Arts & Culture

Rob Edelman: Brooklyn

Nov 2, 2015

BROOKLYN, a new film just released theatrically, is something rare in contemporary cinema. It is a gentle film, a sweet and refreshingly authentic love story with central characters who are genuinely nice. Yet it never is sappy, and always is endearingly entertaining and a pleasure to watch. It was screened in September at the Toronto Film Festival and, after the showing, its director, John Crowley, referred to it as “a fresh version of a familiar tale.” This is a spot-on description.

  A long weekend of films, receptions, Q&A with filmmakers, hikes, and more are planned for Glimmerglass Film Days, November 5-9 in Cooperstown, NY. “Sacred Places” is the theme of the third annual festival, curated by central New York native Margaret Parsons, founder and director of the film program at the National Gallery of Art.

The selected films explore places of natural and cultural significance, around the world and close to home. Filmmakers and experts in their field will be on hand throughout the event to introduce films and answer questions, enriching the audience’s experience. The Festival also will feature shorts from the Black Maria Film Festival, and receptions with local foods and locally crafted brews and spirits.

Any Questions #218

Oct 30, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel return to an annual October tradition: the series.

Rogovoy Report For October 30, 2015

Oct 30, 2015

This weekend the cultural highlights in our region include a kind of multiplatform remix of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, a new stage comedy, an outspoken performance poet, and one of the most famous bands from the South of the Border.

The new play Holy Laughter follows an Episcopal priest who finds that the reality of leading a church is radically and hilariously different than what she learned in seminary. As she wrestles with church finances, eccentric parishioners, changing sexual mores and her own doubting human heart, Abigail struggles to make peace with the realities of contemporary church life.

WAM did a reading of Catherine Trieschmann’s play How the World Began as part of the inaugural 2014 Fresh Takes series, and it was very well received. Earlier this year, WAM Artistic Director Kristen van Ginhoven saw the first staged reading of her new play Holy Laughter at the Denver Center New Play Summit, where it had been commissioned.

Catherine Trieschmann’s plays include The Bridegroom of Blowing Rock, Crooked, How the World Began, Hot Georgia Sunday, and The Most Deserving. We welcome her to The Roundtable this morning along with Kristen van Ginhoven, Artistic Director of WAM Theatre.

Audrey Flack

 Audrey Flack: Heroines is currently on view in the Hoopes Gallery at The Hyde Collection in Glens Fall, NY. This exhibition, organized by the Lafayette College Art Galleries in Easton, Pennsylvania, is on view at The Hyde January 3, 2016.

The show features artist Audrey Flack, a pioneer in Photorealism, and a nationally recognized painter, printmaker, and sculptor. The subjects of the drawings and prints on view highlight women neglected or demonized by history.

We are joined now by Erin Coe, Director of The Hyde, and Audrey Flack.

  Each region of the country has its own distinctive history and culture that set it apart from others. The Capital Region of New York—consisting of Albany, Rensselaer, Schenectady, and Saratoga Counties— is no different.

Last month, The Albany Institute of History and Art opened an exhibition celebrating the heritage of this area. The Capital Region in 50 Objects will be on view through April 3rd.

The exhibition was planned in partnership with the Times Union and was made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts. Additional funding was provided by the New York Council for the Humanities and the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area.

The Albany Institute of History and Art is just down the road from our studio in Albany. I went there to talk about the exhibition with Chief Curator Doug McCombs and Curator Diane Shewchuk.

  Arcadia, a exhibition of new paintings by Maggie Mailer, is on display at McDaris Fine Art on Warren St. in Hudson, NY through November 15th.

In 2009, Maggie became the first Artist in Residence at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA. In 2002 she founded the Storefront Artist Project in Pittsfield, MA, which for 10 years served to establish a transparent boundary between the artist at work and the public sphere. Her work has been featured in Art New England, with cover stories in The Boston Globe, and The Los Angeles Times.

