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February 14, 2014 | By David Kelly
BLUFF, Utah - Darkness was falling like a starry curtain as I pulled into this dusty town along the San Juan River. It was mid-November, and a cold wind was blowing in from the desert. The lights of a lone café illuminated a sign ahead. "Bluff, Utah Est. 650 AD. " My search had led me here, to a place where American history stretches deep into antiquity. I was chasing the Anasazi, Navajo for "Ancient Ones," the mysterious people who occupied these harsh lands from the 12th century BC until vanishing 700 years ago. I'd stood in their magnificent Great Houses in Chaco Canyon, N.M., and palatial cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde, Colo.
February 12, 2014 | By Greg Braxton
Hollywood still isn't reflecting the nation's diversity in its entertainment products, and that omission is costing the industry considerable amounts in lost revenues. That's the main conclusion of a comprehensive report about diversity in the film and TV industry released Wednesday by UCLA's Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies. The study, which is titled "2014 Hollywood Diversity Report: Making Sense of the Disconnect," finds that minorities and women are represented far below their corresponding percentages in the general population.
February 5, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
When Stuart Murdoch, the frontman for the indie pop group Belle & Sebastian, was shooting his directorial debut "God Help the Girl," he decided to offer a cautionary word to the crew. "I told them, 'You know this movie won't open, because Belle & Sebastian never opens,'" he said, laughing, sort of. In its nearly two-decade history, the Glasgow, Scotland, act may never have had a chart-topping smash. But in a culture of tabloid ephemera and gone-tomorrow musical phenoms, Belle & Sebastian has managed something more elusive: longevity.  Now Murdoch has translated the delicate and wry sensibilities that have made the band a long-running tastemaker favorite, known for its melodic nuggets about oddball children and sideways romances, to the medium of film.
February 3, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
We have a vague notion of a Scandinavian sound as a kind of misty, mysterious Nordic noir. Strangeness is a giveaway. One musical thing might ultimately lead to another, but the landscape is alien. Trying to define an overall Baltic sound, on the other hand, is hopeless, given the variety of regions that border the Baltic Sea. The Los Angeles Philharmonic's program this past weekend touched on the four great northern Baltic coastal cities - Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki and St. Petersburg.
February 1, 2014 | By Lauren Beale
Reclaimed wood siding provides a visual contrast to the sleek modern finishes at this open-plan house in Venice. The living room, kitchen and dining room open to a side yard with a swimming pool, a spa and a fire pit. Location: 635 Milwood Ave., Venice 90291 Asking price: $4.2 million House size: Four bedrooms, four bathrooms, 3,658 square feet Lot size: 5,406 square feet Features: High ceilings, glass-walled stairway,...
January 30, 2014 | By Salvador Rodriguez
Apple has applied for a patent that describes a method the Cupertino company could use to improve the accuracy of the touchscreen on its iPad and iPhone devices. The patent, which was published Thursday, is called " Gesture and Touch Input Detection Through Force Sensing . " The system described in the patent would incorporate the use of forces sensors that could be located within the frame of the iPad, commonly referred to as the bezel. The bezel's force sensors would be capable of detecting how much pressures users put on the touchscreen of their device with their fingers.
January 29, 2014 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - Are California voters ready yet to change Proposition 13 so that all corporations pay their fair share of property taxes? A new nonpartisan poll indicates they might be. But a better, more relevant question is whether any state political leader - namely a governor - is courageous enough to lead the charge. Answer: Of course not. Gov. Jerry Brown told me five years ago, before he was elected to a third term as governor, that "messing with 13 is a big fat loser. " Clearly he hasn't changed his mind.
January 23, 2014 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
"Like Father, Like Son" is a deceptively simple title for a film of considerable emotional complexity. Its children-switched-at-birth story sounds schematic, but what we see on screen is both meaningful and deeply moving. If you are familiar with the work of writer-director Hirokazu Kore-eda, none of this will come as a surprise. As one of Japan's most respected filmmakers (his earlier films include "After Life," "Nobody Knows" and "Still Walking"), there is a gentleness and delicacy of touch about his work that almost defies belief.
January 16, 2014 | By Sheri Linden
"The Rocket" winds through the mountains of northern Laos, the contemporary drama carrying a touch of fable and a powerful sense of place. Ahlo (Sitthiphon Disamoe), the 10-year-old at the center of the movie, makes an appealing rooting interest, not only because he's sparky and resourceful but also because he challenges the superstitious antipathy of his grandmother, who believes he's cursed. Displaced from their village by a dam project - after viewing a heartlessly chipper corporate video on the wonders of relocation - Ahlo and his family find themselves in a barren field of tents.
January 11, 2014 | By Broderick Turner
Thirty-six seconds into his return from an injury that sidelined him for six weeks, Clippers shooting guard J.J. Redick scored on a 15-foot jumper off a pass from Blake Griffin. Fifteen seconds later, Redick drove down the lane for a layup, another sign that his broken right wrist and torn ligaments on the side of the wrist that kept him out of 21 games were just fine. Redick made four of his first five shots against the Lakers Friday night on his way to a 19-point game. "That was fun," Redick said after the Clippers whipped the Lakers.
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