Archive for the ‘Film/TV/DVD’ Category

New 2014 Film “Annie” Fails to Improve on Classic Staged “Annie” [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

As of December 1, “Annie,” starring Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhané Wallis, has been illegally downloaded by over 184,000 unique IP addresses.

Report by Larry Murray

They’re blaming all the troubles over at Sony Pictures on Kim Jong-un and The Interview, an upcoming picture about North Korea’s weird leader. A Pyongyang spokesman denied that their regime played any part in the hack attack earlier this month, and I believe them. The most damaging aspect is that copies of DVD screeners of four unreleased Sony movies including Annie, which is slated for wide release this week, are getting some unwelcome early exposure. The multi-title leak is part of actions protesting The Interview, with James Franco and Seth Rogen, by a group called #GOP(Guardians of Peace) and likely related to the hacking. Many of the leaked copies are watermarked. They showed up on file-sharing services, followed quickly by a flood of corporate data that no one at Sony Pictures ever intended to make public.

But all of that has little to do with our reaction to this new Annie except to make its official debut and this report a little less significant.

I think the purists who love the musical Annie will be even more up in arms at the mutilations Sony and director Will Gluck have wrought in this classic musical – cringe-worthy changes that take pandering to public taste to new heights. As my colleague over at Broadway World, Matt Tamanini, writes in his review, “The ‘Annie’ Remake is Bad, But Not Nearly as Bad as You Think.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.


Memo to Masochists: NBC’s Banal Version of “Peter Pan” Set to Air Again Saturday [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, December 12th, 2014
OMG, OMG, OMG what a waste…

OMG, OMG, OMG what a waste…

By Larry Murray

Some loved it, and some hated it. Being a theater critic with a decidedly acidic opinion of commercial-laden and low-brow television, NBC’s made-for-TV re-telling of the classic children’s story Peter Pan was doomed from the start. Perhaps it is because Mary Martin and Cyril Ritchard are no longer around to show a new generation how it is done. A wooden Christopher Walken and a smiley Allison Williams lip-synched most of the songs.

Below are five of the songs in the current television version and two from the famous earlier telecast in 1960 – Mary Martin singing “I’m Flying” and Cyril Ritchard camping it up in “Captain Hook’s Waltz.” He is also wearing the proper hook, the double one on the right hand, the one which the crocodile ate, not the single one seen on Christopher Walken’s left hand.

But what really furrowed my brow was the claim that this was going to bring a whole new audience into live theater.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Bits ‘n’ Pieces: “The Neighborhood That Disappeared”; Symmetry Gallery; “12/13/14″

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

The documentary film “The Neighborhood That Disappeared” will receive its broadcast premiere on WMHT-TV at 8pm on Friday (December 12). Documentarian-writer-producer Mary Paley teamed up with actor-director John Romeo, musician Bernie Mulleda, the late Guy Spataford (computer graphic artist and 3D designer for the film) and others to the tell the story of the Albany neighborhood that was destroyed to make way for the construction of the Empire State Plaza back in 1962. You can also pre-oder a DVD of the documentary for $14.99.

The Photography Center of the Capital District in Troy is seeking entries for their upcoming photography exhibit, “12/13/14,” featuring photos shot on Saturday (December 13). The exhibit is slated to open in mid-January.

After nearly a quarter century on Broadway in Saratoga Springs, Symmetry Gallery will be shuttering its brick-and-mortar store on Sunday, December 21. Owners-artists Gary and Dianne Zack opened their gallery back in May, 1990, specializing in hand-blown glass art, jewelry and other fine crafts, many created by local and regional artists. The Zacks hope to continue offering fine art and crafts online via their website.

Exploring FX in the Berkshires: A New Series @ the Little Cinema [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, December 8th, 2014
We’ve all wondered “How do they do that!” at one time or another.

We’ve all wondered “How do they do that!” at one time or another.

