October 7, 2011 |
Documentarian Heather Courtney admits she had "no clear idea" what her story would be while mulling what would become "Where Soldiers Come From," an intimate look at three young Army reservists — and two of their families — from her rural hometown on Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Despite the film's unvarnished emotionality and even-handed messaging, Courtney never seems to have found an appropriate focus, resulting in a work that's less urgent and involving than its intense subject matter might have dictated.
March 11, 2011 |
Jennifer Egan's " A Visit From the Goon Squad " was awarded the fiction prize from the National Book Critics Circle on Thursday evening, besting Jonathan Franzen's widely publicized novel " Freedom " and works by David Grossman, Hans Keilson and Paul Murray. Published by Alfred A. Knopf, Egan's novel is an innovatively structured work about characters involved in the music industry. The title is taken from an Elvis Costello song that is also about time and how decisions echo across generations.
HOME & GARDEN
December 18, 2010 |
They had fans at the trailer. For weeks, the previews for "Tron: Legacy" have offered a striking look at what digital-age décor could look like. Though the film, which opened Friday, unfolds in a virtual landscape known as the Grid, it also features the midcentury childhood home of hero Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) and a modern house made from shipping containers where Flynn's son, Sam (Garrett Hedlund), lives. The most dazzling interior by far, however, is the Safehouse, a glowing hideout at the edge of the "Tron" universe.
October 21, 2010 |
With the barrage of notices about new restaurants coming from all sides, sometimes a worthy older one slips through the cracks without a full review. When it opened 3 years ago, I did my due diligence and went to Amarone, the tiny 40-seat Italian on Sunset Boulevard just up from the Viper Room. Maybe it was too early: I remember thinking it was nothing special. Wrongly, as it turns out. When I went back recently I found a restaurant that, despite being on a gritty block, really does feel like a little neighborhood place in Italy.
September 19, 2010 |
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration Isabel Wilkerson Random House: 622 pp, $30 It was an all-too-familiar dispatch from a particular time and place. The Clarks, a young black family of four, were trying to improve their lot in the world. Like many families just starting out, they were making do, but nursed desires: "The husband and wife were college-educated, well-mannered, and looked like movie stars. The father had saved up for a piano for his eight-year-old daughter . . . . He had high aspirations for their six-year-old son who was bright and whose dimples could have landed him in cereal commercials," writes Isabel Wilkerson midway through her new book, "The Warmth of Other Suns.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 3, 2010 |
Ilene Woods, who provided the speaking and singing voice for the title character in Walt Disney's classic 1950 animated feature " Cinderella," has died. She was 81. Woods, a Calabasas resident, died of causes related to Alzheimer's disease Thursday at a nursing and rehabilitation center in Canoga Park, said her husband, Ed Shaughnessy, the former longtime drummer on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show." Woods was a busy 18-year-old singer on radio in 1948 when, as a favor to two songwriter friends, Jerry Livingston and Mack David, she recorded a "demo" of a few songs they had written for Walt Disney's upcoming animated feature.
HOME & GARDEN
May 1, 2010 |
Living small is the new virtue. We have less clean air, water and land. Most of us have a lot less money. Fortunately, out here where the dream used to include a house of your own, we pioneered how to do simple very well. We built the box bungalow. The last time the U.S. had a small-house surge was around 1900. Post-Civil War greed unleashed a progressive cry. Reformers announced that all citizens — new immigrants, working men and women, people on farms and in crumbling tenements — were entitled to a place to live.
March 1, 2010 |
In the beginning, on the morning of the opening ceremony, there was the death of an athlete pursuing his sport, a life snuffed out at age 21 in a way so awful it will forever haunt the memory of the 2010 Winter Olympics. In the end, a few hours before the Olympic flame burning here for 17 days went out Sunday night, there was an athletic moment so brilliant it also will be an everlasting memory of these Games. In between, there were organizational problems that will be forgotten, the same way they disappeared after the first few days, when the sun came out in this glimmering city and sparkled over fresh mountain snow limned against an impossibly blue sky. Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili will live forever as a symbol of what can go horribly wrong when athletes push the limits under conditions that some say were questionable, from the design of a sliding track officials already knew was both unusually fast and dangerously unforgiving, to the relative inexperience of the athlete in a sport where split-second decisions at 90 mph are required.
February 28, 2010 |
The valleys and hillsides of the Southern California deserts have been preparing all winter for their close-up. Silent and forlorn, often harsh and austere, they're ready to shed their mantle of earth tones and dress themselves in wildflowers, thanks to the rain storms and subsequent warm days. Here's a look at what's unfolding in some of Southern California's best natural settings. If you go These five parks regularly update wildflower reports on their websites during viewing season.