Category: Events

Maestros & Their Music w/ John Mauceri ! (& LiveTalks Los Angeles)

Monday, November 20, 2017 8pm -An Evening with John Mauceri discussing his book, Maestros and Their Music: The Art and Alchemy of Conducting

Ann and Jerry Moss Theatre/ New Roads School/ Herb Alpert Educational Village -3131 Olympic Boulevard Santa Monica, CA 90404

PURCHASE TICKETS -LiveTalksLA.org

Over five decades, John Mauceri’s extraordinary career has brought him not only to the world’s greatest opera companies and symphony orchestras, but also to the musical stages of Broadway and Hollywood, as well as the most prestigious halls of academia. Regarded as the world’s leading performer of the music of Hollywood’s émigré composers, he has taken the lead in the preservation and performance of many kinds of music and has supervised/conducted premieres by composers as diverse as Debussy, Stockhausen, Korngold, Bernstein, Hindemith, Elfman, Ives, and Shore. As an accomplished recording artist, John Mauceri has over 70 albums to his name, and is the recipient of Grammy, Tony, Olivier, Drama Desk, Edison, Cannes Classique, Billboard, two Diapasons d’Or, three Emmys, and four Deutsche Schallplatten Awards.

Have you every wondered what, exactly, a conductor does? Maestros and Their Music: The Art and Alchemy of Conducting delves inside the enigmatic art and craft of conducting for a popular audience. With candor and humor, John Mauceri shows how conducting itself is a composition, of legacy and tradition, techniques handed down from master to apprentice, and more than a trace of ineffable magic. Mauceri reveals how conductors approach a piece of music; what it takes to communicate solely through gesture, with sometimes hundreds of performers at once; and the occasionally glamorous, often challenging life of the itinerant maestro. Mauceri, who worked closely with Leonard Bernstein for eighteen years, studied with Leopold Stokowski, and was on the faculty of Yale University for fifteen years, is the perfect guide to the allure and theater, passion and drudgery, rivalries and relationships of the conducting life.

 

Michael Curtiz-A Life In Film w/ Alan K. Rode!

 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18th-special 2 pm matinee! Larry Edmunds Bookshop-Alan K. Rode presents Michael Curtiz-A Life In Film

Larry Edmunds Bookshop is proud to welcome a film scholar and good friend to this establishment next weekend for the launch of his long awaited, highly anticipated biography of legendary director Michael Curtiz.

Alan K. Rode joins us next Saturday for a special presentation & discussion of the life & career of a man who is Hollywood history.

Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film by Alan K. Rode

Academy Award–winning director Michael Curtiz (1886–1962)—whose best-known films include Casablanca (1942), Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Mildred Pierce (1945) and White Christmas (1954)—was in many ways the anti-auteur. During his unprecedented twenty-seven year tenure at Warner Bros., he directed swashbuckling adventures, westerns, musicals, war epics, romances, historical dramas, horror films, tearjerkers, melodramas, comedies, and film noir masterpieces. The director’s staggering output of 180 films surpasses that of the legendary John Ford and exceeds the combined total of films directed by George Cukor, Victor Fleming, and Howard Hawks. In the first biography of this colorful, instinctual artist, Alan K. Rode illuminates the life and work of one of the film industry’s most complex figures. He begins by exploring the director’s early life and career in his native Hungary, revealing how Curtiz shaped the earliest days of silent cinema in Europe as he acted in, produced, and directed scores of films before immigrating to the United States in 1926. In Hollywood, Curtiz earned a reputation for his explosive tantrums, his difficulty communicating in English, and his disregard for the well-being of others. However, few directors elicited more memorable portrayals from their casts, and ten different actors delivered Oscar-nominated performances under his direction. In addition to his study of the director’s remarkable legacy, Rode investigates Curtiz’s dramatic personal life, discussing his enduring creative partnership with his wife, screenwriter Bess Meredyth, as well as his numerous affairs and children born of his extramarital relationships. This meticulously researched biography provides a nuanced understanding of one of the most talented filmmakers of Hollywood’s golden age.

Writer and film scholar Alan K. Rode is the author of Charles McGraw: Film Noir Tough Guy. He is the host and producer of the Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival in Palm Springs, California, and director-treasurer of the Film Noir Foundation. A superbly researched, highly compelling account of one of cinema’s most gifted and underrated directors, Rode provides a vivid description of Curtiz’s personality and working methods.

