Rather than cite classics that I turn to again and again, I’m going to browse through my nine years of Almanac Weekly reviews and offer digested-down descriptions of some movies that lifted my spirits. Maybe they’ll perk you up as well.
Almanac Weekly | Stage & Screen
Anya Taylor-Joy, who previously made a strong impression in horror vehicles like The Witch and Split, does a splendid job of embodying this off-putting eventual heroine in the newest movie version (oddly titled Emma., making “period movie” a literal thing).
Harrison Ford does as professional a job as a viewer could ask in the (greatly expanded from the book) role of John Thornton, a kindly prospector who becomes Buck’s human sidekick for a time. It must have taken some deliberate focus to deliver dialogue with sincerity when talking to a dog that wasn’t there.
The Hudson Valley Film Commission in its annual report states that 25 film productions in the Mid-Hudson Valley (counties of Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Sullivan, Greene, Delaware, and Columbia) spent over $46 million in 2019.
Thursday-Sunday, Feb. 27-Mar. 1, Mar. 5-8: As Agnes is packing up the contents of the family home, she finds a module Tilly had written for D&D, transmuting her high school friends into allies on her Hero’s Journey and her tormentors into monsters. Agnes decides to seek out the help of a Dungeon Master to play the game as her sister designed.
Saturday/Sunday, Feb. 29/Mar. 1: “The repertory is varied and engaging – a spectacular celebration of dance in all of its forms,” says VRDT director John Meehan, professor of Dance who holds the Frances D. Fergusson Chair at Vassar. “We are very excited to bring back Larry Keigwin’s Caffeinated, which The New York Times described as ‘a hilarious, jittery mix of aerobics, cheerleading, ballet and boxing that seems to use every note of Philip Glass’ Glasspiece No. 3.’”
Saturday, Feb. 29: The Ancient Law is a landmark in Weimar cinema. It is the story of a rabbi’s son who leaves his shtetl home in Galicia and makes his way to Vienna, where an archduchess at the imperial court falls in love with him. The movie draws a complex portrait of the tension between tradition and modernity. Alicia Svigals is founder of the Grammy-winning Klezmatics. Donald Sosin has performed his silent film music at Lincoln Center, the Museum of Modern Art and the Kennedy Center.
Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a true work of art.
Friday-Sunday, Feb. 28-Mar. 1: Recipient of Billboard’s inaugural Comedian of the Year award, comedian, actor and best-selling author Sebastian Maniscalco performs no fewer than six times at the Nesheiwat Convention Center in Poughkeepsie.
Saturday, Feb. 22: Cave Dogs features live shadow performances with an original musical soundtrack that conjures a dreamlike and nostalgic feeling for adults and children alike.