December 28, 2013 |
Jack Black is sitting on a ratty basement couch in his underwear. His fleshy belly spills over the elastic band, and he's emanating a profoundly foul odor. Performance artist Jibz Cameron, a.k.a. Dynasty Handbag, sits beside Black, relishing in the stink. In this superhero spoof, recently screened at Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art, Black plays uber-villain Unidentifiable Odor. Cameron is his dour sidekick, Buzz Kill. Like cranky kids, they sit slumped over with scowls across their faces, plotting ways to ruin a perfectly good dinner date that is unfolding at a nearby restaurant.
December 20, 2013 |
The first time Nick Pugliese's mother wondered if her only son had lost his mind was when he announced he was going to work for a telecommunications company in Afghanistan. The day she was sure of it came last spring, when Nick called from Kabul to say he was quitting that job and leaving the secure compound where he lived to rent a room in a ramshackle boarding house so he could play professional soccer in the Kabul Premier League. "I was, like, 'You've got to be kidding me,'" his mother, Kim Pugliese, recalled.
December 10, 2013 |
It began in April at Coachella. That's where R. Kelly made a surprise appearance with the French band Phoenix, delighting (and maybe befuddling) an indie-minded crowd only minimally aligned with the audience that's helped drive Kelly to R&B superstardom. Since then the singer has been on a kind of outreach mission with performances at the Pitchfork and Bonnaroo festivals and hit duets with Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. Carefully planned, the activity has undoubtedly boosted Kelly's profile among pop listeners, a savvy strategy in the run-up to Tuesday's release of his new album, "Black Panties.
October 17, 2013 |
Amid the vast sea of office buildings and industrial plants just south of Los Angeles International Airport, a new office campus is emerging with a 21st century look starkly distinct from its baby boom-era neighbors. While most of Southern California's office market remains stuck in neutral as businesses decline to expand, developers in El Segundo are about to risk millions of dollars building the offices. In contrast to its more monolithic neighbors, the new complex will have 15 office buildings of widely varying sizes and shapes intended to appeal to firms in the few sectors that are expanding, such as technology and entertainment.
October 15, 2013 |
Ricky Gervais doesn't understand why you're so afraid of him. "People come up to me and say, 'Oh, I was scared to ask for your autograph in case you put me down,'" Gervais says in a hushed tone during a recent interview in New York. "No, no, I would never do that. " It's not difficult to understand this misperception. Ever since "The Office" catapulted him to global fame a dozen years ago, the writer, director, actor and professional provocateur has come to be synonymous with a brand of humor that, although never truly mean-spirited, is fueled by discomfort.
October 4, 2013 |
"The Network," Eva Orner's well-intended if rudimentarily told and structured documentary, follows the formation and development of Afghanistan's first independent television network, Tolo TV, by Afghan expatriate Saad Mohseni in the years following the end of ultra-restrictive Taliban rule. Mohseni, along with his expat brothers and sister, began their Afghan media empire in 2002 with the creation of a popular radio station to fill the nation's longtime mass-media gap. Television was the next logical step and, in 2004, Tolo TV was born.