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Entertainment & Arts

Calendar feedback: Intro to Ronan Farrow

Ronan Farrow
Ronan Farrow’s new book is “Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators.”
(Gary He / Associated Press)

Mary McNamara’s column [“Lies, Spies and NBC,” Oct. 14] was as usual both interesting and factual, plus it provided information I was totally unaware of. I had no knowledge of Ronan Farrow. Since I was not particularly interested in disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, I did not read much about him, his activities or revelations surrounding allegations of sexual misconduct and all that followed beyond the barest facts.

McNamara succinctly covered many aspects of this whole sordid situation and also introduced me to Farrow, a journalist whom I was unaware of, though I should have been, considering his accomplishments. I will now have to buy and read his book.

Thank you for bringing me such reliable and worthwhile news stories in The Times every day and for having journalists like McNamara and all the others in your employ.

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They make my day, every day.

Love The Times.

Judy Reinsma

Santa Clarita

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Farrow brought down some pretty big players in the entertainment industry. The cover-up included branding journalists as liars, among other things. Even NBC killed his story. But when he found another outlet, the investigation began and toppled some pretty big names.

Which brings me to the subject of Donald Trump. Too bad Farrow hasn’t written a story about Trump’s lies and his alleged sexual abuse of women.

It might help to get the worst president ever impeached.

Ernie Ogren

Torrance

Aces on Trump, entertainment

Until 2017, I would have agreed with the letter writer who feels that the Calendar section is no place to criticize a U.S. president [“Calendar Feedback,” Oct. 13]. But then a former reality TV impresario with no prior government experience took over the White House.

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Ever since, I’ve welcomed the percipient Trump-dissing columns of Lorraine Ali and her colleagues. Their insights often ring more true than what I read in op-ed pieces.

Entertainment writers seem most adept at deconstructing the madcap reality-show governance we’ve suffered since 2017. Please keep running their columns so long as we have a president who warrants them.

Marta Tehrani

Santa Monica

Just who is this Brandi Carlile?

Regarding “Tip of the Hat to Joni” [Oct. 14]: So Brandi Carlile has a supergroup, and she only recently came to admire the work of Joni Mitchell? And just who is Brandi Carlile again? Never heard of her.

Kevin Park

Mission Hills

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Back on road to ‘Breaking Bad’

Although I agreed with much of Lorraine Ali’s review of “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” [“Walt, You Are Missed,” Oct. 12], I was surprised to read her assertion that the title “El Camino” referred to the muscle car that was discarded early in the movie by character Jesse Pinkman.

“El camino” means “the road” in Spanish. The title refers to Jesse’s literal and psychological journey from Albuquerque to Alaska. Given that the “Breaking Bad” series was set in Albuquerque and contained many Latino actors as principal and supporting players, the movie’s title is totally apt.

Gloria Mullendore

Pasadena

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Someone who never watched “Breaking Bad” might find this movie a bit confusing.

As a person who watched the series, I found it to be very entertaining. Understanding the back story and supporting characters goes a long way. It gives some closure to the Jessie story for avid fans.

Gus Rios

El Cajon

Dangerous times

Regarding Kenneth Turan’s review of the newly restored Joseph Losey film “Mr. Klein,” which depicts the Paris of 1942 [“A 1976 Gem With Biting Relevancy,” Oct. 11]: Timely, indeed.

Civilizations, like the humans who inhabit them, have proved themselves limited in their ability to see themselves and their “throw” accurately, often overlooking the very element that will determine their future cultural alchemy. Our present culture, obsessed as it appears to be with denouncement, exposure and humiliation of those in the public eye, may well be venturing unwittingly down the path of past totalitarian states, where denunciation, blacklists, spying on fellow citizens and reporting family members became normative — even, sadly, compulsory.

The cultural endgame of such societies, according to “Mr. Klein,” is “to make everybody on the streets so frightened that they won’t even remotely engage in any kind of activity.”

With the present public eye so intently fixed on the twin villainies depicted by the #MeToo Movement and the Trump presidency, we may find ourselves blindsided by a vastly more pernicious yet subtle repressive mechanism arising from within. “Where,” in your own words, “everyone is at risk whether they know it or not.”

Jeff Denker

Malibu

Where have all the old films gone?

Reading Justin Chang’s erudite and entertaining reviews, especially when he’s attending film festivals, I add the current movies he likes and the old pictures he references to my queue, some going back to the ’50s and ’60s.

I’m a longtime Netflix subscriber, and I added Netflix streaming when I got a smart TV. More than two dozen of those films have been on my list for years. Where are they? Who owns them? Do I have to subscribe to 10 different streamers? Anyone remember the Z Channel?

Florence Weinberger

Malibu

50 platforms and nothing’s on

Regarding Mary McNamara’s column “There’s Just Too Much” [Oct. 13]: Usually, I get frustrated knowing there are great TV shows that I’ll never see. But that article had the opposite effect. Being informed that there were not only dozens of marvelous shows I’ll never watch but also dozens of platforms I’ll probably never get around to left me numb instead of unfulfilled. It was too abstract — like an astronomer telling me there are hundreds of other galaxies.

David Macaray

Rowland Heights

Editors note: There are billions and billions of galaxies.

A star is reborn

Regarding Kenneth Turan’s review “A Joy as ‘Judy’” [Sept. 27]: As a member of the viewing and paying public, I would like to take a moment to give my two cents’ worth on Renée Zellweger’s performance in the Judy Garland biopic “Judy.”

My interest in watching this film was born many years ago as a kid watching my mom develop her adoration for Garland. She was Mother’s favorite entertainer of her era.

Fast-forward to 2019, where Zellwegger’s performance was nothing short of spectacular. I was mesmerized from start to finish. From her mannerisms and voice, she really nailed it.

Marc Sandall

Bakersfield
A unique L.A. artist

As a longtime fan of Lari Pittman’s work, I found Christopher Knight’s review of Pittman’s Hammer Museum exhibit [“Freedom Statement,” Oct. 8] to be, well, a bit queer.

Knight states that “Pittman makes the queerest paintings around.” I guess I sort of understand that as a double-entendre — Pittman’s works are “queer” in the original sense of the word, odd and different, and as alluding to the fact that Pittman is gay.

Knight goes on to read more about Pittman’s sexuality into his works. But I can’t say that I’ve ever seen that in Pittman’s art, and it seems beside the point. Only a few of his works have any sort of sexual connotations, and even then they don’t seem to be making any sort of grand homosexual statements.

Pittman is one of L.A.’s greatest artists, and his art has always been wonderfully abstract, fantastical and technically brilliant. That’s more than enough for me.

Mark Gleason

Costa Mesa


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