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Archive for December, 2010

Emory’s Film Studies Faculty Pick Best Movies of 2010

Best Movies for 2010 Highlighted by Emory’s Film Studies Experts
The cinephiles in Emory University’s Department of Film and Media Studies have weighed in on the best movies of 2010 – some of them top-of-mind blockbusters and others you’ll want to hunt down and put in your Netflix queue. Expert faculty members and movie raters include film studies chair Matthew H. Bernstein, William Brown, Kevin Cryderman, Eddy Von Mueller, Michele Schreiber and James Steffen.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Walt Disney’s 1951 version is part of our cultural DNA. Tim Burton’s updated version has the advantage of 21st century computer imaging technology. Cuteness is diminished and weirdness amplified as the voices and distorted features of real actors are merged with animated bodies. Helen Bonham Carter steals the show as the Red Queen, a hydrocephalic monster with decapitation on her mind. The wonderful weirdness of Burton’s vision falters in the action-movie-inspired final act. This version does succeed …

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The Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards for 2010

The Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) yesterday named ‘The Social Network’ the Best Picture of 2010. Director David Fincher’s incisive account of the founding of Facebook earned a total of four awards, with its other victories coming in the categories of Best Ensemble, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. [Complete list of winners at end of story.]

According to SEFCA president Curt Holman, the association’s 19th annual awards saw ballots from 43 members, all film journalists working in print, radio and on-line media in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

The historical dramedy ‘The King’s Speech’ won Best Adapted Screenplay and two major acting winners, with Colin Firth taking Best Actor for his role as the speech-impaired King George VI, and Geoffrey Rush winning Best Supporting Actor as his unconventional speech therapist (in a narrow victory over Christian Bale as a crack-addicted ex-boxer …

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‘Rudolph’s’ 91-show run sells out at Puppetry Center

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

All performing arts presenters want for Christmas is sell-out crowds, and Santa seriously delivered for the Center for Puppetry Arts.

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” being presented by the Midtown company for the first time, has sold out its entire 91-performance run through Jan. 2. More than 29,000 have seen the show, including 108 school groups from 30 school systems and 41 birthday parties. The show’s YouTube video alone drew 6,732 views in a little over a month.

The hit show, it should go without saying, will encore in 2011. Tickets will go on sale in March. Sign up for e-mail alerts at www.puppet.org.

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Decatur, home to popular arts and books festival, gets documentary film fest too

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

A new documentary film series, DecaturDocs, will unspool Jan. 8 with “Kati With An I,” a portrait of three transformative days in the life an Alabama high school senior.

The series’ second film will be “Hey, Boo: Harper Lee and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’” on Jan. 22.

Filmmakers will appear at post-screening discussions for both Southeastern premieres.

The series, to be held at Decatur High School’s new performing arts center, 310 N. McDonough St., Decatur, is being launched by former Atlanta Film Festival leaders Gabe Wardell and Paula Martinez. Titles for Feb. 19 and March 5 are still to be announced.

Tickets: $15 per screening or $40 for a Series Flex Pass, which is good for four admissions in any combination. Information: 678-658-0787, www.DecaturDocs.com.

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Culture notes: Idea Capital grants, Atlanta Opera gift certificates, praise for Georgians’ off-Broadway play

ARTS
2010 ‘idea grants’

Idea Capital, an Atlanta grassroots group with the mission of supporting “risky and challenging work that might not otherwise receive funding,” has announced seven grants totaling $6,400. Paid for by contributions by 46 individuals, many of them artists and arts administrators, the grants will support projects including Michi Meko’s crane-style vending machine that distributes cotton (a commentary on slavery) instead of toy prizes ($1,500); Klimchak’s guerilla percussion performances ($1,000); and a series of letters, studio visits and meals with young artists to encourage them to remain in Atlanta by recent Hudgens Prize winner Gyun Hur ($500). HOWARD POUSNER

MUSIC
The gift of opera

The Atlanta Opera is offering gift certificates to the “Porgy and Bess” or “Cosi fan tutte”[CQ] aficionado on your holiday list. When you buy a $100 gift certificate, the opera will add $20 for free. Information: 404-881-8885. HOWARD POUSNER

THEATER
Georgians’ play No. …

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Horizon Theatre announces its 2011 season

Unlike most Atlanta troupes, the Horizon Theatre Company in Little Five Points plans its season by the calendar year rather than launching in the fall.  The Horizon 2011 season, announced Friday:

  • Feb. 25-March 27: Tracy Letts’ comedy of personal, community change “Superior Donuts,” starring Chris Kayser.
  • April 8-May 8: Karen Zacarías’ time-travel comedy “Legacy of Light.”
  • May 20-July 3: Tony-winning musical “Avenue Q.”
  • July 15-Aug. 28: Revival of Horizon’s hit musical “Three Sistahs,”cq starring Bernardine Mitchell.
  • Sept. 16-Oct. 16: Lynn Nottage’s 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, “Ruined.”

