Profiles & Interviews

A year ago, Michael Chabon was just another lyrical genius, writing critically acclaimed works such as the one that inspired the film “Wonder Boys.” All that changed on April 16 when the Berkeley author affirmed his place in literary history by snagging the Pulitzer Prize for his near-epic, “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.”

PETER IAN CUMMINGS sculpts his front locks in perpetual forward motion, frozen in time with the miracle of hair products. The rest of his hair is closely cropped and shaved from the nape up to almost the halfway point of his skull. The shorn pate adds to the impression of momentum, as if XY magazine’s

WHAT WAS A GIRL to do? According to Arlene Blum’s immigrant Russian grandparents, not much. As prohibitive as things might have been for others growing up in the 1950s Midwest, Blum wasn’t even allowed to go to the beach. Horseback riding was definitely out, and as for college, well, what did that have to do

“I Am Jackie Chan.” In Asia, the title of the film star’s autobiography would be a simple assertion. Chan has made and remade Hong Kong film history in terms of narrative, action, industry practices and standards. In the West, where he is not as well known except to frequenters of dingy Chinatown theaters or the film underground the

ONE YEAR AGO, Dan Wu returned to his homeland of Hong Kong to become a star. Well, not exactly his homeland: Wu is a Bay Area boy, Berkeley-born, Orinda-raised and Oakland-educated (Head Royce). A pleasant, smart guy with modestly handsome looks, he actually visited Hong Kong to witness the handover and recover from his undergraduate

I AM FOLLOWING Eric Liu because I am Chinese. . . Naturally, I’m oversimplifying matters. Liu is promoting his first book, “The Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker, ” in which he interweaves political and cultural essays with intimate recollections. I don’t normally stalk authors or Chinese people, but we share similarities, so much

“The Truman Show” gives off a surreal pastel Technicolor, like the eerie glow that emanates from a TV set in an unlit living room. That must have been the same radioactive cling that encircled director Peter Weir’s head after he read the script by Andrew Niccol. In 1995 Weir, who had been nearly reduced to

LORAINE RICKMOND can’t sit still for long. A vibrant, irrepressible energy resonates from her small frame, which osteoporosis has shrunken a couple of inches to under 5 feet tall. Fortunately, a busy schedule precludes any sitting still, what with bridge in the morning, playing the piano every Wednesday at the Richmond senior citizens center where


Joseph Gordon-Levitt doesn’t want to talk about porn. Not that he’s coy or repentant about the benumbing barrage of Pornhub clips in his debut film, “Don Jon.” After all, the first-time feature director wrote the script about Jon Martello, a preening “guido” whose weekly hookups can’t wean him from his online addiction. Gordon-Levitt has counted


Chandelier choreographer Ryan Heffington has been called mad (with a sewing machine), a cult trainer (for his Sweaty Sunday classes at his dance studio), an electric, all-around creative force, and dance genius more times than you could count. To look at his handlebar mustache and long hair, you wouldn’t be blamed for envisioning him as

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