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Steve Stajich, Columnist

Opinion, California, Santa Monica, Film

Porn Leaves Los Angeles: Cue Small Violins

Posted Aug. 23, 2014, 9:16 am

All right, first of all… you have to make pornography somewhere. I’m not saying you have to make pornography; I’m saying if you are going to make pornography, you likely need someplace to make it. Production of “adult video,” which for many years has been headquartered nationally in “the Valley,” appears to be tapering off.

News, Santa Monica, Film, Box Office

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Captures Top Spot At Box Office For Second Week

Posted Aug. 17, 2014, 8:54 am

The summer of movie remakes continues, with the new version of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" taking in a modest $28.4 million this weekend, good enough to capture the number one spot at the North American box offices.

James Cameron in his Deep Sea Challenger sub that took him to the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

Seven Days, Santa Monica, Film

James Cameron’s Astonishing “Deepsea Challenge 3D” Documentary

Posted Aug. 13, 2014, 3:10 pm

Award-winning filmmaker James Cameron’s fascination with the sea began as a youngster when he was inspired by “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau,” popular television specials that aired in the 1960s and 1970s.

News, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Film, Sacramento

Garcetti In Sacramento To Seek Support For Expanding Film Tax Credit Program

Posted Aug. 13, 2014, 9:40 am

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is scheduled to be in Sacramento today to seek support for the expansion of a film tax credit program and funding for city projects.

News, Santa Monica, Film

"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" Tops Box Office With $65 Million In Sales

Posted Aug. 10, 2014, 10:39 am

A remake of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opened with a comparatively-modest $65 million in ticket sales, but that was enough to be the number one movie in North America this weekend.

Seven Days, Santa Monica, Film, Television

2014 Teen Choice Awards Tonight At Shine Auditorium: Full Nomination List

Posted Aug. 10, 2014, 8:47 am

The entertainment industry's seemingly never-ending awards season will be in the hands of teenagers tonight with the presentation of the 2014 Teen Choice Awards, honoring feats such as on-screen liplocks and hissy fits.

News, Malibu, Santa Monica, Pets, Film

Tortoise Rescue Organization Urges Parents To Refrain From Buying Live Turtles

Posted Aug. 5, 2014, 9:01 am

With another "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie set to hit theaters this week, a Malibu-based tortoise rescue organization urged parents today to refrain from buying live turtles for children impressed by the heroics of the film's fictional "heroes in a half-shell."

News, Santa Monica, Film, Box Office

Guardians Of The Galaxy Tops Box Office On Opening Weekend

Posted Aug. 3, 2014, 8:53 am

Guardians Of The Galaxy was master of its domain this weekend, with an estimated $94 million in North American box offices.

News, Santa Monica, Film

"Lucy" Tops Weekend Box Office With $44 Million In Sales

Posted Jul. 27, 2014, 10:53 am

"Lucy'' won the herculean battle of the Hollywood box office this weekend, decisively acing out "Hercules.''

'Night Sesh' film screening will be held tonight, July 18 at California Heritage Museum.

Seven Days, Main Street, Santa Monica, Film

What's Hot: Free “Night Sesh” Film Screening Tonight On Main Street

Posted Jul. 18, 2014, 9:10 am

ZJ Boarding House and California Heritage Museum present “Night Sesh” at 8 pm tonight. This event will feature the premiere of Gracias LA’s skate film, “Gracias Skateboarding Volume Uno.”

Cinema on the Street has expanded this year to six free screenings on Friday nights on the Third Street Promenade starting this week.

Life And Arts, Seven Days, Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica, Film

Watch Free Film "Field Of Dreams" On Third Street Promenade Tonight

Posted Jul. 11, 2014, 8:51 am

Cinema on the Street, Downtown Santa Monica’s free film series, kicks off this tonight, July 11 with a screening of the 1989 classic “Field of Dreams” at 8:30 pm.

Cinema at the Edge founder Michelle Danner and festival creative director Brian Drillinger at the inaugural event in 2013.

Life And Arts, Seven Days, Santa Monica, Film

Independent Santa Monica Film Festival Returns For Second Year This Weekend

Posted Jul. 9, 2014, 9:05 am

Three days of screenings, parties, and artist programs that celebrate independent filmmaking will all be part of the 2nd Annual Cinema at the Edge festival in Santa Monica this weekend.

News, Santa Monica, Film

Transformers: Age of Extinction Tops Box Office With $36.4 Million In Sales

Posted Jul. 6, 2014, 8:58 am

Transformers: Age of Extinction was the most-popular movie this weekend, with its $36.4 million in estimated ticket sales.

