December 14, 2012 |
Spreading its praise between accessible, star-driven movies and a handful of challenging films, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. bestowed a leading seven Golden Globe nominations on Steven Spielberg's biography "Lincoln" while handing five nods apiece to Ben Affleck's international thriller, "Argo," and Quentin Tarantino's slavery revenge tale, "Django Unchained. " Even though HFPA voters nominated the demanding Osama bin Laden manhunt film "Zero Dark Thirty" in four categories on Thursday, including drama, they ignored the critically acclaimed Louisiana bayou drama "Beasts of the Southern Wild.
December 2, 2012 |
Dena Kaye is on a mission to reintroduce her father, Danny, to the world. It may be hard for baby boomers who grew up watching Danny Kaye in movie theaters and on TV to believe that his legacy needs to be resurrected. But in the years since Kaye's death in 1987, his films, once a staple on television, have all but disappeared and just a handful of his movies have been released on DVD. The 1954 holiday musical "White Christmas" and the 1955 masterwork "The Court Jester" are his only true perennials.
November 24, 2012 |
Titian His Life Sheila Hale Harper Collins: 832 pp., $39.99 This is a long book about a long life, a large volume about a large talent. Titian, its titular subject, was the most celebrated painter of his time. He died in his beloved Venice, Italy, on Aug. 27, 1576. The death certificate listed the cause of his demise as fever and age as 103. Like so much else about the artist, however, the date of his birth remains uncertain; it's more likely he died in his late 80s. Even his name is subject to variation.
November 19, 2012 |
In the exhaustive and at times exhausting new biography "Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson," journalist Randall Sullivan presents a radical new theory concerning one of the most heavily scrutinized public figures of the last half a century. Namely, that the man revered worldwide as the "King of Pop" could not possibly have been a child molester. The book posits that Jackson resisted sex for all his days and died in 2009 a 50-year-old virgin. To support that tough-to-swallow and even more difficult-to-prove claim, Sullivan takes a two-pronged approach.
November 14, 2012 |
Manning Marable's “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention” was one of the standout books of 2011. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Critics Circle and National Book Award finalist, it was the first full biography of its subject, a counterpoint to “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” and an astonishing exercise in context; Marable sought to evoke Malcolm not as symbol but as human being. The death of the author , a professor at Columbia and an influential scholar of African American history, just days before the book's publication makes for a poignant irony.
November 12, 2012 |
At 4:30 p.m. on Friday, " All In " by Paula Broadwell was nowhere near the upper reaches of Amazon's bestseller charts: It was ranked No. 126,995. That quickly changed as news spread that David Petraeus had resigned from his position as CIA director because of an extramarital affair with Broadwell, his biographer in the book. "All In" was published in January. It has risen to No. 111 overall on Amazon, and is currently No. 3 in the categories history/Middle East/Iraq and history/military/Iraq war. It's No. 6 in biographies & memoirs/leaders & notable people/military.
October 27, 2012 |
The Partisan The Life of William Rehnquist John A. Jenkins Public Affairs: 368 pp., $28.99 Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist was a curious man. He could be courtly and gracious, elegant in argument and a brilliant advocate. He also was a ferocious adversary, a relentless conservative and, as John A. Jenkins makes clear in his new biography, a determined partisan. One sample of his paradox: Rehnquist was a respected leader of the court, appreciated even by those whose politics he abhorred, and yet he secured his position in part by perjuring himself at his confirmation hearing.
October 25, 2012 |
The documentary "Lunch" is just what it describes, a seat at the kibitz table with a gathering of acclaimed showbiz writers, performers and directors whose Golden Age of You-Name-It comedy pedigrees are remarkable: Sid Caesar, Hal Kanter, Carl Reiner, Arthur Marx, Matty Simmons and Rocky Kalish, to name a handful. For more than 40 years, this gang of funnymen has met on alternating Wednesdays - currently at Factor's Famous Deli on Pico, where Donna Kanter (Hal's daughter) captured them for her film - to eat, joke, tell stories and chart each other's aging, referred to as "the organ recital.
September 23, 2012 |
The Brontës Wild Genius on the Moors - The Story of a Literary Family Juliet Barker Pegasus: 1,200 pp., $39.95 Just about everything you thought you knew about the Brontës is wrong. That's the essential message of "The Brontës" by Juliet Barker. Eighteen years after her landmark biography was published, the author - a former curator of the Brontë Parsonage Museum at Haworth - has produced a revised edition with new material, including letters and juvenilia that were unavailable when the author wrote the book.
September 13, 2012 |
It's a strange time to be a woman. I say this not because state legislatures enacted no less than 95 restrictions on reproductive rights this year. I say it not because at the same time, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker repealed his state's equal pay law and Wisconsin state Sen. Glenn Grothman conjectured that "money is more important for men. " Or because, just last month, an alarming number of male legislators demonstrated serious confusion about the birds and the bees. I'm saying it because Naomi Wolf has written a book about her vagina.