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    Movie Times | Movie Reviews | Theater Reviews
'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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DownStreet Art Looking for Artists for 2017 Season
11:56AM / Monday, March 20, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts' Berkshire Cultural Resource Center announces the DownStreet Art (DSA) 2017 call for art. To mark the 10th anniversary of the DownStreet Art program, BCRC will embark on an ambitious goal to commission 10 new projects, which will range from performances and murals to pop-up parks and community art projects.

The three opportunities include a call for mural art, parklet design, and pop-up art programming. Full requests for proposals and submission guidelines can be found at the DSA website. The proposal deadline is March 31, at 11:59 p.m.

DSA invites artists interested in community engagement and social practice to work

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'Kong: Skull Island': Serious Monkey Business
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
05:55PM / Thursday, March 16, 2017
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While director Jordan Vogt-Roberts' "Kong: Skull Island" asserts independence from the original, 1933 legend, as well as the 1976 and 2005 remakes, it is all the same, a throwback, a good old adventure yarn. To quote an eloquent teen in the theater lobby who ruminated it afterward with his pals, "That was a most satisfying movie experience."

The 14-year-old in me agrees; the curmudgeon has reservations. But despite some modernizations and nods to contemporary sensibilities integrated into the ethos of the tale, there is one heartening fact. Indeed, on this unchartered, South Pacific island where Charles Darwin would have enjoyed a veritable feast of evolutionary

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North County Fifth Graders Create Art To Inspire
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:44AM / Saturday, March 11, 2017
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Sally Taylor's project engaged elementary school students through art. NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — With the help of Sally Taylor, Brayton, Colegrove and Greylock fifth graders tapped into their inner artist and created paintings which will act as the first dispatch in a multi-medium game of telephone.   Kidspace, located in the upper levels of Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, was alive with creation Friday morning as Taylor, artist, musician and daughter of singer-songwriters James Taylor and Carly Simon, asked students to simply react to the words fear, joy and freedom.   "I hope that they recognize that art is more than just painting. It’s everything

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'Logan': Makes Some Sharp Points
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires Film Critic
02:50PM / Thursday, March 09, 2017
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Judged solely on its surface value, director James Mangold's "Logan," the third and reputedly final escapade of the Wolverine/Marvel Comics/superhero/X-Men series, rates a six on my excitement scale. However, bear in mind that loyal adherents of this franchise evaluate their cherished, alternate world of right, wrong and not so sure by their very own, entirely proprietary measure. They couldn't care less about what this fuddy-duddy thinks.

Well, good. There is much philosophical baloney and wisdom to be gleaned from the generation gap. Hence, knowing my place as the Brave New World thunders outside my slightly blemished ivory tower of pontification, kindly acknowledge

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North Adams Arts Commission Gets First Public Art Proposal
By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff
04:36PM / Wednesday, March 08, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Public Arts Commission has received its first submission: A proposal to create art on Montana Street.

Or at least the outline of a submission.

Griffin Labbance, a residence director at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, is hoping to engage college artists in decorating one of the college's entry points and came to the commission seeking guidance.

"A lot more chalk art was showing up [on nearby streets]," he told the commission at its meeting Friday evening at Bright Ideas Brewing. "I got this basic idea of student murals that last longer, talking off of the painting of crosswalks."

Montana is a one-way street owned by the

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Annual Thunderfest Features Chowder & Music
02:02PM / Friday, March 03, 2017
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ADAMS, Mass. — Once again, Mother Nature has forced the cancellation of the Thunderbolt Ski Race. But the festivities will go on with the annual Thunderfest at noon on Saturday at the Adams Visitors Center.

The festival features live music by Jim Witherell and the headliner Misty Blues Band. Hot food, local beer and wine, a chowder contest, outdoor recreation and craft vendors are featured. A campfire and activities for kids will also be provided and admission to the Thunderbolt museum is free.

"With the addition of the new events this year, Adams is offering more than ever for lovers of outdoor winter recreation," said Ray Gargan, co-chair of ProAdams. "Even if

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