It is difficult if not impossible to imagine a more complete account of his life. — Steven C. Smith, author of A Heart at Fire’s Center: The Life and Music of Bernard Herrmann

Alan K. Rode’s intensely personal biography provides the reader with a complete, well-researched, comprehensive, and critical career study of a brilliant yet complicated artist. A wonderful read and an accurate source for future reference, Michael Curtiz: A Life in Film is thoroughly satisfying, highly intelligent, and a delicious, rich dessert for any serious lover of film and film history. Indulge. — Stephen Michael Shearer, author of Patricia Neal: An Unquiet Life

In Alan K. Rode’s deeply researched and compelling biography, Michael Curtiz gets long overdue recognition as one of the cinema’s greatest storytellers. Casablanca is merely the most renowned of the man’s many masterpieces, and Rode does the director justice by leaving no stone unturned in his examination of Curtiz’s life and career. This book is a significant addition, and at times a valuable corrective, to existing scholarship on Hollywood, the studio system, and the auteur theory. Bravo! — Eddie Muller, author and Turner Classic Movies host

 

WTF? (What’s the Future) w/ Tim O’Reilly & Live Talks Los Angeles

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 8pm (Reception, 6:30-7:30pm)

Tim O’Reilly in conversation with Krisztina “Z” Holly discussing his upcoming book, WTF? What’s the Future and Why It’s Up To Us

Cross Campus–Downtown Los Angeles 800 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90017

PURCHASE TICKETS : LiveTalksLA.org

Tim O’Reilly is the founder and CEO of O’Reilly Media, Inc. the company that for the past three decades has published the books and organized the conferences where Internet entrepreneurs have learned the tools of their trade. His Safari online learning platform provides subscription based learning products to millions of software developers worldwide. O’Reilly has a history of convening conversations that reshape the computer industry. If you’ve heard the term “open source software,” “Web 2.0,” “big data,” or “the maker movement,” you’ve experienced his ability to see and frame the future. O’Reilly graduated from Harvard College in 1975 with a degree in Classics. He began working as a technical writer, and soon began writing and publishing his own books on technology topics.

On Twitter: @timoreilly “For anyone who wants to know how to prepare for the future – and how we might shape that future in ways that broadly benefit society, not just technological or entrepreneurial elites—WTF? is an indispensable guide.” — Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn and co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age

“Tim has been an astute observer of both the successes and the excesses of Silicon Valley. This provocative book distills the lessons he has learned about the power of technology to shape our economy and our lives.” — Hal Varian, Google chief economist

“No one is better at understanding the future than Tim O’Reilly. He has an intuitive feel and a deep knowledge of technology. This book makes sense of the astonishing transformations that are happening around us and is an indispensable guidebook to tomorrow.” — Walter Isaacson, President & CEO, The Aspen Institute

Tim O’Reilly is one of the most prescient observers of emerging technology. Inc Magazine dubbed him “the Oracle of Silicon Valley” and Wired, “the trend spotter.” In his new book — both probing and prophetic — WTF?: What’s the Future and Why It’s Up to Us, he explores the burning questions posed by technology and the future. O’Reilly shares some of the techniques his pioneering company has used to make sense of and predict innovation waves. He then applies those same techniques to provide a framework for thinking about how technologies such as on-demand services, networks and platforms, and artificial intelligence are changing the nature of business, education, government, financial markets, and the economy as a whole. Finally, he examines the choices we have to make a society moving forward in this brave new world. In this powerful combination of memoir, business strategy guide, and analysis of how technology affects jobs and the economy, O’Reilly draws on lessons from networked platforms including Amazon, Google, Facebook, Airbnb, Uber and Lyft to show how our economy and financial markets have also become increasingly managed by algorithms. O’Reilly believes that a world ruled by machines that are hostile to humanity is not a distant possibility. Complex systems evolve from much simpler forebears, and the design of the systems we are building today is already shaping the future. He makes the case that income inequality, declining upward mobility, and job losses due to technology are the result of design choices we have made in the algorithms that manage our markets. Just as Google constantly updates its algorithms in pursuit of relevant search and ad results, and as Facebook wrestles with how to rethink its algorithms for user engagement in response to fake news, he believes we must rewrite those algorithms if we wish to create a more human-centered future. The digital revolution has transformed the world, upending centuries-old companies and business models. Now, it is restructuring every business, every job, and every sector of society. Yet the biggest changes are still ahead.

