Film

SXSW Supper Suite by STK

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Who doesn’t love a little SXSW. A week long event celebrating film, music, technology, and creativity in a realm like nothing else. It’s one of the annual trade show events that some of the most notable wait for and while the conference itself is undeniable, it’s the private parties accompanying it that really make their mark.

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Bill Phelps

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There is something rather magical about a photographer that is able to tell a story through a single snap of the shutter. One whose ability to captivate the essence of the person behind the lens can compel you and invite you into a very honest part of themselves. Meet Bill Phelps.

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Coast Modern, Architecture For The Soul

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Is life composed of hard edges, or soft curves? In this elliptical documentary on the architectural wonderment of modernism and its steadfast metamorphosis over the last eighty-plus years, filmmakers Mike Bernard and Gavin Froome travel the Pacific Northwest in an effort to capture the essence of a spirituality we won’t find at the local synagogue or mosque, but in the very bones of our own homes. Coast Modern tries to establish not so much a style of living, but a way of life in its up-close-and-personal investigation of a series of homes and establishments belonging to the few who’ve decided to forgo the privacy and security of the enclosed enclaves most of us probably find ourselves in.

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La Descarga

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As the night continues, another dance, a crowd of thirsty dwellers, a trip to the cigar room, a plentiful amount of beautiful people, dance floor flow, and a lot of thoughtful character. La Descarga is a place that reminds me of the “joints” once permitted in old time Cuba. The kind that Reinaldo Arenas dared to write about:

I pull off the cover, and stare at her dusty, cold shape I clean of fthe dust and caress her. With my hand, delicately, I wipe clean her back, her base and her sides. In front of her, I feel desperate and happy.

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Hollywood Cemetary The 9th Annual Johnny Ramone Tribute

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If ever there was a glamorous graveyard, Hollywood Forever Cemetery is it. It is the final resting place for legends like Cecil B. DeMille, Vampira (Maila Nurmi), and the man we were there to celebrate: Ramones guitarist Johnny Ramone. Don’t let the cemetery aspect spook you—with lush magenta bougainvillea, pristine stone statues and soothing water features, Hollywood Forever is simply beautiful.

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‘Cow Power’ turns the lights on

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Global warming is an issue that has garnered bursts of widespread attention in both mainstream media and flyers on the walls of local colleges, with an impact as concerted as it is aloof. Films about the “inevitability” of our ill-fated demise (2012, An Inconvenient Truth) stand toe-to-toe with those rallying against the supposed absurdity of such a notion (The Great Global Warming Swindle). In a sort hilarious twist of irony, there may be a bigger issue at hand here, one that connotes the idea of a hell-on-earth as defunct.

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I Think It’s Raining

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It is with this in mind that I was struck by how at odds I felt about the actors’ ability in conjunction to the film’s style and narrative. Undoubtedly a by-product of the director’s decided dismissal of maintaining strict coherence of his script, throughout the narrative Renata and Val carry on Linklater-esque conversations in an awkward, pause-filled manner that initially induces a sort of ticking time-bomb dread.

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Tom Cawley’s “Something” is Anything but “Nothing”

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While higher-budgeted docs filled with even bigger names might elicit the awe of that Hollywood intangibility, Cawley’s down-to-earth subject matter, and even the subjects themselves, bring us into the story of our own lives. We don’t want to be the people on-screen, these celebrities of sight and sound and tactile surfaces, but rather we wish to paint the stars of our respective destinies with the footnotes of these men and women’s successes, failures, moments of elation, and of suffocating despair. They are, in a word, human.

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Ferrante brings back Groucho Marx

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Just then, the lights begin to dim as a loud voice comes on over the loudspeakers, the once-deafening shouts of a crowd in conversation with itself dying down as a spotlight follows impresario and tonight’s host Stefan Haves down the right side of the theater to the main stage. Mr. Haves is known for “frequently drawing on LA talent to re-invent physical theater, circus, and clowning — stubbornly breaking every artistic wall in a town whose theatrical conventions and filmic traditions often tend toward maintaining that stubborn ‘fourth wall’ [pasadenaplayhouse.org].”

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Letter From the Editor – Issue No. 4

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That said, this issue is just about the articles we’ve written this past couple of months that took place in and around Los Angeles. It will continue to grow and there will never be a shortage of things to write about in this city. So to the city that holds my heart, thank you for always embracing me even when you spit me out – because hey, that’s just part of being in this city – AND in this industry – thank you for showing me the world in one central location. Thank you for welcoming every ethnicity, every economic range, every color, every shape, every size, every smile, every story, every bite, every culture, every artist, every musician, every struggling actor, every wanting filmmaker, every theatre enthusiast, every remarkable human being.

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Smiling Through the Apocalypse

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Smiling Through the Apocalypse, if you haven’t already Googled it yourself already, is a documentary that focuses on Esquire magazine during the sixties. Specifically, during the sixties under the helm of editor Harold T.P. Hayes. The story goes something like this: during one of the most turbulent decades unseen since the Civil War era, editor and provocateur Howard Hayes is remembered as having stepped up to take the falling star that was Esquire, and put it back in the sky. The film’s summary goes on to describe a man who not only led a team behind some of the most varied polemical writing styles and iconoclastic subtleties, but did so under the caveat that each and every day could easily lead to (and oftentimes did) disaster riddle in controversy.

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The GREAT Gatsby

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We sit silently living and hoping, waiting for the shards and broken pieces to weld themselves back together. The vacancy of wonder, elusive and misleading; in the end all we strive for is for one person to understand us. To see the color inside the storm, the liquified beauty inside of the chaos. We are, fools for love. And yet we watch as it wavers, sliding from our grasp, and some of us cling to the tattered threads because somehow – we still believe there is a way to piece us back together.

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