Friday, September 29, 2017

Video Premiere: Tavishi's "Cancer"

Experimental artists feature cancer cells and big pharma scandals in new work.

Posted By on Fri, Sep 29, 2017 at 10:55 AM

Sarmistha Talukdar of Tavishi.
  • Sarmistha Talukdar of Tavishi.

In experimental music news:

Sarmistha Talukdar, the visual and sound artist who also works as a local scientist (we featured her on the cover of our last annual music issue) has a new video out from her solo project Tavishi.

For those who don't know, Tavishi uses such diverse elements as Indian music, western noise, scientific research data, ambient and industrial elements, to create multi-layered and complex atmospheric compositions.

Recently, she let us know about her new project and video for "Cancer," which you can watch below.

I started collaborating with Mintzu Chen. Chen is an experimental artist, musician, and poet, who graduated from the same institute in which I am currently working, Virginia Commonwealth University. We found that we both share a passion to use art/music to highlight social issues.

We present "Cancer" as an example of our collaborative efforts. In this video, the sound was generated from catalog of the somatic mutations of cancer via data sonification, and mixed with thought provoking excerpts. The morbidity associated with cancer was expressed by the medium of atonal noise, and visual noise.

"Cancer" was created to reflect on the scientific and social aspect of the disease itself. The sonic and visual elements in this very abstract video are symbolically linked to each other on multiple levels.The video was generated using time-lapse imaging of cancer proliferation, abstracted video, online news sources, and agriculture-based media.

Additionally, the color palette mirrors the colors observed in in vitro cancer cell culture. The growth, spread, and decay of capitalism is represented through petri-dish culture, and footage on big pharma scandals are positioned accordingly. We compiled a video narrative that depicts cancer cell proliferation, the pendulum of decay and growth, and controversies which involve capitalistic industries that benefit from cancer.

We hope that the video will leave the audience pondering on the reality of who really benefits off of the work of scientific researchers? Is it majority of the people or the 1%? What are the true motives of the industries involved?

Cancer from Mochelle Chen on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Several Benefits for Puerto Rico Aid This Weekend

Update: First Lady of Virginia Also Holding Benefit Sept. 29 at Stone Brewing.

Posted By on Wed, Sep 27, 2017 at 1:45 PM

The great, former Richmond-based singer for Bio Ritmo, Jorge Negron, lives in Puerto Rico. Three days ago, he was able to let friends and family know that he is okay, though off grid and using his cell sparingly.
  • The great, former Richmond-based singer for Bio Ritmo, Jorge Negron, lives in Puerto Rico. Three days ago, he was able to let friends and family know that he is okay, though off grid and using his cell sparingly.

The territory of Puerto Rico is in trouble.

Millions are suffering the after-effects of Hurricane Maria, and the humanitarian crisis is worsening without power, water or fuel. The country's electrical grid is "virtually gone." People are starting to die.

Our government's aid response has been weak at best, so people are taking to social media to call for individual Americans to provide aid and assistance.

This Sunday, Oct. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. you can bring any of the items listed below to donate at Chino Star Barbershop at 6838 Midlothian Turnpike. Organizers there will send it to Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Association (PRFAA).

Update: Also, First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe will headline a benefit for victims of Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma in Puerto Rico on Friday, Sept. 29 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Stone Brewing Richmond at 4300 Williamsburg Ave.

The event, United for Puerto Rico, will be organized by local Puerto Ricans, some of whom have not been able to contact their families, according to a press release. One hundred percent of donations will go the families of Puerto Rico.

List of Items for donation at Chino Star

• Water

• Canned food

• Powdered milk or drinks in individual containers

• A flashlight and extra batteries

• Portable Battery Lanterns

• Candles

• Matches and lighters

• Radio or battery television

• Battery alarm clock

• Manual can opener

• Disposable kitchen utensils, plates and cups

• First aid kit

• Battery Operated Fans

• toiletries items

• Feminine Hygiene Products

• Medicines

• Mosquito repellent

• Bleach (chlorine)

• Tablets to purify the water

• Disposable diapers and individual baby wipes

• Formula milk, baby food, and medicine

• Pedialyte

• Cleaning products

• Garbage bags

• Generators

• MRE's (Ready to Eat Meals) military food

For pets: Canned or dry food

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Thirtieth Annual Virginia Film Festival Announces Line-Up

Special guests include William H. Macy, Spike Lee, Ezra Edelman, Margot Lee Shetterly.

