• At the Movies

    The Martian, Bridge of Spies, Everest

    By: Charles Giuliano - Oct 19th, 2015

    Last week we binged at the movies. This included The Martian, Bridge of Spies, and Everest. They are all likely to be award winners in various categories but overall we found Everest to be most compelling and entertaining.

  • The Passion of Joan of Arc with Live Music

    Donald Greig Devises a Score Presented at the Miller Theatre

    By: Susan Hall - Oct 17th, 2015

    Silent films of the 1920s began when the theatre lights dimmed and a conductor marched down the aisle He raised his baton, the curtains opened. On flashed the film accompanied by the orchestra. At the Miller Theatre, five singers entered the stage and as the film started, they sang.

  • Steve Jobs The Movie

    Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin Sort of Attached

    By: Susan Hall - Oct 08th, 2015

    We've had book and film commentary on the legendary Steve Jobs. With the director of Slum Dog Millionaire directing and West Wing's Aaron Sorkin writing, one would have hoped for more insight. Great performances by Michael Fassbinder, Kate Winslet, Jeff Daniels and Seth Rogen make the film worth seeing.

  • The Bet Directed by Finola Hughes

    End of Summer Teen Flick

    By: Jack Lyons - Sep 18th, 2015

    As “the Bet” plays itself out in this lighthearted, sort of silly but sweet rite of passage movie, Libby, Addison’s mom, also begins to date again after the death of her husband of several years ago.

  • Exorcising Black Mass

    Whitewashing the Bulgers and Southie

    By: Charles Giuliano - Sep 18th, 2015

    Under a ton of makeup to get the look Johnny Depp is pretty good as Whitey Bulger. But, lets face it, when it comes to epic crime flicks he pales by comparison to Marlon Brando as Don Corleone in the Godfather. In directing Black Mass at best Scott Cooper is a Martin Scorsese or Mario Puzo wannabe.

  • Flick by Annie Baker at Gloucester Stage

    Losing It at the Movies

    By: Charles Giuliano - Sep 01st, 2015

    There is a distinctly Massachusetts flavor to Amherst based, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Annie Baker's Flick at Gloucester Stage Company. In two acts and just under three hours it takes a long and slow approach to making us care about minimum wage workers at a one screen movie theater on its last legs.

  • Marilyn Monroe – Declassified

    Interview with Filmmaker Paul Davids

    By: Jack Lyons - Aug 06th, 2015

    Recently Jack Lyons met with filmmaker Paul Davids after a screening of his new documentary film Marilyn Monroe Declassified. It is due for theatrical release later this year.

  • Playwright John Guare at Barrington Stage

    Updating His Adaptation of His Girl Friday

    John Guare
    By: Charles Giuliano - Aug 01st, 2015

    The renowned playwright John Guare was in Pittsfield recently for the first days of rehearsal of his play His Girl Friday. It is being directed by Julianne Boyd for Barrington Stage Company. He and others in the production met with the media for a lively give and take.

  • Every Other Sunday

    Growing Up in the Dark

    By: Charles Giuliano - Jul 25th, 2015

    Before cinema or film noir on every other Sunday, the maid's day off, we went to the movies. On many levels I grew up in the dark.

  • Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative

    Economic Impact of Making Films in the Berkshires

    By: BFMC - Jun 05th, 2015

    The Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative (BFMC) has released an economic impact study to examine the effects of a film shoot on the economy of rural communities. The study, “When Movie Making Comes to Town: An Economic Impact Analysis and Strategies for Development” was authored by Rick Feldman of InCommN, LLC, who was one of the developers of IMPLAN, a widely used economic impact analysis software program.

  • Misery Loves Comedy by Pollak and Vorhaus

    Documentary Explores Feng Shui of Stand-up Comedy

    By: Jack Lyons - May 17th, 2015

    Jimmy Fallon, Tom Hanks, Amy Schumer, Jim Gaffigan, Judd Apatow, Lisa Kudrow, Larry David and Jon Favereau are among many famous funny people featured in this hilarious twist on the age-old truth: misery loves company. You will enjoy the in-depth, candid interviews with some of the most revered comedy greats who each share their unique path and a life devoted to making strangers laugh.

  • Kumiko and the Journey into Dreamerhood

    Film by David Zellner Riffs on Fargo

    "Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter"
    By: Christopher Johnson - Apr 27th, 2015

    David Zellner’s “Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter” is not an unseen phenomenon in US cinema. But in taking the true story of a Japanese woman, Takako Konishi, who went looking for the money that Carl Showalter (Steve Buscemi) hid in “Fargo,” and fictionalizing that story, the filmmakers (David Zellner and Nathan Zellner who wrote and starred in the film) create a constant vacillation between truth and fiction.

  • It Follows Reboots the Horror Film

    Details the Nightmare of Adolescence

    "It Follows"
    By: Christopher Johnson - Apr 22nd, 2015

    Horror movies tend to stay with us for longer than we want. Not like the usual emotion-provoking film where we think about it intensely and with nostalgia, wanting to see it again to remember all the feels that came with it. Horror movies, typically have a different type of feels that manifest themselves in screams, intense heartbeat, jumping, and the general inability to sleep with the lights off because if you don’t keep your eyes at the edge of your bed at every minute, a infant demon with black eyes will show up.

