Not since Paddy Chayefsky’s “Network” have characters been chewed and spit out by TV news quite like they have been of late at the movies.
“Nightcrawler” and “Gone Girl” both present portraits of a preying, narrative-distorting media, whether staked out on the lawn or hunting down a homicide for the 11 o’clock news. While the films differ greatly and have other thoughts in their heads, both show the behind-the-scenes pursuit of that old mantra: “If it bleeds, it leads.”
High school senior Kenny Barrett is not popular. In fact, he’s picked on and teased. His response to the situation has put everyone around him on high alert, and he’s required to make a public apology to the entire school body. But what will the brooding teenager do next?
How Kenny’s family copes with his situation is at the heart of From Up Here, a 2008 New York Drama Desk and Outer Critics’ Circle nominee for best play and the season opener for Madison’s Forward Theater.
Dr. Maurice Temerlin didn’t think he was doing anything wrong when he brought his adopted daughter Lucy home from Africa in the 1960s. He and his wife simply hoped to raise her like any other child, alongside their young son. And so they did, spending the next decade teaching her manners, helping her learn to speak and watching her flip through magazines and care for her cat.
But there’s underlying drama in this domestic tale: Lucy was a chimpanzee, never meant to sleep on a king-size bed — and not always the better for doing it.
The Humane Society of the United States announced the availability of ICE BlackBox, an app for Androids and iPhones, allowing users to record video of suspected animal cruelty and share the video securely with law enforcement for possible investigation and prosecution.
“Through innovation and technology, the new app provides another tool for the public to join the fight in stopping animal cruelty and abuse,” said Michael Markarian, chief program and policy officer for The HSUS.
Bill Cosby remembers fondly a show he performed at Madison’s Overture Center for the Arts several years ago — especially the couple who arrived late.
Italy. Glasgow. Milwaukee. Together, the cities make for an interesting diversity of geographic points, and they all come together via Milwaukee Art Museum’s current exhibition: Of Heaven and Earth: 500 Years of Italian Paintings from Glasgow Museums. Included are a variety of stylistic periods, from the Renaissance to Realism, explored with an inherently Mediterranean sensibility.
Our planet isn’t in very good shape. The good news, according to “Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth” (2K Games, for the PC, $49.99), is that we’ll be able to hang around for another 500 years or so. The bad news: After that, we’d better start looking for a new home.
It’s not the freshest sci-fi premise — “Interstellar” has essentially the same setup — but it gives Meier and his Firaxis Games studio a chance to expand the beloved Civilization franchise to entirely new worlds. It’s a mostly successful transplant, though at times I wished its scope was even more cosmic.
Mary Lambert is nothing if not grateful for her newfound popularity. The lesbian singer/songwriter swiftly rose to fame after being featured on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ groundbreaking gay rights single “Same Love” in 2012.
This November, the Milwaukee Theatre will transform into the African savannah, as The Lion King’s national tour rolls into town for four weeks. The lavish production, originally directed by Julie Taymor and featuring music by Elton John and Tim Rice, has gifted singers, actors and dancers, plus impressive set and costuming elements.
George R.R. Martin knows all the signs of Boba Fett Syndrome.
Named for the minor “Star Wars” character who fans demanded to know more about, Boba Fett Syndrome is most acute for any book or film series that has reached the level of phenomenon, when minutiae becomes major. For Martin, this has meant not just the usual demands for the next “A Song of Ice and Fire” fantasy novel (don’t ask, he’s still working on it), but constant letters and emails asking for information on everything from dragons to Aegon Targaryen’s war against the Seven Kingdoms.