Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Arts & Life

UKIAH, Calif. — Ukiah’s Grace Hudson Museum’s first exhibition of the year, featuring newly acquired artworks by renowned Ukiah-based painter and the museum’s namesake, Grace Carpenter Hudson (1865-1937), is winding down.

The Art of Collecting: New Additions to the Grace Hudson Museum explores the variety of items collected by the museum and provides context for how it curates them.

The show, which began in February, runs through Sunday, May 8.

Supporting a rich and often complex story about both Grace Hudson and the region’s Pomo peoples — the original inhabitants of southern Mendocino County — the museum’s holdings include an array of Hudson’s artwork, Pomo basketry and material culture, and an archive of historic photographs, letters, and documents tied to the Carpenter-Hudson family.

“This new exhibit will strengthen and further highlight the significance of our city’s beloved museum, while shining light on Grace Hudson’s artistic achievements, and the history and culture of Pomo peoples,” said Ukiah Mayor Jim Brown. “I’m certain our residents, and visitors from around the country and world, will greatly appreciate and enjoy it.

A cornerstone of the exhibition are 16 Hudson paintings that were gifted late last year by the Palm Springs Art Museum in Southern California, where the paintings previously resided for decades.

“We believe Hudson, as an artist and a woman, to be a significant figure in the history of art in California and beyond,” said Adam Lerner, the JoAnn McGrath executive director/CEO at the Palm Springs institution. “With our gift, we are able to better serve her legacy, while at the same time continuing to appropriately represent her work in our own collection.”

Costs of transferring the paintings to Ukiah were secured by the Grace Hudson Museum via a generous grant from the Miner Anderson Family Foundation in San Francisco, which believed in bringing the works back to the place where they were originally created.

“We were surprised and thrilled when Palm Springs first approached us about gifting us the paintings,” said David Burton, director of the Grace Hudson Museum. “We are enormously grateful to Adam, the staff, and the trustees at Palm Springs Art Museum, and also to the Miner Anderson Family Foundation. In addition to the gift, Palms Springs is also providing two other Hudson paintings to us on long-term loan. We are very excited to share them with the public, along with our recent acquisitions.”

Visit the museum online at https://www.gracehudsonmuseum.org/.



‘ALL THE OLD KNIVES’ Rated R

Amazon’s “All the Old Knives” is not the type of espionage thriller one has come to appreciate in the James Bond series. This is a cerebral affair akin to something that might have been written by John le Carre and then adapted to film like “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.”

Expecting anyone to draw a gun resulting in a protracted shootout will not come to fruition. Notwithstanding the title, no one pulls a knife unless to carve a juicy tenderloin. Don’t recall that happening.

No explosions or extended car chases ensue. At one point, we see veteran CIA case officer Henry Pelham (Chris Pine) driving a spiffy convertible near the Big Sur area and it looks like he’s adhering to the speed limit.

Why is Henry driving the scenic route along the coast of Northern California? We’ll get to that soon enough, but first Henry is stationed in cold, wintry Vienna where he reports to CIA Chief of Station Victor Wallinger (Laurence Fishburne).

On a bleak morning in the capital of Austria, Chief Wallinger delivers some explosive news about an airline terrorist attack that remains unsolved from eight years ago.

A Chechen extremist by the name of Ilyas Shushani (Orli Shuka), apparently the mastermind behind a deadly hijacking that killed more than 120 airline passengers and crew, has been captured by the agency.

During interrogation, Shusani reveals that a mole in the Vienna station provided vital intelligence to the hijackers, resulting in the tragic loss of life. Faced with this new information, Henry is assigned to reopen the case of Flight 127 to find the traitorous double agent.

The mission means revisiting painful memories and laying traps for old friends, and even for a spy as adept at compartmentalizing his emotions as Henry is, that’s no easy task.

First stop on the cold trail is where Henry meets at a London pub his cagey former superior Bill Compton (Jonathan Pryce), who was second in command in Vienna during the terrorist attack on the airliner.

Long since retired from the agency, Bill considers the incident ancient history not to be dredged up, but Henry points out several disturbing inconsistencies in Bill’s story that suggest he knows far more than he’s letting on.

The path forward now leads Henry to Carmel-by-the-Sea to question another retired Vienna colleague, Celia Harrison (Thadiwe Newton). More than just ex-coworkers, Henry and Celia were once passionate lovers.

The relationship fell apart after the hijacking disaster. Celia is now married with children, but romantic sparks reignite when they meet at stylish cliffside restaurant.

Reminiscing about their bittersweet past over a meal gives way to a more intense situation as the conversation drifts into a sly cat-and-mouse game played by two experts.

Common to many spy thrillers, red herrings arise to tempt the viewer into identifying the culprit. In the end “All the Old Knives” is not that compelling but Pine and Newton have enough chemistry to make their seaside reunion worth watching.



‘WELCOME TO FLATCH’ ON FOX

Flatch, Ohio, a fictional small town with a population of 1,526, is the setting for the new FOX comedy “Welcome to Flatch,” a mockumentary that follows the daily routines of two cousins who are best friends.

