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October 24, 2013 | By Annlee Ellingson
There are things worse than death. One could, for example, wake up each morning to find it's the day before your 16th birthday - again. In "Haunter," Lisa (Abigail Breslin) lives this "Groundhog Day" nightmare day after day, a rebellious teen doomed to eat the same meatloaf, do the same laundry and watch the same episode of "Murder, She Wrote" for the rest of eternity. Her plight is made worse by the fact that the rest of her family is in the same boat, but they're oblivious to their situation.
October 23, 2013 | By August Brown
Elliott Smith needed a cigarette. The singer-songwriter was onstage at Largo on Fairfax Avenue not long after smoking had been banned in California bars. "He'd played about 10 songs and said, 'I'm going to go take a smoke break, does anyone want to join me?'" remembered Largo's longtime owner Mark Flanagan of the 1998 show. "He put his guitar down and walked out to the street. Then 60 people got up and gathered outside. People who didn't even smoke were smoking outside just to be near him. " Smith died 10 years ago this week in his Echo Park home.
October 17, 2013 | By Robyn Dixon, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- African countries dominate a new global index on slavery, with 38 of the 50 nations where the scourge is at its worst found on the continent. The Global Slavery Index , released Thursday, estimated that nearly 30 million people remain enslaved globally, millions of whom are in Africa. Mauritania has the poorest record, with some 150,000 people in a population of 3.8 million held captive, many of whom inherited their status from their parents. Other African countries with particularly high prevalence of slavery are located in West Africa: Benin, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Gabon and Senegal.
October 15, 2013 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
Socrates was said to have been the ugliest man in Athens. We don't know much about the great thinker on whom modern philosophy is grounded, but we do have a pretty good notion that he had bulging eyes and a disagreeable nose. He was grubby. He was often barefoot. He must have smelled bad. He was sentenced to death for not recognizing the gods the city recognized and for introducing new ones, as well as for corrupting youth. But he was, no doubt, really executed for being unbelievably annoying.
October 9, 2013 | By David C. Nichols
History forgotten is history repeated, which underscores “The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later” in its Los Angeles premiere at the Gay & Lesbian Center's Davidson/Valentini Theatre. This potent follow-up to the landmark Tectonic Theater Project docudrama about community reactions to Matthew Shepard's 1998 murder reminds anew of how theater provides context in ways no other form can match. In 2008, Tectonic director Moisés Kaufman and colleagues Leigh Fondakowski, Greg Pierotti, Andy Paris and Stephen Belber returned to Laramie, Wyo., to explore what progress, or lack thereof, had been made in a decade.
October 3, 2013 | By David Colker
Life magazine photographer Bill Eppridge was on assignment taking pictures of wild horses in the Montana mountains in 1968 when he got word that Robert F. Kennedy was running for president. "I jumped into my Jeep, drove about 20 miles down the worst roads in the world," Eppridge said in a 2008 radio interview. He had photographed Kennedy in 1966 and was so taken with the senator that he desperately wanted to cover the presidential campaign. "I've got to do this," he begged his editors.
September 30, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
Every year at Knott's Halloween Haunt, I spend the whole night visiting the dozen or so haunted mazes at the Buena Park theme park. Photos: Halloween Haunt 2013 Shows | Mazes With only six to seven hours to hit all the Knott's Scary Farm mazes, there's never enough time to catch any of the shows - except for maybe "The Hanging" if I'm lucky. Review: Knott's Halloween Haunt 2013 focuses on quality over quantity It really takes two full nights to see everything Haunt has to offer.
September 26, 2013 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
If American Gothic tales intrigue, if a taste for the macabre tempts, the Parkers in "We Are What We Are" are certain to haunt. Starring Bill Sage, Ambyr Childers and Julia Garner, what they are is a family of cannibals. Present day, tucked into a forgotten corner of the Catskills, they are as marked by entrenched poverty as their dark gastronomic rituals. Director Jim Mickle's latest, like his 2010 "Stake Land," is about much more than horror. Or he at least mixes his blood with contemporary issues to create the requisite chill.
September 21, 2013 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
Three decades ago, when so many of his friends were dying of AIDS, Stephen Crohn wondered why he - a gay man whose longtime companion had been one of the first to die from the disease--had managed to avoid it. Was it just a matter of time before he caught the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS? Was there something wrong with the HIV antibody tests he took that always came back negative? Crohn, an artist and freelance editor, lived with the questions for 14 years before he finally learned the answer was in his genes.
September 13, 2013 | By Brady MacDonald
It looks like this year Knott's Halloween Haunt will finally drop the more-is-more mantra in favor of the right kind of more: more back story, more attention to detail, more monsters wearing custom masks and more intimate scares. PHOTOS: Halloween Haunt 2013 at Knott's Berry Farm After four decades of screams and scares, Halloween Haunt had gained a reputation for quantity over quality -- with unimaginative paint-on-plywood mazes, interchangeable story lines and monsters wearing store-bought masks.
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