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  • 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.

  • Jim Jarmusch and Paterson

    Film's Quest for Poetry

    By: Nancy Kempf - Feb 25th, 2017

    Jim Jarmusch’s new film “Paterson” – about a poet named Paterson who drives a bus for a living in Paterson, New Jersey – is concerned not simply with poetry and the craft of prosody, but with the very nature of language itself.

  • 67th Berlinale, 2017

    Feb 9-19, Berlin, Germany

    By: Angelika Jansen - Feb 21st, 2017

    This year's Berlinale from February 9 - 19, 2017, started with high expectations and ended in a lukewarm acceptance of choices the international jury of seven presented at the Berlinale Palace on February 18. Although the jury made their selections only from the 18 submissions for the big prizes - the Golden Bear and seven Silver Bears in the Competition - it is this section that counts. The Competition is the heart and center of this huge international film festival that also turns every year into a film-viewing orgy for around 4000 critics as well as for a huge number of highly motivated moviegoers.

  • Stellar Female Performances 2015

    Focus on Outstanding Actresses

    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.

  • 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?

  • Shaz Khan Star of the Feature Film Moor

    Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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.

  • Palm Springs International Film Festival

    Oscar Previews

    By: Jack Lyons - Jan 22nd, 2016

    “Son of Saul” is Hungary’s Official Oscar Submission and the buzz on the street says it’s a strong candidate to take home the Oscar. Actually, I’m voting for “Labyrinth of Lies” as Best Foreign Film with “Son of Saul” as the alternate.

  • Berlinale 2016

    Another Blockbuster Film Festival

    By: Angelika Jansen - Feb 22nd, 2016

    Berlin just concluded the February 11 - 21, 2016 Berlinale by presenting 434 international films and more than 300.000 tickets were sold. Perhaps for the first time, a documentary film received the most coveted Golden Bear, 'Fuocoammare,' by Gianfranco Rosi. A thread of 'the right to happiness' was woven into the selection of movies, as there were also most serious subject matters in 15 categories. Two demanded much of the audience, time wise: They were 8 and 11 hours long.

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