FROM David Wasco
Designing 'La La Land' The romantic musical La La Land , written and directed by Damien Chazelle, is an unabashed tribute to this city of celluloid dreams. Ryan Gosling plays Sebastian, a struggling jazz musician who dreams of opening his own club, and Emma Stone plays Mia, an aspiring actress. Their love affair plays out in some of LA's most iconic settings, from Griffith Observatory to Watts Towers, from glamorous backyard pool parties and dimly-lit dive bars to maddeningly jammed freeways. La La Land's stunning visuals were largely the creation of a husband and wife team: David Wasco, production designer, and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco, set decorator. They describe La La Land as a valentine to Los Angeles -- and to films about Los Angeles.
Hua Hsu: A Floating Chinaman Author Hua Hsu stops by to discuss his book A Floating Chinaman, recounting the life of 1930's actor/writer H.T. Tsiang and his struggles entering the American literary world.
Securing Public Spaces, Super Wealthy Asians Vehicles are increasingly being used as weapons, as seen in the London Bridge attack over the weekend and in New York’s Times Square last month. The Compton-based company Calpipe is designing security bollards to help make public spaces safer. And novelist Kevin Kwan satirizes the “crazy rich” Asian jet set and their luxurious tastes in his latest book, “Rich People Problems.”
George Saunders: Lincoln in the Bardo (Part I) Lincoln in the Bardo dramatizes a grieving President Lincoln as he visits the grave of his beloved son Willie, who died at age eleven. In the novel, the buried dead believe they're not dead -- "they're sick and refer to their coffins as "sick boxes."