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Swan Song

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ENTERTAINMENT
June 10, 2007 | Mary McNamara
TONIGHT, they settle all family business. For eight years, "The Sopranos" has held our attention, infiltrating national conversations about marriage, parenting, violence, psychotherapy, acting, depression, Italian food -- everything with the possible exception of organized crime.
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 7, 2013 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
To see "The Wind Rises" is to simultaneously marvel at the work of a master and regret that this film is likely his last. Japan's Hayao Miyazaki, perhaps the world's preeminent animator, beloved for "My Neighbor Totoro" and an Oscar winner for "Spirited Away," has announced his retirement. If he holds to that, it's fitting that this final film, inspired by but not limited to the life of brilliant aircraft designer Jiro Horikoshi, is quintessentially his: stunningly beautiful and completely idiosyncratic.
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ENTERTAINMENT
November 20, 1992 | KEVIN THOMAS
Playing with "Flirting" (Westside Pavilion) is a not-to-be-missed 24-minute short, "Swan Song." Directed by Kenneth Branagh from Hugh Crutwell's vigorously colloquial adaptation of an Anton Chekhov short play, it stars John Gielgud as an 88-year-old stage actor overcome by despair as he stares out at an empty, run-down theater.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 7, 2013 | By Kate Linthicum and Emily Alpert, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took over downtown's Grand Park on Friday night for a boisterous block party that was largely about celebrating him. On a giant podium erected on the steps of City Hall, a group of elected officials stood and praised Villaraigosa, who steps down this month after serving two terms as mayor. "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest called him a dear friend "who loves Los Angeles. " Former President Bill Clinton, a longtime political ally, said "he's a good-looking guy" who made the city safer and greener.
HOME & GARDEN
March 31, 2012 | Margaret Wappler
Several months ago, at the height of my disillusionment with online dating, I created a "Black Swan" profile for a dating site (My "White Swan" profile was up and running on the same site). I didn't actually name the profiles White Swan and Black Swan, but that's how I thought of them, inspired by the deliciously over-the-top Natalie Portman movie that came out around the same time. The White Swan had been busy dating. In fact, she'd just been dumped by a guy who suddenly realized his Westside neighborhood was 20 miles away from her -- my -- Eastside domicile.
SPORTS
April 5, 2013 | By Shannon Ryan
Ask Louisville Coach Rick Pitino or Syracuse's Jim Boeheim about Madison Square Garden or Big East Conference founder Dave Gavitt. Even the tight-lipped Boeheim becomes sentimental and is apt to weave a story about a Big East classic. "I would have been happy if someone said, 'Coach, you're going to coach Syracuse and be in this league 10 years,'" Boeheim said. "'We'll give you 10 pretty good years, but that's it.' I'd have said, 'OK, I'll take it,' right then. It just has been unbelievable.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 20, 2004 | Josef Woodard, Special to The Times
Extra layers of poignancy are bound to grace a performance announced as a veteran musician's swan song, and that was the case with celebrated ambient-minimalist musician Harold Budd's evocative concert at the REDCAT theater Saturday. Whether the disappearance is real or just a Sinatra-esque feint remains to be seen. The bittersweet situation is compounded when the retiree is a willfully mysterious character, musically and personally.
NEWS
July 29, 2000 | SONNI EFRON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In 1997, Madeleine Albright gave Asia an object lesson in American moxie by dressing up as Madonna, tucking a red rose behind her ear, and poking fun at some of Asia's most-buttoned-down leaders in a song set to the tune of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina." On Friday, the secretary of state did it again, this time with a sayonara ditty set to the tune of "Thanks for the Memories."
NEWS
March 12, 2000 | MARGO KAUFMAN, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Lately, mystery writers are more prolific than fruit flies, and each day brings five or six Jiffy mailers to my door filled with whodunits. It's hard to decide what to review. Granted, some choices are automatic: a favorite author's latest; a colleague's recommendation. But other choices are more capricious. In the case of Colin Dexter's "The Remorseful Day" (Crown Publishers, $24, 320 pages), the subtitle grabbed me--"The Final Inspector Morse Novel."
NEWS
June 2, 1992 | KRISTINA LINDGREN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The U.S. Constitution, politics and the federal judiciary can be deadly lecture material, guaranteed to put all but the most dedicated students to sleep. But in the hands of constitutional scholar Jack Peltason, these are delivered with the kind of horse sense for which the UC Irvine chancellor has become famous.
