February 17, 2012 |
In a smoke-stained San Francisco hotel room, Felix Starro is making fake blood. Starro is the third in a line of hucksterish Filipino faith healers. Hunched over a plastic jug in the bathroom, he brews corn syrup, water and red dye for a grim ritual known as the Holy Blessed Extraction of Negativites. As he stirs, he remembers how "long ago, Papa Felix made it the same way; because my hands were small my job was to squirt the liquid into the tiny bags and knot them up. We'd stay up all night, diligent and silent, as though our work was truly blessed and holy.
January 10, 2013 |
Prolific filmmaker Hong Sang-soo's latest experiment in form, "In Another Country," is a beguiling set of variations on a theme, a gossamer-light étude composed for delight rather than dissection. The movie comprises a triptych of vignettes, each about half an hour long and centering on a French woman, played by Isabelle Huppert, who's visiting a seaside town in South Korea. The three scenarios are presented as the creations of a young screenwriter (Jung Yumi) who's at loose ends.
November 27, 2013 |
Buzzfeed is reporting that three previously unavailable stories by J.D. Salinger have been leaked online this evening, apparently in PDF and other versions of a small print book. The collection, titled “Three Stories,” and featuring a plain black cover, includes “Birthday Boy,” “Paula” and “The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls.” The latter piece is a precursor, of sorts, to “The Catcher in the Rye,” detailing the death of Holden Caulfield's brother, named Kenneth in the story, not Allie as he is in the finished book.
December 30, 2013 |
Elmore Leonard died in August at the age of 87. But writing can bring a kind of immortality, and the modern noir master has come to life, again, in the form of two new short stories. Today, the San Francisco-based digital imprint Byliner publishes "Confession" and "The Trespassers," both of which were written in 1958 when Leonard was an ad man working at a Detroit agency, Campbell Ewald. "What's interesting is to see where Elmore Leonard, the young writer, started, to study his simple Hemingway-influenced style," Peter Leonard, Elmore Leonard's son, said in a Byliner press release.
December 30, 2011
Individuals make decisions daily that can affect the lives of others, but only the very powerful — or mass movements of the disenfranchised — can change the outlook for millions. There were many such momentous actions and decisions in 2011, but when we set out to identify the top 10 most interesting and significant political stories at the local, state, federal and global levels, these are the ones that stood out. 10. The downtown L.A. stadium deal. Few local projects have been as controversial and as long in the making as the construction or retrofit of a football stadium to lure a professional team to Los Angeles.
March 18, 2012 |
Stay Awake: Stories Dan Chaon Ballantine: 272 pp., $25 A father, fretting about a young son's night terrors, is gradually haunted by his own terrors from an alcohol-fueled past. Another man, marooned as a single parent since his wife's tragic death, decodes meaning out of the scribbled scraps of paper and debris left behind by strangers. And another young man, raised by foster parents after his mother went to jail for an unfathomable crime, experiences a creeping and possibly sinister disassociation from reality after speaking with one of his sisters.