February 26, 2010 |
The town is called Paradise, and there's more than a little unintended irony in the name. There's really nothing particularly paradisiacal about the place. It sits atop a ridge that looks down on the northern stretch of California's Central Valley. There are lots of towns like it up and down the Sierra, towns where lots of marginal people go to live in the margins these mountains provide, places where things are a little cheaper, a little less daunting and where illicit activities like meth labs and child abuse are easy to shield from view.
October 17, 2013 |
For her first stint in the director's chair, "Juno" screenwriter Diablo Cody has concocted a modern-day "Alice Through the Looking Glass," with none of the danger or wit. "Paradise" follows a home-schooled, Jesus-loving Montana lass who loses her faith and heads to Sin City to experience the corrupting power of real life. The not-so-wild ride is essentially sappy, however much of Cody's self-consciously barbed dialogue its characters are forced to utter. As the symbolically named Lamb, Julianne Hough is sweetly intent on a firsthand encounter with "your basic abominations.
January 2, 2010 |
Between dealing with terrorism threats and crises abroad, President Obama is unwinding in Hawaii with his family this week. They've snorkeled in pristine bays and dined in fashionable restaurants. Tourism officials only wish there were thousands more visitors like them. Tourism is the glue that holds this island state's finances together, keeping its streets clean, its workers paid and its children educated. But for the last two years, vacationers and conventioneers alike have abandoned Hawaii in favor of less exotic destinations closer to home.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 17, 2010 |
The five day laborers were huddled over some dice and coins they'd tossed on the asphalt of a Home Depot parking lot in Westlake. They were passing the time on a late afternoon, after another fruitless day waiting to be hired. I asked them about another day laborer, Manuel Jamines, who was holding a large knife when he was shot by police just a block away. The shooting led to a near riot and ongoing protests, and I'd come to the neighborhood to get a feel for what was happening.
December 5, 2013 |
"Paradise: Hope," the final chapter in Austrian director Ulrich Seidl's trilogy on the dissonance between the dreams and realities of women and girls, is the most hopeful - and the best - of this solid and unsettling series. With its quasi-documentary style, the film picks up the story of Melanie, a teenager who was barely introduced in the first films. The 13-year-old, played by novice Melanie Lenz, is spending her summer at a diet camp while her single mom is off at a Kenyan resort sampling the sex-tourist trade of "Paradise: Love," and her aunt is dragging her sins and a statue of the Virgin Mary around Vienna in "Paradise: Faith.
June 1, 2012 |
To see Marcel Carné's "Children of Paradise" under any circumstances is to be transported and transformed by cinema. To see it in the version showing at Laemmle's Royal in West Los Angeles and Playhouse 7 in Pasadena is, if possible, even more special. Written by Carné's frequent collaborator Jacques Prévert, this 1945 film is more than the acme of a style known as poetic realism, it is often considered to be the greatest French film ever made. Called by critic James Agee "close to perfection ... guaranteed to make you very happily drunk," it is also the title I most often cite when asked to pick an all-time personal favorite.
HOME & GARDEN
October 25, 2007
REALLY enjoyed the story about Bob Haggstrom's Malibu landscape ["Faking Paradise," Oct. 11]. Cannot understand the negativity from other readers. Haggstrom is creating a wonderful restful place for himself and the wildlife in the area. Has to be better for the environment and less wasteful than grass lawns that consume tons of water, get saturated with harmful fertilizers and require gas-guzzling, noisy mowers and leaf blowers to maintain. Maureen Little Camarillo
April 17, 1994
Congratulations to ABC and Steven Bochco for having the best new show on television, "The Byrds of Paradise." Finally, a show with a real family, a show that makes you feel good and shows you the Hawaiian people and culture. Cyndie Benanua, Lancaster A typically incomprehensible decision was made by the heads of ABC in the cancellation of just another in a long line of quality programs, namely "Missing Persons." And what do they replace it with? An inane, insipid piece called "The Byrds of Paradise."
May 6, 2001
Deanne Stillman does not describe the desert--a sublime, harsh and forbidding environment, a place of endless space and silence, a place of extremes ("Deconstructing Paradise," April 8). The desert is not a weekend retreat under a bougainvillea branch, all "pretty pictures and scents and sounds." Her naive desire for "its endlessly warm and open arms" merely reflects the human longing for a return to paradise. Helena Bongartz Twentynine Palms Stillman or her editors should have come to know the children of the working class a little better.
September 16, 2001
What more could our enemies ask for? We allow them into our country, no problem. We train them to fly our planes, no questions asked. We easily let them on our planes so they can hijack them, fly them into buildings and kill thousands of us. Anything else we can do for them? The U.S. seems to be a terrorist's paradise. Rubio Moore Orange How the FBI and CIA failed to detect a terrorist operation of this magnitude is beyond my comprehension. I believe the leaders of both groups should be put on trial for treason.