April 6, 2013 |
Mariel Hemingway, makeup-free and in sweats, is gorgeous. That bone structure, her cheetah-like build and flowing hair have been familiar for decades. What's disarming is her forthright approach to a rough family history and her determination to live the happy and healthy life that eluded so many of her relatives. She knows a lot, she says, about what it takes to live a happy life - no matter your cheekbones or pedigree. Perhaps it's because she's seen enough unhappiness to last many lifetimes: for starters, the suicides of her supermodel sister and her legendary grandfather, as well as five other relatives.
April 5, 2013 |
Documentarian Shola Lynch first encountered controversial political activist and professor Angela Davis over 20 years ago while still a student at the University of Texas in Austin. Davis delivered a speech that "was all about justice and race, fighting the good fight," recalled Lynch, now 44, on the phone from her home in New York. "In college, that is what we were all about. That was the time we were trying to figure it out. What did equality mean? What does it mean to be black?
April 4, 2013 |
"Babe's and Ricky's Inn," Ramin Niami's new documentary on the legendary L.A. blues club, is a bit like the music that founder Mama Laura gathered up in her big, open-hearted embrace - an improvisational riff filled with weeping guitars, wailing harmonicas, pounding keyboards and sweat-soaked players rather than rigorous storytelling. If you don't want to get up and move at some point during this film, go see a doctor. Music in "Babe's and Ricky's" is righteous and raucous and easy to come by, but the story of Mama Laura is more elusive.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2013 |
Mari Edelman called upstairs to the caretaker, asking if her husband was awake and in good enough shape to handle a visitor. As we ascended the stairs of their Westwood home, Mari explained that her husband's cruel condition - an advancing neurological disease - has left him sharp mentally but withered physically, and barely able to speak. Edmund D. Edelman, who put in 29 years as an elected official in Los Angeles, first as a City Councilman and then as a member of the county Board of Supervisors, lay on his back against a window, a blanket draped over him. He squeezed out an acknowledgment, barely audible, and I sat down to talk to him, with Mari doing her best to interpret his responses.
April 1, 2013 |
David Sutherland is the director of three remarkable documentary films - I should say at least three, having seen only the last three - notable for their length and their depth: "The Farmer's Wife," from 1998, a 61/2-hour look at a farm family in crisis; the six-hour "Country Boys," from 2005, about two teenagers in Appalachia; and now "Kind Hearted Woman," set in North Dakota, Minnesota and southern Canada, which follows a Native American woman and...
March 22, 2013 |
CAIRO - The battle between censors and filmmakers over "Jews of Egypt" ended this week when authorities granted permission for the documentary to be shown despite fears it may agitate Egypt's anti-Israeli hatred amid months of political unrest and nationwide protests. The film by director Amir Ramses raised a dilemma over security versus artistic freedom at a time when the rise of conservative Islamist voices has sharpened religious and cultural differences. The documentary explores the life of Egypt's Jewish community before the second Arab-Israeli war in 1956.
March 21, 2013 |
The J.D. Salinger documentary that has fascinated the literary and media worlds will now have its day before an audience. Shane Salerno's “Salinger,” about the reclusive “Catcher in the Rye” author who died in 2010, will be released in theaters on Sept. 6, The Weinstein Co. said Thursday. That positions it for a run at late-summer film festivals that mark the beginning of awards season as well as during the season that follows. Salerno, most recently a writer and executive producer on Oliver Stone's drug-trade thriller “Savages,” has also turned the material into a book, while the movie will also air as part of PBS' venerated “American Masters" series.
March 21, 2013 |
In "Duke-Carolina: The Blue Blood Rivalry," writer-director Jason Rem explores the heated basketball feud that has simmered for 93 years. The independent documentary from Rem's namesake REM Entertainment and Greatest Fan Films was released via video-on-demand services March 8, just a few weeks before the start of this year's NCAA men's basketball tournament, which kicked off today. Both basketball powerhouses, whose campuses are nine miles apart, are playing in this year's tournament, with Duke a No. 2 seed and North Carolina a No. 8 seed. SPORTS NOW: NCAA basketball tournament updates and more The documentary includes interviews with current and former Duke and North Carolina players, including Phil Ford, Jay Bilas, Eric Montross, Seth Curry and P.J. Hairston.
March 16, 2013 |
"Survive and Advance," which premieres Sunday on ESPN as part of its excellent "30 for 30" series of sports documentaries, is a sweet and moving depiction of the sweet and moving story of the 1983 North Carolina State men's basketball team, the Wolfpack, and its colorful coach, Jim Valvano. You will need a handkerchief or two to get through it, unless you are some sort of soulless, inhuman monster. Directed by Jonathan Hock ("Unguarded"), it is a tale of great deeds, inspiring speeches, comical sound bites and big, long hugs in what was a legendary time for college basketball - the days when Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing were still in school and players tended to stick around for three or even four years of play rather than taking off early for the pros: "The games were better," says University of North Carolina Coach Roy Williams.
March 16, 2013 |
Snoop Dogg had come to Burbank to let loose the lion. Engulfed by a haze of marijuana smoke thick as London fog in a hotel suite high above the so-called Media Capital of the World, the gangsta rap superstar surrendered himself to a hairdresser's strenuous manipulations as she twisted and caressed his skinny braids into cheroot-shaped dreadlocks. The Doggfather's coiffure needed to be Rastafari-real, after all, for his television debut as the new Snoop. One Love Snoop. Reggae Snoop.