film

Tom Perrotta’s novel, "Mrs. Fletcher," is a provocative and very funny look at parenthood, the empty nest, and sex in the suburbs.

Perrotta is the author of eight works of fiction including "Election," "Joe College" and "Little Children." His novel "The Leftovers" was adapted into an HBO series. 

  Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: "I, Tonya" and "The Shape of Water"

It's one of the most revered movies of Hollywood's golden era. Starring screen legend Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly in her first significant film role, High Noon was shot on a lean budget over just thirty-two days but achieved instant box-office and critical success. It won four Academy Awards in 1953, including a best actor win for Cooper. And it became a cultural touchstone, often cited by politicians as a favorite film, celebrating moral fortitude.

Yet what has been often overlooked is that High Noon was made during the height of the Hollywood blacklist, a time of political inquisition and personal betrayal. In the middle of the film shoot, screenwriter Carl Foreman was forced to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities about his former membership in the Communist Party.

In "High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic," Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Frankel tells the story of the making of a great American Western, exploring how Carl Foreman's concept of High Noon evolved from idea to first draft to final script, taking on allegorical weight. Both the classic film and its turbulent political times emerge newly illuminated.

Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: The Man Who Invented Christmas, Justice League

Upcoming: 
Interwoven - Albany Public Library/Pine Hills Branch, opening reception Friday 12/8, 6-8 PM, on view through March 2018

A Christmas Carol - Home Made Theater, Spa Little Theater, Saratoga Springs, opens Friday 12/8, 7:30 PM through Dec. 16

Reelin’ in the Years: The Music of Steely Dan - Van Dyck Lounge, Schenectady, Friday 12/8, 7 and 9 PM

Sam Green and Kronos Quartet: Work-in-Progress Film with Live Music - MASS MoCA, North Adams, Mass., Friday 12/8, 8 PM

Action Bronson: Blue Chips 7000 Tour - Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, Friday 12/8, 8 PM

Albany Berkshire Ballet’s The Nutcracker - The Egg, Albany, Saturday 12/9, 1:30 and 5:30 PM

Trevor Noah - Palace Theatre, Albany, Saturday 12/9, 7 PM

Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show - Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes, Saturday 12/9, 8 PM and Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Sunday 12/10, 7 PM

Lady Moon & The Eclipse - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Saturday 12/9, 9 PM

Albany Symphony Orchestra: 1786, Mozart’s Miraculous Year - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Saturday 12/9 at 7:30 PM & Sunday 12/10 at 3 PM

New movies: The Disaster Artist, Jumanji: Welcome To the Jungle, Just Getting Started

Actor Lucas Hedges was nominated for an Academy Award for his work in "Manchester by The Sea" last year. He is in two films currently in theaters, Greta Gerwig's "Lady Bird" and Martin McDonagh's "Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri."

In the new film “Lady Bird,” Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson - played by Saoirse Ronan - fights against but is exactly like her deeply opinionated and strong-willed mom, a nurse working tirelessly to keep her family afloat after Lady Bird's father loses his job.

Saoirse Ronan is a two-time Academy Award nominee; receiving a Best Supporting Actress nomination for “Atonement,” and a Best Actress nomination for “Brooklyn.” “Lady Bird” was written and directed by Greta Gerwig has already been named one of the best films of the year. It opens locally today. 

Carl Sprague
Sarah LaDuke

Tomorrow night at 6:30, Carl Sprague will give an artist lecture at The Opalka Gallery at The Sage Colleges. The Artist Lecture Series is co-sponsored by the Opalka Gallery and the Department of Art + Design.

Sprague is a Berkshire-based Production Designer, Art Director, and Concept Illustrator for film, theater, and advertising. He’s designed sets for the Berkshire Theatre Group, Shakespeare & Company, Oldcastle Theatre, any many other regional theaters in the Berkshires and around the country.

He’s worked on design elements of films with Steven Spielberg, Nora Ephron, Ron Howard, David Mamet, David Fincher, Steve McQueen - and Wes Anderson. He was a concept illustrator for Anderson’s "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and worked on the upcoming stop-motion film, "Isle of Dogs."

Alan Alda At Proctors

Nov 7, 2017

Alan Alda is an actor, director, screenwriter, author and seven-time Emmy Award and Golden Globe Award winner. He is widely known for playing Captain Hawkeye Pierce in the TV series "M*A*S*H," hosting "Scientific American Frontiers," and playing Arnold Vinick on "The West Wing."

