May 17, 2003 |
It's only seven little letters, with a hyphen thrown in just for the heck of it, but to people in the know, the phrase "pre-Code" signifies cinematic buried treasure of the most satisfying kind. They're a sign of the secret life of American films, of a time after sound fully arrived in 1930 but before the enforcement of the moralistic Production Code in 1934.
August 31, 2008 |
The 25 best L.A. films of the last 25 years "Los ANGELES isn't a real city," people have said, "it just plays one on camera." It was a clever line once upon a time, but all that has changed. Los Angeles is the most complicated community in America -- make no mistake, it is a community -- and over the last 25 years, it has been both celebrated and savaged on the big screen with amazing efficacy. Damaged souls and flawless weather, canyon love and beach city menace, homeboys and credit card girls, freeways and fedoras, power lines and palm trees . . . again and again, moviegoers all over the world have sat in the dark and stared up at our Los Angeles, even if it was one populated by corrupt cops or a jabbering cartoon rabbit.
December 21, 2012 |
Maria Belón wasn't proud of her dumb luck. It had been nearly three years since the Indian Ocean tsunami roared into her family's Christmas vacation in Thailand, killing 230,000 people but somehow sparing her, her husband and her three sons. The family had since returned to Madrid, resumed their routines, but she carried on her shoulders the pain and suffering of surviving something that took so many others' lives. Lost in a quiet grief, unable to enjoy simple pleasures, she wasn't eager to share her story.
August 20, 2007 |
In May 1997, the Los Angeles Times published J.R. Moehringer's heartfelt story "Resurrecting the Champ," chronicling the sad life of a professional boxer who was homeless and living on the streets. More than just a tale about the downfall of a sports figure, the article also dealt with Moehringer's relationship with "The Champ," as well as the writer coming to terms with his own father's abandonment of the family when he was a baby.
January 3, 1991 |
Michael Verhoeven's film "The Nasty Girl" is Germany's entry in the foreign-language category in this year's Academy Awards. It is an occasionally surrealistic and often very funny account of a teen-aged Fraulein's distinctly unfunny and dangerous attempts to investigate the Nazi years in her hometown.
December 5, 2013 |
We know too much about Mexico's drug war and not enough. We hear about it constantly, about the 60,000 murders and the slaughter of innocents, but getting a sense of what that means on the ground - and how pervasive its cultural influence is - is harder to come by. The potent documentary "Narco Cultura" is an excellent place to start. This dispassionate but devastating film looks at the drug wars from two very different but chillingly complementary perspectives. As directed and shot by Shaul Schwarz, an accomplished photojournalist who spent two years in this world as a still photographer before starting to film, "Narco Cultura" benefits from the access Schwarz earned through his time on the ground.
June 28, 1998 |
I was a little Spokane Indian boy who read every book and saw every movie about Indians, no matter how terrible. I'd read those historical romance novels about the steroidal Indian warrior ravaging the virginal white schoolteacher. I can still see the cover art.
September 2, 2013 |
- Jonathan Glazer's "Under the Skin" isn't easy to watch. And that's part of the point. Not far into the "Sexy Beast" filmmaker's new drama about an alien in human form, which had its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival over the weekend, you see a couple with an 18-month-old child picnicking on a Scottish beach. When their dog is swept out to sea by stormy waves, the parents and a nearby swimmer try to rescue the pet, but it all ends badly. Into the frame enters a young woman named Laura (played by Scarlett Johansson)
February 19, 2014 |
Of the many unexpected moments in Phil Lord and Chris Miller's breakout hit "The Lego Movie," perhaps none is as surprising as the film's ending, which is daring even by the standards of this unconventional film. So daring, in fact, that even its filmmakers weren't sure they could get away with it. "We were terrified," said Miller. "We didn't know if you would care about the universe once you understood how the universe worked," alluding to how the movie turns itself inside-out at the end. PHOTOS: Images from 'The Lego Movie' In a season in which the typically tricky art of the movie ending has largely satisfied - witness the well-regarded twist in "American Hustle," the Quaalude-enabled piece de resistance of "The Wolf of Wall Street" and the return-to-Earth redemption of "Gravity" - the finale of "Lego" may top them all. Warner Bros., which financed and released "The Lego Movie," was also unsure about the finale and for a time pushed the filmmakers to consider a more conventional path.
August 4, 2012 |
Once upon a time, before she was the ultimate screen sex symbol, before she became an icon and source material for generations of writers and artists, Marilyn Monroe was a working actress. She died 50 years ago this Sunday at the age of 36 from an overdose and in the intervening years the actual person has disappeared behind the myth of "Marilyn Monroe. " A visit to her place of rest at the Westwood Village Memorial Park offers testimony to the power of her memory. The wall of her crypt had to be replaced multiple times because of fans who made a pilgrimage there to caress, embrace and kiss it. But she was real, and to those who knew her Monroe was a devoted, if troubled, actress who took her craft seriously.