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By ALLEN BARRA and ALLEN BARRA,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | February 5, 2006
An Offer We Can't Refuse - The Mafia in the Mind of America George De Stefano Farrar, Straus and Giroux / 438 pages / $26 Years ago, writing about the legacy of Mario Puzo, I said, "If there is a God and he is indeed Catholic, then Puzo is burning in hell." Before The Godfather was published in 1969, historians of organized crime in the 20th century told us that some major stars of the modern mob had names like Arnold Rothstein, Owney Madden, and Logan and Fred Billingsley. After The Godfather, the only major crime figures who got any attention were the ones whose names ended in vowels.
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FEATURES
By MICHAEL SRAGOW and MICHAEL SRAGOW,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | January 6, 2006
In Lasse Hallstrom's refreshingly uninhibited Casanova, the title character contends that he doesn't conquer women: He submits to them. You'll submit to the exuberance and ease of the director's take on the swashbuckling 18th-century free-thinker and hedonist. This merry, mercurial picture handles elaborate japes lightly. Exploiting Venice for all its voluptuary glory - Rome sees the city as a moral cesspit, libertines see it as a haven - the beautifully engineered farce depicts clashing notions of love and female destiny and the way false identities can spark genuine delights.
NEWS
By LEONARD PITTS JR | October 23, 2005
WASHINGTON -- He is facing the camera. Facing you. Voice husky with emotion, Stanley Rosenbluth tells you about his son and daughter-in-law, killed in a drug deal gone south. He shares his loss gravely, bravely. And then, the coup de grace. "I don't trust Tim Kaine when it comes to the death penalty," says Mr. Rosenbluth. "And I say that as a father who's had a son murdered." Timothy M. Kaine is a man who wants to be governor of Virginia. But first, he's got to deal with Mr. Rosenbluth and with a police officer's widow, Kelly Timbrook, stars of two commercials aired by opposing candidate Jerry W. Kilgore.
NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance and Mariana Minaya and Frank D. Roylance and Mariana Minaya,SUN STAFF | August 21, 2005
The weekly visit to the gas pump is starting to bite, and bite hard. The fill-up that drivers shrugged off at $25 is suddenly putting a real dent in family budgets at $50 or more. So, is the pain of $2.70 a gallon enough to end America's love affair with gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles? Not quite yet, industry analysts say. Buyers are beginning to put fuel efficiency higher among their priorities for their next car - but there's no SUV divorce in sight. "It's not accurate to say SUVs are no longer popular, or are not being sold because of their fuel economy," said Brian Chee, an analyst with Autobytel, one of the most popular Web sites for new car buyers.
FEATURES
By Joe Burris and Joe Burris,SUN STAFF | May 21, 2005
They frequent Pimlico Race Course several times a week, eager to see how much daily excitement a group of weathered, white-haired men can fit into their twilight. They call themselves the Backstretch Boys, an informal clique of mostly seventy- and eightysomethings who took to horse racing at Pimlico as youngsters and now carry around its memories like a pocket of rare coins. Want to know about Pimlico during heydays past? Visit nearby Miller's delicatessen in Pikesville each morning before racing begins and listen as the Backstretch Boys settle in, as much a part of the fixtures as the metallic gray booths, framed Hollywood portraits and scents of something good sizzling from behind the counter.
TOPIC
By Michael Hill and By Michael Hill,SUN STAFF | February 27, 2005
Why is it that we still go to the movies? Why do we bother now that we can sit at home in front of a huge television screen with booming sound coming out of speakers all around the room? The movie industry has been mugged and left for dead more times than can be counted. But each time, it has gotten up, dusted itself off and America has responded by once again buying tickets and waiting for the lights to dim and the screen to come alive. "Hollywood has constantly been pronounced a corpse, yet it never dies," says Jeanine Basinger, professor of film studies at Wesleyan University.
NEWS
By Bill Gilmore and Hannah Byron | February 24, 2005
AS PERHAPS NEVER before, Baltimore is on the radar screen of the country's moviemakers. For the first time, the city made MovieMaker magazine's list of "Top 10 Cities for Movie Makers," the fifth annual countdown of the best cities for independents to live in and make movies. Editors of the industry publication interviewed writers, directors, location scouts, film office representatives and dozens of cinematographers about their favorite cities in which to live and work. Baltimore ranked ninth, ahead of Orlando, Fla., Atlanta and San Diego, and among heavyweights such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Story by John Woestendiek and Story by John Woestendiek,SUN STAFF | November 14, 2004
Don't tell Steve Panopoulos it's just a train. If that rumbling in the distance were just a train, would he be leaning over the rail of a bridge high above the Susquehanna River? Would he have been up at sunrise to spend all day chasing it in his car? Would he be taking the same pictures he took of it last year, or the year before that, or the year before that? Of course not. For one thing, there is no such thing as "just a train," as most any railroad buff will tell you. For another, the train Panopoulos plans to photograph this foggy Saturday -- the one whose headlight just came into view around a curve -- is especially precious.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Virginia Heffernan and Virginia Heffernan,New York Times News Service | September 5, 2004
After a quarter century as co-host, Barbara Walters, the alpha female of broadcast news, is leaving 20 / 20, the ABC program on which she has interviewed Fidel Castro, Christopher Reeve, Hillary Rodham Clinton and -- before 48.5 million viewers in 1999 -- Monica Lewinsky. Nearly 75, Walters has made it clear that she's not leaving television news, the form that she, as America's first female anchor, helped define. She will continue to produce a half-dozen interview specials a year for ABC, including her signature Oscar-night specials, and she'll also appear twice weekly on The View, the daytime talk show she created.
NEWS
By Stephanie Shapiro and Stephanie Shapiro,Sun Staff | June 27, 2004
Say "A-frame" and certain words leap to mind, such as gingerbread, yodeling and tacky. Now, shelve the Alpine myth. The unfortunate blight of bric-a-brac that plagued the country's ski resorts decades ago is only part of the story. The A-frame's role in American architectural history extends well beyond its mistaken reputation as a Swiss chalet knockoff. "For every A-frame with a yodeling porch, there was a subtler design that successfully integrated the traditional triangular form with contemporary features," writes Chad Randl in A-frame (Princeton Architectural Press, 2004, $21.95)
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