February 27, 1994 |
The baby-boom generation is the first to be shepherded through life by a mass-media culture that turns the mundane occurrences and eternal transitions of life into brand-new events. With help from the commercial marketplace, boomers are encouraged to have lifestyles rather than lives, and to substitute conspicuous consumption for reflection. Today, boomers are confronting the biggie--mortality. Many members of the baby-boom generation have finally got it--death is definitely not optional.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 6, 1994 |
For as long as the Tet festival has flourished in Little Saigon, the lunar new year holiday has been cause for celebration of high culture and ancient history--and ground-level infighting and politicking. This year was no exception. During the hazy heat of summer, the celebration appeared to be headed for its zodiac sign--the Year of the Dog.
January 25, 1994 |
As with so many good ideas in France, this one was born over dinner. Four friends, all collectors of first-edition newspapers, asked each other: What type of newspaper would they most like to read? Well, they concluded, it would have to be a paper with news . No commentary. No political slant. Only a little advertising. And lots of short articles and colorful graphics. In other words, a newspaper like no other in France.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 6, 1993 |
The group is still at it, writhing on the ground and grunting, beating on drums and dancing in the candlelight to affirm their masculinity. A few years after devotees of the so-called men's movement were first publicized, and parodied, a group of computer programmers, accountants and business consultants continue to gather weekly in Long Beach to cope with the trials and tribulations, the sorrows and satisfactions, of being middle-class white guys in 1993.
September 3, 1993 |
Welcome to Wally's witty Weltschmerz. It's not your usual take on the cocktail party moody blues. But then Wallace Shawn is hardly a usual playwright, as his sly "Our Late Night" at the Powerhouse proves. Shawn's peephole view of a late-night loft gathering is both hyper-realistic and abstract. The scene may look like just another klatch of bored yuppies and artists, but it's actually a subtly calibrated study in animal behavior.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 5, 1993 |
Are the yuppies coming to Santa Clarita? Some locals seem to think they're already here and it's just a matter of waking up to smell the coffee, or, if you prefer, cafe latte with a sprinkle of nutmeg. While the community is still a long way from a BMW in every garage and a Cuisinart in every kitchen, the opening in September of the Valencia Town Center shopping mall has made an indelible impression.
May 14, 1993 |
D.B. Gilles' "Men's Singles" isn't a soap opera, but it creates the audience demands of one. Like any good soap-maker, Gilles sets up his three characters on parallel tracks that occasionally intersect, then pushes them down the tracks with the hope that we want to keep following them. We would want to, if there were something worth following.
May 2, 1993 |
Guests are lapping up luxury at a trendy new inn--and there's no extra charge for the kisses. Paws Inn is puttin' on the dog with fashionable Manhattan digs just a bone's throw from the Garment District. For $30 a night, or $20 for day-care, yuppie puppies can indulge to their hearts' content. "Our target market is the person who keeps a dog almost as a child," said manager Donald Canade. Bring Fido here and you'll never be in the doghouse again.
April 5, 1993 |
It's nice to know some Hollywood filmmakers have a handle on what's wrong with the world. While the rest of us fret about the economy, crime, disease, war, ethnic cleansing and other "ephemera," "The Crush" (citywide) points its finger squarely at a menace too long ignored: lustful 14-year-old girls.
March 29, 1993 |
In "Hear No Evil" (citywide), when director Robert Greenwald wants to convey the terror and isolation of a deaf woman pursued by killers, he uses two strategies. He either has the sound vanish, or he jacks it up so wildly that footsteps hammer out like a Wagnerian kettledrum. Corny devices, but they work. And "Hear No Evil," dumped unceremoniously into theaters last Friday, without critics' screenings, works better than you'd expect. Not without a struggle, though.