March 7, 2013 |
The extraordinary abortion-themed drama "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" placed Cristian Mungiu in the forefront of international cinema, and the Romanian director's new film, "Beyond the Hills," likewise concerns the bond between two young women. Again they face ineffectual institutions, but there's another, more urgent push-pull at the heart of this haunting, beautifully acted feature. After several years apart, lifelong friends Alina (Cristina Flutur) and Voichita (Cosmina Stratan)
July 22, 2012 |
TERYAYEVO, Russia - As she tried to remove the priceless Bible from its glass case, Moscow University professor Irina Pozdeyeva could barely lift the almost 2,000-page book. The gray-haired scholar ran her fingers through the meticulously stitched and restored leaves of the Bible, produced in 1581 by Ivan Fyodorov, father of Russian printing. Pozdeyeva said she never fails to experience a surge of emotion when she handles the book, one of 350 surviving copies of the first Bibles printed in Russia in the old Slavonic language.
May 6, 2012 |
Birds twitter and sunshine twinkles through groves of bamboo and banyan trees adorned with cascades of orchids. With every step, my Vibram boot soles crush hibiscus blossoms littering a pathway, while butterflies flutter around a group of elderly folks welcoming the morning with the gracious silent semaphore of tai chi. At a clearing where remnants of a World War ll gun emplacement rust, half-swallowed in greenery, an opening in the jungle reveals...
October 30, 2011 |
Born more than 2,000 years ago, the Roman poet Lucretius really belongs to our day. How's that? Well, when you look closely at his great work, "On the Nature of Things" (W.W. Norton: 177 pp., $15.95 paper), you find him writing about a world that sounds much like our own. There he speaks of tiny, indivisible bits called atoms ("all/are sundered into particles of matter") and something that even sounds like a description of DNA ("each thing has but one substance/marked and designed to bring it into being")
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 25, 2011 |
Occasionally they would knock on a neighbor's door to borrow tools or ask for help with a maintenance issue. But for the most part, the Buddhist nuns on Marcon Drive in Walnut kept to the ranch-style house where they lived and worshiped. For 10 years, the young women with the shaved heads and long robes were accepted as part of an eclectic neighborhood of single-family homes, a middle school, a spacious public park and four churches — one Mormon, one Lutheran and two catering to Korean American Christians.
July 12, 2011 |
The ruins poke out of a monotonous stretch of scrub and beckon the world to visit Afghanistan as it was more than 1,400 years ago, when Buddhist monasteries dotted the landscape. An ancient citadel juts from a tall crag, standing sentinel over what once was a flourishing settlement. The monastery sits largely preserved, as does a series of reliquaries adorned with schist arches and shelves. But few people today will have a chance to see these ruins, which French and Afghan archaeologists are unearthing.