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  • Dutch Thriller Instinct

    At Palm Springs International Film Festival

    By: Jack Lyons - Jan 17th, 2020

    This year another Dutch film is in the Oscar hunt. It is a powerful, psychological, provocative thriller called “Instinct”. It’s set in a prison where a newly arrived, experienced psychologist Nicoline, (rivetingly played by Carice van Houten) is assigned to the case file of serial sex offender Idris (a clever psychopath scarily portrayed by Marwan Kenzari).

  • Oscar Winner Sebastain Lelio Directs Disobedience

    Jewish Life in England

    By: Jack Lyons - Jun 02nd, 2018

    “Disobedience” is a mesmerizing, interior, fascinating, and affecting screenplay that carefully structures the movie to squeeze maximum emotional impact from its two stars, which it does in spades. It’s a bold and daring film even by today’s standards.

  • Nana and Hitler Versus Picasso and the Others

    Two New Documentary Films

    By: Nancy Kempf - May 10th, 2018

    Two recent documentaries, both directorial feature film debuts, approach the memory and history of World War II from distinctly different and refreshing perspectives. Serena Dykman’s “Nana” is a eulogy, not only for her grandmother, Maryla Michalowski-Dyamant but for all victims of the Holocaust. Claudio Poli’s “Hitler versus Picasso and the Others” is a thorough history of the labyrinthine fate of European art during World War II.

  • 2018 AM-DOCS Film Festival

    Annual Program in Palm Springs

    By: Jack Lyons - May 06th, 2018

    Seven years ago, AM-DOCS Film Festival founder Teddy Grouya, felt that filmmakers of documentaries needed a proper festival of their own to display their diverse and wide-ranging, special subject-matter films. Accordinglt, the documentary film genre has been presented a festival format with all the trimmings.

  • 68th Berlinale, 2018

    February 15-25, Germany

    By: Angelika Jansen - Mar 01st, 2018

    In general, the 68th Berlinale may be defined as a quest of women attempting to be heard and seen. Seven of twelve prizes went to women, an astounding conclusion, especially since most of the contributions were more on the quiet side and not on the ‘#me too’ loudness. 385 films were screened and 300,000 moviegoers were counted, cold weather or not.

  • Diane Kruger Star of In the Fade

    Award Winning German Actress in Thriller

    By: Jack Lyons - Jan 22nd, 2018

    Germany has become a perennial contender for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Once again, its industry is competing for another win with the emotion-packed thriller “In the Fade”, starring Diane Kruger. She won as Best Actress at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival.

  • Prototype Festival New York

    Diving into Black Inscriptions

    By: Susan Hall - Jan 19th, 2018

    Black Inscription, from Carla Kihlstedt, Matthias Bossi and Jeremy Flower, is a multimedia song cycle that follows a free deep sea diver on her journey to the ocean's embrace. This tone poem fills an open slot in the Prototype Festival for works that don't quite fit the opera category.

  • Prototype Festival Two

    The Echo Drift by Mikael Karlsson

    By: Susan Hall - Jan 11th, 2018

    The Echo Drift is the second opera staged by the Prototype Festival, a group of creative producers who are working to develop new opera using all the media available, as opera has done from its earliest beginnings.

  • Palm Springs International Film Festival

    Third Largest American Film Festival

    By: Jack Lyons - Jan 11th, 2018

    On January 2nd, Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) officially launched its 29th Annual Film Festival and Gala. More than 2400 guests, attended, along with stars, celebrities, industry professionals, screenwriters, producers, directors, and actors to rub elbows at the Palm Springs Convention Center, as they accepted their Awards for their artistic accomplishments during 2017.

  • Oscar Bound Documentaries

    Final Five to be Announded January 23

    By: Nancy Kempf - Jan 11th, 2018

    If there were one word to characterize this year’s selection of possible documentary Oscar nominees, it would have to be nihilism. In its preliminary round of voting, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences selected 15 films of the 170 submissions for Best Documentary Academy Award, many produced by Amazon Studios, Netflix, HBO, et al.

  • Blank Out by Michel Van Der Aa

    Miah Persson and Roderick Williams Excel

    By: Susan Hall - Sep 26th, 2017

    Under the canopy formed by the dome of the Drill Hall in the Park Avenue Armory, Michel Van der Aa’s brilliant chamber opera, Blank Out, unfolds. In this gargantuan space, we seemed small and so did elements of the opera.

  • Step by Amanda Lipitz

    Award Winning Documentary Film

    By: Nancy Kempf - Aug 29th, 2017

    If there are antidotes to Charlottesville, one may be “Step,” the new documentary from Amanda Lipitz that won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Inspirational Filmmaking at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and the Audience Award for Best Feature at the 2017 AFI Docs festival. The film tells the remarkable story of the step team at the Baltimore Leadership School for Young Women (BLSYW). The school opened its doors to sixth graders in 2009. In the spring of 2016, its inaugural class was preparing to graduate.

  • Brigsby Bear Directed by Dave McCary,

    A Sweet Indie Film

    By: Nancy Kempf - Aug 29th, 2017

    If you missed the movingly sweet indie film “Brigsby Bear,” you are not alone. My theater cancelled their scheduled weekend showings after a negligible audience for its opening Friday, though they did allow it a 4:00 p.m. showing the following Monday and Wednesday afternoons before sending it on its way.

  • Ian Bostridge Reimagines Winterreise

    Mostly Mozart Offers Hans Zender's Interpretation

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 12th, 2017

    Netia Jones has combined tenor Ian Bostridge's thirty year passion and a brilliant "compositional interpretation" of the piano music for orchestra into a hydra-headed tour de force with video, sets and the suggestion of cabaret. Bostridge has the perfect voice for the wanderer, a stranger at the start and at the end. The staging works well.

