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Arts & Entertainment at Los Angeles Times

Thursday, May 24

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BET Networks chief Debra Lee steps down as executive shake-up continues

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The executive-level turnover at BET Networks continued on Thursday, with the top boss at the Viacom-owned network stepping down after a 13-year tenure.

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"Game of Thrones" star Natalie Dormer heads Amazon's twisty mystery "Picnic At Hanging Rock":

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Few Australian films have cast a haunting and influential spell over cinema like 1975’s “Picnic at Hanging Rock,” the mystery about several students from a posh finishing school who vanished during a Valentine’s Day outing to the rugged…

Radical author 'Mary Shelley' and an excellent Elle Fanning deserve a more adventurous telling

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“Mary Shelley” conjures up images of a lumbering, disfigured, greenish-skinned monster of a man. That monster, now a cultural icon of horror films for over a century, and his mad scientist creator, Dr. Frankenstein, were dreamed up by the…

'That Summer' goes behind the scenes at Grey Gardens, to mixed effect

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The strangely mesmerizing found-footage documentary “That Summer” is a kind of prequel to 1975’s “Grey Gardens,” Albert and David Maysles’ landmark portrait of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ then-elderly aunt, Edith Ewing Bouvier Beale (a.k.a…

Wobbly narrative derails family-told story of 'Yadvi: The Dignified Princess'

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Written and directed by and starring the granddaughters of its subject, “Yadvi: The Dignified Princess” explores the life of 20th-century royalty in India. Unfortunately, while its intentions are as pure as the heart of its heroine, the…

How Paul Bettany sent a text message and became 'Solo: A Star Wars Story's' new villain

When Paul Bettany at age 6 saw “Star Wars” for the first time, he was transported from a rainy London to a galaxy far, far away. The experience was instrumental in his decision to pursue acting.

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Punk-rock alien-invasion comedy 'How to Talk to Girls at Parties' doesn't have much to say

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If you’ve ever wanted to do tai chi, play Twister and/or conduct a sexual experiment with a cult of color-coded-rubber enthusiasts, the first big set-piece in “How to Talk to Girls at Parties” should serve you nicely.

'Summer 1993' explores the wonder of childhood in the wake of tragedy

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Writer-director Carla Simón, whose gentle, poetic drama “Summer 1993” reflects on the time she went to live with her uncle’s family after the death of her mother, offers a relatable array of candid emotions and observations that feel…

'Andy Irons: Kissed by God' doc beautifully captures pro surfer's life and struggles

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Contrasting pro surfer Andy Irons’ success on the waves with his struggles with bipolar disorder and drug addiction, “Andy Irons: Kissed by God” presents a holistic view of the man, who died in 2010. To the unintiated, the documentary…

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Stars of Chinese rom-com 'How Long Will I Love You?' succeed in warping time

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The whimsical Chinese time-traveling rom-com “How Long Will I Love You?” imagines a rip in the space-time continuum right down the middle of a low-rent apartment shared by a man and a woman 19 years apart. After a night of strange…

Globe-hopping documentary 'The Most Unknown' links scientists through ideas

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Ian Cheney’s smile-inducing field trip documentary “The Most Unknown” experiments with a nifty idea: introduce scientists to each other through a global relay of encounters in an effort to find commonality of language and purpose as life’s…

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Memorial Day concert airing on PBS honors female veterans

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Leigh Ann Hester heard the call of duty when she was a little girl growing up in Bowling Green, Ky.

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Lauren Halsey takes a fantastic voyage in MOCA's 'we still here, there'

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The artist turns Plato's Cave into a South L.A. reverie, creating a splendid handmade grotto, which will subtly change over the next three months.

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How to get Stephen Malkmus to open up about life and his new album? Take him to a Lakers game

As the Laker Girls twirled to a thumping dance remix of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” indie rocker Stephen Malkmus leaned back in his seat at Staples Center and explained a counterintuitive idea: Not enough classic-rock legends have died over…

These dancers find a most unusual stage: A South L.A. hospital

For 33 years choreographer Heidi Duckler has staged dance performances at far-flung and unexpected locales, from an abandoned Studio City gas station to the Frank Gehry-designed Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro.

