Filmmaker Steven Soderbergh possibly has forsaken a very successful career in feature film production in favor of the mini-series format for cable, video, and streaming. He has made several strong comments about the advantages of creating dramas that are not chained to a two to three hour format. With his ten-hour Cinemax series, THE KNICK, he shows the advantages of the longer running time.
There’s no question about it – the big cultural event of the weekend in our region in Freshgrass, a three-day festival of roots and bluegrass music at MASS MoCA in North Adams. The lineup is stunning, really a who’s who of traditional and progressive bluegrass as well as country and roots music. At the top of the list is the unparalleled Emmylou Harris, who was born to sing bluegrass and country music, given her voice’s innate high lonesome sound. Also on the bill are the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Railroad Earth, David Grisman Sextet, Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn, Valerie June, Rodney Crowell, Aoife O’Donovan, Sam Amidon, and the Infamous Stringdusters. Other performers include Sam Bush, the Gibson Brothers, Alison Brown, Valerie June, Michael Cleveland, Claire Lynch, Darol Anger, and Martha Redbone Roots Project. All told, the event promises to be a kind of all-star festival of American country and roots music. That’s Freshgrass at MASS MoCA – today through Sunday.
BasilicaScope at Basilica Hudson running today and tomorrow and in its second year, dedicates its entire run to the legendary film director Alex Cox with his cult classics Repo Man, Straight to Hell Returns, and Walker.
A visionary filmmaker who made the 1980s even cooler than they already were, Cox masterfully used satire and a rambunctious stable of actors to illuminate the sleazy politics of the era. Alex Cox will be in Hudson for the Festival.
FreshGrass is a three day festival rich in both traditional and cutting-edge bluegrass, presented in a wide array of venues tucked into MASS MoCA’s 19th-century factory turned 21st-century museum.
More than 40 bands will play on MASS MoCA’s four stages this coming weekend, Friday through Sunday. Elsewhere on campus, instrument-specific workshops and industry seminars will be offered in conjunction with Berklee College of Music and its American Roots Program, often featuring guest musicians from the festival.
LATHAM - A.R. Gurney is as much a historian as he is a playwright. His newest play, “Family Furniture,” being offered at Curtain Call Theatre in Latham through October 11, is a detailed portrait of life as it was lived in the 1950s.
Yaddo – the National Historic Landmark and privates artists’ colony in Saratoga Springs - will open this weekend for guided public tours for the first time in 3 years and only the 6th time in their history. Artists who have worked at Yaddo have won 71 Pulitzer Prizes, 29 MacArthur Fellowships, 68 National Book Awards, 42 National Book Critics Circle Awards and even a Nobel Prize to Saul Bellow.
This weekend you can see the very walls they stared at while waiting to create and the spaces that surrounded them while they ultimately did write, compose, choreograph, paint, print, sculpt and film.
These days, one of the purposes of high-profile fall film festivals is to hype the latest high-priority releases and place them front-and-center in the upcoming Academy Awards competition. Each September, I attend the Toronto Film Festival and, each year, the talk at the fest inevitably centers on the hot new films being screened and the up-and-coming and name-brand performers in attendance.