Friday, January 29, 2010

Real-life movie inspiration attends screening

Posted By on Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Tomorrow night (Jan. 30), you'll be able to see a real-life movie inspiration - John Crowley, whose efforts to find the cure for Pompe disease are the subject of the new film, Extraordinary Measures starring Brendan Fraser (as Crowley) and Harrison Ford.

In 1998, two of Crowley's children were diagnosed with the severe genetic disorder, Pompe disease. Because the disease was so rare, no one had developed a medicine to treat it. With fierce determination and hard work, Crowley raised over $100 million to start a biotechnology company which saved his children's lives, hence the name of the film, Extraordinary Measures.

As part of its alumni reunion, law firm Bingham McHale is honoring the Crowley family with a screening of this film at Galaxy 14 (5 p.m.). Media is invited to hear Crowley's remarks after the film at the Fishers Hospitality Center (9775 North by Northeast Blvd., across the street from Galaxy 14). Crowley will be available for interviews until 9:30 p.m.

Come down to see this movie - and real-life - magic.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Owing my childhood to James Cameron

Posted By on Tue, Jan 26, 2010 at 4:00 AM

I can't really be mad at James Cameron. Not even when he declares himself King of the World or insults a fan ( Why? I owe my childhood to this man.

Terminator 2 and True Lies were, and still are, great escapes. These are the films that made me fall in love with movies. They tap into film's original and most primal purpose: to transport us to worlds more thrilling than our own.

With its ruthless killers chasing each other across the desert, Terminator 2 is like a classic western, only the characters aren't cowboys, but robots from the future. The film is a pure adrenaline rush, arguably the greatest chase thriller ever made. The action is so vivid that when I was little, I couldn't separate it from reality. I kept thinking I would turn around to find a killer robot pursuing me. It was scary - and thrilling.

I had the same feeling with True Lies. The film always made me feel like a super-spy after I watched it. It was as if I couldn't get out of the Arnold Schwarzenegger character's shoes and see through my own eyes.

As I've gotten older, my experiences with Cameron's films have only grown richer. Just recently, I rewatched his underwater epic, The Abyss and was deeply moved by its sea-borne love story, which I'll take over Titanic any day of the week. In fact, The Abyss may be Cameron's most mature, deeply felt film. It captures big ideas with surprising grace: humanity's capacity for both good and evil, the way the wonders of the ocean mirror the mysteries of the human heart. Cameron is one of the few filmmakers striving to never allow style to triumph over substance (check out Aliens also). When he won the Golden Globe for Best Director recently, he even gave actors credit for giving his stories impact.

So, the man may be arrogant at times, but that doesn't make him any less of a filmmaker. I realize that now more than ever. We all should.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Mike Beas: The Super Bowl's storylines emerge

Posted By on Mon, Jan 25, 2010 at 4:00 AM

The Miami vise isn't reference to a paunchy, aging Don Johnson tracking down young toughs while sporting eye-assaulting colors and deck shoes.

Rather, it's the squeeze Super Bowl XLIV promises to put on every one of us until the latest chapter of sport's grandest showcase has been written. Or a member of geriatric halftime act, The Who, gets hit by a speeding bus when his walker becomes lodged in a drainage cover.

Whichever comes first.

Even had Indianapolis lost to the Jets, we here in central Indiana would have been bombarded with Super Bowl reminders of how this event promises to be the greatest athletic venue in the history of planet earth. The teams rarely matter. If it's Super Bowl Sunday, every conceivable story idea has been or will be exhausted.

By winning, the Colts spared us gripping and nonstop television and radio reminders that New York quarterback Mark Sanchez is a rookie (no kidding!), coach Rex Ryan is Buddy's son (not Nolan's?), Joe Namath is a legend (except to Suzy Kolber) and Super Bowl III, coincidentally, also was played in Miami.

With Indianapolis scheduled to face New Orleans, storylines won't be shorter in supply, but at least they promise to be more tolerable. New Orleans' recovery after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and Drew Brees' connections to the state of Indiana are going to be more compelling than, say, a Where Are They Now segment on Mark Gastineau and Joe Klecko.

