UPDATE: Jaime Escalante passed away from cancer on March 30, 2010.
This article is a repost from July 2009.
HiddenLA’s HOT Angeleno of the Day: JAIME ESCALANTE!!!
Our HOT Angeleno feature was created to prove a point and counter the perception that we’re all shallow dimwits here. Knowing this, normally this is about the time I’d make silly jokes about whether or not the accomplished person being profiled has rock-hard abs – just to be a smart ass. Today I’ll refrain from the silliness out of respect for the subject, though. Jaime Escalante was born in Chochabamba, Bolivia, where he began teaching physics and mathematics. In 1964 he decided to find a new life for himself in America, although he spoke no english and had no valid American teaching credentials. He began to go to night school at Pasadena City and CSULA, and in 1974 was hired to teach basic math at Garfield High in East LA. His students were disrespectful, unprepared and uninterested. He considered giving up teaching, but over time his incredible educational and motivational skills as a teacher ended up turning around a low-priority public high school as he single-handedly built a calculus program rivaled by only a few well-funded private academies. His teaching style and students’ accomplishments were the focus of the 1988 movie Stand And Deliver.
So THAT’S why he’s our Hot Angeleno today. But unfortunately, the story of Jaime Escalante didn’t play out as happily as the movie, which is why I won’t joke about his abs. It just doesn’t feel respectful, and he deserves to be honored. Bureaucracy and office politics aside, for our own sakes we need to embrace our passionate and caring educators and leaders instead of underpay them, knock them down and drive them away.
*To see a great video of Jaime discussing his love for teaching, scroll down after the jump.* (more…)
I remember loving the movie the Bad News Bears as a kid. Walter Matthau and Tatum O’Neal? Little league put to the music of fiery Carmen? Pure gold! (What I definitely *didn’t* remember was that the trailer FEATURED THE N WORD!!!! Wait, really??? Wow. Wasn’t expecting that.)
But I digress. Here’s something else you might not expect. While the original Bad News Bears movie (the remake doesn’t count) was filmed at Marsh Park in Chatsworth, there’s a baseball diamond hovering next to the 405 on Sepulveda, just North of Wilshire, which is officially NAMED The Bad News Bears Field. This field wasn’t in the movie, so why would it be named after it? Anyone? Anyone? (more…)
I know, I know. Posts have been sparse this month, mainly due to lingering illness and preparations for an overseas holiday (more on that in a few days). I feel like I’ve dropped the ball on passing along so much of the holiday goodness that this town has to offer… gee, I hope this makes up for it! :)
WHAT: Horrible Movie Night screening of the 1996 Hulk Hogan holiday less-than-classic, Santa With Muscles! Whachya gonna do, when Santamania runs wild on YOU?
WHEN: This Thursday, December 17, 8pm (Doors open at 7:15)
WHERE: The Complex, 6476 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood
PRICE: $8. Includes screening, extra live entertainment, beer, wine, and snacks. RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org
“…a film so bad, the original screenwriter sued to have his name removed from the credits. This cheesy Christmas disaster features the Hulkster as a millionaire of questionable morals (a stretch –?) who, during a run from the law, is knocked out cold and wakes up thinking he is Santa Claus. He somehow hooks up with an orphanage bedeviled by evil scientists (the head baddie is played by Ed Begley Jr.), and proceeds to do good. You will notice Mila Kunis in one of her first film roles as an orphan. But no rotten movie is complete without the inimitable Clint Howard! This one has got it all.”
WHAT: A very special Fast Times at Ridgemont High-themed night featuring totally rad special guests and performers.
WHEN: October 21, 2009, 8:45-11:55pm
WHERE: Cafe Cordiale , 14015 Ventura Blvd
PRICE: No cover, but reservations highly recommended (call 818 789-1985), as it may sell out. Dinner served till 10:30pm. And no, they don’t serve pizza. Sorry.
