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Sarah Butler Strikes the Final Blow

In the midst of an afternoon interview, I Spit on Your Grave star Sarah Butler stops mid-sentence and exclaims, “That dog is wearing sunglass!” —This comes as a burly canine, sitting in the passenger seat of a BMW, sporting shades looking ever so L.A., passes by. —“I love it!”

 

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In the Shadows of Mean Streets, Sean Baker Crowns The Prince of Broadway

It is easy to spot a talented director — give him a paltry budget, no trained actors and the streets of NYC as his set and see what happens. In the case of the uber talented Sean Baker, what happens is magic, pure and simple. The Prince of Broadway, written, directed, shot and financed by Baker, relies heavily on the untapped talents of mostly unknown and non-professional actors. The film tells the story Lucky, a charismatic hustler eking out a living in the underbelly of New York’s wholesale fashion district. An illegal immigrant from Ghana, Lucky makes ends meet by soliciting shoppers on the street with knock-off brand merchandise. Life is good for Lucky, but his dreams are suddenly upended when a child is thrust into his world by a woman who insists the toddler is his son.

 

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Diana Maria Riva Is One of “The Good Guys”

All I know is I’d make a terrible police officer in real life,” laughs actress Diana Maria Riva who plays Lieutenant Ana Ruiz  on “The Good Guys,” FOX’s hit series about an old-school cop and a modern-day detective in the Dallas Police Department.

“I spent a lot of time in Dallas with a female lieutenant to prepare for this role. As a police officer, you have to keep your emotions in check, and you have to be tough. I wear my emotions on my sleeve. Ruiz has maybe buried her emotions a little too deep, but I love the challenge in playing her.”

 

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Love Blooms in Scarcity and Silence Warwick Thornton’s Samson and Delilah

A quiet love blooms in an arid desert amid poverty and neglect. In a small community on a Central Australian reservation, An incorrigible teenage boy sets his eye on a girl from a neighboring shack. The young woman lives with her grandmother, an elderly artist, with whom she makes Aboriginal paintings to earn a meager living. Samson attempts to woo Delilah by throwing a rock at her and tagging along on her errands. Undeterred by the cold shoulder, he tosses his mattress over her fence, cooks her a kangaroo for dinner, and still he’s rebuffed. Yet when Delilah is blamed for the passing of her grandmother and Samson starts a feud with his brother, boy whisks girl off in a stolen truck and their silent, pensive, turbulent romance begins. In his first feature film, director Warwick Thornton tells an intimate story of two complex characters who barely speak throughout, while offering a penetrating look at a people most of us know nothing about: young native Central Australians living in squalor, hungry, addicted to petrol fumes, yearning to connect.

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Mary Jo Deschanel Returns to the Family Business

“It’s a whole new chapter in my life. I’ve never been known as a writer at all,” says veteran actress Mary Jo Deschanel on writing and launching “d th n vnc” (death in venice), her one woman show making its world premiere at the Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club this October. “A lot of times when people hear ‘one woman show’ they assume you’re performing a personal monologue. This one’s not, per se, but I do think we all reveal who we are in what we choose to talk about.”

 

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To Be Married in “Venice” Andrea Goss Sets the Stage for Hope

Andrea Goss enters a room with the same captivating presence she carries with her onto the stage. For her, there really is no difference. “As an actor, you want to tap into a universal humanity, the feelings and emotions that we all share and experience, with any character that you’re playing,” she says, preparing for the day’s rehearsal of “Venice,” an exciting and innovative new musical (blending hip-hop and opera with the dramatic elements of Shakespearean and Greek tragedy) playing this fall at The Kirk Douglas Theatre. “When I work on a character, I draw from a lot of similarities and ties to myself. I take a lot of myself, things that I share with the character, with me to the stage — as much as I can.”

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Jann Turner’s Engaging White Wedding

South African filmmaker Jann Turner has had a tumultuous relationship with her native homeland. The daughter of anti apartheid activist Rick Turner, assassinated in 1978, shot through a window of his home, he died in the arms of then 13-year-old Jann.

Nelson Mandela described Rick Turner as “a source of inspiration,” and following his murder, teenage Jann and her family fled South Africa for the UK. A graduate of NYU Film School, Turner eventually returned home and fostered a successful directing career in television. A published author currently working on her third novel, Turner spent the summer vacationing in Venice Beach, yet life back home is never far from her thoughts.

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Junip Finds Their Groove Playing in Fields

There’s a lot of climbing at Junip’s performance at the Center for the Arts in Eagle Rock. The Swedish trio, focused around Jose Gonzales, known for his solo work and his Zero 7 collaborations, is performing to a packed venue. The stage being only a few inches above ground level, the eager audience is doing what it can to see the band, hence the clambering onto chairs, boxes, flight cases, window ledges, anything that will give them some height. Once in view, Junip live is expanded to five members, the majority of them on some kind of percussion instrument. Not unlike his solo performances, Gonzalez sits clutching his 12-string guitar, and sings like he is singing only for you.

 



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