SBIFF Sessions on Zoom and YouTube
By Steven Libowitz   |   January 14, 2021

SBIFF’s first Film Talk of the year features Paul Walter Hauser, who got his start as a stand-up comedian before turning to acting where he has enjoyed a number of noteworthy roles. In addition to a litany of TV series guest shots and a few recurring roles, he proved a scene stealer at the movies […]

Focus on Film: Christmastime is Here
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 10, 2020

UCSB Arts & Lectures’ free outdoor fall film festival series of screenings at the West Wind Drive-In comes to a close with two Christmas classics, with a modern parable followed by a Jimmy Stewart tearjerker. In 2003’s Elf, Will Ferrell stars as an elf named Buddy who discovers that he’s actually a human whom Santa […]

 

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Focus on Film: Frank Talk on a Gambit
By Steven Libowitz   |   December 3, 2020

If you haven’t yet checked out The Queen’s Gambit, deservedly one of the top-ranked shows on Netflix and one of the best original series in the streaming service’s catalog, now would be a good time to get started on the seven-episode series about a chess prodigy turned accomplished if tortured young woman. That’s because Scott […]

A Talented Tandem
By Richard Mineards   |   December 3, 2020

UCSB’s popular Arts & Lectures series has obviously been scrambling during the pandemic lockdown to present its normal program of international acts and artists. I took the opportunity at the weekend to watch 21-year-old cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and his pianist sister, Isata, play a virtual concert from their home in Nottingham, England, and couldn’t fail […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 15: Film Director and Producer Ivan Reitman
By Joanne Calitri   |   November 26, 2020

Epically known as the one director who can harvest the funniest talent for his movies, Ivan Reitman continues his film making legend during lockdown with eight screenplays in the works, a sequel to Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting, and the next installment of the Ghostbuster series, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, to be released in theaters in June […]

Focus on Film: Good Trouble with John Lewis
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 19, 2020

Dawn Porter’s much-heralded documentary, John Lewis: Good Trouble, which chronicles the life and career of the legendary civil rights activist turned longtime Democratic Representative from Georgia, came out shortly before Lewis passed away last summer. The film, which features both rare archival footage and exclusive interviews with Lewis, celebrates his 60-plus years of social activism […]

Personal Surf Film Debuts
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 19, 2020

Santa Barbara surfer and filmmaker Heather Hudson, creator of the groundbreaking documentary surf films The Women and the Waves, has a new film she’s sharing with local audiences. 93 – Letters from Marge is the story of surf pioneer and icon Marge Calhoun (1924-2017) told through letters she wrote during the last years of her […]

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SBIFF: Grappling with Graphics
By Steven Libowitz   |   November 18, 2020

Last year marked the 50th anniversary of John Van Hamersveld‘s iconic “Crazy World Ain’t it” emoji – it was called an illustration back in 1969 when Van Hamersveld created his first versions of the drawing at Bellevue Studio on Bonnie Brea in Echo Park and went on to develop the idea for a T-shirt graphic […]

Focus on Film: Women in the Water
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 29, 2020

She is the Ocean, the new documentary from Inna Blokhina, the director of the award-winning film On the Wave, is an in-depth exploration of the lives of nine women from around the world who share a love for the sea so profound that they have chosen to make the ocean the center of their physical, […]

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Cottage Rehab’s Evening of Empowering Entertainment
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 13, 2020

Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation presents a fundraising screening of the 2017 film Charged: The Eduardo Garcia Story, which describes Eduardo Garcia‘s rehabilitation journey following injuries he suffered from a massive electric shock while hunting. A classically trained chef who found his passion for cooking at an early age, Garcia cut his teeth in the industry […]

Navigating the NatureTrack Film Festival
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 13, 2020

The NatureTrack Film Festival began in 2018 as a way to raise funds and draw attention to the then-seven-year-old nonprofit NatureTrack Foundation, which brings schoolchildren out into nature for docent-led treks along trails in the Santa Ynez Valley. With nature now even more important during the pandemic as outdoor activity is far less conducive to […]

Metro Theatres Ready to Reopen
By Steven Libowitz   |   October 1, 2020

Normally a designation as a red zone would mean no parking or even stopping. But when it comes to pandemic procedures, the designation is more like rolling out a red carpet, as two weeks of reduced cases means more businesses can reopen. Accordingly, Metropolitan Theatres plans to welcome back moviegoers at two of the Santa […]

Arts in Lockdown Series Part 8: J.J. Kandel, Stage to Screen, NYC to L.A.
By Joanne Calitri   |   September 24, 2020

Multi-talented millennial J.J. Kandel was born in Long Island, New York, and grew up on East Valley Road in Montecito, attended Montecito Union, and decided on acting, film, TV, and theatre for his life’s work. He attended a summer drama program at Yale University prior to his senior year at Santa Barbara High School, briefly […]

UCSB Arts & Lectures’ House Calls: Just What the Doctor Ordered
By Steven Libowitz   |   September 24, 2020

UCSB Arts & Lectures is by far the area’s busiest arts organization, presenting in the pre-pandemic era upwards of 100 public events every academic year, not to mention add-ons in the summer. So, naturally A&L is stepping to the front of the line again as the COVID-19 crisis passes the six-month mark. After transferring its […]

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