DETAILS: All ages. Free parking. Hosted by Donovan Lyman. Guest lineup includes, but is not limited to:
- 9pm - Taylor Negron (who played the pizza delivery guy in the film) with Logan Heftel
- 9:40pm – Poppa’s KitchenBob Romanus who played Damone in the film)
- 10:20 – Comedian Barry Sobel w/ Zachariah Selwyn
- Also on the bill is Jody Whitesides & Adora Vida performing music from the film.
And don’t forget… no shirt, no shoes, no dice.
Thanks to the great weather, there’s nothing more Southern Californian than going to outdoor movie screenings in the summer. The last Hollywood Forever screening is tonight (Rosemary’s Baby!!! Yikes!) and this Friday in Little Tokyo there will be a final FREE screening of Space Battleship Yamato. You might need a few more blankets, but enjoy an evening outdoors while you still can!
WHAT: Film on the Plaza: Space Battleship Yamato
WHEN: Friday, September 25, 7:30pm
WHERE: Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, 244 S San Pedro St, Little Tokyo
DETAILS: A free, family-friendly outdoor screening of an old Japanese cartoon called “Space Battleship Yamato”, aka “Star Blazers.
• Live DJ sets by Akaider.
• $3 beer
• Franken’s Vegan Hot Dogs, FISHLIPS Sushi and other Vendors
• Door Prizes
This outdoor screening features the Japanese anime classic Battleship Yamato aka Star Blazers (1979). Bring a blanket, bring a basket, bring friends, and delay the end of Summer in the heart of Little Tokyo.
What: An all-night summer camp movie marathon! Click on the image at left for more details on the film line-up!
Where: Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater, 611 N Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, 90036, 323-655-2510
When: This Saturday, August 29, starting at 8pm
Price: $12.00 admission, FREEEEEE breakfast to those who survive!
Details: Two kegs of Pabst Blue Ribbon, s’mores and DJs out on the back patio, and the aforementioned free breakfast. No word on whether or not people will be dared to eat live goldfish, but attendees should beware of falling asleep mid-film and waking up on the roof with their hand in a bowl of warm water.
What: A special advanced screening of the film “Soundtrack For A Revolution” including lecture and live music
Where: Otis College of Art
When: Friday, August 27, 2009 – Bands start at 5pm, Screening begins at 7pm
Price: For more info, contact (310) 846-2586 or IL@Otis.edu.
Details: Part of Otis’ “Movies that Matter” series, Oscar-winning filmmaker Dan Sturman will also be present for a Q&A session.
“Soundtrack for a Revolution tells the story of the American civil rights movement through its powerful music–the freedom songs protesters sang in their fight for justice and equality. The film features vibrant new performances by top artists, including John Legend, Wyclef Jean, Joss Stone and The Roots; riveting archival footage; and interviews with civil rights foot soldiers and leaders, including Congressman John Lewis, Harry Belafonte, Julian Bond and Ambassador Andrew Young. Directed, produced and written by Bill Guttentag & Dan Sturman; Executive Producer Danny Glover. Official Selection 2009 Tribeca Film Festival and 2009 Cannes Film Festival.”
*Click on the small box below left for a captioned photo gallery*
There’s something so Southern California about watching movies outside on a summer night. I’ve been *dying* to experience Cinespia movie screenings at the Hollywood Forever cemetery, but friends continually refused to go. Some said they were worried about sitting “on top of dead people,” others said they didn’t feel like dealing with crowds. I finally went last weekend so let me just tell all of you the following: the audience does NOT sit on graves, and the crowd and traffic control is far more organized, relaxed and stress-free than expected. It’s a great time all around. If you go just be sure to bring a sweater… it does get cold in the cemetery at night. And bring a nice bottle of wine. Just because life’s more fun that way.
The movie is $10, and it’s $5 extra to park on the cemetery grounds which we did. As I said, it was very organized and our cars ended up being a *very* short walk to the screen. There are two more screenings left in the season according to the Cinespia website. This Saturday night is Singing In The Rain and August 29th is American Werewolf in London.
