October 14, 2013 |
SEATTLE - Not long after Joe Bell's teenage son killed himself, the 48-year-old with two fake knees set out to walk from Oregon to New York City so he could spread the word about the child he loved, about the evils of bullying, about parents' responsibility. Bell figured it would take two years to complete his planned 5,000-mile trek, his memorial to son Jadin, with a message about loving gay children and holding bullies to higher standards. "If he could save one child's life," family friend Bud Hill said Monday in a telephone interview, "it would be worth it to him. " Bell may not have saved a life on his walk across America.
October 12, 2013 |
Chinese filmmaker Jia Zhangke's "Unknown Pleasures," "The World" and "24 City" have been celebrated by critics and on the international festival circuit, but his work has yet to break through with a wider audience in America. That might change with his latest, "A Touch of Sin," an action film of sorts set in contemporary China and opening Friday in Los Angeles. Where Jia's earlier works have often blended fiction with documentary, here he overlays the style of traditional martial arts adventure storytelling known as wuxia onto his contemporary four-part tale of loners, revenge and violence based on recent real-life incidents in China.
October 10, 2013 |
Although no one knows if former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping did say "To get rich is glorious," that sentiment has certainly taken hold in China. But what happens to a society when an unregulated drive for personal wealth upends traditional norms? What happens to the less fortunate when people who have money come to believe that nothing else matters? "A Touch of Sin," the powerful if uneven new film by highly regarded Chinese director Jia Zhangke, is a corrosive depiction of the New China, an everything-for-sale society still figuring out how to cope with the dehumanizing effects of unbridled capitalism.
September 26, 2013 |
Just picture it. Palm trees sway and dusk darkens the San Gabriel Mountains as officials prepare to drop the puck for the first outdoor NHL game in California. The Kings and Ducks line up for the historic moment while fans at Dodger Stadium and a national TV audience admire the gorgeous backdrop and marvel at the technology that allows a hockey rink to be plunked down across the infield. Fans in shorts and tank tops roar their approval. It's a triumph for the league and Commissioner Gary Bettman, who has ditched his corporate pinstriped suit for a colorful Hawaiian shirt and flip-flops to fit the relaxed atmosphere.
September 25, 2013 |
The three solo performance pieces being presented on separate bills at the Kirk Douglas Theatre - Luis Alfaro's "St. Jude," Roger Guenveur Smith's "Rodney King," and Trieu Tran's "Uncle Ho to Uncle Sam" - haven't much in common stylistically. And why should they? They're the product of different sensibilities in a theatrical form dedicated to celebrating radical individuality. But taken together these DouglasPlus offerings, which are part of the Radar L.A. festival, present a portrait of an America made up of insiders and outsiders.
September 25, 2013 |
Nearly a dozen of the largest Syrian rebel groups, including one linked to Al Qaeda, have formed an Islamic alliance that could serve as the basis for a future political bloc and have denounced the Western-backed Syrian National Coalition. The bloc explicitly called for sharia , or Islamic law, to be the sole source of legislation in Syria, which for decades has been governed under iron-fisted secularism by President Bashar Assad and his late father, Hafez Assad. Members of the alliance said Wednesday that an Islamic state represented the true wishes of the majority of Syrians, but added that it would not be forced upon people.
September 18, 2013 |
Seth MacFarlane may have plenty of reasons to count his millions , but he's had a pretty rough year of it in the media. Last winter he was pummeled for his boob-happy Oscar-hosting turn, which many critics found misogynistic and unfunny. And this week he's been getting dragged through it all over again with the premiere Tuesday night of his live-action Fox sitcom “Dads,” which, in an unfortunate parallel to the Oscars, has been called racist and unfunny. That's of considerable interest to moviedom.
September 14, 2013 |
It took three years, but Mexico finally got the man it wanted to manage its national team in World Cup qualifying. The question now is, is it too late? By the time Mexico got around to introducing Victor Manuel Vucetich as its coach Thursday, El Tri had sunk to its lowest point in decades. With only two October matches left in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, Mexico is fifth in the six-team group. Only the top three countries automatically advance to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, leaving Mexico in danger of missing the tournament for the first time since 1990.
September 5, 2013 |
Matt Bomer has not been cast in the on-screen adaptation of the erotic novel "50 Shades of Grey"; however, he's still showing his support for the project and its recently announced cast despite fan ire regarding the casting decisions. Author E.L. James, who originally wrote the trilogy as a "Twilight" fan-fiction series, announced over Labor Day weekend that "Ben & Kate" actress Dakota Johnson, 23, and "Sons of Anarchy's" Charlie Hunnam, 33, would play the lead roles of college grad Anastasia Steele and her B&D-obsessed lover Christian Grey.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 31, 2013 |
When a pair of graduate students from little-known Brandman University dug out the salaries of top administrators at all 34 cities in Orange County and made them public, they were showered with praise. Cindy Smith and Janet Voshall testified before the state Legislature, were honored by the county board of supervisors and rode limousines to TV news shows. "I gave them an award because what they did was ethical, valid and honest," Orange County Supervisor Shawn Nelson said. "Anybody that would question whether that was a righteous thing to do, that would immediately put up a red flag that I should be worried about them.