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April 12, 2009
I enjoyed Mark Vanhoenacker's article on Monument Valley ["Majestic Sleepover," March 29]. Unfortunately, I have to disagree with his assessment of Goulding's Lodge as a tourist trap. My stay at Goulding's last spring cost me less than the spring rate quoted in the article. The accommodations exceeded expectations, and the view from the room was exquisite. Jose Sernaque Torrance
April 11, 2014 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
Unless one is Native American, getting a grasp of complex Native American spiritual cosmologies is not easy. And that distinction, which might be called a quality of profound otherness, is in essence what drives a fascinating show recently opened at the Autry National Center of the American West in Griffith Park. It's a story of survival, of a will to endure in the face of crushing opposition. And it is a story told through beads. "Floral Journey: Native North American Beadwork" might sound like a simple decorative display of ornamented handiwork.
May 22, 1993
How embarrassing! I was actually one of the hundreds of the "admiring throng" at Kathleen Battle's recital who didn't realize that I was being deceived by "exquisite essays in manipulation" until I was enlightened by Times Music Critic Martin Bernheimer ("An Exquisite--Perhaps Too Exquisite--Recital," May 17). I was thrilled by Battle's "perfectly focused, amazingly pure, startlingly clear" voice. I wasn't astute enough to ascribe her remarkable stage presence, charm and magnetism to a "studiously articulated" and "painstakingly manicured" lack of spontaneity.
March 27, 2014 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
There is a scene midway through Gareth Evans' action-crime thriller "The Raid 2" that exemplifies the excruciating and exhilarating experience of this gripping paean to the ballet, brutality and blood that courses through martial arts films. The players are not the key ones, but the action is exquisite as two attractive 20-ish Indonesian assassins, a brother-sister team, identify their target in a subway car. Amid tight space and other passengers, Hammer Girl, a mesmerizing Julie Estelle, her long hair swinging in time with the claw hammers she wields, approaches the prey; her brother, Baseball Bat Man (Very Tri Yulisman)
July 1, 1990
Obviously, Reichl has been to Hillhurst Avenue. How could she have left out Duplex? The restaurant is beautiful and pleasant, the atmosphere warm and friendly, the service excellent and, most important, the food is exquisite (innovative but not crazy) and, surprisingly, moderately priced. ANNELISE SPIRA Los Angeles
August 24, 1986
I can't wait to read your section of the Sunday Times, so buy my paper on Saturday. I just returned from Dubrovnik, my shining city, and the 57th annual festival, and you can imagine my delight at discovering the feature by Sharon Dirlam. I lived in an exquisite museum-piece gem of a house built around 1637. My bedroom overlooked an exquisite garden, beyond which was a low Roman wall, and beyond that the cobalt Adriatic Sea. All this plus breakfast for $10 a day! My suave, debonair bachelor host was Maro Bijelic, Donji Kono 9, 5000 Dubrovnik.
February 17, 2002
J. R. Moehringer touched my heart and fed my soul with the story about Marion Pritchard and her true heroism ("A Hidden and Solitary Soldier," Jan. 20). What a bonus for humanity she is. Thank you for sharing her inspiring story. I hope there are still many parents who are perpetuating the foundations for such courage, imbuing their children with an "exquisite sense of justice" and "unwavering self-confidence." Such people enrich us all. Virginia Weber Ventura
April 13, 1989 | Jack Smith
Any writer who addresses a controversial subject--such as abortion, gun control or animal protection--is certain to be misunderstood and mangled by advocates on both sides. In writing about the two Cambodians who killed a puppy with the intention of eating it, I said that the case raised some "exquisite" questions, since a judge dismissed the charges on the ground that there is no law against eating pets, and that the men's method of dispatching the dog was no more cruel than that employed by slaughterhouses in killing beef.
March 29, 1997 | CYNDI Y. NIGHTENGALE
From its intricate detail to the materials used to make it, this egg is truly a gem. It took two years for artisans Chris Eric, Phil Roberts and James Grahl of J. Grahl Design in Newport Beach to create the 8-inch-tall golden egg. They were commissioned by family practice physician Barry Marfleet of Tustin to make the egg of red enamel, platinum, rubies, diamonds, pearls and 18-karat yellow, rose and green gold.
November 15, 1985 | Benjamin Epstein
Brigitte Starczewski-Deval makes dolls. Exquisite dolls. Dolls that wouldn't look out of place in a painting by one of the old masters who inspire her. In a craft demeaned by Barbies and Kens and countless other rubberized, plasticized, babbling, gurgling junk, Starczewski-Deval makes dolls for museums and collectors, for people who consider doll-making an art form. For people who won't wince at a price range of $2,400 to $14,000.