MIT-trained engineer, tech entrepreneur and adventurer, Krisztina “Z” Holly is the host of The Art of Manufacturing podcast and Founder & Chief Instigator of LA Mayor Garcetti’s MAKE IT IN LA initiative. She is best known for curating and hosting the first ever TEDx (TEDxUSC) in 2009 and founding two innovation centers at MIT and USC. She has an instinct for finding and amplifying undiscovered talent and ideas, whether it’s helping dozens of faculty spin out new venture-backed startups, or curating dozens of speakers whose talks have garnered 14 million views online; ten have appeared on TED.com. Early on, she played key roles at tech startups, such as Stylus innovation (acquired by Artisoft), Direct Hit Technologies (acquired by Ask Jeeves), and Jeeves Solutions (acquired by Kanisa). She served as Vice Provost for Innovation at USC and has been advisor to nearly two dozen companies and organizations, including the River LA, World Economic Forum, and the Obama Administration. She is an avid traveler, backcountry skier, mountain biker, and the quartermaster of the Black Rock City airport logistics team in her spare time. She has two engineering degrees from MIT and currently lives and plays in Los Angeles. 

Bobby Kennedy:A Raging Spirit-An Evening w/ Chris Matthews!

Monday, November 13, 2017 8pm

Chris Matthews in conversation with Frank Buckley discussing his book, Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit

Ann and Jerry Moss Theatre/ New Roads School/ Herb Alpert Educational Village

3131 Olympic Boulevard Santa Monica, CA 90404

PURCHASE TICKETS:LiveTalksLA.org

Chris Matthews is the host of MSNBC’s Hardball. He is the author of Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero; Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked; Kennedy and Nixon; Hardball; and now Bobby Kennedy: A Raging Spirit. With his bestselling biography Jack Kennedy, Chris Matthews shared a new look at one of America’s most beloved Presidents and the patriotic spirit that defined him. Now, with Bobby Kennedy, Matthews returns with a gripping, in-depth, behind-the-scenes portrait of one of the great figures of the American twentieth century. Overlooked by his father, and overshadowed by his war-hero brother, Bobby Kennedy was the perpetual underdog. When he had the chance to become a naval officer like Jack, Bobby turned it down, choosing instead to join the Navy as a common sailor. It was a life changing experience that led him to connect with voters from all walks of life: young or old, black or white, rich or poor. They were the people who turned out for him in his 1968 campaign. RFK would prove himself to be the rarest of politicians—both a pragmatist who knew how to get the job done and an unwavering idealist who could inspire millions. Drawing on extensive research and interviews, Matthews pulls back the curtain on the public and private worlds of Robert Francis Kennedy. He shines a light on all the important moments of his life, from his early years and his start in politics to his crucial role as attorney general in his brother’s administration and his tragic run for president. This definitive book brings Bobby Kennedy to life like never before and is destined to become a political classic.

Frank Buckley is an anchor of KTLA Morning News. Frank joined KTLA in June 2005 from CNN where he had been a national correspondent. Frank is also host of the “Frank Buckley Interviews” podcast. Frank’s reporting experiences have taken him around the world and have included assignments covering the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, politics for CNN, frequent reporting from the White House during George W. Bush’s presidency, natural disasters in Japan, the Los Angeles riots, the Hong Kong handover, the OJ Simpson trial and countless other stories in Southern California and across the U.S. Prior to KTLA and CNN, Frank reported for Los Angeles station KCAL-TV, WXII-TV in Winston-Salem, N.C., and at KESQ-TV in Palm Springs. He has also written for the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit News. 

