film

When you think of classic martial arts films, iconic names like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li come to mind. But in today's martial arts movie-making universe, actor Byron Mann is the new it-guy. He’s a prolific actor, well-known for his martial arts prowess and memorable fight scenes. He hails from Hong Kong, and earned his stripes in films like Street FighterRise of the Legend, The Man with the Iron Fists and more recently on television in CW’s Arrow. Currently, he has signed on to play a Chinese power broker in AMC’s Hell on Wheels, an epic fictionalized drama about the building of America’s railroads—its fifth season premieres July 18th at 9/8 central. Mann has also taken on roles in the upcoming films Absolution starring Steven Segal and Vinnie Jones, and The Big Short, playing alongside the likes of Brad Pitt, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Christian Bale.

  The Mask You Live In follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity. The film debuted at Sundance this year.

The film will screen at The Berkshire International Film Festival on Saturday at 3pm at The Mahaiwe.

Jennifer Siebel Newsom is a CEO, filmmaker, and advocate. She wrote, directed, and produced the 2011 award-winning documentary Miss Representation and then launched The Representation Project, a non-profit organization established to awaken people’s consciousness, inspire individual and community action and ultimately, transform culture.

Jimmy Chin

  In the high-stakes game of big-wall climbing, the Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru may be the ultimate prize. Sitting at the headwaters of the sacred Ganges River in Northern India, the Shark’s Fin has seen more failed attempts by elite climbing teams over the past 30 years than any other ascent in the Himalayas.

The layout of the 21,000-foot mountain’s perversely stacked obstacles makes it both a nightmare and an irresistible calling for some of the world’s toughest climbers. Hauling over 200 pounds of gear up 4,000-feet of technical, snowy, mixed ice and rock climbing is actually the simple part of this endeavor. After crossing that gauntlet you reach the Shark’s Fin itself: 1,500 feet of smooth, nearly featureless granite. There are few pre-existing fissures, cracks or footwalls. It is simply a straight sheet of overhanging rock.

Director Diego Ongaro’s first feature film, Bob and the Trees, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and is going to screen at the Berkshire International Film Festival on May 29th in Great Barrington.

The film is a fiction narrative and was entirely shot in the Berkshire in winter 2014 in the middle of the Polar Vortex using mostly non-professional actors.

Diego Ongaro joins us this morning along with Bob Tarasuk – the actor playing, Bob, a version of himself in the film.

  The BIFF is back! The Berkshire International Film Festival is celebrating 10 years at the end of this month. The BIFF is a world-class festival that is an integral part of the cultural fabric of the Berkshires.

The festival runs Thursday, May 28th through Sunday, May 31st in Great Barrington and Pittsfield, Massachusetts with screenings at The Triplex, The Mahaiwe, and The Beacon.

Kelley Vickery is the Founder and Director of BIFF and she joins us with a preview of this year's offerings.

  Actor Mark Pellegrino is likely best known for his work on Dexter as Paul Bennett, Lost as Jacob, Supernatural as Lucifer , and on Being Human as Bishop. He also played “Blond Treehorn Thug” in the 1998 Coen Brothers cult hit, The Big Lebowski.

He is currently co-starring on the A&E series, The Returned - which reunites him with Lost’s Carlton Cuse. The season finale of The Returned airs on Monday, May 11th.

  Tomorrow at 11 a.m., Images Cinema in Williamstown, MA will present a screening of the 1982 Rankin and Bass animated film - The Last Unicorn.

It tells the story of The Unicorn, believing she is the last of her kind, leaving the forest where she lives in an attempt to find others. Along the way she is kidnapped by Mommy Fortuna, freed by the bumbling magician, Schmendrick - and then re-imprisoned by him when he turns her into a human in an effort to save her. Adored by everyone she meets including the brave and sad Molly Grue, the miserable King Haggard and his adopted son, the valiant Prince Lir - she must fight The Red Bull and return home.

The screenplay is by Peter S. Beagle based on his 1968 novel of the same name. Peter has been touring with the film for a few years, meeting fans and being celebrated for his most celebrated work. The Last Unicorn has also been adapted into a beautiful graphic novel.

The film boasts the voice talents of Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges, Mia Farrow, Angela Lansbury, Christopher Lee and music by Jimmy Webb, performed by America. The Last Unicorn is one of those pedestal films for fantasy fans and 80s kids.

Peter Beagle will introduce the film tomorrow in Williamstown and participate in a Q&A and signing afterward.

 

   The Berkshire International Film Festival is presenting a special cast reunion and screening of the classic 1978 comedy, National Lampoon's Animal House, on Saturday night.

Members of Faber College's infamous Class of 1963 including Karen Allen, Peter Riegert, Mark Metcalf, Martha Smith, Jaime Widdows, and Judy Belushi will be in attendance following the film for a Q&A and a performance by Otis Day to complete the evening at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, MA.

Also in attendance will be the man who was at the helm of the film, director John Landis. Landis became famous for his work on Animal House - going on to direct such films as The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf in London, Trading Places, Coming to America, and The Three Amigos.

JOAN MARCUS

  Jim Dale started his professional career as a seventeen year old comedian playing the Music Halls of Britain. A little down the road he became a pop singing star during the early days of rock and roll and appeared in fourteen of the legendary Carry On films for the British cinema.

At the request of Laurence Olivier he joined the British National Theatre. He starred in the first Musical by Cameron Mackintosh, The Card, and played Fagin in Oliver! at the London Palladium. He first appeared on the American stage in 1973 - in 1980 he won the Tony Award for his work in Barnum.

Jaime Alvarez

  Hamilton Fish II was a descendant of one of the most prominent families in New York State. Hamilton “Albert” Fish was a psychopath and a most notorious child murderer. They died one day apart in 1936. A newspaper editor becomes obsessed with the coincidence of their shared names after publishing their obituaries on his front page.

The Lives of Hamilton Fish is a cinematic rock opera inspired by that true story. Rachel Mason wrote, directed and stars in the film, much of it was shot on location at historic sites in the Hudson Valley.

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