News, Business, Santa Monica, Film, Hollywood

Santa Monica City Council Gets Behind Film & TV Tax Credit Bill

Posted Jul. 4, 2014, 6:00 am

Santa Monica is not Hollywood, but the city certainly has connections to the home base of the American film industry. Not only are there sound stages and production companies within Santa Monica, many film and television employees, executives, or professionals also live here.

Alan Swyer's 'El Boxeo' is nominated for Imagen Award in the Best Documentary category.

News, Santa Monica, Film

Santa Monica Documentary Maker Nominated For Imagen Award

Posted Jul. 2, 2014, 9:29 am

Long-time Santa Monica resident Alan Swyer’s film “El Boxeo” has been nominated for the prestigious Imagen Award in the category of Best Feature Documentary.

Number two on America's Most Wanted list after Osama Bin Laden, James 'Whitey' Bulger terrorized the city of Boston for years without ever being charged with so much as a misdemeanor.

Santa Monica, Film, Police Department

A Look At The Movie "WHITEY: United States of America v. James J. Bulger"

Posted Jul. 1, 2014, 9:38 am

The movie "WHITEY: United States of America v. James J. Bulger" (currently in local release) opens with a media montage of “Whitey” Bulger’s 2011 capture in Santa Monica after 16-years on the run.

News, Santa Monica, Film

2014 BET Awards Tonight: Full Nomination List

Posted Jun. 29, 2014, 9:09 am

Jay Z, Beyonce and Drake each have five nominations heading into tonight's presentation of the 2014 BET Awards at the Nokia Theatre at L.A. Live.

News, Santa Monica, Film

Latest Transformers Movie Cracks $100 Million Opening Weekend Sales

Posted Jun. 29, 2014, 9:04 am

The latest Transformers movie outperformed industry expectations and cracked the elite club of movies premiering with $100 million in opening weekend sales in the U.S. and Canada.

News, Santa Monica, Film

"Think Like A Man Too" Tops Weekend Box Office Sales

Posted Jun. 22, 2014, 9:05 am

Think Like A Man Too opened in the number one position in the box office sales list, with an estimated weekend gross of $30 million.

News, Santa Monica, Film

"22 Jump Street" Collects $60 Million In Opening Weekend Sales

Posted Jun. 15, 2014, 9:16 am

"22 Jump Street'' proved today that a Rated R-for-raunchy comedy sequel can strike box office gold, as it is bringing in $60 million in opening weekend sales.

Santa Monica Teen Film FestivalSaturday, June 7808 Wilshire Boulevard

Seven Days, Santa Monica, Film, Teen

What's Hot: Santa Monica Teen Film Festival This Saturday

Posted Jun. 6, 2014, 9:03 am

Miles Memorial Playhouse presents the 9th Annual Santa Monica Teen Film Festival at 4 pm this Saturday. The event will feature close to 50 short films, submitted from across the nation as well as around the world, with about half made by young filmmakers based in Santa Monica and Los Angeles County.

Liam Neeson as Michael and Olivia Wilde as Anna in “Third Person,” written, produced, and directed by Paul Haggis.

Seven Days, Celebrity, Santa Monica, Film

"Third Person" Starring Liam Neeson, Adrien Brody A Clinker

Posted Jun. 5, 2014, 8:03 am

Paul Haggis is one of Hollywood’s most highly respected writer-producer-directors, having racked up two consecutive Best Film Oscars for “Million Dollar Baby,” directed by Clint Eastwood, and “Crash,” which he wrote and directed, winning an Academy Award for both Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.

Matt Tapia’s story of beating the odds is told in the short documentary “Matt.”

News, Samohi, Santa Monica, Film

Matt Tapia Survives Premature Birth To Play Football, Enroll At UCLA

Posted Jun. 2, 2014, 8:29 am

When it comes to inspirational football films, “Rudy” is often the gold standard. Here in Santa Monica, the City’s namesake high school has a “Rudy” of its own, and his name is Matthew Tapia. The 18-year-old-senior is the subject of short documentary.

A most talented Michaël Youn gives a top-notch performance as Jackie, a chef with extraordinary, but uncompromising culinary skills.

Life And Arts, Seven Days, Santa Monica, Film

Capsule Film Review - "Le Chef"

Posted May. 29, 2014, 7:56 am

“Le Chef” is a delicious, starry-eyed food adventure that will keep you thoroughly entertained from the opening playful animated fruit and vegetables dancing to Nicola Piovani’s whimsical musical score, to the beautiful settings and mouth-watering close-ups of food served up by Director of Photography Robert Fraisse.

The short film 'Matt' releases May 27.

Samohi, Ucla, Santa Monica, Football, Film, Matt Tapia

Samohi’s Matthew Tapia’s Story Of Survival Inspires Film

Posted May. 25, 2014, 12:00 am

Matt Tapia was born three months premature and, at the time, given a 5 percent chance to survive. His weight at the time of birth: 1.5 pounds.

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