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ARCHIVES : MOVIES & THEATER : 2004

December 2004

Hop Aboard The Polar Express
By Jan Aaron
Bearing an uncanny resemblance to Chris Van Allsburg's original storybook, “The Polar Express,” also generates a new liveliness and magic that kids will love and enchant parents, too. READ ARTICLE

Journey Through Life: The Motorcycle Diaries
By Jan Aaron
Director Walter Salle's The Motorcycle Diaries tells how two middle class Argentinean buddies, the 23-year-old asthmatic med student Ernesto Guevara de la Serna (Gael Garcia Bernal) and the biochemist Alberto Granado (Rodrigo de la Serna), set out on a rundown motorbike to explore the South America they had only known through books.
READ ARTICLE

September 2004

MOVIE REVIEW:
New Flair for Vanity Fair
by Jan Aaron MORE

THEATER REVIEW:
Bollywood on Broadway: Bombay Dreams
By Jan Aaron MORE

August 2004

Tense Teen Trek: Maria Full of Grace
by Jan Aaron MORE

July 2004

MOVIE REVIEW
Fascinating Animals:
Two Brothers, Weeping Camel & Garfield

by Jan Aaron
READ MORE

THEATER REVIEW
Family Fun:
“Fiddler on the Roof” & Tots’ “Cookin’” Show

by Jan Aaron
READ MORE

Teen Filmmakers In the Spotlight
by Michelle Accorso
READ MORE

Performing Arts in China
by Jan Aaron
READ MORE

June 2004

High School High Jinks—Mean Girls and Saved!
by Jan Aaron
READ MORE

May 2004

Bugs! A Rainforest Adventure
by Jan Aaron READ MORE

April 2004

Survival Skills: Osama & Goodbye, Lenin!
by Jan Aaron
Director Siddiq Barmakt takes us back into the horrors of Taliban controlled Afghanistan in "Osama," the first film to come out the country since the regime ended. READ MORE

February 2004

A Rare Pearl Earring
by Jan Aaron
British director, Peter Webber has turned the famous Vermeer portrait, "Girl With a Pearl Earring," into a lustrous movie. The portrait itself hangs permanently in the Mauritshuis in the Hague, capturing the imagination. READ MORE

Bag Full of Fun: "Where Is That Bear?"
by Jan Aaron
Take all the kids you can to "Where Is That Bear?" and celebrate the Paper Bag Player's 45th season. Then, don't shush when they call out or stamp their feet. Bags' founder and long time director Judith Martin wants kids to feel at home in the theater. READ MORE

December 2003

"Lady Next Door" Opens Folksbiene's 89th Season
by Jan Aaron
A tale of 20th century immigrants, performed first in 1916, gets the forever-young Folksbiene Yiddish Theater's 89th consecutive season off to a great start with... READ MORE

Looney Tunes: Back in Action
& The Barbarian Invasions

by Jan Aaron
For holiday filmgoers who want to take the kids out or get in touch with their inner child, there's Warner Bros. Looney Tunes: Back in Action, a blend of live-action and animation. READ MORE

Profile: Zalmen Mlotek & the Yiddish Theater
by Joanna Leefer
In the early 20th century, New York City was the host to two dozen Yiddish Theaters troupes entertaining more than two million people. As Jewish immigrants assimilated and moved out...
READ MORE

No Need for Tears
by Joan Constance Croft
READ MORE

November 2003

Disney’s Brother Bear
by Jan Aaron
The tale of three brothers in the Pacific Northwest, set at the end of the Ice Age, Disney’s Brother Bear, starts and ends with prehistoric story telling and ancient rites.
READ MORE

“To Be and to Have”(Etre et Avoir)
by Jan Aaron
One of the most touching and interesting movies about education ever made, Nicholas Philibert’s terrific documentary To Be and to Have chronicles one year in the life of Georges Lopez who teaches kids in the Auvergne region of France.
READ MORE

September 2003

Film Review
by Jan Aaron
Catherine Hardwicke’s directorial debut, Thirteen, is a raw drama about a teenage school girl who jumps from pony-tailed innocence to hard-boiled rebel as tutored by the school’s bad girl.
READ MORE