  • What We Do in the Shadows a Dissapointing Film

    Expecting More from Taika Waititi and Jemaine Clement

    "What We Do in the Shadows"
    By: Christopher Johnson - Apr 22nd, 2015

    It was really easy to expect more from Taika Waititi’s and Jemaine Clement’s “What We Do in the Shadows,” especially with Images’s sign proclaiming The New York Times’s approval: “Hilarious!” It was still a fun film to watch and follow.

  • She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry

    Film Celebrates Women Who Made It Happen

    By: Nancy S. Bishop - Apr 07th, 2015

    She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry, a 90-minute film directed by Mary Dore, does not spend a lot of time glorifying the feminist icons of the 1960s. the film focuses on the women—the activists and organizers—who made things happen on the ground in New York, Chicago, Washington, San Francisco and other cities.

  • Still Alice Depicts Disease but Not Its Metaphors

    Another Take on Alzheimer's

    Movie poster of ’Still Alice’
    By: Christopher Johnson - Apr 06th, 2015

    “Still Alice” can, like other films, seem to be a commercial attempt to propagandize an issue evoking more empathy about it. It is nothing like those types of films.

  • Notes on 65th Berlinale

    February 5-15, 2015

    By: Angelika Jansen - Feb 17th, 2015

    As in prior years Angelika Jansen provides a glimpse into this year's Berlinale, where 350.000 movie tickets were sold for more than 1000 screenings and 440 films. Call that superlative!

  • The Interview BFD

    Cutting Kim Jong-un a New One

    By: Charles Giuliano - Jan 31st, 2015

    As a teenager I read the books and watched the movies banned by the Catholic Church. It served as a kind of entertainment guide. That was pretty much the motive in seeing The Interview. It pissed off North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. That led to hacking Sony Pictures which chickened out on and then fudged its release. Curious about the threats and hype we watched it on Netflix. Yawn.

  • The Imitation Game Nominated for Eight Oscars

    Benedict Cumberbatch Captivating as Alan Turing

    By: Charles Giuliano - Jan 25th, 2015

    Because of the Official Secrets Act it would be decades before the efforts of 10,000 at top secret Bletchley Park would be revealed. Primarily through the genius of the brilliant, tormented Alan Turning they succeeded in cracking the seemingly impossible 159 million daily variations of the Enigma code machine. Convicted of Gross Indecency Turing was alleged to take his life after a year of court imposed chemical castration.

  • Oscar Bound American Sniper Takes Hits

    Doves and Hawks Debate Clint Eastwood Film

    By: Charles Giuliano - Jan 21st, 2015

    From rodeo rider in Texas to sniper Bradley Cooper is superb in depicting the nuances of Chris Kyle who holds the record with 160 confirmed kills as an American Sniper. After 9/11 there was a rush to take the battle to the terrorists who attacked America. As the war dragged on with staggering cost and loss of life it grew ever less acceptable to the American people. Director Clint Eastwood again polarizes a nation divided into hawks and doves. Was Kyle a hero and defender of freedom or, as Michael Moore has stated, a "coward" and sanctioned serial killer?

  • Kurmanjan Datka Queen of the Mountains

    Emering Films from Kyrgzstan

    By: Jack Lyons - Jan 18th, 2015

    Following a two-year post graduate course in screenwriting and directing in Moscow, Sher-Niyaz returned to his native Kyrgzstan, and founded the film production company Aitysh Film in 2006. For his debut as a director he chose to film the epic story of his country’s most iconic citizen, Kurmanjan Datka.

  • Tangerines an Estonian Film

    Directed by Zaza Urushadze

    By: Jack Lyons - Jan 18th, 2015

    It’s safe to say that the anti-war message of “Tangerines” will not diminish the impact of an intense, well-crafted war movie that, no doubt, will resonate with audiences everywhere.

  • Lucky Stiff a Cute Musical Farce

    Directed by Chistopher Ashley of La Jolla Playthouse

    By: Jack Lyons - Jan 18th, 2015

    The newly adapted movie version of the theatre piece, Lucky Stiff, revolves, in short, around a young down-and-out, mousey British shoe salesman Harry Witherspoon (a winning performance by Dominic Marsh) who takes his dead American Uncle (a sedated (?) live actor who mustn’t make a false move played by Don Amendola) – a murdered Vegas casino manager to Monte Carlo – for the best time of his life, even though he’s dead. Shades of “Weekend at Bernie’s”.

  • Mark Titus Documentary Fire in the Water

    Alaskan King Salmon Endangered Species

    By: Jack Lyons - Jan 17th, 2015

    The documentary film Fire in the Water by Mark Titus is a dire warning of the threat to an American culinary staple The Alaskan King Salmon and other marine species. Fishing Alaska salmon is a $ billion dollar plus industry that appears to be headed for a financial tsunami.

  • Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem

    Film on Divorce Israeli Style

    By: Jack Lyons - Jan 17th, 2015

    The melodrama cleverly written and directed by the brother-sister team of Ronit Elkabertz and Shlomi Elkabertz introduces to non-Israeli audiences the complicated nature of its legal system concerning marriage and divorce. In theocracies, religious law trumps all varieties of civil law procedures that are common in most other countries.

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