Although the majority of American movies originate in Los Angeles on some level, local filming locations are often chosen based upon how easily LA can be made to look like another city entirely. Palm trees are airbrushed out; store escalators are disguised as New York Subway terminals; Downtown alleyways become cozy cobblestone streets found in a European village. It’s rare to find a movie where the city of Los Angeles is allowed to shine without shame as a featured character in a film. There are a few standouts, of course… LA Confidential, Chinatown, Sunset Boulevard, LA Story, Mildred Pierce, The Player… and everyone seems to agree that this year’s 500 Days of Summer can be added to the list for shining a bright light on Downtown LA’s pre-1950 architecture in particular.
It helps that the stars of the movie are young Los Angeles natives who both express refreshingly vocal personal affection for the city, as witnessed in the adorable-even-though-it’s-movie-PR video clip above. Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt come across as poster children for cool people who know they shouldn’t have to ever apologize for or be ashamed of where they’re from. PR or no, we can’t help but love that about them. That and the French Canada joke, although admittedly my neighborhood feels a bit more like Mexican Canada.
After the jump is a second video clip showing various movie locations in the film as well as a handy google map (created by the Los Angeles Times) specifically pointing out the standout locations featured in the film if you’d like to check them out for yourself.
This seriously adorable Frank Capra classic starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert was filmed in Franklin Canyon, the literal center of Los Angeles (we’ll be talking more about the park and adjoining lake later in the week). Not only was It Happened One Night the first comedy to ever win serious film awards, it was the very first film in history (of any genre) to sweep the Oscars completely, winning Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director and Writing.
All last week I was racking my poor little head brainstorming how to list upcoming Los Angeles events in a way that would be easy to maintain for me and as useful and user-friendly as possible for you.
Speaking for myself, sometimes time flies by too fast… I see so many great events online that I really want to check out and promptly forget about until the day after they’re over. Or there will be a repeat event and I’ll forget whether it’s the third or the fourth Wednesday. Or I’ll have a night free and toy with the idea of doing a google search to find out what’s happening outside of my apartment but out of laziness will just end up just sitting in front of the tv watching reruns of Monk I’ve already seen instead.
So with my own lameness/laziness in mind, I think I’ve come up with a great solution that makes HiddenLA’s Event Listing easy, convenient and more inspiring to use. You’ll have to let me know what you think. I’m pretty happy with it. Check out a full explanation of the cool new interactive features after the jump.
Just one little request… if you appreciate the resource I’ve created for you, it would rock my world if you would please take a moment to throw a coupla bucks into my Ginger Cocktail Fund so I can go out tonight and toast myself for workin’ my butt off trying to create something you’d like. ‘Cuz I really did! :)
*To launch a captioned photo gallery of crazy stuff, click on the little image below labeled LOT #4030*
Sigh. After over 40 years in business, Harvey Schwartz, owner of Twentieth Century Props, will be closing shop and putting 113,000 square feet of tangible movie history up for auction from July 28 to August 1.
This closing is incredibly sad to see on many many levels, but you *know* you want to sit in Dr. Evil’s pod (aka LOT #504) while you’re watching television. So because I’m nice, I took a moment to go through the online catalog and pull out a few things you might not even realize you need, BUT DO. You’re welcome. Just click on the beer keg at left.
You can also inspect the merchandise in person at 11651 Hart Street in North Hollywood through Monday (9am-4pm) and after 8am on the mornings of the sale.
http://www.dailymotion.com/videox7kien What: ARCLIGHT 21+ MOVIE SCREENING – Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Where: Arclight Cinema, Sherman Oaks
When: July 24-25 10:50pm, July 26 & 30 10:55pm
Price: $13.50, not including alcohol. Oh, and you have to have ID saying you’re over 21. Duh.
Details: Wanna see the new Harry Potter movie… but not enough to cancel a night of cocktails with your friends? Well now you can have your Snape and Muscat too! You may be a mere muggle but at least *you’re* old enough to legally down a beer! Take THAT, witches!
Note: this listing will be updated during the week as we see fit, and we try to include FREEEEE events whenever possible. :)
THROUGH 7/26 – US Open of Surfing
7/23 – Latin Dance Championship; Summer Nights on the Boulevard in Atwater
7/24 – Disco Dancing Downtown Under The Stars; Classic Rock Night at the LA Zoo
7/25 – Battle of the Tribute Bands; Heritage Park Silent Movie Night
7/26 – Dessert Decadence
THROUGH SUNDAY, JULY 26
What: U.S. OPEN OF SURFING New and improved with added skateboarding!