Win Bigly w/ Dilbert creator Scott Adams

 

Thursday, November 9, 2017  8 pm

An Evening with Scott Adams discussing his upcoming book, Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter

Ann and Jerry Moss Theatre /New Roads School/ Herb Alpert Educational Village- 3131 Olympic Boulevard Santa Monica, CA 90404

PURCHASE TICKETS:LiveTalksLA.org

From the creator of Dilbert, an unflinching look at the strategies Donald Trump used to persuade voters to elect the most unconventional candidate in the history of the presidency, and how anyone can learn his methods for succeeding against long odds. Scott Adams is the creator of Dilbert, one of the most popular comic strips of all time. He has been a full-time cartoonist since 1995, after 16 years working in the technology realm at a major bank and later a phone company. His many bestsellers include The Dilbert Principle, Dogbert’s Top Secret Management Handbook, and How To Fail At Almost Everything And Still Win Big. He is co-founder of WhenHub. For more on Adams, visit his website, and follow him on Twitter: @ScottAdamsSays

Scott Adams—a trained hypnotist and a lifelong student of persuasion—was one of the earliest public figures to predict Trump’s win, doing so a week after Nate Silver put Trump’s odds at 2 percent in his FiveThirtyEight.com blog. The mainstream media regarded Trump as a novelty and a sideshow. But Adams recognized in Trump a level of persuasion you only see once in a generation. Trump triggered massive cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias on both the left and the right. We’re hardwired to respond to emotion, not reason. We might listen to 10 percent of a speech—a hand gesture here, a phrase there—and if the right buttons are pushed, we irrationally agree with the speaker and invent reasons to justify that decision after the fact. The point isn’t whether Trump was right or wrong, good or bad. Win Bigly goes beyond politics to look at persuasion tools that can work in any setting—the same ones Adams saw in Steve Jobs when he invested in Apple decades ago. For instance: · If you need to convince people that something is important, make a claim that’s directionally accurate but has a big exaggeration in it. Everyone will spend endless hours talking about how wrong it is while accidentally persuading themselves the issue is a high priority. · Stop wasting time on elaborate presentations. Inside, you’ll learn which components of your messaging matter, and where you can wing it. · Creating “linguistic kill shots” with persuasion engineering (such as “Low-energy Jeb”) can be more powerful than facts and policies. Adams offers nothing less than “access to the admin passwords to human beings.” This is a must-read if you care about persuading others in any field—or if you just want to resist persuasion from others. 

SWITHEART w/ Loretta Swit at the Hollywood Museum!

 

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 5th -6:30 -7:30p pm-the Hollywood Museum-1660 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood!

Join us for a special evening as Loretta Swit unveils memorabilia from her career at the HOLLYWOOD MUSEUM & signs copies of her book, “Switheart!” (proceeds to Switheart Animal Alliance)

“SwitHeart: The Watercolour Artistry & Animal Activism of Loretta Swit”

Paintings by Loretta Swit of M*A*S*H fame chronicled in new book. Watercolour Artistry & Animal Activism of Loretta ‘SwitHeart’ chronicles the artwork of TV icon Loretta Swit, a true champion of the animal kingdom. Watercolorist, award-winning animal activist and actress, Ms. Swit is renowned for her starring role on TV’s most honored series, M*A*S*H, for which she won two EMMY’s and worldwide acclaim. __________________________________________________________________________________

WHAT COLLEAGUES ARE SAYING: “How wonderful that Loretta can use her talent to do so much good.” – Angela Lansbury

“Her pictures are created as much with her compassion and dedication as they are with her talent and artful vision.” – Alan Alda __________________________________________________________________________________

Ms. Swit has devoted decades to animal-related causes and is a tireless advocate for animals and animal rights. In September, she was awarded the 2016 Global Wildlife Conservation Champion Award by the GES Africa Conservation Fund for her support of animal conservation efforts, kindness, compassion and generosity. This December Ms. Swit will accept The Betty White Award from Actors and Others for Animals, their highest honor, “for all she has done to protect and care for animals”. What many fans may not know about the multi-talented thespian is that Ms. Swit has been an artist from age six. ‘SwitHeart’ documents her animal portraits along with descriptive anecdotes about each and her extensive philanthropic work. Ms. Swit said, “I’m thrilled to see my passion for animals and my passion for art merge in a book that will help benefit and protect the animals on our planet.”

SwitHeart includes 65 full-color paintings and drawings. Proceeds from the book will be donated to charities and programs that are as dedicated, as Ms. Swit is, to ending animal suffering and cruelty.