The show has the same sort of style as series like “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation,” and “Welcome to Flatch” takes a cue from the former by being based upon a British comedy series called “This Country.”

The cousins are twentysomethings trapped emotionally, it would appear, in their teen years as they navigate the stereotypical mundane life of a small town where the highlight of the year is the Scarecrow Festival.

Kelly Mallet (Holmes) and Lloyd “Shrub” Mallet (Sam Straley) are motivated, respectively, to win the skillet-tossing contest or taking the prize for the best scarecrow, and other kicks come from messing with the local bus driver.

Colorful town character Mandy “Big Mandy” Matthews (Krystal Smith) notes that Flatch has only two restaurants, one with menus, and observes that youth are the future while excluding Kelly and Shrub as “walking disappointments.”

One of the more recognizable cast members is Seann William Scott’s Father Joe, the local minister who ends up helping Kelly with her scheme to create a ride share business called “Kuber.”

Kelly is quite amusing telling Father Joe that she is “an idiot savant with business ideas” who comes from a “long line of business tycoons” because her father ran a Christmas tree farm and her grandmother operated a “successful black market cigarette ring in prison.”

Eccentric characters abound in Flatch. Nadine (Taylor Ortega) pitches the Flatch Historical Society’s efforts to preserve a historic outhouse and Aya Cash’s Cheryl gave up big city reporting to be the editor of the “Flatch Patriot” with a circulation in the hundreds.

Big Mandy tells the documentary crew that there’s no decent place to stay in Flatch. The TV viewer, of course, is only visiting, and “Welcome to Flatch” may be worth a look.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.

Kwame Dawes. Courtesy photo.

In the 1st century apostle Luke’s epistle (the Bible, Luke 3:5), he quotes John the Baptist’s announcement of himself as the prophet who will, among other things, make smooth the “rough ways.”

If Nate Marshall was not conscious of this allusion in “my mother’s hands,” his tender praise song to his mother, he certainly would not mind the connection.

In the end, this unabashedly sentimental poem (poets are allowed), is offered as a balm for the vividly expressed hardships against which this mother’s love is a bulwark: “we survive/ every fire without becoming/ ash.”

my mother’s hands
By Nate Marshall

would moisturize
my face from jaw inward
the days she had too
much on her hands
when what needed
to come through
did or didn't show.
she still shone, still made
smooth her every rough
edge, heel to brow.
hugged my temples
with slick hands,
as if to say son be mine
as if to say this i give you
as if to say we are people
color of good oak but we
will not burn, we survive
every fire without becoming
ash.


American Life in Poetry does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. It is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2020 by Nate Marshall, “my mother’s hands” from Finna (Penguin Random House, 2020.) Introduction copyright ©2022 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Kwame Dawes, is George W. Holmes Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska.

Kwame Dawes. Courtesy photo.

Eric Pankey, in his poem, ​“In Such a Way That,” par­tic­i­pates in one of the rit­u­als prac­ticed by poets the world over — the mark­ing of the chang­ing sea­sons.

The tran­si­tions from win­ter to spring, from rainy-sea­son to dry-sea­son, from mon­soon to autumn and from har­mat­tan to spring, are announced with poems rich with inti­ma­tions of begin­nings and end­ings.

This poem bor­rows, with sub­tle­ty, from the bib­li­cal can­ti­cles and psalms asso­ci­at­ed with the ves­pers, invok­ing grat­i­tude and con­fes­sion in a space where con­tra­dic­tions and ​“dou­ble assign­ments” (entan­gle­ments and lodg­ings, shel­ters and stag­ing grounds) abound. In the end, there is some com­fort, for Pankey, in the chang­ing sea­sons and in these remem­bered prayers.

In Such a Way That
By Eric Pankey

Winter ends with a miscellany’s logic: a leaden horizon,
A narrow but unbridgeable distance.

Stolen moments are exchanged for isolated hours,
Elaborate entanglements, a lodging.

One’s suitable room fulfills a double assignment
As a stage and shelter. The heady pollen of stargazer lilies

Covers the bureaus, the desktop, and end tables.
Beyond the window, the sacred mountain

Is depleted of snow. On a frequency
At the far end of the dial, one can hear

Vespers, and recall the little Latin one learned long ago,
Knowing even then it would come in handy


American Life in Poetry does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. It is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2020 by Eric Pankey, “In Such a Way That” from The Georgia Review, Winter 2020. Poem reprinted by permission of the author and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2022 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Kwame Dawes, is George W. Holmes Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska.

MIDDLETOWN, Calif. — Middletown resident, photographer and now author Sharon Dawson will hold a launch and signing event for her new book, “Suddenly Terminal,” on Friday, April 22.

The gathering will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Middletown Art Center, 21456 Highway 175.

“Suddenly Terminal” is Dawson’s story about winning a good fight against cancer.

