Joffrey Juxtaposes Past, Present, and Future of Dance
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 10, 2022

Choreographer Gerald Arpino, the co-founder of the Joffrey Ballet who succeeded Robert Joffrey as its artistic director from 1988 to 2007 and composed nearly 50 ballets for the company, would have turned 100 next January. So, it’s fitting that Arpino’s 1986 work Birthday Variations forms the centerpiece of the Joffrey’s two-day, eight-work pair of performances […]

Festival Finale
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 10, 2022

Just three days are left in Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) ‘22, but that’s still plenty of time to partake of a plethora of movies in virtually every genre as a significant percentage of the films are either premiering or having second screenings March 10-12, while others might enjoy a third showing to fill […]

 

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Bisset en Rose
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 3, 2022

There’s something appealing about seeing an aging actress playing an aging actress discussing acting, movies, and life in a movie. Not in the least because it’s still exceedingly difficult for actresses “of a certain age” – even in our era of more awareness – to find meaty roles.  That’s partly why the veteran British star […]

Oscar Goes to Santa Barbara
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 3, 2022

Academy Award aficionados and other Oscarologists will have a field day at SBIFF ‘22 all within the fest’s first few days. All five nominated directors (including Steven Spielberg!) appear at the Arlington on March 3, followed by Kristen Stewart on March 4, the now nine-strong Virtuosos Award in the wake of the Writers’ (with eight […]

SBIFF’s New Programmer Provides Critic-al Thinking
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 1, 2022

One year after the Santa Barbara International Film Festival went virtual with a bonus drive-in at the beach option, the city’s signature wintertime event is back as a full 11-day extravaganza. The festival is back to full-strength complete with Oscar-nominated movie stars doing on-stage interviews at the Arlington (with Penélope Cruz joining a line-up that […]

Colors of Love
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 12, 2022

Transform Through Arts Theater’s annual Colors of Love dance show at Center Stage Theater returns to its usual Valentine’s Day weekend performance slot for 2022 after moving to August due to the pandemic last year, and the local collective’s approach to the concept of love has expanded in the interim.  “It’s evolved into more diversity […]

SBIFF’s Acting Accolades Announced
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 1, 2022

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has rounded out its list of tribute honorees for the 37th annual fest in early March, with the announcement that Benedict Cumberbatch, whose portrayal of Alan Turing in The Imitation Game earned him an Oscar nomination, will receive the Cinema Vanguard Award for his performance in current Oscar favorite […]

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Michael DeVorzon Stars in Upcoming Film Alongside Bruce Willis
By Joanne Calitri   |   December 7, 2021

The hot film news of the week is our own super talented actor-writer Michael DeVorzon in his latest role as Smith opposite Bruce Willis as Ron Whitlock, in Jared Cohn’s new action thriller Deadlock, which opens in theaters, on digital, and On Demand on December 3, 2021. DeVorzon and I talked Monday this week about […]

A Bit of Grace, With Some ‘Power’
By Nick Masuda   |   October 26, 2021

Grace Fisher is a typical music aficionado, daydreaming of developing the score for a Disney smash hit, still inspired by the music from animated hits such as A Bugs Life, Up and the Incredibles — none known for their mainstream melodies but left a lasting impression on the 23-year-old. “Disney does a great job of […]

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3Qs with Shorts Fest curator Lynn Holley
By Steven Libowitz   |   August 5, 2021

After three years and five festivals screening at SBCAST, Lynn Holley’s 3 Minute Film Festival is going back online for its ninth iteration, with all 31 selections culled from twice as many entries from a dozen countries being screened on its website beginning August 1. Dubbed “The best little boutique film festival on an international […]

UCSB Music Goes Live, with Tech Support from SBCC
By Steven Libowitz   |   June 3, 2021

Last October, Santa Barbara City College’s Jim Mooy used the Jamulus audio platform and live-streamed videos of each performer generated via Zoom to direct a synchronous audio and video stream of a university ensemble performance of SBCC’s Lunch Break Jazz Ensemble concert.  This week, Mooy lends his expertise to his counterparts at UCSB’s Music Department, […]

Creating Hope with Pico Iyer and the Dalai Lama
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 20, 2021

It’s no surprise that UCSB Arts & Lectures has turned to the XIV Dalai Lama for the keynote event in its year-long 2021-2022 Creating Hope programming initiative. After all, not only has His Holiness, who is believed to be a manifestation of the Bodhisattva of Compassion, spent much of his life encouraging people to be […]

Chaucer’s Choice
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 13, 2021

The population of western monarch butterflies — the majestic insects that migrate from nearby states to spend the cold months in groves of trees between Marin County and San Diego — has declined more than 99 percent since the 1980s, a dramatic drop that has sadly been verified by their disappearance from our own famous […]

Productions at the Pollock
By Steven Libowitz   |   April 29, 2021

The Pollock Theatre at UCSB jumps back into the post-SBIFF fray in mid-spring with three events within a single week. Appropriate for Earth Day weekend, Pollock’s virtual filmmaker series dives into the 2020 documentary Frozen Obsession, which follows the 18-day, 2,000-mile Northwest Passage Project expedition through the stunningly beautiful and extreme Canadian Arctic, aboard the […]

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