Author: Jana J. Monji

‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ illustrates the impending environmental disaster posed by global warming

Disappointment in the results of the 2000 election was partially assuaged when Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” screened in 2006. That was more than a decade ago and the former vice president hasn’t stopped his campaign to raise national and international awareness about global warming. Directed by Davis Guggenheim, “An Inconvenient Truth” won an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature and Best Original Song. “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” is directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk and was originally focused on Gore’s activities up to the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement. When the film premiered at...

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‘Real Boy’ asks us to think of gender as something more than biological

If you were living in Pasadena in the 1990s you might feel a certain twinge of recognition while watching the award-winning PBS documentary “Real Boy.” You just might know this family. Produced for the Independent Lens series, “Real Boy” is about Bennett, who was raised in Pasadena and whose mother, Suzy, still resides in the area. When we first meet Bennett, he is a she: a young girl named Rachel. Shaleece Haas, a self-proclaimed “queer documentary filmmaker” based in Los Angeles, begins her movie with clips made by the subject on Feb. 7, 1999. This is an intact family...

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Disneynature’s ‘Born in China’ offers stunning images of pandas, monkeys and antelope in their natural habitats

The gorgeously shot “Born in China,” Disneynature’s annual Earth Day offering, includes not only our favorite black and white “bear,” but also a curious 2-year-old golden monkey, a mother snow leopard and her two cubs, and a herd of Tibetan antelope, or chiru.  The film brings a touch of humor to some otherwise difficult true stories of life and death, with potential unsettling scenes tastefully and discreetly edited with minimal horror and gore, making this fine family fare for children of all ages. Director Lu Chuan won a special jury prize from the Tokyo International Film Festival and received...

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‘Ghost’ of Itself

Whitewashing thwarts audience ability to connect with the real ‘Ghost in the Shell’ Paramount Pictures seemed determined to keep critics away from screenings of the much-anticipated “Ghost in the Shell.” Some guessed this was because of persistent complaints about the main character in the live-action version of the popular Japanese manga being played by Marvel’s Black Widow, Scarlett Johansson, who is not East Asian. Perhaps that’s the case. After all, this is just one of a spate of recent instances involving what is known in the film industry as “whitewashing,” or casting whites to portray people of other ethnicities....

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THIS WEEK’S COVER

Upcoming Events

Feb
25
Sun
10:15 am Film Critic, Jazz Vespers at All... @ All Saints Church
Film Critic, Jazz Vespers at All... @ All Saints Church
Feb 25 @ 10:15 am
Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan offers his annual pre-Academy Awards look at what’s hot and what’s not in recent film festivals and the race for the Oscars at 10:15 in the Rector’s Forum.[...]
1:00 pm Castle Green Wedding and Event O... @ Castle Green
Castle Green Wedding and Event O... @ Castle Green
Feb 25 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Couples-to-be can shop for wedding-related goods and services, including caterers, deejays, florists, coordinators and bakeries, from 1 to 4 p.m. Tickets are $10. Visit brownpapertickets.com/event/ /3232486 for tickets.
1:00 pm Sierra Madre Playhouse Event @ Sierra Madre Elementary School
Sierra Madre Playhouse Event @ Sierra Madre Elementary School
Feb 25 @ 1:00 pm
In conjunction with the current production of “Nothing Is the Same,” the Playhouse presents a free family event, a tour of the school’s Japanese Goodwill Garden, plus tea and Japanese tea snacks available for purchase,[...]
4:00 pm Book Signings at Vroman’s @ Vroman's Bookstore
Book Signings at Vroman’s @ Vroman's Bookstore
Feb 25 @ 4:00 pm
Local Author Day features Chiqeeta Jameson, author of “Don’t Sell, Let Them Buy: Master the Sales Conversation and Guide Your Customers to a Successful Outcome…Every Time,” Colette Barris, author of “Claretta Street” and Belinda Busteed[...]
4:00 pm Performances à la Carte @ Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church
Performances à la Carte @ Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church
Feb 25 @ 4:00 pm
Performances à la Carte and Girls on the Run Los Angeles present the performance, “The Innas, Ettas, Annas & Donnas of Mozart’s Operas” is an afternoon of concert arias and duets featuring a variety of[...]

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