CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 6, 2014 |
The colorful Tet festival is going mainstream, moving beyond the borders of bustling Little Saigon to a sprawling county fairgrounds where it is expected to attract thousands who never ventured into the Vietnamese American district. Nora Simmons is among those who will be a first-time visitor to the Lunar New Year celebration, the largest Tet gathering outside Vietnam, when it begins Friday. The Mission Viejo resident admits that exploring the Vietnamese cultural enclave that stretches across the face of central Orange County seems intimidating and she worried that it's a "wild place.
February 5, 2014 |
Are you Parker Sithole? The question served as the original title for "Of Good Report," which screens Thursday as the opening night film of the 22nd Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles. Set in the South African countryside, the film follows a troubled teacher named Parker Sithole (Mothusi Magano), who begins an illicit relationship with the beautiful student Nolitha (Petronella Tshuma) - a relationship that takes a brutal turn and forces Parker to battle past demons. More subtly, the film noir explores the lies that people tell and the morals that they bend to justify actions, at any expense.
February 4, 2014 |
SANTA BARBARA - Hollywood's unique awards calculus wouldn't seem to take a film festival at this posh coastal enclave into account. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival, after all, is not a prestige movie launching pad such as the Toronto International Film Festival or an indie acquisitions bazaar like Utah's Sundance. But over the last decade, the Central Coast festival has carved an important niche in the movie ecosystem. Arriving exactly two weeks after Academy Awards nominations were announced, the Santa Barbara festival is distinguished as a tactical pit stop on the way to the Oscars.
February 3, 2014 |
Now is the time to submit your ideas to the Twitter Fiction Festival. The call for entries closes at the end of Feb. 4. The festival itself will take place March 12-16. The Twitter Fiction Festival is new -- so new that it's happened only once before. That first time out, it was planned but slightly chaotic, wide open to any kind of fiction-focused use of Twitter that writers might invent. In 2014, there are two official organizers, the Assn. of American Publishers and Penguin Random House.
February 1, 2014 |
The stereotypical Sundance movie is thought of as something capital-Q quirky, typically a story of family dysfunction or coming-of-age. This year's festival, across its numerous sections, featured a newfound immersion in genre storytelling that pushed the films to places that were familiar but with unexpected and most welcome twists. Gareth Evans' "The Raid 2," for instance, does for the blood-soaked Asian action film what "The Dark Knight" did for the superhero film, injecting it with a seriousness, a depth of characterization and a scope of storytelling that raises it to a new level of legitimacy.
January 31, 2014 |
Friday is the first day of Chinese New Year, a multi-day celebration marked by money-stuffed red envelopes, dragon imagery and, in the Southland, a flood of tourists from Asia. For the first time, many local shopping centers are greeting the surge in potential customers with fanfare and parades dedicated to the Year of the Horse, festooning their courtyards with paper lanterns and hiring experts in traditional Chinese arts. The hullabaloo over the holiday - also known as the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year - is a calculated move at many of those retail properties, designed to attract the region's vast and growing Asian presence into stores after a lackluster year for retail sales.