August 2003

Camp & Spy Kids 3-D: Great Summer Fare
by Jan Aaron
Actor screenwriter Todd Graff’s first feature, “Camp,” is about a bunch of self-described “freaks” who spend their summer at Camp Ovation, a musical workshop for youngsters in upstate New York. Know any kids you’d like to send to a place like this?
READ MORE

July 2003

Summer Family Films: Sinbad; Legally Blonde 2:
Red, White & Blonde

by Jan Aaron
DreamWorks’ “Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas,” loosely follows the adventures of the notorious Arabian sailor-thief born over one thousand years ago in “The Arabian Nights.”
READ MORE

June 2003

Together Features Beijing Symphony
by Jan Aaron
First we meet Liu Xiaochun (Tang Yun), the 13-year-old prodigy violinist featured in Chen Kaige’s, Together. He is living in a provincial town where his father, Liu Cheng (Liu Peiqi), is bringing him up. From here, the two travel via calm, idyllic waterways to hectic Beijing. Because the teen won a music competition, they are heading to an audition at a music school there.
READ MORE

May 2003

Kid-Friendly Broadway Show A Year With Frog & Toad
by Jan Aaron
New at the Cort Theater, A Year With Frog and Toad is a charming musical based on the books by the late Arnold Lobel.
READ MORE

Terrific Latino Teens: Raising Victor Vargas
by Jan Aaron
Worth seeking out: Here’s a modest feature full of heartfelt emotion and human foibles. Raising Victor Vargas marks an impressive writer-director debut for Peter Sollett.
READ MORE

February 2003

BAG FULL OF FUN: THE CAT’S MEOW
Paper Bag Players

by Jan Aaron
The cat’s in and out of the bag and crooning a happy tune in “The Cat’s Meow” by The Paper Bag Players. This famous children’s troupe takes its name from its clever sets: Everything is paper or...
READ MORE  

January 2003

Just Love: Evelyn Perky Potter: Chamber of Secrets
by Jan Aaron
Atmospheric, interesting and enjoyable family entertainment, Evelyn is the true-life saga of an Irish father Desmond Doyle (Pierce Brosnan) who battled the Irish government for legal custody of his three children in a groundbreaking court case in 1953. It’s David and Goliath theme might even carry over to classroom discussion.
READ MORE

December 2002

Emperor’s Club’ Hails Education
by Jan Aaron
Paying tribute to Education Update’s seven years, the December movie spotlights education. While the Greek and Roman classics may be rare in today’s classrooms, many modern educators will identify with Kevin Kline’s plight in Michael Hoffman’s The Emperor’s Club...
READ MORE

Yentl, A Heart-Warming Play for the Holidays
by Pola Rosen, Ed.D.
Even if you don’t understand Yiddish, (headphones with simultaneous translation are provided for those who need them) Yentl transcends language, time and place. Its theme deals with the place of women in a society that views them as “married with children,” the old “Kirchen, kuchen, und kinder”
READ MORE

November 2002

Teen Trauma:
White Oleander; Gun Culture: Bowling for Columbine

by Jan Aaron
READ MORE

October 2002

Upbeat Uptown: “Harlem Song”
Dramatic Downtown: “Shanghai Ghetto”

by Jan Aaron READ MORE  

February 2002

Antics: Snow Dogs & WayDownTown
by Jan Aaron
READ MORE

Movie Based On Pulitzer Prize Book: Newspaper Life In Small Town
by Jan Aaron
READ MORE

January 2002

This Beauty Is No Beast!
by Jan Aaron
READ MORE

Wizardry on the Screen: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
by Jan Aaron
READ MORE

December 2001

Sparring Partners: McKellon And Mirren In
“Dance Of Death”

by Jan Aaron
Don’t miss these two great British stars in top form, Ian McKellen and Helen Mirren as Edgar and Alice, in August Strindberg’s Dance of Death. However, be prepared for some surprises.
READ MORE

