California Literary Review

Permanent Link to 100 Greatest Gangster Films: <em>The Godfather</em>, #1

100 Greatest Gangster Films: The Godfather, #1

May 29th, 2013

by George Anastasia, Glen Macnow

The Godfather made careers, most notably those of Francis Ford Coppola and Al Pacino, despite the fact that both of them were almost fired during production. All these years later, it’s still thrilling to watch Pacino as Michael, the Don’s youngest son, evolve from an innocent outsider among his own family into a stone-hearted killer. Watch Pacino’s eyes deaden over the course of the 175-minute film as he becomes the man his father never wanted him to be. It’s why The Godfather is, ultimately, a tragedy.

Permanent Link to <em>Mad Men</em> Recap: “The Better Half” (Season 6, Episode 9)

Mad Men Recap: “The Better Half” (Season 6, Episode 9)

May 28th, 2013

by Julia Rhodes

Poor Peggy Olson. She was doing so well, the last time we checked in on her. But in the world of Mad Men, no one gets to balance work, love, and happiness. It’s just not in the cards.

Permanent Link to <em>Revolution</em> Recap: ‘Children of Men’ (Season 1, Episode 19)

Revolution Recap: ‘Children of Men’ (Season 1, Episode 19)

May 28th, 2013

by Brett Harrison Davinger

Thankfully, the show gives another reason why it would be dangerous to return power. Sure, we get the usual crap exchange of “we can’t do it because people will have guns and be dangerous” with the follow up of ”But hospitals!” But tonight, we learn that when the light is restored, there’s a chance that the world will catch on fire.

Permanent Link to 100 Greatest Gangster Films: <em>The Godfather: Part II</em>, #2

100 Greatest Gangster Films: The Godfather: Part II, #2

May 28th, 2013

by George Anastasia, Glen Macnow

Al Pacino reprises his role as Michael and offers us an Ivy League Machiavelli. He has his father’s cunning and guile, but somewhere along the way lost his compassion. How else do you explain his decision to have his own brother, Fredo (John Cazale), killed long after any damage Fredo has done to the family has been repaired?

Permanent Link to 100 Greatest Gangster Films: <em>Goodfellas</em>, #3

100 Greatest Gangster Films: Goodfellas, #3

May 27th, 2013

by George Anastasia, Glen Macnow

There is no romance here. No looking out for one’s people. No myth of a moral code. Instead, GoodFellas is about psychopaths who steal, kill and ultimately betray each other. It’s two-and-a-half hours of blood, depravity and—that most American of vices—greed. Director Martin Scorsese summed up his subjects’ wiseguy lifestyle in three words: “Want. Take. Simple.” Oh, and by the way, it’s a brilliant movie packed with dozens of colorful characters.

Permanent Link to 100 Greatest Gangster Films: <em>On the Waterfront</em>, #4

100 Greatest Gangster Films: On the Waterfront, #4

May 26th, 2013

by George Anastasia, Glen Macnow

All these years later, On the Waterfront continues to work as a magnificent bit of drama—and as a gangster movie. The story of a little man caught between principles and loyalties always resonates. And, last we checked, the problem of mob influence on America’s labor unions hasn’t gone away.

Permanent Link to 100 Greatest Gangster Films: <em>Pulp Fiction</em>, #5

100 Greatest Gangster Films: Pulp Fiction, #5

May 25th, 2013

by George Anastasia, Glen Macnow

Part of the joy is not always knowing who the good guys are. Tarantino shot Pulp Fiction as a time-twisting weave of stories where villains can become heroes, or a guy peppered with bullets in one scene comes back from the dead, so to speak, in the next. Behind it all is a hipness in everything from the wardrobe to the set design to the beat-heavy soundtrack that kicks off with Dick Dale’s guitar classic “Misirlou” in the opening credits.

Permanent Link to 100 Greatest Gangster Films: <em>Little Caesar</em>, #6

100 Greatest Gangster Films: Little Caesar, #6

May 24th, 2013

by George Anastasia, Glen Macnow

Enrico Bandello was the prototype for every film gangster who followed. The tight-fitting three-piece suits, the high-collared shirt and tie, the fedora and the ever-present cigar—Rico brought it all to the big screen. There was also the tough-guy lingo, usually delivered out of the side of the mouth.

Permanent Link to The Sad Passions by Veronica Gonzalez-Peña

The Sad Passions by Veronica Gonzalez-Peña

June 28th, 2013

by Miguel Mateos Romo

The Sad Passions is Veronica Gonzalez- Peña’s second novel after Twin Time: or, How Death Befell Me (2007) both published by Semiotext(e).  Its episodic narrative spans three generations and is told by five very different women from the same family who are separated and united by emotional convulsions that span half a century.  The narration […]

Permanent Link to Oh, Those Crazy Modern Victorians: Or What the Heck Is Steampunk?

