Saturday, June 15, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

BITS & BYTES: ‘Mississippi Masala’ and ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ at Hudson Hall; BIFF presents ‘Lady Bird’; Triplex and GBPT ‘Freud’s Last Session’ fundraiser; ‘Out of Exile’ at Mad Rose Gallery; Saodat Ismailova films at The Clark; ‘Afire’ at Norfolk Library; ‘Easter in Art’ at The Crandell

Winner of Best Screenplay and Audience Award for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival, director Mira Nair’s “Mississippi Masala” is a luminous look at the complexities of love in the melting pot of the Deep South.

Hudson Hall presents screenings of  ‘Mississippi Masala’ and ‘Koyaanisqatsi’

Hudson, N.Y.— On Thursday, March 28th at 7 p.m., Hudson Hall presents a screening of “Mississippi Masala” (1991 | 1 hour 58 minutes.)

‘Mississippi Masala.’ Image from theatrical poster.

Winner of Best Screenplay and Audience Award for Best Film at the Venice Film Festival, director Mira Nair’s “Mississippi Masala” is a luminous look at the complexities of love in the melting pot of the Deep South. Years after her Indian family was forced to flee their home in Uganda, twenty-something Mina (Sarita Choudhury) spends her days cleaning rooms in a Mississippi motel. When she falls for a charming carpet cleaner Demetrius (Denzel Washington,) their passionate romance challenges the prejudices of both of their families and exposes the rifts between the region’s Indian and African American communities. Tackling big issues with bighearted humor and keen insight, Nair serves up a sweet, sexy, and deeply satisfying celebration of love’s power to break down barriers.

The screening is on Thursday, March 28th at 7 p.m. at Hudson Hall on Warren Street in Hudson, N.Y. Tickets are $8 including fees. Tickets and more information can be found online. Additionally, The Maker restaurant is offering a pre-show dinner experience.

On Wednesday, April 17th at 7 p.m., Hudson Hall presents a screening of  “Koyaanisqatsi” (1982 | 86 minutes.)

An unparalleled theatrical experience, director Godfrey Reggio and composer Philip Glass’s cult classic “Koyaanisqatsi” is an arresting visual meditation on “life out of balance” (the meaning of the film’s Hopi title). Jaw-dropping visions of untouched nature are wordlessly juxtaposed with others depicting human beings’ increasing dependence on technology. Apocalyptic and groundbreaking at the time of its release, this non-narrative feature remains a stunning achievement for its formal experimentation and environmental vision.

‘Koyaanisqatsi.’ Image courtesy of Hudson Hall.

The screening is on Wednesday, April 17th at 7 p.m. at Hudson Hall on Warren Street in Hudson, N.Y. Tickets are $8 including fees. Tickets and more information can be found online.

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BIFF’s ‘Cinematic Adolescence: Coming of Age Films by Auteurs’ series continues with Greta Gerwig’s ‘Lady Bird’

Lenox— On Saturday, March 23rd at 3 p.m., BIFF’s (Berkshire International Film Festival)
“Cinematic Adolescence: Coming of Age Films by Auteurs” series continues with Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird” starring Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Beanie Feldstein, Tracy Letts, and Timothee Chalamet.

‘Lady Bird.’ Image from theatrical poster.

Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson (Saoirse Ronan) is a high-school senior from the “wrong side of the tracks.” She longs for adventure, sophistication, and opportunity, but finds little of that in her Sacramento Catholic high school. Her senior year improves: she finds her first romance, participates in the school play, and, most importantly, applies for college.

Howard Arkans will introduce the film and host a followup Q&A. Arkans has had a keen interest in film since his grandmother took him to see “The Jazz Singer” (remake) in 1952.  He has taught “Tuesday at the Movies” for OLLI at BCC for the last 14 winters, and he has been a “REEL Friend” of BIFF for many years.

The screening is on Saturday, March 23rd at 3 p.m. at Lenox High School on East Street in Lenox. Tickets are $15 and $10 for BIFF and OLLI members. Tickets and more information can be found online. 

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Triplex Cinema and Great Barrington Public Theater to host a special fundraising screening, talkback, and reception for Mark St. Germain’s Film ‘Freud’s Last Session’

Great Barrington— On Thursday, April 11th at 5 p.m., the Triplex Cinema and Great Barrington Public Theater (GBPT) will host a special fundraising screening, talkback, and reception for Mark St. Germain’s Film ‘Freud’s Last Session.”

‘Freud’s Last Session.’ Image courtesy of Triplex Cinema.

Set in 1939 on the eve of the outbreak of World War Two in England, the film tells the story of a fictional meeting between Sigmund Freud and famed author and Christian theologian C.S. Lewis, who debated the existence of God, among other issues. The conversation imagines a spiritual coming together between the father of psychoanalysis, an atheist and man of science, and the theological Lewis, who later wrote The Chronicles of Narnia, among other works.

Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins stars as Freud, alongside Matthew Goode, who plays Lewis. Interestingly, in 1993, Hopkins played Lewis in Richard Attenborough’s film “Shadowlands.”

Mark St. Germain. Image courtesy of Triplex Cinema.

