Full Bodied Experience taps into Fairfield’s “beatnik” vibe

You could say that Fairfield will experience a a gentle form of Vegas touch Friday evening. Through Full-Bodied Experience, a live art/networking event, two former Las Vegas residents who now call Fairfield home will join forces with local live model artist Kesryth. While Fairfield residents and business personalities network and converse, Kesryth will complete a full oil painting portrait, “alla prima.” The term means “at once” in Italian and involves an artist applying layers of paint upon other layers not yet dried. It’s a technique used by Claude Monet, Michelangelo…

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REVIEW: In “Wild Nights,” Molly Shannon brings shades of SNL’s Mary Katherine Gallagher to Dickinson

The hilarious image of SNL’s Mary Katherine Gallagher will forever be what I see first, when I see actress Molly Shannon. The character of an over-eager Catholic schoolgirl trying dramatically and desperately to be the best she can be, at whatever she tries, eventually smashing into something nearby in a swirl of over-emotion expressed in a movie (or made-for-TV movie) scene, is dear to me, as it is for many Gen Xers who were SNL addicts during the Molly Shannon era of the late 1990s. I see glimpses of Mary…

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On the anniversary of Woodstock, a look back at Camp Euforia 2019

“The sunsets here are some of my favorite,” texts a friend before I head to the last night of Camp Euforia near Lone Tree, Iowa. My car was all set in the back, and I had my bag of nuts and White Claws in tow. I trudged through the festival field like a packhorse, in my Bonnaroo galoshes that I’ve had for over five years. After running into a high school buddy at the festival gate, I wove through and headed to a familiar campsite in the same spot as…

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Last chance for two films about authenticity

These two stories showing at FilmScene are set thousands of miles, and hundreds of years, apart. One features several actors considered legends; the other is a project of admired newcomers. One centers around a building, and the other revolves around a garden. But the beautiful themes shared by “All Is True” and “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” are themes that can transform attitudes in difficult times, reinstate faith in authenticity, and revive or create a love of film. First off, apologies upfront that you have only one day…

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‘Saturday Church’ earns fans through teen’s self-discovery

Cherry blossoms represent overwhelming beauty, the fleeting nature of life, and the feminine yet powerful.    In “Saturday Church,” cherry blossoms help tell the story of a young African-American’s budding journey of discovering their sexuality and gender identity.    The plot of “Saturday Church” helps illustrate the symbolism of these beautiful flowers, which comes mainly from Asian cultures and how cherry trees bloom and then fall off within a short time. This film is the latest installment of Pride at FilmScene, coming Monday, May 20, with a 6 p.m. screening at FilmScene,…

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AIDS documentary recalls heartbreaking activism

Early on in the documentary “How to Survive a Plague,” activist Larry Kramer is shown giving a motivating speech to a group of young New Yorkers. He asks half of the large audience to stand up, then announces, “All of you are going to be dead in six months. Now what are we going to do about that?”    I barely remember the first Bush presidency that started in 1990. But I do remember, as a very young girl, learning about a terrifying disease with no cure.    I remember being way…

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Pho real, how many Pho places do we need?

Back in the early 2000s, I knew of only one place in the Corridor that served Pho: Mekong on South Riverside Drive It was my “go to” restaurant whenever I felt the slight whiff of a cold coming on. The rice noodles, flavorful broth along with the fresh garden of herbs, a splash of Sriracha and Hoisin (never soy sauce) was comfort in a bowl. Back then, few of my friends knew about the dish. Today, you can’t go far without finding Pho. I Love Pho #1, I Love Pho…

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The best of protest music

Every year, I dive through the music industry’s “best of” lists, looking for albums and artists that made a splash or flew under my radar. This January, scrolling through lists from NPR, Pitchfork, the Guardian, and other tastemakers, one pattern became extremely clear: 2018 was a year for resistance music. Pop, hip hop, and indie music took a strongly political stance in 2018, reflecting resistance, frustration, and courage in the Trump era. From the cool, devastating rhymes of Noname, to the lonely alt-country ballads of Brandi Carlile, the rhetoric of…

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REVIEW: Young lesbian love tested in “Rafiki”

A village in Kenya serves as the colorful backdrop for the drama that unfolds in the film “Rafiki” meaning ‘friend’ or ‘companion’ in Swahili. “Rafiki” is adapted from a short story by Monica Arac de Nyeko called “Jambula Tree.”  For a short story adaptation, the complexity of multi-layered political oppression, bigotry and a sweet first love come through in a rich and bold way.   “Rafiki” packs an emotional punch, (directed by Wanuri Kahiu) and like the similarly adapted short story to film, has much in common with “Brokeback Mountain.”…

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