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JANE JACOBS

Jane Jacobs, 1961.
Image credit: New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection

“[Jane Jacobs’] name still summons an entire city vision—the much watched corner, the mixed-use neighborhood—and her holy tale is all the stronger for including a nemesis of equal stature: Robert Moses, the Sauron of the street corner. The New York planning dictator wanted to drive an expressway through lower Manhattan, and was defeated, the legend […]

HEROES: DAVID BOWIE AND BERLIN

Image credit: Reaktion Books

David Bowie moved to Berlin in late 1976 and stayed—on and off—for about two years. He recorded 32 songs for the “Berlin triptych”—Low, Heroes, and Lodger—but none of this dovetails too neatly: Low was started at Château d’Hérouville (“Honky Château”), outside Paris, and Lodger was recorded in Montreux. Only Heroes was made at Hansa Studios […]

ABDELLAH TAÏA IN CONVERSATION

Abdellah Taïa, Infidels
Image credit: Seven Stories Press

Abdellah Taïa joins West Hollywood City Poet Steven Reigns for a discussion about Taïa’s novel Infidels. Published in 2016 by Seven Stories Press, Infidels is the story of Jallal, a young gay Muslim and son of a prostitute witch doctor. This ALOUD program at the Central Library is presented by the Library Foundation of Los […]

DIETRICH AND VON STERNBERG

Clive Brook and Marlene Dietrich in Shanghai Express
Image credit: 1001 Film Odyssey

“Marlene Dietrich actually was rather modest in a very appealing way. [She] was fortunate, as was the man who found her [Josef Von Sternberg]. This is one of the great collaborations—for five years Dietrich was willing to subject herself to one man’s guidance, at the risk of destroying the very success he offered her with […]

EDWARD ALBEE’S ART OF CORROSION

Russell Harvard (left) as Jerry and Troy Kotsur as Peter in The Wallis and Deaf West Theatre's co-production of Edward Albee's At Home at the Zoo.
Photograph by

“I suddenly was able to breathe….I knew when I wrote THE ZOO STORY [in 1958] that this was invention, this was creativity. This wasn’t a ‘what if,’ taking ideas from other people.” — Edward Albee* THE ZOO STORY—a raw confrontation between two men, Jerry and Peter, in Central Park—set the theatrical world of fire at a […]

SAMUEL FULLER

Image Credit: Film Affinity

One didn’t talk to pulp-filmmaker Samuel Fuller about “narrative” and “discourse.” Fuller spun yarns—gripping, overheated tales of warfare, psychosis, and boardroom-capitalism-as-gangsterism—as the country transitioned from depressed isolation prior to WW II to predatory empire in the ’50s, ’60s, and beyond. A high-school dropout, Fuller was a teenage cub reporter for the New York Evening Graphic […]

JAMES BALDWIN

“There are too many things we do not wish to know about ourselves. People are not, for example, terribly anxious to be equal (equal, after all, to what and to whom?), but they love the idea of being superior….Furthermore, I have met only a very few people—and most of these were not American—who had any […]