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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Neo-Futurists Return, Pirate Radio Steals Some Good Laughs

The Neo-Futurists have returned to Woolly Mammoth with the second coming of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. They "perform" 30 "plays" in 60 minutes with titles ranging from A Neo-Gay-PSA to the very clever A Theater Major's Revenge. The best way to describe it is probably that the whole is better than the sum of its parts. Taken alone, the plays can be silly and inconsequential. But after a while, they start to build momentum and you get on a first-name basis with the performers.  When's Chloe going to come out again?  Where's Jay? It's fun - nothing more really.  But with our busy lives intersecting with bad economic times, fun can be a good thing.

The film Pirate Radio (4 RED DOTS) has gotten overlooked a little. Any movie that has Bill Nighy and Philip Seymour Hoffman and Rhys Ifans making merriment, Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson doing wonderful sendups, and Mad Men's January Jones as a love object can't be all that bad. Pirate Radio starts out over the top and never strays from there. Yet it keeps to the storyline, which is that back in 1960s England, radio stations weren't allowed to play the great rock music of the day.  So a bunch of legendary deejays commandeer a ship and live and broadcast from the North Sea.  It's by Richard Curtis who wrote one of my all-time favorite films, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Love Actually.

I saw a very good film at the Jewish Film Festival last night called Brothers, not to be confused with the Tobey Maguire-Jake Gylenhaal movie out now. It was about two Jewish brothers who got separated while growing up in Argentina and are reunited in Israel years later. It has beautiful footage of Jerusalem and the Israeli countryside.  Catch it if you can at the Avalon Theater Thursday, Dec. 10 at 6pm.

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