Monday, June 30, 2008

Freeway Series

So the Angels lost on Saturday in a historic no hit game against the Dodgers. And it was painful to watch. And as usual, I was miffed anyway that it's seemingly impossible to get to the Dodgers stadium via public transportation. Or really, just impossible, period. The day the stadium reinstates public transit access will be the day that I wholeheartedly agree that it's indeed a family friendly environment.

The super dogs and garlic fries, on the other hand, did NOT disappoint.

Either way, I think it's a great idea that the Dodgers and Angels play one another in the annual Freeway Series. Because really, despite seeing the Angels lose, I love the idea of being able to attend a baseball game with ALL of my Dodgers and Angels rooting friends... and rubbing it in their faces when the Angels DO win. All in the name of fun, of course.

-Sarah Koo, ExperienceLA Marketing Assistant

Friday, June 27, 2008

LA Film Fest: Dirty Hands, The Art & Crimes of David Choe

Last Saturday, I stopped by the Majestic Crest Theatre in Westwood to see the documentary "Dirty Hands, The Art & Crimes of David Choe". When the film first began, I honestly didn't know what to expect. I had briefly read the synopsis about some do-whatever-he-wants bad boy artist and his rough soulful journey toward his own salvation... Was this going to be an attempt at trying to unnecessarily draw out profound meaning or shock value from some artsy fartsy situation, or was this going to strike a chord with the audience?

As an artist, I have a tendency to be highly critical when it comes to other artists and the messages that they communicate. I could be apologetic, but in actuality, I'm trained to be this way... to dig beyond the flash of "artsyness" and trends and what I'm told is great to find something that's more raw and authentic, as ugly as it can be.

I'll admit that the documentary was a little too long, and sometimes disorienting in its swirls of colors, commentary, and just plain crazy antics on the artist's part (at one point, David's being interviewed while submerged in water up to his neck out in Africa in search of dinosaurs). But after some thought, I realized that what I initially mistook as the usual mix of arrogance and nonchalance was actually his natural air as an artist... because artists tend to be counter cultural in nature, bordering on defiant and even absurdity in hitting and satiating their creative needs. And by the end of the movie, when I finally oriented myself amid the swirls and snippets of interviews and artworks to fully realize the difficulties and poignant depths of his trials, I realized that while David might really be crazy, he's just more willing than most to go with his impulses and experiment, regardless of the outcome. Seeing as how that's one of my biggest weaknesses as an artist, he's definitely garnered my respect.

The LA Film Fest's well underway, with just a few days left before it makes its glorious exit with a closing gala screening of "Hellboy II". Be sure to check out Family Day on Sunday that's full of free activities, a petting zoo, and more, along with other awesome screenings!

-Sarah Koo, ExperienceLA Marketing Assistant

Monday, June 23, 2008

LA Film Fest: Swear-A-Long Scarface

It was a warm summer night in Los Angeles with stars glinting overhead as the Ford Amphitheatre became a beautiful setting for Outdoor Screenings (part of the many events of the LA Film Festival). This open space was an oddly perfect place for a screening of Swear-A-Long Scarface... The film - uncensored, uncut - was seen by fans and newbies alike. Not for the faint of ears, it is known as having a record of 226 mentions unmentionable word on this blog.

Scarface - the 1983 version, anyway - follows the rise and fall of Tony Montana (Al Pacino), a Cuban immigrant with a criminal background, who has a distinctive scar on the left side of his face. The classic imperfect character, the movie plays out almost like a Greek tragedy dealing with criminal gangs and narcotics. Montana isn't all bad; he isn't all great. Part of him could be you, even though you might not want to be him.

The event was more than the chance to show - ahem - your open-mindness regarding the freedom of word choice. It was a chance for fans to recite famous lines, and reminsce with famous scenes...all while enjoying a space open to dinner beneath the stars - perhaps a peanut butter sandwich packed before heading out or a glass of white wine after a day at work.

The screening was graced by the presence of co-star Steven Bauer (who portrays Montana's sidekick Manny Ribera) and featured sponsorship by Metro Mix and 103.1 Indie.

Wednesday night features the fourth Ford Amphitheatre Screening - the documentary American Teen (June 25, 8 pm).

-Charity Tran, Web Coordinator

Check out's LA Film Festival picks in our LA Film Fest 2008 Newsletter!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Last Remaining Seats: Mel Brooks, Cloris Leachman, and Young Frankenstein

When my friend Adam asked me if I was interested in attending a Last Remaining Seats event at the Los Angeles Theatre (The answer was "Of course!"), I had no idea that the event was going to be more than a screening of Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein"...

Think Downtown's Broadway Avenue with a really long line of people...a long line stretching out a few blocks...separated only by a couple of streetlights.

That was my welcoming sight to the event. My thoughts? "Wow, that's a long line" and "No wonder these things are sold out."

