August 5, 2013 |
As both a producer and a director, Stanley Kramer was fearless. As a scrappy young independent producer in the late 1940s, he bought the rights to Arthur Laurents' "Home of the Brave," the hit 1946 Broadway play which exposed anti-Semitism in the military during World War II. But Kramer decided to up the ante, transforming it into a drama about racism, casting young African American actor James Edwards as the soldier who must battle discrimination in...
June 29, 2013 |
Documentaries typically can be split into two camps. There are those designed to entertain - penguins in snow, Justin Bieber in concert - and sell tons of tickets. Then there are works - bleak stories about hunger, pollution, genocide - more intent on scoring partisan points than box-office records. Producer Bert Marcus wants to eliminate that division and has put together a $15-million fund to make nonfiction movies intended to be both financially and socially rewarding. His release this weekend, an indictment on the war on drugs called "How to Make Money Selling Drugs," is Marcus' latest effort to prove that documentaries can do good on both the civic and fiscal bottom lines.
May 30, 2013 |
When most filmmakers in Los Angeles feel frustrated by the movie business, they pick up a pen to write out their anxiety - or pick up the phone and call their therapist. Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij took a different approach. Upset by a series of Hollywood rejections four years ago, the then-aspiring actress and would-be director decided to spend the summer train-hopping with a group of idealistic drifters they'd never met. For nearly two months, they criss-crossed America, encountering strangers, diving into dumpsters and eating what they gathered, sans money.
January 15, 2013 |
Season 2 of HBO's "Enlightened" finds Laura Dern as fortysomething executive Amy Jellicoe conspiring with an egotistical Los Angeles Times muckraker (Dermot Mulroney) to bring down her corporate overlords. Well-meaning but hopelessly naive - "I'm like the Julian Assange of Riverside," Amy boasts without a drop of irony - she is quickly in over her head. "She's missing so many pieces," says Dern, 45, shaking her head with weary sympathy. "Poor Amy. " Decked out in an elegant black cap-sleeved dress at a swanky restaurant off Central Park, Dern is noticeably more sophisticated than her on-screen counterpart.
June 16, 2012 |
Even in a city as entertainment-oriented as Los Angeles, short films can be a tough sell. But one new player in the space - Focus Forward Films - is hoping to win over audiences with a socially conscious approach to short documentaries. Focus Forward is a series of three-minute documentaries that shed a light on innovative individuals who are shaping the world through acts or inventions. The program boasts a roster of 30 international filmmakers, and since its inception in September, nine of its films have been shown at festivals (five premiered at Sundance and four at Tribeca)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 4, 2012 |
Elizabeth Catlett, a sculptor and printmaker who was widely considered one of the most important African American artists of the 20th century despite having lived most of her life in Mexico, has died. She was 96. Catlett, whose sculptures became symbols of the civil rights movement, died Monday at her home in Cuernavaca, Mexico, said her eldest son, Francisco. Her imposing blend of art and social consciousness mirrored that of German painter Max Beckmann, Mexican muralist Diego Rivera and other artists of the mid-20th century who used art to critique power structures.