July 11, 2013 |
Made with assurance and deep emotion, "Fruitvale Station" is more than a remarkable directing debut for 26-year-old Ryan Coogler. It's an outstanding film by any standard. Featuring a leap-to-stardom performance by Michael B. Jordan, "Fruitvale's" demonstration of how effective understated, naturalistic filmmaking is at conveying even the most incendiary reality is as hopeful as the story it tells is despairing. "Fruitvale" won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at Sundance, as well as the Un Certain Regard Prize of the Future at Cannes, and its story is a true one, a narrative that created national shock waves when it happened.
July 11, 2013
According to the rich narrative laid out by the documentary "Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp," it's hard out there for a pimp, not to mention the life that leads to it, and after it. One of black literature's most venerated chroniclers of street life and crime, the author of seven popular autobiographical books (most famously "Pimp: The Story of My Life"), Slim comes in for a vivid, warts-and-all biography as told by fellow writers (Emory Holmes, Odie Hawkins), admiring entertainers (the doc's executive producer Ice-T, Chris Rock)
July 6, 2013 |
Alexandra the Great "48," Blaze Starr, Tempest Storm, Lili St. Cyr, Candy Cotton, Sunny Dare, Gypsy Rose Lee: The names are as exotic as the performers themselves. They belong to women who bared skin in burlesque shows, long before the practice evolved into modern-day stripping. "I don't think today's stripping is sexy, but back then it was. They were very much into the 'tease,' figuring out how little they could show," says Leslie Zemeckis, the author of a new book on the history of burlesque called "Behind the Burly Q" (Skyhorse Publishing, $24.95)
June 27, 2013 |
Though it begins as a slick, tongue-in-cheek guide to successful dope dealing (think: a kind of latter day "Steal This Book"), the documentary "How to Make Money Selling Drugs" masterfully evolves into something far more vital, cogent and impressive. Writer-director-narrator Matthew Cooke looks inside the explosive, wildly lucrative drug trade and its various levels of operation and survival via such chapter headings as "Managing Your Drug Cartel" and "How to Beat an Arrest. " Backed by frank interviews with a rogue's gallery of former drug dealers and addicts (including, respectively, actor-rappers Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson and Eminem)
June 13, 2013 |
A portrait of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II that was commissioned to mark her 60 years on the throne has been defaced at Westminster Abbey in London. The painting, created by artist Ralph Heimans, has been taken down from public viewing. A statement published on the official website of Westminster Abbey said that the incident occurred at lunchtime on Thursday. A visitor sprayed paint on the portrait, which hangs in the Chapter House section of the historic church. "Until work can be done to remedy the damage it will - very regrettably - not be possible to have the painting on public view," said the statement.
June 12, 2013 |
Loose and ragtag, stirring and poignant, the documentary "Ain't in It for My Health: A Film About Levon Helm" proves a fitting tribute to its late star, perhaps best known as the singer-drummer of the influential late-1960s and '70s folk-rock group the Band. Shot mainly in and around Helm's Woodstock, N.Y., farmhouse and recording studio, director Jacob Hatley's twilight-time portrait evocatively captures the ailing yet genial musician - he died of throat cancer last year at age 71 - as he assembles his comeback album, the Grammy Award-winning "Dirt Farmer.
June 7, 2013 |
To be in the thrall of Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas' beautiful, hypnotic images is to be alive to the decorous, the monstrous and the ridiculous, but also to feel deeply how they might interconnect. Entering the impressionistic hodgepodge that is his latest meditation, "Post Tenebras Lux," which won Reygadas the director prize at last year's Cannes Film Festival, moviegoers beholden to clean narrative may feel they need their own explanatory GPS and audio guide. But the richer reward lies in allowing oneself to be led by this gifted director's instinct for lyrical, sensory exploration.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 28, 2013 |
Henry Nakamura, a Korean War veteran, poses for a portrait during a Memoral Day observance in Evergreen Cemetery in East L.A. Follow Armand Emamdjomeh on Twitter or Google+ . Each week, we're featuring photos of Southern California submitted by readers. Share your photos on our Flickr page or reader submission gallery . Follow us on Twitter or visit latimes.com/socalmoments for more on this photo series.
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.