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From September 21, 2006...
Actor Steve Martin once said "All of life's riddles are answered in the movies." Well, maybe not all of them, but film - when done well - certainly has the power to transport us geographically, intellectually, and emotionally. This week, independent filmmakers from across the country gather in Birmingham for the Sidewalk Moving Picture Festival.
For their documentary, Julie Bayer and Josh Salzman traveled to the tiny island nation of Tuvalu - where global warming and rising seawater levels threaten to completely cover the country during this century.
Some of the filmmakers at Sidewalk are experienced pros... and others are first-timers who, through a mix of talent, luck and moxy, are getting national attention. The coming-of-age tale We Go Way Back is the debut feature film from director Lynn Shelton. It's been picked up by a distributor and is in theatres nationwide this month.
One independent film that did compete and won a lot of fans is Napoleon Dynamite. The man who was first assistant director on Napoleon is screening a new film at Sidewalk called The Sasquatch Dumpling Gang. Director Tim Skousen says to make a living in indy film you've got to have a drive to make movies - ALL the time - and make sure people see them.
A recommendation that local filmmakers will no doubt take to heart. There are several local filmmakers showing films at Sidewalk, including Kenn McCracken. His latest movie is Muckfuppet. Say that five times fast!
If your love of the theatre means stage, there's a new theatre company making its debut in Birmingham this week. Magic City Actors Theatre presents a lively production of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying". WBHM's Tanya Ott spoke with artistic director Carl Dean and managing director Leah Faulkner about trying to succeed in the theatre business ... with a lot of hard work!
Magic City Actors Theatre production of "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" runs through Sunday afternoon at the Virginia Samford Theatre.
Birmingham Festival Theatre's latest production is set in the fall of 1980, about a week before the elections that would bring Ronald Reagan into the White House. Five women practicing the "oldest profession" in the upper west side of Manhattan, reflect on what they've made of their lives. There's a lot of reflecting to do, because these "working girls" have been at it a long time. The actresses themselves range in age from the mid-50s to the mid-70's, and Director Ellise Mayor tells reporter Lissa LeGrande that the story takes a page out of history, when prostitution was legal and, in fact, accepted even in polite society.
The Oldest Profession runs through Sunday afternoon at Birmingham Festival Theatre on SouthSide.
For the last twenty years artist Chris Lawson has been creating "surrealist faerytales" - artwork that seems sinister, nostalgic and childish all at the same time. His mixed media creations have been collected by a wide array of individuals including Julianne Moore, Moby, Michael Stipe and the Jim Henson Foundation. Lawson says his faerytales are influenced by his travels to Asia and Haiti as well as his work with mentally challenged artists at Studio by the Tracks in Irondale. Lawson has an exhibit hanging at Schedler-Minchin Fine Art in Homewood this month. Titled "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" it's a riot of color and personality. WBHM's Rosemary Pennington met up with Lawson at the gallery to talk about his work.
To hear the audio portion of the Community Calendar from Tapestry, click here.
Want to know more? Activeculture.info is a one-stop source for finding out what's going on in the Birmingham metro area.
Birmingham folk-rocker Mandi Rae is no stranger to Tapestry. Earlier this year we had her into the studio to talk about her latest solo album. A lot has changed since then. Rae now has a band called Westover Water. And she's just returned from touring in California. This is the song "Wastin' Everybody's Time" from the new CD "Gettaway." (AUDIO MONTAGE)
The song is "Wastin' Everbody's Time" from the new CD Gettaway. Mandi Rae and Westover Water are hosting a CD release party at Oasis on October 1st. We've got more of their music available for download on the Tapestry page of WBHM.org.
Tapestry is produced by Tanya Ott, Michael Krall and Hunter Bell. Francesca Rosko tracks community events. Additional reporting from Rosemary Pennington and production assistance from Akio Kaku. Next week on the show - the owner of Moonlight Music Café prepares the close the doors on three years of live, acoustic music. I'm Greg Bass and we'll see you next week.