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ENTERTAINMENT
April 26, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
A curious double -  or is it triple? - vision marks Rutu Modan's graphic novel “The Property” (Drawn & Quarterly, 222 pages, $24.95), which involves a grandmother and a granddaughter on a journey through the past. Unfolding over the course of a week in Warsaw, the book traces their efforts to determine the fate of a piece of property: an apartment left behind in the lead-up to the Holocaust. It's a situation complicated by a variety of competing agendas, which is not uncommon when it comes to family.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 22, 2013 | By Amy Kaufman
After Joseph Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut, “Don Jon,” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, festivalgoers questioned whether the pornography-laden version of the movie would make it to theaters intact. The initial cut, starring Gordon-Levitt as a New Jersey lothario whose porn addiction begins to interfere with his romantic life, was filled with sexually explicit footage. While the actor's character didn't engage in particularly graphic sex, he was often seen watching online porn rife with fake breasts, bare behinds and exotic sexual positions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 20, 2013 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
Al Neuharth, the newspaper mogul who in 1982 made a $1-billion gamble called USA Today that earned derision for its emphasis on brevity, flashy graphics and upbeat stories but endured to become the nation's largest-circulation newspaper, died Friday in Cocoa Beach, Fla. He was 89. He died of complications from a recent fall, according to USA Today and the Newseum, the Washington, D.C., news museum he founded. Described by detractors and admirers as brutish, egomaniacal, brilliant and fiercely competitive, Neuharth was a latter-day Citizen Kane, who in the 1970s turned the small Gannett newspaper chain into the nation's most profitable newspaper company.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 20, 2013 | By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times
Charles McKay makes a detailed spreadsheet of the authors he wants to hear during the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, typing in his first and second choices and getting tickets ahead of time. Jerry Oborn, from San Diego, said she goes about it another way: "I just wander around. " But McKay and Oborn both said they finish the festival the same way - with a long list of new books to read. "It takes us months to get through all these books by authors who inspired us," said McKay, who lives in the South Bay. McKay and Oborn were among the 150,000 people expected to attend The Times' 18th annual book festival, being held this weekend at USC. In clear, hot weather Saturday, visitors listened to poetry, watched cooking sessions, danced to local bands and shopped at dozens of makeshift bookstores.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 12, 2013 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Like its title character, "Da Vinci's Demons" prefers to flaunt rather than follow, flagrantly borrowing from film, television and video games to create something new, inarguably flawed, possibly revolutionary and certainly fun to watch. For several years, Starz has been flailing around in search of a show that would satisfy the youthful proclivities of its "Spartacus" audience while lending the network a bit more artistic heft. With its "Assassin's Creed" overtones and "Game of Thrones" top notes, "Demons" should satisfy the former, and even a story that too often turns Leonardo da Vinci into a Florentine Sherlock Holmes can't diminish the artistic heft of the original Renaissance man. After a quasi-mystical "Leonardo liked to get stoned" opener, creator David S. Goyer flamboyantly uses "Downton Abbey's" Hugh Bonneville to quickly establish the show's premium cable status: Bonneville's Duke of Milan greets the morn by first urinating, naked and on-camera (when did this become the new hallmark of cable's hard R?
NEWS
April 11, 2013 | By Los Angeles Times staff
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ENTERTAINMENT
March 16, 2013 | By Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Once upon a time not so very long ago I was a young woman living a writerly life of working poverty in New York City, which, for better or worse, engendered certain expectations from HBO's "Girls. " I admired though did not love the first season and felt hopeful about the second - creator Lena Dunham is smart and sharp-eyed, unafraid to wallow in the sticky brine of self-love and self-loathing that marks a certain time of many people's lives. But lately watching "Girls," which has its second-season finale Sunday night, just makes me feel old. And impatient in a vaguely maternal way, like when you see a lovely but irritating wild child running naked around the playground, shouting "vagina" at everyone and peeing in the sandbox.
NEWS
March 15, 2013 | By Craig Nakano
She's had her own TV series, theme parks and Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade float. She boasts more Facebook “likes” than First Lady Michelle Obama or Mickey Mouse. And her annual sales have been estimated at $5 billion. Not bad for a cat with no mouth. Hello Kitty, the feline superstar who manufacturer Sanrio says “speaks from the heart” instead of a mouth, soon will be clawing her way onto new territory: your walls. On Thursday, the Venice design firm Blik will launch a line of rub-on wall graphics for the home featuring the Kitty's famed black whiskers, yellow nose and puffy red hair bow on whatisblik.com and sanrio.com . We talked with Blik co-founder Scott Flora for this edited Q&A and asked about his experience working with an international starlet: How did this Sanrio project come about?
ENTERTAINMENT
March 5, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
It's not accurate, exactly, to say that I've been waiting for James Vance and Dan E. Burr's graphic novel “On the Ropes” (W.W. Norton: 248 pp., $24.95) -- until I saw a copy, I had no idea that it was coming out. But it is the case that Vance and Burr's first book, “Kings in Disguise,” first published in 1988, is one of my favorite graphic novels - a stark bit of social realism tracing the travails of a 12-year-old named Freddie Bloch as he wanders through the Depression - and with this new work, which picks up the story in 1937, the creators have outdone themselves.
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