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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Dan Webster

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All Stories

‘Showgirls’ May Be Touted As Art But It’s Really Just Another B-Film

Flaunting its NC-17 rating proudly, "Showgirls" has been the subject of some grand promises. According to its director, Paul Verhoeven, the controversial film "pushes the envelope portraying sexuality in a more precise way than you normally do in American movies." It communicates "an important message for young people to hear," says screenwriter Joe Eszterhas. Eszterhas also says that, because of the film's message, young viewers should "do whatever you have to do to see it." (Even get fake IDs.)
A&E >  Entertainment

Vancouver Film Fest Starts Today

If you missed out on last May's 20th Seattle International Film Festival, don't be disappointed. Many of the same films, and a whole lot more, will be playing at the 14th Annual Vancouver (British Columbia) International Film Festival that begins its 17-day run today. Some 250 feature and short films from more than 40 countries will play at six downtown Vancouver theaters. Several of the films were screened at the Seattle festival, but most are new to Canada. In addition, many of the Canadian entries, as well as several of the Asian films, are celebrating their premieres. One highlight of the opening weekend is Zhang Yimou's "Shanghai Triad," which is the newest work by the director of "Farewell My Concubine."
News >  Features

Lovell Speaks At Gonzaga

We live in a different world than the one that spawned men such as James Lovell. We're more jaded now, less taken by the romance of machismo. Yet time hasn't blunted Lovell's appeal. And that selfsame appeal is at least partly why "Apollo 13," the movie version of his autobiographical book "Lost Moon," has earned more than $165 million at the nation's collective box office. In his book and in real life, Lovell comes across as less a traditional hero than a regular guy with heroic qualities. Clearly, he came by the "right stuff" naturally.

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Censors Show Poor Grasp Of Literature

As we head into day three of Banned Books Week, the annual observance sponsored by the American Library Association, we need to pay attention to some of the books that have been the subject of censorship attempts. According to the ALA's Office of Intellectual Freedom, some 760 challenges were made to books on the shelves of schools, school libraries and public libraries in 1994. Two-thirds of the challenges pertained to schools. For example, "A Thousand Acres," Jane Smiley's 1991 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, was banned from Lynden, Wash., High School because, a self-appointed censor claimed, "it has no literary value."
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Laying Groundwork For Healthy Lifestyle

Considering how many emotional pitfalls that life holds, it's a wonder any of us make it to adulthood with even a hint of self-confidence. Next time you're in public, just watch the different ways that people try to shame each other - wives throwing guilt at their husbands, husbands doing the same to their wives and both taking their frustrations out on any child unlucky enough to stray into the firing line. If people treated their pets as badly as some people treat their children, they'd be locked up for cruelty. Shame and its various consequences have long been a theme of family counselor John Bradshaw. The author of such books as "Healing the Shame that Binds You" and "Family Secrets," Bradshaw may be best known through his public television series titled "Bradshaw on the Family." If you've ever wanted to know more about his theories, now is your chance to question him in person. Bradshaw will hold a one-day workshop on "overcoming destructive behaviors and developing healthy lifestyle techniques" from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4, in the Spokane Falls Community College Music/Performing Arts Auditorium. The workshop will be divided into three parts: building personal boundaries, creating healthy relationships and dealing with family secrets. The workshop fee is $95. For reservation information, call 533-3771. Coming together: For months now, we've been writing about the Essential Peacemaking process. We've done so for a couple of reasons. One, its main theme is gender reconciliation, which also happens to be the theme of this column. Two, it's just another way for each of us to improve both our lives and the lives of our loved ones by taking responsibility for our feelings. And when do we feel more vulnerable than in the presence of the opposite gender? Don and Magdalena McCloskey will hold a basic one-day training Essential Peacemaking session from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 28. The training will attempt to demonstrate how it feels to be heard and appreciated by the opposite gender, to hear how members of the opposite gender talk among themselves - and it will attempt to do this in a safe and caring atmosphere. The fee is $35. For more information, call 327-1770. Just for discussion: Neo-feminist Camille Paglia has this to say about traditional feminism and the dangers of date rape: "For a decade, feminists have drilled their disciples to say, 'Rape is a crime of violence but not of sex.' This sugar-coated Shirley Temple nonsense has exposed young women to disaster. Misled by feminism, they do not expect rape from the nice boys from good homes who sit next to them in class."

‘King George’ And ‘Jefferson’ Get Together At The Video Store

No matter how many times it is told, the saga of how the American colonies broke away from Mother England still intrigues us. So it should come as no surprise that two of the films in video stores this week tell stories circa the American Revolution, even if they do so from diverse points of view.
News >  Features

Walk Encourages Literacy Spokane Coalition Funds Reading And Writing Programs

It seems incredible, but there are still those among us who look at the letters you are now reading and see nothing more than strange marks on newsprint. They make no sense at all. It is for that reason that the Spokane Literacy Coalition exists. And it is why the group, with the help of Washington Mutual, Washington Water Power and Auntie's Bookstore, is once again sponsoring a Walk For Literacy.
News >  Features

Good Writing, Research Make Book Riveting

"Every Knee Shall Bow: The Truth and Tragedy of Ruby Ridge and the Randy Weaver Family" By Jess Walter (HarperCollins, 375 pages, $23) Like the sermons of a firebreathing redeemer, the title of Jess Walter's first book speaks of a religion that will tolerate no other before it.
A&E >  Entertainment

‘Kids’ Is A Grim Look At Mindless Street Action

One of the most popular stops at San Diego's Sea World is the shark exhibit. People of all ages stand at the glass and stare at these undersea predators as they cruise back and forth, on constant lookout for simple gratification. Hold that image for a second, and now segue with me to Larry Clark's controversial film "Kids."
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An Ode To Television Do You Think TV Is Crass, Ridiculous And Frivolous? Don’t Tell This Viewer, Who Loves His Shows

1. Past and present: Jackie Gleason (top) and Ed Sullivan offered great moments for the author during the '60s. "Melrose Place" (above) and "Homicide" below are two of his current favorites. Photos by CBS, Fox and NBC 2. "ER" gripped viewers last March with an episode starring Anthony Edwards (center) in which a patient dies. Photo by NBC
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Favorite TV Shows Tell Much About Chooser

If you want to cause a furor in your working space, just ask out loud for anyone to name his or her favorite television shows. Few topics, save maybe why the Cougar football team always seems to stumble en route to the Rose Bowl, will get a better response. The choices say a lot about the people who make them.
News >  Features

Frank Church, Railroads Get Historical Treatment

Northwest history is spotlighted in two books published this month by Washington State University Press. "Frank Church, D.C. & Me" (WSU Press, 236 pages, $17.95 paperback) by Bill Hall is a memoir of a man who served for 16 months as press secretary to the late Idaho senator.
News >  Features

Men, Woman And Auto Affairs

In her book "Everything Women Always Wanted to Know About Cars, But Didn't Know Who to Ask" (Doubleday, 304 pages, $10.95 paperback), author Leslie Hazleton makes fun of the different ways that women and men look at their cars. For example, she writes, men "see cars as machines" while women "see cars as an integral part of their lives." When considering a specific model, "men focus on power" while women "focus on reliability."
A&E >  Entertainment

‘Goofy’ Misses The Comedy Mark

The Disney machine has, on one occasion or another, spotlighted almost all of its better-known animated characters on film. Mickey Mouse and Pluto, Donald Duck and Goofy, all have starred both in cartoon shorts and longer animated features. Many of the more classic moments date back to the 1950s, although the studio - following the trends set in its world-famous theme parks - has recently tried to change with the times.