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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).

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Overview of Two Oscar Winners

    Revenant and Son of Saul

    By: Nancy Kempf - Mar 03rd, 2016

    Two of the most highly acclaimed films of this awards season have been Alejandro González Iñárritu's “The Revenant” and László Nemes’s “Son of Saul.” Oscars went to Iñárritu for Directing, Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor and Emmanuel Lubezki for Cinematography. Nemes’s “Son of Saul” won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Both films center on a protagonist in unimaginable torment. One survives through an obsession with vengeance, the other through an obsession with atonement.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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