Senator Harry Reid says he’s going to retire at the end of his term in 2016. What will that mean for Nevada politics? California is relaxing its laws about where sex offenders can live. And this weekend, Los Angeles is hosting the Call of Duty championship. The winning team gets $400,000. In our weekly film roundup, a Dreamworks family-friendly animated flick, a Will Ferrell comedy, and a Noah Baumbach movie about 40-somethings trying to relive an imagined youth. And, finally, we talk to a Hollywood bear wrangler.
FROM THIS EPISODE
The Senate’s Democratic minority leader, Harry Reid, says he won’t be seeking re-election in 2016. He took a nasty fall while he was working out at his home on New Year’s Day. He broke ribs and bones in his face and damaged his right eye, but he says that’s not why he’s retiring. Reid grew up in Searchlight, a small Nevada gold-mining town that had seen better days. His father was a miner and his mother washed clothes at one of Searchlight’s 13 brothels. Reid became an amateur boxer and he was known as a pugnacious, feisty Senator. For the last eight years, he served as the Senate majority leader. But in January, he had to hand over the gavel to Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell.
The state is relaxing the restrictions on where registered sex offenders can live. A nine-year-old ballot measure bans ALL sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a park or school. But yesterday, California’s corrections department said it’s going to stop enforcing that law, except for people considered “high-risk” or who have committed crimes against children.
Janice Bellucci, California Reform Sex Offender Laws
March Madness tournament games will be played at Staples Center this weekend. A few blocks away there will be another, less physically-athletic competition: the Call of Duty championship. The popular series of first-person-shooter video games is having its third annual tournament at LA Live. Top prize: $400,000.
A new thriller called Backcountry comes out today. It’s about a couple on a backpacking trip… that goes horribly awry. You will not find Chester and Charlie in the credits of Backcountry, but the twins play a central character in the film: the big black bear that is the horrible undoing of a romantic trip into the woods. Now, you don’t just send out a casting call for bears. There are specialists in Hollywood who’s job it is to provide the animals, get the performances the director needs and keep the cast and crew safe.
Dana Dube, Has a company called Animal Insight For Film. She provides animals for TV and film. She provided the bears for the new thriller “Backcountry.”
More From Press Play with Madeleine Brand
Does copyright law cover graffiti? Clothing company H&M did a fashion shoot in Brooklyn featuring models standing against a gray wall painted with black waving lines. The graffiti was the work of an LA-based street artist, who wanted compensation. H&M responded by filing a lawsuit against him, then dropped it a few days later.
Taylor Mac takes on U.S. history in 246 songs, two dozen costume changes Taylor Mac will perform his “24-Decade History of Popular Music” starting Thursday in LA. It’s divided into four shows on four separate nights. It’s about this history of oppression and activism in the U.S. -- from 1776 to present day.
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