be watching ‘Breaking Bad’

Posted in Breaking Bad by Diane on April 19, 2010

Early Walt

Last night’s ep started with a flashback to the milquetoast Walt we first met, and for a moment I feared it was a repeat. Oh no, it wasn’t — just an intro to raucous backstory featuring Jesse Pinkman.

But don’t take my word for it: Read Tim Goodman’s recap here. Warning: It’s full of spoilers.

Wait, did we just see the same thing? Art that’s subject to interpretation

Posted in theater by Diane on March 29, 2010

You don't wanna know what's going on inside

I’m all for ambiguity in art, but sometimes I get startled by how differently people interpret the same movie or play. Last Saturday, for example, my friend and I saw “Forgiveness” at the tiny Black Dahlia Theatre on Pico. The play was very good; we both agreed about that. But what, exactly, was going on between the father and step-daughter?

Was history repeating itself or were we flashing back? Both? The similarities between daughter and step-daughter added to the murkiness — and the foreboding.

Does it matter which way you interpret those final scenes? Prolly not. Either way, you worry about young Jillian in that house; the actual act is secondary to the fallout that has already occurred or may repeat itself. David Schulner grapples with religion, addictions and forgiveness; he is less interested in sin itself than the struggle to make peace with human frailties.