Umbrellas of cherbourg, Jacques Demy, 82 min.
The film that helped launch Catherine Deneuve to international stardom, the wonderful The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg has a slender story: a pregnant shopgirl Geneviève (Deneuve) is separated from her mechanic lover Guy (Castelnuovo), when the latter is drafted into military service during the Algerian war. But director Demy conjures up a work of sheer cinematic delight, transforming the dreary port of Cherbourg into a pastel-coloured fairytale world, in which every line of dialogue is sung to Michel Legrand’s memorable score.
LA DANSE: LE BALLET DE L’OPERA DE PARIS, Frederick Wiseman, 158 min.
Documentary master Frederick Wiseman’s 38th film in a career that has spanned more than that number of years, turns his attention to one of the world’s greatest ballet companies, the Paris Opera Ballet. John Davey’s camera roams the vast Palais Garnier, an opulent 19th century pile of a building: from its crystal chandelier-laden corridors to its labyrinthine underground chambers, from its light-filled rehearsal studios to its luxurious theater replete with 2,200 scarlet velvet seats and Marc Chagall ceiling. LA DANSE devotes most of its time to watching impossibly beautiful young men and women — among them Nicolas Le Riche, Marie-Agnès Gillot, and Agnès Letestu — rehearsing the choreography of Mats Ek, Wayne McGregor, Rudolf Nureyev and Pina Bausch. For balletomanes and the curious alike, LA DANSE serves up a scrumptious meal of delectable moments, one more glorious than the next, made even more precious by their ephemeral nature.
PARIS, Cedric Klapisch, 128min
Even in its opening mash-up of images and musical styles, it’s clear that Paris will both indulge and explode the city’s mythology. In a frenetic series of scenes, director Cedric Klapisch announces that his movie will be set in many cities: the Paris of high fashion, the Paris of deeply embedded history, the Paris of love, the Paris of loss, aristocratic Paris, the Paris of African and Arab immigrants. Filming in some of the city’s most familiar precincts, from the mansard-roof apartment buildings to the marketplace at Ménilmontant, Klapisch captures both the picture-postcard ideal of the city and the candid truth behind it, managing to enhance both images.
PANIQUE AU VILLAGE, 75 min.
Hilarious and frequently surreal, the stop-motion extravaganza A TOWN CALLED PANIC has endless charms and raucous laughs for children from eight to eighty. Based on the Belgian animated cult TV series (which was released by Wallace & Gromit’s Aardman Studios), Panic stars three plastic toys named Cowboy, Indian and Horse who share a rambling house in a rural town that never fails to attract the weirdest event
LES AMANTS REGULIERS, Philippe Garrel, 183min
Winner of numerous international awards and garnering universal acclaim worldwide, Philippe Garrel’s REGULAR LOVERS (Les Amants réguliers) is a rapturous paean to France’s near-revolution of May ’68 and its aftermath. Shooting in lustrous black and white, Garrel and legendary cinematographer William Lubtchansky capture the era’s ambiance with an opulent intimacy that suggests an apocryphal French New Wave opus, while sparring overtly with Bernardo Bertolucci’s controversial The Dreamers
Cliente, Josiane Balasko,
French cinema has never been shy about depicting female desire. Cliente, Josiane Balasko’s matter-of-fact comedy about the commodification of love, is no exception. An elegant entrepreneur in her fifties, Judith unapologetically engages male escorts to minister to her pleasure. When she answers Patrick’s ad, she’s charmed by the sensitive fellow in the classic suit; it’s as if he stepped right out of the Nouvelle Vague films of her youth. But from the get-go, things with this good-natured gent aren’t as efficient as with other lovers. Not only is he unable to perform on their second date, but power dynamics and his private life begin to muddy their arrangement. At home in the Paris projects, Patrick is buckling under pressure to support a gaggle of demanding relatives, including his adorable wife, Fanny, who’s getting wise to his secret financial scheme. And just as you think they’ll be propelled onto predictable paths befitting characters in a less-playful, less-astute story, Judith, Patrick, and Fanny veer into murky emotional terrain, reluctantly getting tangled in a bittersweet triangle. Part bedroom farce, class melodrama, and feminist foray, Cliente is elevated by the superb performances of Eric Caravaca and Nathalie Baye. It boldly illuminates the challenge of contemporary women to define satisfaction on their own terms-somewhere between autonomy and interdependence
November 18, 2010
October 21, 2010 David Mills has lived as writer-in-residence in Langston Hughes’ home and has been a VCCA fellow twice. He has won fellowships from Breadloaf and NYU’s Henry Jame Fellowship and had poems published in Fence, Jubilat, Callaloo and forthcoming in Ploughshares. He has also written for Rollling Stone, The Washington Post, the Boston GLobe and has recorded some of his poetry on RCA jazz saxophonist Steve Coleman’s album “Black Science.” Mills’ will read from his new book “The Dream Detective”, which is a small press bestseller.
