Yo-Yo Ma has pulled an ace from his sleeve with his most recent album <i>New Impossibilities.</i> Far from canonical, the pieces on the record are wild, living, breathing music. The title, although borrowed from a Mark Twain phrase, seems closer to the kind the writer Jaramillo Levi would use to crown one of his short story collections. In a very real sense, that is what Ma brings to us in his latest production: stories collected from the thousands of miles of the ancient and modern Silk Road. His language is articulated through bold musical sounds, and his subject is the deep continental Asia: Iran, China, and everything in between.
If you think “Beowulf” looks like another one of those over-the-top epic-action-type movies, well, you’d be right. Not that this is a bad thing. Sure, “Beowulf” has a simplistic plot, negligible amounts of character development, and stilted dialogue, but it is also pretty exciting, visually stunning, and just plain entertaining.
Love in the Time of Cholera” is a textbook example of why it is difficult to adapt books into movies. The trailer for “Love in the Time of Cholera” makes the movie look like a generic “epic romance.” While the trailer is a pretty accurate representation of the film, the actual movie is far less epic and far more vulgar with copious amounts of nudity and sexual innuendos.
Adult confusion gave way to youthful exuberance, followed by acknowledged vices and finishing with emerging disillusionment, in Dramashop’s annual student-written, student-directed One Acts. Even with a minimalist approach to scenery and costumes, the actors and directors created a memorable atmosphere that was at times ethereal, at others bizarre, and always mysterious.
It is so so so hard for me to write a live review of a band I really love. Generally I won’t request press passes for my absolute favorites so I can actually enjoy the music without scrutinizing its presentational flaws or departures from album orchestrations. Well, friends, I guess I botched this one, because last weekend, on a PR company’s dime, I saw two fantastic bands play in Boston. And because they were so fantastic, I followed them to New York the following night.
Ronald C. Wornick SM ’60 describes the artwork he has collected as “good friends you welcome into your living conditions.” Good friend probably isn’t the first thought that comes to mind when viewers behold “She Devil,” a ceramic figure of a large-headed, winged, horned, and tailed creature. But take a closer look. The artistry behind this “She Devil” is unlike any I’ve seen before. Yarn is curled around the upper-half of the ceramic being while the lower half is streaked with paint. It’s a crazy invention, created by Michael Lucero, and I think I need to spend some time staring at it before I decide what to think about it.
Imagine a mishmash of every teenage chick flick comedy you have ever seen, throw in some singing and dancing, and<i> BAM!</i> you’ve got the live stage version of “High School Musical.”
John Cusack is one of those actors who doesn’t quite fit in with Hollywood. And that’s a good thing. Getting his start as a teen actor in movies like “Sixteen Candles” and “Say Anything,” he transitioned into adult roles without a sex scandal or a stint in rehab. Even more impressive, he has continued to choose projects where he plays quirky, off-beat characters who are more lovable because of their flaws. In “Martian Child,” Cusack follows this trend with an emotional performance that had me laughing, crying, and just plain rooting for him in the theater.
La bohème” can perhaps be described as a simple love story, set in the romantic world of bohemian Paris. The poet Rodolfo and the painter Marcello are two of your quintessential starving artists. When their neighbor, the beautiful Mimì, comes in to borrow a light for her candle, she and Rodolfo fall in love. Meanwhile, Marcello’s former lover Musetta decides to leave her current man (a wealthy older gentleman) to return to Marcello. However, all does not go smoothly for the lovers as jealousy abounds, and Mimì’s increasingly ill health gets in the way of happiness.
Two Fridays ago, I took advantage of one of the numerous arts events that take place on our very own campus. You don’t have to go very far to discover a new performance at MIT — just check the MIT arts newsletter. I was surprised when a handful of my arts-inclined friends didn’t even know such a newsletter existed. Killian Hall (14W-111) serves as a home to many local performers, and Charles Bubeck and Daniel Ian Smith are no strangers to the intimate and cozy performance space we’re blessed with at MIT.
Underwhelming. Despite its star-studded cast, “American Gangster” fails to deliver. Its story — based on a feature in <i>New York Magazine</i> — chronicles the rise and fall of Frank Lucas (played by Denzel Washington), a shrewd and intelligent 1970s Harlem heroin operation mastermind. Lucas climbs his way to the top when he imports heroin directly from Southeast Asia, rather than working through the usual channels, offering a better product at cheaper prices. Inspired by the Mafia’s model, he brings his family up from North Carolina to run the operation, and he is extremely successful. That is, until Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe), seemingly the only honest cop in all of New York and New Jersey, is assigned to investigate the case.
Jens Lekman was magical. Every moment he was on stage, the room seemed to get brighter and happier. Even though Paradise Lounge was packed to the gills, a gentle harmony effused through the room. The crowd danced side by side, and no one seemed to mind the throngs of hipsters pushing their way up front. It must’ve been the Jens Lekman effect.
Last weekend, I saw Itzhak Perlman, the Israeli-American violinist and conductor, perform live. It was the first time I’d seen him live, although I grew up listening to recordings of his playing, and I was not disappointed. The concert, part of the Boston Celebrity Series, had Symphony Hall packed with people eager to see a living legend of classical music.
Leave it to the New England Philharmonic and its director, Richard Pittman, to come up with a bold program. Living up to the adventurous reputation that has repeatedly earned them awards and accolades in the recent past, they prepared a unique program for their Oct. 27 program held in Kresge Auditorium at MIT.
Though Illinois frontman Chris Archibald is primarily a banjoist, his small-town Pennsylvanian quartet shares little musically with the typical genres associated with said instrument. They’ve got less in common with Sufjan Stevens and much more to do with amply rocking contemporaries Menomena. This is surely a positive likening, since Illinois is touring with Menomena through mid November.
Ira and Abby” is the classic love story — boy meets girl, girl meets boy’s parents, boy marries girl, and several montages later, they live happily ever after! The twist in this latest rendition is that Ira (played by Chris Messina) and Abby (Jennifer Westfeldt, who also wrote the film) are engaged six hours after they meet, and they are married within the first half hour. Every aspect of the film is accelerated and exaggerated, and the end result is a light-hearted movie that will appeal to some, but certainly not everyone.