Ed Rampell: Lisa Leeman’s documentary One Lucky Elephant is similar to the 1990s fact-based features Buddy and Gorillas in the Mist starring, respectively, Rene Russo and Sigourney Weaver, as humans living closely with wild animals. All three films study the paradigm of inter-species relationships.
Ed Rampell: This beautiful, moving film goes on to show the eventual meeting(s) of Mburu and his benefactor, who had no idea a charity was named after her. Nor that this Holocaust survivor’s small act of generosity would enable Mburu to play a role in campaigning ethnic cleansing around the world as a U.N. international civil servant, including at his native Kenya.
Ed Rampell: Readers may remember President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s dubious remarks about gays at a Columbia University forum in 2007, and In Dog Sweat Keshavarz dares point his camera directly at the homosexual scene in Tehran, where same sex relationships are probably more controversial than gay marriage is here.
Ed Rampell: Mahler On the Couch is co-written and co-directed by that rarity, a father and son team, Percy (1987’s Bagdad Cafe) and Felix Adlon. Their German language movie reminds me of 1976’s The Seven-Percent- Solution based on Nicholas Meyer’s novel about Sherlock Holmes (Nicol Williamson) being treated by Sigmund Freud (Alan Arkin).
Mike Price: Like I said, dark and stormy with thunder pounding out a maniacal back-beat under the fierce snap-crackling of lightning that slammed against the Truckee River like a homicidal laser beam stabbing through dead-weight Indian-summer air, so screw you, Mrs. Randall, English Composition 101, who said run-on sentences don’t work.
Linda Milazzo: Serendipitously, perhaps even miraculously, a second movie had been made; a documentary originally titled THE CHORUS as a take-off on THE SOLOIST, that was now titled LOST ANGELS. It was an expose dedicated entirely to Skid Row and to the extras employed on THE SOLOIST. Joe Wright was an Executive Producer. Susan Klos, author of the above email, who’d read my article, was a Co-Executive Producer, and Thomas Napper, a long-time associate of Joe Wright, lovingly and patiently directed.
Sharon Kyle: Today is the day we honor our fathers. Many would say I’ve chosen a peculiar way to honor mine. I won’t be having dinner with him. In fact, I will not see him today even though he lives 60 miles away. I will be in a class all day – a California bar review class – as I prepare to take the California Bar Exam. I am a middle-aged woman who has had three major jobs and is now beginning a fourth as a people’s lawyer (after passing the bar) and my father is one of the biggest reasons I push myself the way I do.
Walter G. Moss: Wise person that he was, Sandburg saw that life is both a comedy and tragedy, containing vibrant life and sad death, the beautiful and the ugly, the wise and the foolish, moments of transcendence and ones of banality. As the Bible’s book of Ecclesiastes says (and Sandburg admirer Pete Seeger later adapted for his folk song “Turn, Turn, Turn”)
Mike Price: Many other L.A. saloons (let’s face it, they’re ALL saloons) have enjoyed a healthy share of celebrity. Scandia. The Cock ‘n Bull. The Ming Room…all successful, all popular, and all gone. Only a very few well-known bistros prospered until they became the stuff of legends. Among those is Chez Jay’s.
The novel affected me like no other, in my young life. It helped me get through some tough moments during that summer, and made life a little lighter. I have always wanted to thank Mr. Bradbury for writing such a story as Dandelion Wine, but never had the chance, even though he lived not far from my house.
Michael Sigman: Just as it was perversely gratifying to find out that no one — including the experts — understood the complex financial derivatives that undermined the global economy, it’s nice to know that even the top physicists don’t really understand the mind-bending contradictions of quantum theory.
Ed Rampell: This biopic purports to tell the tale of a fabled beauty who became embroiled in political turmoil, and of her romance with an Englishman. The movie’s press notes assert that, “Princess Kaiulani is the inspiring true story of the Hawaiian princess.” The problem is that this is a dubious claim. The simple fact of the matter is that Kaiulani opens with a historically inaccurate scene that never happened, and much of the movie is likewise historically suspect.
The Great Reckoning of Ragnorak: Wagner, Valhalla, Wall Street and the Twilight of Capitalism’s Gods
Carl Matthes: “Mandela’s Way” is about life and one’s reaction to it. It demonstrates the need for us to understand our own motivations and the need for us to develop and articulate our own sense of Life, Love and Courage. The almost three years it took for Richard Stengel to chronicle Nelson Mandela’s life’s lessons and then condense it to enjoyable readable form, makes this book indispensable.
Tom Degan: I imagine that it must not have been easy being Lenny Bruce. He was a man who saw the world as it really is – minus the rose-colored lenses that were the fashion rage during the age of Eisenhower and the New Frontier. “People should be taught what is”, he told us, “not what should be”. There had never been a comedian like him before. His humor was real. It could even be bleak. But he was always – to the very end – screamingly funny. That his was a troubled soul there can be no argument. Newsweek once described him as a “self-destructive genius of a dirty time.”
Georgianne Nienaber: It has been five years coming, but Susan Cowsill’s second solo CD, Lighthouse (Threadhead), is a triumph over life’s uncertainties in the wake of natural and personal disasters. The album’s lyricism offers hope and inspiration that life indeed goes on if one carries fire in the soul, hope in the heart, and a belief that we are all here for a reason