Either way, now that we know the combatants, we'll be blanketed by Colts-Saints discussion for the next two weeks. Beats snow, I suppose.

Oh, before I forget: Indianapolis 31, New Orleans 20 (Saints are just happy to be there ... their Super Bowl was the victory against the Vikings).

WILL FAVRE RETIRE? Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre might be 40, but at the moment he probably feels closer to 70 after the pounding he absorbed in Sunday's NFC Championship Game against New Orleans.

Despite the loss, Favre was nothing short of marvelous this season. If you think the Vikings get that far with Tevaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels taking snaps, you've seen neither one play. Favre was the difference. Period.

It would be understandable if he was thinking of stepping down, but something tells me that once Favre's body fully heals in a few months he'll be talking about coming back.

GAMEDAY A JOKE: On your screen, left to right, are Rece Davis, Hubert Davis, Digger Phelps and Jay Bilas.

Look familiar?

Really? Look again.

The same template ESPN incorporates for its ultra-popular College GameDay setups during football season is dusted off and used for hoops, only with far less-inspiring results. Surely, too, much lower television ratings than the original.

It appears host Rece Davis is intended to be Chris Fowler, the sturdy voice of reason, while Hubert Davis is the African American ex-standout a la Desmond Howard. Moving down the line, Phelps is the cheap imitation of Lee Corso, a former head coach unafraid to step on toes and hurt feelings, and Bilas is Kirk Herbstreit, the ex-jock blessed with GQ looks.

ESPN needs to keep College GameDay broadcasts locked into football Saturdays and scrap the basketball version. The latter, a feeble imitation of the original, is an embarrassment.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Yo-Yo Ma and ISO together again

Posted By on Fri, Jan 22, 2010 at 4:00 AM

This just in...


The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra announced that it has released a free streaming performance by legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma of one of the crown jewels in the cello repertoire — Antonin Dvorak's Cello Concerto in B Minor — that was recorded live in concert at the Hilbert Circle Theatre. The free recording can be heard on, the premiere website for recordings of live classical music. This is the first ever performance by Yo-Yo Ma to be released on this site.

The recording was made at a sold-out performance on October 1, 2009, in Indianapolis by the famed cellist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra under the baton of guest conductor Jeffrey Kahane. The ISO was the first major orchestra to join to provide free streaming and downloads of its performances to music lovers around the world, and the Orchestra currently has the largest library of live concert performances of all orchestras who are featured on that site.

The link to hear the recording of Yo-Yo Ma's performance in concert with the Indianapolis Symphony is:

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Thanks from Indiana Ballet Co.

Posted By on Wed, Jan 20, 2010 at 4:00 AM

This just in...

January 19, 2010

Dear Friends,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Academy families, and the community at large for the tremendous support that allowed the Indiana Ballet Company, together with the Russian Ballet Academy of Indiana, to make a very significant and surprising profit on our recent production of Nutcracker. What is even more wonderful is that we were still able to dedicate an entire performance to some of central Indiana's most precious children as a gift from our hearts to theirs. This success could not have been achieved without your vote of confidence in who we are as artists and teachers, and the nature of our mission: to connect with community while laying the foundation for its future.

Because of that confidence, we came together as a team and achieved extraordinary things in a totally new way. Today's success will help to propel our mission and our community to the next level. I hope you will continue to join us for that journey.

With profound thanks,

Alyona Yakovleva

Founding Artistic Director

Indiana Ballet Company

Russian Ballet Academy of Indiana

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Arts Day at Statehouse

Posted By on Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 4:00 AM

This just in...

January 26 is Arts Day at the Indiana Statehouse!

Invite your Legislator to Attend

Join with hundreds of arts advocates from all over the state as we rally for the arts in Indiana on Tuesday, January 26th. The annual Arts Day celebration, coordinated by the Indiana Coalition for the Arts, will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Statehouse Rotunda.

The purpose of Arts Day is to communicate with our elected state officials about the importance of state funding for the arts. Please register to attend on the Indiana Coalition for the Arts' website:

Registration is free, though we are always grateful for donations to help defray our expenses.

