January 24, 2014 |
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - In the film "12 Years a Slave," free black man Solomon Northup dreams of one thing during his long captivity in the antebellum South: returning to his family and home in Saratoga Springs. In the film, as Northup, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, undergoes grueling labor and horrific punishment on a series of Southern plantations, Saratoga Springs becomes a promised land, its name uttered with a sense of longing and hope. Yet mention Northup's name to many locals in modern-day Saratoga Springs or ask about the memoir or movie that tells his story and they'll raise an eyebrow, largely unaware of the man and his legacy.
December 5, 2013 |
A nearly universal desire among writers is to make themselves conspicuous in their work. It's completely understandable. When a script that you've spent months - if not years - writing has your name on the title page, who wouldn't want the material inside to crackle with style; full of snappy rejoinders that audiences gleefully repeat as they exit the theater. Moments that scream: "I wrote that. " Having worked the whole of my professional life toward achieving such, it's kind of ironic that in adapting Solomon Northup's "Twelve Years a Slave" I would end up taking the exact opposite approach.
December 2, 2013 |
Since its debut at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals earlier this fall, the historical drama "12 Years a Slave" has garnered considerable critical acclaim, including nearly unanimous positive reviews and seven Spirit Award nominations , the most of any film this year. While the film's story - based on the autobiography by Solomon Northup, a free black man from the North who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in the antebellum South - is remarkable, perhaps even more astonishing is that the story is so little known.
August 29, 2013 |
When a production benefits the Bulgarian economy as much as "Getaway" apparently did, it might seem mean-spirited to knock it. And when its wall-to-wall car stunts are the real, metal-on-metal deal, shot in the streets of the capital city, that's worth noting. But unless you're a demolition-derby fetishist or a connoisseur of vehicular mayhem, none of that will buy you a thrill in this video game posing as a movie, a preposterously plotted kidnapping story starring a high-performance Mustang.
August 16, 2013 |
With 20 minutes to go before making their high-stakes start-up pitches, the wannabe entrepreneurs were understandably nervous. In one corner of the room, Marc Pakravan and Robert Davis, who came up with the idea for an online shopping site for men's ties, were struggling to put on their own neckties. A few feet away, Jessica Chan-Ugalde looked exasperated as she chastised her partner for not knowing what a hashtag was. Meanwhile Neil Serebryany, whose start-up idea Transformo offers language translation through a headset device, was utterly unfazed as he surveyed the last-minute frenzy.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 14, 2013
Toshi Seeger Partner in activism with husband Pete Seeger Toshi Seeger, 91, folk singer Pete Seeger's wife of 70 years and a close partner in his social and environmental activism, died Tuesday at the couple's home in Beacon in New York's Hudson Valley, according to family friend Thom Wolke. The cause was not immediately known. Toshi Aline Ohta Seeger was born in 1922 in Munich, Germany, to an American mother and a Japanese father and was brought to the United States as a baby.