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ENTERTAINMENT
March 27, 2014 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
It's not only biblical prophets who have visions, movie directors have them too. And when a filmmaker like Darren Aronofsky bring his very personal perspective to the ancient story of Noah and the flood, moviegoers will have to hang on tight to avoid getting washed overboard. Grandiose, improbable, outlandish and overwrought, "Noah" is the kind of simultaneously preposterous and dead serious movie that has become Aronofsky's specialty. As much a fantasia inspired by the Old Testament as a literal retelling of that tale, "Noah" manages to blend the expected with the unexpected and does it with so much gusto and cinematic energy you won't want to divert your eyes from the screen.
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 26, 2014 | By Daniel Miller
Journalist Willow Bay has been named director of the journalism school at USC's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, the university announced Wednesday. Bay, 50, is  a senior editor at the Huffington Post and a s pecial correspondent and host for Bloomberg TV . She also has been a producer, author and  television news anchor, and is married to Bob Iger, chairman and chief executive of Walt Disney Co. “The breadth of Willow Bay's experiences, skills and talents is extraordinary,” said Ernest James Wilson III, dean of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, in a statement.  “Her leadership will help our innovative school aggressively continue our path of creating -- and defining -- the digital future.” ON LOCATION: Where the cameras roll Bay has co-anchored ABC's "Good Morning America/Sunday" and CNN's "Moneyline News Hour," and was the lead writer and producer of CNN's weekend news program "Pinnacle.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 25, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Following directly on the heels of the potent performance of Verdi's Requiem by San Diego Opera on Thursday, the New West Symphony tackled this great work for chorus, orchestra and four vocal soloists. A requiem mass that is an opera in all but setting, Verdi's late score can easily take on different meanings in different contexts. These were very different contexts. In San Diego, the requiem was given the day after the 49-year-old company callously and inexplicably announced, without advance warning, that it would cease operations in less than a month despite no debt on the books.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 21, 2014 | By John Horn
NEW YORK - It was easy to get lost on Darren Aronofsky's ark. Inside a converted Brooklyn armory in late 2012, Aronofsky was shooting "Noah" on a massive vessel that matched the biblical dimensions of the boat, its rough beams lashed together and the hull sealed with pitch. In every corner of the three-story structure rested packs of ersatz animals - insects on one level, snakes and turtles in another corner and, around the bend, lions quite literally lying with lambs. "Animals are fragile.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 21, 2014 | By Richard Verrier
The film crew walked out on the old railroad trestle high above Georgia's Altamaha River, then placed a metal-frame bed on the tracks for actor William Hurt. The plan called for Hurt to lie on the bed in a dream sequence for the film "Midnight Rider," in which he plays rock singer Gregg Allman. Two trains had already crossed the bridge that day, and the crew was told no more were scheduled, hairstylist Joyce Gilliard recalled. Then a train came barreling toward them. "We all ran for our lives," Gilliard said.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 20, 2014 | By Gary Goldstein
Even the ubiquitous James Franco should have known better than to star in "Maladies," a pretentious head-scratcher involving would-be artistic expression, mental illness and shaving cream (don't ask). Franco brings a bit of his trademark charisma to the muddled role of an unstable soap-opera-actor-turned-novelist, also named James, who finds himself in a Long Island beach house living "an artistic life" with his moody, cross-dressing painter friend (Catherine Keener) and his disturbed sister (Fallon Goodson)
ENTERTAINMENT
March 19, 2014 | By Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times
Philippe Vergne says his first task as the new director of L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art is not to act quickly but to think and plan deeply. On the job less than two weeks after extensive past experience as director of New York's Dia Art Foundation and top curator and deputy director of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Vergne spelled out no immediate changes Wednesday and said he'll look to MOCA's past achievements for guidance. GRAPHIC: MOCA's ups and downs with Jeffrey Deitch "The most important priority is to look at the programming and reimagine the program" of exhibitions and events, he said as he joined Lilly Tartikoff Karatz and Maurice Marciano, MOCA's new board co-chairs, and Maria Seferian, the museum's interim director before his arrival, for a discussion with Los Angeles Times reporters and editors.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 19, 2014 | By Mike Boehm and Deborah Vankin, Los Angeles Times
Capping 12 months that moved from a potential loss of independence to a chance at a fresh start under new museum director Philippe Vergne, L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art announced the return Tuesday of trustees John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger and Catherine Opie, prominent Los Angeles artists who had resigned from its board in 2012 as MOCA fell into upheaval, uncertainty and financial drift. Kathi Cypres and Steven F. Roth, who left the board more quietly in 2012, are also back as trustees, MOCA announced.
ENTERTAINMENT
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...
ENTERTAINMENT
March 13, 2014 | By Susan King
Director Roger Michell and writer Hanif Kureishi were on a worldwide promotional tour for "Venus," the 2006 film that earned Peter O'Toole his last Oscar nomination, when the two collaborators' seemingly nonstop travel schedule hatched the concept for a new film. "We had lots of airplane flights and came up with this idea of a couple going to Paris for 48 hours as a very easy and beautiful structure," Michell said. He and Kureishi decided to take their own 48-hour trip to Paris to outline the characters and the plot.
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