Rated R 132 Minutes Released December 25 The saddest detail about the incident that inspired the movie All the Money in the World is that John Paul Getty III never really recovered from the emotional scars left by the events and by the microscopic public scrutiny into which he was born as the grandson of one of the richest men in the... Read more →


Culture Watch: Who Needs Libraries? We do!

This cartoon by Chris Obrion went viral on social media in 2015 when the Library Journal posted it to its Facebook page. Although originally created for The Roanoke Times, which re-ran it last year alongside an editorial by the president of the Roanoke Public Library Foundation, I actually saw it earlier this month, also on Facebook, shared... Read more →


Playtime: A Loving Portrait Of A Happily Married Couple

In the old days when everyone was young, studios like MGM made films filled with cutie-pie girls who sang and danced and fell blissfully in love and presumably lived happily ever after. But now that 13% of the American population is 65 and older, an array of independent filmmakers are making films that deal with the daily lives, the... Read more →



PHANTOM THREAD Rated R 115 Minutes Released December 25 Some of the most interesting elements behind the rather cryptic film Phantom Thread are the backstories of the people who created the film. Director/Writer Paul Thomas Anderson seems to create a different style of film with each project he takes on. He wrote and directed... Read more →


Spielberg Posts A Skosh From the Vietnam War

Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg. Who could ask for anything more! The film they've made together is called "The Post" and it is thought by many to be 2017's Best Picture in a year filled with an overwhelming collection of exceptionally fine films. The Post refers, of course, to the Washington Post and its historical role in... Read more →


Restaurant Review: MEAT

One of our pleasures over the decades has been a trip to New York to see great shows and eat at great steak houses. I don’t know why the steak houses there seemed so much better than in Los Angeles. Boa is good. Ruth’s Chris is good. And I hear that Cut is good, but out of my price range. But there was something better in New York. No... Read more →



THIS WEEK AT THE BROAD STAGE Two Broad Stage productions caught my attention this week: “Small Mouth Sounds” on the main stage and “Shakespeare, His Wife and The Dog” at the Edye, the smaller black box theatre. I spoke with Philip Whitchurch, who wrote “Shakespeare, His Wife and The Dog,” and stars in it with his real-life... Read more →


Culture Watch

BUSTED-DOWN FORD AND PLATFORM HEELS Sometimes life is defined by a single incident. And when that incident is tragic, things change abruptly. Author, poet and playwright Susan Hayden’s beloved husband, Christopher Allport, a well-respected and busy actor of stage, screen and TV, died in a freak avalanche while skiing at Mountain High in... Read more →


Giving Voice To Local History (Part 2)

  At lunch with his wife Katherine (Kat), our mutual friend Ted Bonnitt, who brought us together, and me, Noel Blanc was doing what he does best, sharing personal reminiscences of our area as he experienced it. (This column is a continuation from Dec. 21). There once was a time when Ocean Park was an entity unto itself, Noel says,... Read more →



  Once at dinner at El Bulli, then considered the best restaurant in the world, we were served a course simply called “countries.” It consisted of three small porcelain spoons with a spoon-full of liquid in each. As you put the spoon in your month it was instantly clear what country it represented. And so it is with Indian... Read more →

Culture Watch


CULTURE WATCH Dec. 21, 2017 By Sarah A. Spitz   Noel Blanc once blow-dried the athletic field at Santa Monica College. With his jet helicopter. For real. It was in the 1980s and Noel—whose name in French means “White Christmas” and who was Bar Mitzvah’ed at the original Casa del Mar—was called upon to help with an... Read more →

Play Time

As the Wonder Wheel Churns

by Cynthia Citron If you were a child growing up in New York in the 1950s, one of the peak adventures of your childhood might have been a trip to the beach at Coney Island and a ride on the Wonder Wheel, the 150-foot Ferris wheel that dominated the beach's horizon. (As well as the joy of chomping on a Nathan's hot dog, of course.) Now,... Read more →


A Queer Time in Rotterdam

The play is intelligent and sensitive. Well presented, especially by the two principal actors. And it's genuinely thought-provoking. But in spite of all this it just may not be your cup of tea. "Rotterdam," written by Jon Brittain, is now having its West Coast premiere at the Skylight Theatre in Los Angeles and it deals with the emotional... Read more →



FILM REVIEW WONDER WHEEL Rated PG-13 101 Minutes Released December 1 I saw Wonder Wheel at a screening that featured a live Q&A with the lead actors afterwards, and I got to thinking (often a dangerous development). Why is it that Woody Allen’s films seem a bit lacking in thrills and chills, very cerebral, yet the greatest... Read more →