“Lorette’s paintings touch us… the joy of the intimacy, the touch of fur, feather, warm breath, the awe she must feel at creating something so simple yet so unimaginably, breathtakingly complex.” – Mike Farrell

“It’s clear she has given her passion to the animals and to the arts. She makes me proud. But I still covet this woman… must be her animal magnetism.” – Ed Asner

HANK & JIM w/ author Scott Eyman!

 

SUNDAY,NOVEMBER 5th (MATINEE) special 2 pm start time! at Larry Edmunds Bookshop

Author Scott Eyman has been a very good friend of the L.E.B. for a much longer time than I have been here & I was very excited when he told me of his new project.

2 amazing talents whose careers cover the golden age of cinema & beyond.

Hank and Jim- The Fifty-Year Friendship of Henry Fonda and James Stewart

There is no Hollywood monument Scott can’t climb, as some of his previous subjects include Pickford, Ford, DeMille & John Wayne. Heavy weights.

We were thrilled to host an event & participate w/ Scott at the TCM Festival for the John Wayne book.

We are thrilled to welcome him back.

Join us next Sunday for a real treat of a afternoon . As always, signed books are available to order if you miss out.

More about Hank & Jim:

New York Times bestselling author Scott Eyman tells the story of the remarkable friendship of two Hollywood legends who, though different in many ways, maintained a close friendship that endured all of life’s twists and turns. Henry Fonda and James Stewart were two of the biggest stars in Hollywood for forty years. They became friends and then roommates as stage actors in New York, and when they began making films in Hollywood, they roomed together again. Between them they made such memorable films as The Grapes of Wrath, Mister Roberts, Twelve Angry Men, and On Golden Pond; and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Destry Rides Again, The Philadelphia Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, Vertigo, and Rear Window. They got along famously, with a shared interest in elaborate practical jokes and model airplanes, among other things. Fonda was a liberal Democrat, Stewart a conservative Republican, but after one memorable blow-up over politics, they agreed never to discuss that subject again. Fonda was a ladies’ man who was married five times; Stewart remained married to the same woman for forty-five years. Both men volunteered during World War II and were decorated for their service. When Stewart returned home, still unmarried, he once again moved in with Fonda, his wife, and his two children, Jane and Peter, who knew him as Uncle Jimmy. For Hank and Jim, biographer and film historian Scott Eyman spoke with Fonda’s widow and children as well as three of Stewart’s children, plus actors and directors who had worked with the men—in addition to doing extensive archival research to get the full details of their time together. This is not another Hollywood story, but a fascinating portrait of an extraordinary friendship that lasted through war, marriages, children, careers, and everything else.

 

“Petty Fun” w/ Kate Hudson & Live Talks at the AERO !

Monday, October 30, 2017 8pm

An Evening with Kate Hudson discussing her book, Pretty Fun: Creating and Celebrating a Lifetime of Tradition

The Aero Theater- 1328 Montana Avenue Santa Monica, CA 90404

PURCHASE TICKETS-LiveTalksLA.org

* all books are pre-signed and available for pick up at check-in

Kate Hudson is a Golden Globe Award winner and Academy Award–nominated actress, producer, entrepreneur and best-selling author of Pretty Happy. She is best known for her roles in Almost Famous, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, and Bride Wars, which she also produced. On television, Kate received critical acclaim for her guest-star appearance on the hit show Glee. She is the voice of Mei Mei in Kung Fu Panda 3. Kate’s love of design and fashion has seen her become an international style icon and muse for some of the world’s top designers. She has also been featured in many global advertising campaigns, most recently the renowned Campari Calendar, and has been the face of major retail brands, including Ann Taylor and Almay.

In 2013, Kate cofounded Fabletics (fabletics.com), a line of stylish and affordable activewear designed to inspire and empower women to get physically fit and as a way of living that promotes health, community, and passion. In Pretty Fun, Kate Hudson shares her philosophy behind gatherings, how to be in the moment, make them uniquely yours, embracing occasions to just be together. Pretty Fun is a warm and welcoming, lifestyle and entertaining guide, complete with delicious, healthy recipes and even some more indulgent snacks and beverages, and infused with her mindful approach to life.

