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Alamo Drafthouse Announces Fantastic Fest Encore

Alamo Draft House will continue its streak of making every northern film nerd jealous, by showing films from the annual Fantastic Fest, over three weekends in November. The Fantastic Fest aspires to bring independent and cult films to a wider audience. Unless you have your finger on the pulse of global independent cinema, you are unlikely to be familiar with most of the films being screened.

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Off-Broadway Preview: Eric Bogosian Returns

Eric Bogosian: (100) Monologues

Performances through October 25, 2013
Eric Bogosian (photo: Monique Carboni)
As a monologist, Eric Bogosian currently has no peer. For two decades (from 1980 to 2000), in seminal shows like Sex Drugs and Rock’n’Roll, Pounding Nails in My Forehead and Wake Up and Smell the Coffee, Bogosian created and inhabited many varied and compellingly original characters: a homeless man on a subway, a divorced father with anger issues, a drug dealer a little too enthusiastic about sharing his stash with a customer, a self-help guru who insists that the way to eternal happiness is becoming filthy rich.
Although he also wrote the full-length plays Suburbia and Talk Radio, Bogosian will always be thought of—even more so than Anna Deavere Smith and Spalding Gray—as a solo performer whom audiences are entertained and enlightened by, even as he uncovers the darker side of the American psyche.
In celebration of his new book, a collection of his work titled (100) Monologues, Bogosian returns to the stage to do what he does best: he will read from and perform an assortment of his “greatest hits”—the selections change from show to show—in a special limited engagement at the Bank Street Theater. Although he has become a terrific actor in movies and on television, Bogosian back onstage alone is always a good thing.
Eric Bogosian: (100) Monologues
Bank Street Theater, 155 Bank Street, New York, NY
Labyrinth Theater Company/

Ten Movies to Look Out for in Fall 2013

Fall is the time of year when the leaves change color, the air gets a distinct crispness and the movies all of a sudden get really good. While the year up to this point has certainly had some gems, it's been very hit or miss. With the stocked platter of promising films showing up this back-loaded fall season, I have a feeling that only one or two in current top ten will make it past the end of the year's chopping block. I'm only confident that one, Before Midnight, will make it to the final scoreboard on my Top Ten List.

As for this fall, there is a massive selection for all film-going audiences with blockbusters like Thor: The Dark World, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - sure to be the colon-sporting trio busting the doors off the season's box-office records - alongside fare more intended for the Oscar-conscious.

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Fall 2013 TV Preview

shield teaserLast month the various broadcast networks introduced their new prime time shows to advertisers and the media at events that are called “upfronts” in the trade. Here is a look at what CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox and the CW have in store for us this fall.

  • CBS

CBS remains the most watched television network in the world and therefore has fewer slots for new programs. Its chief executive officer, Leslie Moonves, is hoping that new shows slated for this September will do better than the quickly cancelled “Made In Jersey” and “Partners” did last fall.

Robin Williams is returning to television after a very successful film career as an advertising executive in the “The Crazy Ones.” Anna Faris, a sexy comedy actress whose film career never caught fire, makes her first attempt at a TV series as a single mother who is also a recovering alcoholic in “Mom.”

Will Arnett is a very funny guy who is respected by his comedy peers but for some reason he has never found a television show that has struck a chord with the masses. The legendary “Arrested Development,” which has been revived on Netflix, is his biggest claim to fame. CBS is hoping that Arnett’s bad luck with the Nielsen ratings will change with “The Millers” in which he replays a recently divorced man.

brooklyn nineCBS is banking on a tense drama, “Hostages,” starring Dylan McDermott and Toni Collette. The trailer is designed to make you bite your nails but “Hostages” would seem to be better off as a mini-series than as a weekly one.

  • FOX

The decline of “American Idol” was a key reason for Fox garnering less than stellar ratings last season. Fox Entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly can’t count on his network’s old standby to save the day any longer and is investing in a number of new shows.

Seth MacFarlane is responsible for a number of Fox’s successful animated shows over the years including “Family Guy,” and he is trying his hand at his first live action comedy with a project called “Dads” that stars Seth Green, Peter Riegert and Martin Mull. From the laugh-free segment that I saw it seems as if Fox picked up the series as a favor to MacFarlane.

Two other comedies, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” starring former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Andy Samberg, and “Enlisted,” an army comedy in the Stripes mold, don’t look like winners either.

On a more upbeat note for Fox, “Rake” starring Greg Kinnear as a reprobate lawyer, and “Sleepy Hollow,” which transports some of the characters of the Washington Irving classic novel to the 21st century, appear promising.

  • NBC

blair underwood ironsideThings have gotten so bad for the Peacock Network that it lagged behind Univision in terms of eyeballs during the February ratings sweeps. It is no wonder that NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt received tepid applause when he was introduced at the NBC Upfront held at Radio City Music Hall.

Greenblatt was able to coax Michael J. Fox to return to his network in an eponymous show in which he stars a WNBC anchorman who has Parkinson’s Disease, something that Fox has valiantly battled in real life. The five-minute preview was warmly received as was the snippet of “The Blacklist,” starring James Spader in what appears to be a knock-off of Silence of the Lambs A reboot of “Ironside” with Blair Underwood taking over the role made famous by Raymond Burr also created buzz.

goldbergsOn the other hand, how can NBC greenlight “Welcome to the Family,” a comedy about teen pregnancy with ugly ethnic stereotypes to boot?

  • ABC

The Alphabet Network, to use Variety Magazine lingo, is in the same ratings-challenged boat as NBC. ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee is throwing a lot of things at the wall in the hopes that something will stick. The best of the lot seem to be “The Goldbergs,” an ‘80s version of “The Wonder Years”; “Super Fun Night,” starring Australian comedy actress Rebel Wilson; and an action series, “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

  • CW

For a network few have watched since “Gossip Girl” departed, the CW is sticking with most of its programs that have been ignored over the years such as “America’s Next Top Model” and “Nikita.” One new offering will be “Reign,” a drama about a young Mary Queen of Scots.          

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