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Show & Tell: Particle Fever Explore and Learn

Show & Tell: Particle Fever

Choosing which movie to see is often vexing. There are just more releases every month than an ordinary human being with an actual life can see. It’s a shame, but there it is. But sometimes it’s harder than usual. A month or so ago, as I was facing the task of choosing which movies to discuss in May, I had a couple of real posers. Last week, my choices were either Catherine Deneuve in On My Way or Nymphomaniac Vol. I. I chose the one with all the naked people in it because I wanted to keep up with what Lars von Trier is up to. But I knew that the Deneuve film would also be good. The choice for this week was equally difficult, given that I would rather watch movies in The Historic Theater. The Big Room was playing Enemy, an intellectually challenging thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal. I like Jake, and I like thrillers. And yet, despite all that, I chose to head to The Loft to watch and discuss Particle Fever, a documentary about the Large Hadron Collider, the extremely large machine built in France and Switzerland to shoot very small bits of matter at one another at unimaginably high speeds in hopes of getting a glimpse of the Higgs Boson. Read More Read More
Show & Tell: Nymphomaniac Vol 1 In Brief

Show & Tell: Nymphomaniac Vol 1

Tomorrow evening (Tuesday, May 13) at The Music Hall, there will be two movies playing. In The Historic Theater, folks will be watching a French film title On My Way starring Catherine Deneuve in which the aging beauty hits the road with her grandson. It’s the perfect kind of movie to have around for Mother’s Day and I hope it attracted lots of Moms, including some who were escorted by their aging sons, who, like me, were once hopelessly in love with la Deneuve. They will see the still-lovely Catherine and some wonderful French scenery and will, I suspect, have their hearts warmed. And I’m not going to be discussing it. Instead, I will be at The Music Hall Loft watching and discussing Lars von Trier’s latest outrage, Nymphomaniac Vol I. According to the critical surveys I’ve done, critics think Nymphomaniac I is a slightly better movie than On My Way, although not by much. And the scores may be a little skewed by the few critics who gave Nymphomanic a score of zero. The critics who like the film are alternately fascinated and baffled by it. Like most people who have access to the Internet, the film’s use of explicit sex wasn’t much of a shock. And many were holding off making any judgment at all until Nymphomaniac Vol. II showed up, letting us know where von Trier was heading with his philosophical sexplorations. (Looking at the average scores for Vol. II reveals very little. Those who hated Vol. I kept on hating.) But while Lars von Trier is a provocateur and a troublemaker and an imp of the perverse, very few people ever accuse him of being anything less than a brilliant filmmaker. He’s an abrasive guy, but he isn’t afraid to push hard in pursuit of an idea. From Breaking the Waves to Dancer in the Dark to Melancholia, he drives his stories, his actors and his audiences beyond the usual limits. So that’s why I’m forsaking my one-time girlfriend for a date with a Danish loose cannon. I approach Nymphomaniac Vol. I with trepidation. After all, I sat all the way through von Trier’s Dogville. But I can’t be a film person and not see what this guy is up to. If that appeals to you as well, I’ll see you at The Loft at 7:00 and we’ll find out what all the yelling is about. Nota bene: Next week we will be geeking out with the infinitely less controversial scientific documentary about the world’s biggest atom smasher with Particle Fever. And the week after that, we’ll be back in The Big Room for Omar, an edgy thriller about the Middle East, where even the romantic comedies (which this isn’t) are edgy thrillers. I hope to see you there. Read More Read More
Sneak Preview of The Met @ The Music Hall 14-15 Season Interviews

Sneak Preview of The Met @ The Music Hall 14-15 Season

Not an opera buff? Music Hall members can catch a fun, free talk by cultural historian, composer, and always-entertaining Dennis Neil Kleinman at the Loft on Thursday, May 8 and I guarantee you will be intrigued. “Opera, above all else, is about great storytelling,” says Dennis. “And in a culture that loves narrative—from news stories to fantasy fiction and everything in between—opera is experiencing somewhat of a boom and is starting to resonate with younger generations.” Read More Read More
Show & Tell: Gloria In Brief

Show & Tell: Gloria

I keep a lot of movie lists in my head, or at least I try to. I love the conversations that start with lines like: “What’s your favorite Tom Hanks movie?” Substitute almost any actor, genre or director for Tom Hanks, and you have a recipe for a usefully wasted hour for any film buff. But I’ll have to admit that I’ve never had an active list in my head labeled Favorite Chilean Movies of All Time. Until 2012. Read More Read More
April NOW Magazine is out Print

April NOW Magazine is out

The April edition of NOW at The Music Hall is out. We’ve got a great lineup of live shows in April: from Jim Belushi to Feist; Swan Lake to P.J. O’Rourke. New shows on sale: The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Miss Richfield 1981 “Play with My Poodle”, La Santa Cecelia, Sing-a-long Sound of Music. Don’t miss Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, Not to mention all the great films: Telluride by the Sea favorites The Invisible Woman and The Lunchbox; Wildcard Movies Babette’s Feast and Crash Reel. Read More Read More
Walter Kirn Tells a Tale of the Long Con In Brief

Walter Kirn Tells a Tale of the Long Con

Calendar Item Writers in the Loft: Walter Kirn Sponsored by: Citizens Bank Wed., 3/26, 7pm The Music Hall Loft 131 Congress St. Portsmouth, NH Tickets: $40. Includes reserved seat, hardcover book (BLOOD WILL OUT: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery and a Masquerade, $25.95), bar beverage; author presentation, Q+A, and book signing meet-and-greet Buy Tickets Walter Kirn, author of Up In the Air, comes to us with his latest book, Blood Will Out on Wednesday, Mar. 26 at 7pm in the Loft. In his recent interview (of himself) in the New York Times, Kirn tells us the twisted true story of a con that starts with the transport of a crippled shelter dog from Montana to New York City and ends, some 15 years later, with the murder conviction of Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, (a.k.a. Clark Rockefeller). The book is already on tap to make the “Best of 2014” lists and we have been following the story since we first came across it in The New Yorker. We are very excited to be welcoming Mr. Kirn to the Loft for what is sure to be an interesting and memorable evening as we discuss his relationship to Gerharsreiter, the craft of writing nonfiction, and the story behind the story.  Related Links: #BloodWillOut @WalterKirn CBS’s 48 Hours Janet Maslin’s New York Times Book Review of “Blood Will Out” Nina Burleigh’s New York Times piece in the Sunday Book Review The New Yorker Articles - Note: some content requires a subscription Time Magazine’s  review by Jack Dickey Read More Read More

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