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Friday, April 29, 2011

Now clean and sober, Steve-O doesn't "have to hurt himself anymore"

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2011 at 11:01 AM

steveo.comThere are many dumb things Steve-O regrets. Taking a leap from a plane without a parachute into an ocean is one of them. There was also that time he got an unemployed registered nurse to intravenously fill him with five ounces of vodka. And, of course, there was that rap album. But now that he’s 36 years old and three years sober, the Jackass crew’s rowdiest, most extreme daredevil has became more serene and cautious these days. (Viewers of the last, cinematic Jackass outing, Jackass 3D, may have noticed how he sat out the more dangerous stunts, but still took...

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pain and wisdom in Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2011 at 5:44 PM

The Year of Magical Thinking4 starsPRC2; UNC Center for Dramatic Art@Kenan TheatreThrough May 1 Joan Didion adapted her own blistering, caressing memoir of a year of loss and mourning, so the zing of her language is not lost in the one-woman staged version of The Year of Magical Thinking, on view at PlayMakers through Sunday, May 1. The sentences run a little shorter, the vortex-like circularity of the literary structure is less evident, but in the hands of fine actress Ellen McLaughlin, Didion’s excruciatingly refined sensibility comes through, along with her remembered pain described and the wisdom it seared...

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Buddy Joe Hooker, Hobo with a Shotgun and other notes from ActionFest

Posted By on Wed, Apr 27, 2011 at 7:20 PM

Ambush EntertainmentRainn Wilson in SuperIf you’ve ever dreamed of pulling into a theater parking lot with BMX bikers doing half-pipe flips and a man preparing to be set on fire; ActionFest, Asheville’s annual “Film Festival with a Body Count” might be the cinematic event you’ve been waiting for. On a recent sunny weekend, I attended the second annual festival and took in a few films coming soon to Triangle theaters and/or video; over three days, I’ll witness everything from a pipe wrench to the skull to a hobo with a shotgun. The festival offers a wide variety of new blood...

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This girl is different: a conversation with Durham's J.J. Johnson

Posted By on Wed, Apr 27, 2011 at 4:09 PM

Durham’s J.J. Johnson has earned excellent reviews for her young adult novel This Girl is Different (Peachtree, $16.95), and will do a hometown reading and signing at the Regulator Bookshop tonight at 7 p.m. We got Johnson on the phone recently to discuss her book and the challenges of writing for teenagers. INDEPENDENT WEEKLY: Tell us about the book.It’s a Young Adult novel called This Girl is Different, and it’s about a girl named Evie, who’s been home-schooled all her life, but she decides to go to high school for her senior year because she wants to see what all...

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Gorgeous period detail but flat acting in Water for Elephants

Posted By on Fri, Apr 22, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Photo by David James/ Twentieth Century FoxRobert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon share a dance.Sara Gruen’s million-selling novel—a blockbuster publication for Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill—gets the movie treatment courtesy of director Francis Lawrence. Last night, we caught the long-awaited movie version in a special invited-guest premiere at the Lumina Theatre in Chapel Hill. Although the results are mixed, the achievements are very real. For those not among the four million purchasers of Gruen’s novel, the story is set in the Great Depression, in a world of traveling big-top circuses, with their exotic animals and humans along with the carnies, tinkers...

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

First-rate cabaret Stealing Home is a reflection on love, lust and lost chances

Posted By on Wed, Apr 20, 2011 at 5:20 PM

Photo courtesy of Archipelago TheatreStealing Home[Four stars]Archipelago Theatre@ Manbites Dog TheaterThrough April 23 Archipelago Theatre co-founder Ellen Hemphill’s solo performance piece Stealing Home at Manbites Dog is a sultry and at times poignant cabaret reflecting on love, lust and lost chances. Though there are a number of theatrical touches, ranging from costume changes to symbolic props to video projection, the piece works best when Hemphill—and her voice—are front and center. The opening moments, a creepy sing-speak version of Rosemary Clooney’s “Come On-A My House” with Hemphill behind a 3-D computer image of a rotating house, had me worried we were...

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Full Frame video interview: Julie Moggan, director of Guilty Pleasures

Posted By on Mon, Apr 18, 2011 at 7:50 PM

Interview with Julie Moggan, Director of Guilty Pleasures from Independent Weekly on Vimeo....

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Full Frame video interview: Susan Saladoff, director of Hot Coffee

Posted By on Mon, Apr 18, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Interview with Susan Saladoff, Director of Hot Coffee from Independent Weekly on Vimeo....

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Full Frame Day 4: taking refuge from the storm—in reality

Posted By on Sun, Apr 17, 2011 at 10:54 AM

The big news of the area Saturday was the destructive system of tornadoes that whipped through at about 3 p.m. But for 1,200 people inside Fletcher Hall, our biggest concern was whether David Carr, one of the paper's higher-profile writers, would get his big story about the Tribune media group and its clownish, destructive leaders. Outside, destruction reigned. And near the Carolina Theatre, businesses lost power, according to Twitter. But nothing stops The New York Times, evidently, for there was nary a flicker in Fletcher Hall. Page One, Andrew Rossi's valentine to The New York Times was a suitable selection...

