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Custom Screening: In defense of offense

I was trawling YouTube one night and happened upon a 2006 discussion between Stephen Fry and the late Christopher Hitchens on the subject of blasphemy. Now, anyone who knows anything about either of these men will need no introduction to their stance on religion.
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Custom Screening: ‘Burning Love’ and TV hook-ups

I pulled the sheets over my large double bed, dislodging enough crumbs from last night’s dinner to excuse me from washing my sheets this week. I was busy counting sheep when I heard a voice from the pillow beside me: “If I was still in my experimental phase, I’d rip
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Custom Screening: It came from the rubbish bin

From the moment the customs official confiscated my manuka honey at SFO border control to the first time I buried my teeth into the sugary wonderland of my first piece of taffy, the last six months of my American life have yielded endless moments of wonder and discovery. It hasn’t
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Off The Beat: It’s in the Cannes!

The rain, the heat, the crowds, the croissants, the movies. This is the Cannes Film Festival, or where I was the past few weeks. Cannes is a little city on the French Riviera, and how did I get there? I was sent by the San Francisco Film Society, along with
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Custom Screening: Visions of Europe

Last weekend, as cinephiles the world over compared their picks for the Cannes Film Festival’s revered Palm d’Or award, another festival grabbed the attention of some 100 million viewers around the world. That festival was the Eurovision Song Contest that, last Saturday, crowned Sweden’s Loreen champion. Eurovision began in 1956
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Custom Screening: Notes from a mad ad man

I must confess that until this summer — when I was lucky enough to spend three nights in a hotel — I had not watched an entire TV program on an actual television in America.In February, I managed to squeeze in the last half hour of the Super Bowl. I’m
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Custom Screening: Betwixt two Poes

Hollywood has never shied away from saturating multiplexes with several films of similar origin. Hollywood sent two “Alexander” film — based on the life of Alexander the Great — into production in the same year. British fantasy adaptations, “Harry Potter” and “The Lord of the Rings,” came out within days
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Custom Screening: Dreams for my brother

Dear reader, before you is my second and possibly last column for The  Daily Californian. In the coming weeks I will become far, far too famous to spend my precious time writing for you. Take a good look at my mugshot, dear reader. I should think that in the coming
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Custom Screening: Tootsie Pops and the city

In television terms, this column is a pilot…” is the opening statement I have arrived at as I reluctantly minimize the iTunes window that has been indulging my procrastination for the last two hours with back-to-back “Sex and the City” episodes. Remember that moment in “Pulp Fiction” when Jules tells
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Coachella: The happiest place on earth

Saturday afternoon, I stood in the front row looking up at warrior goddess Merrill Garbus as she raised her melodic battle cry over Coachella. At one point, the singer-songwriter of tUne-yArDs fame asked the crowd to do her a favor. “I want all of you to close your eyes and slowly
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