Waiting For the Punch w/ Marc Maron Live Talks !

 Sunday, October 29, 2017 7 pm – Marc Maron in conversation with Brendan McDonald discussing his book, Waiting for the Punch: Words to Live by from the WTF Podcast

Ann and Jerry Moss Theatre/ New Roads School/ Herb Alpert Educational Village

3131 Olympic Boulevard- Santa Monica, CA 90404

PURCHASE TICKETS:LiveTalksLA.org

Marc Maron is a stand-up comedian, actor, author and host of the podcast, WTF with Marc Maron. He has appeared in his own comedy specials on HBO, Comedy Central, EPIX and Netflix, created the IFC sitcom Maron, and stars in the Netflix OriginalSeries GLOW. He lives in Los Angeles.

Brendan McDonald is the co-creator and executive producer of WTF with Marc Maron. He is an Emmy-winner and a veteran producer of television, radio and digital media. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son.

“I’m British, so I’m medically dead inside, but even I can’t help but open up whenever I talk to Marc. He uses his honesty like a scalpel, cutting himself open in front of anyone he’s talking to, and in doing so, invites you to do the same. “ ?John Oliver

“People say stuff to [Marc] that you can’t imagine them saying to anyone else.” – Ira Glass

Each week over a million and a half listeners tune into WTF with Marc Maron to hear Marc and a guest do something remarkable: talk. Waiting for the Punch is not simply a collection of these interviews, but instead something more wondrous: a running narrative of the world’s most recognizable names working through the problems, doubts, joys, triumphs and failures we all experience. With each chapter covering a different topic: parenting, childhood, relationships, sexuality, success, failures and others, Punch becomes a sort of everyman’s guide to life. Barack Obama candidly discusses the challenges of the presidency, and the bittersweet moments of seeing your children grow up and away from you. Bruce Springsteen speaks on the dual nature of desperation to both motivate and devastate. Amy Schumer recounts the pain of a parents’ divorce. At once laugh-out-loud funny, heartbreakingly honest, joyous, tragic and powerful, Waiting for the Punch is a book to be read from cover to cover, but it is also one to return to again and again.

 

The Soul of Godzilla-An ISHIRO HONDA tribute @ the EGYPTIAN!

 

THURSDAY October 26 & FRIDAY, October 27-6:30 pm signing & 7:30 pm screenings @ the EGYPTIAN THEATRE in Hollywood

THE SOUL OF GODZILLA: AN ISHIRO HONDA TRIBUTE Double Feature! MOTHRA / BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE (October 26)

Join us at 6:30 PM in the lobby, where authors Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski will sign their book Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, From Godzilla to Kurosawa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion between films with authors Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski, moderated by Steve Peros.

MOTHRA 1961, Sony Repertory, 101 min, Dir: Ishiro Honda

Giant caterpillar-turned-avenging-insect Mothra wreaks havoc on Japan when its best friends – two tiny, telepathic, singing sisters (played by real-life siblings Yumi and Emi Ito) – are kidnapped by an unscrupulous promoter and forced to perform in a Tokyo nightclub.

BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE (UCHÛ DAISENSÔ) 1959, Sony Repertory, 90 min, Japan

Dir: Ishiro Honda With the space race in full swing, Ishirô Honda and SFX artist Eiji Tsuburaya collaborated on this action-packed, alien-invasion extravaganza. Envisioning Japan as an aerospace leader and reflecting its postwar return to world affairs (the country had recently joined the United Nations), the film shows Tokyo leading an international coalition of America, the Soviet Union and other nations against hostile spacemen from the planet Natal. These pint-sized invaders pack a powerful arsenal that includes nimble flying saucers and a giant mothership with an anti-gravity beam that sucks skyscrapers off the ground! Heroic astronaut Katsumiya (Ryo Ikebe) and his crew are ready for battle – on the moon, and in the skies over Tokyo.