Rob Edelman: Two Films

Oct 26, 2015

A film with a high pedigree and the best of intentions may be briefly unveiled at a film festival or two before making its bow in theaters. The purpose of the festival exposure is to grab the attention of the media and win the applause of audiences, with the hope of garnering tons of positive press and Academy Award consideration. Meanwhile, another film that does not have a certain pedigree also may be screened at the same festival. However, because of its lack of star power or the fact that its dialogue is in most any language but English, this film will languish on the festival circuit for quite a while in the hope of attracting audiences and earning a U.S. theatrical distributor, let alone winning an Oscar nod.

  TvFILM is an independent film showcase from WMHT that celebrates the talents of independent filmmakers from upstate New York with a special focus on the Capital District.

This week, TvFILM presents a “Night of Frights" featuring numerous short horror and thriller films, from chilling to comedic. The program first airs October 29th at 10:00pm on WMHT and then will screen at The Linda on Friday, October 30th.

Here to tell us more are Daniel Swinton, the executive producer of the series and Zeke Kubish, TvFilms co-producer and editor.

Any Questions #217

Oct 23, 2015

Listen up! Resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel is back.

Rogovoy Report For October 23, 2015

Oct 23, 2015

New York-based contemporary dance artists Katie Workum and Kimberly Bartosik will be featured in an evening of cutting-edge movement in the Hunter Center at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday at 8pm. Workum brings her new piece, “Black Lakes,” full of improvisation, risk, and humor, while Bartosik performs “Ecsteriority4 (Part 2),” which constructs a landscape of power and desire in order to explore violence in American culture today.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani continue their discussion about Igor Stravinsky, sharing music from Petrushka.

  Experimental performance artist, composer and musician, Laurie Anderson’s new film, Heart of a Dog, will screen twice as part of FilmColumbia this weekend and will begin a run at Time and Space Limited in Hudson on November 6th.

The film is a meditation on life, perception, and stories. It talks about the loss of a much beloved pet and a less beloved parent. 

THE BOOK OF MORMON National Tour Company
(c) Joan Marcus, 2014

SCHENECTADY - It is easy to be cynical about “The Book of Mormon” which is playing at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady through Sunday. That’s before you see the show, afterwards you’ll likely be a big time fan.

  The St. Lawrence International Film Festival will go beyond all borders from Ottawa and Brockville, Canada into Canton and Potsdam, New York. They are celebrating cinema with over 25 films, 7 panels, and 8 special screenings over four days from October 22nd to October 25th.

The schedule includes an opening gala featuring a 35th Anniversary Screening of The Blues Brothers, a panel about Digital Shorts and the new media of laughter, a panel about James Bond, short film programs, narrative features, and much more.

Adam Paul is the Executive Director and Founder of The St. Lawrence International Film Festival and he joins us.

Chris Foster, John Noble, Patrick White
Kevin Gardner

“The Night Alive” playing at Curtain Call Theatre through November 7, is a wonderful character study of a man who by society’s definition is a loser. He is slothful, dirty, unreliable and not very trustworthy.

  The National Tour of The Book Of Mormon opens tonight at Proctors in Schenectady.

Hailed by The New York Times as "the best musical of this century" and the winner of nine Tony Awards, The Book of Mormon is the blockbuster Broadway smash from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and the Oscar-winning composer of Disney's Frozen and Avenue Q, Bobby Lopez.

David Larsen plays Elder Price in the show and he joins us to talk about the tour and his career.

  The 5th annual Made in the Berkshires Festival will take place at Berkshire Theatre Group venues this weekend – October 23rd through the 25th.

The festival features cutting-edge theatrical works (performed as staged readings), live music, film, short stories, and dance.

The co-curators of Made in the Berkshires are Hilary Deely and Barbara Sims.

  Warrior Productions in Rhinebeck was founded with a couple key goals. They want promote new works by emerging and established playwrights living in the Hudson Valley, to present artists with production opportunities and unique programs seldom found elsewhere and to create and provide programs in which emerging artists collaborate with accomplished mentors in a supportive, educational, and professional environment.