Oh, Those Crazy Modern Victorians: Or What the Heck Is Steampunk?

May 29th, 2013

by Geri Jeter

While there is a sense of pride in having created something so wonderful, there is also a fear that it all might be tarnished or even taken away by the corporate entities that run the film industry, television networks, and fashion.

Permanent Link to Civil War 150 – A Readers’ Guide (Part 3)

Civil War 150 – A Readers’ Guide (Part 3)

May 27th, 2013

by Ed Voves

The most notorious atrocity of the Draft Riots was the burning of the Colored Orphan Asylum, located on 5th Ave and 43rd street. Of the “50 Objects” from the New-York Historical Society, none is more poignant than a charred Bible from the Colored Orphan Asylum, “the sole, improbable artifact to endure the sacking and destruction of the orphanage.”

Permanent Link to Blind Boys, Berkeley Blue, Phone Hacks and Wozniak

Blind Boys, Berkeley Blue, Phone Hacks and Wozniak

May 15th, 2013

by Paul Comstock

The earliest phone phreak I’ve been able to identify was a young man who went by the nickname “Davy Crockett.” Back in the mid-1950s he figured out how to use a Davy Crockett Cat and Canary Bird Call Flute – a little 50-cent whistle they used to sell at Woolworth stores – to mimic a special tone that telephone operators used to communicate with one another. By imitating this tone he could place his own long distance calls for free.

Permanent Link to Civil War 150 – A Readers’ Guide (Part 2)

Civil War 150 – A Readers’ Guide (Part 2)

May 15th, 2013

by Ed Voves

On a sultry summer afternoon, 150 years ago, a young man named Strong Vincent changed the course of American history. The date was July 2, 1863, around 4 P.M. The place was the left wing of the fish hook-shaped Union defensive position at Gettysburg.

Permanent Link to Civil War 150  – A Readers’ Guide (Part 1)

Civil War 150 – A Readers’ Guide (Part 1)

May 8th, 2013

by Ed Voves

A sampling of new or recent books on the Civil War suggests that this bygone conflict is still relevant to the lives, hopes and fears of the American people in the twenty-first century. If anything, some of the new research and analysis of the Civil War shows that the terrible ordeal of 1861 to 1865 is more meaningful than it has ever been.

Permanent Link to Broadway Review: <em>Orphans</em>

Broadway Review: Orphans

May 2nd, 2013

by Ethan Kanfer

In the early 1980’s, Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater and others with a similar aesthetic, gave American theater a shot of testosterone it desperately needed at the time. Self-identified as “rock and roll theater”, Steppenwolf’s style was raw and confrontational, its narratives populated by virile, troubled archetypes. The language was rooted in the American lexicon, a poetry of the streets.

Permanent Link to San Francisco Ballet Presents <em>Criss-Cross, Francesca da Rimini</em> and <em>Symphony in Three Movements</em>

San Francisco Ballet Presents Criss-Cross, Francesca da Rimini and Symphony in Three Movements

May 2nd, 2013

by Toba Singer

Vilanoba leads Zahorian in a promenade on bent knee. They exchange coy glances, and one surmises that the charged exchange is more about Vilanoba’s last moments onstage than the choreography. From plié he places a straightened leg behind her. He weaves over and under her extension, teasing out elements of quieting mime in an otherwise equine-inflected piece to rich orchestration studded with kettledrum and slide trombone embellishments.

Permanent Link to CLR Street Fashion: Marine in Brussels

CLR Street Fashion: Marine in Brussels

May 3rd, 2013

by Marta Canga

Spring outfit…

Permanent Link to CLR Street Fashion: Vivian and Nagehan in London

CLR Street Fashion: Vivian and Nagehan in London

May 1st, 2013

by Nando Carniel Machado

Fashionable friends…

Permanent Link to CLR Street Fashion: Kimi in Brussels

CLR Street Fashion: Kimi in Brussels

April 29th, 2013

by Marta Canga

Casual at a music festival…

Permanent Link to CLR Street Fashion: Danny in Sydney

CLR Street Fashion: Danny in Sydney

April 26th, 2013

by John Tieu

Inspired by music and culture…

Permanent Link to CLR Street Fashion: Melissa in London

CLR Street Fashion: Melissa in London

April 24th, 2013

by Nando Carniel Machado

The shoes match the hair…

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