Pity the poor biopic. Whether about an artist, sports hero, musician or president, it has to please fans of the subject while struggling against the constraints of the form. Tate Taylor’s new film “Get On Up,” about the life of Soul Brother #1, James Brown, uses a variety of techniques, including a non-linear narrative and extensive breaking of the fourth wall, to try and break the mold, but it just can’t seem to get up offa that thang (“thang” in this case being a pretty standard VH1-style story).
A riddle to ponder: They do a kind of dance, but not usually on the ground. They’re exceptionally athletic, but their moves tend to be subtle rather than demonstrative. They are athletes who play without a ball, a bat or a net. So what is it?
“It’s San Antonio’s only professional aerial arts company and school," said Julia Langenberg, who runs Aerial Horizon. I asked her to describe what they do:
The San Antonio Film Festival continues in the Alamo City. I went to see one of their offerings Tuesday night, "Bottled Up: The Battle Over Dublin Dr Pepper."
“The story is the death of a Texas icon," said Drew Rist, who edited and directed the indie film. We spoke at the Pearl Stables, where the film was screened.
“Since 1891, Dublin Bottling Works has been making Dublin Dr Pepper," Rist said. "Three years ago they got into a battle with corporate over if they could still make Dublin Dr Pepper. Corporate ended up shutting them down.”
A local artist heads to Berlin to begin his artistic residency. That residency program is a construct of the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum.
“We send four artists a year through an open call process," said Mary Heathcott, executive director of the Blue Star.
“They’re selected by a jury and they get to spend three months there to dive deeper into their practice; to meet new artists, to meet new curators, and to really be in the Mecca of contemporary art right now,” Heathcott said.
I asked the obvious question: "That costs a lot of money, doesn't it?"
Classical music, for all its beauty, has always had a violent streak, whether in the plots of operas, as inspiration for the music, or on rare occasions, in the concert hall. But an arresting new release on Albany Records makes no bones about the music within. Sporting a stylized illustration of a woman holding a bloody knife, the album's title reads in block letters, “Deep Water: The Murder Ballads.” (It's my favorite classical album cover of the year.)
The Witte Museum is undergoing a massive transformation. On the last report I detailed the Witte’s huge re-imagining, but any look at the future is made more interesting by looking at the past. I spoke with Witte President and CEO Marise McDermott about the museum’s history.