They also are looking to produce diverse and provocative new plays that explore contemporary issues and engage audiences and communities.

Elaine Fernandez is President and Founder of Warrior Productions.

Any Questions #216

Oct 16, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel are blushing red this week.

Audrey Kupferberg: Lion's Love

Oct 16, 2015

A newly-released DVD set of forgotten classics from the Criterion Collection, Eclipse Series 43: Agnès Varda in California, includes a real gem of late 1960s independent filmmaking.  It is LION’S LOVE, shot in sunny Los Angeles during the somewhat grim month of June 1968.  LION’S LOVE is not a conventional narrative film.  Then again, Agnes Varda is no conventional filmmaker.

Rogovoy Report For October 16, 2015

Oct 16, 2015

It’s film festival season in our region. A few weeks ago we enjoyed the Woodstock Film Festival. This weekend, cinephiles will flock to the northern Berkshire towns of Williamstown and North Adams for Wind-Up Fest, the rebooted version of the Williamstown Film Festival. Devoted to documentaries and nonfiction in other platforms, including writing, dance, and podcasts, the festival includes filmmaker Luke Meyer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Kolbert, who wrote the terrific book “The Sixth Extinction”, New Yorker cartoonist Bruce Eric Kaplan, award-winning cinematographer Kirsten Johnson, radio producer Scott Carrier of “This American Life”, dancers Monica Bill Barnes & Anna Bass, and more. Events take place throughout Williamstown and North Adams, at various locations on the Williams College campus, at MASS MoCA, at Images Cinema, at restaurants and other venues.

  In this week’s Classical Music According to Yehuda, Alan Chartock and Yehuda Hanani begin a series of discussions about Igor Stravinsky.

Bob Goepfert Reviews 4000 Miles At Capital Rep

Oct 15, 2015

 Albany – The play “4000 Miles,” which is at Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany through October 18, is a small, gentle play that is more about the emotions generated by the characters  than it is the events of the plot.   It’s a warm and compassionate work that is without bells and whistles or powerful climactic moments.  Yet it is a work that should linger in the memory for a long time.

  The Cocoon Theatre’s Beckett Festival will take place in Poughkeepsie, NY October 16 - 25 and will include a production of Samuel Beckett’s "Happy Days" and two public symposia - "Why Beckett? Why Now?" on October 18 and a student symposium "Why Study the Arts?" on October 25.

Beckett scholar, David Tucker, will participate in the "Why Beckett? Why Now?" Symposium. He is a Research Fellow at the University of Chester where he has been working on a performance history project on Beckett and British drama.

Rob Edelman: Film Festivals, Film Distribution

Oct 12, 2015

These days, plenty of films that play at festivals-- the most recent one I’ve attended is the Toronto fest-- are way under the radar. They make the rounds of the festival circuit, often for months and occasionally even for a couple years, with the intention of earning critical kudos, garnering audience praise, and grabbing the attention of distributors. But for a range of reasons, finding a U.S. distributor will be difficult if not impossible. Certainly, if a film is not American-made, it will end up with little or no theatrical distribution outside its maker’s home country.

Any Questions #215

Oct 9, 2015

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel have a case of the Thursdays.

Rogovoy Report For October 9, 2015

Oct 9, 2015

This weekend our region boasts several modern dance concerts, classical piano, psychedelic pop, a literary festival, and an Americana superstar.

Rob Edelman: Jafar Panahi’s Taxi

Oct 6, 2015

Certain filmmakers have long-appealed to me for their sensitivity, their sustained brilliance, and the subjects they choose to tackle-- often daringly. One of them is Jafar Panahi. I admire this Iranian filmmaker not only because he is a courageous artist who offers insightful portrayals of the world in which he lives and the people in it. What makes him special is that he has managed to keep making films even though, five years ago, he was arrested and jailed temporarily for “colluding with the intention to commit crimes against the country’s national security and propaganda against the Islamic Republic.” Panahi was banned from making films for two decades, but he still has managed to do so-- and he has been working on projects that explore the political repression that exists in his homeland.