The Devil's Carnival Pulls Into Santa Ana

Categories: Culture, Film, music

Costumed fans show their colors at The Frida. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
It was 40 years ago on this very date, September 25, that a campy, cult, musical, horror film called The Rocky Horror Show had its theatrical premiere. Rocky Horror still screens (along with the audience participatory shenanigans that have become inseparable from its theatrical experience) at arthouse theaters like The Frida, in Santa Ana. Last night, The Frida hosted the Santa Ana premiere screening of Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival -- the latest film from the Rocky Horror-esque Devil's Carnival film series.

Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival is the second Devil's Carnival film and the third cult, musical, horror film by the creative team of director Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II-IV, Mother's Day) and writer / actor Terrance Zdunich. Back in 2008, the duo and their ensemble cast and crew first teamed up to make Repo! The Genetic Opera, which also still enjoys a midnight screening life at art theaters (including The Frida). Additionally, Repo screenings -- like Rocky Horror screenings -- are usually accompanied by shadow cast performances, where costumed audience members perform physical accompaniments to the onscreen action.

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Star Trek Takes Off In Irvine With Help From An Orchestra

Star Trek screening at Irvine Meadows. Photo by Scott Feinblatt
No matter how brilliant and familiar live classical music may be, unless the audience member is thoroughly versed in the genre or that particular piece of work, his 21st century attention span is probably going to wander off a bit during a concert. However, given the hyper-Romantic stylings of a film score (film scores usually focus on one to three themes, which are repeated over and over with variations), along with a screening of the film for which it was written, it is easy to keep an amphitheatre full of people rapt for two hours -- especially when that film is J.J. Abrams's Star Trek and the audience is full of Trekkies.

For someone who has not experienced an orchestral music performance (high school recitals don't count), the acoustics of a live orchestra put your embarrassingly overpriced Beats headphones to shame. Add an emotionally engaging score, and the effect is as enveloping as a siren song. In this case, the song was performed by the Pacific Symphony under the direction of Richard Kaufman. The symphony's resident musical director, Carl St. Clair, took the night off as the Grammy award winning Kaufman is the man for the job when film scores are to be conducted; Kaufman is frequently a guest conductor for orchestras around the world, where he leads orchestras in both traditional orchestral presentations as well as in synchronized film performances. This concert was part of the principal pops programming series, for which Kaufman has been the conductor for 25 seasons.

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The Top Five Films of Master P

Mikamote via Wikimedia Commons
The Bout It One Himself, Master P

Hip-hop and Hollywood have combined to create the biggest story in all of entertainment at the moment as the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton is dominating the box office and receiving rave reviews for bringing rap history to the silver screen. Its success has already caused quite a number of moves to be made in the industry, including the announcement of a biopic for No Limit Solder and iconic rap entrepreneur Master P. But if you've ever been bout it bout it, you'd know this wouldn't be the first time P's solid gold tank would roll into the celluloid canon.

No Limit Films was actually a pretty groundbreaking division of P's No Limit Records, paving the way for rappers to star in their own direct-to-video films and prove there's a market to see them act. From ambitious but humble beginnings shooting on VHS to getting some actual big name stars under P's direction, there's quite a lot to "Hoody-Hoo" in your popcorn about. It is in anticipation of more P cinema that we bring you The Top Five Movies of Master P.

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Don't Think I've Forgotten Documentary Revisits the Roots of Cambodian Rock

Categories: Film

Photo still from Don't Think I've Forgotten
There are plenty of rock 'n' roll documentaries that talk about influential times, places and genres of long-gone music, and then there is Don't Think I've Forgotten.

A film that delves deep into the multi-faceted history and eventual eradication of Cambodia's incredible burgeoning rock scene of the 1960s, Don't Think I've Forgotten is a powerful doc that goes beyond the sounds themselves to weave an emotional tale of how important music is to a society and how culture can survive despite grand efforts to destroy it.

See also: Resurrecting the Memory of Sinn Sisamouth, the Cambodian Elvis

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See Neil Young's Cinematic Side at Shakey Fest

Promotional Image of Neil Young
Neil Young completists, rock historians, and fans of underground cinema, gather ye round! Something rare and off-kilter is going down, and you're not going to want to miss it. For fifty years, Neil Young has been writing, recording, and performing in numerous genres of music, both as a solo act as well as with various groups; however, while most people can recognize some of his tunes; such as "Cinnamon Girl," "Heart of Gold," and "Ohio;" few are the individuals who are versed in his film catalog. This weekend, the Cinefamily, a Los Angeles nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the art and community of cinema, will be showcasing a series of films by and about Neil Young.