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Buy Art, Help Haitians

Posted By on Tue, Jan 19, 2010 at 4:00 AM

This just in...

If you've been thinking about buying a piece of art,


it'sALLart is giving 60% of all proceeds from any art sales to CARE's Haitian Relief efforts!

Simply click on this link to look at the art offered and purchase knowing you are helping Haiti.

All funds go through CARE and the donation efforts are tracked through their organization.

Please help now!

There is a wide variety of styles and sizes to choose from, so take a look around and take part in this WIN-WIN situation. You get a great piece of art and you are helping the Haiti Relief efforts that are so badly needed now.

Thanks so much to all of those who have given already!

Keith J. Hampton


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Monday, January 18, 2010

Spirit & Place call for entries

Posted By on Mon, Jan 18, 2010 at 4:00 AM

This just in...

Spirit & Place accepting applications for 2010 festival event

Applications from community partners due March 5, 2010

Indianapolis — The Spirit & Place Festival is currently accepting applications from community groups to host events during the 2010 festival. Interested cultural, faith-based, educational and community organizations have the chance to join more than 100 of the city's top organizations in a valuable partnership with Spirit & Place to help create engaging civil dialogue. The application deadline is March 5, 2010.

The festival, now in its 15th year, is a collaborative effort between Indianapolis's arts, culture, religious, educational and humanities organizations. Spirit & Place celebrates and explores the diversity that makes up the city while sparking civic dialogue to help promote positive change in the Circle City. Each year the festival selects approximately 40 events to create the 10-day lineup. In 2009, more than 6500 attended the festival.

Pam Blevins Hinkle, director of Spirit & Place, likens the festival to a pot-luck dinner.

"Spirit & Place sets the theme and sends invitations to many diverse organizations in Indianapolis," says Blevins Hinkle. "It's up to the organizations to create a sumptuous dish (an event) that centers around the theme and fulfill the festival's mission of promoting civic engagement, respect for diversity, reflection, imagination, creativity and community change. Then we select the best 'dishes' to serve to the community during the festival."

The 2010 Spirit & Place Festival, running November 5-14, is taking on the theme "Food for Thought" in partnership with the Indiana Humanities Council. Festival events will explore how food shapes our family, faith, community, and culture. Tokick off the 2010 festival theme, Spirit & Place, in partnership with the Indiana Humanities Council, will present an evening with Eric Ripert (of PBS's "Avec Eric") and Anthony Bourdain (of the Travel Channel's "No Reservations") on September 30 at Clowes Memorial Hall. Bourdain and Ripert will start the conversation on "Food for Thought" by discussing the relationship between food and culture.

Any cultural, congregational, educational, health and human service, library, community and/or other civic institution is welcome to apply to become part of this year's festival. Spirit & Place welcomes a wide variety of events. Past events have included lectures, seminars, workshops, art, theatre and musical performances, film screenings, tours, exhibits, and more. The festival encourages community groups to think creatively when designing their prospective events. Each event must center around "Food For Thought." Detailed guidelines are available at

In order to prepare the most competitive application possible, organizations are encouraged (but not required) to attend the free workshops led by Blevins Hinkle on how to create, sustain and enjoy collaborative relationships and how to create the most inspiring event possible. "How to Create an Inspired Festival Event" will be held Friday, January 29 and Wednesday, February 3 at 8:30am and 10:30 am at The Polis Center. Collaboration Workshops will be held in the spring.

All applications will be reviewed by a diverse panel of community members and selected based on:

* Originality and creativity,

* Opportunities for civic engagement,

* Strength of collaboration,

* Connection to the Food for Thought theme,

* Opportunities for audience interaction, and

* Connection to Spirit & Place's mission to engage the arts, humanities, and religion in collaborative action to promote civic engagement, respect for diversity, thoughtful reflection, public imagination, and enduring change.

