FROM Steve James
How one Chinatown bank was 'small enough to jail' In the wake of the mortgage crisis and great recession, the government bailed out big banks, but one small bank was not so lucky. Abacus Federal Savings Bank was the only bank to face criminal charges. Run by a family in New York’s Chinatown, it served low-income immigrant communities. A new documentary tells the story: “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.” It opens in LA on June 9 at the Landmark NuArt Theater. Vera Sung, Jill Sung and Thomas Sung ran Abacus Federal Savings Bank in New York's Chinatown. They caught financial fraud being committed at their bank, reported it, and fired those involved. Then Abacus became the only bank to face criminal charges in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. (Photo by Sean Lyness)
‘Life Itself’ Filmmaker Steve James and Chaz Ebert tell Kim Masters about the journey of adapting Roger Ebert’s memoir, ‘Life Itself’ to a documentary. James figured finding funding for such a film would be no problem, but as he puts it, he was “exactly wrong about that.” Roger Ebert and his wife Chaz were both on board with the idea of working with James, and filming began in late 2012. But as Roger’s health slipped into a sudden decline, everyone involved had to adapt their plans. Even in very difficult, personal moments, Roger Ebert encouraged James to keep the camera rolling. He passed away just a few months into production. The film traces Ebert’s life from his childhood in Urbana, Illinois, to his days at the Chicago Sun-Times to his often contentious relationship with Gene Siskel. ‘Life Itself’ doesn’t shy away from portraying Ebert as a flawed man who, early in his career, had an outsized ego and a drinking problem. But it also shows a person transformed by love when he met and married his wife Chaz.
Why did Jared Kushner want a back channel with Russians? News broke Friday that President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, tried setting up a back channel between the Trump transition team and the Russian government. What are the consequences for Kushner, President Trump, and the investigation into Russian meddling?
Shaking up the USDA, 'The Beef Cookbook' and 'Tartine All Day' Peggy Lowe explains why Trump’s pick for USDA Secretary is rattling rural America. Dario Cecchini talks future plans for Chianti ramen, and Richard Turner shares cuts from “PRIME: The Beef Cookbook.” Writer Matthew Sedacca looks at the controversy behind liquid smoke. Jonathan Gold tries Chengdu-style dishes, and Elisabeth Prueitt of Tartine fills us in on the latest. Plus, chef Michael Beckman shares a recipe for cactus confit.
Morgan Parker: There Are More Beautiful Things than Beyoncé Morgan Parker says that the poems in her book There Are Things More Beautiful than Beyoncé take a stand against the clichés of the dominant culture.
In 'Speechless,' Scott Silveri combines comedy, family & disability Scott Silveri has written and produced sitcoms for more than 20 years. In all that time, he never encountered a TV family that looked anything like the one he grew up in -- with a mom, a dad...and a brother with cerebral palsy. He changed that with his show Speechless on ABC. Silveri tells us about looking to his own past for stories, and why he was determined to make a family comedy and not just a "disability show."