A lifelong lover of science, Alda would like everyday people and science to shake hands. Just as he knew to get to a doctor, because of what his body was telling him, Alda believes that people should have an easier time understanding and relating to science. So aside from hosting PBS specials for over two decades, Alda has helped found the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, where scientists learn the communicative skills to help the world understand science better without all the jargon.

Alan Alda will be at Proctors in Schenectady, NY on Thursday, November 9 presenting a program entitled "Getting Beyond A Blind Date with Science."

Glimmerglass Film Days

Nov 6, 2017

Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, a film about Jane Jacobs’ grassroots efforts to protect her neighborhood—New York City’s Greenwich Village—from car-centric, post-war development, kicks off the fifth annual Glimmerglass Film Days on Thursday at the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown.

Glimmerglass Films Days continues through November 13th with 18 feature length films, 9 shorts, filmmaker talks, receptions, guided walks, a companion art exhibit, and restaurant specials. The films, made in the United States as well as Mexico, the Netherlands, Mongolia, France, New Zealand, China, Turkey, and Italy, all reflect the theme “Home.”

Film Days curator Peggy Parsons, who also directs the Film Program at the National Gallery of Art, joins us for a preview.


  It’s summer on Sway Lake, the most glamorous lake in the Adirondacks - former playground of the jazz-age New York aristocracy. Music collector Ollie Sway recruits his only friend, a rowdy Russian drifter, to help him steal a 78 record from his own family’s estate. Ollie believes that this mysterious piece of music was hidden for him by his father before his suicide. The boys’ mission should be as easy, but the arrival of the Charlotte “Charlie” Sway - Ollie’s Grandmother - changes everything.

 

Directed by Ari Gold and co-written by Gold and Elizabeth Bull, The Song Of Sway Lake will screen at The Woodstock Playhouse as part of The Woodstock Film Festival on Sunday at 2:15.

 

Mary Beth Peil plays Charlie Sway and she joins us now. Piel is a venerated actor of stage and screen. She started her career in opera and currently plays The Dowager Empress in Anastasia on Broadway.

In the documentary film, The Rape of Recy Taylor, Nancy Buirski reconstructs events from 1944, when Recy Taylor, a twenty-four-year-old black woman in Abbeville, Alabama, was abducted on her way home from church by six white men who then raped her. Though Taylor identified her attackers, a local grand jury did not indict anyone for the crime. The NAACP mobilized a national campaign on Taylor’s behalf, sending Rosa Parks, its leading rape investigator to Abbeville. She and others recognized that, if justice could be served, it would be the result of reporting outside the immediate area. They nationalized the case yet the perpetrators remained uncharged, and the case slipped into oblivion.

The film will screen in Woodstock on Saturday at 10 a.m. as part of the Woodstock Film Festival and Nancy Buirski will be there for a Q&A following.

Griffin Dunne
Chronogram Magazine

Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold is a biographical documentary featuring the life of influential American writer, Joan Didion. Directed by Joan's nephew, Griffin Dunne, the film enlightens the viewer with an unprecedented, intimate perspective on Joan's life and career accomplishments.

The film features interviews from Joan herself, as well as close family and friends, interwoven with contextual archival footage/stills to visualize Joan's astute writing. Joan, famous for bringing order to disorder through her words, exposes, examines and divulges the most pivotal events in American history, making her one of the most recognizable and influential voices within the literary world. The story of this film not only considers Joan Didion the writer, but gives light to Joan Didion, the individual. 

The film will be screened at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, NY on October 13th at 5:45pm as part of the Woodstock Film Festival with a Q & A to follow with Griffin Dunne. 


  The 2017 Woodstock Film Festival begins tomorrow and will feature documentary and narrative films, panels, and parties in the Hudson Valley through the 15th. The new musical film, Stuck, directed by Michael Berry, will screen at the Woodstock Playhouse tomorrow at 7pm and at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck on the 14th at 9:30pm.

 

In Stuck, six strangers trapped together on a stalled New York City subway car confront their assumptions of one another under the scrutinizing eye of Lloyd, a mysterious homeless man, played by Giancarlo Esposito.

 

Esposito is likely best known for his roles in Spike Lee films such as Do the Right Thing, School Daze, and Mo' Better Blues. Other notable films include Fresh, The Usual Suspects, and King of New York. He plays Gustavo “Gus” Fring on Breaking Bad and its spin-off Better Call Saul.

Celebrating 18-years of innovative filmmakers & filmmaking, the Woodstock Film Festival has unveiled its line-up of nearly 120 films, panels, and events, screening Wednesday, October 11th through Sunday, October 15th, in Woodstock NY, and neighboring towns of Rhinebeck, Saugerties, Kingston and Rosendale.

