Out and About in LA


My wife and I recently returned from a jaunt to sunny Los Angeles. We were fortunate enough to be able to do a great deal in a six-day sweep: the Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, the Hollywood sign, Getty Villa, Warner Brothers Studios, the Grove, LACMA, La Brea Tar Pits, Hollywood Boulevard and about seven different Coffee Bean and Tea Leafs. We hitched an occasional ride with relatives, but the majority of our travel (including rides to and from our hometown NY airports) were on Uber – the smartphone-based, on-demand car service. Continue reading “Out and About in LA”

The New Hollywood Code, Part II

zero-dark-thirty-wallpapers-eIn light of our post last week on the collusion between Hollywood and Beijing, I figured that it might be worth addressing a recent critique of the film industry.  Three senators, as well as a handful of Hollywood stars, have voiced objections to Zero Dark Thirty‘s depiction of torture as being a useful means of extracting the information that lead to the elimination of Osama Bin Laden. The senators, all past or present members of the Select Committee on Intelligence, admit that although the film is a work of fiction, “the people who see Zero Dark Thirty will believe the events portrayed in it are facts. The film therefore has the potential to shape American public opinion in a disturbing and misleading manner…you have a social and moral obligation to get the facts right.”

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The New Hollywood Code

ImageThere is a fascinating article in The New York Times that explores the increasing level of coordination between Hollywood studios and Chinese censors. The studios – like all other industries – want access to China’s vast population, which has newfound disposable income and a greater desire for Western entertainment and material goods. But the Chinese government rigidly filters what elements make their way into theaters, generally censoring extreme sex scenes, religious criticism, and lukewarm sentiments about China itself. These limitations are unsurprising, given the government’s ban on pornography, wariness of religion, and repressive maintenance of a positive national image.

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