December 20, 2013 |
Geoffrey Rush's breakthrough performance was his portrayal of the pianist David Helfgott in the 1996 film "Shine," for which he won the Oscar for lead actor. Seventeen years later, he finds himself playing a musician of a different sort in "The Book Thief": Hans Hubermann, a German house painter and amateur accordionist who takes in a 10-year-old foster daughter (Sophie Nelisse) amid the chaos of World War II. Speaking at the Envelope Screening Series , Rush talked about how getting acquainted with the accordion helped him understand the character of Hans on a deeper level.
December 19, 2013 |
"Lee Daniels' The Butler” tells the story of Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker), a White House butler who serves eight presidents and is caught up in the tumultuous civil rights movement. But, for Daniels, the heart of the story lies with the transcendent love between a father and son. That, and a moment shared with his mother, attracted Daniels to the project. As a youth, Daniels teased his mother about her missing tooth. The reason behind it remained hidden until one year she told him that she lost it while she was protesting voter injustice.
December 18, 2013 |
"Lee Daniels' The Butler" opened in mid-August, and, in the ensuing months, its namesake director has participated in countless Q&As and receptions both to promote the movie and to keep it alive in the Oscar conversation. But Daniels had never been involved in an event quite like the one hosted last night by actor Denzel Washington at the Motion Picture Academy's Goldwyn Theater. Six members of the Freedom Riders, the civil rights activists who defied Jim Crow laws and rode interstate buses into the Deep South in the early '60s, attended the screening and shared their memories during a Q&A following the film.
October 18, 2013 |
If one ever needed proof that we live in a warrior culture, look no further than those who have falsely claimed military experience, from two-bit conmen to politicians and corporate leaders adding undeserved gravitas to their resumes. It is an attempt to steal glory, a recognition that much of the American public holds a special regard for those who have served. As Richard A. Serrano explores in his short, entertaining "Last of the Blue and Gray: Old Men, Stolen Glory, and the Mystery that Outlived the Civil War," this kind of military fraud is nothing new. In the economic dark days of the Great Depression, "veterans" discovered that a few well-placed lies about serving in the Civil War, backed by a supporting letter from a bamboozled politician, could land a veteran's pension from the government.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 19, 2013 |
SAN DIEGO - The allegations might have quickly chased a less combative politician from office: that he sexually harassed staff members and constituents, groping, grabbing, forcibly kissing, making lewd comments, making himself a "threat to all women. " But San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is no average politician, having started out as a Freedom Rider in the civil rights movement and then spending three decades as an officeholder, including 20 years in Congress. His reputation is that of a street fighter - one with a loyal following among voters but few close allies among politicians.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 1, 2013 |
SAN DIEGO - Under a pro-business Republican mayor, it was a no-brainer: allocating millions of dollars each year to buy national advertising for the tourism industry - a major economic driver in this vacation mecca. Then Bob Filner got elected, and he had questions: Why couldn't Sheraton and Hilton buy their own advertising? And why should the cash-strapped city lavish funds on an industry that pays low wages to bottom-rung employees like maids and bellhops? The new Democratic mayor also thought the city attorney should provide him with legal guidance on the matter in private, not in front of reporters.