With less than one week before the 2015 elections, the two candidates for Columbia County district attorney, one incumbent and one challenger, are looking at the county’s heroin epidemic, drug courts, domestic abuse and gun violence as issues facing the county.
In late-breaking news, FilmColumbia announced yesterday that “Suffragette” will open the 2015 FilmColumbia Festival at 5:30pm Monday, October 19, 2015, at the Crandell Theatre in Chatham. The film, which premiered October 7 at the opening night gala of the BFI film festival in London, will be followed by Nanni Moretti’s “Mia Madre” at 8:00pm, for an unprecedented double feature the first night of the festival.
Tickets are available at filmcolumbia.org. Will Call will be at the Crandell Theatre Monday night.
Reviewer Brooks Barnes wrote in the New York Times, “Anyone expecting ‘Suffragette’ to be a glossy look at a forgotten page in history—the women’s rights movement in Britain in the early 1900s—gets a shock. Directed by Sarah Gavron, ‘Suffragette’ begins with rocks crashing through store windows and continues with horrific working conditions, police beatings and a sobbing child ripped from the arms of a mother, who has no rights. ‘I didn’t want it to be a sanitized version of history,’ Ms. Gavron said.”
“‘Suffragette’ is a history lesson, but it’s also a lot more,” commented Peter Biskind, the Executive Director of FilmColumbia. “It’s a powerful, gripping account of women’s struggle to get the vote in England, which has all the immediacy of a ripped-from-the-headlines documentary and the artistry of a finely wrought feature that leaves audiences in tears. Carey Mulligan is a shoo-in for a Best Actress nomination at this year’s Oscars, and director Sarah Gavron deserves one as well.
“‘Suffragette’ is not only a very, very good film, but an important one. It provoked a firestorm from women’s rights activists who rushed the red carpet when it premiered in London earlier this month, insisting that the struggle isn’t over. ‘Suffragette’ has played all the festivals, and also stars Helena Bonham Carter, Meryl Streep, and Anne-Marie Duff.”
FilmColumbia is a weeklong festival dedicated to showing world-class independent and international films right on Main Street. Hosted by Chatham Film Club, the festival consistently offers its audiences early looks at films that go on to win critical approval and awards, such as last year’s “Birdman,” “The Imitation Game,” “Foxcatcher” and “Wild.” Programmed by Executive Director Peter Biskind, author and film historian, contributing editor at Vanity Fair and past executive editor of Premiere Magazine; Laurence Kardish, senior curator emeritus for film and media at MoMA; and festival Director Calliope Nicholas—all local residents—FilmColumbia gives film patrons in the Hudson Valley the inside track on front-runners months before they are released to general audiences. Films are shown at the historic Crandell Theatre, a jewel of a 1920s single-screener owned and operated by the Chatham Film Club. Additional venues include the Morris Venue in Chatham, Hudson Lodge and Hudson Opera House in Hudson, all centrally located and easily accessible. http://www.filmcolumbia.org
FilmColumbia, the local international film festival offering a roster of films from all over the world for seven days this October, announces notable films screening at the 16th annual film festival October 19-25 in Hudson and Chatham, New York. FilmColumbia will present thirty-two narrative features and seven documentaries from countries including Bengal, China, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Ireland, India, Italy, Japan, Norway and Thailand, many of them prize-winners and jury or audience favorites from major international film festivals.
Festival Executive Director Peter Biskind comments, “Larry Kardish, our invaluable co-programmer with impeccable taste, spends most of his time going from festival to festival, including Sundance, Berlin, Cannes, Toronto, and New York, identifying and then securing the year’s best films. He’s already working on 2016!”
For complete film, ticket and event information, visit http://www.filmcolumbia.org.
This year’s most-anticipated international films include:
Italian director Nanni Moretti’s “Mia Madre,” which opens the festival (Chatham, Crandell Theatre, 10/19 7pm), starring John Turturro as a temperamental movie star driving director Margherita Buy crazy. Played the Cannes Film Festival.
“Mr. Moretti has a habit of crossing the line from pathos to bathos, but he imbues this movie with such honest sentiment that he can evoke a lifetime of feeling with just the shot of an empty chair.” —Manohla Dargis, New York Times
“Cemetery of Splendor” (Chatham, Crandell Theatre, 10/20 12:00pm), by Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, who won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010 with “Uncle Boonme Who Can Recall Past Lives,” as well as numerous prizes at the Venice and Berlin Film Festivals. His works are deeply steeped in Khmer myth and prepare the audience to visit a nether world made visible.
