This Month's Highlights



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A Neighbor in the Amazon

Photo by David Gilbert

 

 

The rainforest is supposed to be a place of idyllic beauty, but, for some, clear water and lush greenery have given way to noxious pits full of polluting chemicals—the legacy of oil production in the region. Some indigenous people aren’t willing to take the environment’s destruction lying down, however, and have filed a class-action lawsuit against Chevron, whom they blame for a rise in cancer, leukemia, and birth defects. Westchester filmmaker Joe Berlinger followed the ongoing legal battle for his documentary, Crude, and spoke with Westchester Magazine about his run-ins in the “Amazon Chernobyl.”

 

 

True Grit

The hard-boiled gumshoe, the femme fatale, the perp hiding in plain sight—these are all the juicy, gritty hallmarks of film noir. Yet while we think of the genre as being distinctly American, this month the Jacob Burns Film Center sets out to prove that these thrillers are near-universal. The International Noir series, which runs from August 6 to September 3, follows shamuses from the U.S. along with those from such countries as Australia, the Netherlands, Japan, France, Italy, and Norway. On August 6, curator Christopher Funderburg gives a talk titled International Noir 101, and attendees get a free ticket to any film in the series. The series opens on August 7 with a screening of Double Indemnity, and closes with The Third Man, which film writer Terrence Rafferty will discuss on August 30.

  

Thrill On

 

Once again, we all must hail to the King. Blues legend B.B. King, now 83 years old, still is touring, singing, and playing the blues with the energy of someone decades his junior. He’ll bring his trusty Lucille to the Ives Concert Park in Danbury, Connecticut, when he headlines a blues festival on August 23. The whippersnappers who’ll be joining him on stage aren’t too shabby, either: Marcia Ball, John Lee Hooker, Jr., the Chrisopher Robin Band, and Eran Troy Danner round out the bill.

 

 

Ladies’ Night

Punky pop star Cyndi Lauper doesn’t just sing that girls just want to have fun—she proves it. For the “Girls’ Night Out” tour, coming to the Paramount Center for the Arts on August 3, she teams up with gal pal Rosie O’Donnell for a double bill of girl-powered entertainment. Lauper will perform her hits in addition to songs from her most recent album, 2008’s Bring Ya to the Brink. O’Donnell, never one to mince words, comes with a new stand-up comedy routine. Bonus: A dollar from each ticket will go to the True Colors Foundation to help support gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues.

 

Visiting Ward

The folky M. Ward always has received acclaim from other music professionals, but it wasn’t until he teamed up with indie actress Zooey Deschanel, his “She & Him” collaborator, that he was thrust into the general spotlight. Now he’s earning headlines all on his own. Entertainment Weekly called Hold Time, his most recent album, “timeless, a musical wanderer’s dusty, train-hopping tour through folk, blues, and country,” and New York magazine wrote that Ward is “the embodiment of everything cool and hopeful about indie rock.” Hear these old-timey-sounding tunes when Ward visits the Paramount Center for the Arts on August 2.

 

Color My World

You may have noticed that White Plains has been a little bit more colorful in the past year or so. Credit sculptor David Hayes, the subject of a solo 30-year retrospective currently taking place on the streets of the city, for the infusion of hues. More than 60 of Hayes’s painted, welded, and bolted steel sculptures were installed last November, when it was too cold to linger outside and appreciate them fully. Now that it’s warm, walk the streets of White Plains and see if you can find all 62 works. (Hint: You can find some at 1 N Broadway, Library Plaza, and Tibbits Park.) For more information, visit davidhayes.com.

Continue reading for Home Theater, Up the Line, and Quadricentennial 2009.