Story: It’s 1816, and a group of young poets, philosophers and artists has gathered at Lake Geneva in Switzerland for a summer of sailing, writing and late-night conversations. With steady rain forcing them to stay inside on many days, they entertain themselves by telling old German ghost stories. This inspires one of them, George Gordon (aka Lord Byron), to propose a contest in which each of them will write a ghost story.
Story: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is distraught over his father’s death. When his uncle Claudius quickly marries Hamlet’s mother Gertrude and assumes the throne, the prince suspects that his uncle orchestrated the death of Hamlet’s father in order to become king himself. With that murder as motivation, the ‘melancholy Dane’ sets about an elaborate scheme to avenge his father’s death.
Make plans to attend the St. Louis International Children's Film Festival this summer. Two former St. Louisans are the featured guests: Brad Schiff (Coraline, The Boxtrolls) and Shawn Krause (Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and Up).
Let me start by saying that I absolutely love an 80-minute movie. When did everyone decide that for a film to be legitimate, it has to hover around the two-hour mark? It’s like everyone’s back in high school, trying to get the term paper to 10 pages. The brilliance of this story is only amplified by its brevity.
Story: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, is losing his grip on sanity in the wake of his father’s untimely death. When his mother Gertrude marries his father’s brother Claudius, barely a month after the death of the king, Hamlet is increasingly suspicious. His doubts are further heightened by the ominous appearance of his father’s ghost, warning him of what really happened.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945, is one of the titans in American politics. Roosevelt, the blueblood, Democratic governor of New York, defeated Republican incumbent Herbert Hoover in 1932, as the nation struggled to survive in the Great Depression.
Story: The Prince of Verona has had it up to here with the long-standing feud between the Capulets and Montagues, two distinguished local families. He demands a cessation of the hatred under penalty of death. Emotions still hold sway, though, and when young Romeo Montague falls in love with the young teen Juliet Capulet at a masked ball, her kinsman Tybalt is enraged and vows to seek revenge.
Story: In conjunction with Vital VOICE Magazine and Pearl Vodka, That Uppity Theatre Company recently presented eight vignettes by as many playwrights, 10-minute pieces that explore comic and dramatic issues with a focus on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered people.
Let me just start off by saying I love Liam Neeson. I think he is an extremely talented and wildly underrated actor. Plus, I always attributed his personal tragedy (wife Natasha Richardson was killed in a skiing accident in 2009) as a contributing factor to his shift in genre preference. The guy went from Kinsey and Schindler’s List to The A-Team and Taken 2 (and 3). Then, I saw an interview with Neeson last week, where he all but told Anderson Cooper that if there were a $10-million paycheck in it, he’d make the movie. His window as an action star was closing and he intended to milk it for every dime. I’m paraphrasing, of course. Well, that certainly explains things. Like a linebacker who has been traded from the Seahawks to the Texans, he’s just playing out his contract until retirement. So, Non-Stop…
Story: Boykin, Alabama, also known as Gee’s Bend, sits in a horseshoe-shaped turn of the Alabama River in western Alabama. It was founded in 1816 by Joseph Gee, a wealthy landowner from North Carolina who used slaves to work his cotton plantation. Eventually Gee’s descendants sold the property to a relative named Mark Pettway.
Story: Constance Ledbelly is a quiet, unobtrusive assistant English professor at a Canadian university. She spends her time making Claude Night, a full-fledged professor at the school and the object of her unrequited love, look good by doing much of his work for him, while she toils in obscurity.
Story: World War II is over, and Joe Keller is back at work running his factory. During the war, he and his partner, Steve Deever, had been convicted of selling defective airplane parts to the United States Army. Those defective pieces led to the deaths of 21 Army Air Force pilots who flew faulty planes into combat.
Story: Sgt. Dale “D.J.” Jackson, a black soldier from Detroit, returns home in 1968 with a Congressional Medal of Honor awarded to him for service “above and beyond the call of duty.” President Lyndon B. Johnson himself proclaims the distinction in a ceremony celebrating the soldier. Jackson receives the medal for single-handedly killing more than a dozen enemy soldiers after his unit was slaughtered, with just one survivor: Jackson.
