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The Letters
Mother Teresa biopic delivers no miracles
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Film Review  December 4, 2015, by Steve Davis
"...The Letters is a contemporary take on this dust-covered genre, mostly relating the early vocation of Mother Teresa, the renowned nun who served the poor in the slums of Kolkata, founded the still-thriving Missionaries of Charity, and received the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of her life’s work. Granted, the woman’s no saint, technically speaking – she’s a miracle short of canonization – but few today see her as anything less, and rightly so..."

Letters From Iwo Jima
In his companion film to Flags of Our Fathers, Clint Eastwood again shows the process by which young soldiers become unwitting fodder for their country's war effort.
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Film Review  January 19, 2007, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...The flawed Flags tells the story of the three American men who obeyed their superior officers and willingly accepted the guise of heroic mascots in a public relations blitz to raise support for the war on the home front. Letters From Iwo Jima instead looks at the story of the 36-day World War II battle for the island of Iwo Jima from the Japanese perspective..."

SXSW: Pushing the Envelope With People of Letters
The Australian literary event revives two dying arts
DAILY SXSW  March 13, 2013, by Richard Whittaker
"...Dear People of Letters,..."

Letters to God
A young boy with cancer writes letters to God, an action that affects the lives of others around him.

Film Review  April 16, 2010, by Marjorie Baumgarten
"...Starring: Robyn Lively, Jeffrey Johnson, Tanner Maguire, Michael Christopher Bolten, Maree Cheatham, Bailee Madison and Ralph Waite. I’ve seen sick kids exploited for all sorts of reasons – usually as easy ploys to manipulate emotions but sometimes to sell things or encourage philanthropic outpourings – but Letters to God takes the cake (make that the holy wafer)..."

Learning One's Letters
Why was Oscar Wilde's 'Letter to Momma' lurking undiscovered in Texas?
Books Story  February 8, 2002, by James McWilliams
"...The "Letter to Momma," as it's come to be called, was written by a precocious Oscar as a 14-year-old boarding school student in Ireland. Watkins was documenting its condition to prepare the letter for a transatlantic journey to the British Library, where it became the acclaimed centerpiece of an exhibit of Wilde letters that has since traveled to the Morgan Library in New York..."

Motorists vs. Bikers Letters Tedious
Postmarks  June 27, 2010
"...Dear Editor, The letters to the editor are one of my favorite parts of the Chronicle, as it gives a forum for people to add often very interesting information (or rebuttals) to articles or raise issues that are otherwise not covered in the Chronicle. However, the one subject that I have seen endlessly droning on over the years with nothing new ever being added is the letters from motorists complaining about cyclists and letters from cyclists complaining about motorists. These letters are usually run without an original article to make them pertinent, and printing them only serves as a public forum for two groups to make sweepingly generalized accusations about the other. Printing letters from either camp extolling their own virtues while denigrating the other's serves no public interest, raises no new issue, and takes space away from much more interesting letters. I would like to suggest that in the future car vs..."

Opposition to Social Security 'No Match' Letters Mounting
Activists take action against Department of Homeland Security plans to turn Social Security 'no match' letters into a vehicle for immigration enforcement
News Story  September 21, 2007, by Cheryl Smith
"...Activists across the country took action Wednesday, Sept. 12, against Department of Homeland Security plans to convert "Social Security 'no match' letters into a tool of immigration enforcement..."

Letters at 20 Years
Some 'Postmarks' Writers Just Don't Know When to Quit … God Bless 'Em
Features Story  September 7, 2001, by Lee Nichols
"...The Austin Chronicle: Why do you write so many letters?..."

Letters at 3AM: An Arbitrary Nation, Part 5
Our Bill of Rights guarantees are breaking down in state justice systems across the country
Columns  July 12, 2013, by Michael Ventura


Letters at 3AM: Why a Duck?
The Marx Brothers were funny but they weren't kidding
Columns  July 27, 2012, by Michael Ventura
"...Harpo jumps over the front desk and perches on a file cabinet beside rows of cubbyholes stuffed with mail. His face is a study in delight as he takes letters from the cubbies and tears them in half...."

Letters at 3AM: A Long Goodbye
In the first of four parting columns, Michael Ventura announces his decision to end his bieweekly column
Columns  October 2, 2014, by Michael Ventura
"...Because, strange as it may seem, and no matter how personal it gets, the column hasn't been about "I" – though this one is. Rather, I've thought of it as letters to somebody who matters..."

