Author: rahnepistor

Funny female filmmakers the focus of Broad Humor Film Fest in Venice

From Sundance to Slamdance to Tromadance, film festivals of all genres have emerged in recent years, but still, how often do “funny female filmmakers” get their due, asks Susan di Rende, co-creator of a new local film festival. The Broad Humor Film Festival celebrates just that — broad… errrr… female humor, says di Rende. The Broad Humor Film Festival has screenings and special events lined up for 5 to 11 p.m. Friday; 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday; and 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday, August 24th to 26th, at the Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave., Venice. Tickets are $25 for a three-day festival pass, $15 for the opening night party, or $8 per festival screening. According to di Rende and festival co-creator Kaat Cleenewerck, a broad is defined as a “woman who packs a mean punch” while broad humor is “for women who pack a mean punch line.” Di Rende and Cleenewerck say that there is a lack of female comics in the mainstream and that there are many comedies being made by women that deserve to be seen. The two seek to do their part in helping shift the imbalance through the festival. “A movie that is finished but never gets a chance to speak to an audience is like a stillbirth,” says Cleenewerck. “How can anyone, man or woman, become a master of their craft without the vital...

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Peace and Freedom Party’s 40th marked with counterculture comedy

The Peace and Freedom Party grass-roots political organization will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a comedy event headlined by countercultural icon, publisher and Yippie organizer Paul Krassner and Emmy Award-winning writer Rick Overton. The party, which has an active chapter in Venice, will hold its “Stand Up for Peace and Justice” event at 7 p.m. Sunday, August 5th, at the Powerhouse Theatre, 3116 Second St., Santa Monica. Admission is $15. The live comedy will be preceded by a reception featuring the music of the Eric Ahlberg Trio, a Peace and Freedom Party information table, and arts and crafts. The Peace and Freedom Party first appeared publicly at a protest rally in Century City 40 years ago. Anti-war protesters had amassed to voice dissent the day of a visit by President Lyndon Johnson, according to Los Angeles County Peace and Freedom Party chair Cindy Henderson. The Peace and Freedom Party’s first presidential candidates were Black Panther Party leader Eldridge Cleaver and comedian Dick Gregory. The party’s original planners were a mix of 1960s counterculture youths and members of the Independent Party who had been politically active in the 1940s. Main ideological tenets of the Peace and Freedom Party are “no wars for profits; civil liberties for everyone; ending discrimination for any reason including age, race, sex and sexual preference; affordable healthcare and housing for all; free education from pre-school to...

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Venice Beach Festival of the Chariots an ancient Indian cultural tradition

A colorful commemoration of an ancient annual Hindu tradition is set to return to Venice Beach through the efforts of the Los Angeles Chapter of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON). The 31st annual Festival of the Chariots, a Hare Krishna celebration based on an ancient Indian tradition, includes a free feast, live entertainment, and a parade that will make its way from Santa Monica to the heart of Venice Beach on Sunday, August 5th. Each year, a procession marches from Santa Monica accompanied by three towering red floats (devotions to deities of ancient India) that end up on Ocean Front Walk for an afternoon celebration. The procession begins at 10 a.m. at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main St., Santa Monica. Marchers end up at 1530 Ocean Front Walk in Venice, where the afternoon festivities begin. Admission is free, and the public is invited to join the parade. Live entertainment will include Indian dance, music, dramatic performance and children’s activities. The event is organized each year by a West Los Angeles-based chapter of Krishna devotees. Most recognizable are the festival’s three large red floats — about 25 feet high — devoted to Krishna deities, which paraders hand-carry from Santa Monica to Venice. Members of the crowd will use ropes that are attached to the side of the floats to pull them along the route and down...

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British rocker turned ukulele slinger Whitcomb performs in Playa del Rey

British Invasion rock star Ian Whitcomb is set to invade Playa del Rey, albeit without the big beat thunder of his 1960s Bluesville R&B combo. Instead, these days Whitcomb prefers to invade with a somewhat lighter arsenal — with his trusty ukelele and a pocketful of Tin Pan Alley tunes. Ian Whitcomb and His Bungalow Boys, featuring guitar mentor Fred Sokolow along with Dave Jones on upright bass, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Sunday, July 22nd, at Cantalini’s Salerno Beach Ristorante, 193 Culver Blvd., Playa del Rey. Admission is free. Whitcomb’s brief blast of fame started in the early 1960s with the formation of Bluesville, an R&B dance hall band, taking influence from Alexis Corner’s Blues Inc. and other popular blues-fueled groups of the day. Whitcomb and the combo combined their love of early rock ‘n’ roll ý la Gene Vincent and Elvis Presley with the new mod big beat sound that was taking over the British scene. Riding a wave of the massive success in America of groups like The Beatles, The Animals and The Rolling Stones, Whitcomb knew it was his time to strike, and he struck big indeed with the novelty tune You Really Turn Me On, which reached number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1965. Whitcomb describes that pre-protest era time as “an idyllic summer when Californians looked beautiful and seemed innocently...

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Father of California surfing Freeth arrived in Venice 100 years ago

Redondo Beach may claim him but it’s Venice that can truly stake the claim to fame for George Freeth, the man credited for bringing surfing from Hawaii to Southern California in the early 1900s, says Elayne Alexander, a Venice historian and member of the Venice Community Trust Archival Committee. A slide show presentation on the life of Freeth and the 100th anniversary of the surfing phenomenon, which has come to be a defining image of the Southern California lifestyle, is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Sunday, July 22nd, at the Danny’s Deli, 23 Windward Pacific Ave., Venice. Admission is free. The speaker and presenter of the program is Dr. Arthur Verge, a historian, professor at El Camino College and 35-year veteran Los Angeles County lifeguard, who has researched the topic for the past five years with historians Elayne Alexander and Dave Kastigar. Freeth came to Venice on July 22nd, 1907 at age 24 and by the end of the month, it was reported in the news that a Hawaiian was riding the waves on a board on the north end of Venice. As if it weren’t enough to bring what later would become the cultural phenomenon of surfing to Southern California’s shores, Freeth is also revered as a pioneering lifeguard. Freeth was the mentor of Duke Kahanamoku, an Olympic champion who is widely known as the father of modern surfing,...

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