January 13, 2014 |
On a night when "American Hustle" cemented its status as an award-season front-runner, it was a number of lower-profile movies - including Spike Jonze's digital romance "Her" and the Italian drama "The Great Beauty" - that earned the designation of biggest surprises. Jonze won his first-ever Golden Globe over screenplay favorites "American Hustle" and "12 Years a Slave. " It was the only win for the film, and it seemed to bode well for it in the original screenplay Oscar category.
January 2, 2014 |
Rafael Bernal, born in 1915 in Mexico City, doesn't come to mind when one thinks of great detective novelists of the 1960s. There is little about him on the Internet in English, and none of his other novels, plays, story collections or histories have been translated. Although he wrote dozens of books, his 1969 novel, "The Mongolian Conspiracy," is considered his masterwork, but it was difficult to procure even an old dog-eared copy - until this past fall, when it was reissued by the folks at New Directions.
December 26, 2013 |
If you're among the small number of directors or actors who isn't white, there is finally some cause to be excited about what's happening in Hollywood. For the first time in Academy Awards history, a black man - British filmmaker Steve McQueen - may win the directing Oscar for his heralded, harrowing film "12 Years a Slave. " Besides McQueen, critics and awards voters are celebrating the work of other people of color, singling out "Gravity's" Mexican-born filmmaker, Alfonso Cuarón, the African American talk show host Oprah Winfrey from "Lee Daniels' The Butler," and a variety of black actors, including Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong'o ("12 Years a Slave")
December 19, 2013 |
Last year, Lorenzo Hurtado Segovia exhibited a series of dazzling abstractions that he had made by shredding works on paper into long, skinny strips and then weaving the strips into place-mat-style paintings that simultaneously evoked digital transmissions on the fritz, plaid fabrics stretched by swinging hips and banners flapping in the wind. This year, in a breakout exhibition at CB1 Gallery, Hurtado Segovia expands the range and intensifies the impact of his ingenious works. Making a mess of distinctions between painting and sculpture, not to mention art and craft, the L.A. artist who was born in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, invites visitors into a world where nothing sits still - least of all, your imagination.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 11, 2013 |
Embarrassment is on tap when Maurene Nelson turns on a faucet at her Sierra Madre home. The water that flows out, she says, is often disturbingly yellow. "My bath was full of gold water last night," said Nelson, a speech communications instructor at Pasadena City College and Glendale Community College. Officials in the tiny city at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains say the temporary use of imported water provided by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is to blame for the off-putting color.
December 10, 2013 |
On Oct. 16, 1923, Walt Disney and his brother Roy began the Walt Disney Co. inauspiciously in the rear of a small office at the Holly-Vermont Realty in Los Angeles. It was there that the young brothers, who paid $10 a month for the modest space, began producing their live action/animated series of shorts known as the "Alice Comedies. " Ninety years later, Walt Disney Animation Studios is a slightly larger and more lucrative operation. Its 53rd animated feature, "Frozen," just knocked "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" off its box office pedestal and has brought in more than $134 million domestically since its opening on Nov. 22. And the new animated short that plays in theaters with "Frozen," called "Get a Horse!
December 5, 2013 |
Emerald green is so 2013. Say hello to Radiant Orchid, Pantone's color of the year for 2014. Those not familiar with phalaenopsis may wonder: What, exactly, is Radiant Orchid? In the company's annual announcement, Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, described the hue as “an enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones" that "inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. " How much weight do these Pantone predictions carry?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 22, 2013 |
SACRAMENTO -- A month after sheriff deputies shot and killed a 13-year-old Northern Californian who was carrying an airsoft gun, state lawmakers said Friday they plan to introduce legislation to require such guns to be painted bright colors to help law enforcement distinguish them from deadly firearms. The death of Andy Lopez in Santa Rosa, who was carrying a replica of an AK-47, might have been prevented if deputies could have determined the gun was not a real assault weapon, lawmakers said.
November 21, 2013 |
Jay Kvapil's new, variably intriguing ceramic work at Couturier is largely about surface -- viscous, painterly glazes and cratered shells. With only a few exceptions, the vessel forms are understated and conventional. They call little attention to themselves and instead serve as vehicles for potent color and assertive texture. Kvapil titled an earlier series "Pictorial Vessels," making explicit the priority given to surface as bearer of image or mark. Several works here continue in that vein, their glazes like thick, draping garments extending below the cylindrical body of a cup or vase.
November 21, 2013 |
Writer-director Eric England's "Contracted" can best be described as "Contagion" meets "Blue Is the Warmest Color," without all those explicit sex scenes. After falling out with her girlfriend, the distraught Samantha (Najarra Townsend of "Me and You and Everyone We Know") spirals into self-destruction, albeit somewhat unintentionally. She goes to a party and very hesitantly gets wasted. Much like the heroine in that NC-17-rated French lesbian sex spectacle, Samantha switches teams and takes up with a stranger to alleviate her domestic ennui.