Arts & Culture, Interviews »

What Bollywood is to India, truck art is to Pakistan: An artist from Karachi brightens the roads

Posted October 24, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Truck artist Haider Ali and his finished product

For the last few weeks, Karachi-based artist Haider Ali been working around various spots in southern California, mostly in the parking lot of his hosts at the USC Pacific Asia Museum at Los Robles and Union in Pasadena, spiffing up a Ford cargo van.
In his native Pakistan, Ali is one of a handful of prominent truck artists who do brisk business around the country.  India, he says, …

Arts & Culture »

How teaching Shakespeare to middle schoolers transformed a struggling actor

Posted October 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Mel Ryane and her new book at KCRW

Mel Ryane, a classically trained actor, thought the idea seemed simple enough: Volunteer at a local public school to teach kids an appreciation for Shakespeare. Share the joys of literature and the Bard’s life lessons with kids who might not otherwise learn them. Her time on the stage had to have prepared her for the task–no? Well, it turns out, definitely not. Nothing could have primed Ryane for the terror and …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, LA Noir, News »

How Jewish Émigrés Impacted the Birth of Film Noir

Posted October 22, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Film still for Double Indemnity (1944), © Paramount Pictures. Courtesy of the Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Shown from left: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck.

In the 1930s, as the National Socialist Party gained power in Germany, people around the world did what they could to help Jews escape the Nazi threat. Jewish filmmakers and producers found refuge in Hollywood, and their contributions forever changed American cinema and culture. Those stories are told in several new museum exhibits across Los Angeles.

The 1942 classic Casablanca follows a complicated love story …

Arts & Culture, News »

Petersen Museum shifts into idle for major remake

Posted October 20, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
petersendesign

The Petersen Automotive Museum has put on the breaks, shutting down for a year while it undergoes an $80 million remodel.
Before closing down, the Miracle Mile museum held a 20th anniversary fundraising bash this weekend with a concert by the Beach Boys. Museum officials announced a new, $125 million fundraising effort to pay for the renovation and museum operations.
The remodel will include extensive changes …

Arts & Culture »

Inside the Hello Kitty empire: An icon turns 40

Posted October 17, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Allegory of Love by Marc Dennis

My, how the super-cute Japanese export known as Hello Kitty has grown since first adorning a coin purse 40 years ago. For one thing, she’s become an $8 billion international empire, with her image affixed from backpacks to underwear and airplanes to tombstones. She’s also the character that sparked the “cute” culture called kawaii while helping to break down racial barriers at a time before things from …

Arts & Culture »

‘Birdman’ soars into theaters

Posted October 17, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
birdman

The new movie “Birdman” stars Michael Keaton, Edward Norton and Zach Galifianakis, and it’s getting rave reviews.
Keaton stars a washed-up action movie actor looking to revive his career with a Broadway play – but it gets really, really weird.
Our regular weekly film critic Joe Morgenstern is out this week, so joining us in his place is LA Weekly film critic Amy Nicholson. She spoke …

Arts & Culture, News »

Twisted history clouds ‘Easy Rider’ chopper auction

Posted October 17, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
EASYRIDER

Get your motor running…
The “Captain America” chopper ridden by Peter Fonda in the film “Easy Rider” is set to be auctioned this weekend in Calabasas. Sellers are hoping to get more than a million bucks for the bike, which played a central role in the drug-addled road trip flick.
Only one problem – it’s not clear that it’s the original bike.
There were originally two “Captain …

Arts & Culture »

Celebrating the life and work of a cherished writer and teacher

Posted October 15, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
lescloseuplookingdown

This Sunday at 6pm, a book party to be held on the campus of UCLA will also serve as a memorial: the writer Les Plesko committed suicide over a year ago, leading his friends to rally to make sure the book he considered his magnum opus got into print
Plesko taught for nearly 20 years at UCLA Extension, and was an active member in the community of …

Arts & Culture, Interviews, News »

HBO to offer standalone streaming service

Posted October 15, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
hbo-go

The top premium cable TV channel in the U.S., HBO, will start selling a streaming, web-based feed of the movie channel with all its original programs starting next year, for people who do not have cable or satellite TV.
During an investors’ meeting at the New York headquarters of parent company Time Warner today, HBO CEO Richard Plepler said the move will target 80 million …

Arts & Culture, News »

Great in any language: Meet the most famous writer and musician from…Estonia

Posted October 10, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Musician Silver Sepp and writer Kristiina Ehin--Estonia's "it" couple visit LA, and Grand Park

It’s not every day you get invited to meet people from Estonia, much less people who comprise Estonia’s power artistic couple: its most famous writer and in-demand musician.  Where is Estonia?  I myself had to look at a map (N of Latvia, W of Russia,) but after meeting the accomplished writer Kristiina Ehin and her husband of three years, Silver Sepp (yes, Silver is his …

Arts & Culture, News »

A communal experience, delivered over the airwaves – in between English and calculus class