SPORTS
April 5, 2013 | By Shannon Ryan
Ask Louisville Coach Rick Pitino or Syracuse's Jim Boeheim about Madison Square Garden or Big East Conference founder Dave Gavitt. Even the tight-lipped Boeheim becomes sentimental and is apt to weave a story about a Big East classic. "I would have been happy if someone said, 'Coach, you're going to coach Syracuse and be in this league 10 years,'" Boeheim said. "'We'll give you 10 pretty good years, but that's it.' I'd have said, 'OK, I'll take it,' right then. It just has been unbelievable.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 2013 | By Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times
With the first quarter of 2013 in the books, crime in Los Angeles has so far continued its decade-long decline, according to statistics released Friday. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief Charlie Beck announced the early but notable improvement at a press conference that served as a swan song for the mayor, who will leave office this summer after being termed out. Throughout what is widely considered an otherwise uneven eight years in office, the steady drop in crime is a triumph that Villaraigosa has repeatedly touted.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 2013 | By David Ng
New York theater institutions don't come much feistier or more dynamic than Elaine Stritch. The tart-tongued, 88-year-old force of nature -- whose stage career includes memorable collaborations with Stephen Sondheim and Edward Albee -- kicked off her farewell series of cabaret performances this week at the Cafe Carlyle. Stritch announced last month that she would be retiring from the stage and moving back to her native Michigan. The actress cited her failing health for her decision.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 2013 | By Jamie Wetherbe
The street artist known as the “Russian Banksy,” Pasha P183, has been found dead in Moscow, according to reports. He was 29. Teatralnoye Delo theatrical production company, which had commissioned the artist to create a mural for its production "Todd,” said he died Monday, the Associated Press reported. Teatralnoye Delo did not release further information. PHOTOS: Arts and culture in pictures by The Times Pasha P183 was known for leaving artistic installations and politically fueled murals across Moscow, including riot police painted on subway doors and a masked protester holding a flare that caught fire.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 29, 2013 | By Patrick Pacheco
- George C. Wolfe is flummoxed. He's describing the gestation of "Lucky Guy," the Nora Ephron play he is directing with Tom Hanks playing an ambitious and cocky New York newspaper reporter. It began, he says, with Ephron asking him: "What's more fun than hanging out with the boys in the bar?" It ended, nine months later, with a phone call from her agent saying she had died. "I didn't even know that Nora was sick until the actual day she died," he says, sitting in a Midtown Manhattan coffee shop on a rainy spring afternoon.
SPORTS
January 3, 2013 | By Chris Dufresne
GLENDALE, Ariz. - Chip Kelly brought up-tempo offense to Oregon football, but now it might be time to implement the “hurry-up” to his career. If Thursday was Kelly's last game as head coach, well, it was a blur. These four years passed as quickly as his team played. It was fitting that Oregon's 35-17 Fiesta Bowl win over Kansas State at University of Phoenix Stadium started with De'Anthony Thomas' 94-yard kickoff return for touchdown. “My role in this game was to be a momentum-builder and a game-changer,” Thomas, the speedy game-changer star of last year's Rose Bowl victory, said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 7, 2013 | By Kate Linthicum and Emily Alpert, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa took over downtown's Grand Park on Friday night for a boisterous block party that was largely about celebrating him. On a giant podium erected on the steps of City Hall, a group of elected officials stood and praised Villaraigosa, who steps down this month after serving two terms as mayor. "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest called him a dear friend "who loves Los Angeles. " Former President Bill Clinton, a longtime political ally, said "he's a good-looking guy" who made the city safer and greener.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 29, 1992 | LEONARD FEATHER
**** STAN GETZ/KENNY BARRON "People Music" Verve This two-disc set, completed at the Montmartre in Copenhagen exactly three months before Getz died last year, was a superlative swan song. Always an emotionally charged artist, he seemed more impassioned than ever, as if giving his all while it could still be given. Getz insisted on equal billing for pianist Barron, who as accompanist-soloist consistently rewards.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 17, 2012 | By Mikael Wood
A forbidding mixture of droning guitars and sub-Beat poetry about the ocean and Walt Whitman, R.E.M.'s "Blue" didn't seem like a song in need of additional artiness when it closed the veteran alt-rock band's 2011 swan song, " Collapse Into Now . " A year and a half later, though, that's precisely what "Blue" has received in the form of an impenetrable new music video directed by James Franco. Part of R.E.M.'s Collapse Into Now Film Project , in which the album's 12 tracks were entrusted to directors including Franco, Lance Bangs and Albert Maysles, the "Blue" clip stars Lindsay Lohan as ... well, Lindsay Lohan, basically: Between shaky hand-held shots of such L.A. landmarks as the Chateau Marmont and the Griffith Observatory, we see the "Liz & Dick" actress posing for celebrity photographer Terry Richardson, something the real-life Lohan has done plenty of herself.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 15, 2012 | By Mikael Wood
Given the still-bracing excellence of the band's music, it's never a bad time to turn one's thoughts to Bikini Kill, the pioneering riot grrrl group that blazed a trail out of Olympia, Wash., in the early 1990s. Yet this year serves as the 20th anniversary of Bikini Kill's self-titled debut EP, and to mark the occasion our friends at SPIN have published a probing oral history of the band by Jessica Hopper, who spoke with the group's members as well as with peers such as Fugazi frontman Ian MacKaye and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth.
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