April 22, 2013 |
Only hours after a new trailer for "Lone Ranger" debuted online last week, the blogosphere flew into a tizzy questioning whether Johnny Depp's portrayal of Tonto is racist. In the upcoming western, Depp's Tonto -- the sidekick to a masked Texas ranger played by Armie Hammer -- sports face paint and a headdress with a dead raven atop it. Some critics have taken issue with both Depp's costume and the fact that the role was not portrayed by a Native American actor. (For the record, Depp told Entertainment Weekly that in 2011, "I guess I have some Native American somewhere down the line....
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 7, 2013 |
Archie Thompson, the oldest living member of California's Yurok tribe and the last known active speaker raised in the tribal language, has died. He was 93. Thompson died March 26 at a Crescent City, Calif., hospital after an apparent stroke, according to his daughter Sherry O'Rourke. "It's our language that truly gives us our identity as Yurok people," said Thomas P. O'Rourke Sr., the tribal chairman and Thompson's son-in-law. "He is very much responsible for preserving not just a way of life, but the identity of a people.
April 1, 2013 |
David Sutherland is the director of three remarkable documentary films - I should say at least three, having seen only the last three - notable for their length and their depth: "The Farmer's Wife," from 1998, a 61/2-hour look at a farm family in crisis; the six-hour "Country Boys," from 2005, about two teenagers in Appalachia; and now "Kind Hearted Woman," set in North Dakota, Minnesota and southern Canada, which follows a Native American woman and...
March 1, 2013 |
The bigger the fight between a screenwriter and a director, the better the picture. It's an arrant generalization but not necessarily an errant one. Look at Budd Schulberg's battles with "On the Waterfront," or Robert Towne's over the ending of "Chinatown," or most if not all the writers on director Otto Preminger's best movies - few if any of whom could stand ever to work with him again. "The Searchers," which many critics and filmmakers consider the best western ever made, was written by a former film critic named Frank Nugent.
March 1, 2013
After more than a year of bitter partisan fighting, Congress on Thursday finally reauthorized the Violence Against Women Act, including new provisions that will extend the law's protections for gay, lesbian, transgender and Native American victims of domestic violence. It's about time. There is no rational explanation for why lawmakers took so long to reauthorize this legislation, which was first enacted in 1994 and had been renewed twice with broad bipartisan support. Admittedly, the revised law covers a broader group of victims.
February 27, 2013 |
Situated in the southeastern corner of California, bordering Arizona and Mexico, Imperial County has long depended on agriculture and cash crops that grew from the good earth. But lately the region - which carries the dubious distinction of having the state's highest unemployment rate at 25.5% - is betting its future on a different kind of farm: green energy. Spurred by a state mandate that requires utilities to get a third of their electricity from green sources by 2020, renewable energy companies are leasing or buying thousands of acres in Imperial County to convert to energy farms providing power for coastal cities - bringing an estimated 6,000 building jobs and billions in construction activity to the county.