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.
January 30, 2014 |
Come late January, drive up the Pacific Coast Highway about 90 miles north of Hollywood and there it is: the last stop on the awards season trail before the Oscars. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival , which kicks off Thursday night wi th the premiere of director Fisher Stevens' deep-sea documentary “ Mission Blue ,” provides a showcase for nearly 200 movies (including 24 world premieres) and star-studded tributes expected to draw about 70,000 attendees over the festival's 11-day run. On Friday, “American Hustle” director David O. Russell is to receive the festival's outstanding director award, his latest accolade after collecting a Golden Globe for best motion picture musical or comedy and receiving an Oscar nod for best director.
January 27, 2014 |
For the first time in a long time, it didn't snow in Park City, Utah, during the Sundance Film Festival, not even a flurry. The barren hills surrounding the town provided a physical echo of a festival that was not overflowing with greatness either. But, paradoxically, experiencing Sundance in an off year highlighted some of the things that make the festival so valuable. If you just looked at the awards list, it might seem that 2014 was very good indeed. Damien Chazelle's "Whiplash" won both the Grand Jury Prize and the audience award for U.S. drama, and the festival's various entities liked the films on offer so much that a full 25 features went home with awards.
January 25, 2014 |
Donkeys who stare, salesmen who pester, filmmakers who prod, killers who smile and kids who run wild are just a few of the weird, wacky and wonderful ideas that drive the indefinable 66 that fill this year's shorts program at the Sundance Film Festival. With technology making it relatively inexpensive and easy to go from idea to execution, the outer edge of creative invention can often be found in short films. From my sampling of this year's lineup, the further out, the better. Take "Rat Pack Rat," from filmmaker Todd Rohal ("The Guatemalan Handshake")
January 21, 2014 |
PARK CITY, Utah - Directed by a filmmaker who had no interest in making a feature and adapted from a memoir by a writer who never thought of her book as movie material, "Low Down" has the feeling of a film that was meant to be. Entered in Sundance's dramatic competition, "Low Down" is based on Amy-Jo Albany's beautifully written memoir of growing up with her father, legendary jazz pianist Joe Albany, a heroin addict living in the on-the-skids Hollywood...
January 19, 2014 |
There's nothing like attending a concert while traveling. Not only do you experience great music, but you also catch a glimpse of local fashion, dances, drinks and customs. And isn't experiencing life like the locals what traveling is all about? Here's a selected list of 14 places around the globe that offer concert-goers more than just a band on stage. Gypsy Joynt Café, Massachusetts: With a bohemian décor and lively roster of musical acts, this Great Barrington, Mass., venue/restaurant is a trip, man. Don't believe me?
January 19, 2014 |
Music insiders offered insights and travel tips about the world of music festivals at a Saturday panel at the L.A. Times Travel Show called "On the Road: Traveling for Music & Festivals. " The panel returns noon Sunday. Times staff writer Jessica Gelt led the discussion with Betto Arcos, host of KPFK's Global Village; Rick Farman, creator of the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival and Outside Lands; and Nigel Dick, filmmaker. Secrets to tickets If tickets sell out quickly, Farman recommended companies that sell packages, noting most are VIP packages.
January 18, 2014 |
PARK CITY, Utah -- How does it feel to arrive at the Sundance Film Festival with five Academy Awards nominations in tow? What's it like to have a daughter who directed a film that is showing in the festival? And what Sundance trends appear to be materializing this year? Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, co-presidents of Sony Pictures Classics, dropped by the Los Angeles Times Studio in Park City to answer these questions -- and more. PHOTOS: Sundance Film Festival 2014 | The Scene Barker and Bernard's company, a unit of Sony Pictures Entertainment, has three pictures screening in the festival: "The Raid 2," "Only Lovers Left Alive" and "The Lunchbox.
January 18, 2014 |
Documentary filmmaker Lucy Walker envisioned "The Lion's Mouth Opens," which screens as part of the documentary shorts program at the Sundance Film Festival, as "an espresso shot to the heart. " It is most certainly that. Fifteen minutes of shifting, searing emotions as its subject, actress-writer-director Marianna Palka, deals with the prospect she might have the gene for Huntington's disease, the neurodegenerative disorder that cruelly felled her father, taking, as the Scottish-born actress' mum recounts, both his body and his mind in torturous ways.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 17, 2014 |
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was planning to take off for Utah on Friday for a weekend at the Sundance Film Festival. Garcetti described his visit to the Park City ski resort as part personal, part business. Taxpayers won't be billed, he said, because he's spending a day with friends. “It's on my own dime,” Garcetti said in an interview at Cal State Northridge after an event marking the 20th anniversary of the earthquake. Garcetti said he was also planning to attend a reception for Los Angeles filmmakers at a private home.