YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsPop Culture

Pop Culture

December 18, 2012 | By Claire Noland
One of them recorded an iconic pop song about Santa Claus, and then died on Christmas Day. Another made certain that Ralphie got his coveted Red Ryder BB gun in the movie “A Christmas Story.” Still another was a modern-day incarnation of Kris Kringle walking through skid row in downtown Los Angeles and handing out money to startled down-and-outers. A number of notable figures with strong ties to Christmas have been featured in Los Angeles Times news obituaries in the last 25 years or so. Here is a quiz to test your knowledge of newsmakers with Christmas legacies.
April 3, 2014 | By Robert Abele
With a title like "Hot Guys With Guns," actor turned writer-director Doug Spearman's niche comedy-mystery aimed at pop culture-savvy gays makes plain its intentions - titillation, tension and titters - and for the undiscerning, it's likely to deliver. After a chicly designed credit sequence that appealingly spoofs James Bond openings, we settle on caustically friendly exes Danny (a likable Marc Anthony Samuel), a sweet-faced out-of-work actor taking private eye classes, and Patrick/Pip (Brian McArdle)
December 30, 2012 | By Booth Moore, Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic
Body by Beckham Women weren't the only ones baring skin in ads this year. Fast fashion giant H&M debuted its first Super Bowl ad for the David Beckham Bodywear collection, starring the soccer star in his skivvies. During the London Summer Olympics, images from the campaign were projected onto the White Cliffs of Dover. (February, August) The '20s roar The fall 2012 runway collections were steeped in 1920s influences, from Ralph Lauren's "Great Gatsby"-inspired gowns to Tory Burch's sportswear inspired by 1920s Deauville, to Frida Giannini's Art Deco black-and-gold fringed flapper dresses at Gucci.
March 28, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
NEW YORK - Cable-television shows about baseball are as common this time of year as a slow-footed first baseman or a hard-throwing leftie. But what about a series in which studio hosts drool over the big numbers a player puts up on…Twitter? Or cite an All-Star hitter's unexpected approach to… walk-up music? That's the premise of "Off the Bat From the MLB Fan Cave," a pop culture-infused look at America's pastime backed by Major League Baseball and produced and aired by MTV2.
February 3, 2010 | By BY GEOFF BOUCHER
Remember when "Avatar" was just a movie? There have been breathless reports that "Avatar" is so vivid and so powerful that moviegoers walk out feeling let down by the gray world here on boring old Terra. "Movie-goers feel depressed and even suicidal at not being able to visit utopian alien planet" may sound like a headline from the Onion but, nope, there it was in the Daily Mail of London and, a day earlier, on CNN, which quoted a forum post by someone named Mike who glumly said that the majesty of the movie has left him feeling, um, blue.
July 1, 2012
UNDERRATED David Lowery : What were the odds that this frontman for Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker would become such an advocate for the modern musician? In two well-considered posts that went viral online, Lowery first broke down the harsh realities of the new music industry , then took a young NPR intern to task for bragging about not paying for music. Whether you agree with Lowery or not, he's doing important work in furthering the conversation. Apple TV : Dismissed by its own company as a "hobby," this little square hockey puck is a surprisingly enticing option for those ready to cut out their cable.
September 14, 2012 | By Seema Mehta
Mitt Romney occasionally snores. Ann Romney hogs the covers and squeezes the toothpaste tube in the middle and leaves the cap off. And what does the GOP presidential nominee wear to bed? “I hear the best answer is as little as possible,” Romney said in an interview with ABC's “Live With Kelly and Michael” that will air Tuesday. The GOP nominee and his wife sat down with Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan on Friday, and showed a side rarely visible on the campaign trail, opening up about their personal lives and flashing their pop culture credentials.
June 27, 2010 | By Porochista Khakpour, Special to the Los Angeles Times
If pop culture is a measure of cultural visibility, then Iranian Americans have been invisible for decades. Of course, there was Iran itself, hardly invisible. But as a teenager, I knew my reality, one far from hostage crises and contra trials, was never going to make it pop culturally; in fact, I would have bet my little hyphenated life against the very moment of pop cultural breakthrough we're finally reaching now. Back then, every time a bit of Iran broke through, it was an event.
January 19, 2012 | By Joe Flint, Los Angeles Times
Concert giant AEG is teaming up with Ryan Seacrest, Mark Cuban and Hollywood powerhouse talent firm Creative Artists Agency to launch a pop culture and music cable channel that is expected to debut in June. Called AXS, the cable network primarily will carry live programming aimed at entertainment aficionados. It will include a heavy diet of music and concert coverage as well as lifestyle programming. Los Angeles-based AEG's downtown L.A. Live complex will serve as the network's on-air home.
April 22, 2012 | By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
CAIRO - When filmmaker and Egyptian democracy activist Amr Salama watched Hosni Mubarak's regime collapse in 2011, he couldn't have been more heartened. Salama had been making films for years and had found himself hamstrung by the government's censorship board. This was finally the opportunity he'd been waiting for. So shortly after the regime fell, Salama resubmitted a script that had been rejected under Mubarak - one whose story centered on tension between Cairo's majority Muslim population and its Coptic Christian minority.