You may think that people who have Down syndrome (DS) aren’t capable of the same things as you. That may be the biggest misconception out there about the condition, caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21.
Story: The stage manager welcomes the audience to the fictional village of Grover’s Corners, New Hamsphire, and introduces us to various residents who make up the community. The play he presents is divided into three acts, titled Daily Life, Love and Marriage, and Death and Eternity.
Story: New York City is stunned when a slave ship suddenly appears in front of the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor, centuries after it initially sailed. Its presence elicits a strong reaction from people on shore, including a reporter at the scene, a “slave-ologist” professor, a Republican business executive, a homeless man, a street vendor, a young boy and girl from the projects and others.
Story: Elizabeth, a professional actress, is struggling to understand and accept a personal tragedy that has left her life tattered and torn. During a long flight layover, she renews her friendship with a photographer who shows her pictures of his recent travels. Among the photos is one of Thao, a 25-year-old Vietnamese woman who was born severely deformed as a result of Agent Orange.
Imagine experiencing an accident that leaves you unable to communicate last wishes for your health, your possessions or even your children. While there are a multitude of documents available to curtail the problems, many fail to consider completing them until later in life—when it may be too late. The reality is people of all ages need to have at least one of the following papers on hand: a last will, a living will or a living trust, according to local attorneys. But how do you know which is best for you?
Even if you don’t know the true story of Oscar Grant’s life, the tragedy that unfolds on New Year’s Eve 2008 comes as no big shock in this film. Nevertheless, the grim reality resonates profoundly. Sadly, a story like this is not an isolated incident. However, first-time writer/director Ryan Coogler has stripped away many of the external elements and focused on what truly is a compelling subject: Oscar Grant.
Story: Two rival teen gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, have an ongoing feud in a turf war fought in New York City’s blue-collar, West Side neighborhood, circa 1957. Tony, former co-leader of the Jets, has dropped out of the European-American gang and is concentrating on his job at Doc’s drug store.
Story: Set “Once Upon a Time, in a Far-Off Kingdom,” a cluster of fairy tale characters profess their hopes and desires as relayed by a genial narrator. There’s Jack, whose mother wants him to sell his beloved but dry cow, Milky White, while she still commands a reasonable price. Cinderella, a lowly maid put upon by her demanding stepmother and imperious stepsisters, dreams of attending the royal ball at the prince’s palace. Little Red Riding Hood is eagerly looking forward to a visit to her grandmother’s house in the woods, while a baker and his wife lament they have no children.
Story: Timon spends his time and money entertaining wealthy and important people he considers to be friends at his Athenian home, and is overly generous doling out gifts to one and all. His profligate nature, however, becomes his undoing when his steward Flavia informs him that he has spent his entire fortune.
Story: B.F. Pinkerton, a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy stationed in Japan in the early 20th century, leases a house in Nagasaki from a marriage broker named Goro. Through Goro he also enters into a marital agreement, which can be renewed monthly, with a 15-year-old geisha girl, Cio-Cio-San (“Butterfly”). Sharpless, the American counsul, advises Pinkerton that Cio-Cio-San may take the arrangement more seriously than Pinkerton, who considers Cio-Cio-San merely a dalliance until he marries a “real” American wife.
Anyone can be overwhelmed when they go into the hospital for treatment, but for children, the unfamiliar sights and sounds can be even more intimidating. “We had a young child, who was admitted to the hospital after being physically abused,” recalls Dr. John Mantovani, chairman of pediatrics at Mercy Children’s Hospital. “She had some injury to her abdomen and was very fearful and quiet. Although she was a very verbal preschooler, she wasn’t really talking.”
An unusually warm summer night in Seattle in 2009 would forever change the lives of countless St. Louisans. A man trespassed through an open window of the residence St. Louis native Teresa Butz shared with her fiancée, Jennifer Hopper. The intruder sexually assaulted and stabbed the women, eventually killing Butz.