CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 2014 |
Mark Stock, a painter known for his evocative portraits of white-gloved butlers and sad, stylish women in slinky gowns, has died. He was 62. Stock, who died Wednesday at an Oakland hospital, had an enlarged heart, his publicist Charlotte Parker said. His most famous painting, "The Butler's in Love - Absinthe," a study of a butler scrutinizing a lipstick smear on an empty glass, inspired a short David Arquette film, "The Butler's in Love" (2008). It is one of more than 100 Stock paintings featuring butlers, often in poses suggesting suppressed longing or brooding disappointment.
March 28, 2014
Re "The man who died laughing," Opinion, March 24 I comment Carol Starr Schneider for writing such a wonderful tribute to her father, Ben Starr. My dad, whom I lost in October, shared a lot of Ben's traits. He used humor as a coping mechanism and enjoyed being funny and making people laugh. The downside was that my sisters and I never got to know the person behind this very entertaining facade. He was a closed book as far as emotions and feelings went. He wanted to keep everything light.
March 24, 2014 |
Even in the emergency room at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center at 5 a.m., while waiting to be seen after a fall, my 92-year-old dad knew a straight line when he heard one. "Are you comfortable?" a nurse asked, propping him up with a pillow. "I make a living," he said without missing a beat. My father, Ben Starr, was the son of immigrants who fled Russia with their senses of humor intact, and he put that cultural inheritance to good use throughout his life. Growing up in Brooklyn, he was known as "Peanut" because of his size.
March 13, 2014 |
As disarmingly bracing at times as the stunning Alberta mountains behind its love-frazzled characters, the romantic comedy "The Right Kind of Wrong" works often in spite of its willful eccentricities. Failed novelist turned dishwasher Leo (Ryan Kwanten) is an unwitting poster boy for marital disappointment thanks to his ex-wife's popular blog and book, "Why You Suck. " In rebounding, Leo decides feisty tour guide Colette (Sara Canning) is the woman of his dreams, despite the fact that he meets her on her wedding day. What follows is what you'd expect: a hapless dreamer's grand gestures, flabbergasted hand-wringing by the newlywed - whose bohemian mother (Catherine O'Hara)
March 13, 2014 |
Sarcastic, sanctimonious, salacious, sly, slight and surprisingly sweet, the black comedy of "Bad Words," starring and directed by Jason Bateman, is high-minded, foul-mouthed good nonsense. I had wondered where Bateman's angry itch would take him next. The script, by Andrew Dodge, his first to be produced after many years in the studio trenches, is a good match of man and material. As an actor - whether a victim trying to even the score with Melissa McCarthy in "Identity Thief" or the ruthless top firing dog in "Up in the Air" - Bateman always brings an edge to his work.
HOME & GARDEN
March 8, 2014 |
Heather Ashton has created sophisticated, tongue-in-cheek interiors for West Hollywood's Palihouse Holloway (a taxidermy mallard duck hung from the ceiling) and Caulfield's Bar and Dining Room (devil-horns-and-pitchfork graffiti) in Beverly Hills. That same playful spirit can be seen in the interior designer's Culver City apartment, which reflects her interest in travel and fashion - and her sense of whimsy. "My whole life is about creating temporary spaces," says Ashton , who recently updated the Sixty Beverly Hills.