Author: melissamasatani

Learning from the ‘Master of Disaster’

Does art imitate life, or is it the other way around? When it comes to fiction, there really is no answer — some of the best stories have been rooted in reality. One such book, Master of Disaster, by Ira Teller, falls under that category. Marina del Rey author Teller has many tales to tell about his years in the film industry. After 33 years in motion picture marketing, Teller has been involved in various facets of the industry. But it’s his recollection of the last interview actor Brandon Lee gave before his death on the set of The Crow that kept drawing questions. “I was involved in behind-the-scenes documentaries around 1993, right when it was starting to become popular,” Teller says. “The picture was The Crow — and I was the last person to interview Brandon Lee before he was killed on the set.” The production was full of accidents, Teller remembers, mishaps involving crew members, actors and equipment. It was while filming a scene with gunshots that a blank shot misfired and the velocity of the shell fatally injured the actor. Teller had finished interviewing Lee shortly before the accident, and used the footage he captured of the actor in the behind-the-scenes documentary he was making. It was in showing this documentary while teaching a class at UCLA that Teller began to speculate about the circumstances of...

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Daniel Pearl Music Days are here

The accomplishments of the average 14-year-old are few. For most, starting a new high school is challenge enough — nevermind the athletics, academics, and other extracurriculars typical of today’s overstimulated youths. But when 14-year-old Hana Rosenbaum heard a radio program about the Daniel Pearl Foundation and the World Music Days events held in honor of the murdered journalist, her reaction was anything but average. The next year, as a 15-year-old sophomore at Crossroads School in Santa Monica, Hana organized her own Daniel Pearl World Music Days event, featuring student performers from across the Los Angeles area. And at 16, Hana is organizing her second World Music Days event, to be held at 4 p.m. Sunday, October 5th, in the Crossroads Community Room, Norton Campus, 18th Street and Olympic Boulevard, Santa Monica. Admission is free. “Putting this event together has been a lot of work because it’s more than just a concert, it’s a way to inspire people,” Hana says. The Daniel Pearl World Music Days is now in its seventh year, overseen by the Daniel Pearl Foundation created after The Wall Street Journal’s reporter was murdered by extremists in Pakistan shortly after September 11th, 2001. Pearl was also a talented musician who believed in the power of music to bridge differences and unite people around their shared humanity, according to a release issued by the Foundation. As an “awareness-raising...

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Curtain to fall on iconic Temple Bar

It’s where Stevie Wonder came to jam. It’s where Richard Bona and his bass silenced a room. It’s where Prince sat in the back, just watching world-class performers. And soon, it’s going to be just a memory. The Temple Bar, long a bastion of eclectic performances, will close its doors Tuesday, September 30th, for the last time, as owners Louie and Netty Ryan shift their focus to their other venues — Zanzibar, in Santa Monica; Little Temple, in Silver Lake; and their newest venture, The Townhouse with the Del Monte Speakeasy, in Venice. “It’s the most difficult part of moving on, when you’re coming from somewhere so great,” Louie Ryan says. “It’s a bittersweet time. […] We’re excited about going on and doing something new, but we understand what it means to people because it means the same to us.” Performers build communities around their music, and the Temple Bar excelled at bringing different genres together. Essential MC, a hip-hop and spoken word artist who performed on a recent night as part of the Sacred Music Festival, used this community to organize the Festival performance at the Temple Bar. “The Temple Bar is more about the feeling you get when you get here, it’s always had this vibe about it,” Essential MC says. “I felt it would be a good place for it to be intimate.” Lakshmi Lambert, a...

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Alt Car Expo shows ‘green’ options

Santa Monica, long at the forefront in establishing sustainability programs, will play host to the third annual free Alternative Car Expo from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, September 26th and 27th, at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1885 Main St., Santa Monica. Aimed at showing transportation options to reduce an individual’s ecological footprint, the Expo is heavily promoting mass transit and lifestyle changes, such as having only one car and spending time in local neighborhoods, says the Expo’s creator and producer, Christine Dzilvelis. “People are more receptive than ever to looking and making changes in their lifestyle,” she says. “Even if petroleum goes down in cost again I think the direction is firmly set and people understand the need to make some profound changes in their lifestyle.” Among the vehicles to make their debut at the Expo are the trioBike, making its first U..S. appearance. The trioBike is a Danish three-in-one, a bicycle, a stroller, and a combination of the two for use in various capacities. Regina Keith, a local mother of two who found the trioBike through the Internet, became the company’s first and only U.S. sales representative so far. Information on the trioBike can be found at Local Main Street denizens will recognize Paul S. Pearson, who will be showing his custom-made all-electric cars at the Expo for the third year. This year,...

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Santa Monica Film Festival returns

The Santa Monica International Film Festival returns to the area Friday through Sunday, September 19th through 21st, at the AMC Loews Broadway 4 and Santa Monica Public Library’s Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium. A competition film festival that screens shorts, documentaries and feature films from directors from around the world, the festival aims to promote new films and filmmakers to the industry, as well as economic stability, growth and community life within Santa Monica, according to the festival Web site. Produced by the Malibu Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization that produces film festivals and helps artists in need, festival producer David Katz says the organization saw an opportunity for the rekindling of the Santa Monica Film Festival. “The Santa Monica Film Festival wasn’t being produced for a few years and our organization recognized that Santa Monica is a beautiful city with amazing venues,” Katz says. “We felt it was an appropriate and fitting location for a festival, so we spent a few years building relationships with other organizations within Santa Monica to make the festival happen.” The films are chosen by a jury of professionals, and they screen the films based on quality, Katz says. “We’re looking for quality, cutting-edge films that showcase a new filmmaker or something he hasn’t done before or the audience hasn’t seen before or something that makes them laugh,” he says. “All of [the...

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