When: Daily through July 26
Where: Huntington Beach Pier, PCH & Main Street, Huntington Beach
Details: I’m allergic to the sun and have a fear of the ocean and large crowds. Some lame native Southern Californian I am, huh? Although this event sounds like it would be everything I don’t like, I grew up around surfers so I love the peoplewatching at surfing competitions. Plus the ocean’s always pretty to look at… I just don’t want to get in it ‘cuz there are bitey things in there. Yeah, I’m a complex girl.
From the event site: “What’s the closest thing to watching the world’s best surfers compete in a full-on stadium atmosphere? Look no further than Huntington Beach in July, when up to 500,000 people will find their way to the real Surf City, post up in the sand and cheer on their heroes at the Pier. It’s been that way for 50 years now, starting with the US Championships in 1959 and evolving to today: the Hurley US Open of Surfing.” (more…)
As I’ve mentioned before, my first inspiration to explore L.A. was an old film. Love it or hate it, the entertainment business is what Los Angeles is famous for worldwide. Residents here are surrounded by familiar, comfortable* images whenever we drive down the street, whether we recognize them or not. You may easily be surprised to find that you’ve been driving past iconic buildings on your way to the grocery store without even realizing it. Funny thing is… there are people who will travel across the world just to see these buildings that we pass by without a thought. Most movie locations are free to discover, so instead of sitting home & watching stuff on tv this weekend why not have an adventure and explore the sights in person?
“It’s only a matter of time before local film and TV buffs experience a sense of déjà vu around Los Angeles. That place looks familiar. Did you see it on the way home from work, or when you checked in with your favorite characters? Could be both. Most productions not filmed on studio lots are shot within the 30-mile zone from Beverly and La Cienega boulevards, with some locations more popular than others. (more…)
ZAP! POW! BAM! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938–1950
Where: The Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd. (310) 440-4500
What: Rare Superman Films
When: Sat., July 18, 2pm
Price: $6 Gen, $5 Members/Students
Details: “Fans of the Man of Steel won’t want to miss this afternoon of rare Superman footage. At this matinee screening, view episodes from the famed Kryptonian’s big-screen debut in the 1948 Hollywood serial. Also see The Adventures of Superpup and The Adventures of Superboy, two never-broadcast pilots meant to replace the Superman television series after lead actor George Reeves’s untimely death.”
ZAP! POW! BAM! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938–1950
When: Ongoing through August 9, 2009
Price: Included in admission (tickets at the door): $10; $7 seniors/students; $5 kids 2–12; Free to members/kids under 2; FREEEEE TO ALL ON THURSDAYS
Details: “Through never-before exhibited art and objects culled from private and institutional collections, ZAP! POW! BAM! The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books, 1938-1950 explores the genesis of cultural icons such as Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel, and Wonder Woman. (more…)
FULL FILM AFTER THE JUMP! YAY!
In honor of the upcoming festivities celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Venice’s Historic Muscle Beach and the crowning of Mr. & Ms. Muscle Beach 2009, we would like to take this moment to present a true piece of Southern California movie nostalgia, the star-studded 1960′s beach classic… MUSCLE BEACH PARTY!!! WOOO HOOOOO!!!!
Okay, so it’s no Beach Blanket Bingo, I’ll admit… but if you have doubts about the cheesy, iconic goodness of this hormonal-teens-on-the-beach saga then dig this, chickies:
- The film was directed by William Asher, who besides being a driving force of the beach movie genre was the lead director on both I Love Lucy and Bewitched (he was also Elizabeth Montgomery‘s husband). All of which by default brands him as permanently awesome.
- The cast of this little flick included the following people: Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, Don Rickles, Dick Dale, Morey Amsterdam, Buddy Hackett, Dan Haggerty (aka Grizzly Adams), Bill Graham (!!!), Peter Lorre (!!?) and LITTLE STEVIE FRIGGIN’ WONDER (he’s towards the end).