Posted By on Tue, Sep 26, 2017 at 4:55 PM

The opening night film this year will be the latest dramedy by Alexander Payne, "Downsizing," starring Matt Damon. Producer and VFF board chairman Mark Johnson will be featured in a conversation after the screening.
  • The opening night film this year will be the latest dramedy by Alexander Payne, "Downsizing," starring Matt Damon. Producer and VFF board chairman Mark Johnson will be featured in a conversation after the screening.

The largest film festival in the state, the Virginia Film Festival in Charlottesville, has announced the program for its 30th anniversary.

Among the many films it will feature guests including actor William H. Macy, filmmaker Spike Lee, filmmaker Ezra Edelman ["OJ: Made in America]" and writer Margot Lee Shetterly. Race will be one of the explicit themes this year, not surprising after Charlottesville's recent history.

The festival is slated for Nov. 9 through 12 at various venues in Charlottesville. The opening night film will be Alexander Payne's "Downsizing" starring Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig and Christoph Waltz.

Below is more from the press release:

In an announcement held today at The Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville, VFF Director and UVA Vice Provost for the Arts Jody Kielbasa announced the first wave of programming and special guests for the 2017 Festival. “We are incredibly excited to share this first announcement regarding our 2017 program,” Kielbasa said, “which we believe captures the things that set us apart, and that contribute to our rising profile on the national and international festival scene. Once again, our audiences will be able to choose from a program of extraordinary depth and breadth, including some of the hottest titles on the current festival circuit, fascinating documentaries that address and comment on the most important topics of our time, the latest work from some of the newest and most exciting voices on the filmmaking scene, and the best of filmmaking from around the world and right here in the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

This year’s special guests will include the previously-announced Spike Lee, who will be on hand in Charlottesville as part of “Race in America,” a special series presented by the VFF in partnership with James Madison’s Montpelier and its recent exhibition, “The Mere Distinction of Colour.” Mr. Lee will present his Oscar-nominated documentary 4 Little Girls, about one of America’s most despicable hate crimes - the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Church in Birmingham, Alabama that took the lives of four African American girls, Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robinson, and Cynthia Wesley. He will also present I Can’t Breathe, a short video piece that combines footage of the chokehold death of Eric

Garner at the hands of the New York City Police Department with footage of the similar death of the Radio Raheem character in Lee’s iconic 1989 film Do The Right Thing.“We are honored to welcome Spike Lee back to Charlottesville and to the University of Virginia,” Kielbasa said. “His remarkable body of work and tireless pursuit of social justice make him an important presence for us any time but we are particularly pleased to bring him here in the wake of recent events that have impacted us all so deeply and that continue to fuel a national conversation about issues that deeply divide us as a nation.”

William H. Macy comes to the Virginia Film Festival for the first time to present his new film Krystal. The film, which Macy directed and stars in, is about a young man who, despite having never had a drink in his life, joins Alcoholics Anonymous in an attempt to woo the woman of his dreams, an ex-stripper who is dealing with alcoholism and drug addiction, played by Rosario Dawson. “William H. Macy is quite simply one of the finest actors working today,” Kielbasa said. “He has such a unique ability to breathe life into characters in a way that makes them truly unforgettable, and we could not be more excited to bring him to the VFF.”

Ezra Edelman’s landmark five-part documentary O.J.: Made in America, took the television and film worlds by storm with its powerful look at the case of O.J. Simpson against the context of the powder keg of racial tension that helped vault this story from a celebrity-based murder case to a watershed moment in America’s ongoing struggle with race. The Festival will present the series in its entirety, with a conversation with Edelman following the final episode.

