December 22, 2013 |
The bugler in his green coat and top hat tried to sound upbeat as he blew the traditional "Call to Post," but he might just as well have been playing a dirge. Down by the rail, Todd Matzner listened with a cigar stub clamped between his teeth. "I wasn't going to miss this, no way," the horse racing die-hard said. "Even if it's kind of sad. " Sunday marked the last gasp for Betfair Hollywood Park, a 75-year-old racetrack that had once been a sparkling jewel of the city. The Inglewood landmark, which has fallen victim to declining revenue industrywide, will have its grandstand razed and its racing ovals dug up. Shops, offices and residential units are planned for the spot where fans once cheered for horses such as Seabiscuit and Zenyatta, not to mention renowned jockeys Bill Shoemaker and Laffit Pincay Jr. "The track's closure is a major loss," said Alex Waldrop, president and chief executive of the National Thoroughbred Racing Assn.
September 12, 2013 |
TORONTO - Watching Steve McQueen's achingly brilliant "12 Years a Slave" at the Toronto International Film Festival, I was struck by many things. The film's artistry - script, performances, imagery - is significant. The movie is beautifully, painfully wrought at every turn. But in a larger sense, it stands as a striking testament to how much the texture and tenor of conversations about race have changed through the prism of film in the years since Barack Obama took office. Quite simply there are more movies that specifically address black-white friction in modern terms - the many shades of human interaction more starkly framed by the color of one's skin.
August 20, 2013
Re “ Film tax credits rip off states ,” Column, Aug. 4 Michael Hiltzik raised some good points but left out many important facts about the success of California's Film and Television Incentive Program. He raised questions on how we incentivize film production to stay here in California. As the author of AB 3, legislation seeking to extend the incentive program next year, stakeholders and I have been working for months to see how we can make improvements. Hiltzik cited a letter by the Legislative Analyst's Office to show that film tax credits aren't a good deal for Californians.
July 31, 2013 |
They may not be as well known as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, but the top stars of India's film industry are coming to Hollywood -- in wax form. Madame Tussauds Hollywood will unveil five new figures Thursday in its traveling exhibit focusing on Bollywood, the Indian movie industry. “The Hollywood location has a whole area dedicated to movies and film,” said Colin Thomas, general manager of the Hollywood wax museum. “We have an eclectic mix of film stars [and] this brings a whole different set of characters to the location.” PHOTOS: Celebrities by The Times This will be the exhibit's debut on the West Coast to celebrate Bollywood's 100 th anniversary, Thomas said.
June 9, 2013 |
California-made and -set films often turn up at LAFF. Among this year's standouts: "Fruitvale Station" This feature debut from writer-director Ryan Coogler is a gripping drama drawn from the real-life incident in which a 22-year-old man was killed by transit police in an Oakland train station on New Year's Day 2009. Starring Michael B. Jordan in a stirring turn, the film finds dramatic tension in the struggles of the everyday and builds to the tragedy of a life cut short. Having won major prizes at Sundance this year and with the Weinstein Co. now behind it, "Fruitvale Station" should remain in the conversation for months to come.
March 19, 2013 |
After the coffee. Before finding out who took my "Mad Men" screener. The Skinny: I'm on the fence with Fox's "The Following," which is so grim it is sometimes hard to watch. That said, the cast is terrific. Tuesday's headlines include stories on the end of Daily Variety, a big deal for media mogul John Malone, Tom Cruise may have a new movie, and Hollywood's race to blow up the White House. Daily Dose: Daily Variety, which published its final print edition Tuesday (see below)