The 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival is coming! This wonderfully eclectic festival featuring emerging actors, musicians, comics, playwrights, and all types of performers runs from June 8th to 25th in Los Angeles. It's a wonderful grab bag of all things entertainment. For more information and reasonably priced tickets, visit hollywoodfringe.org. Support your local performers, you'll be so glad you did!
This lovely, well-told film tells the story of a man coming to terms with his family, his career, and his relationships, all told with a distinct Southern accent and charm. With exceptional, natural acting all around, especially by writer/director/actor Phillip Irwin Cooper and the excellent Mariette Hartley and John Heard, the story follows a colorful, quirky Southern family where the mother is struggling with health issues and the adult son comes home from Los Angeles to help. At turns, funny, sad and moving, this very enjoyable, well-written film is a charmer.
It was released yesterday 5/2/17 through Wolfe Video, for more information visit Wolfeondemand.com.
Last night I had fun at the Opening Night Gala of the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival in Beverly Hills. First I hung out around the Red Carpet, where Ed Asner, Ed Begley, Jr., Aaron Wolf and many others passed through. They also had a reception in the lobby of the Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre where the event was held, with delicious snacks, wine and beverages. Next they presented an award Ed Asner for his outstanding work as an American actor and activist. Many of his friends and colleagues took the stage to thank him for his contributions.
Then they screened a hysterical short film Super Sex, starring Ed Asner; following by a screening of the wonderful film My Friend Ed which explores Mr. Asner’s tireless work over the years as an actor and activist.
The Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival continues on through May 3, with a well-curated selection of films exploring the Jewish experience. For more information and tickets visit lajfilmfest.org. More photos from the evening are available on my Flickr page here: flickr.com/joybennett.
Last night I was delighted to attend the Opening Night Gala of COLCOA French Film Festival at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles. This festival highlights feature films, shorts, TV series, and other forms of entertainment and enlightenment with a distinctive French accent and elegance.
I arrived early and soon the reception started, with lovely snacks and treats from the many local French restaurants -- delicious! An open bar was offered, and folks chatted and caught up with friends while the Red Carpet was going on nearby.
Then we all lined up to enter the theatre to see a short film, following by the Opening Night film, Everyone’s Life, directed by Claude Lelouch. He directed the international hit film, A Man and a Woman in the 60’s. Everyone’s Life is a very unusual film in that the narrative arc is splintered into telling dozens of characters’ stories. It has humor, some remarkable acting, and is generally an entertaining film, if perhaps a bit too long. Afterwards there was a discussion with the writer/director Lalouch and his co-writer and partner Valerie Perrin.
A very French and very fun evening. The COLCOA French Film Festival continues on through Tuesday, May 2. For more information and tickets visit colcoa.org. For more photos, visit my Flickr page here: flickr.com/joybennett . COLCOA stands for City of Light, City of Angels, demonstrating the joint endeavors of France and the United States in the pursuit of wonderfully adventurous filmmaking.
Yesterday at the third day of ASCAP EXPO 2017 I had a wonderful time. First I went to a workshop with Mick Guzauski about technical aspects of mixing a song or album. Interesting stuff! He has worked with Daft Punk, Prince, Talking Heads, and many others. Then I attended the Master Session with Michael Abels. He did the score for the film “Get Out.” Although this was his first feature length film score, he contributed invaluably to the scary and unsettling effects of this highly successful film through his mastery of composition. A fascinating story of how film music is composed and put together.
Lastly, I was at thrilled to see Stevie Wonder accept the ASCAP “Key of Life Award” for his remarkable achievements in music, producing, and making the world a better place. Singer and actress Janelle Monae did an excellent job interviewing him through words and his music about his incredible career. Stevie said that everyone there should express themselves through music but “do it with love.” He was not afraid to get political, although he was warned it would hurt his career. A child prodigy, with his first hit at age 12, music just pours out of him. He also has a wonderful sense of humor. A remarkable human being, and immensely talented.
For more information about ASCAP, visit their website here ascap.com. For more photos, visit my Flickr page here: flickr.com/photos/joybennett.