Spirit & Place is a collaborative community project managed by The Polis Center, part of the IU School

of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Major financial contributors include Lilly Endowment Inc.; Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, Inc.; Central Indiana Community Foundation; TrendyMinds; Eli Lilly and Company; Butler University; IUPUI/IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI; the University of Indianapolis; Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library; as well as more than 200 other community partners and donors. For a free festival magazine, to see a full schedule of festival events, or more information, call The Polis Center at (317) 274-2455 or visit Follow Spirit & Place on Twitter @spiritandplace or join the Facebook Fan Page by searching for Spirit and Place.

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Mike Beas: sports' controversial figures

Posted By on Mon, Jan 18, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Sports wouldn't fascinate the way it does without controversial figures, for they are what pull us back time and again. We don't necessarily agree with their actions or what they said, yet we continue to keep eyes and ears on alert.

Lately it seems the needle on the idiot meter is working overtime, which means water-cooler discussion isn't in short supply.

For instance:

LANE KIFFIN: Never during the modern era has a coach, college or professional, been so historically insignificant and yet able to constantly lasso bigger and higher-paying jobs.

If not for his old man, Monte Kiffin, who spent 25 seasons in the National Football League as either a defensive coordinator or linebackers coach, this guy would be paying money to get into stadiums. Either that or selling cotton candy at them.

Don't know anything about Hawaii's gridiron prospects for 2010, but the Rainbow Warriors will have at least one fan in Indiana when USC opens its season in Honolulu on Sept. 4.

Think the network bigwigs won't be trying to find a way to pair USC and Tennessee in the same bowl game sometime soon? Talk about a ratings bonanza, not to mention a lot of angry orange.

MARK McGWIRE: Everyone wants to throw the former Oakland/St. Louis slugger under the bus (OK, a train), and rightfully so. McGwire cheated baseball, cheated its fans, cheated the Maris family, cheated himself.

His publicly-aired confession to Bob Costas loosened the noose of guilt around his conscience even if it was five years too late. Remember, America is an accountability nation, which means over time we'll view McGwire more positively thanks to those crocodile tears.

But only if ironclad proof surfaces that his eyes weren't watering staring at Costas' bad dye job.

TIGER WOODS: Seems we have a new way of spelling coward. Next time we see Woods' mug it will be on the side of a milk carton. Golf's meal ticket better get in front of the microphones soon. Staying away is taking a 9-iron to his reputation. Sorry, bad analogy.

THE TRIPPING HOYA: Seems one member of the Georgetown women's basketball team purposely tripped a Louisville player as the Lady Cardinals were running a lap around the court during pregame warmups. A melee broke out with Georgetown and Louisville players exchanging pushes and punches before order was finally restored. Who said women's basketball is unwatchable?

THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS: There was no reason why Brett Favre needed to throw another touchdown pass, his fourth of the game, late in Sunday's 34-3 playoff demolition of Dallas. The move was classless to the point that the entire state of Texas will be pulling for New Orleans in the upcoming NFC Championship Game.

The Cowboys won't have to wait for another postseason for a shot at revenge. Though a date hasn't been set, Dallas plays at Minnesota during the 2010 regular season. My guess is they'll Monday Night that one.

GILBERT ARENAS: If a person actually could shoot his mouth off, the Washington Wizards guard would be a solid candidate to do so given his big yap and fondness for firearms. Another black eye for the NBA, which can ill afford many more.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Heartland names top ten "Truly Moving Pictures" of 2009

Posted By on Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Heartland's top 10 films of the year list is different from most critics'. You won't see gruesome horror movies on it for one. Heartland's Top 10 "Truly Moving Pictures" emphasize only "the best of the human spirit."

This year's best films, followed by Heartland's reasoning for their rank (This is the first year Heartland has implemented a Top 10 ranking)...

1. The Blind Side — Warner Bros.

A valuable lesson on compassion, The Blind Side shares the inspiring true story of a strong, courageous woman and her family who are compelled to adopt a young man despite their differences and backgrounds, showing what it means for a family to unite in order to help someone that is less fortunate than themselves.

2. Invictus — Warner Bros.

Based on a true story, Invictus shows how Nelson Mandela used the power of camaraderie and patriotism by joining forces with the South Africa rugby team in an attempt to erase the racial barriers that were destroying the country.

