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April 12, 2014 | By Mark Olsen
Actress Scarlett Johansson topped the box office charts last weekend playing the character of Black Widow in the Marvel superhero flick "Captain America: The Winter Soldier. " That same weekend she was on screen as a man-eater of a different type in the cryptic indie sci-fi film "Under the Skin. " As a space alien in human form who lures male victims into a mysterious black void, Johansson gives a performance at once sinister, sultry and unexpectedly sympathetic. If "Captain America" was the latest product of a studio franchise machine, "Under the Skin" was the handcrafted result of writer-director Jonathan Glazer's 10-year quest to bring a singular experience to the screen.
April 11, 2014 | By Susan King
When growing up in Singapore, filmmaker Anthony Chen's family had a maid from the Philippines, a woman he and his two younger brothers called Aunt Terry. But the family had to downsize in 1997 due to the Asian financial crisis, which plummeted the stock market and caused massive unemployment. They had to let Aunt Terry go and she returned to her hometown province of Iloilo in the Philippines. In 2013, Chen's film "Ilo Ilo" based on his childhood experiences was the talk of the Cannes Film Festival.
March 31, 2014 | By David Undercoffler
After years of delays, U.S. safety regulators have announced that backup cameras will be required in new U.S. vehicles by May 2018. The move comes just a day before a court of appeals was to hear arguments in a lawsuit brought against the government by safety groups and families of children injured and killed in back-over accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Monday that "rear-visibility technology" must be standard equipment in all vehicles under 10,000 pounds.
March 25, 2014 | By Los Angeles Times Staff
Animal lovers from around the world will have a chance to view the release of four endangered California condors Tuesday morning, thanks to another new webcam that will live stream the event online. At 10 a.m. PDT, Ventana Wildlife Society biologists in collaboration with the Oakland Zoo will swing open an enclosure door and watch as the condors transition into the wild. There will be two cams up and running, viewable here and here . But in a news release, Ventana Wildlife Society Executive Director Kelly Sorenson tried to temper expectations.
March 15, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
In a climactic car-chase scene in the new movie "Need for Speed," a race car barrels into the back of a police SUV, sending the truck flying through the air. To put viewers in the drivers' seats, director Scott Waugh placed cameras inside the SUV so they could feel the sensation of the truck rotating in the air. He positioned cameras on the head of the stunt driver maneuvering the vehicle that collides with the SUV, and in the car driven by Tobey...
March 13, 2014 | By David A. Keeps
In "Behind Closed Doors: The Private Homes of 25 of the World's Most Creative People" (Hardie Grant, $29.95), London-based journalist Rob Meyers has assembled the interior-design version of those stars-without-their-makeup slide shows that never fail to fascinate. The book revolves around a simple premise: Meyers sent disposable cameras to dozens of celebrities, designers and fellow journalists with one simple instruction: Whatever else you photograph, you must shoot the inside of your icebox.
March 13, 2014 | By Robert Abele
A race-against-time thriller set in a crowded concert hall, director Eugenio Mira's "Grand Piano" may never match the silky suspense of Hitchcock's classic of sinister decorum, "The Man Who Knew Too Much," but it has a certain virtuosic joie de vivre. Elijah Wood stars as a celebrated pianist who, five years after a notorious fiasco of a performance, is making a nervous, much-hyped return to the stage. As he begins to play for the eager audience, however, his score reveals a scrawled note from a hidden sniper (a mostly unseen John Cusack)
March 3, 2014 | By Amina Khan
Scientists have strapped cameras onto free-swimming sharks, capturing a shark's-eye view of their underwater world. The footage from 14 tiger sharks, six Galapagos sharks, five sandbar sharks, five bluntnose sixgill sharks and a prickly shark is the first to be taken of sharks, by sharks in their natural environment. One clip from a camera attached to a male sandbar shark show the pursuit of a female; another shows its wearer's point of view as it meets up with dozens of other sharks in a mixed group - including sandbars, oceanic blacktips and scalloped hammerheads - and swimming together for most of the day. The discoveries, presented last week at the 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, reveal the complex daily lives of these fierce, sharp-toothed swimmers in their natural environment.  “I was really amazed by all the images we got back,” said lead author Carl Meyer, a marine biologist at the University of Hawaii.
March 2, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Surreptitiously recorded videos of Supreme Court proceedings that surfaced on YouTube last week aren't much of a viewing experience. The most revealing video, which captures a few moments from two oral argument sessions, is a jerky affair that makes Abraham Zapruder's amateur footage of the Kennedy assassination look like the work of an auteur. And the justices are bit players: The star of the video is Noah Kai Newkirk, a Los Angeles man who stood up during arguments Wednesday to denounce the court's 2010 Citizens United decision allowing corporations to spend money on politics.
February 27, 2014 | By Tony Perry
SAN DIEGO - The City Council is set to spend $2 million for clip-on cameras for police officers so that officials can monitor the officers' interactions with the public. The move comes amid two high-profile cases of allegations that on-duty officers abused women.  One officer has been charged with two felonies and three misdemeanors and has resigned; a second officer has been suspended and is under investigation, although no charges have yet been filed. The use of video cameras is supported by Mayor-elect Kevin Faulconer, Acting Mayor Todd Gloria, City Atty.
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