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Horrible Bosses 2
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong crude sexual content and language throughout
Release Date:
November 26, 2104

 

The Giver
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for a mature thematic image and some sci-fi action/violence
Release Date:
August 15, 2014

Penguins of Madagascar
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG for mild action and some rude humor
Release Date:
November 26, 2014

 

The Expendables 3
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Rated PG-13 for violence including intense sustained gun battles and fight scenes, and for language
Release Date:
August 15, 2014

Little Hope Was Arson
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating:
Not Rated
Release Date:
November 21, 2014

 

The November Man
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:
Rated R for strong violence including a sexual assault, language, sexuality/nudity and brief drug use
Release Date:
August 27, 2014

The Sisterhood: A Reality Series About Would-Be Nuns

posted by Nell Minow

Lifetime’s new reality series “The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns” is one of the best shows on television right now. It follows a group of five young women who are considering becoming nuns and have entered into a process called “discerning.” They spend time in three convents, which for the first time opened up their world to cameras. They are The Carmelites for the Aged and Infirm in Germantown, New York; The Daughters of St. Mary of Providence in Chicago, Illinois; and The Sisters of St. Joseph the Worker in Walton, Kentucky.

The girls come across as shockingly unprepared for what they have undertaken, most of them with little practical or theological understanding, looking stunned when their cell phones are taken away and they are told that there is no make-up allowed. They bring a lot of luggage (literally as well as metaphorically) and seem to have no idea that they will be wearing the same simple uniform every day. A senior nun quietly explains, “Things you may have used our in society, they don’t really help you to grow with integrity and to see yourself as the gift you are that God sees you.” I’m pretty sure the one with the fancy nails, the Vuitton bag, and the boyfriend isn’t going to make it.

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What is deeply moving and inspiring here is not the halting steps of these young women but the deeply spiritual sisters who are guiding them. They present religious life as a truly holy undertaking on the most profound level. They are warm and welcoming to the young women but their comments and choices reflect the way that their faith has anchored and illuminated their lives and made it possible for them to devote themselves to worship and good deeds.

The Man Who Is Updating Peter Pan’s Indian Songs

posted by Nell Minow

Copyright NBC 2014

Copyright NBC 2014

As NBC prepares for the live production of “Peter Pan,” they are doing a bit of updating to the play, originally produced as a non-musical 100 years ago. This version is the musical best remembered as the Mary Martin production first produced 50 years later (also performed by Olympic gymnast Sandy Duncan and Cathy Rigby), with songs by Mark “Moose” Charlap, with additional music by Jule Styne. Most of the lyrics were written by Carolyn Leigh, with additional lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.

Times have changed, and it is no longer considered appropriate to have the Indians in the story sing nonsense syllables like “ugga wugga.” (This is still better than the really embarrassing song in the Disney version, “What Makes the Red Man Red?” which includes a passage that explains that Indians say “Ugh” because they see their mothers-in-law.) So, with the permission of the rights holders, the producers have brought in Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate, an Emmy Award-winning classical composer and the artistic director of the Chickasaw Chamber Music Festival, to advise them. An interview with Tate in Salon explains

There were three things that I was able to bring to the table to help reconstitute the piece.

The first thing is the opening rhythm. There’s this very clever col legno that’s done with the strings in the very opening that sounds drum-like but also sounds stick-like, which is actually accurate to the Northeastern part of the country with Indians. We adjusted the accents of these constant eighth-note beats so it sounded more like an Iroquois smoke dance, rather than a stereotypical ONE-two-three-four, ONE-two-three-four, ONE-two-three-four, you know, that kind of thing. So we adjusted the opening rhythm so it sounded more authentic. It’s a small cleanup….

Yes, and the trick is — to be honest with you, most Americans aren’t going to know the difference. But at least we do. Intellectually we know, and musically we know, there was a small adjustment. It still sounds a little stereotypical. That can’t go away. Because we were also preserving the integrity of the original compositions and those original compositions were very stereotypical, but they weren’t just stereotypical about Indians. They’re stereotypical about all kinds of things they address within “Peter Pan.” That’s musical theater. That’s something we accept about musical theater. Musical theater thrives on stereotypes. It just does. It always has. So, that being said, there are still ways you can improve it a little bit to where it has a little more integrity. We don’t want to interfere with the original compositions. We want to respect the original composers. But again, just bring a little more authenticity and integrity to the work.

The next example is what I call the “Indian Breakdown.” In the “Ugg-a-Wugg” song — it’s a really campy, British musical theater song, and then it has the “Indian Breakdown,” where you have that tune that goes [hums the musical interlude]. It’s this stereotypical, Indian-sounding thing. We were kind of looking for different tunes, but it doesn’t matter what tune you use because the flavor of it is that stereotypical Indian sound. So the musical director was brilliant. He added some different rhythms that were — he flavored it in a way that sounded more entertaining than specific. He kind of veiled it, I guess, a little bit, with some fun rhythms that sound more party-like. I think he had a great solution for that. I thought it was right on the target.

And then the really big thing that we worked on was the replacement of [the lyrics] “ugg-a-wugg.” Just a little background: In general, what we all know is that the Indian tribe that’s represented in Peter Pan was influenced by knowledge of Northeast Indians of the United States. So we’re talking Iroquois, Huron, Wyandotte, Algonquin, these kinds of cultural regions. So what I did was I set out to find a replacement word for “ugg-a-wugg” that was literally a Wyandotte word.

The most recent road tour of “Annie Get Your Gun” made some changes to the portrayal of Native American characters, too, though that show will never reflect contemporary sensibilities (or accurately depict the very egalitarian relationship of Annie Oakley and Frank Butler).

I’ll be looking forward to hearing what Tate describes.

Trailer: Star Wars — The Force Awakens

posted by Nell Minow

This is AWESOME!

Two Nights Only in Theaters: 60th Anniversary of “White Christmas”

posted by Nell Minow

Copyright Paramount 1954

Copyright Paramount 1954

The 60th anniversary of one of the most beloved movies in history is coming up, and so you will have a chance to see “White Christmas” in theaters for just two nights, December 14-15, 2014. This is your chance to see Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney on the big screen, singing songs like “Sisters,” “Snow,” and, of course, the title song. Did you know the director of “White Christmas,” Michael Curtiz, also directed “The Adventures of Robin Hood” and “Casablanca?”

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Previous Posts

The Sisterhood: A Reality Series About Would-Be Nuns
Lifetime's new reality series "The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns" is one of the best shows on television right now. It follows a group of five young women who are considering becoming nuns and have entered into a process called "discerning." They spend time in three convents, which for the first time

posted 2:52:43pm Nov. 28, 2014 | read full post »

The Man Who Is Updating Peter Pan's Indian Songs
As NBC prepares for the live production of "Peter Pan," they are doing a bit of updating to the play, originally produced as a non-musical 100 years ago. This version is the musical best remembered as the Mary

posted 2:36:28pm Nov. 28, 2014 | read full post »

Trailer: Star Wars -- The Force Awakens
This is AWESOME! [iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/OMOVFvcNfvE?rel=0" frameborder="0" ]

posted 11:16:59am Nov. 28, 2014 | read full post »

Two Nights Only in Theaters: 60th Anniversary of "White Christmas"
The 60th anniversary of one of the most beloved movies in history is coming up, and so you will have a chance to see "White Christmas" in theaters for just two nights, December 14-15, 2014. This is you

posted 8:00:13am Nov. 28, 2014 | read full post »

Johnny Cash's Thanksgiving Song
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuaC6h_4AB8[/youtube]

posted 12:00:11pm Nov. 27, 2014 | read full post »


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