Northampton Press

Thursday, November 15, 2018

'Gatekeepers' is a must-see

Wednesday, March 27, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"The Gatekeepers" is a documentary film that goes a long way toward helping to explain politics in the Middle East, especially since the 1967 Arab-Israeli Six-Day War.

In six days, the Israel military took control of the Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula, West Bank, East Jerusalem and Golan Heights.

While Israel won the war, it put the nation in the midst of war on terror battles over Palestinian statehood and to prevent, as defenders and allies of Israel would say, the achievement of the oft-stated goal of Israel's enemies, namely, "to wipe Israel from the face of the planet."

'Oz' not so 'Great,' 'Powerful'

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

At one point in "Oz The Great and Powerful," Oz (James Franco) says to China Doll, a Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) character voiced by Joey King, "One rule in show biz: Never work with kids or animals," adding, "I already have this ... ," as he gestures to another CGI character, Finley, a monkey in a bellhop suit voiced by Zach Braff.

To that show-business adage, it could be added, "Never work with CGI characters."

At least in "Oz the Great and Powerful," for James Franco and other live-action actors, it's a losing battle.

Back to committee

Thursday, March 14, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

No new dress code for fall

Apparently, Northampton Area School District's proposed new dress and grooming policy needs a makeover.

So, it's back to committee for Policy 221.

The Northampton Area School Board voted 7-1 Monday night to remand the proposed student dress code, which has generated heated opinions around the district, to the policy committee.

The present school dress code remains in effect through the 2013-14 school year, said NASD Superintendent Joseph Kovalchik.

Hoffman's 'Quartet' plays well

Wednesday, March 13, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"Quartet" is a thoughtful, entertaining and fun film that hits all the grace notes.

The film is directed by Dustin Hoffman, who will be 76 on Aug. 8, in his feature film directorial debut.

One question: Why did he wait so long?

Well, Hoffman started directing "Straight Time" in 1978, but Ulu Grobard took it over.

The setting for "Quartet" is Beecham House, a home for retired musicians in England, for which the success of the annual gala concert to celebrate composer Giuseppi Verdi's birthday may determine whether the castle-like manse will stay open or close.

Mixed reviews

Thursday, March 7, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

NASD still grappling with dress code

If the draft policy for student dress and grooming in Northampton Area School District was being paraded on a fashion runway, the reviews so far would be mixed to decidedly negative.

The detailed eight-page draft, available to download on the NASD website, proposes new rules for students in kindergarten through 12th grade for the 2013-14 school year.

For example, for boys, shirts must have a turn-down collar and must be in solid colors of navy, tan, black, orange or white.

Skirts for girls, for example, must reach the top of the kneecap.

Middle school bids are in

Thursday, February 28, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

Construction start seen for May 10

The Northampton Area School Board got a pleasant surprise at Monday night's meeting.

The cost of the new Northampton Area Middle School is apparently $5 million under budget.

Based on a presentation by Christopher W. Haller, project engineer, D'Huy Engineering Inc., concerning the bids and alternate bids, the middle school general construction cost is $42,053,500.

"This went almost one year to the day. For this size project, kudos to those involved," said Haller.

The cost is based on apparent low bidders unveiled at the Feb. 25 school board meeting.

Bond refinancing to save $2.5 million

Thursday, February 28, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Local News

The Northampton Area School District is realizing a savings of more than $2.5 million in refinancing costs after restructuring bonds during an Internet auction.

"You did an excellent job in maintaining your excellent credit rating," Jamie L. Doyle, director, Public Financial Management Inc., NASD financial consultant, told administrators and school board members at the Feb. 11 meeting.

Quinn Lemley: To sequins and beyond

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

It's called "Burlesque to Broadway," but the song and dance revue, 7:30 p.m. March 2, State Theatre for the Arts, 453 Northampton St., Easton, is much more, according to its star.

"It's a celebration of women, from Burlesque to Broadway and beyond," says Quinn Lemley, star of the show with co-stars, Sara Brophy, portraying Raz, a Rosalind Russell character, and Amanda Brantley, portraying Gracie, based on Gracie Allen. They're backed by a 10-piece orchestra.

"The show is like a young Bette Midler meets 'Chicago,' " Lemley says.

'Amour' at the end of life

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

Just when one thought that France's "Rust and Bone" set the mark for depressing cinema, there's "Amour."

"Amour" was nominated for five Oscars, picture, actress (Emmanuelle Riva), director (Michael Haneke), original screenplay (Haneke) and foreign-language film (Austria's entry). The film won the Palme d'Or at last year's Cannes Film Festival.

In "Amour," Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) and Anne (Riva) are retired music teachers who are in their 80s. After Anne has successive strokes, Georges promised her that he will not place here in a long-term care facility.

Movie Review: Soderbergh's final 'Effects'?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 by PAUL WILLISTEIN in Focus

"Side Effects" is a good crime thriller with a twist that you probably won't see coming.

Jude Law plays Dr. Jonathan Banks, a psychiatrist who is paid as a consultant for a pharmaceutical company that is doing trials with a new drug.

One of his clients, Emily (Rooney Mara), is institutionalized after she negotiates an NGRI plea (Not Guilty For Reasons of Insanity) plea over the death of her husband Martin (Channing Tatum).

Law consults with Dr. Siebert (Catherine Zeta-Jones), Emily's previous psychiatrist, who may or may not be withholding information from him.