Arts & Culture

Movies: "The Great Gatsby"

Movies: "The Great Gatsby"

Poor F. Scott Fitzgerald.  Kicked out of Princeton.  Saw his early literary stardom go down the drain.  Wife Zelda committed to various mental institutions.  Dead of drink at the age of 44.  And now director Baz Luhrmann has even taken away his authorship of one of the greatest American novels.

It’s true.  As the new movie take on “The Great Gatsby” ends, we see the title page of the novel of the same title, attributed to the fictional character of Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire).  No wonder Dorothy Parker commented at Fitzgerald’s funeral, “The poor son of a bitch.”

 

Movies: "The Sapphires"

Movies: "The Sapphires"

Based on a true story, “The Sapphires” shows us the early career of Australia’s first all-Aborigine girl group and offers up a tasty sampling of 1960s soul music.

As the newsreel clips at the start of the movie inform us, the year is 1968.  When we first see these two sisters and their cousin performing, they’re covering a country western song at a small-town talent show near the reservation where they live.  As fate would have it, the MC is a displaced, down-on-his luck Irishman named Dave (Chris O’Dowd, of “Bridesmaids” and “Pirate Radio”), who picks up on the girls’ obvious talent and signs on as their manager.

 

Movies: "Mud"

Movies: "Mud"

“Mud” is the kind of movie people say Hollywood doesn’t make anymore:  low-key, character-driven and featuring a solid cast.  As a summer of bombastic blockbusters is about to bear down on us, it’s worth noting that there are still some decent American-made B-movies out there.

Set (and shot) along the banks of the Mississippi River in Arkansas, our story begins with two fourteen-year old boys, Ellis (Tye Sheridan, “The Tree of Life”) and Neckbone (newcomer Jacob Lofland), who’ve discovered a motor boat hung up in a tree on a small, wooded island.  But it turns out they’re not the only ones interested in the boat.  Also on the island is a tattooed, gun-toting stranger who calls himself Mud (Matthew McConaughey, never better).

The Circus is Coming to Town in Western Maine!

The Circus is Coming to Town in Western Maine!

Come one! Come All! The Circus is coming to town! May 11th Circus Olé! And Feast of Fools will hit the stage at the Four Seasons Conference Center at 187 Main Street for one night only, May 11th from 7 to 9 p.m.

Performing artists in aerial silk, stilt walking, hoop dancing, contact juggling and giant puppeteering hail from as far away as Portland, Boston, and from Western Maine. There is sure to be something to dazzle all ages at this animal-cruelty-free circus:

The Gypsy Relics will mesmerize circus goers with their specialty of Middle Eastern dance jazzed up with a little theater and zany fun mixed in.

Movies: "The Company You Keep"

Movies: "The Company You Keep"

As our nation tries to understand a new episode of domestic terrorism, here’s a movie that looks back at another time of terror attacks, by the Weather Underground during the Vietnam War era of the 1970s.

Although it begins with TV clips of the upheaval that accompanied that unpopular war, “The Company You Keep” is set in the present.  It begins when one of the participants (Susan Sarandon) in a Weather Underground bank heist that left a guard dead decides to turn herself in thirty years after the fact.

 

Thanks to the work of  Ben Shepard (Shia LaBoeuf), an energetic but narcissistic young reporter for an Albany, NY newspaper, Sarandon’s character is quickly linked to some other Albany lo

A First Foray into Fermented Foods

A First Foray into Fermented Foods

What do sauerkraut, pickled eggs, and yogurt have in common?  A lot more than you might think!

I learn the coolest stuff from the "New Book Shelf" at the library.  I pick up books that pique my fancy, but that I would likely never go on the hunt for.