March 8, 2014 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Horton Foote's "The Trip to Bountiful" is a deceptively small story. An elderly woman named Carrie Watts, living a stifling and increasingly marginalized existence with her son and daughter-in-law, is determined to return to her tiny hometown in the South. And so one day she does, escaping the bonds of age and family to board a bus headed toward Bountiful, Texas. There are few roles available to women of a certain age, fewer still that allow such performers to wield the subtle but symphonic skills that can only be acquired through a lifetime of fine acting.
February 4, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
In the northeast of China, at the Yixian and Jiufotang formations, scientists have discovered thousands of exquisitely preserved fossils of plants and birds, dinosaurs and mammals. Together they make up the Jehol Biota -- an ecosystem, preserved in ash, that dates back nearly 130 million years. Some of these fossils are so complete that researchers can determine what a dinosaur had for breakfast on the day it died. Others include impressions of an animal's muscles and skin, as well as hair, feathers and scales.  The fossils tell us that back in the lower Cretaceous period this land was humid, and dotted with conifer forests and lakes.
November 21, 2013 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
As its name promises, "The Great Beauty" is drop-dead gorgeous, a film that is luxuriously, seductively, stunningly cinematic. But more than intoxicating imagery is on director Paolo Sorrentino's mind, a lot more. One of Italy's most impressive contemporary filmmakers, Sorrentino has a superb sense of how to fill a wide screen and, working with his longtime cinematographer Luca Bigazzi, a wizard with camera movement, his visuals display the intoxicating richness of color 35-millimeter film in a way few contemporary ventures can match.
October 16, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
"Lecture on Nothing," which is published in John Cage's "Silence," is a classic, studied and often recited. One of its much-quoted lines is "I have nothing to say and I am saying and that is poetry as I need it. " The conductor Robert Spano read the lecture at the 2006 Ojai Festival, as the director Peter Sellars once did at the Salzburg Festival, slowly savoring every instant. But what Cage called a composed lecture didn't always go down so easily. The composer first delivered the 40-minute lecture - which is structured like a piece of music, with pauses and repetitions - at the painter Robert Motherwell's 8th St. Artist's Club in Manhattan in 1950.
September 24, 2013 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
If it's true, as some have suggested, that rapper and singer Drake is the musical voice of his generation, one statistic on his new album is instructive: Through 13 tracks over the course of an hour, the platinum rapper mentions himself nearly 500 times. This third volume, called "Nothing Was the Same," sees the Toronto hip-hop superstar, 26, offering thoughts on his day-to-day, the spoils of his riches, his girls and his bitches (but seldom his ladies or women), his dad, his mom, his success and his isolation.
May 23, 2013 | By Sheri Linden
Zeroing in on the art of rehearsal, "Becoming Traviata" is an exquisitely observed look at performance and the creative process. You don't need to be an opera buff to appreciate Philippe Béziat's documentary, which makes the essentials of Verdi's romantic drama "La Traviata" clear while building its own stirring narrative around a French festival production's director and star. Béziat takes in many telling details of the work-in-progress, from the backstage paintbrushes to the crew members working out their scenery cues, but the pulse of his film is the interaction between the director, Jean-Francois Sivadier, and the soprano, Natalie Dessay.
April 12, 2013 | By Holly Myers
Claire Anna Baker's first L.A. solo show, at Edward Cella Art + Architecture, is a strikingly sophisticated exploration of gesture in the context of painterly abstraction. Each of the five large, ink-on-polyester paintings installed in the gallery's main space revolves around a stroke of liquid black, set against a ground of pale, softly modulated blues, oranges and pinks. Though far too large to have been made with a single movement, each stroke is a vision of lightness and spontaneity.
November 8, 2012 | By Robert Abele
It speaks to the storytelling heft of Choderlos de Laclos' 18th-century French novel "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" that there's nary a bad adaptation of his dryly venal yarn of sexual gamesmanship. The latest, Chinese director Hur Jin-ho's "Dangerous Liaisons," adapted by Yan Geling, lays this timeless boudoir chess board over the moneyed class in 1930s Shanghai, where a wealthy businesswoman (an agreeably devilish Cecilia Cheung) and a roguish playboy (Dong-gun Jang) wager over the carnal conquests of a tycoon's virginal teen bride (Wang Yijin)
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