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  • The Great Buster at Mostly Mozart

    What Buster Keaton and Mozart Have in Common

    By: Susan Hall - Jul 17th, 2019

    Mostly Mozart programmers ask the most obvious question at the start. Why a film about Buster Keaton in this festival related to Mozart? Seeing the film, an easy comparison can be made with Papagano, the physical actor/singer in The Magic Flute, which will play in a charming version at Lincoln Center. Yet it is the quality of the work that is truly similar.

  • Seventh Seal

    Playing Chess with Death

    By: Charles Giuliano - Mar 14th, 2020

    Recently, on Turner Classic Movies, I saw Ingmar Bergman’s iconic 1957 film Seventh Seal. That was before the death of the actor Max Von Sydow or the widening global pandemic. Yet again there is the contrast of art and artifice. Art is a means of navigating the collape of the American Empire in real time and vivid color. When this passes what will be left of our arts, culture and way of life? How will we pick up the pieces of a new order? Will the elections of 2020 be yet another cancellation? Is this Apocalypse Now?

  • Metropolis Ensemble Debuts at National Sawdust

    Ricardo Romaneiro's Score for Fritz Lang's Metropolis

    By: Susan Hall - Mar 11th, 2020

    Metropolis is a Grammy-nominated Ensemble founded by Andrew Cyr, who encourages artists to realize their bliss. The group was not named for the Fritz Lang film, but the temptation to take on this silent great must have been tantalizing. The live, electronic score by Ricardo Romaneiro was brilliant and brilliantly realized by the musicians. Cyr conducts.

  • Film: The 70th Berlinale 2020

    From February 20 - March 1

    By: Angelika Jansen - Mar 04th, 2020

    The 70th Berlinale, the huge international film festival in Berlin took place between February 20th and March 1st, 2020. Great expectations were put upon the new festival leaders, Carlo Chatrian (artistic director) and Mariette Rissenbeek (executive director).

  • Lincoln Center Great Performers' Mahler

    Surrounded by Concerts and Films

    By: Susan Hall - Feb 26th, 2020

    Lincoln Center's Great Performers surrounded us with Gustav Mahler for five days. In addition to a concert by Ivan Fischer conducting the Budapest Festival Orchestra, three films were offered.

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • TIME:Spans Festival at DiMenna Center

    Nikel with Tscherkassky's CinemaScope Trilogy

    By: Susan Hall - Aug 17th, 2019

    TIME:SPANS is a Contemporary Music Festival presented by the Earle Brown Music Foundation Charitable Trust at the DiMenna Center in New York. The Nikel Ensemble was featured in the first half of the Festival. Nothing daunts them. Wearing long extensions on their fingers, they kept the beat to Simon Løffler's music which accompanied a Peter Tscherkassky adaptation of The Entity, a classic psychological horror film.

  • Documentaries on Art and Design

    What to Stream When Home Alone

    By: Mark Favermann - Apr 02nd, 2020

    Most of us are now hunkered down and isolated, inundated by 24/7 news coverage of depressing medical and economic conditions, compounded by failed White House leadership. To lighten our burden, just a bit, here is a list, with thumbnail reviews, of nine excellent documentary films about architecture and design.

  • WBCN: The American Revolution

    Award Winning Documentary Film by Bill Lichtenstein

    By: Charles Giuliano - Mar 19th, 2019

    Recently, WBCN: The American Revolution had its first public screening at DC Independent Film Festival. It was judged Winner Best Documentary 2019. Bill Lichtenstein launched the project in 2009. There was at the time no archive dedicated to the legendary alternative rock station. Now there is as the film conflates talking heads, images, sound tracks and vintage footage. More than a radio station, WBCN provided the sound track and social media platform for the coming of age of 250,000 college students during an era of war, protest, and a dynamic counterculture.

  • WBCN and the American Revolution

    Bill Lichtenstein Discusses His Documentary Film

    By: Charles Giuliano - Mar 03rd, 2019

    On March 7 the documentary film WBCN and the American Revolution will have a sneak preview at the DC Film Festival. On March 9, 12 and 13 there will be screenings at the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose. A world premiere is being planned for Boston in April. The day after wrapping the film Bill Lichtenstein discussed the project which started in 2006. The story of WBCN is set against events from the launch of the radical FM station in 1968 to developments surrounding the resignation of Richard Nixon seven years later.

  • One County Film Company

    South Florida Brothers' New Movie Business

    By: Aaron Krause - Jan 22nd, 2019

    Brothers Andrew and Tim Davis' appearance as siblings in True West inspired a film-making collaboration. Work is under way on a second feature film even while the first has experienced multiple showings. The Davis brothers have big plans for their One County Film Company.

  • Piper-Heidsieck Flows at Oscar Nominations

    Lots Of Milestones

    By: Philip S. Kampe - Jan 22nd, 2019

    Each year, Piper-Heidsieck, the official Champagne of the Oscars, throws a party to celebrate the nominations. Attending the party is lots of fun. The highlight is always the Champagne.

  • The Infinite Hotel at Prototype Festival

    Michal McQuilken's Rollicking Celebration of Community

    By: Susan Hall - Jan 10th, 2019

    The Prototype Festival rolls on with a big production at Irondale, a Brooklyn venue which offers a large space and unusual opportunities for audience viewing. The Infinite Hotel by Michael Joseph McQuilken is having its world premiere. This is a rollicking, joyful and often touching production. It is full of surprises.

  • Strange Window at Next Wave, BAM

    Marianne Weems Re-invents Henry James

    By: Susan Hall - Dec 16th, 2018

    The Builder’s Association re-invented Henry James’ Turn of the Screw for today. Strange Window takes its title from a story James heard from the Archbishop of Canterbury. A woman was so fearful of strange figures who appeared in the windows of her home that she moved to protect her children.

  • Phantom Limb Company at BAM

    Next Wave Festival Presents A Different Wave

    By: Susan Hall - Nov 10th, 2018

    The Phantom Limb Company presents Falling Out at BAM's Next Wave Festival. A decade after 9/11 in the US, an earthquake in Japan created a tsunami which swept over swept over Otsuchi, Japan. A terrorist attack and nature's own are comparable in the name dates by which they are remembered. The tsunami caused meltdowns at three nuclear reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power plant. Hundreds of thousand of residents were affected in what came to be called 3/11.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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