Boston Calendar of Cultural Events 08/15/11

Film, Music, Concert, Performance

Nélida Nassar  8.15.2011

Monday August 15, 2011
Harvard Film Archives: Flight to Fury 7.00 P.M.
Directed by Monte Hellman. With Dewey Martin, Fay Spain, Jack Nicholson
Philippines/USA 1964, 35mm, b/w, 80 min
After completing Back Door to Hell Hellman remained in the Philippines to direct this black comedy thriller written by Jack Nicholson as an open homage to John Huston’s satirical rompBeat the Devil. A taut, paranoid story of diamond smuggling and deception, Flight to Fury stars Dewey Martin as an expatriate gambler drifting through the Far East and suddenly menaced by Nicholson’s seedy Machiavellian con man. The film’s darkly satirical edge gleams with unexpected flashes of unsettling comedy, violence and bizarre narrative twists.

Harvard Film Archives: Stanley’s Girlfriend  9.00 P.M.
Directed by Monte Hellman. With John Saxon, Tahmoh Penikett, Amelia Cooke
USA/Japan 2006, 35mm, color, 27 min.
Hellman’s contribution to the omnibus horror film Trapped Ashes is a melancholy study of friendship and obsessive desire which invents a sinister and haunting tale about a young Stanley Kubrick.

Wednesday August 17, 2011 7.30 P.M.
American Repertory Theatre: The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess
A.R.T is bringing back the classic production Porgy and Bess that premiered her in Boston at the the Colonial Theater in 1935! In the new production internationally renowned stars will be featured and it will be directed by Tony Award nominee Diane Paulus. The story is set in South Carolina in the 1930’s and is about the strange love affair between the beautiful Bess and the cripple Porgy.
The show runs from 08/17/2011 to 08/30/2011 at 7:30 pm at the Loeb Drama Center in Cambridge.

Wednesday August 17, 2011
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn 
Calderwood Courtyard 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
She masterfully combines restrained instrumentation with “candid musings on unrealized love, death, the nature of time, emotional sufferings, and the shedding of material wants” (Pitchfork).

Her sincere and varied approach to the singer-songwriter genre is engaging and thought-provoking, mirrored in her compelling live performances. She has been at the heart of the vibrant Northwest independent music scene ever since her debut album You Think It’s Like This but Really It’s Like This. August 2010 saw the release of the Gone Are All the Days 12″, a disco remix record that brightens up one of (a)spera’s darkest tracks with glittery energy and an empowered delivery. Getting the party started and spinning in between sets will be DJ Leah V.

Wednesday August 17, 2011 6.00 P.M. – 7.30 P.M.
Friday 19, 2011 8.00 P.M. – 9.30 P.M.
Saturday 20, 2011 11.00 A.M.  – 12.30 P.M.
Sunday 21, 2011 3.00 P.M. – 4.30 P.M.
Museum of Fine Arts, BostonWent the Day Well?
Alfond Auditorium, G36 by Alberto Cavalcanti (UK, 1942, 92 min.). In the midst of World War II, a quiet English village is unexpectedly visited by a platoon of soldiers, but when the soldiers are revealed to be German troops, the townspeople are forced to enter into the war themselves. Cavalcanti realistically portrays the town’s brutal struggle to protect their own village and defeat these German soldiers. “The best, most ferocious picture of the war years! The work of a true auteur” (Philip French, The Observer). Description adapted from the British Film Institute. Restored print.

Thursday August 18, 2011
Institute of Contemporay Art: Music Performance: Harborwalk Sounds
6:00 PM – 8:30 PM Free
Julia Easterlin’s talents as a performer and songwriter have been recognized by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, the Gibson/Baldwin GRAMMY Jazz Ensembles, Downbeat Magazine, The John Lennon Foundation, and the New York Songwriters Circle. In 2007 Julia was awarded a full-tuition merit scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music where she has been a featured performer on Berklee’s “Heavy Rotation Records” student-run record label for two consecutive years, as well as serving as vocalist for the InterArts Ensemble’s pioneer project in Havana, Cuba, in 2010. This is Julia’s second year representing Berklee in the Summer Music Series.

Friday August 19, 2011 Training Dives 2:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Saturday August 20, 2011 Main Event 3.00 P.M., Closing Ceremony 6.30 P.M.
Institute of Contemporay Art: Special Event
Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series
The sixth stop on its global tour, the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series—the most prominent competitive platform for the sport—will be jumping off the ICA! Rather than natural cliffs, the divers will use a specially built platform on the cantilever roof of the Institute of Contemporary Art building on Fan Pier, which soars 80 feet above the water’s edge.

The Boston leg of the tour will be the Series’ first-ever east coast stop in the US, and for the first time in the competition’s three-year history, two-time Olympic Gold medalist Greg Louganis serves as one of the five judges on the global tour. Eleven divers from nine countries, between the ages of 25 and 46, will compete in seven events in 2011.
Public areas will be located along Fan Pier, and spectators will experience the competition through jumbo screens, a live emcee, and premium vending.

