July 18, 2013 |
Take "The Wonder Years," double the twee and give Fred Savage a British accent and leukemia and you'll have "Ways to Live Forever," an adorable death march stalking the last weeks of 12-year-old Sam's life. Sam (Robbie Kay) and best friend Felix (Alex Etel) are terminal, so instead of wasting their time with math, their private teacher (Greta Scacchi) inspires them to make their final moments count, a project that includes trying to break the world record for worm-eating, running up and down an escalator, smoking and drinking, and leaving behind a written and video-recorded diary that shapes Gustavo Ron's film from its episodic structure and chirpy narration to the scribbled onscreen words that label Sam's mum, his gran and his kid sister.
July 10, 2013 |
Most comedy writers prefer the confines of the set, or at least the city, for reasons both fiscal and creative. A crucible cooks up laughs as quickly as it heats up drama. But there is no reason why an hour-long coming-of-age comedy shouldn't be set in the great outdoors of a summer family camp. Lakeside locales have worked wonders in films as varied as "On Golden Pond," "Dirty Dancing," "Meatballs" and "Friday the 13th" - even "Mad Men" featured a summer camp this season. Wrap the story around a versatile performer like Rachel Griffiths as a camp director coming to terms with an unexpected divorce, and you're golden - the trick of mirroring the maturation of adults with that of their children is pretty much the reason children are allowed to work in Hollywood.
May 26, 2013 |
INDIANAPOLIS -- Veteran driver Tony Kanaan finally won his first Indianapolis 500 on Sunday after 12 years of trying. The Brazilian had become a sentinmental choice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway because he had come close to winning the legendary race several times. On a restart with only four laps left, Kanaan took the lead and then, when three-time winner Dario Franchitti crashed with only two laps remaining, which brought out the caution flag, the field was frozen and Kanaan had secured the victory.
May 22, 2013 |
Members of the L.A. quartet Dawes have been performing for paying audiences since they were teenagers, so there was no reason John Fogerty could see to go easy on them. "Let's do it one more time," said the veteran roots rocker, standing onstage in jeans and a plaid shirt at the Moody Theater in Austin, Texas. Fogerty had recruited Dawes to back him during a concert at the South by Southwest music festival - part of the lead-in to his upcoming album of all-star collaborations - and in an early-afternoon soundcheck the musicians were running through the Creedence Clearwater Revival song "Someday Never Comes.
April 9, 2013 |
"Smokefall" appears to be Noah Haidle's version of "Our Town. " Nearly every American playwright has one, but most keep them hidden in desk drawers. This addition to the Thornton Wilder 2.0 collection, however, has been honored with an attentive production, directed by Anne Kauffman at South Coast Repertory (in a shared world premiere with Chicago's Goodman Theatre). Those with a penchant for homespun elegy playfully whipped up may enjoy "Smokefall," but the work is really a collection of derivative themes in search of a fleshed-out drama.
April 7, 2013 |
In May 1943, President Franklin Roosevelt met with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill at the White House. It was 17 months after Pearl Harbor and a little more than a year before D-Day. The two Allied leaders reviewed the war effort to date and exchanged thoughts on their plans for the postwar era. At one point in the discussion, FDR offered what he called "the best way to settle the Jewish question. " Vice President Henry Wallace, who noted the conversation in his diary, said Roosevelt spoke approvingly of a plan (recommended by geographer and Johns Hopkins University President Isaiah Bowman)