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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Video: Watch Durham's Monica Byrne Turn Into a Hologram in Vancouver TED Talk

Posted By on Thu, May 5, 2016 at 2:23 PM

Durham author and playwright Monica Byrne is known for raveling disparate strands of gender, race, and love in speculative social orders, from the acclaimed novel The Girl in the Road to the ambitious play Tarantino's Yellow Speedo. Last February, she added to that list with For My Wife, Navid, a story commissioned by Chris Anderson and then performed live at TED 2016 in Vancouver. The performance, in which Byrne portrays a hologram (aided by clever lighting and digital glitch effects), went up on TED's website today. "From what I heard afterwards, a full third of the audience thought I was actually a...

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Movie Review: Captain America: Civil War Is Like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice with a Marvel Smirk Instead of a DC Frown

Posted By on Wed, May 4, 2016 at 4:01 PM

Captain America: Civil War★★★½ Opening Friday, May 6 Given the factious fervor of fans on both sides of the aisle between Marvel and DC Comics films, it’s a droll coincidence that Captain America: Civil War, the latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, shares the same general premise as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, DC’s most recent blockbuster. Both films revolve around humankind’s attempts to rein in demigods and the collateral damage of their heroism. Both feature clashes between seminal superheroes who are manipulated by a bad guy and at odds over how much power they should be...

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

ConcussionCast Carnival Showcases Exciting Bouts of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Durham Central Park

Posted By on Tue, May 3, 2016 at 1:41 PM

Early rain couldn’t stifle the action at Durham Central Park on Sunday, where a slate of ten jiu-jitsu bouts, fought in an MMA cage, kicked off with a short match. As the rain started to clear, Chapel Hill’s Mary Holmes locked an armbar on her opponent, Washington, D.C.’s Laurie Porsch, and gave the event an enduring shot of energy. From there, all the fights kept the intensity level high. Most of the bouts either ended quickly, with a sudden submission, or pushed the competitors into overtime. The ConcussionCast Carnival, a live extension of the weekly Cageside ConcussionCast radio show...

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Movie Review: TV's Key & Peele Make Unlikely Hollywood Bid With Cat-Meme-Slash-Action-Comedy Keanu

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 2:04 PM

Keanu ★★ Opening Friday, April 29 Keanu—the feature-film debut of TV comedy team Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele—is surely the biggest disappointment at the movies so far this year. It's one thing to see a bad movie. It's another thing when you're fully expecting a good one. For five seasons on Comedy Central, Key & Peele delivered high-octane funny business by blending sharp writing, kinetic physical comedy, and inspired goofiness. The idea of a movie seemed natural and promising, and the first trailers were very, very funny. Alas, Keanu is one of those movies where the three-minute preview is...

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Movie Review: Bloody Action and Bloodless Politics in Punks-Versus-Skins Horror Thriller Green Room

Posted By on Fri, Apr 29, 2016 at 9:21 AM

Green Room ★★★ Opening Friday, April 29 With Green Room, writer/director Jeremy Saulnier solidifies his burgeoning reputation as an action auteur capable of making brutally effective thrillers on a modest budget. Those looking for exploitation-style thrills and chills won't be disappointed, but those intrigued by the subcultural conflict between punks and Neo-Nazis may be left hanging by the film's surprisingly bloodless politics. The high-concept premise involves a touring Washington, D.C. punk rock band, booked at the last minute to perform for a "boots-and-braces crowd" of white-power skinheads in the woods of Washington state. Stumbling upon an internecine murder gets the...

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Sharpen Your Script With UNC Teacher and Veteran Screenwriter Scott Myers

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 2:43 PM

Write Now! Saturday, April 30 The McKimmon Conference & Training Center, Raleigh For aspiring and established screenwriters alike, Scott Myers is an invaluable resource for storytelling tips and film-industry insight. On Saturday, April 30, the UNC instructor joins other Triangle storytellers to dispense advice live. Myers is a presenter at Write Now!, the annual writing conference held by the Triangle Association of Freelancers, which includes sessions on self-editing, running a freelance “business,” and how to get published. Myers’s session is on “Character Development for Screenwriters,” though, as he’s quick to point out, “It’s actually for all writers.” “We’ll be talking about...

