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    Movie Times | Movie Reviews | Theater Reviews
'Born in China': Animal Magnetism
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
12:01PM / Friday, April 28, 2017
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One of the key joys of seeing "Born in China," a splendidly picturesque documentary about snow leopard Dawa and her two cubs; Tao Tao, a young snub-nosed monkey; and a giant panda

Ya Ya and her daughter, Mei Mei, was worth listening to the kids in the audience emoting. Normally, I would rail at the ragamuffins' commentary with an agitation worthy of the great W.C. Fields. But this was different. For many of the seemingly delighted and relatively polite tykes, this was their first movie experience. Respect must be paid.

Here was the nascence of what might become a lifelong love of that to which I have attributed everything from a zeal for adventure to the development of

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New Gallery Drawn by North Adams' Air of Contemporary Art
by John Seven, iBerkshires Contributor
05:58AM / Saturday, April 22, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A new art gallery in downtown North Adams is the result of the city's unique relationship with contemporary art as a lure to artists from other places.

Gravity Gallery co-owners Lynn Richardson and Paul McMullan first became acquainted with the city in 2012 when both artists displayed work in Downstreet Art.

  Richardson's installation, "Arctic Garden," addressed climate change in context of Richardson's hometown, Winnipeg. McMullen's work was also featured in a pop-up gallery from Gallery 107, ceramic work that functioned as the "guardians of the gallery."   Richardson and McMullan are art professors at

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'Gifted': The Long and Short of It
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
03:03PM / Wednesday, April 19, 2017
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"Saw 'Gifted.' Little girl genius. Enjoyed it. Intellectual and emotional ... homage to brainpower. Good acting. Won't play the hinterlands."   Thus read my text to Hesh, my longtime movie sidekick who, absent from my viewing of director Marc Webb's touching but predictable tale about the trials and tribulations of a 7-year-old math genius, asked what I had seen. Succinct if not eloquent, I suggest it illustrates I'm able to pen a discourse on films considerably short of my usual 835 words. It should also prove a boon to those enduring, charitable readers who, while wishing to be apprised of the film in question, would just as soon not slog through my

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'Going in Style': Bank Heist Steals Your Heart
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
11:59PM / Thursday, April 13, 2017
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  My first inclination when hearing that Alan Arkin, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman would star in director Zach Braff's remake of 1979's "Going in Style," which featured George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg, was to scream "Sacrilege!" But I was at a funeral and, fearing the outburst might be inappropriate, contained myself.    Later, my calmed head prevailing, I got philosophical about it. While the older set of oldsters was terrific in this seriocomic bank heist film, one good turn should deserve another, especially if it showcases such national treasures.   Besides, pity is, the economic situation that stirred the original gang to

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'Ghost in the Shell': Machine Politics
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
08:42PM / Friday, April 07, 2017
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Viewing director Rupert Sanders' highly imaginative "Ghost in the Shell," based on Shirow Masamune's Japanese comic series, it occurred to me: How do I know I'm not a cyborg, installed by some great Machiavellian organization to surreptitiously spread their deceptions through my film criticisms? It can't be .. I'm just a nice liberal guy, trying to make sure folks spend their movie money wisely. Or is that simply what I've been programmed to think?

Although still not sure, as sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick asked, if androids dream of electric sheep, I now must move on to wondering if Ancestry.Com might help a disillusioned cyborg learn his identity. All of

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Berkshire, Bennington Cultural Institutions Create 'Art Country'
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
05:50PM / Wednesday, April 05, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Joseph Thompson's been talking for years about creating a destination in North County that will keep tourists longer than a day.

The director of Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art is convinced that trading up day-trippers for overnights, weekends or longer will cause a seismic shift in not only the way Northern Berkshire is perceived but exponentially increase the cultural economic impact on the region.

On Wednesday morning, Thompson was joined by the directors of four other major cultural institutions in launching ArtCountry.org, a collaborative designed to go beyond a simple "cultural corridor" and to think regionally.

"Our goal

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'Life': No Bowl of Cherries
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
03:22PM / Thursday, March 30, 2017
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I'm tempted to give away the ending of director Daniel Espinosa's "Life," an extremely tense but run-of-the-mill outer space adventure that was heading for an only so-so rating even before its curiously misanthropic finish. I'd be doing you a favor.

Sure to be shocked, the viewer is left wondering why Espinosa, working from a script by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick, would paint such a depressing conclusion. You mean that's it? That's where we're headed? Well then, let me kill myself now. Even Schopenhauer, the granddaddy of pessimism, would be depressed.

Unable to recall another film that imploded so devastatingly in the last two minutes, canceling out

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Mass MoCA Looking to Orient Visitors, Send Them Downtown
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
03:49AM / Thursday, March 23, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Thousands of visitors are headed for the city this summer and Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts is hoping to push as many as it can into the downtown.

The museum opens its $65 million renovation of the massive Building 6 that will double its gallery and events space this May and welcomes back the Solid Sound Festival and Freshgrass.

The two music festivals alone will bring up to 13,000 people total for two weekends at the sprawling former Sprague Electric campus. The museum's attendance has soared past 150,000 and the completion of Phase III will likely push it higher.

One effort is to make sure visitors know where they are and where they're

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'Beauty and the Beast': The Fairy Tale as Civics Lesson
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
06:12PM / Wednesday, March 22, 2017
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"Beauty and the Beast" is much more than "escapist entertainment," a term I rail at. I couldn't slip into a theater for a few thrills, spills and worse yet, laughter, when I know outside Rome is burning. That's just the kind of hairpin I am. I believe society should be fashioned in a manner so enlightened that there is nothing from which to escape. OK, this is pie-in-the-sky stuff. I like to say it to irk the cynics who not only deride my view as unfeasible but who, I suspect, would prefer the current Sturm und Drang to peace and harmony. Why else would they have invited it?

That paints a rather grim picture, and so here's where the latest Disney

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Berkshire Arts, Research Take Hits in White House Budget
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:57AM / Wednesday, March 22, 2017
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LENOX, Mass. — Proposed cuts in President Donald Trump's fiscal 2018 spending plan would create serious problems for the creative economy.

"The real travesty is this is actually taking money out of the pockets of people who are trying to keep food on their table while teaching kids," Shakespeare & Company Artistic Director Allyn Burrows said this week.

"[Lawmakers in Washington, D.C.] may not feel their personal connection with the arts, but their kids do. This is all part of that fabric. It's doing the next generation a disservice to yank that."

"That" would be the National Endowment for the Arts, one of the federal programs that would

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