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Archive for August, 2011

Culture notes: A dark cinematic take on changing Atlanta; Peachtree Village highlights; Bronze Lens luminaries

FILM
Provocative view of Atlanta

“General Orders No. 9,” a feature-length cinematic meditation by Georgia native Robert Persons that explores the conflict between progress and nature in Atlanta (depicted as “as an airless, concrete monstrosity,” according to Variety) and the South, will be screened Friday through Aug. 22 at Georgia State University’s Cinefest Film Theatre. The 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday showings will be followed by Q&As with the filmmaker. Saturday’s screening also will feature live musical accompaniment by composer Chris Hoke. Eleven years in the making, “General Orders” premiered at the 2009 Atlanta Film Festival and also was shown at the 2010 Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. 66 Courtland St. S.E., Atlanta. www.cinefestfilmtheatre.com. HOWARD POUSNER

FILM
Peachtree Village highlights

The Peachtree Village International Film Festival will be held Aug. 18-21 at Center Stage Theater and Woodruff Arts Center. The sixth annual fest is a showcase of …

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Culture notes: Looking ahead to ‘11-12 seasons for Michael O’Neal Singers, Emory Dance Program

MUSIC
O’Neal Singers open with bluegrass

The Michael O’Neal Singers, a 130-member symphonic chorus a 24-voice chamber ensemble based at Roswell United Methodist Church, has announced its 2011-12 concert season.

It opens with Minnesota composer Carol Barnett’s “The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass” at 8 p.m. Oct. 21. Another highlight is the season-closing program at 3 p.m. May 6, “Let My People Go: A Spiritual Journey Along the Underground Railroad.” Discounted tickets are available through Oct. 17.

Founded in 1989, the O’Neal Singers also have a jazzy new CD out, “Ballads, Blues, and Broadway: Selections from the Great American Songbook.” Information: 770-594-7974, www.mosingers.com.

DANCE
N.Y. choreographer tops Emory season

Dancer-choreographer Kyle Abraham and his company Abraham.In.Motion will headline the recently announced 2011-12 Emory Dance Program season.

As part of a two-week residency in September, the New York dance artist will set a piece on Emory students for …

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A cheesy moment from Sam Jackson, the actor who would be King

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

The casting of Samuel L. Jackson as Martin Luther King Jr. in Atlanta director Kenny Leon’s Broadway production of “The Mountaintop” this fall caused some double-takes. And it looks like there may be a few more with the posting of a YouTube trailer of Jackson’s upcoming action flick “Arena.”

Jackson is a movie actor known as much for fromage-fests such as “Snakes on a Plane,” “xXx” and “S.W.A.T.” as he is for acclaimed turns in “Pulp Fiction,” “Jackie Brown” and “Jungle Fever.” One of the hardest-working men in Hollywood, he’s a reliable scenery-chewer (when not in his more nuanced mode) who enjoys a payday and shows little discrimination in terms of choosing projects.

In “Arena,” which does not have an official release date yet, Jackson is the kingpin over a modern-day gladiator game in which online viewers vote on whether they want to see fighters survive or die an ugly death. Hunky, mostly shirtless Kellan Lutz (”Twilight”) plays a Denver …

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Culture notes: Free admission at High for 4 Thursdays in Sept.; Fox Theatre restoration efforts honored

VISUAL ART
Visit the High for free
The High Museum of Art will offer free admission to all visitors on the first four Thursdays in September (1, 8, 15, and 22) as part of the Woodruff Arts Center’s Target Free Thursday program.

The High will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m, with final admission tickets available at 7 p.m. Free admission on th0se Thursdays is available through day-of, walk-up tickets only (tickets can not be reserved online).

In addition to free admission, the High will offer expanded Toddler Thursday workshops, access to the Greene Family Learning Gallery, family tours from 4 to 6 p.m. and art-making workshops for teens.

For information about additional free Target Free Thursday events from other Woodruff Arts Center divisions, check  www.woodruffcenter.org/target.aspx for updates. HOWARD POUSNER

ARTS
Fox Theatre’s restoration efforts honored
The League of Historic American Theatres recently honored the Fox Theatre with its 2011 Outstanding Historic Theatre …

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‘Reign of Madness’ By Lynn Cullen

Book Review
Fiction
“Reign of Madness”
By Lynn Cullen
G.P. Putnam’s Sons; 448 pages; $25.95

Meet the author
7:15 p.m. Wednesday. Decatur Library Auditorium, 215 Sycamore St., Decatur, 404-370-8450, Ext. 2225, www.georgiacenterforthebook.org

By: Gina Webb

REIGN-OF-MADNESSIf Queen Juana of Castile and her husband, Philip the Handsome, Duke of Burgundy, were alive today, Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World would have been hacking their phones 24-7.

Juana, who spent the last 50 years of her life locked in a convent, mad as a hatter, would have made especially juicy headlines.

They called her “La Loca,” and according to the history books, her behavior proved it. Consumed with jealousy over her husband’s countless flings, she was said to fly into fits of crazy revenge: She once set fire to her own clothes, threw a brick at her husband, and chased a rival through the palace to chop off her hair. When her husband died, she had his casket opened over and over so she could caress his corpse.

Or so they …

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Culture notes: At 55, Ruth Mitchell Dance changes names; Decatur Book fest launches art contest for kids

DANCE
Marietta troupe to be called Georgia Metropolitan

To open its 55th season, Marietta-based Ruth Mitchell Dance Theatre is changing its name to the Georgia Metropolitan Dance Theatre (GMDT).

The name change will be celebrated at an open house at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 26 at the Georgia Dance Conservatory studios on the Mariettta Square, with Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin as guest of honor.

“By changing to Georgia Metropolitan, our new name would help us to reach out to a larger community and geographical area,” GMDT board president Leslie Moss said in a release. “This would allow us to build upon what Ruth Mitchell started 55 years ago.”

Artistic director Lisa Toups added: “We still have the same passion. It is because of this passion the name will change to reach a broader audience.”

The company will continue to perform at the Cobb Civic Center’s Jennie T. Anderson Theatre. HOWARD POUSNER

BOOKS
Kids can take on Bookzilla

The AJC Decatur Book Festival is launching an art …

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