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, Aimee Blanchette, 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.

Two Graywolf Press titles are NBA finalists

Posted by: Kristin Tillotson under Books, Awards, Book news Updated: October 15, 2014 - 4:03 PM

Graywolf Press poets Claudia Rankine (above, photo by John Lucas) and Fanny Howe, below, photo by Lynn Christoffers) were named two of five finalists for the National Book Award on Wednesday.

Two poetry collections published by Minneapolis-based Graywolf Press have been named 2014 National Book Award finalists."Second Childhood" by Fanny Howe and "Citizen: An American Lyric" by Claudia Rankine are two of the five short-listed titles announced Wednesday, with the winner to be announced in November.

Executive editor Jeff Shotts of Graywolf, who edited both collections, said  the book by Howe, who spends every summer at an Irish monastery, "comes out of a strong sense of Catholic faith, its role in the faimly and what it means to be a part of that community."

The themes of Rankine's collection, a multi-genre mix of poetry, essays and visual artwork, is particularly timely, Shotts said: "It's about race in this country, the sort of racially motivated micro-aggression that can become macro, like what happened in Ferguson," he said referring to the prolonged unrest in the St. Louis suburb following the shooitng of an unarmed black youth by a white police officer.

Authors published by Graywolf have been tallying up an impressive list of awards over the past few years. Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2011, and Pultizer prizes for poetry were issued to Tracy K. Smith in 2012 and Vijay Seshadri in 2014. Last year's National Book Award winner for poetry was Mary Szybist's "Incarnadine," also a Graywolf title. 

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

Posted by: Colin Covert under Movies, People, Tickets 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.

Prince to rock 'Saturday Night Live' on Nov. 1

Posted by: Jon Bream under Music, Late-night TV, Television Updated: October 14, 2014 - 3:31 PM

 

Prince/ NYT photo

Prince/ NYT photo

 

Prince is finally going to do something big to promote his two new albums – perform on “Saturday Night Live” on Nov. 1.

The host is Chris Rock, who is known to do a fierce Prince impersonation.

SNL announced the news on its Twitter feed but didn’t make it clear if Prince would be appearing with 3rdEyeGirl or solo – or both. Remember, on Sept. 30, he issued an album with 3rdEyeGirl, “PlectrumElectrum,” and a solo album, “Art Official Age.”

Prince has appeared on SNL twice before – in 1981 (he played “Party Up”) and in 2006 (he did “Fury” and “Beautiful, Loved and Blessed” with Tamar).

Ryan Adams at Northrop could have used more music, less talk

Posted by: Jon Bream under Music Updated: October 14, 2014 - 4:13 AM

It started even before Ryan Adams hit the stage. The problem was that he couldn’t find the stage. Or so he said when he finally arrived onstage at Northrop Auditorium Monday after a 45-minute intermission.

Thereafter, Adams became a nonstop commentator between songs, making smart-alecky and self-deprecating comments, telling jokes (and reviewing them) and generally babbling (some of it made sense, some of it didn’t). Sure, the crazed patter is part of his charm. But he’s really about superior songwriting, which was abundantly evident during his 1 ¾-hour performance.

Often remembered more for his temperamental outbursts in concert than for his musical performances, the Americana hero, 39, focused on material from this year’s “Ryan Adams” album. He opened with the record’s first track, “Gimme Something Good,” his catchiest tune in years even if it echoes Tom Petty. The new “Stay with Me” also seemed Petty-ish.

But it was another classic band whose sound seemed to infuse Adams’ vibe on Monday – the Grateful Dead.  “A Kiss Before I Go” was a sweet Dead-like country plaint, and the ensuing “Easy Plateau” found a Dead-evoking space-jam groove and featured a long, elegant guitar solo by Adams. However, the Dead indulgences of the repetitious “Peaceful Valley” led to the night’s most tepid response from the crowd. Clearly, neither Adams nor guitarist Mike Viola would be a candidate to join a Dead tribute band in the role of lead guitarist.

Adams, who was in good voice all night, seemed at his best when he was at his most vulnerable lyrically and most gentle musically – namely the gorgeous “Oh My Sweet Carolina” and the sensitive “English Girls Approximately.”

The set featured 17 songs, including a cover of Bryan Adams’ “Run To You,” which seemed more ironic than rewarding.  In other shows on this fall’s tour, Adams has typically performed 20 or 21 songs.

The stage was decorated with video games (including Asteroids), a giant faux Fender amplifier and a peace flag. The lighting was complex and artful but rarely shined on any of the five musicians. Given the dim lighting and Adams’ voluminous shaggy mane, it was nearly impossible to see his face.

But at least the sell-out crowd got to experience his personality in abundance, for better or worse, and hear him play a new guitar for the first time that he’d purchased that day from Willie’s American Guitars in St. Paul (where Viola also bought a new Les Paul that he was playing).

Compared to other Adams' performances in the Twin Cities, this one was neither an unforgettable nightmare nor an unqualified triumph.

Opening the concert was Butch Walker, who is best known for writing and producing hits for Fall Out Boy, Avril Lavigne and others.  Accompanied by Adams on drums (with a visible face) and other players, Walker showed that he can hold his own as an artist, with his likable Jackson Browne-like voice and well-crafted country-tinged tunes.

Yee-haw! Minneapolis breaks Garth Brooks' ticket sales record

Posted by: Chris Riemenschneider under Music, Concert news Updated: October 13, 2014 - 1:59 PM

In the quickly expanding department of Garth Brooks is Still Kinda a Big Deal, Minneapolis has set the new record for most tickets sold in one city on a Brooks tour.

The Hat Man's hard-working public-relations team sent out a press release this morning heralding the fact that next month’s 11-concert Target Center run has already “shattered” the old record, which was 180,000 tickets sold for another 11-gig stand at Chicago’s Allstate Arena in September.

More than 188,000 seats have been sold in Minneapolis -- and the concerts aren’t entirely sold out yet. The number got a final boost when the most recently announced show (Sunday, Nov. 9), went on sale Friday. More than 17,000 seats are being sold to each concert. Sales have probably been helped greatly by the fact that the Wal-Mart-branded country singer insists on keeping a reasonable ticket price, which in this case is about $70 per ticket after fees.

Garth’s personal record is also obviously a record for the Twin Cities. The bar for most tickets sold by a performer on one tour here was previously set by – you guessed it – Brooks in 1998, when he sold 162,000 tickets for nine Target Center shows.

Only the fifth stop on his back-from-retirement tour, Minneapolis likely won’t hold the Brooks tour record for long – probably no longer than it takes for him to announce shows in Dallas, Los Angeles, New York or his native Oklahoma.

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