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To Live and Write in LA

LA Film Fest: Two Scary Ladies – Sophie Lowe and Beth Riesgraf Turn Clichés on Their Heads


Women are typically the victims in action and horror films, but two films at the Los Angeles Film Festival flipped these genre clichés on their heads. Read More »

LA Film Fest:  ‘Seoul Searching’ – an Homage to John Hughes and the 1980s

Seoul Seraching

The LA Film Festival chose to make 'Seoul Searching' one of its Gala Presentations. After the red carpet arrivals, the film was introduced by its director-screenwriter Benson Lee, and had its LA debut in Regal Cinemas’ Premier House. The entire event and the film itself gave that evening at the festival an old-time Hollywood feel. 'Seoul Searching' takes viewers on a nostalgia trip. Its theme, its style and its presentation are all retro in a good way. Prior to the screening, the audience did a stadium-style wave for the director. That’s getting into the 80s! Read More »

LA Film Fest: Talking to Morgan Spurlock about Ice Cream


Morgan Spurlock made a name for himself eating burgers. His film 'Supersize Me' was an indictment of the fast food industry. Now he's moved on to ice cream, and Häagen-Dazs in particular, but, not to convince you not to eat it. Spurlock's new film 'Crafted' debuted at the Los Angeles Film Fest, June 10-18. 'Crafted' aims to take us into the mindset of modern craftsmen who choose quality and personal involvement over mass production. Read More »

LA Film Fest: Dude, It’s a Dude-omongus Fest


Two films at the Los Angeles Film Festival, June 10-18, explored the Dude weltanschauung to bring us all closer to a profound understanding of the essence of dudeness. (Dude, that was heavy.) 'Flock of Dudes' looks at what happens when you put off becoming your father for too long. 'Dude Bro Party Massacre III' suggests that maybe dudeness could be a topic for satire. Read More »

LA Film Fest: Kiernan Shipka of ‘Mad Men’ and Meg Ryan make ‘Fan Girl’ Fun


'Fan Girl', by director Paul Jarrett and screenwriter Gina O'Brien, was a total trip when it premiered at the LA Film Festival. A “trip”? Dude, that’s so last century. If there is anything this movie isn’t, it’s last century. Fan Girl is a winner of a movie because of the writing, the casting, and the acting. If all that works together, the director deserves credit as well. On the surface Fan Girl is a story of teenager Telulah Farrow, played by Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men, Flowers in the Attic), who adulates the punk band All Time Low. She thinks she needs to connect with the band and create a music video for her filmmaking class to launch her movie career. What she really needs, and the story beneath the surface, is to learn what is really important in human relationships. Read More »

LA Film Fest: Tying People Up for Laughs and Revenge


I’m making sure the windows are locked tonight. Three consecutive films I viewed at the Los Angeles Film Festival, June 10-18, dealt with tying people up. Not in a nice way, but at least in two cases, a funny way. 'Caught' tells the tale of a teen having an affair with a married man who is kidnapped by the man’s wife and, among other things, tied up. In 'Shevenge', three BFFs fantasize about how to punish men, which involves tying them up. In 'Old Tricks', a burglar learns that you should never try to steal from a retired magician and escape artist. They’re kind of hard to tie up. Read More »

DWF: Three Shorts – Fantasy, Love and Our Fragile Grasp on Reality


Why do filmmakers create short films? Sometimes they are truly motivated to tell a story which only fits in a short format. Other times, it is to show off their skills in order to establish their credentials. Once in a while, they may make a short version of a film that they ultimately want to turn into a feature length production. At this year’s Dances With Films (DWF) festival, held in Hollywood in June, the selection of short films was impressive and contained examples which both fit into and transcended the above reasons. Three films I found impressive all dealt with our perception of what is real: 'Funny Love,' 'Waste Paper,' and 'Waiting for You.' Read More »

Dances with Films Festival: The Powerhouse Panel – Hollywood Success Secrets


Want to be successful in Hollywood? The Dances with Films Festival featured a terrific "powerhouse" panel. Here's what the panelists had to say. Read More »

Dances with Films Festival: Music, Movies, and Amazing Entertainment

Sarah Dashew

One of the amazingly enjoyable aspects of the Dances with Films Festival is the opportunity to see short films you might never otherwise never screen. Read More »

DWF Movie Review: ‘Wildlike’ – A Journey through Loss and Abuse to Redemption


Wildlike, a film by writer/director Frank Hall Green, was shown during the eighteenth Dances With Films (DWF) indie-film festival in Hollywood. Dances With Films promotes itself as relying on “innovation, talent, creativity and sweat equity” rather than celebrity. All those good qualities are evident in Wildlike. The film has an intriguing story, great characters and an interesting production history. Read More »