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Illusion

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ENTERTAINMENT
October 25, 2012 | By Robert Abele
More infomercial than movie, "People V. the State of Illusion" calls itself a documentary but is really a 90-minute PowerPoint presentation by motivational speaker Austin Vickers. Narrating directly to the camera, Vickers - a mild-mannered-looking guy with the calm speaking style of an instructional video host - has the answer to the stress that's limiting your potential. Using a mushy mixture of scientific research about receptor walls and perception with therapy session jargon aimed at addressing self-created "prison walls," Vickers and credited director Scott Cervine - who mostly has to wrangle quick-change graphics, talking heads and a terribly acted dramatization about an inmate who turns his life around - keep up a steady empowerment spiel.
ARTICLES BY DATE
HOME & GARDEN
April 18, 2014 | By Carol Crotta
"This is the irony," mused homeowner Richard Turner as he looked over the newly installed and remarkably realistic-looking artificial lawn in his mid-Wilshire frontyard. "We grow grass to make the illusion that we don't live in a desert. Here I am, enhancing the illusion of a lawn that is the illusion we don't live in a desert. " And there's the rub. The iconic lush, green lawn - part and parcel of a mystique deeply embedded in the Southern California psyche and its landscape - has reached a crossroads.
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ENTERTAINMENT
June 29, 2010 | By Ann Powers, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
Warm sunlight streamed through the windows onto the gently stained wood floors of Sarah McLachlan's West Vancouver home on a recent Thursday morning. The lady of the house was in her kitchen, making truffles. "Organic raw chocolate!" she enthused, pouring the confection into a mold. Later, after saying goodbye to her yoga partner and sharing a few choice hugs with her 3-year-old daughter, Taja, the singer-songwriter would pack those sweets in Tupperware and bring them downtown to a band rehearsal for her summer tour headlining the revived Lilith.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 11, 2014 | By Leah Ollman
Hannah Whitaker employs a variety of means to produce her large photographic prints -- multiple exposures, for instance, and shooting through cut-paper shapes -- but the how matters less than the memorable what . Her first L.A. solo show, at M+B, abounds in interesting complications, interruptions, interferences in the field. Based in Brooklyn, Whitaker regards the straight photograph as a mere starting point, an image to be manipulated, an illusion to be subverted. She plays deftly with concealment and revelation, structure and chance, shooting landscapes and a female figure through opaque, cage-like screens.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 29, 2012 | By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times
On a recent Sunday morning in Los Angeles, Adam Williams and his crew set up their blowers outside a house in Hancock Park and blanketed the yard in 20 tons of snow. Using 15-pound blocks of crushed ice, it took Williams and his crew about 2 1/2 hours to cover the front lawn and build half a dozen snowmen in a commercial for the cable channel FearNet. In the ad, a little girl cheerfully entombs someone who appears to be her father inside one of the snowmen. To create the effect, producers of the commercial turned to MagicSnow Systems, a 10-year-old Los Angeles company.
HOME & GARDEN
July 15, 2000
Need a vacation or the illusion that you're on an island? Create a lush, tropical retreat in your yard with giant birds of paradise and other, lesser-known plants.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 27, 1989
It would be wise to take counsel from those experts with a longer tenure of study of the free enterprise system. John Kenneth Galbraith, in his article "The 1929 Parallel" (Atlantic Monthly, January, 1987) noted: "Nothing so gives the illusion of intelligence as personal association with large sums of money. . . . The mergers, acquisitions, takeovers, leveraged buyouts, their presumed contribution to economic success and market values, and the burden of debt they incur are the current form of that illusion."
ENTERTAINMENT
April 11, 2014 | By Leah Ollman
Hannah Whitaker employs a variety of means to produce her large photographic prints -- multiple exposures, for instance, and shooting through cut-paper shapes -- but the how matters less than the memorable what . Her first L.A. solo show, at M+B, abounds in interesting complications, interruptions, interferences in the field. Based in Brooklyn, Whitaker regards the straight photograph as a mere starting point, an image to be manipulated, an illusion to be subverted. She plays deftly with concealment and revelation, structure and chance, shooting landscapes and a female figure through opaque, cage-like screens.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 6, 1988
Your editorial was based on misleading federal information. California's numbers are essentially noncommittal, but they certainly don't support the harsh criticisms of 65 m.p.h. (including yours) that have unfolded. In fact, it is impossible to draw meaningful conclusions for the moment. My basic concern is that the federal government would use erroneous figures to create the illusion that the 65 m.p.h. limit has already created a problem of consequence. That you would parrot the federal "conclusion" without cross-checking both their numbers and their judgments is equally disconcerting.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 25, 1987 | Colin Gardner
Since he began painting at the tail end of the 1950s, Ronald Davis has always vacillated between the all-over gestural automatism of Abstract Expressionism and a hard-edge, geometrical style that stresses optical illusion alongside deliberate draftsmanship. His latest "Freeline" and "Freefloat" series continue this dialogue, presenting streamlined architectural forms (arches, slabs and beams) against amorphous splattered backgrounds.