“Particularly in this year,” Kielbasa said “when we are partnering with Montpelier on the ‘Race in America’ series and when issues of race are sadly, but rightfully in the forefront of our national conversation, Ezra Edelman is a tremendously important voice to share with our audiences, and we are proud to have him here to present and discuss a project that is groundbreaking in so many ways.”

The 2017 VFF guest list will include over 100 filmmakers in all, representing a diverse program illustrating the broad spectrum of cinema.

Opening Night Film

The 2017 Virginia Film Festival will open with Alexander Payne’s Downsizing, a science fiction flavored dramedy about a group of people exploring the possibility of dramatically reducing their footprints on the world through miniaturization. The film stars Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig, Christoph Waltz, and Hong Chau in a breakout role that is already garnering her significant Oscar buzz. “This is the third time we have opened the Festival with a film by Alexander Payne, following up on Nebraska in 2013 and The Descendants in 2011,” Kielbasa said. “Downsizing was one of the highlights of my recent Telluride Film Festival experience, and embraces so many themes that are central to all of our lives today, including acceptance and environmental awareness.” The screening will be followed by a conversation with the film’s Academy Award-winning producer and Virginia Film Festival Board Chairman Mark Johnson.

Centerpiece Film - Hostiles (Featuring Director Scott Cooper)

In 1892, Army Captain Joseph J. Blocker (Christian Bale) is ordered to escort an ailing long-time prisoner, Chief Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi), and his family across hostile territory back to his Cheyenne homeland to die in this gritty and powerful new Western from director Scott Cooper (Black Mass) that also stars Rosamund Pike, Ben Foster and Jesse Plemons. Fresh from a triumphant world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival, the film is a powerful meditation on hatred, and on the common bonds that can bring together even the staunchest of foes. Scott Cooper, a Virginia native and Independent Spirit Award winner for his highly-acclaimed film Crazy Heart, will be on hand for a discussion of the film on the Paramount Theater stage.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Review: Nancy Murphy Spicer, Page Bond Gallery

Posted By on Sun, Sep 24, 2017 at 3:10 PM

Nancy Murphy Spicer's "You Always Overdo It"  (2016) Acrylic on canvas 72 x 60 inches.
  • Nancy Murphy Spicer's "You Always Overdo It" (2016) Acrylic on canvas 72 x 60 inches.

"Hiding in Plain Sight" is a group of seven paintings by Nancy Murphy Spicer that confront visitors with tongue-in-cheek statements, including “Why” or “Luck,” written in large handwritten print.

Each painting is made by layering thin washes of paint and all include a statement, with the exception of the diptych, “Untitled (green with loops),” and the smallest work, “Scrambled Head” (both 2017). While some words in the paintings are legible, others are obscured by large swaths of organic forms, thereby forcing visitors to look at the title for the full statement.

There is a pleasantness to the color palette, comprised of mostly warm and vibrant colors, that belies the confrontational air of some statements like “You always overdo it.” While “I have no idea” seems offhanded and flippant, “These are not just words” brings with it a sense of gravitas that summons broader undertones of language and its implications. Yet simultaneously, because of their quick gestural paint stroke and garish color combinations, the works have a cartoonish quality. Spicer makes clear asides to graffiti and Abstract Expressionist painting as evidenced by the drips, gestural paint strokes, and sense of action.

If the words are, as the title describes, “hiding in plain sight” then is there another meaning or context concealed beneath the surface of the thin layers of paint? While the statements are straightforward and direct, the paintings offer only further questions.

Nancy Murphy Spicer's "Hiding in Plain Sight" is at Page Bond Gallery through Sept. 30.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Preview: The Breakfast Cabaret Celebrates 100th Show at Crossroads Coffee and Tea

Posted By on Tue, Sep 19, 2017 at 10:45 AM

Barry Bless and Twila Sikorski's Breakfast Cabaret "is as close a recreation of a idealized Rive Gauche Parisienne café as a Forrest Hills coffee and ice cream shop is likely to come."
  • Barry Bless and Twila Sikorski's Breakfast Cabaret "is as close a recreation of a idealized Rive Gauche Parisienne café as a Forrest Hills coffee and ice cream shop is likely to come."

