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Chris Gray

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A world of cinema

Young filmmakers shine at this year's Maine International Film Festival
The 13th Maine International Film Festival begins in Waterville next Friday, and along with the usual unusual array of (political, music, and eco-)documentaries, Amerindies, classic and foreign films, and a special night at the drive-in, MIFF has a couple new tricks up its sleeve.
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  July 01, 2010
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Review: Casino Jack and the United States of Money (2010)

The globe-trotting misdeeds of Jack Abramoff
Alex Gibney has a gift for turning stories of corruption so thick they're nearly impenetrable into simple tales of unfettered greed and malfeasance.
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  June 24, 2010
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Beer, boys and parking-meter woes

New anti-anthems from Foam Castles and the Rattlesnakes
As if you needed proof that Ron Harrity is one busy man (see: new releases from If and It, Honey Clouds, Marie Stella), two more albums finished off in his South Portland studio hit the streets this season in advance of your summer road trips.
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  June 16, 2010
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Review: Best Worst Movie

Exploring Troll 2 's fascinatingly watchable badness
Best Worst Movie offers a strong argument for why certain objects of kitsch are adopted by eccentric fans.  
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  June 02, 2010
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We band of brothers

Young actors bring a Spartan production of Henry V to the Apohadion
This is the first independent production by the group of five friends who met at Boston’s Emerson College, where they helmed incarnations of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet and Sam Shepard’s True West .
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  May 19, 2010
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Preaching to the hive

Food+Farm scrutinizes the ups and downs of agricultural sustainability, and the eco-documentary
What’s the most effective way to make people care about the institutional problems with our industrial food economy?
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  May 19, 2010
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Love by the numbers

The Blow and Laura Marling make their cases at SPACE Gallery
Khaela Maricich, of the Portland, Oregon-based, low-budget electro-pop group the Blow, and Britain’s dauntingly young and talented folk star Laura Marling don’t, frankly, deserve to be lumped together like this.
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  May 05, 2010
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Have whiskey, will swim

Martin Strel’s insane swim down the Amazon in Big River Man
Filling this year’s slot in SPACE Gallery’s annual “Outlandishly Entertaining Documentary” hole is Big River Man , John Maringouin’s take on the greatest adventure yet embarked upon by Martin Strel.
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  April 14, 2010
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Reality bites again

Getting a jump on the year in documentaries at True/False
At the tail end of February, for the second consecutive year, I (barely) escaped a late-winter hurricane to enter a Midwestern oasis of grass-fed beef, cheap cigarettes, Johnny Depp impersonators, and some of the finest documentaries you might just see this year.
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  March 31, 2010
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Nervous guy

Rhett Miller’s anxious and irresistible pop songs
In his better solo songs and the majority of the material he’s made with the alt-country band Old 97’s, Rhett Miller is a big-mouthed wannabe playboy on the verge of collapse.
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  March 24, 2010
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Hidden in plain sight

The Maine Jewish Film Festival explores identity
In a larger new home and with its most impressive roster in years, the Maine Jewish Film Festival can already boast a successful 2010.
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY + DEIRDRE FULTON  |  March 17, 2010

Review: 48 Hour Music Festival

Music Seen
At SPACE Gallery, March 6
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  March 10, 2010
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Random rules

25 more local musicians meet, greet, and rock at the second 48 Hour Music Festival
25 more local musicians meet, greet, and rock at the second 48 Hour Music Festival
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  March 03, 2010
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True grit

A feisty, inspiring group of women combat child abuse in South Africa in Rough Aunties
Operation Bobbi Bear is a non-governmental organization in Durban, South Africa, devoted to finding care and foster homes for children who are abused and abandoned.
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  March 03, 2010
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From deli to concert hall

Crossing, and expanding, boundaries with Brooklyn Rider
If you're a young (or youngish) music fan looking to become a little bit more engaged with classical music, there is truly no better time than right now, particularly if you'll find yourself in Portland this weekend.
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  February 24, 2010
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Review: A Town Called Panic (2010)

Chaos reigns in a Belgian Town Called Panic
It is, indeed, a golden age for animation, where silent montages can wrenchingly portray a lifelong bond (in Pete Docter's Up ), or a band of stop-motion foxes can act out complex and angsty family dynamics (Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox ), or a child's imaginary world is realized with vivid detail (Henry Selick's Coraline ).
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  February 10, 2010
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An idyll examined

Frederick Wiseman's four-hour, 1999 documentary about Belfast, Maine
After 36 films and more than 40 years of filmmaking, Frederick Wiseman has probably come as close as any director to capturing this American life in all its breadth and nuance.
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  January 27, 2010
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Review: Until the Light Takes Us

Metal, terrorism, and gossip
Norwegian black metal in Until the Light Takes Us
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  February 10, 2010
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Love among the ruins

Eternal Otter documents make-ups, breakups, and shake-ups
To Will Ethridge, who runs the small Portland-based label Eternal Otter Records, any song or album is just one crucial piece of a larger puzzle.
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  January 20, 2010
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Walk hard

Joshua Ferris abandons the office and hits The Road
In Joshua Ferris's unsparing second novel, Tim Farnsworth doesn't know why he walks, but nothing but exhaustion can stop him.
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  January 13, 2010
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Is 2010 the Year of the Girl?

Music of the Future
Many have argued that the descriptor "indie music" means nothing more or less than "bands Pitchfork reviews" these days, and the claim was never more true than last year
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  January 06, 2010

2010 preview

Music Seen
What’s coming to the clubs
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  December 30, 2009

Local luminaries’ picks

A sample of other best songs of the 2000s
I asked a bunch of people who really dig local music to help me make sure I wasn’t leaving any songs out when I was developing my list of the best 10 songs of the 2000s, but then I quickly realized that “best” is about as subjective as things come when you’re talking about songs.
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  December 22, 2009

Review: Out on the town

Music Seen
Bars and clubs everywhere, 2009
By JEFF INGLIS  |  December 22, 2009
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Two turtle doves

Sometimes the best gifts come in pairs
Like a mug of hot cocoa after an afternoon of sledding, sometimes a good Christmas gift isn't quite complete without a second one that enhances the pleasures of the first.
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  December 09, 2009

Treble Treble release party

Music Seen
Treble Treble release party at SPACE Gallery, November 27
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  December 02, 2009
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Days of plenty

A man in a bunker outlines our forthcoming Collapse
In Collapse , the latest documentary by Chris Smith ( American Movie , The Yes Men ), the director condenses a two-day, March 2009 interview with a little-known investigator named Michael Ruppert into a bleak harbinger of the world's seemingly inevitable ruin.
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  December 02, 2009
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Winged migration

Brown Bird and South China fracture and cohere
Since their start in the middle of the decade, Brown Bird have been one of the region's go-to chamber-folk outfits, with a couple of dark and stormy albums earning them a following in various nooks of New England. The release of their latest album, The Devil Dancing , feels like both an ending and a new beginning.
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  December 02, 2009
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It takes a village

... and a compilation album/photobook to raise a self-sustaining indie scene
Treble Treble , a new 15-page photobook and 10-artist compilation album curated by local musician and budding photographer Joshua Loring, is the first concerted effort to market Portland's indie music scene.
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  November 24, 2009
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No sleep ’til Brooklyn

Maine ties to Slumberland Records’ 20th anniversary weekend
There’s a lot to love about Slumberland Records, the DC-born, Oakland-based label that celebrated its 20th anniversary last weekend with sold-out shows in Washington, DC, and Brooklyn.
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  November 18, 2009

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