Category: Arts & Events

Celebrating Filmmakers and Photographers

Venice Film Fest and Poetry of Venice Photography spotlight local talent By Michele Robinson Gerry Fialka is an experimental filmmaker, book author, prolific interviewer and mastermind behind the Venice Film Fest and Poetry of Venice Photography. These events aim to highlight local talented filmmakers and photographers who live and work in the Venice community. On Saturday, Jan. 22 from 2 to 4 p.m., the Venice Film Fest will celebrate its 19th annual show. The free, live Zoom discussion features local filmmakers whose work is inspired by Venice and its residents. “There will be dialog about art, poetry, community, Mother Nature and social concerns,” Fialka said. One such filmmaker is Tim Corvin, whose films portray portraits of Venice. He prefers to focus on people who live in Venice, as opposed to using it as a backdrop. Corvin’s documentary “Venice Beach 1985” was featured in the 2015 Film Fest. It was filmed in 1985, and using new editing software, Corvin re-edited, transferred and re-released the documentary which can be watched on YouTube. Street musician Peter Demian was originally interviewed in “Venice Beach 1985.” Recently, Fialka interviewed Demian again and asked Corvin to film it. Usually Corvin is busy running his Captain Cloud Production company, but not for this. “In the case of Peter, for him, I would do it,” Corvin said. “We did the interview and decided we needed to do...

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SPORTS: 2021 Football Champions

Venice High Gondoliers win first city title in school’s 110 years By Sebastian Lipstein The Venice High Gondoliers started their football season 1-3, missing 12 players a week and over half of their defensive starters at one point due to COVID-19 protocols like contact tracing. During this tough beginning, junior varsity players were forced to step up and VHS barely had enough kids to field a team. After a rough start, the team was reassembled and went on a seven-game winning streak, including the four-game tournament for the 2021 Division 1 CIF LA City Championship. The tournament ended with VHS defeating Canoga Park 36-9 in the championship game. This year’s football team are LA City champs for the first time in the school’s 110 years. In his 22nd year as VHS head coach, Angelo Gasca played for the school in the 1970s. “We’ve had a lot of good teams and a lot of good players at Venice High, and we’ve been close so many times, but this is the team that finally broke through,” Gasca said. “They’ll always be the first team to have won a championship and that’s significant. We’re proud of them.” Multiple generations attend the neighborhood school. It’s a dying trend as youth leave their hometown school in pursuit of athletics or academics. Many of the football coaches are former Venice players who return to the...

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On the Road

Travellers Autobarn camper van rentals offer budget-friendly getaways with unlimited mileage By Haley Beyer During his travels, Peter Burke saw plenty of backpackers who benefited from a camper van. Inspired, he founded Travellers Autobarn, which rents camper vans with unlimited mileage. The company launched two years ago in the United States, but was established in Australia and New Zealand in 1993 and 2016, respectively. Through the creation of Travellers Autobarn, Burke learned the true meaning of “It’s not work when you’re having fun.” “My favorite part about the camper vans is the freedom they provide,” Burke said. “Some of the best stories include the most unexpected things because they weren’t planned. I want people to detour. Take turns off your route. COVID-19 taught us that we need to look for true freedom again. A road trip is one of the last true forms of adventure in my opinion.” Travellers Autobarn’s most popular camper van model is the Kuga, which sleeps up to three people comfortably and has a kitchen space with a microwave, fridge, sink and gas stove – all powered by solar panels, decreasing the need to stay at a powered campsite to recharge batteries for the fridge and lights. The camper vans also include an extra preparation pack in the winter to help keep campers warm, including space heaters, an extra battery pack and hot pads. Camper...

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New Venue

Venice Underground Comedy moves to the Marina By Kamala Kirk After a decade of performing weekly shows at Townhouse Venice just steps from the Venice sign, Venice Underground Comedy recently moved to Killer Yacht Club at Killer Shrimp in the Marina. “Venice Underground is one of the longest-running entertainment acts on the Westside, so we are excited to be part of the longtime local tradition,” said Kevin Michaels, CEO of Killer Shrimp. “We have admired the show over the last 10 years.” For the past 10 years, Venice Underground Comedy has remained one of the hottest stand-up shows in Southern California. Hosted by Bronston Jones and Matt Devlin, it has featured some of the biggest stars in stand-up including Bill Burr, Tiffany Haddish, Theo Von and Reggie Watts. Venice Underground Comedy has also won The Argonaut’s “Best of the Westside Comedy Show” multiple times over the years. “Few things in life are more stressful than moving,” said show producer and host Bronston Jones. “Fortunately, jokes don’t weigh much. Then again, we tackled some pretty heavy material over the years – especially during the last administration. When Matt and I founded Venice Underground in 2011, we wanted to honor the raw, real and honest nature of Venice by bringing in honest comedians who make light of heavy subjects. I think we’ve done pretty well.” “We’ve got 440 shows under our...

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Creating Frescoes

Venice artist Lawrence Levy combines modern technology with ancient art form By Bridgette M. Redman Lawrence Levy has found a new way to create a very old art form. Frescoes date back to the Bronze Age when the Minoans created frescoes on Crete more than 4,000 years ago. They showed up in many civilizations after that from Egypt and Morocco to the Greek and Roman empires. They also showed up in the religious art of the Byzantine Empire and the Renaissance. Frescoes are a form of art in which color pigments are mixed with water and then applied directly to a freshly laid plaster surface, usually on a wall or a ceiling. They caught Levy’s attention during a trip to Northern Italy. Before the trip, he’d been playing around with processes where he transferred film and photographic images to other surfaces such as wood. But during his trip, Levy became enamored with frescoes and decided that was what he needed to do. He returned to his Venice studio in California and began figuring out a process. “I had worked with photos in some form all of my life, either as a designer or a maker,” Levy said. “I came up with the idea of doing frescoes on plaster as they had been done (in ancient times). I developed a process that puts the photograph on the wet plaster. I...

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