Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Viggo Mortensen Delivers Compelling Performance in 'Captain Fantastic'

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 11:33 AM

In the opening scene of Captain Fantastic, the new film from writer-director Matt Ross, Ben’s (Viggo Mortensen) teenage son Bodevan (George MacKay) sneaks through a thick forest as he tracks and kills a deer. Ben guts the thing and hands Bodewin the heart, which he then eats. Ben then tells him he has now crossed the threshold and become a man.

This sets the tone for the intense drama about a man whose attempts to live off the grid do horribly awry when his wife Leslie passes away and he must head back to the civilized world with his six kids to attend her funeral. While it settles for a few family drama cliches, the strong performances distinguish the movie.

The film opens areawide on Friday.

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Downtown Cleveland Alliance Unveils Art Box Mural Series Throughout Downtown This Morning

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 9:58 AM

  • Rachel Strongoli’s "Where Do My Thoughts Come From," Photo by Wade Gagich.

After months of planning, the Downtown Cleveland Alliance (DCA) and its City Advocates Program – in partnership with Crown Castle, the nation’s largest provider of shared wireless infrastructure – will officially unveil their “Connections That Matter” Art Box Mural Series at an official ceremony this morning.

The project features nine designs by local artists. Utility boxes have been wrapped with vinyl reproductions of the selected artworks and are located throughout the heart of the city – from the Cleveland Convention Center to Quicken Loans Arena.

Selected artists/artworks:

Greg Budgett’s They Might Be Guardians is located at 2359 Ontario St.
Elizabeth Emery’s Orange Pool in Sunlight can be seen at 660 Huron Rd. East.
Aaron Gelston’s Coffee Talks is installed at 402 Euclid Ave.
Joe Karlovec’s Peridot can be found at 2120 E. 4th St.
Elizabeth Lorek’s Lovely Light is on view at 24 Public Square.
Liz Maugans’ Interconnected is located at 250 St. Clair Ave.
Rachel Strongoli’s Where Do My Thoughts Come From is placed at 393 Superior Ave.
Garrett Weider’s CLE 216 can be viewed at 2183 Ontario St.
JenMarie Zeleznak’s These Dialogue Stars is installed at 2103 E. 4th St.

The project was implemented by members of the DCA City Advocates Program, including Evan Cottington, Shanice Dunning, John Hagerty, Samantha Martin, Laura Resch and Elise Yablonsky.

The “Connections That Matter” Art Box Mural Series is a follow-up to DCA’s Citizens Art Box project, which wrapped 11 utility boxes along Euclid Avenue (between Public Square and Playhouse Square) with selected artwork by local artists. Artwork on utility boxes isn’t a new concept; it's been utilized around the world to brighten communities, while communicating with a mobile audience to create an “enlivened, safe, inclusive and inspired environment.”

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Important Bike Trails Coming to Cleveland, Thanks to Federal Metroparks Grant

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 9:58 AM

  • Sam Allard / Scene
The good news keeps rolling in for Cleveland. With the announcement of an $8 million Federal grant yesterday, the Cleveland Metroparks will immediately begin construction on four miles of bike trails that link downtown Cleveland to the waterfront. 

Among them: a trail that links the Cleveland Foundation Centennial Trail to Wendy Park (praise the Lawd!); the Red Line Greenway connector, which will provide a devoted commuting corridor from the west side to downtown (following the Rapid's Red Line, beginning at the W. 65th Street station); a trail from Whiskey Island to Edgewater Park; and two other trails from the existing Centennial Trail, one to Canal Basin Park and another to the Lakefront Bikeway.

This is huge. It has been dubbed the "Reconnecting Cleveland" project, and it's estimated to cost a hair more than $16 million, all told, so the Federal grant covers half the costs right away. Other funding sources will include the State of Ohio, and the big local foundations: Cleveland and Gund. 

Metroparks CEO Brian Zimmerman wants all this to come on-line "very quickly," so construction may begin as early as Monday. 
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On July, Cigars, Josh Gordon and Snapchat — The A to Z Podcast With Andre Knott and Zac Jackson

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 9:43 AM


It's summertime in Cleveland, so Andre and Zac are discussing July, cigars and another chance for Josh Gordon with the Cleveland Browns.

Subscribe to the A to Z podcast on iTunes here.

Download the episode directly here.

Or stream below.

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Trump's Word Dump: Pricey Talk and Cheap Feelings at the #RNCinCLE

Posted By on Wed, Jul 27, 2016 at 9:36 AM

  • Emanuel Wallace

In the rush to declare “winners and losers” of the Republican National Convention, the city of Cleveland came out overwhelmingly on top in the headlines. “We were promised a riot, we got a block party instead,” wrote the Washington Post, while the L.A. Times documented the post-RNC “victory lap” taken by Cleveland’s business and political leaders. “Mistake on the Lake no more,” grandly proclaimed. And the New York Times hailed the “loud exercise” of First Amendment rights on the newly renovated Public Square, causing The City Club of Cleveland to swoon on its Facebook page: “We [heart] free speech.”

