Marine's Book and Film on Early Days of Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan Discussed at Library

A free series that marries books, films and discussion about them kicks off Saturday at Santa Ana Public Library with a Marine's account of the early days in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The author's hand-held video journal from that time will be shown later in the month.

The Blue Cascade is First Lt. Mike Scotti's raw, hard-hitting memoir from the early 2000s, when he participated in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He shares what it was like from him and his fellow Marines serving in those wars.

Limited copies of The Blue Cascade will be available at the library for card holders, or you can buy a copy at the bookstore or through Amazon.

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Indie Rom-Com Warren Screening/Q&A w/ Director Alex Beh TOMORROW at West Coast Film Festival!

Categories: Film and TV


Years after giving up on making it in the Chicago improv scene, 20-something Warren Cavanee is getting by working as a barista. He's seemingly complacent yet stuck adrift in his own melancholia, between the throes of his parents' divorce, carrying a torch for the love of his life Emma (Sarah Habel), and his own uncertainty of his future. It isn't until Emma walks back into his cafe one night does he feel inspired to regain the momentum to move forward with his life.

So goes the storyline for writer-director-star Alex Beh's debut feature film Warren, screening this weekend at San Juan Capistrano's West Coast Film Festival. The film has already generated buzz on the festival circuit, garnering praise and attention to Beh's performance and for those of co-stars John Heard and Jean Smart (who play Warren's parents), as well as for the film's story. Audience members will get a chance to engage with Beh at this weekend's screening for a Q&A discussion after the film, so don't miss out!

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Boozy Behavior of John Wayne and Alexis Bellino Cited in Suit Against Balboa Bay Club

Categories: Court, Film and TV

Universal Pictures
John Wayne could allegedly count on stiff drinks and no blowback at the Balboa Bay Club.

I suppose what Steve George is trying to say in his lawsuit filed Thursday that alleges his lifetime membership from the Balboa Bay Club was wrongfully revoked is that because John Wayne, Alexis Bellino and other noteworthy folks engaged in boozy behavior that did not get them tossed from the tony private club and condos in Newport Beach, he should not have been disciplined either.

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The Wedge Like You've Never Seen It Before

From Entourage to The Wedge.

SHFT, "a lifestyle platform founded by film producer Peter Glatzer and actor-filmmaker Adrian Grenier," sounds so La-La-Land as to be repellent to many behind the Orange Curtain. But we're down with their stated mission ("to convey a more sustainable approach to the way we live through film, design, art and food") and really, really down with a video they just shared of The Wedge in Balboa.

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Peter Capaldi's Debut in BBC America's Doctor Who on Big and Small Screens Throughout OC

BBC America
See Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who this weekend on cable TV or in a movie theater.

I never got into Doctor Who, but I respect its devoted following, which treats every changing of the guard (and by "guard" I mean "doctor") as a grand media event. Indeed, BBC America is pulling out all the stops for Saturday night's debut of Peter Capaldi in the title role--on both small and big screens in Orange County.

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Lalo Guerrero: The Original Chicano Screening and Discussion This Thursday at Bowers

Categories: Film and TV

Victor Payan
The Original Chicano
Dan Guerrero wanted to tell the story of his father, legendary Chicano singer-songwriter Lalo Guerrero, for years before eventually taking the initiative to tell it himself. A television producer for musical specials, the younger Guerrero had footage of his father on camera telling his story, shot over a decade ago in anticipation for when some sort of definitive project would take off.

Thus the documentary Lalo Guerrero: The Original Chicano. An informative, tell-all television film, it tells the story of the singer's life in vivid detail from his early upbringing in Tucson to his musical career that spanned over six decades. "My father's story was in my head, but everything I needed in terms of clippings, photos, etc. were in my closet," Guerrero told the Weekly. "Whereas, someone from the outside doing it would've had to do a tremendous amount of research, find out things. I already knew it."

It wasn't until Nancy De Los Santos, Guerrero's co-producer and co-writer, stressed making the film themselves, did Guerrero push to make it happen. The doc made its debut on PBS and was screened at various Latino film festivals in the US and Mexico and won acclaim from the Imagen, Alma, and the Cine Golden Eagle Awards, to name a few. This Thursday, Bowers Museum and OC Film Fiesta will host a special screening of the film as part of OC Film Fiesta's teaser screenings series leading up to the film festival's opening in September.

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Azul y no Tan Rosa, Gay Dad/Straight Son Drama, Rolls at 2014 Long Beach Qfilm Fest

Cines Unidos
Like father, not like son ...

A Venezuelan drama about a gay photographer adapting to his closed-minded teenage son (and vice versa) will make its Southern California premiere at next month's 2014 Long Beach Qfilm Festival presented by the LGBTQ Center of Long Beach.

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The Fisher King Benefit Screening for Suicide Prevention This Wednesday at The Frida

Categories: Film and TV


It's been a week since we lost comic genius Robin Williams, whose cause of death has launched an outpouring of essays and studies on the links between depression and suicide, rightly bringing to light an issue that deserves more awareness and compassion. Coker pointed towards the Orange County Health Care Agency's suicide report released Thursday with alarming statistics on the staggering suicide rate in Orange County in the past five years.

The Frida Cinema in Santa Ana has responded to Williams' death with a retrospective screening of one of his most acclaimed roles, as a frantic and questionably deranged homeless man in Terry Gilliam's 1991 film The Fisher King. This one-night-only screening will benefit the Jacqueline Bogue Foundation for Suicide Prevention in Orange County.

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Frida Cinema Launches Monthly Rocky Horror Picture Show Screenings This Friday

Categories: Film and TV

Let the raunchy good times begin
Just a couple of months ago, I wrote about The Rocky Horror Picture Show getting the cemetery screening treatment for Long Beach's Sunnyside Cemetery film series, and about my deep love for the movie's cult following. I said it once, and in honor of the film's upcoming screening this week at Frida Cinema, I'll say it again: RHPS is an unforgettable communal experience. This Friday marks the debut showing of the film at Frida Cinema, where a live shadow cast will mirror the actions of the characters in the movie in real time, like at any honorable RHPS showing. The Frida hopes to make screening this musical gem an ongoing event, presumably once a month. There's even an Instagram account for the RHPS showings, @rocky_at_the_frida_cinema.

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Director Todd Douglas Miller Talks About His Passion Project Dinosaur 13 Screening Tonight

(From left:) Neel Larson, Peter Larson, Sue Hendrickson, Terry Wentz and, under the dirt, Sue.

Speaking from a cab taking him to a hotel before tonight's screening of his film Dinosaur 13 at Lido Live Theater in Newport Beach, the documentary's director/producer/editor Todd Douglas Miller mentioned that he hopes audiences understand the importance of science education and natural history because, "We need more people out there digging."

But if that leaves you expecting a dry cinematic tutorial on the largest, nearly complete Tyrannosaurus rex ever found, are you in for a wild ride. The little indie hit of Sundance packs elements of a legal thriller, David vs. Goliath (in the form of a rag-tag band of paleontologists vs. the U.S. government, Native American tribes, powerful museums and academic paleontologists) and a love story (between man and woman and, especially, man and a T.rex named Sue).

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