Letters at 3AM: An Arbitrary Nation, Part 4
With the consent of the governed, the United States government has gone rogue and violated international law
Columns  June 14, 2013, by Michael Ventura


Letters at 3AM: Obama's May 23 Speech
Obama deftly weaves vagueness, misdirection, and a few outright lies
Columns  May 31, 2013, by Michael Ventura


Letters at 3AM
A visit to Deadwood: The legends show you where to go. Once you get there, you do your best to find out why you came.
Columns  June 24, 2005, by Michael Ventura
"...Long before he died, his exploits were trumpeted (often invented) far and wide. But there's nothing in the legend of Wild Bill to tell why he took such care to make his letters lovely...."

Linebarger's Fan Letters
News Story  May 6, 2005
"...In the weeks preceding the Travis Co. Commissioners Court's consideration of the delinquent tax collection system, commissioners received letters from prominent "concerned citizens" about the issue..."

Letters at 3AM
The music of Tony Fruscella reminds us that art is about an unending attempt to give what we can, where we can, to whom we can.
Columns  May 26, 2000, by Michael Ventura
"...As with so many children, beneath the poses my actual feelings were almost unbearably tender, full of yearning and longing, rended by paradox, and consumed with the child's impossible project of trying somehow, in some unimaginable way, to redeem the pain of my family. (In a society like ours, where unhappiness itself is seen as failure, this state of mind is all the more acute.) I'd discovered early what everyone finds out sooner or later: that everything you depend on, everything you assume, and everything you hope for, can suddenly shatter and leave you with nothing, nothing at all, nothing but the look in your eyes. My mother was in a mental hospital somewhere on Long Island; there was no way to call her, and I couldn't be sure she received my letters..."

Letters to the Editor: Classic Cuts
35 years of "keeping it weird"
Features Story  September 1, 2016, by Danielle White
"...For this special anniversary issue, we've gathered letters from over the years that embody the voice of this city. Creative, snarky, and unapologetic: the essence of "weird." Some of them are almost timeless (i.e., musicians' gripes, complaints about SXSW, editorial criticism, the smoking ban) and some dreams never die (lookin' at you, light rail)..."

Letters Like You've Never Seen Before
Northern-Southern Gallery goes graphically abecedarian
DAILY Arts  June 26, 2014, by Wayne Alan Brenner
"...My friend Bill Cotter, the author of the terrific novels Fever Chart and The Parallel Apartments, is also a dealer in rare books: An essay he wrote about that occupation was recently awarded a Pushcart prize. The man's professional bibliomongering is why, when I was scoping out the works on display at Northern-Southern Gallery's current "Letters" exhibition, I thought of him..."

Letters at 3AM: An Arbitrary Nation, Part 2
Laws arbitrarily enforced (or not enforced) according to the whims of the authorities are no longer laws
Columns  May 3, 2013, by Michael Ventura
"...Item 6: Last month, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston "ruled that the FBI's practice of so-called national security letters to banks, phone companies and other businesses is unconstitutional, saying the secretive demands for customer data violate the First Amendment" (The Associated Press, March 15)..."

Letters to Juliet
There's a lovely little arthouse movie buried in this romance starring Amanda Seyfried, although the film's commercial aspirations get in its way.
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Film Review  May 14, 2010, by Kimberley Jones
"...Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Egan and Gael García Bernal. Is Gary Winick atoning for his sins? If Bride Wars was an acid spill – and that’s putting it generously – then Letters to Juliet is like the safety shower in your high school chemistry class, delivering an unsubtle blast of sanitized sentimentality..."

Top 9 Letters of 2009
Features Story  January 1, 2010, by Mark Fagan
"...We're doing something a little different this year. In the name of fun we've chosen nine letters from the calendar year '09 that readers may find amusing, insightful, regionally topical, or none of the above..."

Letters @ 3AM
Something in me still wants to be a World War I fighter pilot – which is not only nuts, but helps me understand why we will always make war
Columns  November 10, 2006, by Michael Ventura
"...The best of those pocketbooks was a collection of letters by a World War I flier, a Brit. I remember neither title nor author but can still recite his dedication: "To my first wife,/who died long ago,/to whom these letters were written/in the springtime of life." It struck me hard, how he lived through the dangers of war while his young wife did not survive the hazards of peace...."

Letters at 3AM
The United States military is moving inevitably toward reinstating the draft
Columns  May 14, 2004, by Michael Ventura
"...If you claim a moral commitment to nonviolence you'll have to prove it. Letters from clergy will be essential, and it'll help to have letters from counselors, teachers, shrinks, doctors..."

Has Swanson Read Many of Swanson's Letters?
Postmarks  November 20, 2003
"...Wilks ["Postmarks," Nov. 21], I had originally offered some reasonable letters asking reasonable questions about the validity of "common knowledge" concerning several well-known issues like the environment and race and local politics, but apparently someone at the Chronicle thought it better to make snide, offensive comments about the subjects and insult me personally with the headings they placed on those letters..."

