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Arts

Tiffany Treasure Trove

by Ann Morrow February 12, 2015

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    Walking into St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Troy is like walking into a princely jewel box—with the box being a sumptuously wood-carved Gothic church. The “jewels” are the beautiful glass decorations, in hanging chandeliers, mosaic ...

Lust for Light

by Ann Morrow February 12, 2015

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  Mr. Turner, about the brilliant marine painter J. M.W. Turner, is a Mike Leigh film, and as such it focuses on social realism and the working class as much as on the Royal Academy, where ...

From Stage to Screen to Dream

by Ann Morrow February 5, 2015

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  The Lives of Hamilton Fish is a “film song” based on true facts about two men with the same name in 1930s Westchester County. On Thursday, it was played live and onscreen to a standing-room-only ...

Albany Institute of History & Art

Gray Areas

by Laura Leon February 5, 2015

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  Set in 1981 Manhattan, a time when crime in that city was at an all-time high, A Most Violent Year recalls the glory years of ’70s cinema, notably the films of Sydney Lumet and Alan ...

Left Out in the Rain

by Laura Leon January 29, 2015

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  Jennifer Aniston’s quest to be taken seriously as a “real” actress continues with Cake, a movie about a profoundly scarred (both physically and emotionally) woman addicted to pain killers. I hate the use of air ...

Artistic Identities

by Ann Morrow January 29, 2015

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  In The Lives of Hamilton Fish, a film by New York City artist and songwriter Rachel Mason, a politician named Hamilton Fish is linked by fate to a criminal also named Hamilton Fish. Mason, who ...

Albany Institute of History & Art

Eat, Drink and Support Local Arts

by Ali Hibbs January 22, 2015

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  This weekend was a perfect fusion of all of our favorite things as the 6th Annual Wine and Dine for the Arts fundraiser events provided opportunities to sample wines and craft beers, taste dishes created ...

Albany Hilton

In Harm’s Way

by Laura Leon January 22, 2015

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  As I set out to write this review, the talking heads of the media are reveling in the war of words dispatched by Michael Moore, Seth Rogen and their ilk, re: the nature of anybody ...

Hippie Noir

by Shawn Stone January 15, 2015

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  The likelihood of any novel by Thomas Pynchon being adapted for the big screen has always seemed remote, owing to the difficulties in adapting the material and the elusiveness of the author. Yet here is ...

Righteous Might

by Shawn Stone January 15, 2015

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  In this drama about the 1965 showdown in Selma, Ala., where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the movement he led attempted to force President Lyndon Johnson to move voting rights to the top of ...

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Je suis nobody

by Maude Springer January 15, 2015

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  “By laughter, society revenges itself for the liberties taken with it,” said Henri Bergson in La Rire (“Laughter”), 115 years ago in France, a country where ridicule is as dear to the native heart as ...

Nowhere Man

by Ann Morrow January 8, 2015

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  The Imitation Game is explained by Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) in a low-key scene that serves as a denouement, yet Turing’s puzzle-like explanation is the most beguiling example, onscreen, of his brilliant mind: Turing is ...

Period Picture

by Shawn Stone January 8, 2015

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  Is “kitsch” art if the artist is sincere? Asked about Margaret Keane’s phenomenally successful art, which consisted of hauntingly strange paintings of sad-faced, poverty-stricken, bizarrely big-eyed waifs, Andy Warhol said, “It has to be good. ...

Survivor

by Laura Leon January 8, 2015

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  I was so enthralled with the story behind Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken when I read an excerpt from it a few years back in Vanity Fair that I immediately bought the book, read it cover to ...

Year in Cinema 2014: Shawn Stone

by Shawn Stone January 2, 2015

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL - 2014 FILM STILL - Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight

  Best of 2014 1. The Grand Budapest Hotel Wes Anderson did something special with this bittersweet, visually opulent memory film: He made a 1930s-style comedy that astutely incorporated the tragedies of 1930s Europe into its fabric—and was ...

Year in Cinema 2014: Laura Clark Leon

by Laura Leon January 2, 2015

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  Best of 2014 1. Guardians of the Galaxy Quite simply, the best conceived, written, executed and acted movie of the year. A real matineer that reminded me of the excitement I felt the first time, and every ...

Year in Cinema 2014: Ralph Hammann

by Ralph Hammann January 2, 2015

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  Best of 2014 1. Nightcrawler A wonderfully creepy black comedy that mashes up Taxi Driver and Network and succeeds in creating something original and timely—with what is truly Jake Gyllenhaal’s breakthrough performance as a believable and unforgettable ...

Best of Theater 2014

by James Yeara December 31, 2014

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  1. A Midsummer Night’s Dream Shakespeare & Company Outgoing Artistic Director Tony Simotes ends his reign on a high note with his New Orleans-inspired A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Shakespeare’s indestructible comedy finds new depths with the “acto-muso” ...

Best of Video 2014

by Shawn Stone December 31, 2014

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  1. Out of the Past Damn, this Blu-ray of Jacques Tourneur’s noir classic looks perfect. It has Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas and enough deceit for three dramas. 2. Why Be Good? This 1929 silent Colleen Moore ...

Middling Earth

by Ann Morrow December 24, 2014

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  There are things in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies—crass, silly, dragon-sickened things—that no fan of Tolkien’s The Hobbit (or The Lord of the Rings) should ever have to bear witness to. Among ...

Warped Dreams

by Laura Leon December 24, 2014

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  Bring a warm scarf to Foxcatcher regardless of which theater you see it in, because it’s impossible not to develop a deep chill watching this strange, intense elegy about the darkness of the soul and ...

Celebrity Savvy

by Laura Leon December 18, 2014

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  Chris Rock is in fine, albeit Woody Allen, form in Top Five, which he wrote, stars in and directs. He plays André Allen, once an Eddie Murphy-type talent whose meteoric rise to the top has ...

Biblical Dud

by Ann Morrow December 18, 2014

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  There’s a reason why so many historical and biblical epics rely on actors’ speaking the King’s English, and to know why, try sitting through Exodus: Gods and Kings, where they don’t. Ridley Scott’s latest period ...

Full Sail

by Ann Morrow December 18, 2014

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  He is The Most Interesting Jeweler in the World. Capt. Glen Edward von Wergers, who owns a jewelry studio in downtown Albany, is a former CIA mercenary, riverboat captain, adventure sailor, and mountain climber. He has ...

Unsettling

by Laura Leon December 11, 2014

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  The fabled stories of the how the West was won are populated with images of hardscrabble pioneers and undaunted bravery, but rarely, save in instances dealing with capture by Indians, do we come across the ...