Posted October 8, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
IMG_3833

It’s second period on Friday at Grover Cleveland Charter High School in Reseda, a school of 3,000 students, faculty and staff about an hour’s drive north of downtown LA in the morning rush. Students, aka the cast and crew of KCAV News, stream into the campus TV studio and get to work, putting the final preparations on their weekly news show.
In a matter of minutes, they rehearse, …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Interviews, News »

Photos: Traversing Australia with camels

Posted October 2, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
When Robyn and her caravan reached the Indian Ocean nine months and 2000 arduous miles later, the camels were thunderstruck at the sight of the ocean. They had never seen so much water. They would stop, turn to stare at it, leap sideways, look at one another with their noses all pointed and ridiculous, then stare at it again, then leap forward again. Bub went straight in for a swim. He had not yet learnt what caution was.  © 2014 Rick Smolan/Against All Odds Productions

37 years ago, National Geographic – known for its iconic photographs of nature and its inhabitants – sent American photographer Rick Smolan on a strange and life-changing assignment.
His job was to document the travels of a 27-year-old Australian woman across the desolate outback there.
Robyn Davidson was accompanied only by four camels and a dog.
And Rick Smolan.
The 9-month, 1700-mile journey was captured in Davidson’s astonishing …

Arts & Culture »

You can watch movies from Quentin Tarantino’s personal collection

Posted October 2, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Photo courtesy Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino is having fun. He’s recently taken over the programming helm of the New Beverly Cinema, the theater he bought in 2007 to save it from indie-theater destruction. Starting this month, Tarantino is screening movies right out of his personal collection. And all the movies will be on film, good old-fashioned 35mm film. 
Tarantino joined Elvis Mitchell on The Treatment this week to talk about the project. Below is an edited transcript of …

Arts & Culture, News »

CicLAvia grows up!

Posted October 2, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
CicLAvia Route Map

Los Angeles is supposed to be a city where the car rules supreme and cyclists and pedestrians take a backseat to the needs of motorists. CicLAvia has an antidote to that car-centric notion.
Free, open to all, and with no registration required,  it’s hoped CicLAvia gives people the opportunity to experience the city in a new way, while also promoting health and a wider discussion …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Where feminist art began: Revisiting ‘Womanhouse’

Posted October 1, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Doesn't look historic, but the grounds on which this building sits played an important role in art history

533 N. Mariposa Avenue is an ordinary looking apartment building on a hilltop in the nether land between Koreatown and Los Feliz.  The most remarkable thing about this quiet street is its view of the Griffith Park Observatory.  But the ground on which it sits turns out to be a hallowed bit of contemporary art history.
Back in 1972, pioneering artists Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro, along with 21 …

Arts & Culture »

Coming of age: Lena Dunham interviews Judy Blume

Posted October 1, 2014 by | 5 Comments | ]
Lena Dunham and Judy Blume in New York.

Lena Dunham, best-known as the creator and star of HBO’s “Girls” has a new book out. It’s called “Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” and tells the story of a young women’s self-empowering journey of self-discovery.
Dunham was inspired by Judy Blume, the well-known author whose books like “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” and “Forever” have been must-reads for girls …

Arts & Culture, Interviews »

Los Angeles says bye-bye to flat-top skyscrapers

Posted September 29, 2014 by | 1 Comment | ]
View of Los Angeles' downtown skyline. Photo by jondoeforty1 via Flickr/CC.

Los Angeles is home to 745 of the state’s 1,700 high-rises, and it is the only city in America that requires flat rooftop helipads. But as of today, that rule is no longer in effect.
LA Mayor Eric Garcetti joined Councilman Jose Huizar and fire Chief Ralph Terrazas at the top of the AT&T Center building to announce the changes to the 1974 rule.
The revised …

Arts & Culture, News »

Demystifying a blockbuster hit (in pajamas)

Posted September 26, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Frozen1

If you’ve had any interaction with a little girl who is around five years old, you know the fever: They’re very likely gaga for the animated Disney princess-film, Frozen, which has earned over a billion dollars since its release last year.
What is it about this movie that seeps into young impressionable minds so deeply that girls want to see it over, and over, and over again? Just how did …

Arts & Culture, economy, Education, Environment, Issues, Politics, Sports, Zocalo Public Square »

Mixer: American identity, deconstructed

Posted September 26, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
friday mixer square

America means many things to many people.
Our nation is an amalgam of ideas from myriad perspectives. And those perspectives often get drowned out in a sea of ideology and noise (see: cable news).
This week, Zocalo Public Square, along with the Smithsonian, is asking what it means to be American. With essays and exhibits ranging from the patriotic to paternalistic, from purple mountains to brown …

Arts & Culture, Food »

5 things to make you a savvy LA craft beer drinker

Posted September 26, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Beer sampler. Photo by Quinn Dombrowski/ CC/ Flickr

With LA Beer Week coming to a close this weekend and the start of Oktoberfest upon us, there are a lot of beer-drinking events going on around town (from a block party at Glendale Tap to the official closing night at Timeless Pints in Lakewood).
But what if all you know about beer involves ‘Tapping the Rockies” or how much a keg of Natural Light costs in the …

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