  • Epic British Film Dunkirk

    Written and Directed by Christopher Nolan

    By: Jack Lyons - Jul 27th, 2017

    Currrently number one at the box office the epic British film Dunkirk, written and directed by Christopher Nolan, is the surprise hit of the summer season. This is the time of year for action adventure cartoon characters, like Wonder Woman, kids stuff and date movies. The film focuses on the British army, then defeated in France, about to be driven into the sea by Rommel and his Panzers. Miracuously that didn't as the British used every available vessel from yachts to fishing boats to ferry the troops across the channel. This was the moment and event when the fate of Europe was at a tipping point. It makes for a heck a movie.

  • Remembering Howard Frank Mosher

    Screening at the Bennington Center for the Arts on July 28th

    By: Jay Craven - Jul 14th, 2017

    Vermont novelist Howard Frank Mosher died on January 29th of this year. Filmmaker Jay Craven worked closely with the Northeast Kingdom writer since 1985, making five films based on his stories. Craven will be on tour this summer, screening his first Mosher feature film,“Where the Rivers Flow North,” and providing reflections on three decades of collaboration with the Northeast Kingdom writer.

  • Ivo van Hove's The Damned

    Hatred as Source of All Evil at Park Avenue Armory

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 21st, 2018

    The Damned by Ivo van Hove, based on the screenplay of Luchino Visconti, tears through the Park Avenue Armory. The stage is in four parts, if you don’t include a scene which goes out onto the Park Avenue where a shocked dog walker sees the mad Sophie von Essenbeck running wildly in search of her son.

  • Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman

    Exploring Blacks in America Post Civil War

    By: Jack Lyons - Aug 29th, 2018

    In his latest film, Lee explores the many aspects of the black experience in America since the Civil War. Lee has mellowed since his earlier “controversial, verbal, and incendiary rhetoric” days that some complained about in his movies. But there have never been stronger or more talented chroniclers of the black experience in America than Lee and the great black American playwright August Wilson.

  • Space Odyssey 2001 at NY Philharmonic

    Reprise of Classic

    By: Paul J. Pelkonen - Sep 18th, 2018

    Stanley Kubrick's seminal 1968 classic is now 50 years old, and remains as puzzling as ever. On Friday night, as part of this year's The Art of the Score festival, the New York Philharmonic performed the complete orchestral and choral music of 2001 as accompaniment to a large scale screening of the film at Lincoln Center.

  • An Almost Ordinary Summer

    Launches Palm Springs International Film Festival

    By: Jack Lyons - Jan 17th, 2020

    The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF), the third-largest film festival in America, began in 1989 as the dream of then Hollywood celebrity turned politician and former Mayor Sonny Bono, who had a dream of making his city a focal point for the motion picture industry by launching an annual film festival.

  • Obama’s Picks for Best Films

    Everyone’s a Critic

    By: Charles Giuliano - Dec 30th, 2019

    The conventional wisdom is that everyone is a critic. Which is an insult to those of us who pursue the difficult and complex craft. Why on earth would I give a fig about the year end movie list of former president Obama? I don't dabble in politics or take up brain surgery as a hobby. Having an opinion, and posting on social media, does not make you a critic.

  • Teodor Currentzis Brings Verdi to The Shed

    Dramatic Performance Accompanied by Jonas Mekas Images

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 22nd, 2019

    The Verdi Requiem conducted by Teodor Currentzis with the musicAeterna Orchestra and Chorus is performed at The Shed through November 24. The McCourt is a grand space and can seat 1,250 and hold 2000 standing. Designed to be flexibly conformed, this performance has bleacher seats extending from the floor before the stage up to the rafters, or heavens if you will. This program's music is both other-worldly and very much in the now.

  • Verdi's Requiem with Tedor Currentzis at The Shed

    New Views on a Great Work

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 14th, 2019

    A hundred-member orchestra and an 80-member chorus from Perm Russia perform Verdi's Requiem at The Shed in Hudson Yards, New York. Direct from Salzburg where it received rapturous reviews this re-imagining has been eagerly awaited. For ten days prior to the performances on November 19-24, Jonas Mekas' filmed response to the music was screened. It was at first a shocking take, beautiful images of flower blossoms one after another. The Requiem is a work of sublime beauty. It also has Dylan Thomas's rage at death. Mekas shows this in black screens and sometimes winds raging through branches and dessicating leaves.

  • Hitchcock's Psycho Score at NY Philharmonic

    Orchestra Performs Bernard Hermann's Classic

    By: Susan Hall - Sep 15th, 2019

    The New York Philharmonic performed the New York premiere of Bernard Hermann’s Psycho score, accompanying a huge projection of the film. Richard Kaufman, a veteran conductor of film and television productions, conducted. David Geffen Hall was filled with a hip audience of film buffs, who cheered when the classic image of the Bates Motel first appeared on the screen.

  • Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

    Live from Lincoln Center Presents first International Broadcast

    By: Susan Hall - Sep 04th, 2019

    The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center is upward bound, on an odyssey filmed by Live From Lincoln Center as they journeyed through Greece. We visit the remote hills of Pelion and churches in Volos and Milies. Unusual and exotic locations are the setting of performances: from a Bach violin solo performed movingly by Aaron Boyd in a magnificent amphitheater to the wonderful Octet for strings that Mendelssohn composed at 16 years of age as he embarked on his classical career.

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