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Seven things that are happening this week.
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A Fairly Big Announcement

For months now I've been teasing the next phase of this project, so I thought that the newsletter's six month anniversary would be as good a time as any to spring the news. This project began on March 1, based on an idea that I’d had long before that. Since then I’ve been spending time behind the scenes working on an expansion of the list beyond its current email form, and I was just about ready to announce…

Something.

Then last week I got a job offer. I recently began working part-time for a company, and they seem to like what I'm doing enough that they've decided to hire me full-time. I start tomorrow. While I get settled in, I probably won’t be able to maintain a thoughtful newsletter in its current form and still do other things. (Finishing freelance projects, publishing a magazine, planning a spelling bee...)

Beginning immediately, this list is going to change format, and over the next few weeks you'll see it evolving in real time. I’ll still refer you to daily happenings, but I’ll save lengthier reviews for just one event per week.

Beginning with...

The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Showcase Warwick / Cinemaworld Lincoln
$7 / $11


Marielle Heller’s inventive debut is a coming-of-age drama about Minnie, an inquisitive fifteen-year old who begins sleeping with her mother’s boyfriend almost as soon as the opening credits stop rolling. Set in San Francisco in the seventies, The Diary of a Teenage Girl isn’t interested any more interested in moral judgments than the free-spirited, druggy characters are.
 
Newcomer Bel Powley plays Minnie, and while the British actress is now twenty-three she passes believably for fifteen. Early in the film she stands topless in front of a mirror, realizing for the first time that she actually has breasts. It’s unsettling for viewers, and that's the point. (She’s actually nude for much of the film.) Cinematographer Brandon Trost won a Special Jury Award at Sundance, presumably for the movie’s rather random animated bits, although what I really like is how the movie's interior scenes express the claustrophobia of being a teenager sharing a small living space with two other family members.
 
Mom’s new boyfriend is played by True Blood’s Alexander Skarsgård, and while he drunkenly makes the first move he's not presented as a villain. He's a little dimwitter, sure, and obviously terrible at making life decisions. But he’s not presented as a villain. (He's working vaguely on launching a vitamin company.) But Minnie holds all the film's narrative power, and he's just some dopey hormonal guy.
 
The Diary of a Teenage Girl is only playing in two local theaters, and you should go soon because it might not be around once Friday’s new releases come out. The MPAA gave the film an R rating for drug use, language, and fairly graphic scenes in which a fifteen year old female character willingly has sex with a man twenty years her senior.
 
What's Happening This Week

Monday - 5:00PM

Act Like You Own The Place
Behind 200 Dyer Street

There's a free-for-all party at a certain controversial plot of waterfront property. The What Cheer? Brigade is scheduled to appear.

Tuesday - 8:00PM
Ladies Showcase
Dusk, 301 Harris Avenue

The sixth monthly installment of Dusk's Tuesday night Ladies Showcase features MC K-Fro, Akiko Hatakeyama, Lindsay Straw, Becky Bass and lots more. I'm unclear whether there's a cover.

Wednesday - 7:30PM
Paper Theatre by Great Small Works and Facto Teatro
AS220 Blackbox, 95 Empire Street
$15

AS220’s Blackbox hosts a traveling program of paper theater works, ranging from Mexican folktales to urban docudrama. Performers include Trudi Cohen and John Bell (NYC), as well as Facto Teatro (Mexico City) and Barbara Steinitz (Berlin).

Thursday - 7:30PM
Tiger Tiger
Norman Bird Sanctuary
583 Third Beach, Middletown
$5 (suggested donation)

Newport Film Festival’s outdoor documentary series moves to Norman Bird Sanctuary for Tiger Tiger, a documentary about big cat conservation in the remote forests between India and Bangladesh. Bring bug spray. Suggested donation includes pre-movie yoga (???) or $30 gets a ticket for a 6pm pre-party benefitting both the festival and the bird sanctuary.

Friday - 6:00PM
Frequency Writers Open House
186 Carpenter Street

Frequency Writers is hosting a fall open house. Instructors and writers from the Frequency community will be on hand to talk fall classes, and it’s also a convenient chance to see Jodie Mim Goodnough’s photo installation.

Saturday - 2:00PM
Love Song
Aurora, 276 Westminster Street
$20

It’s the final weekend for Burbage Theatre Company’s production of Love Song, John Kolvenbach’s comedy about a reclusive bachelor who falls in love with the woman who’s trying to burgle his apartment.

Sunday - 2:00PM
ExtravaGansett
The Parlour, 1119 North Main Street
$8 (or $5 with a non-perishable food item)

The Parlour is staging a two-day block party with ten hours of bands each day, including Smith & Weeden and Haunt the House. No Depression-era favorites Barn Burning and Willard Grant Conspiracy will also perform.

One Final Word...

Thoughts on the new format? Send tips and list feedback to matthewrlawrence@gmail.com. If you like what you see, tell your friends to sign up here.

Copyright © 2015 matthew lawrence, All rights reserved.


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