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'White Bird in a Blizzard' soundtrack is Bananarama-free

Posted by: Claude Peck Updated: October 16, 2014 - 4:21 PM
Shailene Woodly and director Gregg Araki. / AP photo.

The new Gregg Araki movie, "White Bird in a Blizzard," opening in the Twin Cities Oct. 24, is set in the late 1980s. As expected from Araki (see his "Nowhere" soundtrack CD, with Marilyn Manson, Blur, Hole, Chemical Brothers, Elastica, more), this movie has great music, all of it drawn from the darker side of the '80s pop, i.e. no Bananarama, no Bangles, no Go-Gos. I think I have every song in my dust-gathering vinyl collection.

The R-rated movie stars Shailene Woodley as a smart, sensible, hormonal teen growing up with nutty mom Eva Green and semi-catatonic dad Christopher Meloni. Mom's sudden disappearance drives the plot, along with the hookups of Woodley's character, Kat.

Araki, who has always been good at picking good music to set a mood and establish a time period, uses moody, synth-y songs, including ones by Cocteau Twins ("Sea Swallow Me"), Psychedelic Furs ("Heartbreak Beat"), and New Order ("Temptation"). Other acts represented in the movie include The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, This Mortal Coil, Pet Shop Boys, Echo and the Bunnymen and Everything but the Girl.

Textile Center in Minneapolis hires new director from Capri Theater

Posted by: Mary Abbe Updated: October 16, 2014 - 4:00 PM
Karl Reichert, videographer,  with Russ King, aka Miss Richfield 1981, and Michael Robins, director, at work on a video for a 2003 Illusion Theater production. Star Tribune file photo by Mike Zerby.

The Textile Center in Minneapolis has hired Karl Reichert as its new executive director starting November 17. He has done no prior work with in textile arts, but brings substantial management experience to his new post.

Reichert is currently director of the Capri Theater, a 250 seat arts-event space owned and operated by the Plymouth Christian Youth Center in North Minneapolis. The theater, which was renovated in 2009, stages music, film and theater performances as well as community forums. It presents a popular jazz series and diverse programs ranging from hip hop performances to Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra concerts.

"Everything we learned about him made us think he will be a good new executive director" for the Textile Center, said Donna Peterson, president of the fiber organization.

Peterson cited Reichert's experience in financial management, fund raising, development, artistic programming and "motivation of young people and artists" as key qualifications for the new post.

"He's had a ton of experience in the arts community, and we think he can quickly learn the specifics of textiles," said Peterson. "We wanted a manager who can help us with raising money and reaching the public as we develop programs and go into the future."

Prior to the Capri, where he has worked for nearly eight years, Reichert was a marketing and public relations consultant. He was fund raising director for R.T. Rybak's 2001 mayoral campaign, and was director of public affairs at the Minnesota Orchestral Association from 1992 to 2000.

At the Textile Center, Reichert follows Tim Fleming who resigned in March after two years in the post.

Founded in 1994, the Textile Center at 3000 University Av. S.E., Minneapolis, is a nationally known center for fiber arts ranging from weaving and fabric-dying to knitting, lace-making and batik. Its $800,000 annual budget supports a staff of 14 full- and part-time employees, an exhibition gallery, classrooms, a library and a small shop selling artisanal textiles.

Walker hosts Turkish cinema's profound perfectionist, Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Posted by: Colin Covert Updated: October 14, 2014 - 6:32 PM
Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, center, accepts the Palme d'Or from director Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman during the awards ceremony for the 67th international film festival in Cannes, France, last May 24. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, center, accepts the Palme d'Or from director Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman during the awards ceremony for the 67th international film festival in Cannes, France, last May 24. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Sweden had the filmmaking genius of Ingmar Bergman. Italy had Federico Fellini. Today Turkey has Nuri Belge Ceylan, a master recognized as one of the most accomplished and influential auteurs of his age. A favorite of arthouse audiences and a regular recipient of international acclaim, he is a repeat winner of the Cannes Film Festival's greatest awards.Since seeing my first of his seven features 12 years ago, I have considered Ceylan a master of stunning visuals, exposed nerves, stark beauty and philosophically awesome questions about human nature.