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Bill Thelen to Step Down as Director of Pioneering Raleigh Gallery Lump

Posted By on Thu, Apr 28, 2016 at 12:56 PM

An upcoming installation by the Team Lump collective, Arise! Bald Man! King of Hair People!, will close Lump’s twentieth-anniversary season. It also marks an even bigger milestone: the end of Bill Thelen's long tenure as the director of the Raleigh gallery.  In an email to the INDY today, Thelen confirmed that he’ll step down in July. “The space will move to being a nonprofit with a new director, and I'll still be on the advising board,” he says. “There is going to be a reconfiguring of the space in the near future. We are really excited about taking Lump into a new...

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Theater Review: Little Green Pig Meets Tom Waits in a Night of Boisterous, Boozy Cabaret

Posted By on Thu, Apr 21, 2016 at 4:54 PM

The Piano Has Been Drinking: A Tom Waits Cabaret ★★★½ Friday, April 22, 8 p.m. Arcana Bar & Lounge, Durham If you’re putting on a Tom Waits cabaret—as Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern did at Mystery Brewing Company last Saturday, and will do again at Arcana in Durham on Friday—you’re going to need more than one vocalist. Actually, you’re going to need more than one band. It’s hard to believe the same mind that produced the wistful heartache ballad “I Hope I Don’t Fall in Love With You” went on to pen the jaded observations and acid sentiments of...

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Video: Raleigh Murals Project Mashes Up Vibrant People and Public Paintings

Posted By on Thu, Apr 21, 2016 at 12:15 PM

The colors of spring preceded the flowers in Raleigh this year, thanks in large part to the people of the Raleigh Murals Project, who work to catalog and highlight historic urban murals and to facilitate the creation of new ones (see Jane Porter’s article for more). They just released a fun new video that draws a parallel between the vibrancy of Raleigh's citizens and its public art.   Co-owner Jedidiah Gant is also a digital strategist at Raleigh video production company Myriad Media, where he worked with creative strategist Tina Haver Currin (disclosure: Currin is an INDY contributor) to produce...

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

North Carolina's Independent Bookstores Band Together Against HB 2

Posted By on Wed, Apr 20, 2016 at 11:25 AM

Naturally, the open letter that independent bookstores across the state sent to the governor’s office and circulated online late last week begins by quoting a book. The petitioners use Ray Oldenburg’s assertion that “third places … are the heart of a community's social vitality and the grassroots of democracy” to frame their argument for the repeal of House Bill 2. “As independent bookstores providing that third place in communities across our state,” the letter continues, “we believe it is essential to be non-discriminatory, inclusive and tolerant, to promote freedom of speech and equality, and to guard against censorship and...

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Movie Review: The Jungle Book Creatively Brings the Essence of Disney's Animated Classic to Life

Posted By on Fri, Apr 15, 2016 at 1:46 PM

The Jungle Book ★★★★ Opening Friday, April 15 As a CGI bear named Baloo in Disney’s new, live-action The Jungle Book, Bill Murray channels the kind of surrogate-big-brother camp counselor that made him famous in Meatballs. He doesn’t try to hit the exact same notes as Phil Harris in the 1967 animated classic, but it’s the same principle—laidback, laconic, irresponsible but protective—capturing the essence while doing something new. That’s the strength director Jon Favreau and writer Justin Marks bring to this update, which honors the iconography of the original while restoring some of the darkness of Rudyard Kipling’s stories, which...

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Theater Review: The Elephant Man Is a Theatrical Autopsy of Victorian England's Selective Morals

Posted By on Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 4:32 PM

The Elephant Man★★★ Theatre in the Park, Raleigh Through April 24 Perhaps the subject’s medical nature had something to do with it, but by the end of the first act of The Elephant Man at Theatre in the Park, I’d concluded it was a theatrical autopsy that stripped the title character's tale to its bones, until the last act more fully fleshed it out. It vexed me enough to send me back to Bernard Pomerance’s Tony Award-winning script from 1977—where I found skeletal scenes and underdeveloped characters, hobbled by exposition, throughout Act One. It’s hard to fault director Ira David...

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Andy Warhol Museum Director Cancels Visit to UNC's MFA Class—Guess Why

Posted By on Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 2:22 PM

Thus far, many of the headline-grabbing HB-2-related boycotts have come from the worlds of business (Paypal, Deutsche Bank) and music (Springsteen, Ringo, and, today, Ani DiFranco). But the backlash is being felt in less commercial spheres as well. Eric C. Shiner, director of The Andy Warhol Museum, had planned to visit North Carolina later this month to offer critiques to MFA students at UNC-Chapel Hill as part of the school’s Visiting Artist Professionals program. Due to HB 2, Shiner will no longer be making the trek down from Pittsburgh. UNC art professor elin o’Hara slavick published on Facebook yesterday the...

