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August 18, 1987
Clarence Brown, one of Hollywood's most prolific directors, who enhanced the careers of such diverse stars as Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Norma Shearer and Elizabeth Taylor, has died at age 97, it was learned today. Brown died late Monday night at St. John's Medical Center of kidney failure. He had been retired since the early 1950s.
February 19, 2012 | Patrick Pacheco, Special to the Los Angeles Times
In "Look Back in Anger," playwright John Osborne's brutal 1956 drama, the working-class antihero Jimmy Porter attacks his wife Alison, by accusing her of being "pusillanimous. " In their garbage-strewn Midlands flat, the disaffected young man cruelly barks out its meaning: "Wanting of firmness of mind, of small courage … cowardly. " "Pusillanimous" is a word one would hardly associate with Sam Gold, the ambitious 33-year-old director of the Roundabout Theater's revival of the British classic, which stars Matthew Rhys, most recently of the TV drama "Brothers & Sisters.
A Costa Mesa preschool where two students were killed and five others injured after a man intentionally drove his Cadillac into a crowded playground in 1999 has quietly closed its doors. The Southcoast Early Childhood Learning Center, which survived that tragedy as well as a bruising battle with neighbors opposed to a security fence installed in the wake of the killings, closed Sept. 1.
June 26, 2005 | Robert Abele, Special to The Times
When screenwriter Don Roos ("Boys on the Side," "Single White Female") cast "Friends" star Lisa Kudrow in a key role for his 1998 filmmaking debut, "The Opposite of Sex," an exciting new director-actress collaboration emerged. Roos' bitingly funny take on love, sex and responsibility took flight when Kudrow's Lucia -- a tart-tongued, opinionated, spinsterish teacher with unexpected reserves of pained optimism -- was on screen.
February 3, 2012 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski, Los Angeles Times
In the long, photo-decorated hallway that leads to the terrace garden dining area at Soho House, producer Michael Barnathan paused to point out a black-and-white snapshot of him and his wife grinning broadly as they celebrated their three Critics' Choice Awards for "The Help. " Barnathan and co-producer Chris Columbus are unabashedly, pinch-me-to-be-sure-this-is-real giddy about the gathering awards momentum behind the film, which focuses on the lives of black maids in Mississippi at the start of the civil rights movement.
May 30, 2013 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
I have so many questions after seeing "After Earth," the new sci-fi action-adventure starring Will Smith and his 14-year-old son, Jaden. First, just how much blinding power is in that famous smile of his? On the day Will Smith floated the idea - "sci-fi flick, father-son friction, me and the kid will star" - did its sheer warmth and radiance make everyone in the room believe that anything, including "After Earth" as an actual, viable movie, was possible? Someone wrote the checks.
June 15, 2013 | By Celine Wright
"It's a great drug, you should try it," said Sebastian Silva, director of the film "Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus," Friday night at the Los Angeles Film Festival. He wasn't kidding --in the film, his characters steal a cactus, chop it into bits, stew it, drink its milky liquid, and begin a journey, with ensuing hilarity. Drug-fueled stories have been done before in film, but this one distinguishes itself with its quirky nature.  The film had its premiere earlier this year at Sundance, where director Sebastian Silva won the Director's Award in World Cinema.
May 9, 2013 | By Chris Lee and John Horn
Every filmmaker in Hollywood worth his final cut has a signature visual flourish that functions something like a filmic fingerprint. For Martin Scorsese, it's the long, uninterrupted tracking shot. For John Woo, the balletic deployment of two-handed gun violence. Wes Anderson never met a painterly tableau he didn't like. And Steven Spielberg favors the slow zoom in just about every one of his movies. J.J. Abrams , meanwhile, tends toward a cinematographic trope that looks, at first glance, like a screw-up -- lens flare -- i.e. intentionally flooding the camera frame with light to deliberately wash out or obscure the imagery on-screen.
February 24, 2013 | By Garrett Therolf, Los Angeles Times
For years, the top director of Los Angeles County's child protective services agency sat in an office hidden behind an unmarked, locked door. When current director Philip Browning arrived, he made an early decision to use a doorstop to prop it open. And he publicly posted his own name and picture as well as those of his managers, prompting protests by some who feared for their safety. "The goal is to change the culture," Browning said, acknowledging the embarrassment that some feel at an agency shamed by repeated failures that have allowed at-risk children to die. "What I would like to see is for the worker to be so proud of what he's doing that he tells his next-door neighbor where he works, which is not the case right now. " Browning, 66, who rises at 4:15 a.m. to run five miles before work, is attempting to revive one of the most troubled public agencies in Southern California.
April 30, 1987
El Monte-based Birtcher Corp. named Ronald McAdams chairman and CEO, succeeding Ernest V. Jarvis, who was reelected a director. Four new elected directors include David B. Jones, Birtcher President Richard E. Maya, CEO McAdams and James R. Weersing.
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