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by Chris Barsanti

9 Mar 2012

Alex Rotaru’s fun, shamelessly heart-wrenching documentary Shakespeare High follows a group of high school thespians who put their all into preparing for the annual Drama Teachers Association of Southern California Shakespeare Festival (DTASC). For the competition, each school presents a short take on three different plays (Othello, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in this case), which can be either original interpretations or straight-from-the-text renditions. The film, which opens in limited release 9 March, underscores its pitch for increased funding for public school arts education by showcasing the talent of those competitors from unprivileged backgrounds, holding their own against those from the right side of the tracks. One former gang member from a charter school in a poor, mostly Hispanic area takes the reins as director. As he puts it, “Just because we’re not rich and white” doesn’t mean they can’t win. The film follows their tests and their triumphs, and pushes too hard its message about the importance of the arts in schools. But Shakespeare High is undeniably moving when it focuses on the young actors’ dedication and joy, as they work through their scenes and begin to sort out their lives in the process.

See PopMattersreview.

by Sachyn Mital

8 Mar 2012

Justice, the French electronic duo who brought us the electronic hit “D.A.N.C.E.” back in 2007 along with their album , are launching a tour across North America beginning next week. The tour will see the band continuing support of their second album Audio, Video, Disco from October 2011.

The band began the year with a New Years Day show down under and have continued their world tour through Japan and Europe. Now, following a short break, Justice begins their North American run with two sold out nights in New York before continuing west then into Canada for one stop. Well, one stop for now.

by Comfort Clinton

7 Mar 2012

Shawn Foree has come a long way from recording albums in his bedroom. A graduate of the University of Arizona with a degree in American Literature, Foree at one point took out college loans to buy studio equipment so he could pursue his musical project, Digital Leather. As Digital Leather, Foree has become a well-received artist that not only tours internationally, but also has produced albums with labels like Tic Tac Totally, Shattered Records, and FDH Records. As a one-man band, Foree uses drum machines, keyboards and vocals to create a sound that echoes ‘70s and ‘80s synthpunk.

by Comfort Clinton

6 Mar 2012

There once was a pair of twins named Mary Kate and Ashley. Need I say more? Well, apparently so, because, while the Olsen twins have become a household name, and now sit at the throne of a multi-billion dollar empire, their younger, more talented (there, I said it) sister, is still emerging from obscurity into the spotlight. Elizabeth Olsen, 23, who appeared in several of her sister’s TV movies when she was young, made her big screen debut last year as the star of indie Sundance darling, Martha Marcy May Marlene. Her subtle and nuanced portrayal of a former cult member attempting to reconnect with the life she left behind won her positively rave reviews, and even generated serious buzz of an Oscar nomination. After such a star-making turn, the industry has been chomping at the bit for more from the stunning actress, eagerly awaiting her next project. Enter Silent House.

by Joseph Fisher

6 Mar 2012

Pitchfork has given a pretty good snapshot of how crazy the next few months of Bethany Cosentino’s life will be: a new Best Coast album, a North American tour, a UK tour.  Titled The Only Place, the new Best Coast Record is set to be released on May 15. Get prepared for lots of songs about “you”.

//Mixed media

NYFF 2017: 'Mudbound'

// Notes from the Road

"Dee Rees’ churning and melodramatic epic follows two families in 1940s Mississippi, one black and one white, and the wars they fight abroad and at home.

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