3. The Horse Boy — Zeitgeist Films

An intensely personal yet epic spiritual journey, The Horse Boy follows a couple and their autistic son through a courageous trek on horseback through outer Mongolia in a desperate attempt to treat his condition with shamanic healing.

4. Up —Disney/Pixar

Up is a sentimental love story that takes us on a journey of discovery with a 78-year-old widower who leaves his life behind to fulfill the adventurous life he promised his wife. Up proves that even at age 78, there are lessons to be learned and shows viewers the true meaning of commitment.

5. The Cove — Lions Gate

A documentary on the treatment of dolphins of the coast of Japan, The Cove is a provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery that adds up to an urgent plea for hope and a call for redemption and justice.

6. Herb & Dorothy - Fine Line Media

A film of pure selflessness and passion, Herb & Dorothy is a documentary of a couple's commitment to and love for art that inspired them to build one of the most important, contemporary art collections in history with very modest means, only to then give it all away without taking a profit.

7. The Soloist — Paramount Pictures

The Soloist is based on an incredible true story of a disenchanted journalist's transformative odyssey through the hidden streets of Los Angeles, where he discovers and builds a most unlikely friendship with a man from those same streets, bonding through the redemptive power of music.

8. The Boys Are Back — Miramax Films

Inspired by a true story, The Boys are Back is a deeply moving, wryly confessional tale of fatherhood that intimately evokes both the fragility and wonders of family life.

9. My Sister's Keeper — Warner Bros.

My Sister's Keeper is a powerful story of one child's sacrifice for her sister, revealing surprising truths that challenge one's perceptions of family, love and loyalty and give new meaning to the definition of healing.

10. Amreeka — National Geographic Entertainment

Amreeka is a universal journey into the lives of a family of immigrants and first-generation teenagers caught between their heritage and the new world in which they now live while they search for a place to call home.

To view the complete list of Heartland's award winners, visit

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International Film Fest calls for entries

Posted By on Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 4:00 AM

This just in...

Makers of full-length and short-subject documentaries, comedies, dramas, and animated films of all types can now submit their work for review and consideration for inclusion in the 2010 Indianapolis International Film Festival (IIFF), which will be held July 15-25 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Submission deadlines include early, regular, and late entries with fees ranging from $40 to $60.

Feature length films in any category are eligible for the festival's $1,000 grand jury prize.


Susan Sullivan

Board member | Media & PR coordinator

Indianapolis International Film Festival (IIFF)

719 ½ Massachusetts Avenue

Indianapolis, IN 46204 | 317.567.1368

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Make a heart at the IAC

Posted By on Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 4:00 AM

This just in...

Making Hearts, Not Breaking Them

Glass Heart Samplers in Time for Valentine's Day at the Art Center

Indianapolis, IN (January 15, 2010) — Every Spring the Indianapolis Art Center hosts several sampler classes devoted to creating glass heart paperweights. It's no coincidence that these classes happen the first two weeks in February; these little gems make great Valentine's Day gifts! And if you want to create an unforgettable Valentine's Day experience, register you and your date to take the sampler class together! Nothing says devotion like shaping 2100 degree molten glass into a beautiful ornament that symbolizes your everlasting love... and that also keeps your loved one's papers neatly in place. See how thoughtful you are?

So this Valentine's Day, make a heart, don't break one. Candy is stale. Flowers are dead. Give a gift that is made with your hands, that comes from the heart and that is also, well, a heart. (We're artists, symbolism goes a long way, trust us). Register for the glass heart sampler at Sampler classes last two hours and are scheduled for afternoons and early evenings. Sampler classes are affordable at only $28 per student!

Glass heart sampler classes always sell out, so make sure to register early to get your spot reserved. For more information on sampler class schedules visit

If you miss out on the samplers, you're last chance for a unique Valentine's Day gift is at the Basile Studio Shop at the Art Center. The Basile Studio Shop features original hand-crafted paintings, watercolors, jewelry, sculptures, fabrics, and clothing from over 75 local and regional artists. Many of these items come directly from Art Center studios to your hands. Artists can also do custom orders! The Basile Studio Shop is open Monday through Saturday. Visit for hours and details.

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