December 8, 2012 |
A totalitarian state with a Kafkaesque bureaucracy, East Germany was a nation suffused with fear and suspicion. Yet it was also a society in which utopian ideals motivated individual sacrifices in the name of building a better way of life. The new film "Barbara" examines the contradictions of the former German Democratic Republic, transforming the everyday paranoia under the socialist regime into a quietly gripping thriller. "Barbara" won the Silver Bear prize for director and co-writer Christian Petzold at the Berlin International Film Festival and is Germany's submission for the foreign-language Academy Award.
March 14, 2014 |
Not long ago, Barbara and Ethan Gruska - the fresh-faced siblings at the core of L.A.'s Belle Brigade - were deep in a rehearsal with their two bandmates. The goal that afternoon was reworking the songs on the Belle Brigade's self-titled 2011 debut so that they fit alongside tunes from the group's just-finished follow-up. It took some doing. A sunny blast of retro West Coast folk-pop, "The Belle Brigade" pulled deeply (and openly) from crowd-pleasing forebears such as the Beach Boys and Fleetwood Mac. The new album, by contrast, begins with a digitally processed train whistle laid atop a booming drumbeat.
February 28, 2010 |
Some people take care of orchids. Others take care of guinea pigs. Barbara takes care of tropes. Most of the day she's a 51-year-old seamstress in Illinois and a caregiver for her husband. But in her spare time, Barbara tends to four tropes: "Cool Bike," "Badass Longcoat," "You Fail Logic Forever" and "Silly Reason for War." "They were a mess, they needed to be cleaned up, and nobody else was doing it, so I adopted them," she says. "It's equivalent of wiping down the sink every morning after I brush my teeth."
HOME & GARDEN
March 30, 2013 |
I have been married to my husband for 10 years. He is still my favorite person in the world. But sometimes I look at what time has done: I feel like he takes me for granted, and the qualities that once delighted him and made me irresistibly lovable increasingly drive him insane. I believe the people you love the most should get the best treatment in the world. Sometimes I feel like he thinks you get to treat them the worst. I told him that. "That's horrible," he said, barely paying attention, as he fiddled with my iPhone trying to get Spotify to work.
April 30, 2011 |
In an early homemade video made by the L.A. band the Belle Brigade for its song "Losers," from the sibling duo's self-titled debut, Barbara and Ethan Gruska, ages 28 and 21, respectively, sit holding acoustic guitars in an empty bathtub. They're wearing white robes and Barbara has a towel wrapped around her head, as though she's just gotten out of the shower. Ethan strums a few foundational chords, they start singing in harmony, and echoes of genetically intertwined voices throughout the ages come pouring out: the Everly Brothers, the Davies brothers of the Kinks, the Carter Family.
September 11, 2013 |
[Warning: This post contains plot spoilers about the upcoming movie “August: Osage County.” While we don't think they'll ruin the experience, you might be mad anyway. Please read at your own risk.] TORONTO -- If you saw Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning black comedy "August: Osage County" on the stage in any of the numerous cities it played a few years back, chances are you were struck by one scene above all else. The final one, that is, in which matriarch Violet Weston is seen sitting on the stairs of the house she once ruled, abandoned by her adult daughters, especially eldest daughter Barbara, who don't/can't/won't stay and take care of a woman who, let's face it, has made her and her sisters' lives pretty miserable.