I want to Talk about Judy Chaikin, a long time resident of Studio City. Not because Judy’s a friend from L.A.C.C., not because she and her family treated me like family, and not because she is an award-winning Director, but because she is a woman who is now in her moment, an apex, the zenith of an astounding career and it gives me perfect shivers.
With tenacity and absolute joy, in Judy’s words, “now we are where all our hometown friends can finally see what we’ve been working, sweating, begging, and bragging about for eight years,” The Girls in the Band will open: June 7-13 in the heart of the North Hollywood Arts District at the Laemmle NOHO 7!
I am giddy and full of admiration… and responsibility. If the seats for this week’s screenings are filled, it’s likely there will be further distribution of this stunningly important story. So neighborhood, please attend, make theater parties, it plays day and night … find the time, it’s well worth it.
Brilliantly talented musicians were denied the right to practice their art because they were women. We will hear the stories of these glorious women and we will see and hear them play their dazzling music. Archives of their work were found in Europe, where no one cared about gender or color. I’m so proud, here’s a share of the New York Times review: “The Girls in the Band is everything a worthwhile documentary should be, and then some: engaging, informative, thorough, and brimming with delightful characters. Shining a long-overdue spotlight on the shamefully forgotten women who flourished as jazz musicians at a time when men ruled the beat, Judy Chaikin’s beautifully assembled film gives voice to performers whose names are too often unknown even among their musical sisters of the present day.”
The GITB is a piece of history that needs to been seen. Children need to be inspired by these women how they endured and persevered. (And now, recognized.) And, Judy Chaikin is working with education to develop a curriculum. This is exciting!
Read about Judy’s laudatory career on the Internet, I’ll just mention the heart-stopping occasion in October of 1997. Her Emmy-nominated PBS Documentary Legacy of The Hollywood Blacklist (with Burt Lancaster), was screened and afterwards, Judy executive produced and directed “Hollywood Remembers The Blacklist” a multi-media presentation at the Motion Picture Academy’s Goldwyn Theater, starring Kevin Spacey, Billy Crystal, Alfre Woodard, John Lithgow, James Cromwell, David Hyde Pearce, Kathy Baker, and Tim Daly. And, it was there that the Presidents of all the motion picture unions publicly apologized to the families for their dreadful compliance.
GIRLS IN THE BAND L.A. GALA: On June 4 an opening Gala was held at the Laemmle NOHO. The Reception (Celebration) was held across the street at the Federal Bar. So L.A.! (In New York, it was at the Lincoln Center and a triumph). But it couldn’t have been triumph-ier than here with many stellar attendees including SAG-AFTRA leaders Gabrielle Cateras, Amy Aquino (with Drew McCoy), L. Scott Caldwell, Patrika Darbo, Jason George, and Dawn Lewis (and myself, as Senior Chair).
A very impressive Host Committee! To name a few: Toluca Lake’s Robert Hooks, Lou Adler, Arlene and Alan Alda, Renee Fleming, Lani Hall and Herb Alpert, Herbie Hancock, Hugh M. Hefner, Quincy Jones, Bette Midler, Ann Ziff, Wendie Malick, Debbee Klein and Richard Schwartz, and GITB Producer Michael Greene. Needless to say, The Girls in the Band is highly respected. That’s a lot of big doings on Lankershim!
The SAG-AFTRA Women’s and Senior Committees are in support of the GITB. In kind cooperation, all the screenings (5 a day) will be $3.00 off for all SAG-AFTRA members, just show your union card.
And there will be a free screening for SAG-AFTRA members on June 11 (the 7:40 p.m. showing). Thank you Judy, for the screening and having a Q&A with our members.
Please Google The Girls in the Band. Read about the multitudinous awards at so many Film Festivals. Read more rave reviews. View footage and read how this discrimination affected so many lives. See how, “when the world told them they couldn’t play, they did it anyway.”
Tell all your friends. Here’s a great film folk old saying, “The future of the film depends on how many butts we get into the seats!