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Arts Beat for Apr. 15: Unlikely Mexican heist to be portrayed at film fest

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Arts Beat for Apr. 15: Unlikely Mexican heist to be portrayed at film fest

THE MEXICAN FILM “Museo” will screen at Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater on Thursday, April 18, at 7 p.m. as part of the MNFF Spring/Winter Screening series.

By GREG PAHL

The Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival will present the rollicking narrative drama, “Museo,” on Thursday, April 18, at 7 p.m., as its featured April film for the MNFF 2018/19 Winter/Spring Screening Series at Town Hall Theater in Middlebury.

Inspired by true events, and shot on never-before filmed locations in Mexico, “Museo” is a sardonic, cautionary tale that underscores the old adage, “you don’t know what you have until you lose it.”

Well into their 30s, Juan Nuñez (Gael García Bernal) and Benjamín Wilson (Leonardo Ortizgris) still can’t seem to finish veterinary school or leave their parents’ homes. Instead, they wallow in comfortable limbo in the district of Satelite, Mexico City’s version of an American suburb. On a fateful 1985 Christmas Eve, however, they decide it’s finally time to distinguish themselves by executing the most infamous cultural artifacts heist in all of Mexican history, looting the country’s iconic National Museum of Anthropology.

Directed by rising Mexican filmmaker Alonso Ruizpalacios, “Museo” is a very rich dramatic experience and winner of the prestigious Silver Bear Award at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival.

Tickets are $13 and available at the THT box office, either in person, Monday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m., by phone at 802-382-9222 or online at townhalltheater.org/calendar-and-tickets.

ANNUAL FACULTY DANCE CONCERT AT COLLEGE

The Middlebury College Dance Program offers samples of faculty choreography on Thursday, April 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Dance Theater of the Mahaney Arts Center.

This year’s new works from Karima Borni, Christal Brown, Dante Brown and Lida Winfield offer a wide range of aesthetics and artistic voices, representing the breadth and depth of the college’s resident dance scholars and creators.

The evening launches with a rare improvisational performance by the faculty, inviting the viewer to witness the collaborative problem solving of composing a dance before their eyes. The revelations continue with four premieres created in collaboration with students, each tailored to the unique and individual movement style of the performers. The evening culminates with a new duet, “Same and Different,” devised and performed by Christal Brown and Lida Winfield.

Tickets are $15 for the general public; $12 for Middlebury College faculty, staff, alumni, emeriti, and other ID card holders; $8 for youth; and $6 for Middlebury College students. The Mahaney Center is located at 72 Porter Field Road, just off Route 30 south. Free parking is available curbside on Route 30 or in the Mahaney Arts Center parking lot. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call 802-443-6433 or visit go.middlebury.edu/arts.

“FACES/ PLACES” AT THT

Middlebury’s Town Hall Theater celebrates filmmaker Agnès Varda with the charming 2017 film “Faces/Places” on Wednesday, April 17, at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Ninety-year old Agnès Varda, a leading figure of the French New Wave, passed away this March. In “Faces/Places,” she teams up with acclaimed 33 year-old French photographer and muralist JR to co-direct this enchanting documentary/road movie.

Kindred spirits, Varda and JR share a lifelong passion for images and how they are created, displayed and shared. Together they travel around the villages of France in JR’s photo truck meeting locals, learning their stories and producing epic-size portraits of them. The photos are prominently displayed on houses, barns, storefronts and trains, revealing the humanity in their subjects, and themselves. “Faces/Places” documents these heart-warming encounters as well as the unlikely, tender friendship they formed along the way.

Tickets are $13/$8 students and may be purchased at townhalltheater.org, by calling 802-382-9222, at the THT box office Monday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m., or at the door one hour before show time. The Town Hall Theater is located at 68 S. Pleasant St. in Middlebury. This film replaces The Michelangelo Code, which was originally scheduled for April 17’s Great Art Wednesdays Series.

