CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 26, 2013 |
Wendy Greuel entered the race for mayor of Los Angeles with the formidable advantages of a front-runner. She had amassed a huge political war chest, and independent campaigns were willing to spend millions more. She won the backing of the some of L.A.'s most powerful labor unions, but also of the Chamber of Commerce. Big names from opposite ends of the political spectrum - former Republican Mayor Richard Riordan and former Democratic President Clinton - would ultimately endorse her. She spoke inspirationally of becoming the city's first female mayor.
May 24, 2013 |
George Packer's new nonfiction book, "The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America," has many of the qualities of an epic novel. Packer's subject is the last 35 years of U.S. history, the decades that gave us the conservative "Contract With America," an Internet boom and bust, two wars in Iraq and a Great Recession. They were the best of times, and they were worst of times, and in Packer's able telling it's as if Dickens himself were taking a first crack at fitting all that history into a book.
May 16, 2013 |
Effortless and effervescent, "Frances Ha" is a small miracle of a movie, honest and funny with an aim that's true. It's both a timeless story of the joys and sorrows of youth and a dead-on portrait of how things are right now for one particular New York woman who, try as she might, can't quite get her life together. That would be the Frances of the title (the Ha isn't explained until the film's charming final frame), a joint creation of and career high point for both star Greta Gerwig and director Noah Baumbach, who met on the director's "Greenberg" and co-wrote the script.
May 13, 2013 |
Since the publication in 1920 of F. Scott Fitzgerald's first novel, "This Side of Paradise," his life and career have been scrutinized, studied and dissected in countless critical essays, articles and biographies. Hollywood too has been endlessly fascinated with his novels and short stories. In fact, there have been four feature adaptations alone of his 1925 Jazz Age novel, "The Great Gatsby," the latest being Baz Luhrmann's opulent 3D version that opened to big ticket sales Friday.
May 8, 2013 |
Lost works, home movies, industrial films, abandoned technologies and other assorted cinematic ephemera all fall under the umbrella of miscellany known as "orphan film. " The strange mix of the odd and slightly sad gets its own festival at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood this weekend. "The Real Indies: A Close Look at Orphan Films," presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in partnership with New York University and the Orphan Film Symposium, begins Friday night with the West Coast premiere of the restoration of "Portrait of Jason," Shirley Clarke's powerful 1967 hybrid of documentary and fiction, followed by a full day of screenings and talks on Saturday.
May 3, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY - President Obama on Friday painted a sunny picture of a modern Mexico emerging from its past troubles, an attempt at rebranding that serves the political aims of both governments but clashes with the realities of a country beset by violence and poverty. On his second day of a swing through Latin America, Obama emphasized optimism about Mexico's economic future and offered a broad endorsement of President Enrique Peña Nieto's reform agenda. Speaking to a crowd largely made up of high school and college students, Obama pushed the next generation of Mexicans to continue to demand change.
May 1, 2013 |
In 1980, R. Crumb produced a set of 36 trading cards called “Heroes of the Blues.” It's a great little set, backing Crumb's drawings with short biographical sketches of performers such as Blind Blake , Charlie Patton , Big Bill Broonzy and Peetie Wheatstraw . If there's any downside to the project, it's that it doesn't cover enough territory. Only 36 musicians? That barely scratches the surface of this most quintessential of American folk art forms. As it turns out, this is the motivation for William Stout's “Legends of the Blues,” coming May 7 from Abrams ComicArts, which picks up where Crumb left off. Featuring 100 musicians, the book has little overlap with “Heroes ...” -- save, as Stout says, “ Skip James and Blind Willie Johnson , two bluesmen I just couldn't bear to leave out” -- making the projects complementary in the most fundamental sense.
April 22, 2013 |
In a grassy backyard in the small town of Griffin, Ga., about 25 miles south of Atlanta, actor Aden Young is rehearsing a fight scene for the upcoming Sundance Channel series “Rectify.” It's early August, and the steam heat has crew and onlookers grappling for the scant amount of shade available. But Young is practicing a series of complicated stunt punches and undercuts. Later in the air-conditioned lunch trailer, the only respite from the suffocating heat, the actor makes light of his working conditions.
April 19, 2013 |
Influential English album cover designer Storm Thorgerson, whose album covers over a 45-year career included work for Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and dozens more, has died after a battle with cancer, his family has announced. The designer's work individually and with the design group Hipgnosis (which he co-founded) helped define the visuals of rock starting in the late 1960s, when album covers were the primary canvas of music and a catchy 12-by-12-inch image could reach an audience of millions.
April 5, 2013 |
Portrait studios at Sears and some Wal-Mart stores - the scenes of innumerable family photos - have unexpectedly closed as their operator, CPI Corp., goes out of business. The portrait provider said in a statement on its website that all of its U.S. locations have shut down “after many years of providing family portrait photography.” The St. Louis company has been making photo keepsakes for more than 60 years and offered its services at more than 3,000 North American locations, mostly in Sears and Wal-Mart stores.