At 9 a.m., the band is still coalescing, but there is a healthy crowd at Crossroads Coffee and Ice Cream.

There are still a few good seats, if you don’t mind sitting with strangers. They won’t be strangers long, which is sort of the point. Breakfast Cabaret ringleader Barry Bless describes the South Side neighborhood as Richmond’s Left Bank. The atmosphere is friendly, multiethnic, and as gently leftist as a Bernie sticker on a Mac laptop.

With his accordion, waxed mustache and pointed beard, and a black top hat adorned with a red carnation, paisley shirt and black-on-black striped pants, Bless looks like he just stepped out of an Henri Toulouse-Lautrec poster. Singer and dancer Twila Sikorski is wearing a short, flowered dress, a layered, pleated pink apron with a cupcake motif and calf-high, brown cowboy boots. It is at once eclectic and down-home.

When the music kicks off into a rousing “Bella Ciao,” a 1940s anti-fascist, Italian partisan anthem, accompanied by violin, mandolin, bass and Cajun box drum, the evocation of an idealized bohemian cafe is complete. There is nothing else like it in Richmond.

On Friday, Sept. 22, the group celebrates its 100th performance. Coincidentally, it is also the 15th anniversary of Crossroads. That’s enough shows to be a local institution, albeit one that is more the result of quirky organic contingency than long-term planning.

“Twila and I have been working together on multiple projects for seven years,” Bless says. "We’re like an old married couple. We are both morning people, and both have children in school, so we rehearsed early in the day. Since that was when we were at the top of our game, we decided to move our rehearsals down to Crossroads.”

They started in September 2013 as a duo, Professor Bless and the Dancing Madwoman. There were no expectations, just shows once a month. Then twice. Then other players asked to join in and the audience grew. Ultimately, Crossroads owner Will Herring asked them to make it a weekly event.

“Over 30 performers have been part of the show,” Bless says. “Our motto is ‘Breakfast Cabaret, ruining the reputations of Richmond’s finest musicians.”

On this day, for 90 minutes on a perfect morning, the band capably navigates songs about love, about coffee and about trains. It will play a Kurt Weill song about the murderous fantasies of a waitress. There is a Russian song with a Led Zeppelin-like intro, and a surreal birthday song, originally performed by a cartoon crocodile, that Bless says has become the Russian equivalent of “Happy Birthday to You.”

The performance is interspersed with jokes, audience interaction, and intimate surprises, such as the news that the violinist has just learned she is pregnant. People come and go on the covered patio. A cheerfully racy song about going to a Chinese go-go is followed by Herring’s dramatic reading of an astoundingly bleak Yiddish tale about a death-haunted orphan selling small goods in a cold rain. Visible up the hill, at Patrick Henry School of Science and the Arts, children at recess play on sunlit swings.

It ends with a selection from the Cowgirl Suite, a long-gestating soundtrack for an imaginary black-and-white TV show “The Adventures of Twila Jane.” For a cowboy song, the melody has some sharp turns and a decidedly Eastern modality. But it’s pretty, and it explains, at long last, Sikorski’s pointed-toe, stitch-patterned boots.

It’s all charming, and with a steady audience and an ever-growing repertoire of more than a hundred songs, it is no surprise that the gig has prospered. But it is so laid back, it is hard to imagine how anyone kept count.

“I just count the posters,” Bless says. “I do one every week, while I am relaxing on Saturday night or Sunday afternoon. I try to include all the members, maybe the whole group, maybe just the rhythm section. A lot of artists stop by. Sometimes I use a sketch or photo from the audience.”

The continuum between performer and audience is essential to a place like Crossroads.