SWING DANCE BENEFIT AT TOWN HALL THEATER

Dancing the night away to a big band is one of the great pleasures of life, but Vermonters don’t often get the chance. The Sound Investment, Middlebury College’s big band, brings the tradition of Duke Ellington and the Dorsey Brothers to Town Hall Theater for dancing and listening on Saturday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m.

Under the direction of noted jazz musician Dick Forman, Sound Investment is comprised of some of the best student musicians Middlebury College has to offer.

“This band has been top-flight for five or six decades, and it just seems to get better and better,” says THT executive director Douglas Anderson.?

This special evening will benefit the work of Project Independence/Elderly Services.?The seats and platforms at Town Hall Theater will be cleared for the event, creating a huge dance floor, but seating will be available in the theater and the balcony for those who simply want to listen. Community swing dance groups will be present to show off their moves. Snacks and a cash bar will be available.

Tickets are $15 general/$10 students (plus a $1 fee), and may be purchased at townhalltheater.org, 802-382-9222, at the THT box office, Monday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. or at the door.

PHIL HENRY & THE NEWS FEED AT BRANDON MUSIC

On Easter Saturday, April 20, Brandon Music welcomes for the first time Phil Henry and The News Feed, at 7:30 p.m.

Phil Henry is an accomplished musician. When performing as a guest artist with Melissa D and later Richard Ruane and Beth Duquette, Brandon Music audiences were enthralled by his musical skill and great vocals. Henry is a formally trained musician who loves to create beautiful chords and a big acoustic sound. This time he performs with his new ensemble, Phil Henry & The News Feed, featuring Brendan Coyle on drums, Mitch Barron on upright and fretless bass, and Jeff Kimball on a kitchen-sink level variety of instruments such as piano, accordion, acoustic and electric mandolins, synthesizer, toy piano and glockenspiel.

According to Seven Days, the band offers audiences layered textures of sound, and “vivid lyrical imagery that captures the imagination.” So if you want to enjoy a special Easter family event this is a show not to be missed.

Tickets are $20. A pre-concert dinner is available for $25. Reservations are required for dinner and recommended for the show. Venue is BYOB. Call Edna at 802-247-4295 or e-mail [email protected] for reservations or for more information. Brandon Music is located at 62 Country Club Road in Brandon.

INTERNATIONAL FILM SERIES

The 2018-2019 Hirschfield International Film Series continues on Saturday, April 20, at Middlebury College with the 2018 Italy|France film, “Dogman,” directed by Matteo Garrone.

In a seaside village on the outskirts of an Italian city, where the only law seems to be survival of the fittest, Marcello is a slight, mild-mannered man who divides his days between working at his modest dog grooming salon, caring for his daughter Alida, and being coerced into the petty criminal schemes of the local bully Simoncino, an ex-boxer who terrorizes the neighborhood.

It’s free. The film, in Italian with English subtitles, will be shown at 3 and again at 8 p.m. in Dana Auditorium at Sunderland, 356 College Street in Middlebury. It’s free. Some of the films in this series may be inappropriate for children.

THE MAMMALS AT MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE

There will be a performance by The Mammals on Friday, April 19, in Robison Hall at Middlebury College’s Mahaney Arts Center, at 7:30 p.m.

As frequent performers at Middlebury’s Festival on the Green, these Indie-roots trailblazers are no strangers to Middlebury. The quintet is known for just the right amount of guitar grit, soothing harmony, barn-burning fiddle, retro grooves and storytelling savvy. They’re equal parts musicians and activists. Their campus show will include selections from their newest album “Sunshiner,” highlighting issues surrounding climate change.

The performance is free and the public is welcome.

BLUES JAM IN BRISTOL

Middlebury-based English bluesman Tom Caswell will be hosting a Blues Jam in Bristol at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17, at Hatch 31, located at 31 Main Street.

The jam will feature both local and statewide blues musicians and is open to anyone wanting to hear great music. This is a monthly event on the third Wednesday of the month.

If you are a musician or singer planning to take part in the jam, there will be a sign-up sheet located near the stage. Although the music begins at 8 p.m., an earlier arrival is advised.

Admission to the jam is free.

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