A Neighbor in the Amazon
Photo by David Gilbert
The rainforest is supposed to be a place of idyllic beauty, but, for some, clear water and lush greenery have given way to noxious pits full of polluting chemicals—the legacy of oil production in the region. Some indigenous people aren’t willing to take the environment’s destruction lying down, however, and have filed a class-action lawsuit against Chevron, whom they blame for a rise in cancer, leukemia, and birth defects. Westchester filmmaker Joe Berlinger followed the ongoing legal battle for his documentary, Crude, and spoke with Westchester Magazine about his run-ins in the “Amazon Chernobyl.”
The hard-boiled gumshoe, the femme fatale, the perp hiding in plain sight—these are all the juicy, gritty hallmarks of film noir. Yet while we think of the genre as being distinctly American, this month the Jacob Burns Film Center sets out to prove that these thrillers are near-universal. The International Noir series, which runs from August 6 to September 3, follows shamuses from the U.S. along with those from such countries as Australia, the Netherlands, Japan, France, Italy, and Norway. On August 6, curator Christopher Funderburg gives a talk titled International Noir 101, and attendees get a free ticket to any film in the series. The series opens on August 7 with a screening of Double Indemnity, and closes with The Third Man, which film writer Terrence Rafferty will discuss on August 30.
Once again, we all must hail to the King. Blues legend B.B. King, now 83 years old, still is touring, singing, and playing the blues with the energy of someone decades his junior. He’ll bring his trusty Lucille to the Ives Concert Park in Danbury, Connecticut, when he headlines a blues festival on August 23. The whippersnappers who’ll be joining him on stage aren’t too shabby, either: Marcia Ball, John Lee Hooker, Jr., the Chrisopher Robin Band, and Eran Troy Danner round out the bill.
Punky pop star Cyndi Lauper doesn’t just sing that girls just want to have fun—she proves it. For the “Girls’ Night Out” tour, coming to the Paramount Center for the Arts on August 3, she teams up with gal pal Rosie O’Donnell for a double bill of girl-powered entertainment. Lauper will perform her hits in addition to songs from her most recent album, 2008’s Bring Ya to the Brink. O’Donnell, never one to mince words, comes with a new stand-up comedy routine. Bonus: A dollar from each ticket will go to the True Colors Foundation to help support gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues.
The folky M. Ward always has received acclaim from other music professionals, but it wasn’t until he teamed up with indie actress Zooey Deschanel, his “She & Him” collaborator, that he was thrust into the general spotlight. Now he’s earning headlines all on his own. Entertainment Weekly called Hold Time, his most recent album, “timeless, a musical wanderer’s dusty, train-hopping tour through folk, blues, and country,” and New York magazine wrote that Ward is “the embodiment of everything cool and hopeful about indie rock.” Hear these old-timey-sounding tunes when Ward visits the Paramount Center for the Arts on August 2.
Color My World
You may have noticed that White Plains has been a little bit more colorful in the past year or so. Credit sculptor David Hayes, the subject of a solo 30-year retrospective currently taking place on the streets of the city, for the infusion of hues. More than 60 of Hayes’s painted, welded, and bolted steel sculptures were installed last November, when it was too cold to linger outside and appreciate them fully. Now that it’s warm, walk the streets of White Plains and see if you can find all 62 works. (Hint: You can find some at 1 N Broadway, Library Plaza, and Tibbits Park.) For more information, visit davidhayes.com.
Continue reading for Home Theater, Up the Line, and Quadricentennial 2009.
What to add to your Netflix queue this month
DVD Release Date: August 25, Buena Vista Home Entertainment
This one is great for your recent grad, since its protagonist is a classics major forced by a bad job market and lack of work experience to take a menial summer job at an amusement park to make money. Set in 1987, the film is a wistful look at post-college summers—and the unusual relationships and friendships that follow—by master of adolescent awkwardness Greg Mottola, who also directed Superbad.
DVD Release Date: August 25, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
In a new twist on Spy vs. Spy, Julia Roberts and Clive Owen play two agents-turned-corporate-moles working for a pair of cutthroat rival corporations. They hatch a scheme to swindle both companies and run away with the profits—if they can trust each other. The film is from Michael Clayton writer/director Tony Gilroy, who also turns up to do the DVD commentary.
|Battlestar Galactica: The Complete Series
DVD Release Date: July 28, Universal Studios Home Entertainment
If you’ve ever been in line at the supermarket and found yourself wondering if the person in front of you is secretly a Cylon, this DVD set is for you. The 25-disc set contains every single episode of the sci-fi series, and includes a wealth of extra material for people who don’t want to believe it’s over.
Continue reading for Up the Line, and Quadricentennial 2009
Up the Line
Fair is Fair
If you’re looking for a staycation destination this month, try Rhinebeck. In addition to the town’s usual charms (beautiful barns, antiques, and the Beekman Arms Inn), for six days Rhinebeck will be home to the Dutchess County Fair, the second-largest county fair in New York State. Along with the typical fair goodies (is there any food better than fair food?), there will be a host of performances that you wouldn’t normally find in our corner of the state: a tribute to Elvis Presley, country music concerts, and even championship bull riding. Grab your cowboy hat and head over to the Dutchess Fairgrounds between August 25 and August 30. For more information, call (845) 876-4000 or visit dutchessfair.com.
Continue reading for Quadrientennial 2009
This month’s Quad events.
This year, everybody is celebrating our favorite local waterway—but Van Cortlandt Manor has been hailing the county’s relationship to its rivers before it was cool. (Sure, they specifically meant the Croton River instead of the Hudson, but it still counts.) There’s no better time than this year to check out its annual River Day celebration. The festival gives you several opportunities to actually get out on the water with boat rides, kayaking, and boat-building. Landlubbers can still participate in historic water-related crafts, like making nets, fishing, and brick-making. All the activity works up an appetite, so everyone can enjoy some food made on the open hearth.
More than 170 years after Henry Hudson made his infamous sail, a general by the name of George Washington took a stroll down to the waterfront in Dobbs Ferry. The town will mark that occasion with the Dobbs Ferry’s Return to the Hudson Quadricentennial Celebration. Gather at Gould Park to re-trace the steps of the 1781 Continental Army down to what’s now Waterfront Park. (Washington himself leads the parade on horseback.) There, the celebration continues with food, equestrian demonstrations by Revolutionary War re-enactors from Sheldon’s Horse Light Dragoons, Iron Feather Native American Singers, canoe-making demonstrations, flint knapping, music, and more.
And, if you haven’t had a chance to check out the Tarrytown Lighthouse, you still have opportunities. Tours of the lighthouse take place this month on August 9 and 23.