“Their product isn’t coffee,” Bless says, "it’s conversation. The coffee house tradition goes back centuries. There were plays, arguments, pamphleteers. It is a real community space, and it wouldn’t work unless somebody like Will was the proprietor. In a lot of coffee shops everyone is hiding behind their screens. At Crossroads, people look up.”

Bless has deep roots in the neighborhood. He’s lived in a house around the corner since he was 19 and raised a family here. Friday’s performances are not just a gig, but a calling.

“When I am [at Crossroads] I am doing what I am meant to be doing, at this place and time, in this particular community. Even when we are slam-packed, the audience isn’t a distraction. I want this to be something that people come to see when they come into town. See the river. Go to a movie at the Byrd Theatre, and come to the Breakfast Cabaret.”

It’s cheaper than a trip to Paris, and it is as close a re-creation of a idealized Rive Gauche Parisienne cafe as a Forest Hill coffee and ice cream shop is likely to come.

Which is, surprisingly, refreshingly close.

Breakfeast Cabaret celebrates 100 shows this Friday, Sept. 22, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Crossroads Coffee and Tea, 3600 Forest Hill Ave. Free.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Bijou Film Center Leaving Space

Will continue to hold pop-ups as it reassesses future.

Posted By on Fri, Sep 15, 2017 at 11:00 AM

The Bijou Film Center will no longer have a physical location at 304 E. Broad St.
  • The Bijou Film Center will no longer have a physical location at 304 E. Broad St.

The organizers behind the Bijou Film Center have announced on its Facebook page that after operating for a year at 304 E. Broad St., they will be taking time off from operating a physical space to "focus on building a stronger, more sustainable Bioju that will continue bringing important films, media voices and conversations to Richmond."

This Saturday, Sept. 16 will be the last day of screenings as the Bijou hosts the second annual Afrikana Independent Film Festival, as well as Monster Movie night with Jim Stramel.

"After an amazing year of learning the ups and downs of running an art house cinema on Broad Street, thanks to so many Bijou members and patrons and an amazing landlord [Matt Bauserman]," co-founder James Parrish tells Style, "I'm really excited about the opportunity to shift gears and focus on building a better Bijou for our community. Look for the Bijou to pop-up in some unexpected places."

Parrish notes that good films bring people out, but good films alone won't insure the Bijou's success.

"We need a bigger and better location (which we knew) to allow for multiple sources of revenue," he explains. "A cafe/bar for more concession sales, space for film transfer business, classrooms, better parking/access to the Bijou, listing in Fandango, and more community partnerships like we had for "Citizen Jane." The Bijou will be most successful as a community-based film center, not as a movie theater."

Parrish believes they have a solid business plan in place to sustain the center, including a large base of annual members, donors, grants, and partnerships.

"Small is beautiful and we need to focus on our ability to be nimble and responsive to the needs and wants of our community," he adds.

The below message was posted online earlier today by Parrish:

Over the next year, we will present a series of pop-up events in various locations around Richmond while we develop a strategic plan, establish our non-profit board of directors (we got our non-profit status in April), strengthen our financial position (through membership renewals, fundraising, applying for grants, and events), establish stronger partnerships with community organizations, and look for a location large enough to house a 50-100 seats, a cafe/bar, administrative offices, film to video transfer and editing workstations, and classrooms.

We've already got two pop-up events scheduled at the Richmond Public Library-Main Branch -- "Voices from Charlottesville" with the Richmond Peace Education Center on Sept. 28 and Home Movie Day 2017 on Oct. 21. For more info on these and other upcoming Bijou events, visit the Bijou's FB page: https://www.facebook.com/bijoufilmcenter/ and click on Events.

Now, as we make our next big Bijou move, we need your help again. Please consider renewing your Bijou membership, becoming a new member or making a gift, attracting new members, finding a new location, and volunteering!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Event Pick: the Dead Boys "Young, Loud and Snotty" at Strange Matter

Sept. 15

Posted By on Thu, Sep 14, 2017 at 3:45 PM

The new version of the Dead Boys featuring original members Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz. See if you can guess which two of these were recording punk records 40 years ago.
  • The new version of the Dead Boys featuring original members Cheetah Chrome and Johnny Blitz. See if you can guess which two of these were recording punk records 40 years ago.