In the Los Angeles Theatre: Built on Broadway between 1911 and 1931, this theatre is known as the last and most extravagant of the movie palaces. Without getting into architectural details that I have no expertise in, all I can really say is that it's an amazing theatre with crystal chandaliers, mirrors, and ornate columns and walls.

It even has a ballroom. I felt like Cinderella - minus the prince, the gown, and the glass slippers.

Pre-Movie: If the setting wasn't amazing enough, how about a surprise appearance by Mel Brooks and Cloris Leachman?! Before the screening, the audience was given an unexpected visit and conversation with these talented and comedic celebrities. In a theatre dimly lit, you couldn't miss the laughter, applause, and even the smiles.

The Movie: It's Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein" on a ginormous screen. If you haven't seen it - you should. A hilarious "adaptation" of the Mary Shelley classic, shot in black and white film in the 70s, Dr. Frankenstein's grandson has inherited it all...including the secret of reanimated life that leads to hijinks and hilarity.

Post-Movie: Prior to the event, a nice woman next to us gave us a restaurant recommendation at the Tranquility Base Restaurant on 8th/Hill which offers food up until 2am. She pulled out a "Nights on the Town" in Historic Downtown flyer, featuring restaurants that are a part of a limited promotion organized by the Downtown LA Retail. Barely missing the dinner menu, we did enjoy the late night menu and the cool ambiance of the restaurant, which included big screens with classic film reels and an outdoor patio with a fire place.

All the Last Remaining Seats events sell out annually. Make plans early next year because even the line before you get in is worth seeing.

-Charity Tran, Web Coordinator

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

LA Film Fest: A Conversation with Common

The annual LA Film Festival doesn't official start until Thursday, June 19th with Wanted, but I was able to get to one of the FREE events before its kick-off. Last night, the festival provided "A Conversation with Common, Artist in Residence", which proved to be an awesome evening of insights worth my 40 minute trek to the Westside on the Metro Rapid #720...

Truth be told, I was one of the people who only knew that Common is a hip-hop artist and with only some familiarity with his music. So the purpose of me attending this event was to just get to know more about an artist who seemed pretty cool...and he is. (For those of you who don't know, Common's also an actor, with his most recent gig in the film Wanted.)

The event was moderated by Garth Trinidad of KCRW who did a great job in providing an engaging conversation that moved through so much of Common's journey as an artist:
his road from hip-hop artist to film, his roots in becoming a musician, and his many other interests (he recently started a high-end line of hats) and causes (he has a foundation and has written 3 children's books).

Through this conversation, one finds that Common provides his audience - particularly the dreamers and the artists - with hope and encouragement to go for it all. It's definitely a case of a living example - if he can do it, you believe you can too.

-Charity Tran, Web Coordinator

Check out's LA Film Festival picks in our LA Film Fest 2008 Newsletter!

Monday, June 16, 2008

What's Opera Doc?

As a kid donned in hot pink high tops and self-made neon friendship bracelets, my weekends were relatively simple with the usual round of Saturday morning cartoons and arts & culture classes. Bugs Bunny and his wacky crew, in particular, will always be a staple of my childhood memories. And to his credit, Bugs Bunny is what inspired me to chomp away at carrots, if only to have the opportunity to walk around repeatedly asking "what's up doc?" to the annoyance of those around me.

Fast forward however many years or decades, and who says we have had to fully grow up and shed ourselves of those poignant memories? For those of you wanting to indulge in some nostalgia... the Warner Bros. will be presenting Bugs Bunny on Broadway on all of the Hollywood Bowl's big screens, while accompanied live by the LA Phil. It's summer and the perfect time to check out all the great outdoor venues: see what's happening at the Hollywood Bowl, Greek Theatre, Ford Amphitheatre, and Grand Performances.

And don't forget to enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets to Bugs Bunny on Broadway.

-Sarah Koo, ExperienceLA Marketing Assistance

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Purple and Gold

...are complimentary colors (or well, purple and yellow, but close enough)! Perfect indeed. Green and white, on the other hand... are not.

Enough said.

If you're not one of the lucky people who have tickets to the NBA Finals, and the Lakers are out in can catch the game on the massive Staples Center TV screens with thousands of other fans. $15 for adults and $10 for kids 3 to 13. Proceeds go to the Lakers Youth Foundation and the Staples Center Foundation, both of which benefit local kids. It definitely adds to the spirit and excitement to head over to the Staples Center on the Metro with a multitude of purple and gold wearing fans.


*Take the Metro Blue Line to Pico Station, one block from Staples Center, or the Metro Red Line to 7th Street/Metro Center, just four blocks away.

-ExperienceLA Staff

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Live Blogging at LACMA

Today I check out the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at LACMA. More
-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Web Coordinator