Letters Suggestion
Postmarks  August 20, 2003
"...Mr. Black, I enjoyed your editorial on "Postscripts" and the dilemma of titling all the letters that will be printed in the Chron's online edition ["Page Two," Aug..."

Letters at 3AM
Two words have been missing in all the hubbub about the Supreme Court's Lawrence v. Texas decision striking down laws against homosexual sodomy: Thank you.
Columns  July 11, 2003, by Michael Ventura
"...You will not find it in the Magna Carta (written 900 years ago) or in the thousands of governmental documents or declarations since. It was implied in Thomas Jefferson's 1776 founding thought that "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" (Jefferson's capital letters) are "unalienable Rights" (not inalienable -- un-alienable, not subject to being alienated) ....."

Letters at 3AM
The Flatlanders' collective voice of experience still dares the odds and rings true.
Columns  July 26, 2002, by Michael Ventura
"...Neal was the model for Dean Moriarty in Kerouac's On the Road -- a book that influenced our 14th Street tribe mightily. Carolyn said, "Do you know what their letters to me were full of? Dreams of finding a nice little house and a nice little job and settling down..."

Letters of Intent
Possible rape victim Virginia Glore has found a champion in Charlotte Johnson.
News Story  December 14, 2001, by Jordan Smith
"...But in October, after reading the Chronicle story about the alleged rape of Virginia Glore (see "Raped Twice?" Oct. 12), Johnson fired off a series of letters, possibly transforming her into Glore's most ardent supporter...."

Letters at 20 Years
Some 'Postmarks' Writers Just Don't Know When to Quit … God Bless 'Em
Features Story  September 7, 2001, by Belinda Acosta
"...Aviña's letters are passionate and irritable, yet underneath the indignation is a sense of love. He loves his gente, and he loves Austin..."

Letters from Prison
News Story  December 24, 1999
"...Come back to the dorm then eat dinner between 3:30 and 4:30. Back to the dorm, watch TV, or read, write letters, mainly write letters and read..."

Letters at 3AM
Poetry is an act of faith.
Columns  November 12, 1999, by Michael Ventura
"...Not many ever complete a novel; almost no one gets to make a movie; but poetry, like music, is exercised by many of whom you would not expect it. When I was 18 I worked in the mailroom at the prison on Riker's Island in New York City; my job was to open the letters to process any checks or cash and to take out any sexy material (though I always let the sexy stuff through); I'd get bored and read the letters, and was struck by how many primitive poems were written by the letter-writers, people who, if their writing was any indication, were barely educated at all..."

SXSW Showcase: People of Letters
Tuesday, March 12, 9:30pm, 18th Floor at Hilton Garden Inn
Music Story  March 8, 2013, by Melanie Haupt
"...Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire founded Women of Letters, a literary salon in Melbourne, Australia, in 2010 to celebrate the art of the epistolary tradition in an age of 140-character missives. The bestselling series presents a collection of notable female authors, musicians, and actors writing and reading a carefully composed letter following the predetermined theme of the evening..."

Letters at 3AM: The Future Loose Amongst Us
Digitalized fabrication changes everything we know about work and government
Columns  February 22, 2013, by Michael Ventura
"...In "The Revolution Will Be Printed" ("Letters at 3am," Feb. 8), I documented the present state of digital fabrication..."

Letters at 3AM: What Are Human Beings For?
No I, only robot
Columns  January 25, 2013, by Michael Ventura


Letters at 3AM: It Came From the White House
Obama and a majority of Democratic legislators support the NDAA, allowing the arrest of U.S. citizens without a warrant
Columns  February 10, 2012, by Michael Ventura
"...If you're not, then you'll do what? Phone calls, emails, letters? I suspect a massive email campaign might stir things up enough for change. Better still, a few hundred thousand citizens enjoying their First Amendment right of peaceable assembly in front of the Jefferson Memorial would make the point...."

Letters at 3AM: The Second Story
Remembering the cowardice and dysfunction of the White House on 9 / 11
Columns  September 9, 2011, by Michael Ventura


Letters at 3AM: Reading Diplomatic Code
There's a shift toward the promotion of Turkey as a stabilizing force in the Middle East
Columns  June 17, 2011, by Michael Ventura
"...Four days later, on May 29, the Times started publishing front-page love letters to Turkey...."

Letters at 3AM: SXSW: Let Me Guess
Rio eyed Shreveport. Shreveport eyed Rio.
Columns  March 11, 2011, by Michael Ventura
"..."We've exchanged letters. Sort of."..."

Letters at 3AM: Of Mayhem and Delight
The Keystone films, especially those of Charles Chaplin, reflected the present and heralded the future
Columns  December 3, 2010, by Michael Ventura
"...Oops! In the Dec. 3 "Letters @3AM" column, "Of Mayhem and Delight," Michael Ventura states that there were 37 Charles Chaplin films made for Keystone Films in 1914 when, in fact, there were 36...."