Bilingual Musical Spoofs Genesis: “Songs of Paradise”
by Jan Aaron
Who could imagine Abraham as a cool dude sunbathing in the Garden of Eden in a Hawaiian printed shirt? Or the scheming Laban as Groucho Marx?
READ MORE

November 2001

Bumps on the Road to Higher Education:
Riding in Cars with Boys

by Marie Holmes
Drew Barrymore heads a talented cast in Riding in Cars with Boys, based on the life story of Beverly Donofrio as told in her memoir of the same name, published in 1990. The film, directed by Penny Marshall, spans 20 years of Donofrio’s life, recording her transformation from a boy-crazy teenager to a young mother struggling to hold onto dreams of going to college and becoming a writer.
READ MORE

October 2001

Football Film a Winner: “Go Tigers!”
by Jan Aaron
As the gridiron season kicks off, Kenneth A. Carlson’s “Go Tigers!” scores a touchdown as a keenly observed non-fiction feature that’s highly entertaining. While cheering for the team, the film also offers a not-so-flattering view of Massillon, Ohio, a town obsessed with football. Educators will be fascinated by how the school system’s fortunes are tied to the team’s.
READ MORE

September 2001

The Bard And Bland America: “O” & “Ghost World”
by Jan Aaron
As summer ends, two films about teens light up movie screens. Tim Blake Nelson’s “O” transfers Shakespeare’s “Othello” to an all white, Southern boarding school, and Terry Zwigoff’s “Ghost World” reinterprets a renowned comic novel by Daniel Clowes who collaborated on this film script.
READ MORE

The Adventures Of Maya The Bee
by Jan Aaron
The Culture Project’s charming puppet show “The Adventures of Maya the Bee” is now in its second year. It’s a must-see for preschoolers to age 6 and accompanying adults— how often does a young kid’s show combine rod and shadow puppets and a jazz score that would make Miles Davis tap his toes?
READ MORE

August 2001

Spielberg’s Bright Summer Film: Artificial Intelligence
by Jan Aaron
READ MORE

Film Feasts: Vertical Ray Of The Sun & Tortilla Soup
by Jan Aaron
READ MORE

July 2001

Funny Fairy Tale: Shrek
by Jan Aaron
This engaging, unusual PDI/DreamWorks (“Antz”) animated feature about an ornery ogre is fine family fare.
READ MORE

Tuneful Treasure: Songcatcher
by Jan Aaron
Wonderful music, memorable images and a strong performance by British actress Janet McTeer (“Tumbleweeds”) make this movie a first-rate summer choice.
READ MORE

June 2001

Love & Chess: The Luzhin Defense
by Jan Aaron
Alexander Luzhin, the main character in The Luzhin Defense, one of Vladmir Nabokov’s lesser novels, is an idiosyncratic Russian chess grand master, here played with stunning intensity by the great actor John Turturro.
READ MORE  

Royal Treat: King Hedley II
by Jan Aaron
August Wilson’s King Hedley II, directed by Marion McClinton (Jitney), plays more like an opera than a play. Lovely, long lyrical aria-like discussions of past grudges, life’s injustices, abandonment and other frustrations, and how they scar generations, hurtle the characters toward inevitable destinies.
READ MORE

May 2001

Theatre Review: Laugh Attack at Union Square Theatre—“Bat Boy: The Musical”
by Jan Aaron
Can a Bat Boy discovered in a cave in Hope Falls, West Virginia, find happiness in New York? Yes—judging from the laughter and applause at the Union Square Theatre.
READ MORE

Television Review: lose-Up on Teen Life:
American High

by Jan Aaron
PBS’s teenage reality show, “American High,” is a few weeks into its13-part run on PBS. The critically acclaimed program that aired briefly on the edgier Fox network was created by documentary-film maker R.J. Cutler (“The War Room,” a behind the scenes look at the 1992 Clinton Campaign).
READ MORE

April 2001

New Star Player in Lunar Drama: The Dish
by Jan Aaron
READ MORE

Math Play Adds Up To Fine Broadway: Proof
by Jan Aaron
READ MORE

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