Arts & Entertainment

Friday, June 28, 2013

Nancy Jo Sales talks The Bling Ring in her new book

We talk with Nancy Jo Sales, whose writings formed the basis of The Bling Ring.

Posted By on Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 3:42 PM

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  • Photo by Jayne Wexler

In writer-director Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring, a troupe of spoiled California teens tries to wriggle into Paris Hilton's world by breaking into her house (along with a bunch of other celebrity homes) and stealing armloads of swag. It sounds like a broad comedy (and it's an effective laugh generator), but Coppola is telling a true story - one based on Nancy Jo Sales' 2010 Vanity Fair article "The Suspect Wore Louboutins."

An alumna of Yale and Columbia who has profiled Russell Simmons and Angelina Jolie in magazines such as Harper's Bazaar and New York, Sales has just published The Bling Ring: How a Gang of Fame-Obsessed Teens Ripped Off Hollywood and Shocked the World. In the book, she updates readers on the fate of those hapless adolescents and examines their crimes in the chilly context of our media-saturated world.

Sales answered our questions in an e-mail exchange.

The Pitch: You point out in the book that founding father Alexander Hamilton was 19 when his first anti-colonial essays were published - making him a founding juvenile delinquent. How do we go from someone like Hamilton to the participants in The Bling Ring?


Sales: Some of the founding fathers were barely more than teenagers themselves, as were members of the Boston Tea Party and the Sons of Liberty, a revolutionary group at the time of the American Revolution. The rebelliousness of teenagers played a big part in the many protest movements that occurred over the centuries in America. Now, in a strange twist of history, we have teenagers who are not so rebellious - at least not politically, generally speaking. We have teenagers who are interested in making money and maintaining the status quo, teenagers who are interested in becoming a part of the "lifestyle" lived by rich people and celebrities.

You can't really blame the teenagers for this, the values of wealth and fame have been pushed by their culture and pop culture for the better part of 30 years, since the so-called Reagan revolution, which actually the opposite of a revolution. Teenagers today grew up watching shows like Gossip Girl and Entourage and 90210 and The Hills, all which promote a luxe lifestyle. A lot of teenagers these days want money and things, not change - certainly the teenagers in The Bling Ring did. They wanted to live like celebrities and have the things that celebrities have, even if they had to steal it.

Rachel Lee, the alleged Ringleader ("Rebecca" in the movie), has never granted an interview. How tough was it for you to get all the stories straight?


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  • We talk with Nancy Jo Sales, whose writings formed the basis of The Bling Ring.

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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Jim Gaffigan, Dad Is Fat author, on his way to our fat town

Dad Is Fat author Jim Gaffigan comes to KC.

Posted By on Thu, May 16, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Gaffigan: portly paterfamilias
  • Nigel Parry
  • Gaffigan: portly paterfamilias
"People keep bringing up wistfulness," Jim Gaffigan says. We're on the phone, talking about Dad Is Fat, the comedian and actor's first book. Like Gaffigan's act, it's sharply observed and quotably droll, a steady drip of high-quality chuckles rather than a wave of gut laughter. "I have five children, and I don't even own a farm," he writes in one late chapter.

Also like his act, the book forswears profanity - not least because Dad Is Fat isn't just kid-friendly but kid-centered. But now an unexpected oath hangs in the air: the W-word. He wonders why people keep saying his contribution to goofy-father lit feels so ...

"Sentimental?" he asks. "Does wistful mean, I don't know, a sentimentality, a sincerity?" I make some fumbling defensive noises while scrolling through a mental thesaurus for a more flattering alternative, something less Proustian. But Gaffigan isn't really complaining. This comic, whose lens is perhaps second only to Jerry Seinfeld's in terms of clarity and polish, is just doing what he does: observing.

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  • Dad Is Fat author Jim Gaffigan comes to KC.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Dough of the Dead is a zombie movie being filmed at Spin Pizza

Posted By on Wed, Oct 24, 2012 at 10:03 AM

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  • Facebook: Dough of the Dead
Zombie movies make reluctant heroes out of everyday people. Now, one of those everyday people is hoping to make his very own zombie film. Brandon Prewitt is filming his zombie comedic short, "Dough of the Dead," at Spin Pizza in Lee's Summit this morning.

The film, Prewitt's graduation project for his master's degree in mass communications from the University of Central Missouri, started as a simple question: What would happen if zombies attacked Spin Pizza while Prewitt (who has been an employee there for four years) was working. The dialogue and characters for the 30-minute movie were inspired by Prewitt's co-workers. He wrote the screenplay last year and began production on the project in 2012.

If you're interested in being an extra in the film, Prewitt needs bodies for the restaurant scenes being filmed at 10:30 p.m. tomorrow and 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. You can find more information here.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

New HBO series 'Mildred Pierce' takes on literature's most famous waitress

Posted By on Fri, Mar 25, 2011 at 4:19 PM

Oscar winner Kate Winslet plays waitress turned restaurant tycoon in HBO's Mildred Pierce.
  • Oscar winner Kate Winslet plays waitress turned restaurant tycoon in HBO's Mildred Pierce.


There have been a lot of movies over the years with waitresses as leading characters, including a quartet of Oscar-winning performances: Ellen Burstyn in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore in 1974, Helen Hunt in As Good As It Gets in 1997, and Halle Berry in Monsters Ball in 2001. And the quintessential film noir waitress of all time: Kansas City's own Joan Crawford as long-suffering Mildred Pierce in 1945.

A new five-part adaptation of the James M. Cain novel, Mildred Pierce, begins airing on HBO this Sunday night. 

