FROM Douglas McGrath
Douglas McGrath: Becoming Mike Nichols When sevn-year-old Mikhail Igor Peschkowsky arrived in America in 1939, fleeing Nazi Germany, he knew only one English phrase: "I don't speak English, please don't kiss me." Eventually that child not only learned English, but became a master of the language -- an award-winning comedian, director and producer. The new HBO documentary Becoming Mike Nichols , covers two interviews with the director -- the last he would ever record. In it, Nichols recalls his early collaboration with fellow comedian Elaine May and his transition to directing, including Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple on Broadway, before moving on to Nichol's first film, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? The 1966 movie was nominated for 13 Oscars, including for leads Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Nichols won an Oscar for directing his second film, The Graduate, starring the then-unknown Dustin Hoffman. Douglas McGrath, the director of the Nichols documentary, is himself a multi-faceted talent: a writer, actor and director. He co-wrote the script for Woody Allen's Bullets over Broadway and directed Emma, based on the novel by Jane Austen. McGrath's involvement in Becoming Mike Nichols started with a phone call from columnist Frank Rich, who is an executive producer on the film. When Rich asked if he wanted to direct the doc, he couldn't say yes fast enough. McGrath tells us why they decided to keep the focus of the film on Nichols' early work, and the lessons he learned from the famous director, who died only four months after taping the interviews featured in the film. Becoming Mike Nichols premieres on HBO on February 22.
Michael Flynn ensnared in foreign payments scandal Congressman Elijah Cummings has released documents showing that President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn was warned not to accept foreign government payments in 2014. Flynn still took a $45,000 speaking fee in 2015 from the Kremlin-backed news network RT.
Scathing audit finds UC President's office hid $175 million A state audit says the Office of the President at the University of California has kept secret more than $175 million. The report says salaries are a lot a higher in that office than in comparable offices. The audit comes just months after the UC system won approval for its first tuition hike in six years.
Lead poisoning hits LA County It’s been three years since the lead crisis in Flint, Michigan began. Flint residents are still drinking bottled water. In LA County, there are areas with even higher rates of lead contamination, and in places you wouldn’t expect, like wealthy San Marino.
Cambodians and fried chicken, baby pureés, vegan baking tips Frank Shyong explains how Cambodians got into LA’s fried chicken game. Clara Polito shares vegan baking tips from her new book, and Leena Saini says boost the flavor of your baby’s food with spices. Martha Rose Shulman talks up a nifty kitchen gadget that will take your produce for a spin, and Jonathan Gold does lamb barbacoa at Maestro in Pasadena. Plus, a closer look at how bees make honey and wasps pollinate figs.