Ceylan will make his first visit to Minnesota next month. He will appear in person at Walker Art Center's presentation of his winner of newest the Cannes top prize, "Winter Sleep." The film is an examination of Turkish society as a wealthy but tight pocketed  owner of a mountaintop hotel creates seething resentments, not only among his rural community, but his wife and sister as well. The film will show on Nov.1, a month before its official U.S. theatrical release by Adopt Films, a locally linked distributer of world cinema. 

Three of Ceylan's earlier films are also scheduled. On Nov. 2, it's "Climates," the story of a failing romance between a Turkish professor (played by Ceylan himself) and his younger TV producer girlfriend following a sweltering summer vacation in Italy. "Once Upon A Time in Anatolia," a tale of a difficult murder investigation in a remote province, shows Nov. 5. Nov. 12 concludes the series with "Distant," a story of a troubled relationship between an Istanbul photographer and his jobless small-town cousin who arrives in town desperately looking for work. Its view of troubled human relations is as stark and beautiful as its view of the nation's domes and minarets.

For screening and ticket information, visit http://www.walkerart.org/calendar.

British 'Streetcar' at the movies this week

Posted by: Claude Peck Updated: October 7, 2014 - 11:34 AM

Gillian Anderson in "A Streetcar Named Desire" at the Young Vic in London. Photo by Tristram Kenton.

A recent London production of "A Streetcar Named Desire" that stars Gillian Anderson ("The X Files," "The Fall") as Blanche Dubois elicited rave reviews from critics.

It can be seen Tuesday and Wednesday (7 p.m. Oct. 7 & 8) at St. Antony Main Theater in Minneapolis as part of the NT Live series. Tickets are $20. The play runs about three hours.

Directed by Benedict Andrews, this "Streetcar" also stars Ben Foster as Stanley and Vanessa Kirby as Stella. It takes place in a contemporary milieu on a slowly rotating set, with music that includes songs by Patsy Cline and PJ Harvey.

The reviewers heaped praise on the production and on Anderson's turn as Williams' most famous heroine, calling her and the show "hypnotic" (Hollywood Reporter), "electrifying" (Evening Standard), "an absolute knockout" (Telegraph) and "powerful" (The Guardian).

Netrebko sings Lady Macbeth, live from the Met in HD

Posted by: Claude Peck Updated: October 6, 2014 - 3:59 PM
Anna Netrebko as Lady Macbeth at the Metropolitan Opera. Photo by Hiroyuki Ito.

Since making her Met debut in 2009 in Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor," Russian soprano Anna Netrebko has sung regularly on the Met stage, and on the popular livecasts from the Metropolitan Opera.

This Saturday (noon, Oct. 11), Netrebko will appear as Lady Macbeth live in "Macbeth," Verdi's opera based on Shakespeare's blood-soaked tragedy. Her Macbeth is Ċ½eljko Lucic in a production that also stars Joseph Calleja as Macduff and René Pape as Banquo. Fabio Luisi conducts this revivial of Adrian Nobles' modern-dress 2007 production.

Netrebko gave a "riveting performance dispatched with artistry and fearless intensity," said the critic at Bloomberg news. In a recent interview, Netrebko talked about the challenges she faces as she takes on more dramatic opera roles.

In recent years, Netrebko has sung in such Met operas as "Lammermoor" (2009), "Don Pasquale" (2010), "L'Elisir d'Amore" (2012) and "Eugene Onegin" (2013).

For these events, crowds gather at movie theaters across the United States on Saturday afternoons to watch and hear big-name singers in big-deal operas, without having to pay for trips to New York City and tickets to the Opera House at Lincoln Center. The live telecasts are usually repeated in the evening on the following Wednesday.

To get tickets for this Live in HD event, which is beaming to seven metro-area movie theaters on Saturday, go here. Next up, on Oct. 18, is Mozart's "Le Nozze di Figaro," conducted by James Levine.

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