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    Movie Times | Movie Reviews | Theater Reviews
'The Dark Tower': Fighting Horror with Horror
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
05:19PM / Wednesday, August 16, 2017
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At best, director Nikolaj Arcel's "The Dark Tower," a sci-fi, fantasy western gleaned from Stephen King's best-selling, eight-volume series, might serve as a vicarious mitigation of the horror currently befalling America. The film is clearly about the war between good and evil, albeit related only coincidentally to the nightmarish battle between those forces now commanding our national stage. Whereas our real fight waits for afeared and hesitant patriots to awaken, the movie provides a quick fix of honesty and justice.   But otherwise, while fans of the horror meister's franchise might be pleased to see the saga all gussied up in celluloid, the great unwashed will

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Enjoy Great Music at Tanglewood, Music Mountain, Tannery Pond
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
01:15PM / Wednesday, August 16, 2017
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Come late August, classical aficionados are grateful for the cornucopia of musical riches the Boston Symphony bestows to rapt audiences within the incomparably bucolic setting that is Tanglewood. Many of those superlative concerts will reside in our collective memory for a long time.

During this penultimate week of the Tanglewood Festival, the spotlight will focus on a range of classical fare in varied genres: from chamber and vocal music by Bach, Dvořák, Schubert and Mahler to symphonic works by Beethoven, Brahms and Richard Strauss.

Looking ahead, these last two months of magnificent music making are but a prelude to the fall array of area classical offerings on the

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Tanglewood, Sevenars Showcase Great Music
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
12:41PM / Wednesday, August 09, 2017
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Tanglewood this week will be very rewarding and diverse, with spectacular musical riches across the centuries, representing the progressive continuum of styles: music that's both ancient and new, and everything in-between.

Tanglewood continues its classical programming into mid-August, featuring powerful symphonic works – all audience favorites - performed by the Boston Symphony. The "heavy hitters" are: Stravinsky (the primordial "Rite of Spring"), Beethoven's exultant/tragic Seventh Symphony, Brahms (the magisterial Double Concerto for violin and cello and the Violin Concerto, and Schubert's C Major Symphony No. 9 ("Great"), among

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'A Ghost Story': Lacks Spirit
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
03:26PM / Thursday, August 03, 2017
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Faced with reviewing writer-director David Lowery's supernaturally obscure "A Ghost Story," my first inclination is to ask myself, 'Why didn't I just see some nice, old-fashioned cowboy movie?' Y'know ... something about the waning days of the Wild West, where there's nothing more symbolic to scrutinize than the ubiquitous tumbling tumbleweed. How nice, how tranquil, how straightforward. But nooo, I have to complicate my life by trying to describe in normal human words a film preoccupied with no less than eternity and the meaning of life.   Were I back at Olde Ivy Film Criticism College, still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and "A Ghost Story"

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Thrilling Music at Tanglewood, Music Mountain and Sevenars
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
02:05PM / Wednesday, August 02, 2017
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With the arrival of August, we are at the height of the classical music festival season. Programs this week at Tanglewood offer a diverse and intriguing mix of symphonic music by Mozart, Mendelssohn and Rachmaninoff. The prodigious pianist Garrick Ohlsson has a busy week in store: He will perform Chopin's two piano concertos on successive evenings, and will offer a solo recital of works by Schubert and Scriabin on Tuesday evening in Ozawa Hall. Added to this, programs 4 and 5 in the special series "Schubert's Summer Journey," featuring Emanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma and Mr. Ohlsson, will surely be not-to-be-missed musical high points.

Enhancing the offerings above, be sure to

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Classical 'High Season' Approaches Its Zenith
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
01:42PM / Wednesday, July 26, 2017
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During late July, the classical music festival "high season," anchored by concerts and special events at Tanglewood, approaches its zenith, with sure-fire programming. Offerings this week include great chamber music featuring the renowned Takács String Quartet with pianist Garrick Ohlsson, a unique and highly engaging piano recital celebrating birdsong, Beethoven's Violin Concerto, with soloist Pinchas Zuckerman and much, much more, including the all-encompassing Tanglewood On Parade festivities. Read below for the details.

Not to be outdone, concerts at Tannery Pond and the Sevenars Festival also present unsurpassed and diverse chamber music.

As always, the place

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'The Big Sick': Has a Healthy Outlook
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
03:23PM / Friday, July 21, 2017
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Director Michael Showalter's "The Big Sick," based on Pakistani-born comedian/actor Kumail Nanjiani's real-life story, is often hilarious proof that in jest there is truth. While gleefully verifying that in dedicated hands the classical romantic comedy remains a viable entertainment, this convivial foray into whether or not love conquers all also asserts a humanistic message that is of late egregiously absent from our national consciousness. Nanjiani's tale sagely solicits art to fill this vacuum.   On the surface it plays rather simply. Kumail, who Ubers for a living when he's not trying to "kill" the audience at a Chicago comedy club, one night

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Tanglewood and Sevenars: Classical Music Heaven
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires
01:35PM / Wednesday, July 19, 2017
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Tanglewood enters its third week, and the highlights are many; indeed, every concert will be memorable. The legendary Emerson String Quartet present a musico-theatric "Russian Fantasy," followed by an all-Schubert evening. Deeply moving symphonies by Bernstein and Tchaikovsky ensue, with heroic piano concertos by Beethoven and Prokofiev to follow. Orchestral masterworks by Kernis, Britten and Sibelius, and a celebration of early-20th century French vocal music conclude this week's listing of stellar performances of great and amazingly diverse musical offerings.

If, for whatever inexplicable reason the bounteous musical fare at Tanglewood isn't enough to pique your

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'Baby Driver': Runs on Hi-Test
By Michael S. Goldberger, iBerkshires film critic
05:54PM / Thursday, July 13, 2017
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Ansel Elgort, who plays the title character in director Edgar Wright's "Baby Driver," stylishly employs an entrancing balletic flair in his hip, post-millennial interpretation of what his generation's consummate getaway man might be like.    Using flashbacks interspersed throughout the action-packed drama to inform just what goes into the making of this rare bird of the crime world, Wright, who also wrote the script, pens his protagonist's character study in the fashion generally reserved for superheroes. It's all environment, inner genius and je ne sais quoi.   The implied question that serves as subtext of this quick-moving, smart-alecky glimpse

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Region Hosting Variety of Classical Musical Offerings
By Stephen Dankner, Special to iBerkshires.com
08:53PM / Wednesday, July 12, 2017
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It's here: the summer concert season is upon us. With programs across the region, concertgoers will have a wide range of classical music to enjoy in venues large and small: from solo piano and orchestral to opera and musical theater in concert; from chamber music to a thrilling Bach Brandenburg Concerto. 

This week I'll showcase three presenters that offer the best in chamber music, symphonic music, opera and musical theater.

Taconic Music

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Ariel Rudiakov and Joana Genova-Rudiakov, co-founders and co-artistic directors of Taconic Music, the stimulating and innovative Manchester, Vt.-based music presenter, about their new concert

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