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Eclectics Gallery's latest cookbook out now

Posted By on Thu, Oct 14, 2010 at 1:04 PM

Recipes served with a side of art.
  • Recipes served with a side of art.
Recipes served with a side of art.
Some people say food tastes better with the love baked in. Well, this cookbook wants you to feel the love as soon as you pick it up. Eclectics Gallery (7015 Oak) has once again put together a collaboration of art and food.

The book contains over 60 recipes from nine Eclectics artists. With hand-painted art and embellishments on the pages, each book is different. The covers are each unique quilts made of recycled fabrics and ribbons.

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Now you have plans for the weekend

Posted By on Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Grill out this weekend.
  • Grill out this weekend.

You need plans. Fat City has a recycle bin full of listings. In this post, all our problems are solved.

Get in touch with your inner pit master. The Great Lenexa BBQ

is Friday and Saturday at Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park

(87th Street and Lackman Road). You can talk to any of the 195 teams,

and there's plenty of barbecue to eat -- you just don't have to judge

the ribs, brisket or any of the seven categories. Admission is $5 on

Friday night (5-11 p.m.) and free on Saturday (9 a.m.-5 p.m.).

Bite-A-Burger for Newhouse is tonight at the Westport Flea Market. The event is from 6 to 8 p.m. and it's all you can eat burgers and a side, and all you can drink draft beer for $20 (cash only). All of the proceeds benefit the domestic violence shelter. Bring a used cell phone or $1 to enter a raffle. 

Think you have what it takes to capture the third annual flip cup tournament which begins at 6 p.m. Saturday at Tower Tavern at Martini Corner? The entry fee is $75 for teams of five, which includes your beer for the night. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Harvesters.

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Fat City on the radio today

Posted By on Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 8:39 AM

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Walt's talking about food festivals today
​Hey folks, I'll be joining Walt Bodine, Chris Becicka, Mary Bloch and Gloria Gale on today's "Restaurant Critics Panel" of the KCUR's Walt Bodine Show (10 a.m. on 89.3-FM) to discuss this summer's Food Festivals. If you've attended events like the Flint Hills Beef Fest in Emporia or the "Little Balkan Days" in Pittsburgh, you can the conversation by calling the studio line at 816-235-2888.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Now you have plans for the weekend

Posted By on Fri, Jun 18, 2010 at 11:00 AM

Got Milk? Saturday is Family Day at the Shatto Farm.
  • Got Milk? Saturday is Family Day at the Shatto Farm.

You need plans. Fat City has a recycle bin full of listings. In this post, all our problems are solved.

Saturday is the 7th annual "Family Day at the Farm" at the Shatto Milk Company in Osborn, Missouri. Milk a cow, pet a baby calf and take a tour of the farm between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. If the weather holds up, there will also be hay rides. Sample Shatto milk at the new milk bar and try their cheese. The event is free.

If you don't think you can wait for the KC Irish Fest, Browne's Irish

Street Faire can tide you over. With traditional Irish food and music,

the party thrown by Browne's Irish Market and Deli

is a fundraiser for Cycling for Change. The festivities are Saturday from 4 to 11 p.m. between 33rd and 34th streets on

Pennsylvania. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 the day of the fair.

Overland Park has a new sushi and soul combo at Intentions (713 West 80th Street). Get your Smokey Robinson and sashimi fix at the former space that housed Revolver.
 

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Now you have plans for the weekend

Posted By on Fri, Jun 11, 2010 at 2:00 PM

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You need plans. Fat City has a recycle bin full of listings. In this post, all our problems are solved.

Goallllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll.......the World Cup is here again and there are lots of places to see the world's biggest soccer tournament play out. The U.S. vs. England match -- set to kick off at 1:30 p.m. -- will be broadcast on the big screen at the KC! Live Stage in the Power & Light. The outdoor Living Room in the Power & Light will be showing every match in the tournament (here's a guide to who plays when). The Calendar section at the Pitch has also put together a list of local bars where you can watch the games.

The second annual downtown KCK June Fest is from 4 to 9 p.m. tonight. Grab a piece of Wheat State pizza or a street taco before enjoying an iced down beer in the outdoor beer tent. For entertainment, there will be live bands and the monthly Second Fridays Art Walk. The event is on Minnesota Avenue between Sixth and Eighth streets.

Get on your comfortable walking shoes because the Waldo Crawldo Pub Crawl 2010

is Saturday. The summer crawl kicks off at 6 p.m. and has 14

different venues -- eight near 75th Street and six near 85th Street --

that are participating this year. There is bus service between the two

parts of the pub crawl, plus drink specials at each pub or restaurant.

Tickets are $5 ahead of time, $7 online, and $10 at the door.

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Now you have plans for the weekend

Posted By on Fri, Jun 4, 2010 at 3:00 PM

Just go get a sausage and pepper sandwich this weekend.
  • Just go get a sausage and pepper sandwich this weekend.

You need plans. Fat City has a recycle bin full of listings. In this post, all our problems are solved.

Fat City tested it for you yesterday, but you can try the Schlafly Raspberry Hefeweizen for yourself -- along with the Kolsch, Summer Lager, American IPA and Bourbon Imperial Stout -- during a free walk-through tasting at Gomer's South (9902 Holmes Road) tonight. Gary Briggs will be there pouring and answering questions from 4 to 6 p.m.

Rice ball or meat ball? What's it going to be buddy? Festa Italiana kicks off tonight at Zona Rosa, with live Italian music in the beer garden. The free festival runs from 5 to 10 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

On Saturday, author Steven Raichlen stops at the Barnes and Noble in Zona Rosa at 1 p.m. to discuss his new book, Planet Barbecue.

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