Friday, October 27th

GODZILLA: THE JAPANESE ORIGINAL / THE H-MAN  Godzilla to Kurosawa. Discussion between films with authors Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski, moderated by Steve Biodrowski. GODZILLA: THE JAPANESE ORIGINAL GOJIRA 1954, Janus Films, 96 min, Japan

In the first of countless kaiju (“strange creature”) films from Japan, a nuclear explosion rouses a reptilian monster from the depths of the ocean; as Godzilla crushes Tokyo underfoot, the only weapon that could stop him may be too powerful to use. Akira Takarada, Momoko Kôchi and Akihiko Hirata star in this seminal sci-fi film, which was later recut with new scenes starring Raymond Burr and released as GODZILLA, KING OF THE MONSTERS! in America.

THE H-MAN (BIJO TO EKITAI NINGEN) 1958, Sony Repertory, 79 min, Japan, Dir: Ishiro Honda

A sexy, exotic dancer slinks across the stage, showered in flickering lights. A bebop combo wails, sax and drums riffing like Charlie Parker and Max Roach. Square-jawed gangsters with slick hair and flashy vines smoke, drink and watch, doted on by giggling bar hostesses. Just another night at Cabaret Homura, but the heat’s about to come down on these mobsters – that is, until an even more dangerous villain appears. Ishiro Honda’s genre-blending sci-fi thriller is a mix of detectives, hoods, radioactive goblins and atomic paranoia. Starring genre regulars Kenji Sahara as an idealistic scientist, Hisaya Ito as an evil drug lord and Yumi Shirakawa as a beleaguered cabaret beauty.

About the book: The first comprehensive biography of the director behind Godzilla and other Japanese sci-fi classics Ishiro Honda was arguably the most internationally successful Japanese director of his generation, with an unmatched succession of science fiction films that were commercial hits worldwide. From the atomic allegory of Godzilla and the beguiling charms of Mothra to the tragic mystery of Matango and the disaster and spectacle of Rodan, The Mysterians, King Kong vs. Godzilla, and many others, Honda’s films reflected postwar Japan’s real-life anxieties and incorporated fantastical special effects, a formula that appealed to audiences around the globe and created a popular culture phenomenon that spans generations. Now, in the first full account of this long overlooked director’s life and career, authors Steve Ryfle and Ed Godziszewski shed new light on Honda’s work and the experiences that shaped it—including his days as a reluctant Japanese soldier, witnessing the aftermath of Hiroshima, and his lifelong friendship with Akira Kurosawa.

Ishiro Honda: A Life in Film, from Godzilla to Kurosawa features close analysis of Honda’s films (including, for the first time, his rarely seen dramas, comedies, and war films) and draws on previously untapped documents and interviews to explore how creative, economic, and industrial factors impacted his career. Fans of Honda, Godzilla, and tokusatsu (special effects) film, and of Japanese film in general, will welcome this in-depth study of a highly influential director who occupies a uniquely important position in science fiction and fantasy cinema, as well as in world cinema. Together, the authors have provided audio commentary tracks and produced supplemental material for numerous home video releases, including Ishiro Honda’s Godzilla for the British Film Institute. They co-produced the documentary feature Bringing Godzilla Down to Size (2008).

“This carefully researched and detailed book gives us a full picture of the man and his life.” —From the preface by Martin Scorsese

“I first saw Godzilla in 1956 at the tender age of eight. Something about the film filled me with a somber dread—not the giant, fire-breathing monster destroying Tokyo, but the overall tone, an underlying sadness, a sense of grief and horror. Japan is the only nation to suffer atomic bombs dropped on two of its cities, and Godzilla gave powerful expression to this emotional ambience disguised as a giant monster movie. The director of this seminal motion picture was Ishiro Honda, the creator of an astonishing output of science-fiction and horror films from Toho Studios and one of my personal cinematic gods.” —John Carpenter

“Exhaustive researchers, Ryfle and Godziszewski delve deeply into the entirety of Honda’s sometimes harrowing life while defining his films within Japanese studio system and his later collaborations with Kurosawa. Filling a huge vacuum of needed scholarship, it’s required reading for genre fans and serious students of Japanese cinema alike.”- Stuart Galbraith IV, author of The Emperor and the Wolf

STEVE RYFLE has contributed film journalism and criticism to the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Cineaste, Virginia Quarterly Review, POV, and other publications. He is the author of a book on the history of the Godzilla film series. ED GODZISZEWSKI is editor and publisher of Japanese Giants magazine. He is the author of a Godzilla film encyclopedia, and has written for Fangoria and other publications.

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