film

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.

Tom Perrotta’s new 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 that just finished up a three-season run. 

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.  

Rob Burnett
BAFTA/David Beyda

  Rob Burnett spent 30 years working for David Letterman, rising from intern to executive producer, before directing Paul Rudd and Selena Gomez in the new Netflix release The Fundamentals of Caring.

Rob Burnett joins us this morning to talk about the film, his life at Letterman’s side and other adventures in television.

In a career that has spanned over sixty years, Robert Wagner has witnessed the twilight of the Golden Age of Hollywood and the rise of television, becoming a beloved star in both film and TV. During this time, he became acquainted, both professionally and socially, with many of the greatest female screen personalities of all time.

His new book, I Loved Her in the Movies: Memories of Hollywood’s Legendary Actresses, gives us an account of the charisma of these women on film.  Among Wagner's subjects are Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Gloria Swanson, Loretta Young, Raquel Welch, Glenn Close, and the two actresses whom he ultimately married, Natalie Wood and Jill St. John.

Robert Wagner is the star of such films as A Kiss Before DyingThe Longest DayThe Pink Panther, and most recently, the Austin Powers franchise. On television, he starred in It Takes a Thief (with Fred Astaire), Switch (with Eddie Albert and Sharon Gless), and Hart to Hart (with Stefanie Powers). 

The 6th annual Made in the Berkshires festival features cutting-edge theatrical works performed as staged readings, live music, film, short stories and dance in a festival atmosphere like no other. New and innovative pieces as well as established work will be presented by local Berkshire County playwrights, actors, directors, musicians and performers.

Featured as performance blocks, Made in the Berkshires will allow audiences to enjoy the breadth and depth of the artistic talent that has landed in Berkshire County while celebrating the best in the visual and performing arts.

Professional artists and artists-in-the-making gather to share their talent with the Berkshire community. The festival will once again be curated by Hilary Somers Deely and Barbara Sims; two local artists who have helped create the rich cultural tapestry that permeates the Berkshires.

We are joined by Hilary and Barbara as well as Berkshire Theatre Group’s Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire.


  To Keep the Light is written and directed by Erica Fae, who also stars as Abbie -- the wife of a lighthouse keeper in Northern Maine in the late 1800s. Inspired by true stories of women lighthouse keepers, working in isolation and under extreme conditions, women who inherited their jobs from infirm or deceased husbands or fathers and were trailblazers, embodying feminism long before the word existed.

The film will screen twice at the Woodstock Film Festival - today at 1:30 at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, NY and Sunday at 2:15 at Upstate Films in Woodstock.

Caroline Shaw wrote the score for To Keep The Light. Shaw is a Grammy-winning singer in Roomful of Teeth and a violinist in ACME (American Contemporary Music Ensemble). In 2013 she became the youngest ever winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, for her composition Partita for 8 Voices. Recent and current projects include commissions for the the Cincinnati Symphony, the Guggenheim Museum Works & Process Series, and the Folger Library, as well as collaborations with Kanye West.   

Amber Tamblyn’s directorial debut, Paint it Black, will screen twice at the Woodstock Film Festival - tonight at 6:30 at the Woodstock Playhouse in Woodstock and Sunday at the Orpheum Theatre in Saugerties at 5:30 p.m. She will also participate in the festival’s "Women in Film and Media" panel on Saturday October 15 at the Kleinert James Art Center in Woodstock. Other participants in the panel are Bette Gordon, Catherine Hardwicke, and Mary Stewart Masterson. The panel is moderated by Thelma Adams.

Based on the novel of the same name by Janet Fitch, Paint it Black explores and explodes the confusion of grief when Josie’s boyfriend, Michael, commits suicide and his death brings her into the orbit of his powerful and powerfully cold and heartbroken mother, Meredith. Their strained relationship circling around who knew Michael better, who loved him more, and what can they get from - and do to - each other now that he is gone.

Tamblyn co-wrote the adaptation with Ed Dougherty. It stars Alia Shawkat as Josie and Janet McTeer as Meredith.

Adirondack Theatre Festival is having a major new event on October 21st and 22nd, The Adirondack Film Festival. Featuring over 30 of the best new national and international films, the inaugural event will take place on five movie screens in four locations in downtown Glens Falls, allowing ATF to expand community programming outside of the regular summer theatre schedule.

