December 24, 1998 |
Fidgety kids grow calm and focused. Boy Scout troops sit still. Students who despise history suddenly change their minds. What's the magic elixir? Not an eye-popping movie blockbuster or virtual-reality playground. It's simple, ancient and low-tech: storytelling. And chances are it's happening just about every week of the year at a mall, your kid's school, bookstore, library or museum near you.
January 15, 2010 |
Who would have thought that one of the world's most famous scientists finds time to take in a little television? Whether it's crime dramas or "The Simpsons," Stephen Hawking tunes in. He'd even like to participate in a certain popular dance reality competition. "I'm still waiting for my invitation to 'Dancing With the Stars,' " Hawking joked via a taped message at the Television Critics' Assn. press tour in Pasadena. Until then, he's part of the upcoming Discovery Channel special "Into the Universe With Stephen Hawking."
June 27, 2013 |
Set in upstate New York during the Civil War, "Copperhead" is an adaption of an 1893 Harold Frederic novel that concerns itself not with North versus South so much as the less-discussed disagreements among those ostensibly on the same side of history. Farmer Abner Beech (Billy Campbell) is against slavery but also opposes the war and sending local boys off to fight it, whereas Jee Hagadorn (Angus MacFadyen) believes ending slavery is worth any sacrifice and turns many of the local townspeople against Beech.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 27, 1999 |
Parents grunted like animals. Children shouted out words and squealed with glee. A paper wolf puppet roared. The Sonora Elementary School auditorium was downright boisterous on a recent Wednesday night. Reading was happening. Literacy Night, the first event of its kind at this Costa Mesa school, was a family affair. Parents and their children, kindergartners through third-graders, traveled in small groups through three learning stations: storytelling, shared reading and interactive writing.
July 30, 1995 |
If you were a woggle, could you make us long for a kiss? "What's a woggle?" you ask. Fair question. But now's not the time for an answer. I don't think it is, anyhow. And since this story is only about radical new ways to tell stories, only about the nascent medium called "interactive storytelling"--a yarn spinning process that taps new technologies to let the audience participate in the tale--it's really not your place to muck about with the narrative flow.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 2000 |
With tongue rings, exposed navels and some unusual hair colors, the teenagers at Owensmouth Continuation High School in Canoga Park don't look like ambassadors of literacy. But there was 16-year-old Maria Jorge, early Monday morning, removing her tongue ring so she could enunciate the words "perplex" and "diabolic" to elementary school students who, she believes, need proper pronunciation to improve their vocabulary.
April 3, 2014 |
Krysten Ritter and Brian Geraghty, performers who have delivered striking work elsewhere, are hard to read in "Refuge," a torpid drama about a tentative new romance. Or perhaps they're too easy to read; whatever emotional depths filmmaker Jessica Goldberg hopes to suggest, there's nothing stirring beneath the movie's static surface. The central characters' coupledom might bring them a safe haven, but audiences will be left out in the cold. Adapting her stage play, Goldberg uses wintry Southampton, N.Y., locations to convey a down-and-out working-class vibe.
September 18, 1997 |
It's no surprise that cigar smoking is verboten at Barnes & Noble in Huntington Beach. Or is it? These days, gourmets cook, psychics predict, women drum and cuddly bears recite stories at bookstores big and small. Libraries let kids paste and glitter, dance and do division on computer. Indeed, today's literary outlets increasingly offer activities traditionally provided by community colleges, recreation centers, preschools, concert halls and coffeehouses.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 17, 1992 |
Although the first Hanukkah candle won't be lit for another two months, veteran actor Ed Asner is already telling stories about the annual Festival of Lights that commemorates the rededication of the Temple in 165 BC. On Thursday, Asner colorfully read a story by Nobel Peace Prize winner Isaac Bashevis Singer called "A Parakeet Named Dreidel," about a Yiddish-speaking bird that lands on the windowsill of a Brooklyn Jewish family on the eighth day of Hanukkah.
March 25, 2011 |
"White Irish Drinkers" might be writer-director John Gray's profane, boisterous, blood-spattered love letter to growing up in '70s Brooklyn, but its truer and more regrettable connection is to the rampant Scorsese mimicry that characterized early-'90s indie calling cards. You know the kind: movies where young guys with glaringly obvious life choices ? here, it's whether kind-eyed, wisecracking, big-dreaming Brian (Nick Thurston), who paints secretly in the basement, should escape the influence of his boozy, violent father (Stephen Lang)