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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Full Frame Day 3 (Friday review): the Kerouac-like DRAGONSLAYER plus thoughts on the Lovings

Posted By on Sat, Apr 16, 2011 at 9:31 AM

dragonslayermovie.comLeslie Brown in DRAGONSLAYERThe late-night slot at Full Frame—those movies that start in the witching hours of 10 p.m. or so, are always a tough call for the intrepid Full Framer. By then, we've seen three or even four movies. We've stuffed some food and a beer or two and coffee and water and have grown bleary-eyed. "Perhaps we should go to that after-party, have a drink, socialize and then go home," I often think around this time. But for those in search of something bold and different, 10 p.m. is when some of the real gems of the festival...

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Full Frame video interview: Jarred Alterman discusses Convento

Posted By on Sat, Apr 16, 2011 at 9:16 AM

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Full Frame Day 2: Thoughts on The Pipe and Oregon, plus Day 2 preview, Barbara Kopple and guns

Posted By on Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Virginia Tech survivor Colin Goddard in Barbara Kopple's Gun FightIndy scribes fanned out through theaters Thursday. It was gratifying to see familiar faces, and healthy attendance in the rooms. A few thoughts about Day 1 before we dash off for Day 2. Kate Dobbs Ariail writes in about The Pipe: My dumpster-diving vegan, abandoned building-sqatting, freight train-hopping niece alerted me to the story of The Pipe a couple of years ago. At that time, she was an aspiring activist journalista without much training in the separation of fact and passion, so I discounted her tale, which she’d picked up while...

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Full Frame video interview: Jeanne Jordan and Steven Ascher discuss Raising Renee

Posted By on Fri, Apr 15, 2011 at 10:46 AM

Raising Renee screens at 2 p.m. Friday in Fletcher Hall. Read Chris Vitiello's story about the film here....

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"The storytelling animal": Salman Rushdie at Duke

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 11:23 AM

Salman Rushdie's lecture Tuesday night, at Duke University's Page Auditorium, was technically "sold out," although tickets were free. So it seemed appropriate that Rushdie began his engaging and witty talk, "Public Events, Private Lives: Literature and Politics in the Modern World," the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute's Distinguished Lecture, by talking about Charles Dickens. As Rushdie recounted for the audience, Dickens was probably the first really famous novelist. In his travels to America, he "perform greatest hits from his works"—spicing up the act by adopting the different voices of his characters—for packed houses, and was chased down the street...

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The next big thing: Triangle gaming designers to gather today and tomorrow

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Those heading downtown to the Raleigh Convention Center for the East Coast Game Conference on April 13 and 14 might learn the secrets behind creating the next hit video game that lets players solve a puzzle, learn a skill, or find new ways to dismember an enemy. The conference’s highlight is “Unreal University,” highlighting Cary-based Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, a game development tool that’s been licensed out to other companies to help create such hits as BioShock and Batman: Arkham Asylum. Along with offering previews of such anticipated Epic projects Gears of War 3 and Samaritan, the conference features veteran...

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The wearable lightness of being: roadkill and electric lights at Art to Wear

Posted By on Tue, Apr 12, 2011 at 8:24 AM

Photo by Jeremy M. LangeVeronica Tibbitts prepares for tonight's Art to Wear show.Wire, fiber optic lights and skinned roadkill are three things not often grouped together, but the designers of N.C. State’s annual fashion show, Art to Wear, don’t see it that way. This year—tonight, in fact—marks the 10th anniversary of the collaborative show between the College of Design and the College of Textiles, and the designers are pulling out all the stops. They’re exhausted, but more than anything, they’re inspired. I spoke with several of these designers, mostly late at night because that was the only time they could...

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Shape of the Table and the Iron Curtain Trilogy:
The Independent Interview with David Edgar

Posted By on Sat, Apr 9, 2011 at 4:59 PM

Playwright David EdgarOver the past decade, playwright David Edgar has become one of the region’s most frequently produced British playwrights. Only Shakespeare and Tom Stoppard come to mind as having had more shows mounted in that period—and of the three, Edgar’s the only one to have actually come around for a visit.Years before PlayMakers Rep’s abridged 2009 version of Edgar’s two-part adaptation of NICHOLAS NICKLEBY, Raleigh’s Burning Coal Theatre introduced us to the playwright in its audacious first-season production of PENTECOST. In that gripping political drama, the meaning of an ancient fresco in an abandoned Eastern European church becomes intertwined...

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Awesome summation of the beauty and skill surrounding this tap festival! Great Job Dan!
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