The Adirondack Film Festival will show feature films, short films, webseries, children's films, and documentaries. In addition to film screenings, the festival will include panel discussions, meet and greet events, parties, and Q&A's with the filmmakers and casts.

The Festival will also feature a contest where local actors, directors, and writers (of all skill-levels) will be invited to create a film in 48hrs. They will provide the equipment - you make the movie! Audiences will vote on their favorites and awards will be presented to the winners. 

Festival Director, Chad Rabinowitz joins us to tell us more. 

Bette Gordon is a director and independent filmmaker best known for her film Variety (1984), Luminous Motion (2000), and Handsome Harry (2010) Toronto. She has been the subject of retrospectives at IFC Cinema, Anthology Film Archives and The Walker Art Center.

Josh Charles is an actor best known for his work in Dead Poets Society, Sports Night, and The Good Wife.

They join us to discuss their new film The Drowning, directed by Gordon and starring Charles along with Julia Styles, and Avan Jogia. The thriller will screen twice at this year's Woodstock Film Festival

  The 4th Annual Beacon Independent Film Festival gets underway later this week - September 16th - 18th where they will screen features, shorts, documentaries and more.

Panel discussions, food vendors, green space, interactive activities for kids and adults make it an event for the whole family.

Terry Nelson is the Executive Director of the festival and we welcome him to The Roundtable this morning.

LightField is a new visual arts nonprofit founded by NYC-based cultural producer Anna Van Lenten that launched its inaugural exhibition at the Hudson Opera House on Saturday, August 20th.

Running through September 25th, MAKING A SCENE presents the work of nine international artists who explore the boundaries of storytelling through photography, film, video, and cross-platform installations. The exhibition is accompanied by feature film screenings, public talks, and a youth photo workshop.

Anna Van Lenten joins us along with Keith Miller whose film Five Star will screen in Hudson on Saturday.

The fiction-meets-reality feature casts a real-life member of the Bloods in a story about gang life in Brooklyn. Keith Miller is an award winning filmmaker and artist based in Brooklyn and was named a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow. As part of the development and production of Five Star, he was awarded a Jerome Film and Video grant and a Rooftop Production grant. He is a professor and curator at NYU’s Gallatin School.

  The movies you watch, the TV shows you adore, the concerts and sporting events you attend — behind the curtain of nearly all of these is an immensely powerful and secretive corporation known as Creative Artists Agency. Started in 1975, when five bright and brash employees of a creaky William Morris office left to open their own, strikingly innovative talent agency, CAA would come to revolutionize the entertainment industry, and over the next several decades its tentacles would spread aggressively throughout the worlds of movies, television, music, advertising, and investment banking.

In Powerhouse, James Andrew Miller draws on unprecedented and exclusive access to the men and women who built and battled with CAA, as well as financial information never before made public.


  Mike Birbiglia is an award winning comedian, writer, actor, and director known for his autobiographical stand-up tours and one-man shows on Broadway. His first feature film, Sleepwalk with Me, was released in 2012.

His second film, Don’t Think Twice, opens this Friday at Spectrum 8 Theatre in Albany, NY and at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck, NY. This story is Birbiglia’s first major work not based on his own life -- in it, an improv group called The Commune has reigned as the big fish in the small pond of their New York improv theater. When not all members of the group start to find success beyond the improv stage -- the group fractures, friendships are strained and feelings are hurt. It’s a funny movie about failure and success -- and how success doesn't always look the way you think it will.

The film is produced by This American Life host and creator Ira Glass, was written and directed by Birbiglia and he stars along with Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Kate Micucci, Chris Gethard, and Tami Sagher.

  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: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

Upcoming:

  Her Again is an intimate look at the artistic coming-of-age of the greatest actress of her generation, from the homecoming float at her suburban New Jersey high school, through her early days on the stage at Vassar College and the Yale School of Drama during its golden years, to her star-making roles in The Deer Hunter, Manhattan, and Kramer vs. Kramer. 

New Yorker contributor Michael Schulman brings into focus Meryl’s heady rise to stardom on the New York stage; her passionate, tragically short-lived love affair with fellow actor John Cazale; her marriage to sculptor Don Gummer; and her evolution as a young woman of the 1970s wrestling with changing ideas of feminism, marriage, love, and sacrifice.

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