“David Mills is a poet of lyric comic mystic worldly independence. His work ranges from meditative to satirical to gently outrageous, a reflective and varied wit running (punning) through his poem-by-poem characterizations of mind,” writes Anselm Berrigan.
September 16, 2010 Lisa Tracy will read excerpts from her new book: Objects of Our Affection: Uncovering My Family’s Past, One Chair, Pistol, and Pickle Fork at a Time. In her book Lisa Tracy invites us into the rich history of a military family characterized by duty, hardship, honor, and devotion—qualities embodied in the very items she chronicles. Here she shares with us a collection unlike any other: silver gewgaws, mismatched cake plates, silk tapestries, dueling pistols that once belonged to Aaron Burr (no, not those pistols), a stately storage chest from Boxer Rebellion–era China, even a chair in which George Washington may or may not have sat. Tracy lovingly describes were collected over the course of centuries by ancestors posted all over the globe, cherished and passed down to her generation as an emblem of who her forebears were, what they had done, and where they had been.
March 5 – April 25, 2010
Much of the content of Michael’s work focuses on the historical landscape, combined with noted political figures to create anachronistic hybrids of time and place. The tradition of political satire and cartoon also plays a central role in the content of his work, inspiring him to use subtle social commentary to investigate contemporary events.
The act of drawing, a direct communication between the eye to the hand, reveals the artist’s strategy of simultaneous depiction and interpretation.
Artist Statement: Much of the content of my work focuses on the historical landscape, combined with noted political figures to create anachronistic hybrids of time and place. The tradition of political satire and cartoon also plays a central role in the content of my work, inspiring me to use subtle social commentary to investigate contemporary events.
I cite Honoré Daumier and Enrique Chagoya as primary influences on my work, particularly in terms to their incisive yet humorous approaches to depicting the political events and philosophies of their times.
As a American artist of Chinese descent, I identify myself as the other outsider, one who is neither grounded in western or eastern identity, and employ my feelings of cultural isolation to create new representations of identity and history.
Riverviews began its 2010 exhibition schedule with four contemporary sculptors, Melody Gulick, Sarah Mizer, Jeff Vick, and Stephanie Williams, who are carving out a name for themselves in Virginia and beyond. Showing a variety of stylistic approaches and media, these four artists exemplify some of the current trends in sculpture. All four reside in Virginia, but exhibit their work throughout the US and abroad.
A graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago and winner of a 2007 VMFA Mixed-Media Fellowship, Melody Gulick finds inspiration in everyday materials. Her creations are the product of countless hours spent layering and transforming common materials such as newspaper.
Jeff Vick, a professor of ceramics at VCU, creates work based on his memories of the natural world. He explains, “As I began work on this series, I reflected more and more on my affinity for the natural world and where that admiration germinated. I remember clearly moments from my past when my mother, a biologist, would come to my grade school and show the class single cell animals through a microscope. In addition, studying the collection of fossils that my grandfather kept in a glass cabinet always left me with a sense of fascination and curiosity. As my interest grew, I researched microscopic images of seeds, pollen, and insects while also collecting actual seeds, leaves, shells, and fossils. I hope that viewers can imagine a story based on the work, but I also want the pieces to be appreciated for their workmanship and pure form.’
Stephanie Williams completed her MFA at Rhode Island School of Design in 2007. She is currently living and working in Alexandria, VA. Her work, created from wood, paint, ceramics, and found objects protrude from walls and floors, coming to life in the space. In her own words, the work “documents the spaces in between; the gaps between reality and one’s own interpretations of that reality. I am interested in the myths that arise out of misinterpretations. I am interested in the things people make up in order to understand the world, the stutter between thinking and knowing. My works are portraits of these misunderstandings. Given a body, these myths take on a life and can be reinterpreted.”