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Science Fictions

February 27, 2009 | JOEL STEIN
Nobody likes science. You can tell by the fact that they teach it in school. There aren't any high school courses in pizza, pot smoking or car chases. I don't like science either. I mean, it sounds good when you're a kid with the fingerprint kits and the baking- powder volcanoes, but by 10th grade, you realize it's just math with special effects. But for some reason, only conservatives get blamed for hating science.
April 24, 2014 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Before he loved anything else, Jean-Luc Godard loved genre: He famously dedicated his first feature film, "Breathless," to Monogram Pictures, one of the monarchs of Poverty Row B-picture production. But as "Breathless" demonstrated, Godard never did anything straight up. He did genre his own playful way, and never more so than in 1965's "Alphaville," a film that was part science fiction, part hard-boiled adventure, and all Godard. Playing for a week at the Nuart in West Los Angeles in a sharp new digital restoration, "Alphaville" is more than quintessential Godard.
April 7, 2002
To the editor: The review of "Science Fictions" (Book Review, Feb. 17) uncritically repeats the book's accusations against the world-renowned virologist Robert Gallo. These accusations initially appeared in newspaper articles written more than a decade ago by the author of "Science Fictions" and led to an exhaustive review by the National Institutes of Health. The NIH's 1993 report concluded that " Epstein repeats two specific misrepresentations that are particularly worth correcting.
January 27, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
A book that transmits the emotions of its story to the reader with glowing lights, sensors and actuators that can inflate a vest to cause the constriction of fear. It's called "Sensory Fiction," made by Felix Heibeck, Alexis Hope, Julie Legault -- and it's just one of the projects at MIT Media Lab's Science Fiction to Science Fabrication class. According to its syllabus , the class "combines the analysis of classic and modern science fiction texts and films with physical fabrication or code-based interpretations of the technologies they depict.
July 20, 1999
Image Entertainment Inc., Chatsworth, announced it has signed an exclusive output agreement with Corinth Films Inc., Regalsville, Penn., to release on digital video disk titles from the Wade Williams collection of 1950s-era science fiction films, which includes cult classics from director Edward Wood Jr., 1940s film producers Harry and Leo Popkin, and a number of early television series. Image Entertainment Inc.
November 27, 2011 | Michael Hiltzik
Plot outline for a Philip K. Dick story: Hollywood buys film rights to obscure short story by famous author. Makes movie. Movie makes money. Producers then claim they never needed to buy rights in the first place. Demand their money back. Emblematic Philip K. Dick story elements: Attempt to turn back time and murkiness of reality. Extra mind-bending plot twist: Author of original story is named Philip K. Dick. As Laura Dick Coelho, one of the late author's daughters, told me: "Everything in the Philip K. Dick world is complicated.
June 25, 2013 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
In one of writer Richard Matheson's last novels, when a radio psychologist complains that the woman his wife had just turned away from their door was "terribly disturbed," his wife retorts, "Aren't we all?" That question was central in Matheson's imagination, where the line between normal and out of this world was frighteningly fine. His stories and novels - including "I Am Legend" and "The Shrinking Man" - take place in the so-called real world, but the inexplicable abounds. The dark space under a couch is a passageway to an alien realm, a truck on a lonely road is possessed by evil, a telephone rings with a dead man's voice.
June 2, 2013
Omens A Cainsville Novel Kelley Armstrong Dutton, $26.95 The first book of the "Otherworld" author's new series mixes mystery and fantasy as Olivia Taylor Jones discovers that she is the adopted daughter of convicted serial killers; she looks for the truth in the mysterious town of Cainsville, Ill. (August) The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic Emily Croy Barker Pamela Dorman/Viking, $27.95 Grad student Nora Fischer is suffering from writer's block on her dissertation when she walks through a portal into a glamorous fantasy world - until events take a turn for the worst and Nora must learn magic to survive.
May 22, 2013 | By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times
When producers of the upcoming science fiction movie "After Earth" wanted to create an image of what the planet might look like 1,000 years in the future, location manager Dow Griffith knew just the place. He immediately thought of the mystical redwood forests in Northern California where his parents had taken him on a camping trip as a child. "I wanted to be able to evoke that sense of what the Earth would be like a thousand years after man has left, and I always felt that these enormous trees would say that in one shot," Griffith said in an interview from his Santa Monica home.
April 30, 2013 | Jonah Goldberg
In the new sci-fi movie "Oblivion," Earth's most precious resource is Tom Cruise. But running a close second (spoiler alert) is water. Aliens want it. All of it. This is old hat, science fiction-wise. In "The War of the Worlds," H.G. Wells had Martians coming to Earth to quench their thirst. The extraterrestrial lizards (cleverly disguised as human catalog models) in the 1980s TV series "V" came here to steal our water too - though they wanted it in part to wash down the meal they intended to make of us. In the more recent "Battle: Los Angeles," pillaging Earth's oceans was the only motivation we're given for why aliens were laying waste to humanity.
March 21, 2013 | By Mindy Farabee
Nalo Hopkinson is trying to mess with your mind. The much-lauded writer of science fiction and fantasy sits at one of her favorite Mexican joints, Tio's Tacos, a funky art-strewn restaurant near the campus of UC Riverside, where she has taught creative writing since 2011. Diminutive and bespectacled, she speaks gently and laughs generously as the conversation roams through favorite writers (Samuel R. Delany, Tobias S. Bucknell, Charles Saunders) and the historical consciousness in her work (writing is "a combination of excavation and imagination")
March 18, 2013
'Beyond the Infinite: Science Fiction After Kubrick' Where: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Leo S. Bing Theater When: Friday through April 6; Friday: "Phase IV" at 7:30 p.m.; "Silent Running" at 9:10 p.m. Tickets: $5-$10 Information:
August 17, 2012
Harry Harrison Science fiction author's work inspired 'Soylent Green' Harry Harrison, 87, an author whose space-age spoofs delighted generations of science fiction fans, died Wednesday in southern England, according to his friend and fellow sci-fi writer Michael Carroll. Harrison was a prolific writer whose works included tongue-in-cheek intergalactic action romps and dystopian fantasies, with detours through children's stories and shambolic crime capers. He was best known for his "The Stainless Steel Rat" series, starring the free-spirited antihero Slippery Jim DiGriz, a quick-witted con man who travels the universe swindling humans, aliens and robots alike.
July 31, 2012 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
Chris Marker, an enigmatic figure in French cinema who avoided publicity and was loath to screen his films yet was often ranked with countrymen Alain Resnais and Jean-Luc Godard as an avant-garde master, died at his home in Paris on Sunday, his 91st birthday. His death was confirmed by the French Culture Ministry, but the cause was not given. Marker, who worked well into his 80s, made more than two dozen films during a six-decade career. Known as a pioneer of the film essay, he was most admired for "La Jetee" (1962)
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