If it weren’t for questions about a five-million-dollar fundraising shortfall in covering convention-related costs, and the loss of regular business by establishments located outside the eye of the RNC hurricane, it would be impossible to say that hosting the convention was a bad thing for the city in and of itself. The Trump campaign’s orgy of demagoguery had to be broadcast from somewhere, and was otherwise mostly contained by the walls of Quicken Loans Arena. Downtown Cleveland looked as good as ever and the streets had an undeniably positive feel, even despite the at-first-jarring presence of massive security fences and armies of police imported from all around the nation. (“[The RNC] is like ‘It’s a Small World’ for cops,” noted one visiting journalist.) All else equal, it’s nice to leave your troubles behind, get dressed up, and have folks pay some attention to you every once in awhile. In this sense, Cleveland was properly dressed to the nines and painted the national consciousness red.

But what about the other 98 years per century when a major political party won’t host its national convention here? And what’s so good about free speech on Public Square when it has little to no chance of influencing the public policy set by those inside the arena? Here, the layers of security that radiated from the convention floor, effectively isolating protesters from the convention’s participants, served as an apt metaphor for the resounding success of the Republican Party’s sustained effort to replace the vote with the dollar as the fundamental unit of American democracy. With limits on campaign spending having been obliterated by the Republican project, the barriers between citizens and politicians, politicians and accountability, have never been so impenetrable.

And now that only the most expensive speech is “heard” in any politically meaningful sense, words mean less than ever in the political context. As the cost of political speech skyrockets, its availability and diversity naturally plummets, and a billionaire demagogue can be increasingly sure that the few with the means to counter his emotional appeals with logic will be increasingly less inclined or less able to do so effectively. Which explains as well as anything Trump’s rise to the Republican nomination, culminating in his display in Cleveland last week.

“The crime and violence that afflicts our nation today will soon come to an end.” “Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.” “We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration.” “I’m going to bring our jobs back to Ohio and to America – and I am not going to let companies move to other countries without consequences.” “We are going to Make America Great Again.”

The implausibility of Trump’s claims mattered much less than the context in which they were proclaimed and the feelings they aroused as a result. As Nathan J. Robinson recently pointed out at Current Affairs, “global inequality has risen to the point that nearly all wealth is controlled by a tiny minority of the super-rich, and labor power is in decline.” Yet, the Democratic Party—as beholden as ever to this “tiny minority”—has been largely confined in responding to Trump with an argument that “America is already great.” In the absence of “a compelling alternative vision and program,” says Robinson, “of course people will be susceptible to demagoguery about crime and immigration.” While “Trump ... may have a racist and delusional explanation for the cause of the world’s troubles, [at least he has] an explanation.” And in today’s profoundly warped market for political speech, any old explanation might do.

In Donald Trump’s America, you can [heart] free speech all you want, but the speech that really counts is anything but free. And in the absence of meaningful speech, feelings will naturally take over. Regardless of whether Hillary Clinton can figure out how to stir enough emotion to beat him in November, if the barriers to meaningful political participation remain as constructed there will be plenty worse to worry about than a President Trump. 
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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Timely Cyberthriller ‘Nerve’ Starts Strong Before Fizzling Out

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 3:54 PM

Given the way the augmented reality game Pokemon Go has become an overnight sensation, the timing for the release of Nerve, a cyberthriller that opens areawide tomorrow, couldn’t be better.

While the film makes use of some clever visuals and constantly switches point of view to capture the action as contestants in the “truth or dare” like game engage in a variety of outreagous stunts, it ultimately settles for clichés about the dangers of technology.

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Pop/Rock Act Marianas Trench Gets Personal on 'Astoria'

Posted By on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 1:25 PM

  • BMF Media
The guys in the pop-rock act Marianas Trench were just teenagers when the band first formed in Vancouver in 2001. While the songs on their 2006 debut, Fix Me, suggest a certain innocence, the guys sound all grown up on their latest offering, last year’s Astoria. They play with singer Skylar Stecker at 8 p.m. on Sunday at House of Blues.

A press release announcing the album claims it’s “about completely falling to pieces, and picking yourself back up again.” Singer-guitarist Josh Ramsay, who received a Grammy nomination in 2013 for co-writing and producing Carly Rae Jepsen’s breakthrough hit “Call Me Maybe,” wrote songs that chronicled both the break-up of a relationship and his mother’s struggles with a terminal disease.

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