I checked this book out a while back and I confirm it’s a must have. Here’s a quote from the New York Times.
The cool was born in New York. It was in Manhattan that Miles Davis and the nine-piece group he convened in the late 1940s forged a tightly understated alternative to the hot expressionism of bebop and recorded the hugely influential tracks later collected in the album “Birth of the Cool.” But it was in California in the 1950s that cool jazz and cool art in general took root and flourished.
The story is well told in “Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design and Culture at Midcentury,” an exhibition here at the Addison Gallery of American Art. Organized by Elizabeth Armstrong, chief curator at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, Calif., where it originated, the show examines cool style of the ’50s in several disciplines, including painting, furniture design, architecture, film and photography.
The multidisciplinary approach could be confusing, but it all hangs together in ways both entertaining and thought provoking. What emerges is not just a style but a spirit and an ethos that are in many ways diametrically opposite those of East Coast Abstract Expressionism. Angst-free, not monumental, anti-grandiose: California cool is laid back yet cleanly articulated, impersonal yet intimate, strict yet hedonistic, and seriously playful. …
Birth of the Cool – California – Art – Review – New York Times
Friday, July 6 – 7:30 PM Hawaii, 1966, MGM Repertory, 161 min. Director George Roy Hill’s (Throughly Modern Millie) adaptation of James Michener’s sprawling South Seas epic was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Cinematography (Russell Harlan) and Best Music Score (Elmer Bernstein). Max Von Sydow is the puritanical missionary who marries disappointed-in-love Julie Andrews just before they set sail to do the Lord’s work in the early 19th century island paradise. But they get more than they bargained for, squeezed between an onslaught of natural disasters and strange native customs. Their Calvinist devotion to a fire-and-brimstone worldview clashes head-on with the uninhibited, Dionysian headiness of the tropical lifestyle. With Richard Harris as Andrews’ former flame, Gene Hackman, Carroll O’Conner, Jocelyne LaGarde (who received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress).
Saturday, July 7 – 4:00 PM Rare Tiki Island-Themed TV Approx. 60 min. Artist Kevin Kidney hosts an entertaining hour of vintage tiki-themed television from the early 1960s – including some special surprises! *Tickets available to this program at the door only UNLESS purchased with the Luau Dinner ($20).
Saturday, July 7 – 5:00 PM Luau Dinner Following the 4 PM program, join us in the Egyptian Courtyard at 5 PM for a Royal Southern California-style Luau with live music from King Kukelele and his Friki Tikis, the Polynesian Paradise Dancers, vendors and a bountiful island-themed dinner.
On Saturday, July 7th, you have three special ticket price options: Movies Only (valid for all movies on Saturday only): General: $12; Senior/Student: $10; Cinematheque Member: $9
Luau Dinner Only: $20 (includes film admission for 4 PM show and dinner.)
All Movies (4 PM and 7:30 PM Movies), plus the Luau Dinner: General: $27; Senior/Student: $25; Cinematheque Member: $24
*A limited number of dinners will be sold at the door. To guarantee a dinner ticket please purchase in advance.
Vendors in the Courtyard may include: Tiki Tony, Adrift Clothing, Crazy Al’s Bone Productions, “Dumb Angel” Magazine authors Dominic Priore and Brian Chidister, Tiki Diablo, Falling Cocos, Coconut Kids Clothing, Tiki Farm, the American Cinematheque selling poster and others…
Saturday, July 7 – 7:30 PM Double Feature: The Sophisticated Misfit, 2007, Smee Entertainment, 65 min. Mark Chervinsky directed this four-year exploration of the world of Shag, the unlikeliest of Los Angeles artistic icons. Shag’s work doesn’t reflect the multicultural urban milieu of contemporary Los Angeles but rather an entirely different era. Think post-WWII boom years, suburban tracts sprawling across the landscape, Disneyland opening its doors and designers embracing the space-age motifs of Sputnik and the mission to the moon. Shag’s world is one of early 1960’s furniture, cocktail hours, sprawling ranch houses, built-in wet bars, and jet-set style. He embraces a simpler time. But his artwork is filled with subtle, humorous winks of the eye acknowledging that this period wasn’t quite so simple. The smiling women in their mod dresses hold secrets. The festive party scene in the go-go ’60’s home isn’t really what it seems. With Whoopi Goldberg, Patton Oswalt, Paul Frank and Shag. Winner of the Maverick Filmmaker Award at the 2007 Newport Beach Film Festival.
