I found some 23 year old slides of Madonna today.
When gay nightlife in Los Angeles really kicked off
This period, during the late 1920s and the early 1930s, was a golden era in Los Angeles for gay performers, entertainers in drag and the crowds of Angelenos – gay, straight, rich and poor – that loved them. It was during Prohibition and all the clubs were underground; but the culture was completely open and vibrant, filled with fluid sexuality and music that was often coded. It was called the Pansy Craze and it swept up not only Los Angeles, but many of the major cities nationwide. Written by Jenny Hamel
Promotional photo of Bruz Fletcher, who performed on the Sunset Strip for five years. Photo courtesy of Tyler Alpern
Terry Allen taped cassettes to the back of his paintings. Not because the painting aided the tape, or because the tape aided the painting, but because you, the viewer, was straddled in this in-between space, steered by both.
You are about to enter another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone!
Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting with photographer and writer Mark Vieira. Vieira makes glamour portraits in the classic Hollywood mode, working in the historic Granada Buildings, where George Hurrell had his first Los Angeles studio.
George Hurrell gave the Golden Age of Hollywood its glossy sheen and soft-focus seductiveness. He was the foremost publicity stills photographer of the day - a man responsible for creating icons. Hurrell’s portfolio reads like an A-list who’s who: Greta Garbo, Humphrey Bogart, Judy Garland, Katharine Hepburn, Lawrence Olivier, Rita Hayworth, to name a few. Many stars refused to sit for anyone else. [Matilda Battersby for the Independent]
Vieira writes books about the artists, genres, and photographic technique of Hollywood’s Golden Era. He’s written seventeen books since 1988, giving voices to George Hurrell, Tony Curtis, Boris Karloff, Greta Garbo, Irving Thalberg, Joan Crawford, and Norma Shearer. He publicizes his books with exhibitions of photographs that he prints by hand from original Hollywood negatives.
It was a thrill to sit with Vieira and photographer Armando Gallo and talk about dark room printing. Afterwards I was able to share selections from the Hollywood Foreign Press archives with Vieira who was able to help me identify who had taken some of the 1940s/50s prints.
Photos by Armando Gallo for the HFPA
I recently found a beautiful photograph of a Golden Globe Awards stage prop from 1989. It was the most complete photo of one of the 80s stage props that I’ve come across but still it was missing the top and bottom of the globe. I worked on the image over a couple of weeks and just in time for the HFPA Film Restoration Summit at the historic Ace Hotel theater. Thierry Fremaux spoke on the birth of film and Jane Fonda appeared in support of preserving historic films.
Circus of Books, a longtime West Hollywood business that was once a vital institution for the city’s gay community, has closed for good after almost 60 years.
Circus of Books was one of several Santa Monica boulevard establishments I visited with my Husband, David, the night we met in May, 2007. We walked along to the bookstore after being introduced to each other at Hamburger Mary’s. After the bookstore, we continued along the boulevard to the Gold Coast Bar where we took our first photos together.
Would Circus of Books have survived if it updated its characterless decor and replenished the shelves with more desirable publications? I left the Bob Mizer Foundation bookstore in San Francisco last year wanting 100 things and spending 100 bucks. I’d probably have done that every few months if the Circus had more to offer.