One Day in the Capitalist Life of a Rooster

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Charles Orloski: Two things certain though: the Orloski-family winning lottery ticket would get us through until next payday, and Susan Gensiak & family will probably do jail time.

When I’m 64, Remembering ’64

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Michael Sigman: The upcoming Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be the first hosted by the New York Mets since 1964, reminding me that following the All-Star break that same year, my St. Louis Cardinals staged one of the most thrilling comeback stories in baseball history.

Hemingway and Salinger Died For Your Sins: An Independence Day Exchange

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Gary Corseri and Adam Engel: It’s interesting that while Salinger and Hemingway were literally like a balm to each other’s frazzled nerves during that surreal winter in the Hürtgen forest, apocalyptic beyond words, and they remained bonded through that experience

The Humanities Make Life Bearable

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Peter Laarman: Actually, my dears, what is killing the humanities is precisely the empire-in-decline anxiety that drives this report: the sense that Chinese college grads these days might actually know their Moliere and their Montesquieu better than our grads do.

The Royal Family: The Acting Bug Biteth

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Ed Rampell: George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber’s 1927 The Royal Family is a love letter to the act of acting, and, in particular, to the actors and actresses who trod the boards and appear onscreen.

Quis Custodiet?

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Gary Corseri: So they padlocked me in Solitary! An hour a day in sun or rain, in an orange jump-suit— Like a clown—outdoors.

Walking on the “Wild Side”: “20 Feet From Stardom” & the Black Female Gaze

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Sikivu Hutchinson: Using Lou Reed’s homage as its introduction, white director Morgan Neville’s bittersweet documentary “20 Feet from Stardom” attempts to bring black female back-up singers into the foreground with both moving and problematic effect.

American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs

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Ed Rampell: This progressive picture is about the Chinese-American woman whom Angela Davis declares onscreen to have “made more of a contribution to Black people than most Blacks.”

Winter in the Blood: The Winter of Their Discontent

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Ed Rampell: Winter in the Blood imparts an excellent sense of the impact this foreign invasion and occupation has had on America’s aboriginal inhabitants.

Yes, Prime Minister: Wry, Sly, Brit Wit

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Ed Rampell: Yes, Prime Minister’s bristling dialogue is decidedly political and full of humorous social commentary about the British power elite, plus the expediency and opportunism that characterizes affairs (figuratively and literally) of state.

Dormant Beauty: The Right to Die Is Near

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Ed Rampell: Bellocchio is still pushing the proverbial envelope — his latest offering, Dormant Beauty, sort of combines the searing look at sickness and hard hitting politics of his first two features with yet another forbidden subject.

The Man You Love to Hate: Tricky Dick Rides Again!

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Ed Rampell: “Our Nixon” is a compilation film by Penny Lane about the only U.S. President (so far!) who resigned and had to leave that office is disgrace.

Five Poems Mayor Garcetti Should Read

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The Frying Pan: A successful mayor and council cannot be satisfied with merely coping as issues arise, but must be able to anticipate and define the city´s needs for the next four years. As our newly elected leaders prepare for their roles, we´ve asked writers to share their thoughts about what lies ahead for Los Angeles.

Capital: Left vs. Right

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Ed Rampell: This behind-the-scenes expose of the banksters and their nefarious high finance manipulations and machinations is a fictional, highly entertaining counterpart to Oscar winning documentary Inside Job, about Wall Street’s massive defrauding of the people — at taxpayer expense.

Before He Became Muhammad Ali: One Night In Miami

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Ed Rampell: One Night in Miami… has a deliciously enticing “what if?” notion based on limited documentation regarding what really happened behind closed doors after Cassius Clay (the appropriately irrepressible Matt Jones) whooped Sonny Liston in the Sunshine State.

Dirty Wars Jeremy Scahill — In Selected Cities

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Catch investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill for a LIVE Q&A after his Sundance Award-winning film “DIRTY WARS” at the 7:40pm show on Wednesday, June 12, at the Landmark Theater in LA!

Taming of the Shrew: Dis Me, Kate

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Ed Rampell: “Hark! What light breaks through yonder canyon?” Why, it’s none other than another repertory season of revels and revelations at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, made glorious summer by these sons and daughters of Geers.

The Greatness of Les Misérables and Anna Karenina: The Books Not the Films

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Walter Moss: Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables and Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina are great works. Having recently watched their latest film versions, I can’t say the same for them, though Les Mis seemed better than Anna.

The Radical Non-Politics of ‘The East’

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Keith Woodhouse: The East, just out this weekend, is a movie ostensibly about radical anarcho-environmentalists that has little to say about radicalism, anarchism, or environmentalism.

Cruising the Caribbean: The Titanic II Sets Sail

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Catherine Cocks: In 2011 some 5,722,000 people cruised the Caribbean. Even without the opportunity to sail on a resurrected Titanic, they partake in luxuries inspired by those of the previous century’s transatlantic liners.

To Begin the World Over Again: The Life of Thomas Paine

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Ed Rampell: The bioplay, expertly acted by Ruskin, reveals that Paine was a sort of Trotsky of the American Revolution — the world revolutionary who wound up as a prophet outcast.

Évocateur: TV’s Agent Provocateur

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Ed Rampell: While William F. Buckley presented an erudite face for reactionary politics, Morton Downey Jr.’s moronic ravings was really a far more honest mode of expressing the right-wing lunacy masquerading as the free market or imperial foreign policy, which started running amok in the 1980s.

Sightseers: Trailer Trash Smash Bash

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Ed Rampell: Sightseers is a sort of demented On the Road meets Thelma and Louise meets Bonnie and Clyde, with a dash of Manson tribe sprinkled on top for good measure.

What’s Going On at UAardvark?

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Steve Hochstadt: Administrative malfeasance, corporate greed, and faculty passivity spin out of control at UAardvark, when a burnt-out, hard-drinking, lone wolf, formerly radical English professor, Jake Holland, decides to take on the military-industrial-academic complex that is ruining American education.

“The Great Gatsby’s” Historical Razzle-Dazzle

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Bruce Chadwick: The result is a lavish, splendid, elegant, bombastic story about the twenties that simply soars. Most importantly, for history’s sake, a director has finally shown Gatsby as the gangster he was, and clearly defined in Fitzgerald’ book.

Memorial Day: Sick of Heroes

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Gary Corseri: I am sick of the voices of heroes!/They cry from maniacal graves: “Why do you hurry and turn away—/You who are warmed by the sun?

Cafe Inquiry’s Skeptic SINema Series: Monty Python’s Life of Brian

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Hollywood Progressive/LA Progressive film critic/historian Ed Rampell will introduce the movie and lead a post-screening discussion.

Linda Le Kinff: Off to the Races

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James Rhodes: Perhaps it is her wildly colorful style or the exaggerated use of glowing women and hidden cats or maybe it has something to do with the tranquility of her work that connects with the “common man” — certainly an artist of the people.

Movies and Memories of Our Racist Past

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Charles Hayes: What 42 makes crystal clear is how shallow and superficial the strain of contempt is that enables and sustains racism as prejudice is handed down from one generation to the next.

Robinson Jeffers: America’s Neglected-At-Our-Peril Poet-Prophet

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Gary Corseri: Jeffers gaze was not so much bitter as it was unflinching, steady, resolute and sui generis. “The cold passion for truth,” he wrote, “hunts in no pack.”

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