His Majesty O’Keefe, 1954, Warner Bros., 91 min. Director Byron Haskin (THE NAKED JUNGLE; the original WAR OF THE WORLDS) brings a bracing exuberance to this tall tale of stranded-in-Micronesia sea captain Burt Lancaster’s quest to manipulate his native hosts into helping him build a trading empire. Joan Rice is the enchanting island girl who ends up being queen to his king. The spectacular Fiji Islands locations were stunningly photographed by the great cinematographer Otto Heller (THE CRIMSON PIRATE). Co-starring Andre Morell, Abraham Sofaer, Benson Fong. “…This swashbuckling South Seas adventure feature is ideally suited to Burt Lancaster’s muscular heroics. The Fiji Islands location lensing is a plus…” — Variety Discussion in between films with Shag and director Mark Chervinsky.
Sunday, July 8 – 7:30 PM Miss Sadie Thompson, 1953, Sony Repertory, 91 min. Dir. Curtis Bernhardt (Possessed). After having to leave Hawaii when her Honolulu singing job goes kaput, hard-luck dame Sadie Thompson (Rita Hayworth) is stranded on the isle of Samoa which is home to a U.S. Army base. She’s befriended by well-meaning, lovable GI hunk Aldo Ray as well as his soldier pals (including a young Charles Bronson). But dirty-minded lay minister and self-righteous gadabout Jose Ferrer, laying over with his wife on a trip, believes she is nothing more than a common prostitute and is offended by her presence. He takes it upon himself to make Sadie’s life a living hell until he can get her deported back to the States. Although Rita’s singing voice was dubbed by Jo Ann Greer, you would never know it during the musical numbers – she is positively dynamite performing “Hear No Evil,” “The Heat Is On,” and “Blue Pacific Blues.” Originally shot in 3-D, this is a terrific color remake of W. Somerset Maugham’s classic tale Miss Thompson, first filmed in 1932 as RAIN by director Lewis Milestone with Joan Crawford.
It’s been a while since I contacted everyone about a blog or somethin’ cool, but this time, it’s for real….
Dig, The American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theater is letting us do our “Beatnik Beach Film Night” this Friday night. We did one last summer at Sponto Gallery in Venice, then in December we brought it to the Roxie Theater in San Francisco. Now, everybody’s been asking us for months to “do this in town” (Venice is a long haul for most of you), so we’re doin’ it up right then, and including a truly great piece of Beat cinema from 1961, “Night Tide” (starring Dennis Hopper and Linda Lawson), plus our slide show of Greater L.A. area Beat coffeehouses and jazz joints of the late ’50s and early ’60s, along with two primordial shorts from the Venice West Cafe back in the day.