Plenty of great bands reunite to play their old classic albums for people who never got a chance to see them performed, or more accurately in most cases, for the money.

But few are playing the same gritty punk clubs they would've played back in the day. There is something refreshingly authentic about that.

Fans of the legendary Cleveland punk band, the Dead Boys, and their classic 1977 album "Young, Loud and Snotty," are in for a treat as original guitarist Cheetah Chrome and drummer Johnny Blitz have assembled a new band and are bringing their seminal record's 40th anniversary tour to Strange Matter on Friday night.

Formed in the mid-1970s, the Dead Boys built on the Stooges' raw power and the New York Dolls' downtown dirt, adding an infusion of spiked midwest energy that helped inspire the rise of hardcore music. Original vocalist Stiv Bators died in 1990 after being hit by a taxi in Paris.

Here's the original album in all it's sweaty, spit-tastic glory:

Quoted from a recent news release, Chrome explains the idea behind this current North American tour for a re-recording of the album, "Still Snotty: Young, Loud and Snotty at 40!"

“I've had my solo band for the last 10 years, and Dead Boys songs have always been included in my shows and over time the right mix of people came together to pull off and at times enhance the Dead Boys sound. With the 40th anniversary of the Dead Boys on the horizon and a solid band that could interpret and deliver the performance and sound needed to maintain the authenticity of the Dead Boys, I reached out to Johnny Blitz about an anniversary tour and he said 'yes' and we began the journey of what would become Still Snotty.”

With Jason Kottwitz on guitar, Detroit punk legend Ricky Rat on bass and vocalist Jake Hout from a zombie Dead Boys tribute band, the Undead Boys, the Dead Boys' 40th anniversary tour started taking shape. “I've been singing the Dead Boys songs myself for 20 years because I couldn't find another singer I trusted enough to hand it to,” Chrome says. “The first gig with Jake, it was like, ‘You got it, man!’ I think Stiv would be very proud of our choice.”

“The original album was actually a demo,” Chrome says. “None of us had been in a studio before, and we figured we would go back in and do it right, but the label said no. It has stood up, but 40 years later we can do a ‘What if?’ What would it have sounded like if we could have gone back in? So that's what this is about. It's not better. It's just different.”

The band has gotten some good reviews for its performances at South by Southwest in Austin, with their set named by Paste Magazine as one of the best of the festival in 2017. "Still Snotty: Young, Loud and Snotty at 40!" was produced in three days in Nashville by Plowboy Records head Shannon Pollard.

The Dead Boys perform with Southside Stranglers, the Brass, Urchin, Cloak/Dagger, Slump, Stake at Strange Matter on Friday, Sept. 15, with doors opening at 6 p.m. and the show at 7 p.m. $20. You can buy tickets here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Longtime James Brown Singer Brings Her New Book to Union Bistro and Jazz

Posted By on Wed, Sep 13, 2017 at 1:15 PM

Virginia native and longtime James Brown singer, Martha High.
  • Virginia native and longtime James Brown singer, Martha High.

A native of Victoria in Lunenburg County, Martha High rose to perform across the world's stages as a backup singer for the Godfather of Soul, James Brown.

Growing up, High attended Roosevelt High School in Washington where her girl singing group, the Jewels, was discovered. Produced by Bo Diddley, the group scored a deal with Dimension Records, owned by Carole King, and in 1964 released the single, "Opportunity," which you can hear below.

High left the Jewels when she was 18 to work full-time for the James Brown Revue.

Now you can hear her personal stories when she signs and talks about her new book, "He's a Funny Cat, Ms High: My 32 Years Singing With James Brown" on Friday, Sept. 15, at 6 and 8 p.m. at Union Bistro and Jazz at 2400 Northumberland Ave. in Richmond.

