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  • 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.

  • Palm Springs International Film Festival

    Annual Event Since 1989

    By: Jack Lyons - Jan 19th, 2017

    In 1989, then celebrity Mayor Sonny Bono, decided that what his desert paradise city needed was a little more glitz, klieg-lights, and glamor. So he and a group of his show business pals put together a business plan, recruited a sponsor like Nortel to help pay the bills and the first Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) was born.

  • Babe at the New York Philharmonic

    Nigel Westlake's Score Performed Live

    By: Susan Hall - Dec 18th, 2016

    Babe is a tale about an unprejudiced soul and one we should surely take to heart. Children can learn to sing Jingle Bells with LaLaLa. Will one of the youngsters who was lucky enough to see the film with the NY Phil, one day fall in love with the Saint Saens Symphony and say, That’s Babe’s song?

  • Shaz Khan Star of the Feature Film Moor

    Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival

    Moor
    By: Jack Lyons - Jan 04th, 2016

    One of the largest film festivals in North America is the annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF), now in its 27th year. This year my focus is “Award Buzz” film entries. These films have an opportunity to be considered as candidates for Oscar nominations in the category of “Best Foreign Film for 2015.

  • 2015 in the Arts

    Hiphopera, Tap, Berkshires and Beyond

    year
    By: Charles Giuliano - Jan 02nd, 2016

    In some of the most exciting and insightful productions and performances of the year there was a notable cross pollination and invention as vernacular street cultures and indigenous art forms conflated into high art. Classic works were not just revived but reinvented from the insight out. The best works of 2016 raised the bar through risk taking and challenging audiences. These rare experiences tend to make the majority of what we experience ordinary and enervating. In an era signified by ubiquitous standing ovations what is truly worthy of special recognition?

  • Hollywood and the Media

    Spotlight and Truth

    spot
    By: Charles Giuliano - Dec 04th, 2015

    The investigative stories depicted in "Spotlight" and "Truth" although based on events that occurred not that long ago represent that last gasp of the tradition of great American journalism. Beyond entertainment these films raise issues about the ever diminished means by which we get the news.

  • At the Movies

    The Martian, Bridge of Spies, Everest

    Film
    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

    whitey
    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

    flock
    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.

  • Revenant

    One for the Ages

    By: Charles Giuliano - Jan 14th, 2016

    What's left when a great director extracts the heart and soul of an actor through a stunning performance? Brando was never the same after Last Tango. Is there any gas in the tank for DiCaprio after being mauled and mangled in the stunning epic The Revenant?

  • Stellar Female Performances 2015

    Focus on Outstanding Actresses

    women
    By: Nancy S Kempf - Jan 20th, 2016

    Four especially penetrating films focused on women that articulate a wide-ranging cultural critique. Taken together their impact should be nothing less than profound. “Room,” “Brooklyn,” “Carol” and “45 Years” have rightfully received their nomination due in the awards in advance of the Oscars. Their impact has been amplified with greater complexity by the indie jewel “Tangerine,” giving us more reason for rejoicing.

  • Carnegie Celebrates Steve Reich's 80th Birthday

    To Defy God or Not is the Big Question

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 02nd, 2016

    The year long birthday celebration for Steve Reich, our country's foremost composer, continues. At Carnegie Hall, we heard a Quartet from 2013 and the world premier of Pulse with the International Contemporary Ensemble. The evening was capped by Three Tales, a collaboration between Reich and his wife, Beryl Korot, a video artist. While Reich appears to be fit as a fiddle, these tributes to his decades might better be annual for all the pleasure they offer.

  • A Man Called Ove: Grace of Community

    Film by Swedish Director Hannes Holm

    By: Nancy S. Kempf - Oct 28th, 2016

    Adapted from Frederik Backman's 2012 novel and a 2017 Academy Awards selection for Best Foreign Language Film, "A Man Called Ove" is a moving portrait of a man whose suppressed emotion manifests in curmudgeonly bluster.

  • Summer at the Movies

    Some You Might Have Missed

    By: Nancy S. Kempf - Aug 27th, 2016

    A number of quirky little subversive gems a made for a delightful summer. “The Lobster” had only a limited release in March and came into the theaters of middle America at the end of May, making it, by default, a summer movie for those of us not living in New York or LA. Then came “Swiss Army Man,” “Wiener-Dog,” “Captain Fantastic” and “Hunt for the Wilderpeople.”

  • Cafe Society by Woody Allen

    Nostalgic Journey Back to the 1930s

    By: Jack Lyons - Aug 19th, 2016

    “Café Society” written and directed by Allen, once again, takes us on a nostalgic journey backward in time to the 1930s. Gorgeously photographed by Academy Award- winning cinematographer Vittorio Storaro who makes the New York romantic sequences a picture-perfect post card truly ‘made for a boy and a girl’, as the lyrics say in Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers’ iconic song tribute to the Big Apple in “I’ll Take Manhattan”.

  • Updating the Jason Bourne Series

    Matt Damon Returns to Thriller

    By: Jack Lyons - Aug 19th, 2016

    Critical reception has been generally mixed. Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the flick 3 and one-half stars out of a possible four. I think he was very generous.

  • The Man Who Knew Infinity

    Biopic Stars Jeremy Irons and Dev Patel

    By: Jack Lyons - May 27th, 2016

    The superb Jeremy Irons stars as the brilliant, eccentric, and passionate Cambridge University mathematics professor G. H. Hardy. When Hardy is confronted with the mathematics genius of a young twenty-five year- old completely self-educated Indian student from Madras, named S. Ramanujan (stoically and poignantly played by Dev Patel) Hardy’s faith and passion for his chosen profession is put the test.

  • Weiner the Film

    Entertaining Film Doesn't Reveal

    By: Susan Hall - May 23rd, 2016

    Anthony Weiner may have revealed all on Twitter, but the film about his attempted political comeback as he ran for Mayor of New York in 2013 does not. It is an entertaining film. Weiner is more self-aware than many politicians, but the fact that he thinks he can behave in a style that forced his resignation from Congress apparently did not stop him from continuing that behavior. Politicians are like teenagers. You can warn them, but even after Gary Hart, they think: I am not vulnerable.

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