The film is based on the Mark St. Germain play that originally premiered in 2009 at Barrington Stage Company. The filmed version of Freud’s Last Session is written by St. German and Matthew Brown, who also directed the film. The St. Germain play was based on a famous series of Harvard University lectures by professor of psychiatry Armand Nicholi, which Nicholi later turned into a book.

Triplex Board of Directors President Nicki Wilson said “It is an honor to show Mark’s film at the Triplex. So many of us in the Berkshires are fans of his work and this is a unique opportunity to see his film, listen to him speak about it, and support two of the Berkshires’ most vibrant cultural institutions. We look forward to further collaborations with the Great Barrington Public Theater.”

The event is on Thursday, April 11th at 5 p.m. at The Triplex on Railroad Street in Great Barrington. It includes a screening of the film, a talkback with Mark St. Germain, and a food and drink reception to follow. Tickets are $100. Tickets and more information can be found online. 

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Mad Rose Gallery presents a screening of ‘Out of Exile’

Millerton, N.Y.— On Saturday, April 13th at 1:30 p.m., Mad Rose Gallery presents a screening of “Out of Exile.”

Award-winning “Out of Exile,” the Photography of Fred Stein is the tale of a man caught up in one of history’s darkest moments. The Nazi menace thrusts Fred Stein into a life of exile in 1930s Paris across the war-torn French countryside, and in 1940s New York. Always full of belief in the human spirit, his answer was to create thousands of brilliant photographs, an art that transcends bigotry.

Albert Einstein; photo by Fred Stein. ‘Out of Exile.’ Images courtesy of Mad Rose Gallery.

The screening is on Saturday, April 13th at 1:30 p.m. at The Moviehouse on Main Street in Millerton, N.Y., as part of a special event to celebrate the opening of an exhibit of Fred Stein running from April 11th through May 5th. Curator Neal Rosenthal will host a post-show discussion with director/producer Peter Stein. The discussion will be followed by the opening reception and viewing of the photography. More information can be found online. 

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The Clark Art Institute to show two films by Saodat Ismailova, ‘ARAL: Fishing in an Invisible Sea’ and ‘The Haunted’

Williamstown— On Thursday, April 18th at 6 p.m., The Clark Art Institute will show two films by Saodat Ismailova, “ARAL: Fishing in an Invisible Sea” (2004 | 52 minutes) and “The Haunted” (2017 | 23 minutes.)

Journeying across natural, mythological, and sacred spaces, Ismailova’s films mark cinematic time through Central Asian songs of everyday survival. Ismailova’s first feature-length film, “ARAL: Fishing in an Invisible Sea” follows three generations of fishermen living near the Aral Sea, the site of a Soviet environmental catastrophe and an ongoing water crisis. 

‘ARAL: Fishing in an Invisible Sea,’ Carlos Casas and Saodat Ismailova, 2004.

“The Haunted” also documents the devastating effects of colonialism on the landscape, and the preservation of nature in Central Asian spiritual life. The short film reanimates the Turkestan tiger, an animal that went extinct during Russian colonization, traversing the terrain of collective memory through interviews, dreams, and archival footage.

The free screenings are on Thursday, April 18th at 6 p.m. in the Manton Research Center Auditorium at The Clark Art Institute on South Street in Williamstown. More information can be found online. 

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The Norfolk Library presents ‘Visions of Europe,’ a film series with Diego Ongaro

Norfolk, Conn.— On Friday, March 29th at 7 p.m., The Norfolk Library presents “Afire” (2023.)

‘Afire.’ Image courtesy of The Norfolk Library.

“Afire” is presented as part of the library’s “Visions of Europe” film series in which film director and Norfolk resident, Diego Ongaro will introduce three under-the-radar contemporary films with unique voices, highlighting the creative richness and vitality of the European film landscape.

First up is “Afire,” a genre-defying comedy of manners directed by Christian Petzold. Hypnotic, witty, and poignant, “Afire” follows a group of friends on the Baltic sea where emotions run high as the parched forest around them catches fire.

The screening is on Friday, March 29th at 7 p.m. at The Norfolk Library on Greenwoods Road East in Norfolk, Conn. Registration and more information can be found online. 

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The Crandell Theatre presents ‘Easter in Art’

Chatham, N.Y.— On Saturday, March 23rd at 1 p.m., The Crandell Theatre presents “Easter in Art” (NR | 86 min | Documentary.)

The story of Christ’s death and resurrection has dominated western culture for the past 2000 years. It is among the most significant historical events of all time, as recounted by the gospels but, equally, as interpreted by the greatest artists in history. From the triumphant to the savage, the ethereal to the tactile, some of western civilization’s greatest artworks focus on this pivotal moment.

Giotto, ‘Kiss of Judas,’ Scrovegni Chapel, c. 1304-1306.

This film explores the Easter story as depicted in art, from the time of the early Christians to the present day. Shot on location in Israel, the United States, and throughout Europe, the film explores the different ways artists, including Caravaggio, Raphael, Leonardo, El Greco, Bosch, Rembrandt, Munch, Michelangelo, and Giotto have portrayed the Easter story through the ages. Come see this glorious art on the big screen!

The screening is on Saturday, March 23rd at 1 p.m. at The Crandell Theatre on Main Street in Chatham, N.Y. Tickets are $11, $8 for members, and $7 for children. Tickets and more information can be found online. 

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