CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 16, 2009 |
Sumo wrestlers and samurai converged Saturday as the 69th annual Nisei Week Festival drew several thousand people to Little Tokyo. While the wrestlers groaned and charged at one another inside a ring, sword-wielding samurai visiting from Nagoya, Japan, hit the stage to perform a prewar ritual said to have been presented only once before outside Japan. In elaborate 15th and 16th century warrior armor topped with giant horns, the dozen men and women reenacted the moment when Japanese samurai pledged their lives, then marched to battle.
November 19, 1985 |
"The Best of John Belushi." Warner. $24.98. Why wade through those "Saturday Night Live" reruns looking for the best Belushi skits? They're here--16 gems from 1975-78. The beefy wildman's skill as an impressionist is evident--his characters include Joe Cocker, Ray Charles, a hip Beethoven, and a Samurai swordsman running a sandwich shop. The last skit, "Don't Look Back in Anger," features Belushi as an old man walking through the graveyard, recalling the deaths of his late "SNL" pals.
May 26, 1989 |
Suzuki has hit the road for a new advertising agency. The Japanese auto maker, which has still not recovered from year-old safety concerns over its Samurai sport utility vehicles, said on Thursday that it was placing its estimated $15 million to $30 million advertising business up for grabs. Suzuki sales have nose-dived since last June when Consumer Reports harshly condemned the Samurai as being prone to roll-overs and asked for a recall of all Samurai vehicles. The federal government later found that the Samurai was no worse than the average utility vehicle in its class.
December 8, 2003 |
This weekend's East Coast blizzard, post-Thanksgiving blahs and pre-Christmas frenzy conspired to produce a tepid weekend at the nation's theaters, with Tom Cruise's historical epic "The Last Samurai" opening only moderately well with an estimated $24.4 million. While it is the best opening for a movie on the weekend following Thanksgiving, it is slightly below Cruise's previous December opening of $25 million for 2001's "Vanilla Sky."
January 20, 2001
AFI's recognition of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" as a "watershed" film in the emergence of a "global cinema" is a bit overstated ("AFI Sums Up Cinema's Year, Both On and Off the Screen," by Robert W. Welkos, Jan. 10). The panel writes that the film "fuses storytelling style and substance from many cultures" into a "global cinema." While not taking anything away from Ang Lee's entertaining movie, the movie that deserves this accolade is probably "The Seven Samurai" (1954). Kurosawa's influential film fused the samurai tradition with the western into what has been called a "Far-East western," and a moviegoing experience of universal appeal.
January 18, 2004
Michael Cieply and James Bates made passing reference to a New Yorker article on the "Hulk" screenplay credit arbitration ("Legal Clash Over 'Samurai' Credit," Jan. 6). The article repeats James Schamus' contention that he was responsible for everything in the final script that wasn't drawn from the comic book source but wound up sharing credit with myself and Michael France, who had written earlier drafts. This is a misapprehension of the facts. It also implies that the "Hulk" arbitration was somehow analogous to the "Samurai" dispute.