“A tale involving sleeping sickness that’s also a highly personal reflection on Thailand’s tortuous history.”—Nicolas Rapold, New York Times
“Brooklyn” (Chatham, Crandell Theatre, 10/22 8:30pm), director John Crowley’s old fashioned, emotion filled movie based on Colm Toibin’s bestseller about a young Irish woman (Saoirse Ronan) who must choose between two men and the countries they represent–one Irish and one American. Played the Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals.
“['Brooklyn'] is a quiet, observant movie, with an aversion to melodrama and a sense of the ordinary that recalls old films like ‘Marty,’ and its gentle nostalgia feels honest and unforced. Ms. Ronan, who as a child actor often seemed wise beyond her years, depicts the arrival of maturity with breathtaking poise and sensitivity.—A.O. Scott, New York Times
“May Mountains Depart” (Chatham, Crandell Theatre, 10/23 2:30pm), a fast-paced triptych drama about China that begins in the recent past and races into the future with a final episode that is shot, daringly, for the most part in English by Jia Zhang-ke, one of the world’s leading filmmakers. Played the Toronto Film Festival.
“Once again, Mr. Jia takes the pulse of China, this time by taking stock of its past, its present and possible future in a story about an entrepreneur, a coal miner and the woman who chooses one over the other.”—Manohla Dargis, New York Times
French director Stéphane Brizé’s “Measure of a Man” (Chatham, Crandell Theatre, 10/23 5:00pm), for which French film actor Vincent Lindon won Best Actor at Cannes this year for his performance as Thierry in this film that literally translates as “Law of the Market” – the French law which allows companies to fire workers to increase profits. Also played the New York Film Festival.
“Vincent Lindon plays a Frenchman struggling to support his family and maintain his dignity after being laid off from his job. His story plays out in a series of extended scenes, some tense and emotional, others matter-of-fact, all of them anchored by Mr. Lindon’s Everyman stoicism, which grows more heartbreaking at every moment. Mr. Brizé’s film at times feels less like a work of art than a window onto life.”—A.O. Scott, New York Times
“Dheepan” (Chatham, Crandell Theatre, 10/24 4pm) by Jacques Audiard, considered the French Martin Scorcese, who was awarded the Palme d’Or, Cannes’ top prize, by the Coen brothers, joint presidents of the international jury, for this timely film about a Tamil freedom fighter fleeing Sri Lanka who finds two fellow refugees in a migrant camp and improvises a family in order to enter France.
“[Audiard] holds you with performances and jolts of tenderness and violence. The ending of ‘Dheepan,’ set in a pastoral British backyard, reads as a savage critique of France’s immigration policies.” —Manohla Dargis, New York Times
“Taxi,” also known as “Taxi Teheran” (Chatham, Crandell Theatre, 10/24 6:30pm), a portrait of today’s Teheran by director, producer, star, cameraman and editor Jafar Panahi, currently under a twenty-year filmmaking ban for “propaganda against the Islamic Republic” and winner of this year’s Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. Also played Telluride, Toronto and New York film festivals.
“['Taxi'] is a film that operates on many levels — as a meditation on cinema, a rebuke to the Iranian leadership, a celebration of the verve of the country’s citizens — but that also wears its seriousness lightly, even when the stakes are high.”—Rachel Donadio, New York Times
“Heart of a Dog” (Hudson, Hudson Lodge, 10/24 8:30pm; Chatham, Crandell Theatre, 10/25 7:00pm), Renaissance woman Laurie Anderson creates a mélange of interlocked meditations on childhood, 9/11, the surveillance state, her late husband Lou Reed and storytelling itself, ranging from the delicate to the dazzling. Played Telluride and Toronto film festivals.
“A philosophically astute, emotionally charged meditation on death, love, art and dogs.”—A.O. Scott, New York Times
“Son of Saul” (Chatham, Crandell Theatre, 10/25 2:30pm), the controversial hit of this year’s Cannes Film Festival by first-time Hungarian director Laszlo Nemes, focuses on a Sondercommando at Auschwitz, tasked with cleaning up the atrocities performed on his own people, yet determined to provide a proper Jewish burial for a young boy. Won Nemes the Best Director award at Cannes, and also played New York, Telluride, and Toronto film festivals.
