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Black Humor

June 3, 2007 | Margaret Wappler, Times Staff Writer
SLOANE TANEN has won a subversive kind of fame with her satirical books featuring tiny Peep-like chicks in modern settings as well as her paintings scooped up by corporate clients such as Pfizer. It doesn't hurt either that she has the kind of glitzy Hollywood credentials ready-made for a Vanity Fair profilette. Her dad, Ned Tanen, was president of Universal Studios and Paramount Studios in the '70s and '80s, turning out such films as "American Graffiti" and "Top Gun."
*** "Near Dark." HBO. $79.99. Writer-director Kathryn Bigelow ("The Loveless") and co-writer Eric Red ("The Hitcher") tell a love-on-the-run story about a good boy who falls in love with a girl vampire and is pulled into her nightmare world. The story is predictable, and the black humor sometimes tasteless, but Bigelow and cinematographer Adam Greenberg get some fabulous images.
August 17, 1987
Reagan's actions would come across as black humor if 20,000 Nicaraguans hadn't already died because of them. I'm about to leave for Matagalpa, Nicaragua, to join other Los Angeles and San Diego teachers building a school there. How ironic that at the same time, those great humanitarians, the contras, are blowing up schools nearby. Let's hope that none of us are killed by contra bullets paid for by our tax dollars. LISA M. EDMONDSON Santa Monica
August 25, 1986 | KRISTINA LINDGREN, Times Staff Writer
His tear ducts haven't worked since the "Night Stalker" shot him through the forehead a year ago. But Sunday, as William R. Carns Jr. and his fiancee, Inez Erickson, 30, sat in the pew of a Mission Viejo church, it was plain that he was crying. The pastor of St. Kilian Church had just dedicated that midday Mass to them. Head down, shoulders trembling, Carns said little until he returned home that afternoon. "It was very spiritual," he said, his dry eyes reddening.
June 17, 1990 | CHARLES SOLOMON
Although it doesn't include all of Arthur C. Clarke's stories about Earth ("No Morning After" and "The Nine Billion Names of God" are among the notable omissions), "Tales" offers some of the writer's finest work from the '50s and '60s. "The Road to the Sea" and "The Lion of Comarre" represent early explorations of the link between cultural stagnation and technological advance, a theme Clarke would develop more fully in "The City and the Stars."
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