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Theater Review: The Consequences of Virtual Play Laid Bare at Manbites in The Nether

Posted By on Wed, Apr 13, 2016 at 3:51 PM

The Nether ★★★★ Manbites Dog Theater, Durham Through April 23 In The Body in Pain, Elaine Scarry writes about how technology has extended our physical abilities and senses. The hammer and handgun concentrate applied force; the telescope lengthens eyesight; microphones and loudspeakers amplify voices; bicycles and cars expand mobility. But as networked computers exponentially increase our computational, sensory, and data-gathering powers, some say the human body is becoming increasingly dislocated in the digital rush. Soon, it might be all but discarded. Jennifer Haley explores a very unsettling facet of this possibility in The Nether, her creepy 2013 sci-fi drama. Director Jules...

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Full Frame: A Quirky Sunday Surfing the Net With Werner Herzog and Reading New Yorker Cartoons

Posted By on Mon, Apr 11, 2016 at 3:31 PM

Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World Very Semi-Serious Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Durham Sunday, April 10, 2016 This weekend’s late-spring freeze turned attendees of the nineteenth annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival into puffy little cotton balls, their down jackets swishing together in tight theater aisles, making the cinemas feel even fuller than usual. By Sunday, everyone had gotten the hang of the ticketing process, screening locations, and which bathrooms had the fastest moving lines. The festival moved like a well-oiled, well-bundled machine. I’ll admit it: this was my first time at Full Frame. I was afraid...

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Movie Review: City of Gold Deliciously Translates a Celebrated Food Critic's Style to the Screen

Posted By on Mon, Apr 11, 2016 at 12:19 PM

City of Gold ★★★ ½ Now playing For dedicated foodies, City of Gold is the best dinner-and-a-movie option to hit local theaters since Jon Favreau's underrated Chef. This sprightly new documentary profiles the life and work of Los Angeles Times writer Jonathan Gold, the first food critic to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize. Gold made his bones in the eighties by wandering away from the usual high-end French restaurants and exploring the city's humbler eateries, often tucked away in dodgy neighborhoods or shabby strip malls. Gold's abiding love of Los Angeles and its endlessly colliding cultures powers his writing and...

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Sunday, April 10, 2016

Full Frame: Underdogs Get Their Place in the Spotlight

Posted By on Sun, Apr 10, 2016 at 1:37 PM

Sonita (★★★½) Life, Animated (★★★) Raising Bertie (★★) Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Durham Saturday, April 9, 2016 Perseverance is a common theme in documentaries, usually involving the tenacity of a film’s subject and occasionally the filmmakers. Three docs featured during day three of this year’s Full Frame Documentary Film Festival ply this premise, with decidedly different results. Sundance sensation Sonita chronicles the story of Sonita Alizadeh, an undocumented Afghan teenager living in Iran. We first meet the 18-year-old Alizadeh rapping for fellow displaced children in their Tehran group home. Alizadeh harbors Western sensibilities and dreams of hitting it big...

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Full Frame: Who Run the World? Girls. And Noise.

Posted By on Sat, Apr 9, 2016 at 3:49 PM

In Pursuit of Silence, Hooligan Sparrow, Chisholm '72: Unbought & Unbossed Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Durham Thursday, April 7, 2016 Early on Full Frame's Friday presentations, In Pursuit of Silence provided a beautifully shot exploration of sounds, noise, and the absence thereof. The documentary took several approaches, from the spiritual to the slightly technophobic, but almost all of the angles provided intriguing insight to the importance of quiet time. As it turns out, constant exposure to noise has serious, harmful effects on our minds and bodies. For those with occasional loner tendencies, the film works well as a validation...

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Friday, April 8, 2016

Full Frame: The Newsploitation Industry Made Anthony Weiner a Punch Line, But the Joke's on Us

Posted By on Fri, Apr 8, 2016 at 6:24 PM

Weiner ★★★★ Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Durham Thursday, April 7, 2016 Look, I’m sorry, but there’s no other way to say it: Everyone at Full Frame last night seemed very excited about Weiner, and all the delicious innuendo it unleashed. For example, when I said I was looking for Weiner, one usher at the Carolina Theatre gave me a subtle smirk that seemed to say, "We don’t need to go there, but we know." Another shot back a much franker double entendre. “I’ve been waiting all night to say that,” she added, laughing, “and you looked like the guy.”...

