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Show & Tell: Omar Uncategorized

Show & Tell: Omar

A boy wants to visit his girlfriend, so he climbs over a wall. That’s the basic setup for Omar, a Middle Eastern thriller that we will be discussing on Tuesday at The Music Hall. It’s not that simple, of course, because the wall is the separation wall between the Occupied Territories and Israel. And the boy is also a Palestinian fighter who believes he’s helping the cause when he and his friends do a little killing. Interrogation. Admission. Informing. Double dealing on all sides. That’s what thrillers are made of. Of course, any film about Palestinians and Israelis is automatically about moral dilemmas and how the same actions seen from a different point of view can be interpreted very differently. But director Hany Abu-Assad, who scored big with his previous work, Paradise Now, isn’t just interested in sending messages. His movie is a thriller in the Hitchcock tradition, rife with mixed messages and ambiguities that keep the audience unsure of who to believe and who to trust. A film that works on many levels is always ripe for a good discussion, and Omar works on level after level. I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day and I hope to see you tonight at The Music Hall. We’ll be in the Big Room. Note: A couple of weeks ago we did a discussion of Nymphomaniac Vol. I and found that it was a work of genuine character and feeling whose high level of sexual content was as natural to it as violence is to other movies. I was a little conflicted about not doing a discussion of Nymphomaniac Vol. II, which is playing in The Loft. I expect it is as heartfelt and insightful as Vol. I. But Omar is just too good to miss. And having two movies that are so good that the choice is hard is exactly why The Music Hall is so vital to the nutritional needs of filmgoers in the Seacoast. Paul Goodwin TMHMG Read More Read More
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

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