Welcome to Artcetera. Arts-and-entertainment writers and critics post movie news, concert updates, people items, video, photos and more. Share your views. Check it daily. Remain in the know. Contributors: Mary Abbe, Jon Bream, Tim Campbell, Colin Covert, Laurie Hertzel, Tom Horgen, Neal Justin, Claude Peck, Rohan Preston, Chris Riemenschneider, Graydon Royce, Randy Salas and Kristin Tillotson.
Everyone who's thankful Disney assigned its Oz spinoff to Sam Raimi rather than Tim Burton, raise your hand.
Wow. That's a lot of hands.
"Oz the Great and Powerful"
How can one movie contain so much crazy awesomeness? Earthlings, drink heavily in preparation for Don ("Bubba Ho Tep") Coscareli's "John Dies at the End." Paul Giamatti not only costars, he produced irt because he's a huge horror geek. Who knew?
It takes a big actor like Tommy Lee Jones to play a big figure like Gen. Douglas MacArthur. In "Emperor," Matthew Fox costars as the military man put in charge of investigating Hirohito's responsibility for Japan's attack on, and surrender to, allied forces.
"Mad Men" meets "All the President's Men" in the Oscar-nominated political dramedy "No." Gael Garcia Bernal stars as a politically noncommittal 1980s advertising whiz who's drafted to sell democracy like soap flakes in Chile's first election since the 1973 Pinochet coup. Kind of a big week for deposed despots.
In "Dead Man Down," Noomi Rapace blackmails Colin Farrell to knock off the crime overlord who abused her, Terrence Howard. It's directed by Niels Arden Oplev, who did the original Swedish "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" trilogy. Standard action thriller + overqualified cast and crew = ?
"West of Memphis" is a documentary detective story that tackles a horrendous crime -- the murder of three 8-year-old boys -- and a horrendous miscarriage of justice. Facts are re-examined, new evidence is revealed and new suspects arise in this Peter Jackson-produced true crime shocker.
See you at the movies.
J.C. Cutler as Scrooge. Photo by Michael Brosilow.
There was unexpected, nervous-making drama at Saturday’s opening night performance of “A Christmas Carol” at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.
Forty minutes into the first act of Crispin Whittell's adaptation of the Dickens classic, a female voice in the audience cried out urgently for help.
J.C. Cutler (above), who plays Scrooge, responsively drew his hand across his neck to signal that the show should be stopped. It was. Meanwhile, some medical professionals in the audience, including a nurse whose son was in the children’s chorus of "Carol,' and a cardiologist from St. Cloud, converged with theater ofificals on the area of the plea.
It turned that a patron had passed out. The man, who was placed in the aisle on the floor and re, was an 85-year-old who had come to see the show with a group of fellow theater lovers from Iowa. He was attended by the medical professionals in the audience and by theater officials, who brought up a defribillator.
Emergency responders entered the theater about seven minutes after the incident began. The unexpected episode seemed to have had a happy ending. The man was visibly up and alert as he was being carried out on a stretcher. He waved, to the relief of audience members who applauded.
The actors quickly resumed their performance at the scene where the Ghost of Christmas Past (played by Tracey Maloney), conducted Scrooge back to his youthful employment at Fezziwig's warehouse.
"Fun Size" star Victoria Justice at Mall of America on Saturday.
VIctoria Justice and Thomas Mann, who star in the Halloween comedy "Fun Size," opening Friday, were at Mall of America Saturday with singer Carly Rae Jepsen, who had a concert that night at Target Center with headliner Justin Bieber. Concert review here.
They appeared at Nickolodeon Universe, to meet-and-greet fans. The three stars signed autographs, met with their fans and also exclusively debuted Carly Rae Jepsen's new video "This Kiss," which will be seen by audiences in theaters this weekend ahead of the debut of "Fun Size."
Jon Bream talked to Jepsen for a recent story.
Look for a review of the movie on Friday in Star Tribune.
William Souder at The Loft in Minneapolis Monday night to launch his new book about Rachel Carson.
Fifty years after her famous book "Silent Spring" -- and 48 years after her death from breast cancer at age 56 -- Rachel Carson still sparks controversy.
Minnesota writer William Souder, who has just published his Carson biography, did a call-in show on National Public Radio Monday morning. A caller asked "what do you say about the millions who died in Africa because of Carson's efforts to thwart the fight against malaria?"
Souder, a longtime Twin Cities journalist, talked about Carson at a publication party Monday night for the book, "On A Farther Shore" (Crown).
First of all, he said, the caller's accusation, a long-running one in conservative circles, was false. Carson was careful to say that while she opposed the indiscriminate use and overuse of such pesticides as DDT, she did not favor an all-out ban on chemical pesticides. Further, while the U.S. did ban domestic use of DDT in the 1970s, partly as a result of her research and writing, it did not ban its export, and the pesticide continued to be manufactured outside the United States for decades.
A recent story on Slate by Souder offers a fuller account of this aspect of the Carson story.
At the book launch gathering on Monday, Souder showed slides that revealed how popular and widespread the use of DDT became. Its use in the U.S. peaked in 1959, when 80 million pounds of the chemical was applied, in sprays, fogs, dusts and aerosols. One old photo showed a row of suburban lawns being dusted with DDT as shoolchildren ran behind the truck. A magazine ad of the time called DDT "a benefactor for all humanity."
Carson's "Silent Spring," published in 1962, raised the specter of widespread environmental degradation caused by overuse of DDT. The book had a huge impact. It was excerpted in the New Yorker magazine and became an instant bestseller as a book. Souder called its author "the founder of the modern environmental movement."
Carson, who was diagnosed with breast cancer while she was writing "Silent Spring," died two years after its publication.
"Farther Shore" is Souder's third book. He was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in biography for "Under a Wild Sky," his biography of John James Audubon. He also wrote "A Plague of Frogs." He lives in Grant, Minnesota.
Here is the Star Tribune review of "On a Farther Shore."
Oh, and please add your favorite Fringe shows to comments sections here and on individual review pages.
THE NAKED I
THE GAY BANDITOS
2012 LEAPING DRAGON
THE GENTLEMEN’S PRATFALL CLUB
FONT OF KNOWLEDGE
KAFKAESQUE: A MUSICAL METAMORPHOSIS
NIGHTMARE WITHOUT PANTS
THE LOVE SHOW!
FEAR FACTOR: CANINE EDITION
STORMS BENEATH HER SKIN
JOE DOWLING’S WILLIAM
SHAKESPEARE’S ROMEO & JULIET ON THE MOON
PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YO-YO MAN
IVORY TOWER BURNING