Arts & Leisure


Christian Bale plays Dick Cheney in “Vice” (2018).
01/08/2019
Vice — Running Time: 2:12 — Rating: R Moviemakers have fallen so in love with the new tools at their disposal that they are using them at a tough cost to the audience: confusion. “Vice” is a prime example. The political figures of our era are shown at different ages — young here, old there, handsome here, bald and fat there. The scenes shift at bullet speed while we try to sort it all out. That said, this is a movie full of revelations that never came through in the press at the time. The audience at the opening on Christmas Day was thoroughly absorbed as they made their way through the...
01/08/2019
(Berkley Books) Seraphine’s life has long been defined her family, born, as she was to influential parents and grandparents, as one of the infamous Summerbourne twins. Their lives and legacy are shrouded in mystery, shaped by the house itself, rife with rumors. Her older brother barely recalls the day Seraphine and Danny were born, the same day their mother tragically took her own life. Now, in the aftermath of her father’s suspicious and untimely death, Seraphine discovers a previously unseen photograph of her mother holding just one new infant. Which baby is it? Is it possible Seraphine isn...

GOSHEN NATIVE REBECCA Nase Chomyn works in her shop in Fairfield welding and bending metal into art.
12/18/2018
VERMONT — During her sophomore year in college, then 18-year-old Rebecca Nase Chomyn showed up to her first welding class in a skirt and flip flops. That was the day they were doing a demo of plasma cutting. “Basically you’re shooting fire toward the ground as you cut metal,” said Chomyn, who graduated from Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn, N.Y., with a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in sculpture. “And I had flip flops on! I never did that again.” Although her wardrobe choices weren’t great, her metal work was awesome. “Working with metal… it’s like you can take one thing and pull it over there...

JUDITH HAD A wonderful crop of winterberries this year — until they were discovered by a voracious crowd of cedar waxwings. Photo by Dick Conrad
12/18/2018
GOSHEN — Winter is the season of short days and dark nights when, even at midday, the sun gives little warmth as it rides low in the sky. By now my fall garden chores are done, my tools hang neatly in the toolshed and I have mostly retreated indoors. I am lucky enough to have a small cool greenhouse which becomes my indoor winter garden and, from October until May, is home for my potted camellias. Camellias flower from December to April — when our outdoor gardens are covered with snow — making their beautiful blooms all the more special. And yes, even though the summer flowers are but a...

Hugh Jackman stars in “The Front Runner” (2018).
12/18/2018
The Front Runner — Running Time: 1:53 — Rating: R “The Front Runner” is a movie for people who are captivated by presidential politics. For those who aren’t, this is a barrel of confusion that requires patience and imagination. Even if you followed Gary Hart’s presidential campaign from the early ’80s forward, it is likely that confusion will engulf you here. A problem common to non-fiction films always looms when the real-life characters are more recognizable than the actors who portray them. You are not likely to recognize Alfred Molina as Ben Bradlee or Spencer Garrett as Bob Woodward....
12/18/2018
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux) This collection of previously uncollected essays showcases an artisan of creative nonfiction, John McPhee, in a two-part book — Part I focuses on the sporting life, and Part II — a reworked amalgamation of fragments from magazine articles and other publications, which may sound messy but is actually quite polished, like a gem plucked from his oeuvre. Accounts of fly-fishing, golf ball hunting, men’s lacrosse and more figure in the first part. Brief biographical sketches of notable figures and visits to notable places, passages plucked from both public and private...

MEMBERS OF THE Colley Robinson family prepare for the annual concert and carol sing at the Middlebury United Methodist Church next Tuesday, Dec. 18. Pictured from left are Chelsea Robinson, John-Eric Colley Robinson, Isaiah Robinson, Tom Colley and Sue Colley.
12/18/2018
MIDDLEBURY — This Tuesday evening, the Charter House Coalition will host a concert at the United Methodist Church in Middlebury. Now in its eighth year, this annual concert brings together musicians from at least six churches in Addison County, as well as others, who will share their musical gifts with the audience. Kevin Parizo, from St. Mary’s Catholic Church, will be the organist and accompanist for the concert. Matthew Wollam-Berens, the pastor for Helen Porter Rehab and Porter Hospital, will perform the gathering music on the harp. The Kafumbe and Colley families, along with other...

Join in at the annual Messiah Sing this year on Sunday, Dec. 23, 2 p.m., at the Middlebury Congregational Church.` Photo / James P. Blair
12/18/2018
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury Congregational Church once again hosts the area’s annual “Messiah Sing” that each year attracts hundreds of singers and players from throughout Addison County and beyond. Jeff Rehbach, conductor of the Middlebury College Community Chorus, leads the sing-along of this famous work by George Frederic Handel for choir and orchestra. Come join friends and neighbors for a joyous afternoon of community music-making at the Middlebury Congregational Church, beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 23. Singers, instrumentalists and all who enjoy music are warmly welcomed to sing...

Roger Ailes in “Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes” (2018).
12/11/2018
Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes — Running Time: 1:47 — Rating: R How I wish “Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes” could be seen by everyone in America. Right-wing thinkers will be at a loss to condemn it as partisan because it is composed of live footage of the participants themselves. Left-wing thinkers will be stunned at how little they themselves actually knew. This is a portrait of the man who rose from designing Richard Nixon’s presidential campaign to creating Fox News as a national power. It is the tale of a man hungry for personal power who achieved it on a level...
12/11/2018
(Knopf Publishing Group) We meet Washington “Wash” Black at a young age, an 11-year-old field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation around the year 1830. He is fortuitously called to serve as manservant to the plantation owner’s cousin, Christopher “Titch” Wild — inventor, eccentric, abolitionist — for the sole reason that he makes suitable ballast for the Cloud-Cutter, the balloon contraption that hastens their departure. Titch discovers Wash’s gift, and while nurturing this talent, he also teaches him to read and think for himself, a dangerous and challenging prospect in the world Wash has...

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