"The secret behind my longevity is putting God first," High says via email. "Mr. Brown's discipline was tantamount in making him what he was and it carried over to me. Even today, I will not go onstage if the band has not had a rehearsal."

High added that "its important to look our best on stage because its a reflection of who we are."

So what does she miss most about the Godfather of Soul?

"I miss Mr. Brown's sense of humor and his laughter," she says.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Video: First Day of "Homeland" Shooting Begins at James Center

Posted By on Mon, Sep 11, 2017 at 2:55 PM

A view from behind the cameras in the parking garage of the James Center, as actress Claire Danes walks to her car for a scene of the Showtime drama, "Homeland." - SCOTT ELMQUIST
  • Scott Elmquist
  • A view from behind the cameras in the parking garage of the James Center, as actress Claire Danes walks to her car for a scene of the Showtime drama, "Homeland."

I'm standing in the parking garage of the James Center downtown, which today is doubling for the Ritz Carlton in Washington.

It's the first day of shooting for season seven of Showtime's drama, "Homeland," and I'm talking to a woman named Faith who is the aptly named double for lead actress Claire Danes. She's standing alone near some elevators.

From the side and back, she looks just like the actress: same size, same blond hair and cut style, same tailored, familiar-looking gray suit.

"[This job] is really fun," she tells me. "So in this scene, I'm just walking to that car over there and driving out." She explains that she started doing the work last season in New York and was asked if she wanted to continue in central Virginia, where the series is shooting its penultimate season.

The double for Claire Danes is named Faith.
  • The double for Claire Danes is named Faith.

Things move quickly on set and just when we start talking, she has to jump right back into a run-through. A big part of her job seems to be staying ready to move at a moment's notice.

The small- to medium-sized crew is busy scurrying around and setting up shots and the lighting needed for this somewhat darkened garage scene. Virginia Film Office Director Andy Edmunds is here, as is Rita McClenny, president and chief executive of Virginia Tourism Corp.

We're sitting to the left, out of the shot, when a member of the crew walks over and says, "you guys may want to move over closer to the crew. Claire's going to be driving right by there, and she's from New York, so. ... maybe not the best place to be."

Soon, Danes comes out of the elevator, as ready and businesslike as you would expect of a three-time Emmy winner. She doesn't look much like her double, with what appears in the dim lighting to be brown hair and a dark business suit.

What follows are four or five different takes of the same basic scene of her walking to the car and driving away. As anyone knows who has been on a film set, there's a lot of repetition. Musician and actor Tom Waits said once: "In terms of your time, it’s like making 50 pounds of dough in order to make one biscuit. Then you throw the dough away."

In the shaky cell phone video below, you can watch Danes' character, Carrie Mathison, walking stridently, purposefully, in keeping with her serious CIA character, to the car. Kinda seems to be in a hurry. Maybe to stop a terrorist attack or something. We won't know until the show debuts in fall of 2018.

Someone on set tells me that there won't be much more shooting at the James Center, but there's another place on Main Street that will be a reoccurring location. So if you're into celebrity watching, or the business of creating a prestige drama television show, keep an eye out.

Bob Dylan and Neil DeGrasse Tyson Shows Announced

Posted By on Mon, Sep 11, 2017 at 10:20 AM


Songwriting legend and Nobel laureate, Bob Dylan, will be performing on Friday, Nov. 10 at the Richmond Coliseum with his longtime friend, gospel and soul singer Mavis Staples. Also, popular scientist Neil DeGrasse Tyson will be appearing at Altria Theater on Wednesday, Nov. 15 as part of "An Astrophysicist Goes to the Movies."

Regarding the Dylan show, tickets go on sale this Friday, Sept. 15, at 10 a.m. at Ticketmaster.com, 800-745-3000, and the box office at Richmond Coliseum.

The Tyson appearance will feature him reviewing the stuff that our favorite science fiction movies, like "Star Wars," got horribly wrong. It starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets also go on sale this Friday at 10 a.m. at Altria Theater and Dominion Arts Center box offices, or charge by phone 800-514-Etix, or etix.com/livenation.com.

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