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Theater Review: Trapped Somewhere Between Ape and Man in Kafka's Monkey

Posted By on Thu, Apr 7, 2016 at 2:08 PM

KAFKA’S MONKEY★★★★ Common Ground Theatre, Durham Through April 9, $10–$15 History has shown that when captives address their captors, the experience can transform each party. It can even transform the cultures and times in which they live, as in the cases of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” and Albert Camus’s clandestine “Letters to a German Friend,” which he wrote in occupied France during World War II. But the words of the forcibly assimilated—from Southern slave narratives to the testimony of the Cherokee and Lakota—are sober reminders that transformation can also be ambiguous, corrosive, or fatal, a reality...

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Theater Review: A Star-Studded Sweeney Todd from PlayMakers Rep

Posted By on Tue, Apr 5, 2016 at 4:36 PM

SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET★★★ ½ Paul Green Theatre, Chapel Hill Through April 23 I was mildly aghast: noticeably tentative—and not always audible—voices, sometimes pitchy and off time? True, it was only a Facebook video preview for Sweeney Todd at PlayMakers Repertory Company, but as an online advertisement, it hardly instilled confidence in the show to come. So despite the marquee leads of Broadway’s David St. Louis and TV’s Annie Golden (Orange Is the New Black), and the up-to-now unshakable music direction of Mark Hartman, there was a somewhat larger question mark than usual hanging over...

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Friday, April 1, 2016

Broadway Composer Stephen Schwartz Halts N.C. Shows to Protest HB 2, Encourages Others to Follow

Posted By on Fri, Apr 1, 2016 at 3:14 PM

When Gov. McCrory called opposition to HB 2 “political theater,” he probably didn’t foresee a response from the national theater community. But now the curtain’s going up on the state’s first professional entertainment embargo, one whose effects have the potential to change the face of theater and other live entertainment in North Carolina. It follows a flood of negative responses from businesses, institutions, and civic groups, local and international. Broadway World reported Thursday night that composer Stephen Schwartz has revoked performance rights to his musicals in North Carolina in protest of the legislation, which denies transgender people the right to use the...

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Remembering Quail Ridge Books Founder Nancy Olson, a Reader's Best Friend

Posted By on Fri, Apr 1, 2016 at 9:59 AM

Like many book-lovers in the Triangle, I felt as though I lost a family member last Sunday. Nancy Olson’s passing at age seventy-five was not a complete surprise to those who knew her. For several years, she’d been battling kidney disease, which played a part in her decision to sell Quail Ridge Books, the independent bookstore she opened in Raleigh in 1984.  But she remained a vital presence at Quail Ridge, often appearing at store signings, beaming as authors were introduced and chatting with them like old friends afterward. Occasionally, I’d say hi, and she’d introduce me to the...

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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Movie Review: A Very Dark Knight and Cold Man of Steel in Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice

Posted By on Thu, Mar 24, 2016 at 11:30 AM

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice★★★ Opening Friday, March 25 A millennium hence, our descendants might try to decipher our current superhero obsession the way we study ancient Greek legends. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which conflates modern religious and mythological allegories, will be rich material. In a span of minutes, eccentric nemesis Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg, too manic by half) positions Kal-El, Superman’s Kryptonian name, alongside Zeus, Yahweh, and Horus. A messianic parable, the film explores how mortals might really react to the arrival of an omnipotent being. Eighteen months have passed since the calamitous climax of Batman...

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

UNC Students Head for Cannes with Short Film Of Princes

Posted By on Wed, Mar 23, 2016 at 4:00 PM

Despite the lack of a film major at UNC-Chapel Hill, one group of passionate students didn’t just look for channels to pursue this interest. Instead, they created one. As co-founders of the video production company Uninsincerity, UNC juniors Riley Reid, Stuart Schrader, and Jan Bergengruen have produced several impressive works, including a campaign ad for student body president Bradley Opere and the short film Of Princes, which won a spot at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival. Of Princes was adapted from Schrader’s original concept, a six-part miniseries of ten-minute episodes. But he didn’t have time to implement this idea while...

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I've been to the last 2 NC ComiCons in Durham. It's a great event, but the panels are kind of …

by Ruby Sinreich on NC Comicon and Oak City Comicon Consolidate Brands as New Competition From Florida Looms (Arts)

Also, don't miss Illogicon this weekend http://illogicon.org/ - it's another great fan event!

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