Northampton Press

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Movie Review: Down the ‘Rabbit’ hole

Tuesday, January 28, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Jojo Rabbit” is in the tradition of satire that includes the movies of Monty Python (“Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” 1975; “Monty Python’s Life of Brian,” 1979, and “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life,” 1983), a tradition that goes back at least to the infamous Jonathan Swift essay (“A Modest Proposal,” 1729).

Since “Jojo Rabbit” is, in large part, a satire about Adolph Hitler, its satiric movie predecessors include Mel Brooks’ “The Producers” (1967) and Charlie Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator” (1940).

Picking Oscar nominees a successful challenge

Sunday, January 26, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“Joker,” the first R-rated theatrical motion picture to garner more than $1-billion-plus at the box office, leads the Oscar race with 11 nominations, with “The Irishman,” a partly-Pennsylvania-set mob opus; “Once Upon A Time In ... Hollywood,” an LA story rewritten large, and “1917,” the World War I “one-shot” wonder, receiving 10 nominations each.

“Parasite,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Marriage Story” and “Little Women” each received six nominations.

Movie Review: ‘1917’ a year to remember

Sunday, January 26, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

“1917” is one of the most astonishing accomplishments in cinema history.

Director Sam Mendes, working with legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins, is said to have filmed “1917” in one take.

However, based on the names listed in the “1917” end credits, dozens if not hundreds of artists and technicians were employed to accomplish the film’s computer generated imagery.

It would be more accurate to describe “1917” as having been filmed in continuous takes for numerous scenes.

NASD school board backs funding

Wednesday, January 22, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in School

Odyssey of the Mind, Girls on the Run clubs included

Odyssey of the Mind and Girls on the Run club were approved, at the Jan. 13 board of education meeting, to receive Northampton Area School District funding.

Odyssey of the Mind, a program for 25 years in NASD, has approximately seven teams of 60 district students in grades K-12 who compete March-May. Contests emphasize STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) subjects.

Melinda McCann is in her 10th year as coordinator of Odyssey of the Mind, which is run by community volunteers.

Picking Oscar nominees a successful challenge

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 by The Press in Focus

I don’t run cross country (as I did as a teen on the team at Southern Lehigh High School; badly, but I finished the races).

I don’t skateboard (as I did with my buddies down Main Street, Coopersburg, in a Halloween Parade back in the 1960s).

I don’t compete in demolition derbies (as I did twice at the Allentown Fair, first for an article for the Bethlehem Globe-Times and then for The Morning Call; in the second derby, I won Judge’s Choice).

What do you do at age 69 on the cusp of 70 (May 17) to challenge oneself?

Movie Review: ‘Women’ on the March

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It’s called “Little Women,” not “Little Girls.”

The latest theatrical movie version of “Little Women” is directed by Greta Gerwig, who wrote the screenplay based on the novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888).

Published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869, the novel is about the journey from childhood to womanhood of the March sisters: Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth. The novel, which Alcott based on herself and her three sisters, was a commercial success and critically-acclaimed.

School board OKs preliminary budget

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

3.8-percent tax hike, $3.2 million use from NASD fund balance included

The Northampton Area School District 2020-21 preliminary budget has been approved with the general fund set at $114,717,283.

Included in the 8-1 vote by NASD school directors at its Jan. 13 meeting is approval of the food service fund of $2,504,747 and the athletic fund of $258,743 for the 2020-21 school year.

Approval of the budget calls for a 3.8-percent tax hike and the use of $3.2 million from the school district fund balance. The ending unassigned fund balance would be $5.7 million, which is 5 percent of NASD expenditures.

Article By: Paul Willistein pwillistein@tnonline.com

Friday, January 10, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Oscars arrive early in 2020.

The 2020 Oscar nominees are scheduled to be announced at 8 p.m. (EST) Jan. 13. By then, the 2020 Golden Globes, to be presented Jan. 5, are history.

The Globes are often a predictor of Oscar nominees and recipients, as are key other awards programs, notably the Screen Actors Guild nominees and recipients.

Article By: Paul Willistein pwillistein@tnonline.com

Friday, January 10, 2020 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

The Oscars arrive early in 2020.

The 2020 Oscar nominees are scheduled to be announced at 8 p.m. (EST) Jan. 13. By then, the 2020 Golden Globes, to be presented Jan. 5, are history.

The Globes are often a predictor of Oscar nominees and recipients, as are key other awards programs, notably the Screen Actors Guild nominees and recipients.