April 5, 2013 |
There's a bit of Edward Gorey-esque glee in the way Kate Atkinson keeps knocking off her main character in "Life After Life. " And yet, she manages to invest these repeated deaths with poetry and emotion. This ingenious narrative conceit - the decision to kill her protagonist and bring her back, again and again - not only illustrates how seemingly small decisions can affect our lives; it also allows us as readers to inhabit a novelist's creative process. This is what writers do: create characters, hit a dead end, then go back and start again.
December 28, 2010 |
Miles Teller almost died a few years ago. After spending a few days at a Connecticut music festival, he and two buddies were road tripping home to Florida. Cruising down the highway at 75 mph, Teller's friend tried to switch lanes and nearly hit another vehicle. He jerked the steering wheel back but lost control of the car, which went across three lanes of traffic, into a grass median, and flipped seven times. Teller was thrown 25 feet and awoke covered in blood. "I still have two rocks in my face," the boyish 23-year-old actor said, showing off scars on his chin, neck and shoulder.
August 5, 2011 |
For the first time in 45 years, Jerry Lewis will not be pleading for donations in front of a camera Labor Day weekend after he was abruptly dismissed as the host of the Muscular Dystrophy Assn.'s telethon, an event that drew attention to the childhood disease and in its heyday was an annual television highlight. The group said the 85-year-old legendary comedian would not appear on this year's telethon, and would no longer serve as its national chairman, a position he held for nearly 60 years.
February 7, 2013 |
Danish democracy's astonishing origin story has all the makings of a world-class political soap opera. Rife with madness, adultery, decapitations and gorgeous costumes, the Oscar-nominated "A Royal Affair" revisits the saga of a liberal doctor who tried to launch a revolution from the inside out after infiltrating the court of crazy King Christian VII and his beautiful Queen Caroline in the 1760s. Despite the juicy source material, nobody had made a movie out of Denmark's nation-defining melodrama until writer-director Arcel Nikolaj Arcel came along.
April 24, 2012 |
When actress Kerry Washington was preparing for her role as Olivia Pope, the high-octane Beltway "fixer" on the new ABC series "Scandal," one of the first things she did was launch a Google search for Judy Smith, the real-life crisis consultant on whose professional life the series is based. Washington was somewhat perplexed by how little came up on the D.C. insider who had navigated through some of the thorniest public relations challenges of the past 20 years on behalf of her clients, including Monica Lewinsky, former Idaho Sen. Larry Craig and NFL quarterback Michael Vick, to name a few. There were no interviews and rarely even media mention of the public relations powerhouse.
January 6, 2010 |
The list of freelance writing gigs on Craigslist goes on and on. Trails.com will pay $15 for articles about the outdoors. Livestrong.com wants 500-word pieces on health for $30, or less. In this mix, the 16 cents a word offered by Green Business Quarterly ends up sounding almost bounteous, amounting to more than $100 per submission. Other publishers pitch the grand opportunities they provide to "extend your personal brand" or to "showcase your work, influence others." That means working for nothing, just like the sailing magazine that offers its next editor-writer not a single doubloon but, instead, the opportunity to "participate in regattas all over the country."
June 9, 2012 |
They were a couple of auto mechanics with a pronounced Boston brogue and, improbably, degrees from MIT. They hadn't a clue how to perform on radio, much less public radio. So Tom and Ray Magliozzi just decided to have a good time. The result was "Car Talk," which shattered the perception that public radio is inaccessible to the masses and became National Public Radio's top-rated weekend show. "They never developed that affect of sonorousness and seriousness and gravitas public radio is known for," said the show's executive producer, the man Tom and Ray would identify on air as Doug "Not-a-Slave-to-Fashion" Berman.
April 15, 2012 |
The Hollywood studio "courtroom" of "Judge Judy" Sheindlin may seem inviting enough, but Hugo Escobedo Jr. looked like someone discovering a moment too late that he was in the lion's den and the head lion was about to bite his head off. During a taping, Escobedo, 18, was trying to persuade Sheindlin that he was not responsible for an accident in Houston that caused considerable damage to a car driven by 19-year-old Angelique Trump, who had filed...
November 25, 2012 |
In a Playa Vista aircraft hangar that turned out Army helicopters during the Vietnam War, an actor wearing a multicolored princess gown, tiara and wand waits for a crew of about 25 to finish lunch and resume filming. The building that once was part of Howard Hughes' sprawling Hercules complex, where the famous Spruce Goose was assembled during World War II, now provides a setting for another kind of American innovation - YouTube videos. The Google Inc. division has converted the 41,000-square-foot hangar into a state-of-the-art digital production facility that is believed to be one of the largest in Southern California devoted exclusively to content distributed online.
April 18, 2013 |
One of the most intriguing things about the new crime drama "Pawn" is Michael Chiklis' British accent. It's not that it's particularly bad or good, but every time he speaks - which is a lot - it does make you wonder why ? The movie is a bit like that accent and joins the pantheon of mildly entertaining thrillers having a go at the domino logic we've seen so often in these movies, starting with that classic flaw in the criminal mind that makes two-bit thugs think they can outsmart compromised cops.