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  • Chabrol's seductive 'Swindle' delivers right on the mark

    Chabrol's seductive 'Swindle' delivers right on the mark

    Note: Five of French director Claude Chabrol’s later films — “Betty” (1992), “Color of Lies” (1999), “Night Cap” (2000), “The Swindle” (1997) and “Torment” (1994), all featuring some of France’s biggest stars of the era — screen as part of the “Chabrol 5 X 5” series. Below is The Times’ April 23,...

  • Chabrol's 'Betty' serves up a slice of dark, obsessive life

    Chabrol's 'Betty' serves up a slice of dark, obsessive life

    Note: Five of French director Claude Chabrol’s later films — “Betty” (1992), “Color of Lies” (1999), “Night Cap” (2000), “The Swindle” (1997) and “Torment” (1994), all featuring some of France’s biggest stars of the era — screen as part of the “Chabrol 5 X 5” series. Below is The Times’ Aug. 27,...

  • French film noir series screens in Santa Monica

    French film noir series screens in Santa Monica

    The French not only named film noir but it turns out they also had a gift for working in this dark and twisty genre. The American Cinematheque offers a chance to experience eight of these bleak gems in “The French Had a Name for It 2,” the sequel to last year’s groundbreaking series. Opening things...

  • Solange's surprising and intimate release of her new album 'A Seat at the Table'

    Solange's surprising and intimate release of her new album 'A Seat at the Table'

    In a time of flashy album drops and steaming music exclusives, Solange Knowles, who performs simply as Solange, opted for intimacy when it came to rolling out her highly anticipated third full-length effort, “A Seat at the Table.”  It started a week ago when the singer-songwriter quietly launched...

  • Here are just a few of the Hollywood stars who cut their teeth on Agnes Nixon shows

    Here are just a few of the Hollywood stars who cut their teeth on Agnes Nixon shows

    The death of Agnes Nixon on Wednesday  prompted a look back on a career that spanned decades and gave dozens of actors who turned into Hollywood household names their start.  Through the creation of soap operas such as “One Life to Live,” “All My Children” and “Loving,” Nixon revolutionized daytime...

  • Steve Gunn brings a wandering, cosmic spirit to guitar-based rock

    Steve Gunn brings a wandering, cosmic spirit to guitar-based rock

    In this always-on, phone-obsessed era, Steve Gunn’s “Eyes On the Lines” is a rarity. It’s a plugged-in guitar-focused rock record about unplugging and tuning out. It sounds relaxed. Released earlier this year via respected New York indie Matador, it’s an album about getting lost in the little details...

  • The L.A. Phil’s opening gala at Disney Hall finds Dudamel & Co. in full jazz swing

    The L.A. Phil’s opening gala at Disney Hall finds Dudamel & Co. in full jazz swing

    A gala’s a gala.  Who can ask for anything more?  Well, critics do all the time, and so, my emails show, do at least some concertgoers who complain of same old, same old with the annual galas that begin symphony orchestra seasons the country over. The star soloists tend to be overexposed, as does,...

  • Review: Stars swap songs in L.A. at Country Hall of Fame benefit

    Review: Stars swap songs in L.A. at Country Hall of Fame benefit

    Education is a key mission at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.  That made the 11th edition of the organization’s annual All for the Hall benefit concert and fundraiser an ideal companion piece. Emcee and 20-time Grammy Award winner Vince Gill and guest participants James Taylor,...

  • Lin-Manuel Miranda not throwing away his shot to host 'Saturday Night Live'

    Lin-Manuel Miranda not throwing away his shot to host 'Saturday Night Live'

    He’s won an Emmy, a Grammy, a Pulitzer Prize and a few Tonys, but there are still a million things that Lin-Manuel Miranda hasn’t done. But he’ll soon add another big accomplishment to his resumé. Miranda will return to center stage Oct. 8 when he hosts “Saturday Night Live” with musical guest...

  • 'Miss Peregrine' expected to top 'Deepwater Horizon' and 'Magnificent Seven' at the box office

    'Miss Peregrine' expected to top 'Deepwater Horizon' and 'Magnificent Seven' at the box office

    Tim Burton’s new movie about an orphanage for fantastically gifted kids is expected to debut at the head of its class at the box office this weekend, expelling last week’s victor, “The Magnificent Seven,” from the top of the charts. “Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children,” from 20th Century...

  • Chinese movies cement control of China box office

    Chinese movies cement control of China box office

    Chinese films nearly swept the country’s box office last week, after getting sidelined earlier this month by American blockbusters. The Chinese-Hong Kong fantasy saga “A Chinese Odyssey: Part Three” topped the list for the second week in a row, according to film industry consulting firm Artisan...

  • A 'galaxy' of sound: L.A.'s King makes R&B on its own terms

    A 'galaxy' of sound: L.A.'s King makes R&B on its own terms

    No one rules the members of King. Based in Los Angeles, this crafty R&B trio writes, performs and produces its own music, a rare instance of artistic autonomy in a world defined by behind-the-scenes direction. What’s more, twin sisters Paris and Amber Strother and their friend Anita Bias handle...

