Associated Press

LOS ANGELES

George Lucas to break ground on LA’s Museum of Narrative Art

“Star Wars” creator George Lucas is visiting a galaxy on the edge of downtown Los Angeles to break ground on his $1.5 billion Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.

The institution, scheduled to open in 2021, is envisioned as not just a repository for “Star Wars” memorabilia but a wide-ranging museum representing all forms of visual storytelling from paintings and drawings to comic strips and digital and traditional films.

The latter will run the gamut from 1927’s futuristic masterpiece “Metropolis” to Orson Welles’ groundbreaking 1941 film “Citizen Kane” to the Lucas-Steven Spielberg collaborations on the “Indiana Jones” movies.

Of course the Force will also be strong with “Star Wars” stuff, including Luke Skywalker’s first lightsaber and Darth Vader’s helmet.

But, Lucas emphasized when the City Council voted 14-0 to approve the project last year that the Lucas Museum for Narrative Art is hardly intended to be a vanity project.

Its wide-ranging collection will also include paintings by Norman Rockwell, Edgar Degas and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, comic strips by “Peanuts” creator Charles Schulz and underground artist Robert Crumb, animation from films such as “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” and special effects from films such as “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.”

“The idea is that it’s popular art, it’s art that appeals to people emotionally and tells you something about who you are,” he said.

The museum’s construction and endowment is being funded entirely by Lucas, his wife and their foundation, which Los Angeles officials say makes it the largest public gift ever given to a municipality.

Schematic drawings show the building, with about 100,000 square feet (9,290 sq. meters) of gallery space, looking a good deal like a version of Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon spacecraft as it appears to hover above a section of Exposition Park near downtown.

It will be walking distance to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the California Science Center and the University of Southern California, which is where Lucas studied cinema before launching his career with the acclaimed 1971 science-fiction film “THX 1138.”

Plans are to offer programs for schoolchildren explaining the history of narrative storytelling with the hope it will inspire them to become their own generation’s storytellers.

JOHN ROGERS, Associated Press

 

LOS ANGELES

Nicolas Cage, Halsey lending voices to ‘Teen Titans GO!’

Oscar-winner Nicolas Cage, singer Halsey and rapper Lil Yachty will add their voices to “Teen Titans GO! to the Movies.”

USA Today reports Cage will be the voice of Superman, Halsey co-stars as Wonder Woman, and Yachty plays Green Lantern in the animated movie of the Cartoon Network show due in theaters in July.

Executive producer Sam Register says. “Every superhero in the DC Universe has an impact on the fans, so we felt a great responsibility to find a voice for each character that would not only suit the role, but the playful tone of the Titans.”

Cage is a major Superman fan. The actor named his son Kal-El, which was Superman’s Kryptonian birth name. He also once sold an issue of Superman’s 1938 debut comic for $2.1 million.

Associated Press

 

Citywide

‘The Rising Sea’ is entertaining and diverting read

“The Rising Sea: a Kurt Austin Adventure” (G.P. Putnam’s Sons), by Clive Cussler and Graham Brown

Kurt Austin heads the Special Assignment division of NUMA, the U.S. National Underwater and Marine Agency. His latest mission has him exploring various glaciers as he attempts to determine why they are melting faster than expected. The answer should be climate change, but what he uncovers is something far more sinister and disturbing.

The ocean levels are increasing at a rate that doesn’t match his scientific calculations. When he presents the findings to the rest of his team, they soon learn of a mining operation in the East China Sea that’s looking for a rare alloy, and the rapid methods used have caused catastrophic environmental issues as a result. The metal has indestructible properties, but obtaining it has the potential to raise the sea level so drastically that billions of people would be displaced if not outright killed.

Can Austin and his allies stop a man determined to win at all costs? Toss in a ruthless assassin so brutal in his methods that even his former employers, the Yakuza, have disavowed him. Sprinkle in major action sequences involving the latest advances in the future of technology, and add missing Japanese samurai swords. The end result is “The Rising Sea,” another entertaining and diverting read from a true legend in the adventure business. Unlike the other series in the Cussler brand of novels, the NUMA Files runs the closest to invoking the classic feel of James Bond reimagined as an oceanographer.

By JEFF AYERS, Associated Press