Legends of Texas Letters Reflect on 'The Gay Place'
ACC's Carnival ah! hosts a Billy Lee Brammer retrospective
DAILY Books  March 31, 2009, by Kimberley Jones
"...The panel kicks off with the premiere screening of "The Flea Circus," a short film based on an excerpt from The Gay Place, directed and produced by his daughters Shelby and Sidney Brammer. Next up is a panel discussion, and if you know the first thing about Texas letters, you know the lineup is an impressive one: Longtime Texas Monthly columnist (and one of Brammer's Mad Dog pals) Gary Cartwright; Brammer's first wife, Nadine Eckhardt, whose memoir Duchess of Palms was just published by UT Press; legendary curmudgeon Don Graham, who's perhaps the leading authority on Texas literature; Kaye Northcott, former editor of The Texas Observer; Texas Monthly senior editor Jan Reid (The Bullet Meant for Me); and former state legislator A.R..."

Letters at 3AM
In Screenworld, face-to-face engagement is devalued, yet one is never alone
Columns  February 27, 2009, by Michael Ventura
"...Here at the Chronicle, when I write "Moon" or "Sun," proofreaders change them to "moon, and "sun." But if I write "cyberspace," they change it to "Cyberspace." The star that sustains us and the orb that accompanies us don't rate capital letters. Cyberspace does..."

Letters at 3AM
It's a dangerous world, and some nights the most cruelly dangerous people may be you
Columns  December 19, 2008, by Michael Ventura
"...One final bit of context: As I wrote last time ("Letters at 3AM," Dec. 5), becoming a semifamous writer in Los Angeles stirred up all my terrors, and I did my best to mess myself up any way I could manage, except for the actual writing on the page..."

Letters From the Women of SAFPF
A small sample of the letters received by Austin attorney Derek Howard; transcribed and minimally edited
News Story  December 12, 2008
"...Below is just a small sample of the letters received by Howard; they have been transcribed and minimally edited. Protected by attorney-client privilege, the narratives could not be legally confiscated as could other mail..."

Letters @ 3AM
Elation is complicated. It can be joy, but it can also be terror – and it can be both, and more
Columns  September 14, 2007, by Michael Ventura
"...But not like this. That sound around me was (forgive the capital letters) TOTAL..."

Letters @ 3AM
The craziness of this country is that our public and private discussions have almost nothing to do with each other
Columns  July 6, 2007, by Michael Ventura
"...Beneath all our competing soundtracks and rhetoric, this is the true and secret American discourse. There is the cacophony of the "Public Discussion" (as a friend calls it in capital letters) and the longing and bafflement of the private discussions in our bars and diners and public conveyances..."

Letters @ 3AM
These Lubbock friends of mine were always writing books – thick notebooks of drawings and words
Columns  March 16, 2007, by Michael Ventura
"...I'm opening at random (cross-my-heart-and-spit) ... the narrator speaking in verse and capital letters of his baseball-player father and his honky-tonk mom: "SHE SAYS A PERSON HAS TO DIG INTO THE HEART OF/EVERYTHING ....."

Letters @ 3AM
Every contributor to a newspaper – not least, the letter-writers and ad designers – creates an artifact precious to history
Columns  September 1, 2006, by Michael Ventura
"...A future historian wishing to study how small cities grew recklessly and unpredictably in the last 25 years will use the Chronicle's Austin coverage as a prime source, a case study. That historian will find the letters as significant as the news and editorials..."

Letters at 3AM
To blame disasters like the Twin Towers and New Orleans on a few perpetrators is to ignore the greater disasters that are the foundation upon which the developed world lives: our attempts to hold on to an unsustainable way of life
Columns  September 16, 2005, by Michael Ventura


If Only We Could Overlook Babich's Letters
Postmarks  July 11, 2005
"...Dear Editor, As I sit in record 104-degree heat, wondering if it's gong to be another ozone action day, listening to TV news about a never-ending stream of casualties from our latest oil war in Iraq, I agree with Chip Pumphrey's letter ["Postmarks," July 8] that it would be nice to be able to avoid Amy Babich's letters. If I could, I wouldn't be reminded about how doggedly our country is creating an environmental quagmire..."

Letters at 3AM
The Oklahoma City Memorial and Ground Zero stir feelings of the dead calling on us to live
Columns  April 15, 2005, by Michael Ventura
"...Visitors had left odds and ends fastened to the fence: photos, crosses, plastic flowers, sympathetic notes, and many small stuffed animals tied to the wire with string and strands of ribbon. On the memorial's outer wall, in large letters, this inscription: "May All Who Leave Here Know the Impact of Violence..."

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