Monday, November 05, 2012

Mary Pickford Rediscovered

Mary Pickford Rediscovered book cover
Mary Pickford was Hollywood's first superstar and one of the founders of the Academy. In this lavish 256-page tribute, her enormous and wide-ranging body of work is illustrated with fabulous film stills, rare production shots, and personal photographs – most never before published – from the Academy's Margaret Herrick Library.

Today's audiences – even the Hollywood film industry which she helped create – have little knowledge of Pickford's films, let alone of her enormous behind-the-scenes power as one of the art form's pioneering producers and cofounder of United Artists. This first illustrated filmography of Pickford's career accords her achievements the recognition they deserve. Noted film historian Kevin Brownlow (The Parade's Gone By...and Behind the Mask of Innocence) draws on interviews with Pickford and her circle to provide entertaining film-by-film commentaries full of wonderful anecdotes about the silent era.

Musee d’Orsay

At Musee d’Orsay, I’ve gained a new perspective of impressionistic paintings. Impressionistic paintings are not exactly impressive, but they are definitely unique and mark the beginning of a new era in art. Unlike conventional artworks, impressionistic paintings do not emphasize on the outlines of the subject matter, the emphasis is placed on colors instead. Most figures do not have defining lines, but stand out from one another due to color contrasts and the techniques of application of paint. Impressionists do not look into details, but they have a play with brushstrokes and paint. Although it seems like much less effort is taken to complete an impressionistic painting, it is remarkable how impressionism successfully achieved what photography could not.

"creating a park-like atmosphere that is communal"

The developers of a proposed $31-million hotel near Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles are ready to seek city approval to construct an indoor-outdoor complex in the brick shell of a condemned apartment building.
Plans call for gutting the empty three-story building at 1130 S. Hope St. that was erected more than a century ago and is no longer structurally sound. The developers would build inside the perimeter of the old exterior walls, creating a landscaped open-air courtyard leading to a new tower with 44 guest rooms.

A separate glassed-in structure for an artist in residence would also be built on the Hope Street side. On top of the ninth floor of the tower would be a swimming pool — and three suites that would hover on stalks above the pool. Like the courtyard, the roof would be landscaped with trees and plants.

“It’s about creating a park-like atmosphere that is communal,” said Sam Marshall, who is designing the plans for the yet-unnamed hotel. Marshall is part of a development partnership, led by former Manhattan Beach insurance salesman Kevin Burke, that bought the property last year for $2.1 million.

Rendering of a proposed boutique hotel at 1130 S. Hope St. in Los Angeles. The tall building at left is an existing condominium tower. (Sam Marshall / November 2, 2012),0,5291241.story 

Sunday, November 04, 2012

The JFK Library

The JFK Library, which opened in 1979 in an I.M. Pei–designed building, is dedicated to the study of the 35th president's life and work, and houses his presidential papers and a museum. Start with a film chronicling JFK's life until the 1960 campaign season, then work your way through exhibits of campaign memorabilia (signs, buttons, and TV ads); video of the Kennedy–Nixon debates; correspondence between family members; and photos of the Kennedys at Hyannisport. It's great for history buffs, but be aware that getting there without a car is a bit of a schlep (on the T's Red Line, then a free shuttle bus); leave about 30 minutes each way. The museum, ringed by a pleasant harborside walking trail, is located adjacent to the University of Massachusetts Boston campus and steps away from the Commonwealth Museum of Massachusetts history, where you'll find original royal charters, John Adams's Massachusetts state constitution, and the copper plates from which Paul Revere engraved his famous etching of the Boston Massacre (220 Morrissey Blvd.; 617-727-9268).—updated by Jon Marcus

Open daily 9 am to 5 pm.,r:1,s:0,i:74