If you’ve never been to the Egyptian Theater, it was the immediate predecessor to Grauman’s Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. When Sid Grauman opened it in 1922, it had the same elaborate Hollywood flair (it’s gone through a nice rennovation in its current incarnation as the American Cinematheque). This is gonna be a fun night, in the right place, with all the right people, yeh… We are working on some special guests; all three filmakers may very well be there for Q&A, at least. The American Cinematheque’s description below says it better than I can (o.k., I helped write some of it). Thanks for plannin’, and makin’ an evening of it this Friday. We’re gonna have a ball… — Domenic Priore
Friday, March 30, 2007: Egyptian Theatre
The Friday, March 30th program is a 7:30 PM screening of NIGHT TIDE, (1961, 84 min.). Director Curtis Harrington’s debut indie feature is a masterpiece, a haunted, poetic hymn to the dark world of the fly-by-night carnival, lonely midways at dawn and the siren call of eon’s-old passion spawned by the devils of the deep blue sea. In a fond nod to Val Lewton and Jacques Tourneur’s CAT PEOPLE, at-loose-ends sailor Johnny Drake (Dennis Hopper) falls in love with sideshow mermaid, Mora (Linda Lawson) who may just somehow be related to the real thing. Shot in and around Santa Monica and Venice Beach in the beat culture’s heyday, the film continues to exert a strong spell, and is brimming with the heady atmosphere of bygone coffee houses, poet hipsters, languid jazz and bongos on the shore. With Luana Anders, Gavin Muir. “…captures an intangible quality of what Santa Monica was like in the early 60s. Quite apart from Los Angeles, it was a quiet residential community. The funfair pier has just the right air of seedy despair about it. Everyone seems to be living ‘just off’ the mainstream.” – Glenn Erickson, DVD Savant Preceded by the shorts: “Venice In The Sixties” (15 min.) directed by Leland Auslender. Originally shot for a television show and never used, this is essentially a full-color look inside the atmosphere of the Venice West coffeehouse, its various sections, activities and people; “The Beat From Within: Reflections of a Beatnik” (10 min.) Produced by Ralph Morin and directed by Tom Koester, this short covers a day in the life of a Venice beatnik in glorious black ‘n’ white.
Plus, following the screening, Authors Domenic Priore and Brian Chidester (Beatsville, Riot on Sunset Strip: Rock ‘n’ Roll’s Last Stand in Hollywood, Dumb Angel #4: All Summer Long) will present a unique one-hour slide show documenting the Beat Generation’s long stretch over the Greater Los Angeles area between 1956 and 1966, via visuals of coffeehouses and jazz joints from the Sunset Strip to Malibu, Venice and Newport Beach. Legendary locations only heard about in books or in liner notes, from the Gas House and nearby Venice West Cafe, to the Unicorn and Shelly’s Manne-Hole in Hollywood, the Lighthouse and Insomniac in Hermosa Beach, then all the way down to Cafe Frankenstein (owned, operated and painted by Burt Shonberg). Arists from John Altoon to Eric “Big Daddy” Nord gave these places a colourful splash, as did the wide variety of Folk singers and poets who performed on their stages.
This I found today at Dumb Angel Gazette: quote from site
Thursday, December 7, 2007. 7:00-11:00 p.m. Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th Street at Valencia, Mission District, San Francisco, California
Authors Domenic Priore and Brian Chidester (Beatsville, Smile: The Story of Brian Wilson’s Lost Masterpiece, Dumb Angel #4: All Summer Long) will present a unique one-hour slide show documenting the Beat Generation’s long stretch over the Greater Los Angeles area between 1956 and 1966, via visuals of coffeehouses and Jazz joints from the Sunset Strip to Malibu, Venice and Newport Beach.
Legendary locations only heard about in books or in liner notes, from the Gas House and nearby Venice West, to the Unicorn and Shelly’s Manne-Hole in Hollywood, the Lighthouse and Insomniac Cafe in Hermosa Beach, then all the way down to Cafe Frankenstein (owned, operated and painted by Burt Shonberg) in Laguna Beach.
Artists from John Altoon to Eric ‘Big Daddy’ Nord gave these places a colourful splash, as did the wide variety of Folk singers and poets who performed on their stages. Accompanying the slideshow will be a rare screening of Dirty Feet (1965), shot primarily at the Prison of Socrates coffeehouse in Balboa. Special guest speakers TBA, there will be another short Beat film or two (including a color one shot inside Venice West), plus a few new routines by San Francisco’s own Devil-Ettes to jazz the room.