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Weekend Picks: 'Beauty and the Beast' at the Hollywood Bowl, Heartbeat of Mexico festival and more

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Others highlights include Los Angeles Opera's staging of "Crossing," Musco Center's annual Heartbeat of Mexico festival, Long Beach Ballet's "Coppelia," Santa Monica Symphony's Memorial Day weekend salute and "Noises Off" in Pasadena.

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On 25th anniversary of 'Exile in Guyville,' Liz Phair thinks men are finally 'waking up'

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Liz Phair had a good excuse for arriving late to an interview the other morning.

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Japan's martial arts hero Hiroyuki Sanada brings his samurai vibe to 'Westworld'

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Hiroyuki 'Hiro' Sanada stars in 'Westworld's' Season 2 as a master samurai in the park's recently revealed Shogun world. The actor, 57, is one of Japan's premiere martial arts film heroes and one of its few successful crossover stars.

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Topher Grace's mission to reinvent himself takes a quantum leap with Spike Lee's 'BlacKkKlansman'

Five years ago, Topher Grace looked at his bank account, and he was actually satisfied with the number he saw.

Walt Disney's first love lives on at this historic California ranch

At the Santa Margarita Ranch, the Pacific Coast Railroad offers rides on passenger cars that were originally used at Disneyland on the theme park's railroad attraction.

'Avengers: Infinity War' becomes top-grossing Marvel movie in China

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“Avengers: Infinity War” soared to the top of China’s box office last weekend, becoming the highest-grossing Marvel film in the Middle Kingdom and the fourth most-successful Hollywood import of all time.

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Datebook: Baskets inspired by math, iconic Los Angeles images and photos of people getting expressive

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Art openings around L.A., including bamboo baskets at Craft and Folk Art Museum and photography by George Rodriguez.

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ABC is replacing 'The Chew' with a third hour of 'Good Morning America'

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ABC is expanding its top-rated morning show “Good Morning America” with a third hour to replace the daytime talk show “The Chew.”

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Thursday's TV highlights: 'Red Nose Day' on NBC

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Jay Leno’s Garage The theme of this new episode is “Cars of Sports Stars,” and Leno goes head-to-head on the drag strip against former NFL quarterback Terry Bradshaw, Billy Crystal takes Leno for a drive in Muhammad Ali's old Alfa Romeo…

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'The Gospel According to André' takes an intimate look at one-of-a-kind fashionista Talley

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Larger-than-life longtime Vogue magazine editor André Leon Talley, known for his capes, caftans, incisive bon mots and discerning eye gets the biographical treatment in the documentary “The Gospel According to André,” directed by Kate…

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Gillian Jacobs gets wild in girl-tripping comedy 'Ibiza'

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The girly vacation genre gets another entry with “Ibiza,” in which stressed-out New York City publicist Harper (Gillian Jacobs) gets her groove back in the clubs of southern Spain. One would think that with last year’s “Girls Trip,” the…

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Director Jennifer Peedom returns to great heights for extreme sports documentary 'Mountain'

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Awe-inspiring visuals and equally stirring orchestrations combine to fittingly majestic effect in “Mountain,” a unique portrait of mankind’s enduring fascination with the world’s most formidable summits.

In a role she co-wrote, Natalie Dormer's star power brightens crime thriller 'In Darkness'

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Talented British actress Natalie Dormer gets one of her most substantial movie roles in the classy cat-and-mouse thriller “In Darkness.” Co-written by Dormer and director Anthony Byrne with echoes of “Wait Until Dark” and “A History of…

For Constance Zimmer, getting vulnerable with her 'UnReal' character wasn't easy

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It’s the sort of news that might have had fictional TV impresario Quinn King reaching for her walkie-talkie to launch a curse-laced tirade: It was reported earlier this week that “UnReal’’s” upcoming fourth season could be its last.

Comcast is preparing bid for Fox TV and movie assets, rivaling Disney's offer

Los Angeles Times

Comcast Corp. is serious about disrupting Walt Disney Co.’s plan to acquire much of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.