November 7, 2013 |
The last time Cam Cleeland had two good eyes, a pillowcase was being pulled over his head. It was 15 years ago in a University of Wisconsin La Crosse dormitory that housed New Orleans Saints players for training camp. Cleeland and his fellow rookies were herded at one end of a long, narrow hallway. Their veteran teammates, most of them drunk, lined either side of the hall, leaving about a one-foot gap to get through. This was the gantlet, a well-worn Saints tradition of hazing and a rite of passage for the rookies.
October 30, 2013 |
Less about vampires than deals with the devil, "The Impaler" draws not on "Dracula" but the historical figure who inspired Bram Stoker's iconic bloodsucker: Vlad III, a vicious 15th century Crusader known for impaling his victims. Seven friends who look far too old to be celebrating their high school graduation book a week's stay in the notorious Romanian's Transylvania castle. But it takes just one night before they start getting picked off one by one in manners relegated to off-screen.
October 28, 2013 |
The music world is in mourning over the death of Lou Reed, the indescribably influential singer, composer and bandleader. He was one of the first to marry rock insouciance with high-art ideas: reducing the form of a guitar band to its absolute minimum, while sounding unprecedented and scary and occasionally even lovely. He put raw drones and white noise into the rock-instrument canon, and wrote about smack addiction and transvestism 40 years before...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 27, 2013 |
Just north of the big hotels along bustling Century Boulevard east of LAX lie the remains of Manchester Square. Once a thriving community with its own elementary school, the working-class neighborhood that sprang up in the postwar building boom is now an urban void of unkempt buildings, desolate streets and residential lots scraped bare where thousands used to live. Their long-gone addresses are marked by idle driveways, clusters of trees and chain-link fences that crisscross 20 square blocks.
October 21, 2013 |
Young people looking to escape their surroundings have been a thematic staple of issue-conscious filmmakers around the world since Fellini's seriocomic masterpiece "I Vitelloni. " Now Pakistani writer-directors Meenu Gaur and Farjad Nabi address their own country's significant population of twentysomethings itching to immigrate to the West in the feature "Zinda Bhaag," Pakistan's first submission for the foreign-language Oscar in half a century. Visions of international gold hang over the movie's trio of young, vibrant, lower-middle-class friends from bustling Lahore.
October 17, 2013 |
For her first stint in the director's chair, "Juno" screenwriter Diablo Cody has concocted a modern-day "Alice Through the Looking Glass," with none of the danger or wit. "Paradise" follows a home-schooled, Jesus-loving Montana lass who loses her faith and heads to Sin City to experience the corrupting power of real life. The not-so-wild ride is essentially sappy, however much of Cody's self-consciously barbed dialogue its characters are forced to utter. As the symbolically named Lamb, Julianne Hough is sweetly intent on a firsthand encounter with "your basic abominations.
October 17, 2013 |
In the first of a series of collaborative exhibitions at Commonwealth & Council, Anna Mayer and Rosha Yaghmai were inspired by the diaries of the 19th century Swiss explorer and writer, Isabelle Eberhardt. Born in 1877, Eberhardt flaunted convention by traveling and living in North Africa, where she converted to Islam and dressed as a man. She died no less spectacularly in a flash flood at the age of 27. Mayer and Yaghmai are less concerned with the fascinating details of Eberhardt's life, however, than with the principles it embodied: a hunger for direct experience and a disregard for conventional boundaries.
October 15, 2013 |
A tale of two locker rooms. Jim Harbaugh met his Stanford team for the first time in 2007. Bo McNally, a Stanford safety from 2006-09, recalled: "He said, 'Look, we're going to be champions here. If you don't think it's possible, we don't want you here. No hard feelings, but take your scholarship for the rest of the year and figure out what else you want to do.'" Jim Mora faced UCLA players for the first time in 2012. UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr said: "His face was stone cold.
October 9, 2013 |
It was said to have been a disastrous seven days for classical music in America. "Hell week" is what Russell Platt called it in the New Yorker last week. New York City Opera declared bankruptcy and shut down. Minnesota Orchestra's music director Osmo Vänskä resigned in frustration over a contract dispute that forced management to cancel all of last season and, still unresolved, resulted in the cancellation of a high-profile tour to Carnegie Hall next month. Speaking of Carnegie, the country's most famous hall canceled its opening night gala last week because of a strike by the stagehands.
October 4, 2013 |
Google Glass has been hogging the spotlight when it comes to eyewear, but get ready to see new technology designed for those stuck with old-fashioned prescription eyeglasses. About 64% of Americans wear glasses to improve vision. Many can't stand them, complaining that glasses are cumbersome, headache-inducing or don't work in all situations. Meanwhile, the growing amount of time people spend in front of computers and mobile devices has also raised concern about the potential damaging effects on eyesight.