When you can't beat the slowness of late summer as an entertainment season, you can at least embrace it, and that's what we did this week. Dog days of summer winding down, you say? We say it's time to talk about pop culture dogs. Not dogs in the "lousy product" sense, but dogs in the sense of literal, actual dogs. Faithful, friendly, silly, whether the size of an ottoman or the size of a wallet.
Ben Mattlin has defied expectations for his entire life — starting with being alive at all. Mattlin has a condition called spinal muscular atrophy, and many infants born with it don't live past age 2. But Mattlin grew up to be one of the first students using a wheelchair to attend Harvard. He married, had a family and is now the author of a new memoir, Miracle Boy Grows Up: How the Disability Rights Revolution Saved My Sanity.
Trekking through a post-apocalyptic world in <em>The Day,</em> haggard survivors Adam (Shawn Ashmore), Mary (Ashley Bell), Shannon (Shannyn Sossamon), Rick (Dominic Monaghan) and Henson (Cory Hardrict) come upon a farmhouse that may provide much needed shelter and supplies — as well as hidden dangers.
Credit Anchor Bay
In the post-apocalyptic film world, the tactic du jour for tipping off an audience that civilization and its inhabitants have all but kicked it seems to be simple color correction — specifically, zapping the frame of any lively hues and leaving behind a desolate palette of gray. Call it 50 shades of desaturated desperation.
Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 10:46 am
Wayward Lily (Juno Temple) falls for Jesse (Kyle Gallner), the head of a nihilistic skater gang from Los Angeles, in <em>Little Birds,</em> a story suffused with deprivation and despair.
Credit Millennium Entertainment
The title of Elgin James' debut feature, Little Birds, refers to the two teenage girls at its center. But for all the sweetness and fragility that title suggests, one of those girls, Lily (Juno Temple), has a knack for destruction better suited to a charging rhino.
Lily, in fact, is the stuff of parents' worst nightmares about what their children might become as teenagers: sullen, willful, cruel, smart enough to know how to hurt those closest to her with a few well-chosen words but too dumb to know how to protect herself from harm.
Yu Hua Tian (Chen Kun) and Chow Wai On (Jet Li) battle it out in <em>Flying Swords</em>, which translate's <em>wuxia</em> films' physics-defying action into 3-D.
Credit CAO Kai Ping, Jupiter Wong, YIN Nan / Indomina Releasing
A Tsui Hark movie in 3-D — not to mention the first wuxia film to be shot in the format — ought to serve up three times the spectacle of the usual Tsui affair. And damned if Flying Swords of Dragon Gate doesn't almost deliver.
This interview was originally broadcast on May 22, 2012. David Alan Grier plays Sporting Life in the opera Porgy and Bess, which closes on Broadway next month. Porgy and Bess won two Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.
This interview was originally broadcast on May 15, 2012. Audra McDonald plays Bess in the opera Porgy and Bess, which closes on Broadway next month. Porgy and Bess won two Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.
Zadie Smith is the author of <em>White Teeth</em> and <em>On Beauty</em>.
Credit Dominique Nabokov / Penguin Group
Some postal codes encapsulate a socioeconomic profile in tidy shorthand: 10021 for Manhattan's tony Upper East Side, NW6 and NW10 for London's racially mixed, resolutely ungentrified northwest quadrant. Zadie Smith's London birthplace — a major wellspring of her work — is the setting of NW, her ambitious though somewhat dilatory fourth novel, which tackles issues of fortune and failure, class and ethnicity, and the often guilt-inducing and sometimes blurry lines between them.