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    Movie Times | Movie Reviews | Theater Reviews
The Cassical Beat: Tanglewood, Tannery Pond, Taconic Music Prepare to Open
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
12:25PM / Wednesday, June 14, 2017
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Finally! It's that longed-for time again: the summer "high season" of classical music is about to begin. After an arduous winter, the summer's musical offerings will be balm to both popular music and classical aficionados, who anticipate the cornucopia of music these diverse festivals and series present.

This week, I'll focus on the three "T"s - Tanglewood, Tannery Pond and Taconic Music. Together, they make the region a cultural capital, drawing thousands to hear great music – chamber, symphony, choral, opera, musical theater, film music, contemporary classical, pop, rock, jazz- to experience masterworks within the verdant hills and dales we call

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'Wonder Woman': You Go Girl
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
02:44PM / Friday, June 09, 2017
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With Gal Gadot's depiction of the title character in director Patty Jenkins' "Wonder Woman," we at long last have a superhero who is, well, really super. The beauty breathes revivifying life into a genre that has of late become contrived, overburdened with character minutiae only zealots care about, and saddled with storylines that mistake convolution for ingenuity. While doubtless the merchandisers will make a fortune selling the lunchboxes, pajamas and other tchotchkes celebrating the franchise, for once the commercial hype can't approach the artistic triumph.   Harking back to the original, uplifting purpose of superheroes, Jenkins' superbly directed meld

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'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales': Many Asleep in the Deep
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
06:01PM / Thursday, June 01, 2017
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I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to over-analyze "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales." I do that whenever I can't fathom for the love of me why someone would want to see the second-rate movie in question. After all, directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg's rambling, rambunctious and dysfunctionally repetitious absurdity should spell an easy day for the critic. The temptation is to write, "It's lousy and that's that. Trust me. I've been writing film criticism for years. This is strictly for those possessing the bad movie gene."   But of course I can't. Besides the fact that such short shrift would put my

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Unpublished Edith Wharton Play Discovered by Scholars
12:55PM / Wednesday, May 31, 2017
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LENOX, Mass. — Two scholars have made a new archival discovery: a previously unknown, original, full-length play by Edith Wharton called "The Shadow of a Doubt."

The location of the discovery at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin was unexpected. Wharton scholars have been traveling to the Ransom Center for more than three decades to research Wharton's papers. The source of their interest, however, was the author's correspondence to her lover, Morton Fullerton. What scholars missed was hidden, in plain sight, in the center's Playscripts and Promptbooks Collection (Performing Arts): two typescript copies of "The Shadow of a

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Mass MoCA Holds Grand Opening for Massive Building 6
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:01PM / Sunday, May 28, 2017
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Museum director Joseph Thompson listens to speakers at the grand opening event in Courtyard D.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art on Sunday officially became the largest contemporary art museum in the world when it opened its doors to another 120,000 square feet of gallery and event space.    With the clipping of an abstract (invisible) yet "shiny and glittery" ribbon, Executive Director Joseph Thompson ushered the crowd gathered in Courtyard D into Building 6 — the Robert W. Wilson Building.   Thompson's brevity on this day is understandable. He's been talking about what the doubling of gallery space at

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Berkshires Jazz Announces Student Art Contest Winners
12:31PM / Friday, May 26, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Berkshires Jazz, which operates the Pittsfield CityJazz Festival and other events throughout the year, has announced the winners to its annual student art contest. The winning entry is an abstract watercolor by Estefania Rivera Cadvid.       

The first-place painting will become the graphic symbol of the 13th annual Pittsfield CityJazz Festival, in mid-October.

The contest, which normally takes place during April, was conceived as a way to spread the interest in jazz to a broader part of the community, and draw attention to Jazz Appreciation Month. After a late start because of the burst water pipes that impacted the art

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'Alien: Covenant': All's Lousy That Ends Lousy
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
03:59PM / Thursday, May 25, 2017
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Director Ridley Scott's "Alien: Covenant," the sixth in the franchise with no relief in sight, has spawned a horror in and of itself. We now might press for escape to another planet not because good old Earth can no longer sustain human life, but because we simply don't want to live in a society that normalizes the mean-spiritedness epitomized by such so-called entertainment.   This gratuitous study in ugly presentiments provides us with a test of our tolerance, challenging us to rightfully recognize its deplorably regressive degeneracy as a 1st Amendment Right.   Like the similarly hostile, outer-space gambit, "Life" (2017), this tale of a colonizing

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Lee Teenager Wins Congressional Art Competition
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
04:30PM / Friday, May 12, 2017
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The self-portrait will hang in the Capitol in Washington D.C. PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Fiora Caligiuri-Randall has a natural gift.   Only the second acrylic painting the 14-year-old has done will now hang in the halls of the Capitol in Washington, D.C. Fiora's painting beat out 45 other high school artist's work throughout the First Massachusetts Congressional District in this year's Congressional Art Competition.   "I am a self-taught artist. I haven't taken any art classes. This year, I decided to take some art classes at Berkshire Community College. I took Drawing 1 last semester and I did this painting at fundamentals of painting this

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'A Quiet Passion': Rhyme and Reason
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:36PM / Thursday, May 11, 2017
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Digging into my trove of words rarely used to describe most movies, but certainly apt in the case of director Terence Davies' biopic of the American poet Emily Dickinson, "A Quiet Passion," I have located and here employ the term, highbrowed. Truth be told, though I spent much of my formative years at institutions of higher learning where one can stave off the inevitability of work and earn a degree or two by paying the tuition and showing up for class somewhat regularly, I estimate that I just barely learned enough to appreciate this masterpiece.

Continuing in my hifalutin assay of expressions pertinent to this highly intelligent work, note that I've never really liked

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'The Circle': The Shape of Things to Come?
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
02:45PM / Friday, May 05, 2017
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Do you find yourself peering endlessly into your smartphone, hoping to make connections, seeking information, wiling away the time, looking for the secret of life and maybe even G-d? It has become your crystal ball and indeed, if we take the cue from director James Ponsoldt's "The Circle," it may show the way to a very creepy future. More important than it is good, this fictionalized audit of the mass voyeurism that has become a frightening offshoot of the information explosion demands the attention of people who still care to think for themselves.   The delve into this world by Mae Holland, a young woman previously in a dead-end customer service job who is recruited by a

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