February 14, 2014 | By Kerry Cavanaugh
Lately, some of my colleagues have bemoaned the lack of romance in popular culture and the decline of the beloved romantic comedy, which miraculously managed to capture the essence of love, loss and happily-ever-after in less than two hours. “After a million movies and a thousand love songs, the romance once abundant in pop culture seems to have just stopped,” Times columnist Chris Erskine wrote . And my colleague Alexandra Le Tellier wrote about how RomComs “are escapist fantasies full of optimism and hope,” and we need “more love stories and happily-ever-afters to rouse our sense of optimism.” There's another, scientific reason for Hollywood to bring back the RomCom: Watching such a movie with your partner and talking about it can actually strengthen your relationship.
February 7, 2014 | Chris Erskine
So I'm waiting at a stoplight when another piece of techno-pop skitters across the car radio, and the notion hits me: Is romance dead? Better suited perhaps to a Time magazine cover or an article in New York magazine, the question nonetheless is soon embedded in my brain. "Hey, is romance dead?" I ask a colleague. "For you, maybe," she says. I've been married 32 years, so the truth is yes and no, hot and cold, feast or famine. You want swoony, gobsmacked love, look at my wedding photos.
January 29, 2014 | By Christie D'Zurilla
Deport Justin Bieber? A petition asking for just that is apparently headed to the White House, having obtained the 100,000 signatures needed within a month. This puppy actually hit the mark within six days. "We the people of the United States feel that we are being wrongly represented in the world of pop culture," the petition reads. "We would like to see the dangerous, reckless, destructive and drug-abusing Justin Bieber deported and his green card revoked. He is not only threatening the safety of our people but he is also a terrible influence on our nation's youth.
December 27, 2013 | By Steve Appleford
It was Bob Dylan who transformed Brad Elterman into a teenage paparazzo. That was in 1974, when the folk-rocker was set to headline the Fabulous Forum and Elterman was a Sherman Oaks high school kid who scored a ticket, front row center. He realized: "I better bring a camera. " Nothing would ever be the same. Elterman, now 56, remembers the songs, the crowd, the aroma of smoldering marijuana. He could afford only two rolls of film, but he chose his shots carefully and came home inspired.
November 18, 2013 | Robert Lloyd, Television Critic
"Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley," in which the former directs a film about the latter, premieres Monday on HBO. It is an homage and a celebration, with something of a high-class homemade feel. The first black female comic to make it in the American pop-cultural mainstream - the first black female stand-up comic, possibly - Jackie "Moms" Mabley will be unknown to many today. She died in 1975, after a career that began before the First World War but was visible only to the white audience from the 1960s, when she began appearing on network variety and talk shows.
November 15, 2013 | By Chris Lee
There are weeks when popular culture functions as if unified by a single, invisible thread, powered ever forward by ego, ambition and staggering sums of cash. At other times, the culture seems to operate in a continuous feedback loop , trumpeting and repeating perceived glories ad infinitum. This past week was governed by a kind of glorious mirroring; call it the place where entertainmentdom's parallel lines appeared to meet. How else could you possibly explain a span of days heralding the announcement of not one but two separate movie productions based on the Greek demi-god Hercules ?
February 29, 1992 | From Religious News Service
In a seminary class in Ohio, students discuss Superman comics. In another in Oklahoma, they view films such as "Star Wars" or "Blade Runner." And in Denver, students clip out magazine ads to be used as a basis for discussions. Such activities, commonplace in college and university courses in popular culture or mass communications, are increasingly turning up in theology courses in seminaries around the country.
July 15, 2012 | By Rebecca Keegan, Los Angeles Times
SAN DIEGO - Director Jen Soska and her twin sister came to Comic-Con with one gory aim: Gross out as many people as possible with blood-soaked footage from their upcoming independent horror movie, "American Mary. " And indeed, clips from the film about a broke medical student who starts performing underground surgeries attracted a healthy crowd of onlookers to a room in the San Diego convention center. "We wanted to physically make you ill!" Soska told the audience cheerfully.
November 9, 2013 | By Reed Johnson, Los Angeles Times
León Krauze grew up in a household of Mexico City intellectuals, where soccer, pop music, literature and politics were vigorously debated and it wasn't unusual to see a Nobel Prize winner seated at the family dinner table. As a youth he visited Washington, D.C., and read Alexis de Tocqueville's "Democracy in America," sparking a lifelong passion for U.S. politics. At 29, he published the first of six books he has written, about George W. Bush's presidency. "When I was just a 17-year-old kid in Mexico City, I remember, my friends went out drinking, and I stayed home and watched the Ross Perot versus Al Gore debate on NAFTA on CNN - and then went out drinking, of course," Krauze said recently.
October 30, 2013 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before getting my temperature under 100. The Skinny: First I thought it was the Chinese food. Then I thought it was the staff meeting. But it turns out I came down with some bug that made me very sick and sent me home early Tuesday. Still, I'm here and cranking for you. Oh man, I sound like that other blogger. How awful. Anyway, today's roundup includes plans at CBS News for a digital offering. Also, a look at how Subway is infiltrating the plots of some of TV's biggest shows.
Los Angeles Times Articles