Film cans and ski poles aren't exactly two things you would expect to find on the same shelf.
But Otto Lang is an exceptional man. The author of "A Bird of Passage," Lang has spent his life traversing both snow-covered slopes and the hills and valleys of Hollywood success. He worked on such films as "Northside 777" and "Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing" while running ski schools in Idaho and Vermont.
"Tom & Viv"
Location: Magic Lantern Cinemas
Credits: Directed by Brian Gilbert from the stage play by Michael Hastings, starring Miranda Richardson, Willem Dafoe, Rosemary Harris and Tim Dutton.
Running time: 1:54
When last seen, "Junior," Ivan Reitman's gender-switching comedy starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, was disappearing into the sunset realm of Hollywood misfire.
Which remains something of a surprise. After all, Reitman, Schwarzenegger and co-star Danny DeVito all were important parts of the 1988 comedy hit "Twins." That one, you'll recall, depended on the comic notion of muscleman Schwarzenegger and dwarfish DeVito being twin brothers.
Here's the deal: On one hand, you have big-budget Hollywood, whose handlers sell "entertainment" to a gullible public. On the other, you have an opportunistic politician, whose main desire is to be president.
And we're supposed to believe one over the other?
A colleague of mine just returned from a Hawaiian vacation, rested and ready to gripe about the movie she saw on the plane going over.
It was "Legends of the Fall," which was released Tuesday (see capsule review below). Her reaction: "It stunk" (or words to that effect).
If ArtFest could speak, it might make a special request for its 10th anniversary celebration:
Sunshine, big crowds and no wind.
Since, of course, an arts show can't speak, let's pull the request from the mouth of its co-founder and continuing organizer. Once we have, though, we have to recognize that Gina Freuen's wish is bare-bones essential.
"We can deal with rain and everything else," she says, "but not wind. It blows things over."
Every summer the challenge for parents is to figure out what new to do with their children while camping. That's what prompted Laurie Carlson and Judith Dammel to write "Kids Camp! Activities for the Backyard or Wilderness" (Chicago Review Press, 171 pages, $12.95).
The book features more than 100 "hands-on" activities, including making casts of animal tracks, weaving pine needle baskets, making sun clocks, deciphering the age of a tree, collecting insects and more.
Carlson lives in Coeur d'Alene, and Dammel lives in Missoula. To order from the publisher, call (800) 888-4741.
When you attend an IMAX feature, you expect at least a couple of things. The first is an awesome collection of images that comes off the giant screen with, at times, a dizzying intensity. The second, often enough, is a lecture.
Now, astounding visuals are why we go to the IMAX. And many of the images included in the film "The Living Sea" (which opens today) are truly amazing.
There's nothing more gripping than the theme of kids in trouble. In the recent Best Foreign Language film "Burnt By the Sun," for example, director Nikita Mikhalkov underscores his story about a Russian hero getting caught up in the Stalinist purges of the 1930s by concentrating on the man's sweet and incredibly talented young daughter.
The girl has no idea of the horrors the world holds.
Iron John is coming to Spokane.
Well, not the fabled character exactly. But the man who made him and his meaning famous, poet and men's activist Robert Bly, will be the featured facilitator of a three-day conference titled "Northwest Conference on Men and Their Relationships" to be held here Oct. 6-8.
Here's an opening line that should be required reading for anyone considering novel-writing as a trade:
"To Owen Garrett's keen sheepherder's eyes, it appeared entirely likely that the woman in the blue shirt and red panties running back and forth between the water faucet and the two copulating dogs was the Californian."
That just about says it all, doesn't it? Besides arousing images of a spectacularly ridiculous scene, it virtually begs you to read on. Which, of course, is the point.
This is a big weekend of video offerings. Look for an Oscarwinning performance by Diane Wiest, a riveting portrayal of humorist Dorothy Parker by Jennifer Jason Leigh, the mostly smooth comic pairing of Michael Keaton and Geena Davis along with the athletic posturings of Christopher Lambert and Jason Scott Lee and the thespian posturings of Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen.
Say what you want about the success of screenwriters who make millions, about poets who earn fame as performance artists or playwrights whose work gets interpreted both by Shakespearean actors and elementary-school drama clubs, the mark of modern literary success still remains the novel.
And that's the club that Wellpinit native and current Seattle resident Sherman Alexie has finally entered. His novel "Reservation Blues" (Atlantic Monthly Press, 306 pages, $21) has finally reached bookstore shelves.
There may be more to life than things that go bump in the night, but few of them are as entertaining as a story that just simply scares the chic out of you.
The list of films that truly are scary is short and all too often revisited.
Jasen Emmons was desperate.
As a student in a creative writing class taught by David Waggoner, the University of Washington graduate student was supposed to turn in a short story. But he couldn't think of an idea.
"So I somehow came up with this piece about this kid who drops out of law school and has just returned home and he's got this antagonistic older brother who's a deputy sheriff," he said during a phone interview Tuesday from his Seattle office. "And then it sort of stopped. It was about 23 pages, and I turned it in because I had nothing else to turn in."
It's hard to think of another filmmaker whose career has varied as much as Alan Parker's. His latest effort, "The Road to Wellville", has as much in common with "Midnight Express" as Anthony Hopkins' bridgework does with that of the late Brad Davis.
Commenting on Hopkins' bridgework isn't as strange as you might suspect, considering he wears an oral prosthesis throughout "Wellville" that makes him look a lot like Bugs Bunny.
1. Kevin Costner stars in "Waterworld," one of the season's most talked about sci-fi films. Dennis Hopper and Jean Tripplehorn also star in the movie.
2. Kevin Bacon, Tom Hanks and Bill Paxton star in "Apollo 13."
3. Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis star in "Die Hard With a Vengeance."