FILM IN THE FORT: The Boys are Back kicks off the Modern Cinema 2009 film festival tonight at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Over the next four days, there will be opportunities to see a couple of sure-fire Oscar contenders, including An Education, Precious and A Serious Man. So what does that say for the filmgoing scene in Fort Worth? DFW.com asks that question aloud, and the answer returns the same as it always has: the festivals are great, but the city needs a dedicated art-house theater to build a scene around. The good news is, filmmaker and Spiral Diner owner James Johnston is planning to do just that. He’s still hunting for the right space and investors, but at least he’s hunting.
THE RETURN OF JUNIE B.: When you’re character’s name is in the title of the show, you’d better be good. Fortunately for Dallas Children’s Theater, newcomer Jessica Jain doesn’t disappoint. The Canadian import plays the namesake kindergartner in Junie B. Jones & a Little Monkey Business, the musical adaptation of the Barbara Park book. “You don’t have to be 5 years old to connect with the joyful performance of Jessica Jain,” writes Elaine Liner in her theaterjones.com review. And Nancy Churnin says on dallasnews.com that Jain is just one of a group of talented performers. “Nancy Schaeffer’s spirited direction and choreography puts a high shine on a talented six-person adult professional cast.”
THE BEST OF THE BEST: The Dallas Observer‘s annual Best of Dallas issue is on the newsstands now, but I’ve been enjoying the multi-media element of it on the Web. This video with Dallas Hub Theater founder Tim Shane pulls back the literal and figurative curtain on how he’s able to produce on such a small budget. If you want to skip to just the art and culture picks, you can find them all here. Props to Think for being named best talk show.