The story is laced with honesty and lots of humor as she walks into the arms of death and straight back out.

Lake County Poet Laureate Georgina Marie Guardado also will be on hand for the event.

There will be food and drink for guests, and books will be available for purchase.




‘AMBULANCE’ Rated R

At one time in the past, Los Angeles had the dubious title of the bank robbery capital of the world.

One notorious theft came in the infamous North Hollywood bank heist where the LAPD found themselves seriously outgunned by the bad guys.

One would be tempted to think that director Michael Bay, known for special effects and huge budget action films, would be inspired by real-life events in the City of Angels for his heist thriller “Ambulance.”

Well, that would not be the case. Bay’s latest venture into thrills comes courtesy of screenwriter Chris Fedak being inspired by Danish thriller “Ambulancen,” a film that featured two bank robbers who hijack an ambulance with a heart attack patient on board.

The breakneck thriller that was envisioned by the creative team boils down to high-tension, character-driven crime drama that takes place over the course of one day across the streets, freeways and even the concrete bed of a usually dry Los Angeles River.

While assorted criminals and an army of police and FBI agents shooting it out raise the stakes, the focus of the story is on two men linked by brotherhood but widely divergent on principles who are involved in the biggest bank heist in Los Angeles history.

Danny Sharp (Jake Gyllenhaal) and his adoptive brother Will Sharp (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) grew up together as family. Will, a decorated war veteran, is a devoted family man, while the charismatic yet insanely psychotic Danny is a career criminal wanted by the FBI.

Devoted to his wife who needs costly experimental surgery, Will is desperate for money to pay her medical bills not covered by insurance. Will wants a loan, but Danny offers a solution with an expected $32 million haul only if his sibling joins the robbery crew.

Erratic and delusional about his talent as a mastermind, Danny believes he has the perfect scheme. At first, everything is going according to plan until a lovestruck rookie cop shows up hoping to get the nerve to ask a pretty teller for a date.

Danny finesses the tense situation until the cop’s partner waiting outside realizes a robbery is in progress, and then all hell breaks loose. In the immediate getaway on foot through a labyrinth of underground areas, the cop is seriously wounded.

When the two brothers hijack an ambulance, they take paramedic Cam Thompson (Eiza Gonzalez) and the rookie cop Zach Parker (Jackson White), barely clinging to life, as hostages, and hence begins a wild chase.

Assigned the unenviable task of coordinating the law enforcement operation, Captain Tyler Monroe (Garret Dillahunt) won’t hesitate to shoot to kill and is eager to avenge his injured officer.

Called to duty on his day off, Monroe arrives on the scene, wearing USC gear and camouflage pants, in a small Fiat with his insanely huge 200-pound mastiff in the passenger seat.

The LAPD captain’s old-school style clashes with the younger FBI Special Agent Anson Clark (Keir O’Donnell), who by odd coincidence shares a complicated past with Danny Sharp, as both had studied criminology together at the University of Maryland.

While Captain Monroe and FBI agent Clark tussle over strategy and tactics, there is plenty of yelling and tension developing between the Sharp brothers, with Will being the empathetic character because his sibling is truly a dangerous and unhinged psychopath.

Logic is widely absent from “Ambulance.” There’s no point to giving much thought to how easily the two brothers evade the police in high-speed chases, especially when it appears that every cop and federal agent in the entire metropolis has been mobilized.

Even less believable is Cam, a medical school dropout due to drug abuse, being able by face timing two surgeons to handle a delicate surgical procedure while the ambulance is madly careening through the streets.

Fond of explosions and overwrought action, Michael Bay has little use for subtlety or refined sensibilities. If you come to “Ambulance” with the expectation of a plethora of violent thrills, disappointment will not cross your mind.

“Ambulance” is spirited, mindless entertainment. It is by turns silly and insipid or passionately calculating, the latter most evident when the paramedic attending to the wounded cop becomes emotionally connected.

Notably in the director’s dynamic style is the delivery of a rollercoaster ride that can almost make one dizzy from the scattershot blast of vehicle crashes and shootouts.

“Ambulance” could have benefited from tighter editing, seeing how a lot of the action is gratuitously repetitive. But the director is not known for restraint, and so over-the-top and virtually non-stop action is the order of the day.

Action junkies probably won’t be disheartened by the excesses of “Ambulance.” If you are in that group, strap in for a high-octane action journey that is far-fetched but still thrilling most of the time.

Tim Riley writes film and television reviews for Lake County News.

Upcoming Calendar

28Jun
06.28.2022 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
Board of Supervisors
28Jun
06.28.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at Library Park
28Jun
06.28.2022 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Rotary Club of Clear Lake
30Jun
06.30.2022 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
1Jul
07.01.2022 5:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Essential workers mural dedication
2Jul
2Jul
07.02.2022 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Junior Ranger Program: Lake ecology
2Jul
07.02.2022 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
2Jul
07.02.2022 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Weekly writing workshop
2Jul
07.02.2022 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
64th annual Redbud Parade and Festival

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