February 29, 2008 |
As politically provocative as it is sexually candid, the ambitious and assured "Summer Palace" is just the kind of film calculated to give the Chinese government fits. And it did. An intense romantic epic covering two continents and more than a dozen years of recent Chinese history, including the shootings at Tiananmen Square, "Summer Palace" was spirited out of the country in 2006 for a slot at the Cannes Film Festival.
HOME & GARDEN
March 8, 2007 |
Second of two parts IN OUR LAST episode, we had become obsessed with tracking down the mighty North American tadpole, the sushi of Middle America, distant cousin of ... well, just about everyone. Didn't all life spring from briny pockets on the edge of the sea? More on that in a moment. "Over here, Daddy," the little guy says. "Slow down," I tell him. "Over here!" he screams, sending several squirrels into therapy.
February 11, 2007 |
My first gig was writing scripts for a soap opera. I was a young thing with a new Guild membership, an inspired shoe collection and a meager savings account. A year into my contract, the Big Boss who'd delivered my big break was replaced. My services were no longer needed. I'd been fired. After an impressive crying jag, I realized soap operas weren't my thing. But being chronically broke got old fast, so I was receptive when an established soap producer had an exciting new project.
February 1, 2007 |
IT CAME ON like Ebola. Things were fine on Saturday, but by Sunday, it had crashed. That's a medical term, and a computer one. My Earthlink DSL died before my eyes. For three weeks thereafter, my defunct computer and I went through Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' five stages of dealing with death: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. I came to learn many things: That Earthlink's techs in India have a liking for Old Testament pseudonyms; I dealt with at least two Solomons and one Adam.
December 5, 2006 |
IN "The Philosophy of Horror," Noel Carroll argues that monsters violate our core conceptual frameworks. By merging otherwise exclusive states of being -- zombies, for example, are both alive and dead -- they undermine our faith in a safe and orderly universe. Their threat is as much existential as physical. Which brings us to Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a.k.a.
July 26, 2006
Re "To Know You Is to Love You," Column One, July 24 I find especially amusing K. Connie Kang's fascination with the English pronoun "you." For all of its alleged simplicity in comparison to the same grammatical concept in Korean, English speakers have been striving to create regional substitutes such as "youse," "y'all," "ye" and "yiz" to replace the second person plural now sadly lost but sorely needed for centuries. That absence is an Achilles' heel to our native tongue.
January 25, 2006 |
IS the leader in the global fight against movie piracy a pirate too? That's exactly what director Kirby Dick is charging. He says the Motion Picture Assn. of America made a bootleg copy of "This Film Is Not Yet Rated," his angry broadside against the organization's film rating system. The MPAA has admitted that it duplicated the documentary without the filmmaker's permission -- Dick had submitted his movie to its rating board in November.
January 22, 2006 |
THE ability to understand and speak a foreign language exponentially improves the travel experience, so linguistic preparation is as important as planning and packing. Learning a language can be relatively painless, even fun, for people with an aptitude, especially if they studied the language when they were young.
December 25, 2005 |
A visit to Stratford-upon-Avon in England next year and in 2007 will be anything but routine. The Bard's birthplace, about 100 miles northwest of London, is the stage for the Royal Shakespeare Company's most ambitious festival ever. All of William Shakespeare's plays will be presented over a yearlong period starting April 6. Besides 15 productions by the resident company, more than 40 visiting troupes from 18 countries, including the U.S., India, Japan and South Africa, will participate.
March 20, 2005 |
That graveyard Friday night time slot should have tipped anyone off that "Jonny Zero" was not long for this world, but I went ahead and fell for the recently canceled midseason Fox drama about a pumped-up, tatted-out, recovering addict struggling to walk the straight and narrow after doing four years in prison for a homicide. Jonny, played by charismatic TV newcomer Franky G, soon finds himself pinched between his old criminal boss and the FBI, which forces him to become a snitch.