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Paul Cullum

Bruce Kalberg

Beautiful Loser, Tortured Killer

“With age, I have learned that unless you’re dead, life can always get worse.” —Ronnie Kale, narrator of Bruce Kalberg’s autobiographical novel, Sub-Hollywood ...

Sherman Torgan: Last of the Independents

Sherman Torgan, the selfless, universally well-liked and quite possibly heroic owner of the New Beverly Cinema, died July 18 of a heart attack while riding his bicycle on the bike paths in Santa Monica. For what would have been 30 years next May, Torgan served as proprietor of the last......
Dangerous man: Rad

Born to Be Rad

{mosimage} John S. Rad, née Yeghanerad, the accidental auteur of the cult film Dangerous Men, has died. Rad was propelled into a late-in-life celebrity, with articles in this paper and others, when his genre opus was discovered showing in five local theaters in September 2005 without benefit of TV or......
(Courtesy Keith Aoki

Freedom of Information

“The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more Star Systems will slip through your fingers.” —Princess Leia to the Grand Moff Tarkin in the bowels of the Death Star When Thom Andersen’s acclaimed documentary Los Angeles Plays Itself screened at the Egyptian Theater four times over the course of......
Oliver the Great: Stone marshals the troops on the World Trade Center set

After the Fall

“Man looks in the abyss. There’s nothing staring back at him. At that moment, man finds his character. And that is what keeps him out of the abyss.” —Lou Mannheim (Hal Holbrook) in Wall Street In Oliver Stone’s new film, World Trade Center, a rescue worker stands atop a pile......

A Face in the In Crowd

“His memory is incredible,” says Benn Schulberg, 25, son of legendary screenwriter Budd Schulberg, who just turned 92. “We’re at lunch today talking about boxing in the ’20s, and he’s telling me detailed information — he can tell you the color of the trunks they were wearing.” It’s a little......

(I Belong to The) Blank Generation

Perhaps it’s the beneficent gaze of Sister Aimee Semple McPherson, the merest trace of something tantalizing and delicious at the corners of her smile, that lends this evening its clandestine thrum. Whatever the ontological underpinnings, a cabal of samizdat boosters and hipster ethnographers has gathered in Adam Parfrey and Jodi......
Illustrations by Kiersten Essenpreis

Death Race 2000

As horror stories often do, this one started with a bump in the gathering night. At 6:30 p.m. on May 31, 2000, Kenny Hughes had just passed Bundy in West L.A., heading east on Wilshire. A minor celebrity in skate circles, Hughes stands out in any crowd — a 6-foot-5,......

The Passion of the Rad

Photo by Kevin ScanlonFor seven days in late September, a film about which practically no information was available surfaced in five area theaters. Titled Dangerous Men, it was described on its poster as “an unforgettable suspense-mystery-drama,” yet neither the film nor its director, John S. Rad, appeared anywhere on the......

People in Glass Apartments

Photo by Debra DiPaoloI’ve lived all over this town. A box condo on the beach in Santa Monica with an earthquake crack that ran diagonally across the floor. A gated two-story stucco palace in the heart of Rampart that looked like a giant pink aquarium castle, where the Polynesian ex-showgirl......