Archive for the ‘Film/TV/DVD’ Category

11/26/15: Today’s Top Tip: Thursday (Thanksgiving Day)

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

TELEVISION/MUSIC: “Alice’s Restaurant 50th Anniversary Concert” @ WMHT-TV. Friends and neighbors filled Pittsfield’s Colonial Theatre for this national PBS concert by Arlo Guthrie, celebrating the anniversary of the events that inspired the famed Thanksgiving mega-saga. 8pm. ALSO: At 7:30pm, WMHT-TV broadcasts an exclusive interview with Guthrie.


Thanksgiving Eve at the Mahaiwe: Arlo Guthrie & “Alice’s Restaurant” [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, November 23rd, 2015


The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center and the Guthrie Center will co-present an on-stage conversation with Arlo Guthrie, moderated by WAMC-FM’s Alan Chartock, at 7pm on Wednesday (November 25), followed by a screening of Arthur Penn’s 1969 film Alice’s Restaurant. The Mahaiwe will also present its annual Thanksgiving weekend screenings of The Wizard of Oz at 4 & 7pm on Saturday (November 28).

“The Mahaiwe team is very happy to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with two special community classic films,” said Mahaiwe Executive Director Beryl Jolly. “We also invite the public to participate in the StoryCorps’ ‘Great Thanksgiving Listen’ by interviewing family elders over the holiday weekend and to help local families and pets in need by bringing contributions to the donation bins in the Mahaiwe lobby.”

The Mahaiwe is partnering with the People’s Pantry and the Berkshire Community Diaper Project to help provide for families in need this holiday season, including accepting pet food donations. From now until the end of the year, donation boxes will be available in the theater lobby between the hours of 12noon-6pm, Wednesday-Saturday. Non-perishable food items, as well as paper/cleaning products and disposable diapers (which are not covered by WIC or food stamps) can be dropped off during these hours.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

OPERA @ The Met: Alban Berg’s “Lulu” Uses Broad, Black Brushstrokes [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, November 20th, 2015

In many ways, the next offering from The Met: Live in HD should be on every visual artist’s must-see list. The reason is simple: William Kentridge directs the opera with the eye of an artist, ceaselessly experimenting and exploring the depths of this twelve-tone opera by innovative composer Alban Berg. The result is that this Lulu is getting high marks for direction and design of course, but for the music too. Wait until you hear (and see) Marlis Petersen do her star turn as the irresistible femme fatale in this complex story.

And it is a good thing that Kentridge never runs out of visual tricks over the course of this four-hour opera. While it may take the average listener a good half hour before they become comfortable with the elements of the 12-tone system when sung, by the climax of this operatic tour-de-force it is the rare person who can remain untouched, and glad they trusted this great opera to do its job as the magnificent entertainment it is.

Alban Berg (1885-1935) was an Austrian composer. was a part of Vienna’s cultural elite during the heady fin de siècle period. Musically, he was a member of the Second Viennese School with Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Webern, and produced compositions that combined Mahlerian Romanticism with a personal adaptation of Schoenberg’s twelve-tone technique.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

FILM FEST: Tribute to Cecil B. De Mille

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

This weekend the Pine Hills Film Colony is presenting “The Man Who Invented Hollywood: A Tribute to Cecil B. De Mille,” a two-day film festival devoted to the legendary American film director. Although Cecil B. DeMille is remembered mainly today for his religious spectacles, his vast body of work embraces a wide variety of genres from society dramas to gangster films.

The festival will be held at two different Albany venues – St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church on Friday (November 20) and the Madison Theater on Saturday (November 21). Here’s the schedule of films:


HBO to Telecast U2 Concert Live from Paris on Saturday [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, November 13th, 2015


UPDATE: Both the HBO broadcast and the U2 concert have been cancelled due to the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday (November 13).

Click to read the UPDATE at Berkshire on Stage.

Now appearing in Paris on their Innocence and Experience tour, U2 brings a live show unlike anything seen before to HBO. The special has its first airing at 9pm on Saturday (November 14). The exclusive presentation will also be available on HBO GO and HBO NOW simultaneous to its world premiere on HBO.

The U2 touring show showcases the inventive stage set that allows U2 to explore the concepts of Innocence and Experience through a performance that literally moves throughout the venue via multiple stages, a one-of-a-kind interactive floor-to-ceiling arena-length LED screen and a radical new approach to surround sound that ensures everyone in the audience sees, feels and hears the show with maximum impact from every seat in the house. U2: Innocence and Experience – Live in Paris will be shot live and air exclusively on that same day.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

FILM: On Screen/Sound 6 @ EMPAC at RPI, 11/4/15

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015
Lis Rhodes’ “Light Music" @ EMPAC (photo:  Jeff Nania)

Lis Rhodes’ “Light Music” @ EMPAC (photo: Jeff Nania)

Review and photographs by Jeff Nania

The latest installment of EMPAC’s On Screen/Sound series continued its exploration into interesting and unique connections between film and sound last week with two pieces composed entirely for light. Lis Rhodes’ “Light Music,” and Henning Lohner and John Cage’s collaborative piece “One11 and 103” were both screened.

Notably, “Light Music” was the only piece of the entire On Screen/Sound series to be presented in Studio One with standing room only because it is meant to be experienced in an environmental space. Old school film projectors sat on the floor on either side of the room and sputtered at each other through a theatrical haze as they projected onto opposing screens. The visual images were black and white patterns printed onto the celluloid film and then read as both visual and audio information, so that what you see is also what you hear. It makes for a bath of early computer and videogame-esque sounds. Because of the haze that filled the room you could see this happening throughout the airspace as well.


PBS-TV’s “Act One” Is Stunning! [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015
Act One on PBS, Live from Lincoln Center.

“Act One” on PBS’ Live from Lincoln Center on Friday

Review by Larry Murray

Coming up soon on the PBS “Live from Lincoln Center” series is the play Act One, and it proves to be simply brilliant in its concept, execution and transition to the home theater. I can not remember another play that has survived the perilous journey from the stage to the living room with such class and élan.

It is featured as part of the 2015 PBS Arts Fall Festival and premieres on Friday (November 13) at 9pm on most PBS stations, including WMHT-TV. It runs close to two and a half hours, though they pass far too quickly.

I have seen a lot of live theatre, and theatrical productions filmed for television, but Act One is the first theatrical piece that works as well on screen as it does on stage. The actors are flawless, the script masterful, and never has a stage set worked so well on television. It is clear that enormous amounts of time and creativity were invested in making sure this play worked as well on a flat screen as it did in person in a theater, not an easy transition to pull off.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Bob Dylan’s IBM Commercial [Extended Version]

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

By now you’ve probably seen Bob Dylan’s latest television commercial for IBM, which is above.

But you may not have seen the extended version, which is below…


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