April 29, 2013 |
CAIRO - Hold the martini, please. With fanfare and cheers from Islamists, the first nonalcoholic hotel in Egypt's Red Sea resort of Hurghada has opened, a testament to a new political culture, which seeks at the very least a veneer of piety in a nation caught in the fury of upheaval. Egypt is mired in political and economic problems. It drifts from crisis to crisis and is headed for a dangerous summer of power outages and gas shortages. Such temporal annoyances, however, have not dissuaded conservative Islamists from trying to bring the nation in closer sync with the Koran.
March 30, 2013 |
BEIRUT - When Mazen El Sayed, a.k.a. El Rass, picks up a microphone, his provocative phrasings may lock in on any number of targets: Islamic clerics, the West, Arab regimes, social inequities. "We are all made from the same steel," the Lebanese hip-hop artist proclaims, "but the blacksmith is rotten. " El Rass' broadsides are delivered in singular thrusts of the Arab language, resulting in imaginative lines evoking "the optimistic suicide bomber" or lauding "a rebel critical of the rebellion.
December 20, 2012 |
It's with David Chase's much-honored individualism in mind that one should best approach - and best enjoy - his first feature film as a writer-director, the wonderfully immersive and evocative "Not Fade Away. " Despite the nostalgia-drenched idealism coursing through it - and a cinematic familiarity to the subject matter - this is not a story that's neatly told or safely predictable. The result, though, proves a warmly reflective, diligently crafted and confidently digressive flashback to a time, a place and people Chase, the creator of "The Sopranos," knows like the back of his hand (as it's largely drawn from the filmmaker's own coming of age)
April 29, 2012
Twenty years ago Sunday, on a warm spring afternoon, Los Angeles fell apart. It started with the announcement of not-guilty verdicts on all but one count against the police officers who had beaten Rodney King into submission. It flared in confrontations in neighborhood after neighborhood, was fanned by television images of a truck driver being dragged from his vehicle at the intersection of Florence and Normandie, and was inflamed by a raucous mob that rampaged through downtown that night, starting at police headquarters and spreading out from there.
June 23, 2011 |
In the blithe romantic comedy "Habana Eva," playing Friday and Saturday at the Los Angeles Film Festival , the frisky, young Cuban heroine faces several thorny choices. Should she stand by her loyal-but-lethargic Cuban boyfriend, or bed down with a rich, dashing Venezuelan photographer? Stick with her seamstress job in a state-run factory, or take the plunge into entrepreneurial capitalism by becoming a fashion designer? Hold fast to the old revolutionary ideals, or embrace the new spirit of globalization that's encroaching on Cuba like the waves pounding the Malecon sea wall?
April 11, 2011 |
Last week, after the brutal beating of a Giants fan in the Dodgers Stadium parking lot, Los Angeles and San Francisco officials issued a public plea for more "civility and common decency" among sports fans. In January, the shootings in Tucson in which six people were killed and 13 wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, sparked a national conversation on civility in politics. The following month, the University of Arizona established the National Institute for Civil Discourse to advocate greater civility in all corners of the public square.