The festival which is featuring 4 World Premieres, 5 North American Premieres, 1 US Premiere, 20 East Coast Premieres and 9 New York Premieres.

WFF's Co-Founder and Executive Director Meira Blaustein joins us for a preview. 

A legendary comedic second banana to a litany of major stars, Curtis is forever cemented in the public imagination as Booger from Revenge of the Nerds. A classically trained actor, Curtis began his incredible 40-year career on stage but progressed rapidly to film and television. He was typecast early and it proved to be the best thing that could have happened.

Born and bred a nerd, he spent his early years between Detroit, a city so nerdy that the word was coined there in 1951, and, improbably, Geneva, Switzerland. His adolescence and early adulthood was spent primarily between the covers of a book and indulging his nerdy obsessions. It was only when he found his true calling, as an actor and unintentional nerd icon, that he found true happiness. With whip-smart, self-effacing humor, Armstrong takes us on a most unlikely journey—one nerd’s hilarious, often touching rise to the middle. He started his life as an outcast and matured into…well, an older, slightly paunchier, hopefully wiser outcast.

Curtis Armstrong has appeared in a variety of films and television shows including Risky Business, Revenge of the Nerds, Moonlighting and New Girl.  

The mission of the Academy of Music is to enrich greater Northampton’s quality of life by offering first class performing arts and film presentations in an historic theatre of national significance, and encouraging the use of the venue for social, educational and professional events.

Academy of Music kicks of their 2017-18 season with the New England premiere of Building the Wall, the newest play by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award – winning playwright Robert Schenkkan. It’s the very near future, and the Trump administration has carried out his campaign promises to round up and detain millions of immigrants. 

A screening of the new documentary, Backpack Full Of Cash, about the effects of privatization of America’s public schools, will be followed by Q&A with award-winning director/producer Sarah Mondale and producer/editor Vera Aronow on Friday, September 8 at 7:00 PM in Page Hall on the University at Albany downtown campus.

Narrated by Academy Award-winning actor, Matt Damon, the documentary film Backpack Full Of Cash explores the real cost of privatizing America’s public schools.

Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty in 1967's Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty in 1967's Bonnie and Clyde.
Bonnie and Clyde

It has been 50 years since Bonnie and Clyde arrived like a shot in movie theaters. If the last time you thought about Berkshires resident Arthur Penn’s 1967 classic was when Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty fumbled the Moonlight Best Picture Oscar announcement, it’s time to give it another look.

Brave New Jersey

Aug 3, 2017

The new movie – Brave New Jersey – is a comedy about the small New Jersey town of Lullaby on the night of Orson Welles' legendary 1938 "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast, which led millions of listeners to believe the U.S. was being invaded by aliens.

The film is co-written by Berkshire based screenwriter and playwright Michael Dowling and Jody Lambert. Lambert also directs. Having had a successful tour of film festivals, the movie opens in select cities nationwide tomorrow.  

Brave New Jersey will run in the Berkshires at the Cinema at the Berkshire Museum from August 18 to August 21.

Following the launch of her new book, Low Relief, artist Lucy Raven and special-effects legend Phil Tippett will present an excerpt of their in-progress moving-image work, Coming Attraction at EMPAC in Troy, NY tomorrow at 7PM.

Tippett will discuss his collaboration with Raven, and offer an in-depth look at the making of the 1997 sci-fi cult classic Starship Troopers, including an edit of footage made by Tippett during the Troopers location scout in the badlands of Wyoming.

Under a staircase in his Berkeley visual-effects studio Tippett recently unearthed over 12 hours of VHS tapes, including the location scout and behind-the-scenes recordings made on-set during the shoot, an edit of which will be screened at this presentation. 

The evening will end with a screening of Starship Troopers, directed by Paul Verhoeven. Tippett’s career in visual effects has spanned more than 30 years and his selected filmography includes: The Twilight Films, RoboCop 1, 2 and 3Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, The Empire Strikes Back and the original Star Wars.

This Saturday - July 15th at 2pm - the Woodstock Film Festival will present a special screening of Story Of A Girl at Upstate Films in Woodstock. The film's director, Kyra Sedgwick, and editor, Sabine Hoffman, will host an in-person Q&A session following the screening. The screening is happening before the film's official television premiere on Lifetime on July 23rd.

The film tells the story of a young girl's loss of innocence and the role of social media in adolescent lives. It is based on Sara Zarr's award winning novel. 