  • At LACMA's Toba Khedoori show, enchanting mysteries burn beneath a fragile surface

    At LACMA's Toba Khedoori show, enchanting mysteries burn beneath a fragile surface

    What is burning in Toba Khedoori’s fireplace? In 2005, the L.A.-based artist made a painting of a domestic hearth ablaze, the life-size image rendered at viewer eye-level on an immense field of waxy white paper pieced together from two smaller sheets. (Overall, it’s more than 11 feet tall and 16...

  • R&B innovator Kashif Saleem dies at 59

    R&B innovator Kashif Saleem dies at 59

    When Kashif Saleem was sent the demo for a tender ballad called “You Give Good Love,” he felt it was a hit. The track had originally been destined for jazzy R&B singer Roberta Flack, whose assistant rebuffed the demo writer.  But Saleem had a different singer in mind. He had seen a young artist...

  • Denzel Washington and Viola Davis enter Oscar race with 'Fences' trailer

    Denzel Washington and Viola Davis enter Oscar race with 'Fences' trailer

    Even before production began on “Fences” in  April, many awards season pundits already had the film’s stars on their lists of likely Oscar nominees. On Tuesday, we got to see why, when Paramount Pictures put out the first trailer for the movie starring Viola Davis and Denzel Washington, who also...

  • 'Blueberry Toast' from Echo Theater Company is a darkly whimsical dish

    'Blueberry Toast' from Echo Theater Company is a darkly whimsical dish

    The kitchen wallpaper is relentlessly cheery. Board games are scattered on the floor, eagerly waiting to be picked up again. All the ingredients for a scrumptious breakfast stand at the ready. Something is obviously wrong with this picture. In “Blueberry Toast,” playwright Mary Laws creates a storybook...

  • All of Bob Dylan's 1966 live shows in 36-CD box set due Nov. 11

    All of Bob Dylan's 1966 live shows in 36-CD box set due Nov. 11

    A 36-CD box set featuring every known recording of Bob Dylan’s historic 1966 concert tour will be released Nov. 11, providing a companion piece to last year’s ambitious set documenting his studio recordings from 1965 and 1966. “Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings” will feature songs taken from...

  • At a Houston museum filled with coffins and hearses, it's time for 'Death 101'

    At a Houston museum filled with coffins and hearses, it's time for 'Death 101'

    Linda Gravelle stared into the hearse. Thirty seconds went by and she lifted her camera, wanting to remember the moment. “Wow,” she whispered. “So beautiful.” But it wasn’t a departed loved one that gripped her attention. It was a small, horse-drawn carriage from 1832 — one of several early-model...

  • Lester Holt gets out of the way as moderator, and the spin room approves

    Lester Holt gets out of the way as moderator, and the spin room approves

    “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt moderated his first presidential debate like a boxing referee who lets the fighters go at it in the middle of the ring. Holt’s largely unobtrusive style during the first meeting Monday night of Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton had...

  • Why Disney is unlikely to buy Twitter

    Why Disney is unlikely to buy Twitter

    One is an entertainment giant famous for exacting tight control over its content. The other is a tech firm whose commitment to free speech has earned it a reputation as a hub for news and a haven for online harassment.  Together, they make for a brow-raising pairing. But stranger things have happened...

  • China's Dalian Wanda Group in talks to buy Dick Clark Productions

    China's Dalian Wanda Group in talks to buy Dick Clark Productions

    Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group is in talks to buy a controlling stake in the iconic Dick Clark Productions, a move that would further accelerate its rapid push into Hollywood. The deal would value the production firm at as much as $1 billion, according to one person familiar with the process...

  • Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra serves up a sandwich of sad and sweet

    Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra serves up a sandwich of sad and sweet

    Not quite two weeks after turning 60, Jeffrey Kahane began his 20th and final season as music director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra last weekend. He was buoyant, opening with one of Bach’s most overtly jubilant cantatas and ending with what the conductor described as the most joyous symphony...

  • Herschell Gordon Lewis, filmmaker and ‘godfather of gore,' dies at 87

    Herschell Gordon Lewis, filmmaker and ‘godfather of gore,' dies at 87

    Herschell Gordon Lewis, the horror filmmaker known as the “godfather of gore,” has died. He was 87.  The director of such films as “Blood Feast” and “Two Thousand Maniacs” died in his sleep early Monday, spokesman James Saito said.  Lewis pioneered the horror genre in the 1960s known as the “splatter...

  • Everyone's a little bit political: 'Avenue Q' puppets stage their own Clinton-Trump debate

    Everyone's a little bit political: 'Avenue Q' puppets stage their own Clinton-Trump debate

    The presidential candidates had come to a New York stage to make their plea to voters: Hillary Clinton, building a case for her experience, and Donald Trump, arguing for his outsider vigor. Each had a disadvantage — or, depending on your level of political apathy, an advantage: They were puppets....

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