Thursday August 18, 2011
Harvard Film Archives: No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti (Bu neng mei you ni)  7.00 P.M.
Directed by Leon Dai. With Chen Wen-pin, Chao Yo Hsuan, Lin Chih-ju
Taiwan 2009, digital video, b/w, 93 min. Mandarin and Hakka with English subtitles
For his second film as a director, Taiwanese actor Leon Dai has drawn on actual events to create a taut character study. The film begins with a man holding a young girl and threatening to jump from an overpass into traffic before backing up to reveal how he ended up there. The man is an impoverished worker and the girl is his daughter. Ordered to register her for school, the man is informed that his guardianship is not legal, and he resorts to increasingly desperate means to address the situation even as he becomes further entangled in bureaucracy. Shot in austerely beautiful black-and-white widescreen, No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti won best picture and best director at Taiwan’s Golden Horse Awards and was its submission for the Best Foreign Film Oscar in 2009.

Friday August 19, 2011  7.00 P.M.
Sunday August 21, 2011 5.00 P.M.
Harvard Film Archives: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. With Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison, George Sanders
USA 1947, 35mm, b/w, 104 min
Mankiewicz’s enchanting first masterpiece tells the tale of a young widow who boldly defies social conventions by abandoning turn-of-the-century London to live in a remote coastal cottage haunted by a dashing and embittered ghost. A rich evocation of mourning and melancholia, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir echoes Virginia Woolf with its embrace of death as a tender life-giving force, its fascination with the ocean and its focus on a woman struggling to find her voice. Overlooked as a milestone feminist film, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir combines its poetic exploration of female authorship and imagination with a gently comic satire of rigid patriarchy. The film’s romantic strains resonate in Bernard Herrmann’s lovely score and Rex Harrison’s poignant and understated performance as the phantom sea captain. Print courtesy of 20th Century Fox.

Dragonwyck 9.15 P.M.
Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. With Gene Tierney, Walter Huston, Vincent Price
USA 1946, 35mm, b/w, 103 min
Rarely screened today, Mankiewicz’s directorial debut is a dark romantic fantasy about a spirited young 19th-century farm girl whose life is changed by an invitation to live with her mysterious cousin, one of the last of the baronial landholders bitterly resented by the exploited local farmers. An important entry in the Forties cycle of feminist Gothic films inaugurated by Rebecca, Mankiewicz’s moody cult classic offered seminal, early roles for both Gene Tierney as a winsome ingénue and Vincent Price as an ambivalently villainous charmer. Dragonwyck reveals Mankiewicz’s enduring fascination with the past as a dangerous fantasy realm that ultimately destroys those who linger within it. Print courtesy of Sikelia Productions.

Saturday August 20, 2011
Harvard Film Archives: Cleopatra 7.00 P.M.
Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. With Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Rex Harrison
USA/UK/Switzerland 1963, 35mm, color, 243 min
Once derided and now celebrated as a fabulously decadent example of cinematic excess,Cleopatra counts as one of the most notorious epic productions in Hollywood history. Brought late to the troubled production after the original director Rouben Mamoulian was fired, Mankiewicz courageously seized the reins of Cleopatra to place an underappreciated personal stamp on the film that would almost destroy his career. Mankiewicz’s fascination with the decline of overripe and crumbling empires – be they the Fifties Hollywood of Barefoot Contessa or the corrupt family dynasty of House of Strangers – transforms the sweeping saga of Cleopatra’s tempestuous affairs with Caesar and Mark Antony into a dazzling realm of theatrical artifice and intrigue. Elizabeth Taylor is ideally cast as the seductive princess who brought Rome to its knees and whose bewitching powers cast a real-life spell over her co-star Richard Burton, launching the love affair that would anoint Liz and Dick as symbols of hedonistic amour fou. Print courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art.

Sunday August 21, 2011
Harvard Film Archives: 5 Fingers  7.00 P.M.
Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. With James Mason, Danielle Darrieux, Michael Rennie
USA 1952, 35mm, b/w, 108 min
Featuring one of James Mason’s standout roles as a dashing and immoral spy, 5 Fingers is a deliciously arch espionage thriller whose sharp satiric edge slices through the wonderful screenplay co-written by blacklisted writer Michael Wilson and Mankiewicz, who surrendered his screenwriting credit in order to direct the film. Mankiewicz is once again enamored by the lush yet fragile opulence of the upper class, peopling his films with fallen aristocrats such as Danielle Darrieux’s vanquished countess with questionable allegiances. Mankiewicz himself directed the stunning Ankara and Istanbul location shoots that strengthen the exotic mood expressed by Bernard Herrmann’s marvelous Orientalist-tinged score. Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive.

Originally Published in Berkshire Fine Arts

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