January 28, 2009 |
Joyful, choreographed dance numbers staged in crumbling Mumbai train stations are not how most American films end. Yet when just such a scene crops up in "Slumdog Millionaire," the moment is perfectly apt. Sure, it's a Bollywood-meets-Hollywood ending, and the train station is key to the film. But those familiar with Oscar-nominated scriptwriter Simon Beaufoy's oeuvre may note that dancing-amid-decrepitude is almost a given.
June 3, 1986 |
Testing a product on the kind of people who eventually will use it is hardly a new idea. But at Protype, a Sun Valley company that makes an office machine that is a cross between an electronic typewriter and a word processor, testing is done with a twist. The company tries out its equipment on what Stephen Kurtin, Protype president, diplomatically calls the "most ordinary" secretaries. To find them, Kurtin every so often asks a temporary help agency to send over a group of bad secretaries.
May 21, 2009 |
Oscar-winning writer-director Steven Soderbergh isn't coy about his motive for casting Sasha Grey in his low-budget indie drama "The Girlfriend Experience." In a movie entirely populated by nonprofessional actors, who better to portray a $2,000-an-hour Manhattan call-girl than one of the most prolific and in-demand adult film stars working the so-called San Pornando Valley? Still, he cops to a certain degree of exploitation.
February 9, 2009 |
Ahhh . . . just thinking about a massage can be relaxing. For many people, the hands-on therapy is a simple cure for everyday ills, aches and stresses. It's become so popular, in fact, that we can have our kinks worked on or worked out, not just at posh resorts, but at the airport or grocery store too. And yet a lingering stigma dogs the profession, leaving some tense, aching Americans nonetheless reluctant to bare their body parts to strangers.
March 8, 2012 |
Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law school student Rush Limbaugh called a "slut" and a "prostitute," is intelligent, poised and coherent. That alone puts her miles ahead of her detractors. She's been making the rounds this week on behalf of her argument that the insurance she pays for at Georgetown (insurance that is not, she says, subsidized by the Jesuit school) should cover prescription contraception for women. When she said all this to Congress, testifying in favor of the Obama administration's "insurance companies should foot the bill" rule on birth control, Limbaugh said she "wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex. " Fluke has addressed the slut business repeatedly - saying on "The View" on Monday that she'd prefer no penitent calls from Limbaugh (not that one was in the offing)
January 22, 2012
In a city of lush gardens, the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden in Bel-Air is neither the biggest nor the most accessible. But it is among the rarest examples of post-World War II Japanese private gardens in this country. Featuring paths of varied textures that wind past pines, a waterfall and a stone pagoda, among other features, it is a melding of Kyoto and California. Designed in 1959 by the renowned Japanese garden designer Nagao Sakurai, its mere creation was considered part of a renewed respect for Japan in the United States.
January 26, 2014 |
President Obama's recent speech on government surveillance is dominating the conversation, but he won't be making the key decisions on the future of the National Security Agency's collection of domestic phone data. The statutory provision authorizing these massive sweeps expires June 1, 2015. If Congress simply does nothing, the NSA's domestic spying program will soon come to a screeching halt. The question is whether Americans will seize this opportunity to gain critical perspective on the crisis responses of the George W. Bush years.