Tuesday, July 1, 2008

JULY 2008: Mountains of the Moon; Inner Paths; Photo Exhibition; Princeton Writers

8 PM, Thurs. July 10
Film Screening

In the 1850's two British officers Capt. Richard Burton and Lt. John Speke set out on a spectacular adventure to discover the source of the Nile. They are warned that great dangers await them, but, against all odds, they push on deeper and deeper into the magnificent untamed African wilderness, where no western man had ever gone. As the difficult journey takes its toll Burton and Speke forge a strong bond. A bond that one will eventually betray.How did Bob Rafelson, the director of small-scale American studies such as Five Easy Pieces and The King of Marvin Gardens, find himself helming an old-fashioned adventure story such as Mountains of the Moon? Whatever the reasons, Rafelson invested this 1990 epic with passion and professionalism. The hero is one of the greatest British explorers of the 19th century, Sir Richard Burton (played by Patrick Bergin), a fascinating figure and a man out of time: a modern in the Victorian era. Mountains of the Moon is primarily concerned with Burton's trek into East Africa to discover the source of the Nile, accompanied by fellow adventurer John Hanning Speke (Iain Glen). Rafelson is at least as interested in the tricky psychological jockeying between the two men, as he is in the grueling conventions of the adventure movie, but he delivers well on both counts. The brawny Bergin is sensational in a role that should have made him a star, but didn't; the film disappeared quickly. Perhaps audiences were put off by the lack of marquee names and confused by the title, which refers to a piece of African landscape. Providing solid support are Fiona Shaw (another should-have-been star), Richard E. Grant, and Delroy Lindo, as an African warrior. A very satisfying excursion into the National Geographic pith-helmet genre. FREE! Comp Wine.

8 PM, Sat. July 12

For thousands of years, voyagers of inner space--spiritual seekers, shamans, and psychoactive drug users--have returned from their inner imaginal travels reporting encounters with alien intelligences. Inner Paths to Outer Space presents an innovative examination of how we can reach these other dimensions of existence and contact otherworldly beings. Based on their more than 60 combined years of research into the function of the brain, the authors reveal how psychoactive substances such as DMT allow the brain to bypass our five basic senses to unlock a multidimensional realm of existence where otherworldly communication occurs. They contend that our centuries-old search for alien life-forms has been misdirected and that the alien worlds reflected in visionary science fiction actually mirror the inner space world of our minds. The authors show that these “alien” worlds encountered through altered states of human awareness, either through the use of psychedelics or other methods, possess a sense of reality as great as, or greater than, those of the ordinary awareness perceived by our five senses. FREE! Comp Wine.

8 PM, Fri. July 18
Photography Exhibition: Joint Show

Marvin Schwartz: I’ve known Marvin for about ten years. As an actor. Before opening a bookshop, I ran a theater company in Manhattan, of which Marvin was a regular part. He’s seventy-eight. He lives in a rent controlled apartment in the West Village. He’s held its lease, even while living for long stretches in Puerto Rico, France, Spain, and Germany, for the better part of forty years. Marvin doesn’t make much money as an actor. He’s appeared in a handful of independent horror films and a few Off Broadway plays. He played the king of the undead in a movie written by famous vampire scribe F. Paul Wilson. Sometimes Marvin gets enough equity work to support his health insurance through the union. Sometimes not. In the first half of Marvin’s life he was a professional photographer. He doesn’t speak of it. Despite our decade of friendship, I’ve seen just one of his photos: an elephant being unloaded from a ship. But when he needs money, for rent, food, medicine, he sells one. Marvin, as it turns out, had done alright snapping his little pictures. He worked for Life Magazine, shooting such subjects as Norman Mailer and Muhammad Ali. He was friends with Paddy Chayevsky. His work is part of the permanent collection of The Whitney Museum, and one of his pictures sold earlier this month for 22,000 USD at an auction in Germany (although he’d sold it to them for five thousand years ago). Come meet Marvin and see thirty of his rarely seen black-and-white photographs. FREE! Comp Wine.Helen Stummer: In the tradition of Jacob Riis, Lewis Hine and Dorothea Lange—who dynamically and passionately photographed impoverished immigrants, child labor and migrant workers from the 1800’s through the 1950’s, Stummer has been photographing the struggle and dignity of people in Newark, New Jersey, Manhattan’s Lower East Side, rural Maine, and Comalapa, Guatemala, for over twenty-five years. Although geographically diverse, they speak the same language. It is the language of the streets, the subsistence farms, the aldeas. It is the mother tongue of oppressed people everywhere: Poverty. Because of her decades being involved with urban families, Stummer is unique among American photographers. Her commitment has allowed her to depict children growing up. From babies to young adults, she captures their spirit, their hopes, as well as their disappointments and tragedies. FREE! Comp Wine.

8 PM, Fri. July 25

Local resident Edward Carchia is a four-time nominee for the prestigious Pushcart Prize and his short fiction has been published countless times in a variety of literary anthologies.Juditha Dowd's poetry has appeared in numerous journals. She has performed throughout the metropolitan area and as far afield as Portland Oregon. Her work recently received honorable mentions in two esteemed poetry contests--the Allen Ginsberg Award (Paterson Review) and Passager.Lois Marie Harrod has had over 300 poems published in journals and has nine collections in print. She is a professor at The College of New Jersey. FREE! Comp Wine