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Category Archives: film

KCET Movies: How Los Angeles Made Johnny Cash — After Nearly Destroying Him

Johnny Cash, the iconic outlaw of country and western music, may have come straight out of Arkansas, and he may have launched his career in Memphis, but in his story, unlike those of many other legends in his musical tradition, the Golden State also plays a major role. Even his casual fans understand that, many […]

Korea Blog: “Western Avenue”, Korean Cinema’s Response to the Los Angeles Riots

The Korean name of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, sa-i-gu (사이구), means “four, two, nine” — or rather 4/29, the first of the six days they tore through streets after the the Rodney King verdict came out. Given Los Angeles’ large Korean population, the highest of any city outside the Korean Peninsula itself, and the […]

Korea Blog: The March of Fools, a College Comedy Darkened by Dictatorship

Mixers, sports matches, drinking contests, brushes with the law, anxiety about the future — Western audiences have come to expect all these elements from college comedies over the past half-century, and they’ll recognize them all in The March of Fools (바보들의 행진), a movie that belongs to essentially the same tradition. But it renders its college-comedy […]

KCET Movies: Alfred Hitchcock’s (Non-Existent) Los Angeles

The defining quality of Alfred Hitchcock’s Los Angeles is that he didn’t have one. Or rather, he had a Los Angeles in his life, but not in his work. By the time he passed away in his Bel-Air home in 1980, the Leytonstone-born director’s filmography had grown to include more than 50 features across a […]

콜린의 한국 이야기: 홍상수 영화의 힘

나는 지난주에 한국영상자료원에서 홍상수 감독의 최신 영화 <당신자신과 당신의 것>을 보면서 내가 로스엔잴래스에 살 때를 떠올렸다. 왜냐하면 한국어를 얼마 공부하지 않은 그 때 나는 로스앤젠네스에 본사를 둔 한국 신문 기자로부터 인터뷰를 요청받고 흥쾌히 응했다. 기자는 나에게 왜 한국에 대해 관심을 가지고 있냐고 물어봤고 나는 처음 본 한국 영화들 때문이라고 대답했다. 아버지께서 한국 영화 평론가라고 소개한 […]

Korea Blog: How “Seopyeonje” Went from Tradition-Fueled Passion Project to Art-House Megahit

One singer and one drummer on an otherwise nearly bare stage, expressing the pain of Korea for four or five hours: the prospect, to a great many foreigners, does not immediately appeal. Then again, despite its deep roots in the culture, the traditional form of musical storytelling called pansori (판소리) didn’t much appeal to a […]

I talk about “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” and the Los Angeles streetcar conspiracy on KPCC

This week I talked with A Martinez, host of KPCC-FM’s Take Two, about how Who Framed Roger Rabbit? convinced Los Angeles that a General Motors-led conspiracy had taken away its streeetcars: Los Angeles isn’t a cartoon, but it is a main character in the 1988 film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” The movie will be preserved this year […]

Korea Blog: Blade Runner 2049 and Los Angeles’ Korean Future

“LOS ANGELES NOVEMBER, 2019.” So, with that stark title card, begins the film that presented the most fully realized vision of the city’s future in cinema history to that point — and maybe still to this day. It also fixed its setting in the Western imagination as the go-to image of urban dystopia, though when […]

Everything I’ve written about Wes Anderson for Open Culture

Somehow, Christmas no longer feels like Christmas without Wes Anderson movies. Since he doesn’t have a feature out this year, we’ve held an Anderson marathon at home instead, and to go along with it I’ve compiled this list of all the Andersonian posts I’ve written for Open Culture, up to and including one on his […]

KCET Movies: How “Speed” Captured a Changing Los Angeles

“Is this what they mean by pure cinema?” New Yorker film critic Anthony Lane wrote in his review of “Speed” when the film came out in 1994. “The phrase sometimes hovers around people like Tarkovsky and Ozu, and with good cause, but Hollywood occasionally throws a punch so clean that it breaks through to the […]