FX creativity thrives in the Berkshires – and the Little Cinema at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield will celebrate some local contributions to the genre with screenings and fascinating talks with those who make cinematic magic. From Middle Earth to the Matrix, FX in the Berkshires will feature films accompanied by talks with area filmmakers who are active in the special and visual effects fields.

The series opens with The Fellowship of the Ring at 6pm on Thursday (December 11), with a commentary by special effects expert John Nugent. The series is presented in partnership with Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative and is curated by Nannina Stearn.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Sundance and MASS MoCA Host Screenwriter Lucy Alibar’s Residency and Reading [Berkshire on Stage]

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Academy Award-nominated Lucy Alibar, whose stage play was adapted into the award-winning film Beasts of the Southern Wild, workshops her latest, Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up, with the Sundance Institute Theatre Program, in residency for two weeks at MASS MASS. Catch a reading of this work – a tale of a man, his family, his animals and his burn pile – on its way to the bright lights. The Sundance Institute Theatre Program presents Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up in MASS MoCA’s Club B-10 on Saturday (December 6) at 8pm.

During an evening exploring Southern eccentricity and family dynamics, Lucy Alibar’s Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up reflects upon the writer’s unusual upbringing in rural Florida, focusing on stories of her father – a criminal defense attorney and true Southerner – whose peculiarities shaped her identity, both in childhood and as an adult.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Bourne Again: Tony Gilroy on the Art of Suspense – A WFF and MASS MoCA Special Event [Berkshire on Stage]

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Tony Gilroy

The Williamstown Film Festival and MASS MoCA, which have collaborated on new films and film events for 15 years, welcome film director-screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Tony Gilroy to MASS MoCA’s Hunter Center at 8pm on Friday (November 7) for an evening titled Tony Gilroy: The Art of Suspense.

Ever wonder how filmmakers keep the audience biting their nails and on the edge of their seats until the final frame’s big reveal? Special guest and film veteran Tony Gilroy pulls back the curtain on the art of suspense in this original presentation. Gilroy talks about the colorful history of suspense on the screen, illustrating the discussion with clips from his own work (including “The Bourne Legacy” and “Michael Clayton”), as well as classics from the genre which have inspired him. Following the event, a reception will be held at Lickety Split.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Little Cinema to Host “Women in Film” Series @ Berkshire Museum [Berkshire on Stage]

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

In Pittsfield, the Berkshire Museum’s innovative Little Cinema will host a new film series beginning on Thursday (November 6) and continuing into 2015, selected by curator Nannina Stearn. Behind the Camera: Women in Film opens with The Adventures of Prince Achmed, the earliest feature-length animated film, created by Lotte Reiniger in the 1920s. The series is presented in partnership with Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative.

About Behind the Camera: Women in Film

“The first narrative film was created in 1896; it was directed by a woman. The first person to win two Oscars for screenwriting (in 1930 and 1932) was a woman,” says Nannina Stearn. “The first person to make a feature length-animated film in 1926 was a woman. Back in the 1920s half of all films were written by women, and almost every film was edited by one. More than any other art form, cinema was developed equally by men and women, and yet today women struggle to find parity with their male counterparts. In 2013 only 16 percent of the top creative jobs in films were filled by women, and in the past 15 years that number has never risen above 19 percent.”

With Behind the Camera: Women in Film, the Berkshire Museum and the Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative want to shine a light on that 16 percent, with special screenings highlighting the contributions women today are making to film, and celebrating the rich history women have as innovators in the medium.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

The Classic Movie Schedule for the Palace Theatre Kicks off Tonight

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Yes, the Classic Movie Series is back on the Palace Theatre’s big screen complete with vintage trailers, cartoons and more movie surprises…

The series kicks off at 7pm tonight with the annual October screening of the participatory cult classic horror/comedy/musical “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” featuring the live shadowcast by The Kids of Albany. Tickets for this special screening are $7.

Tickets for all other movies are $5; $3 for kids. And season passes to see every film in the series can be purchased for half price.

Here’s the Palace’s complete Classic Movie Series schedule for 2014-2015:


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