The film is Kyra Sedgwick's directorial debut. She's an actress who has in The Closer and starred in films such as The Woodsman and Personal Velocity.  

The Sembrich Museum, the former teaching studio of Metropolitan Opera prima donna Marcella Sembrich. Situated on a wooded peninsula in Lake George, the studio contains memorabilia of a distinguished international operatic career spanning more than 50 years.

Throughout the summer, The Sembrich presents a series of concerts, lectures, films and recitals featuring some of today's finest performing artists. The Sembrich’s Artistic Director Richard Wargo, joins us.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

North Broadway in Saratoga Springs has been turned into the set of a new fairy tale TV show. A series based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale “Snow-White and Rose-Red” is being produced by a team of local actors and crew members and is scheduled to be released this December on Amazon Prime.

http://ajwnews.com


  Ne’imah Jewish Community Chorus will perform their 25th Anniversary Concert this Sunday June 11 at 7 p.m. at The Massry Center for the Arts at the College of Saint Rose.

 

This year’s concert is entitled Sterling Sounds and the special guest will be Cantor Meir Finkelstein. Born in Israel, the son of the late Cantor Zvi Finkelstein, Meir showed outstanding musical abilities, and at an early age began accompanying his father and older brother at services. In 1982 Meir became Cantor of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, California, which he served for 18 years.

 

He has composed over 150 settings for the liturgy and has written music for film, television, and concerts. He also produces and arranges music for recordings and live performance. He is currently the cantor at Congregation Beth Yeshurun in Houston, TX.


  The new film, The Lovers, stars Debra Winger as Mary and Tracy Letts as Michael -- a married couple with a son in college who are just about to leave each other after engaging in long-term affairs; she with a writer played by Aidan Gillen (of Game of Thrones) and he with a ballet dancer and instructor played by Melora Walters (memorably from Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia). As their extracurricular partners pressure Mary and Michael to leave the marriage and commit to them, a spark is rekindled and they are reverse cheating with each other. So how does that work out? Well, that’s the movie.

 

The Lovers is screening in theaters all around our region and was written and directed by Azazel Jacobs who joins us now. Jacobs co-wrote and directed the 2011 film, Terri starring John C. Reilly and the HBO series, Doll & Em with Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells.

This year's Berkshire International Film Festival will feature a tribute to Academy Award winning actor, Christopher Plummer on June 3 at 6:30 p.m. The acclaimed stage and screen performer will be in conversation with David Edelstein, film critic for NPR’s Fresh Air and CBS Sunday Morning at The Mahaiwe Theater.

A screening of Plummer's new film, The Exception immediately follows the talk. The film is distributed by A24 Films. 

The Exception marks the screen debut of theater director David Leveaux and features Plummer as exiled German Monarch Kaiser Wilhelm II who lives in a secluded mansion in The Netherlands as Germany is taking over Holland.

After Steve Jobs was unceremoniously dismissed from Apple, he turned his attention to a little-known graphics art company that he owned called Pixar. 

One day, out of the blue, Jobs called Lawrence Levy, a Harvard-trained lawyer and Silicon Valley executive to whom he had never spoken before, in the hope of persuading Levy to help him get Pixar on the right track.

What Levy found in Pixar was a company on the verge of failure. To Pixar and Beyond is the extraordinary story of what happened next.

Denial documentary poster
Denial/Derek Hallquist

A film that will be screened in Saratoga Springs this weekend interweaves two topics close to the heart of the filmmaker.  Derek Hallquist intended to make the film “Denial” to explain the electric grid and its impact on the environment.  For years he followed his father, the leader of a small electric utility, as he tried to confront how the electricity sector addresses climate change.  But Hallquist says that as filming on the documentary progressed he discovered and then interwove his father’s personal story of confronting gender denial.

Miles Joris-Peyrafitte in WAMC's studio March 3, 2017.
Ian Pickus

I’ve been following the story of the independent film As You Are for many months now, and now that I’ve finally seen the movie, I’m thrilled to have the chance to ask its director and co-screenwriter about it. The film is based in and around the Capital Region, with references to Washington Park and another local radio station. But it’s not merely a fun game of Albany geography. With a backdrop of violence, it’s a serious, sober coming of age story about two emotional teens, their friends and their volatile families.

Bestselling author Wally Lamb’s latest, I’ll Take You There, tells the story of film professor Felix Funicello who is visited by the ghost of a trailblazing director from the silent era who invites Felix to revisit – and in some cases re-live – scenes from his past.  

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