The series, called Shakey Fest, is named after Bernard Shakey, Young's filmmaking pseudonym, and it features a newly restored director's cut of Human Highway. The new cut of Highway, a post-apocalyptic musical comedy that was shot in 1982 and co-directed with Dean Stockwell, recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Once Hadrian Belove, the Executive Director and one of the co-founders of Cinefamily, became aware of the restoration, he contacted the film's distributor in the hope of featuring it in a film festival devoted to Shakey's works.

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Five Facts about Breakin' and Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo That Will Pop and Lock Your Mind!

Categories: Film

Shout Factory
The Cast of Breakin
This week, Shout! Factory brings us the long-awaited blu-ray debut of classic early '80s hip-hop films Breakin' and Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo. The classic tales of the magic street dancing can do, whether against a rival dance crew or to save a rec(reation) center, the fast pace and fun tone makes the movies a great time capsule of when breakdancing ruled the world. This edition also contains one of the most fascinating audio commentaries we've heard in some time on Breakin' 2, with director Sam Firstenberg, editor Marcus Manton and the film's iconic star Adolfo "Shabba-Doo" QuiƱones. It's through both this commentary as well as research spawned from our own fandom that we present to you Five Facts about Breakin' and Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo That Will Pop and Lock Your Mind!

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Rude Boy The Movie Skanks into Orange County's Ska Scene of the Past

Categories: Film, audiophilia

OC Weekly/John Gilhooley
Rude Boy The Movie Director Gabriel Zavala and Producer Julian Camarillo
Gabriel Zavala remembers vividly what Friday nights where like when he was a teenager growing up in Anaheim. The director would get ready for a night of dancing at Cloud 9, a popular dance club inside Knotts Berry Farm where kids of every subculture-- punks, goths, material girls, and rudeboys-- would congregate religiously to hear the biggest New Wave hits, as well as two-tone ska tracks by (now classic) heavy hitters like The Specials, Madness, and The Selector. Zavala and his buds counted themselves as rudeboys from the suits to the vespas.

It was these experiences, and Zavala's undying love of ska, that inspired him to create a film based on the scene, and to reconnect audiences with a style of music that has seemingly been left out of cinema and people's imaginations. That film is Rude Boy The Movie, which will be holding a special screening this Friday at the Frida Cinema in Santa Ana.

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[VIDEO]: Rocky Horror Picture Show at The Frida Cinema

Categories: Film, Videos

When it comes to weird cult audience favorites, Rocky Horror Picture Show seems second to none, considering of course that this musical is still going strong on the midnight movie circuit since its debut in 1975.

Character costumes, throwing items at the screen, dancing along to the "Time Warp" or yelling hilarious, often vulgar callbacks to the film's dialogue; some of the staples of the original Rocky Horror screenings from way back when are still in use today. They've also helped make this film the iconic musical that it is, and inspired the Library of Congress to name it "Culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

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Beat Theatre Brings Experimental Film + Beats to the Frida Tonight with Santa Sangre

Antonio Brown/ Courtesy Tony Damico
Gabonano scoring The Shining with fresh beats
The aural, visual experience of a Beat Theatre show is unlike your typical cinematic live re-scoring event. You take a classic art house/avant garde film and pair it with the sounds of original beats made by underground beat producers, and you get a hypnotic, ultra-sensory experience that connects sight, sound, and mind.

While the beat scene remains fairly under the radar from its mainstream-EDM counterparts, local beat artists consider Beat Theatre to be a space for inspiration and connectivity to other artists, while for the performers themselves it's a place to give their bedroom compositions some exposure.

Dating back to 2013 in Long Beach, Beat Theatre shows have always taken place at smaller venues like houses, cultural centers and dive bars, but tonight they'll be making their actual theater debut at the Frida Cinema in Santa Ana with a grand pairing of the 1989 Alejandro Jodorowsky film Santa Sangre, featuring the musical talents of DJs Afta 1, AshTreJinkins, Eludem, Gabonano, and Memesy.

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Nick Cave's Creative Odyssey 20,000 Days on Earth Opens This Friday at The Frida

Categories: Film

Drafthouse Films
Doesn't look a day over 15,765 days old...

Nick Cave is a man who wears many hats: singer, musician, writer, screenwriter, actor and composer. But Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard's latest film, 20,000 Days on Earth , tells about not only the creative genius behind all of them, but also the father, husband and friend that isn't so commonly known to fans.

That isn't to say that 20,000 Days is your run-of-the-mill documentary. In a format befitting the ex-Bad Seeds front man, the film explores the world of Cave and the influences--from his early upbringing to the everyday people in his life--that inspire his imagination. But beyond that, the film examines the spiritual themes such as mortality, and how we spend our time on Earth.

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