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2013 | 2010 | 2009

3 items from 2013

Babe and Ricky's Inn - Los Angeles Screenings and Live Performances

4 April 2013 10:30 AM, PDT | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

Director/Producer Ramin Naimi’s new feature documentary opens Friday April 5 at Laemmle Santa Monica with live blues performances also every night after the screenings in the cinema.  This is the story of L.A.'s legendary L.A. blues club Babe and Ricky’s Inn.

The film won the  Programmers Award  at the Pan African Film Festival in L.A. in February  where it was the Centerpiece Gala presentation on Valentine's day with a concert and party  and that it was picked up for all digital rights and TV by New Video/ Cinedigm. The film will be released around the country theatrically in other blues  loving cities and in connection with Blues Festivals, live performances and even blues cruises  and it will be released on premium VOD April 9  on  iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, Youtube, Playstation, XBox, CinemaNow.

It will be an unusual and fun week of events  at Laemmle particularly because of the live blues music performances incorporated into the screenings. Ramin has done a lot of radio for the release such as an hour and a half show playing music from the film and talking about the film with Ann the Raven on the Cal State Northridge radio (the one  Nic Harcourt works for now)  last Sunday with a ticket giveaway. He will have two interviews with Kpfk this week and he had two other  radio interviews last week . Kcet is looking at coverage also. The trailer is at the website

It is getting good press thanks to the Laemmle publicist who sent it to be reviewed by some of the outlets including the L.A. Times , L.A. Weekly, Hollywood Reporter etc. 

I can't wait to see the film and hear Mama Laura’s story.

Here are the details of the La screenings and a ‘pitch letter‘ from Ramin re the film below:

Friday, April 5 – Thursday April 11, 2013

At Laemmle Monica 4-Plex,1332 2nd Street, Santa Monica 90401

(310) 478-3836.


Daily Screenings: 1pm ● 4pm ● 7pm ● 10pm

A live blues performance and Q&A will follow each 7 pm evening screening Friday, April 5 to Thursday, April 11 inclusive (and also 4 pm screenings on Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7).  No additional charge for live music! 

The current line up for live shows as part of the screenings of the film at the times listed below:

Ray Bailey Friday 4/5 (7pm); Gregg Wright Saturday  4/6 (4pm); Dennis Jones Saturday 4/6 (7pm); Deacon Jones Sunday 4 /7 (4pm and 7pm), Southsideslim Monday 4/8 (7pm); George Dez Tuesday 4/9 (7pm); Richard Martin-Ross Wednesday 4/10 (7pm), Suzanne Thomas Thursday 4/11 (7pm).

The director Ramin writes to us:

I am the director and producer of the upcoming film Babe’s and Ricky’s Inn, a feature-length documentary. For more than three years, I gathered the stories of the legendary L.A. blues club Babe and Ricky’s Inn, its owner Laura Mae Gross (“Mama Laura”) and its amazing collection of musicians. As an Iranian-American filmmaker (who along with along with my co-producer  Behrouz Arshadi came to be known as the “Iranian Blues Brothers”), I take particular pride in having earned the trust of the community in South Central to document this important piece of L.A. blues and music history.

For fifty-three years, Mama Laura, a woman from Mississippi, brought well-known and up-and-coming musicians together, regardless of race, age, or gender. Babe’s and Ricky’s Inn was originally located on legendary Central Ave, in South Central La. drew world-famous musicians like Johnny Lee Hooker, B.B. King and Albert King, who often dropped in to the club and jam with best of La blues artists, Guitar Shorty, Keb’ Mo’, Zac Harmon, Deacon Jones and Ray Bailey.  The film features original music by some of the most important blues artists alive. Stunning guitar performances and personal stories about the hard blues life come together in a film about what it means to devote your life to music. I feel privileged to have captured the unique sounds, atmosphere and people of this gem of a blues club in its last days.

Babe’s and Ricky’s Inn premiered as the centerpiece of the Pan African Film Festival in La last month and took home the Festival’s Programmer’s Award. The theatrical premiere run will be at the Laemmle Monica 4-plex  in La commencing Friday, April 5th. It will have a one-week engagement, and will feature live blues performances and a Q&A each weeknight and twice a day on the weekend. Further theatrical dates follow around the country including at blues focused events and venues. The digital release of the film is being facilitated by Cinedigm and it will be released on VOD on April 9th on iTunes Premium, Amazon, YouTube and others.       

And visit our website for more info:

By the way, I’m also in the process of finishing my new upcoming feature film Shirin in Love, a romantic comedy set in world of  “Tehrangeles”, the Iranian American community in Los Angeles.


- Sydney Levine

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DVD Review: "Return Of The Beverly Hillbillies" (1981) Starring Buddy Ebsen, Nancy Kulp, Werner Klemperer, Imogene Coca And Donna Douglas

25 March 2013 3:57 AM, PDT | | See recent CinemaRetro news »

By Lee Pfeiffer

I have always been a great admirer of Paul Henning, the crooner-turned-tv producer/writer of some of the best-loved shows of the 1960s. It was Henning who gave a voice to rural audiences by creating such classic TV series as The Beverly Hillbilllies, Petticoat Junction and Green Acres. If you revisit any of them today, they remain far superior to most contemporary sitcoms. Henning not only created shows that have timeless appeal, but he also brainstormed the concept of interweaving characters and plot devices between the series- a stroke of genius that brought cross-promotion marketing to new levels. Henning also prided himself on making his country characters eccentric, but never idiotic. They were simple people living simple lives and if they seemed to exist in a time warp, they were all honest, admirable folks. It was always the sophisticated city slickers who would get their comeuppance at »

- (Cinema Retro)

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The Incredible Shrinking Man Reboot Moves Forward at MGM Studios

13 February 2013 9:08 AM, PST | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

MGM Studios is moving forward on an updated version of the sci-fi classic The Incredible Shrinking Man, tapping author Richard Matheson and his son Richard Christian Matheson to write the screenplay adaptation.

Richard Matheson's original 1956 novel centers on a man who is exposed to radiation and insecticide, which causes him to shrink. The new story will be modernized to reflect the advancements in nanotechnology, described by the author as an "existential action movie." Here's what Richard Matheson had to say about the remake.

"My original story was a metaphor for how man's place in the world was diminishing. That still holds today, where all these advancements that are going to save us will be our undoing. It's one of those fantasy concepts that does not age."

MGM president Jonathan Glickman also released a brief statement regarding the project.

"The themes of The Incredible Shrinking Man continue to be relevant. »

- MovieWeb

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2013 | 2010 | 2009

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