Subscription information: 404-584-7450, www.horizontheatre.com.

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Culture notes: Something old, new in Ailey Ailey’s Feb. return to Atlanta

DANCE
Ailey’s ’11 return

Tickets have gone on sale for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre’s annual stop in Atlanta, Feb. 10-13 at the Fox Theatre. The tour will have something old and something new, with the New York-based modern dance company celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Ailey-choreographed ballet “Revelations,” while also reviving “Three Black Kings,” set to Duke Ellington’s last major score with its third part a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. For the new, artistic director Judith Jamison and Robert Battle, who will take over the troupe on July 1, will appear in an opening-night ceremony. Tickets: 1-800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com, www.alvinailey.org/atlanta. HOWARD POUSNER

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Culture notes: 18th Celtic Christmas Concert; recalling an Atlanta poet-artist

MUSIC
A St. Paddy Christmas

Organizers of the Atlanta Celtic Christmas Concert like to say it’s where “the Celtic world meets Appalachia,” and that’s truth in advertising. The 18th annual edition this weekend at Emory University’s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts features acts such as Atlanta singer Moya Brennan backed by an ensemble of traditional musicians from Ireland. The family-friendly concerts, produced by the W.B. Yeats Foundation, are at 8 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 and 8 p.m. Sunday.[12/18-19] 404-727-5050, www.arts.emory.edu. HOWARD POUSNER

ART
Her inspiration lives on

A free celebratory reading of poems and a showing of graphic works by Stephanie Paulk will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday[12/19] at Whitespace Gallery. Paulk, who performed as JS van Buskirk[cq, including no periods in the initials] to avoid confusion between her lives as an artist and lawyer, died Nov. 30 from complications of a brain tumor. 814 Edgewood Ave., Atlanta. 404-688-1892. HOWARD POUSNER

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Culture notes: Seeking nominations for Nexus Award; Six Flags offers season pass deal

VISUAL ART
Nominees sought
The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center is making a public call out for its 2011 Nexus Award, recognizing individuals who have made a significant contribution to contemporary visual art in Atlanta and beyond. Nominees for the second annual awards may be artists, curators, collectors, critics, gallery owners, educators, patrons, administrators, elected officials or anyone else who meets award criteria. The deadline is Dec. 31. Information and a nomination form: www.thecontemporary.org/nexusaward. HOWARD POUSNER

ATTRACTIONS
Six Flags deal
If you know a brave soul who’s itching to get stuffed into Six Flags Over Georgia’s new scream machine Dare Devil Dive Coaster come spring, you might consider a 2011 season pass as a stocking stuffer: For as low as $49.99, the same price as a one-day admission, the season pass offers unlimited repeat visits to the park over 125 days. Through Dec. 31, Six Flags is offering customers the opportunity to purchase the season …

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Culture notes: ‘Reindogs’ to parade at Botanical Garden; Berry College poet wins NEA grant

EVENTS
Move over, Rudolph
The Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Reindog Parade, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday,[12/11] is a dog show like no other. Victoria Stilwell of Animal Planet’s “It’s Me or the Dog” will host the third annual event, the only time dogs are allowed to set paw in the garden, as costumed bowsers compete in contests for best holiday finery, best dog-owner look-alikes and, befitting the host, best botanical. Free with regular garden admission. 1345 Piedmont Ave. N.E., Atlanta. 404-876-5859, www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org. HOWARD POUSNER

LITERATURE
Poet wins NEA grant
Berry College creative writing professor Sandra Meek[CQ] has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. On sabbatical from the Rome college to finish her fifth poetry collection, “An Ecology of Elsewhere,” Meek was the only Georgia poet selected among the 42 NEA Creative Writing Fellows, from 1,063 eligible applicants. She called the grant, which will allow her to extend research …

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