OPINION
December 15, 2013 | Doyle McManus
Here's how feeble U.S. influence on the outcome of Syria's dreadful civil war has become: For the Obama administration's diplomacy to succeed, it now needs help from an armed group with the unpromising name of the Islamic Front. That wasn't where the administration hoped to be. When President Obama first got interested in Syria back in 2011, his hope was that a popular uprising just needed a little moral support from the outside world to topple the brutal regime of Bashar Assad. When that didn't work, Obama offered modest, mostly non-military aid to moderate groups in the Syrian opposition, enough to raise their hopes but not enough to ensure success on the battlefield.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 19, 2013 | By Susan King
From its earliest days, cinema has borrowed heavily from the world of magic. Illusion, after all, is part of the moviegoing experience - the phrase "the magic of movies" is both literally and figuratively true. This week the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will explore cinematic feats of prestidigitation. "Like Magic" will investigate movies' roots in historical stage magic and sleight of hand from the early fanciful "trick" films of pioneers such Georges Méliès to computer-generated visual effects.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 4, 2013 | By Carol Muske-Dukes
El Dorado Peter Campion University of Chicago Press: 80 pp., $18 paper Peter Campion, in his new book, re-creates the overheard sounds, ring tones, robo-blab and self-announcings of an airport concourse, spliced into imitation of Anglo-Saxon "riddles" as spoken by the wind: Fused with the rush (this sheer American everything jammed at once) the storm could be a signal gathering up all others cramming air with their binary streams: its voice some ancient soothsayer's riddling glottals and plosives… Campion's gifts for controlling yet spinning the illusion of lost control in a poem are prodigious.
HOME & GARDEN
April 20, 2013 | Chris Erskine
So many of life's soupy uncertainties can be settled in or near tiny Toluca Lake, a neighborhood named for a body of water we never see. Ever water-skied on Toluca Lake? Ever caught a bass there, or lay idle on the toasty summer sand? Toluca Lake. An illusion wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a giant fence. People are always asking, "Why do you go out so often now?" and I immediately describe for them the baritone bark of our 300-pound beagle, his atrocious table manners, his inability to hold down a job. Of our five kids, he is the least motivated.
BUSINESS
March 29, 2013 | By DiAngelea Millar, Los Angeles Times
The gig: Todd Tucker, 38, is co-founder and president of Illusion Industries Inc., a special effects makeup company in Los Angeles. He helped create the Brad Pitt baby in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and the pirates in the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movies. Upcoming films that feature Illusion Industries work include Paramount Pictures' "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" and Sony Pictures Animation's "The Smurfs 2. " First break: Steven Spielberg was a huge inspiration for Tucker, who grew up loving movies.
SCIENCE
January 25, 2013 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times
Glancing around his study on a recent afternoon, Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert's eyes came to rest on his collection of thousands of music CDs, acquired over many years at considerable expense. "I don't listen to a lot of them anymore," he said. "I was certain I'd listen to Miles Davis until the day I died. " According to his own research, Gilbert is hardly alone in having imagined that he'd always like the same music, or hobbies or friends. Writing this month in the journal Science, he reported that people at all stages of life tend to believe they won't change much in the future - even as they recognize great shifts in their personalities, values and tastes in the past.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 17, 1994
Regarding "Reality Bites Back," David Kronke's interview with "Forrest Gump" director Robert Zemeckis (July 3): It was intriguing to discover Zemeckis' dubiety about the ethics of image manipulation. Although he enjoys the growing vocabulary of illusion it affords him for telling his film stories, his conscience nags him to equivocate: "These techniques are gonna be used to do wonderful things, and they'll probably be used to do abusive things. I think you just have to be a smart enough person to not take everything at face value.
HOME & GARDEN
April 18, 2014 | By Carol Crotta
"This is the irony," mused homeowner Richard Turner as he looked over the newly installed and remarkably realistic-looking artificial lawn in his mid-Wilshire frontyard. "We grow grass to make the illusion that we don't live in a desert. Here I am, enhancing the illusion of a lawn that is the illusion we don't live in a desert. " And there's the rub. The iconic lush, green lawn - part and parcel of a mystique deeply embedded in the Southern California psyche and its landscape - has reached a crossroads.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 12, 2013 | By Nicole Sperling, Los Angeles Times
The eyebrows are dyed. The well-coiffed wig is in place. Even the chest hair has been shaved. It's early March on the Warner Bros. lot, and Steve Carell is hard at work, channeling Burt Wonderstone, a famous Las Vegas magician whose livelihood is being threatened by the new, more outrageous illusionist played by Jim Carrey. The 49-day shoot is close to wrapping up, filming a small scene during the production's final days between a desperate Wonderstone and his reluctant assistant Jane, played by Olivia Wilde ("Cowboys and Aliens")
ENTERTAINMENT
December 29, 2012 | By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times
On a recent Sunday morning in Los Angeles, Adam Williams and his crew set up their blowers outside a house in Hancock Park and blanketed the yard in 20 tons of snow. Using 15-pound blocks of crushed ice, it took Williams and his crew about 2 1/2 hours to cover the front lawn and build half a dozen snowmen in a commercial for the cable channel FearNet. In the ad, a little girl cheerfully entombs someone who appears to be her father inside one of the snowmen. To create the effect, producers of the commercial turned to MagicSnow Systems, a 10-year-old Los Angeles company.
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