“Mr. Nemes’s technical virtuosity is evident every meticulously lighted, composed and shot step of the way.”—Manohla Dargis, New York Times
And FilmColumbia’s treat for area kids, the International Children’s Short Program, an international array of short films curated by Patti Greaney of Giraldi Media, NYC, playing this year in both Chatham (Crandell Theatre, 10/24 10:00am) and Hudson (Hudson Opera House, 10/24, 3pm), with free admission sponsored by Hudson Valley Bank and Trust Company Foundation.
FilmColumbia is a weeklong festival dedicated to showing world-class independent and international films right on Main Street. Hosted by Chatham Film Club, the festival consistently offers its audiences early looks at films that go on to win critical approval and awards, such as last year’s “Birdman,” “The Imitation Game,” “Foxcatcher” and “Wild.” Programmed by Executive Director Peter Biskind, author and film historian, contributing editor at Vanity Fair and past executive editor of Premiere Magazine; Laurence Kardish, senior curator emeritus for film and media at MoMA; and festival Director Calliope Nicholas—all local residents— FilmColumbia gives film patrons in the Hudson Valley the inside track on front-runners months before they are released to general audiences. Films are shown at the historic Crandell Theatre, a jewel of a 1920s single-screener owned and operated by the Chatham Film Club. Additional venues include the Morris Venue in Chatham, Hudson Lodge and Hudson Opera House in Hudson, all centrally located and easily accessible. http://www.filmcolumbia.org
Starlings are the worst.
And they are absolutely EVERYWHERE these days.
They are eating more of the chicken feed than the chickens, whatever pig feed might be left in the troughs, and we are finding starling poop on surfaces that defy the laws of gravity and logic.
(PHOTO #1: How do you poop on a wall?? I mean, HOW?!?!
A chicken coop isn’t the cleanest place in the world on the best of days. Since The Great Starling Invasion of 2015, however, the coop is but one of many spots on the farm that have been befouled by starling stool.
The chicken waterer, for example, was decorated like some horrible metal cake at feeding time tonight.
(PHOTO #2: Fire the pastry chef.)
When I went in the coop tonight to check for eggs and to see how the chickens were doing on food and water, at least 20 starlings were nestled in the corners.
Side by side with the hens.
They’re not even TRYING to be sneaky.
Anything you read about starlings in New York, or the United States in general, will tell you that they tend to compete for habitat with native birds and are considered to be an invasive species.
I am here to report that truer words have never been printed.
These pointy-beaked, omnivorous, Super-Shitters are wiping us out of bird feed daily and all they offer in return is to make it look like Jackson Pollack visited the farm and tried out bird crap as his medium.
(PHOTO #3: Abstract Expressionism?)
So, what can we do about it?
The answer, as far as we can tell, is NOTHING.
Dave tried to fashion a Starling Blockade of sorts by hanging chicken wire from the top of the coop entrance and attaching sticky-outty wires to the sides.
Mostly, the starlings just flew around or under it and then got trapped INSIDE when we’d show up and scare them.
So, one might be led to wonder WHAT ON EARTH IS THE POINT?! of an invasive bird species which does no good, only creates havoc, and provides nothing of value.
I know I did.
And then, driving home one day, I saw a murmuration. I didn’t realize that these were specific to starlings, nor did I understand how or why they happened.
If you’ve never seen a murmuration, I urge you to watch the video.
If you’ve seen many murmurations, I won’t need to urge you to watch; you’ll already have done so.
So, because of this extraordinarily beautiful and magical thing these rotten jerks can do, I reckon we’ll continue to put up with them and their shitty ways.
(PHOTO #4: I am an asshole.)
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Some things old have led to some things new.
“At Ad Lib Antiques, 522 Warren, Lou Blass and Don Friday are a case study of this town’s stylistic “theory” of relativity.
“The shop is mostly filled with their refined taste in classical design, but scattered throughout the collection of antiques are explosions of truly unique new forms, objects that seem like they could exist in a multitude of moments, past and future. These are chandeliers, lamps, sconces, tables, and sculptures that are all originals, created by Blass over just the past two years, that range in influences from Mid-century Sputnik ($3,400) and 70’s metallic flamboyance (at bottom, $6,800) to, more recently, futuristic pieces, chaotic and skillfully organized sections of metal piping mixed with elements like glass orbs, flowing copper sheets, and unique bulbs. Light loves them yet is always being tricked, not knowing where it’s off to next. The material is hard but the angles and light refraction created by a chandelier can feel very natural, in the way a supernova or the construction of a molecule is natural.”