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British director Rupert Goold tells ‘True Story’

Photo by MARY CYBULSKI -- Director Rupert Goold assesses a scene on the set of 'True Story.'

In “True Story,” Michael Finkel, a star reporter at The New York Times, loses his job after he fictionalizes a story about modern-day slavery in Africa. Reeling from his swift dismissal, Finkel learns that an accused murderer, Christian Longo, assumed the reporter’s identity prior to being apprehended. Later, the ex-reporter and imprisoned alleged murderer agree to… Continue reading →

Review: Disneynature explores ‘Monkey Kingdom’

Photo by JEFF WILSON -- Kip's a character in Disneynature's 'Monkey Kingdom.'

In the ruins of an ancient city in the Sri Lankan jungle, a community of macaque monkeys goes about its organized, even ritualistic monkey business. And monkeys, like the most powerful humans on Earth, play politics. “Monkey Kingdom,” an immersive new Disneynature documentary, quickly establishes the troupe’s rules and pecking order. As in human society, there… Continue reading →

Review: Tom Hardy excels, but ‘Child 44’ feels like 40 movies

Lionsgate photo by LARRY HORRICKS -- Tom Hardy appears in a scene from the film, 'Child 44.'

The best-selling novel “Child 44” by Tom Rob Smith runs well over 400 pages, and that’s perhaps the first hint as to why the movie based on it seems to veer in 40 different directions. It’s a political movie. It’s a war film. It’s a crime thriller. And suddenly, late in the proceedings, it becomes an… Continue reading →

Dance company presents contemporary version of ‘Romeo + Juliet’

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Choreographer Pavel Zustiak gives direction as Of Moving Colors dancers practice and perform scenes from Romeo + Juliet.'

Of Moving Colors’ company dancers are excited about where Pavel Zustiak will take them next in their telling of William Shakespeare’s most popular romance. Zustiak, artistic director of the New York-based dance company Palissimo, is a collaborator for the contemporary dance company’s “Romeo + Juliet.” Performances are Tuesday and Wednesday in… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge Concert Band to play spring concert

Advocate file photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Sheily Bell will direct the Baton Rouge Concert Band's 'Scenes and Landscapes' concert.

The Baton Rouge Concert Band will welcome spring with its annual spring concert, titled “Scenes and Landscapes,” at 3 p.m. Sunday at First Baptist Church, 529 Convention St. The band, under the direction of Sheily Bell, will perform a lineup of songs that paint pictures of landscapes throughout the world.… Continue reading →

Spring Art Hop set for Saturday

The Bocage Cultural District and N the Art Space will host their Spring Art Hop 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Saturday at N the Art Space, Buildings B, C and G, 7809 Jefferson Highway. The event will feature 37 open art studios, 10 guest artists, the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge tent, refreshments by… Continue reading →

Rocking Out: After 5 years, ‘Guitar Hero,’ ‘Rock Band’ to return

Photo provided by Activision Publishing, Inc. -- An In-game screenshot is shown from 'Guitar Hero Live' from Activision Publishing, Inc.

The publisher of “Guitar Hero” is readying a comeback tour. Activision Blizzard Inc. announced plans Tuesday to resurrect the once-popular video game franchise, which involved players rhythmically tapping guitar-shaped controllers along to music. The new entry scheduled for release this fall is titled “Guitar Hero Live” and introduces a redesigned… Continue reading →

Fairs and festivals calendar for April 17-23, 2015

Advocate file photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- One of several bulls wait in the chute during the Angola Prison Rodeo in October. The spring rodeo is this weekend.

NATCHITOCHES JAZZ/R&B FESTIVAL: Cane River banks, downtown Natchitoches. Music festival with headliners .38 Special, Mitch Ryer and Hoe Molland’s Badfinger. $20, weekend pass. 12TH ANNUAL BAYOU TECHE BLACK BEAR FESTIVAL: downtown Franklin. The festival’s purpose is to educate the public about the Louisiana black bear, a species… Continue reading →

Review: Reba shines on ‘Love Somebody’

“Love Somebody” is Reba McEntire’s best album of the 21st century because it draws on her strengths: That is, subtly and powerfully interpreting substantial story songs about adult relationships set to contemporary country music. At 60, the performer — she bills herself by her first name these days… Continue reading →

Hilary Duff admits to playing catch up in fast-paced music biz

Invision/AP photo by AMY SUSSMAN -- Hilary Duff

Though Hilary Duff is 27, when it comes to the music industry, she’s first to admit she’s trying to make up for lost time in the seven years since she last released an album. “When I first started it was all about selling records and I was lucky to sell… Continue reading →

‘Treasures of Pointe Coupee’ exhibit now taking submissions

The Arts Council of Pointe Coupee’s sixth “Treasures of Pointe Coupee” exhibit will open Friday, May 29, at the Julien Poydras Center, 500 W. Main St., New Roads. Art submission forms are due by Friday, April 24. Forms are available at the Pointe Coupee Parish Office of Tourism on Hospital Road, in the lobby at the… Continue reading →

Essence Festival sets performance schedule

Usher will perform July 4 at Essence Festival in New Orleans.

The Essence Festival, taking place July 2-5 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, has announced its nightly music schedule. The festival will open Thursday, July 2, with the “What Now? Tour,” featuring actor-comedian Kevin Hart and music acts Trey Songz and Lecrae. Friday’s main stage performers will include Charlie Wilson, India.Arie, Kem and a to-be-announced… Continue reading →

Ponderosa Stomp reveals 2015 lineup

Photo by JOE A. ROSEN -- Roy Head

The Ponderosa Stomp, a New Orleans music festivals that presents the “unsung heroes of rock ’n’ roll,” has announced the lineup for the roots-music festival’s 12th edition. Running Oct. 1-3 at Rock ’n’ Bowl, this year’s extensive Ponderosa Stomp lineup includes four singers billed as the “sisters of soul” — Motown recording artist Brenda… Continue reading →

’Furious 7’ keeps speed, tops box office with $60.6 million

This photo provided by Universal Pictures shows, from left, Tyrese Gibson as Roman, Michelle Rodriguez as Letty, Paul Walker as Brian, and Chris Ludacris as Tej, in a scene from "Furious 7."  (AP Photo/Universal Pictures, Scott Garfield)

NEW YORK — The high-octane thriller “Furious 7” maintained speed in its second week, racing away with $60.6 million at North American theaters and bringing its box-office total to a robust $252.5 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. Universal’s “Furious 7” more than lapped the competition. The only new wide release of the weekend, the rodeo… Continue reading →

Review: ‘The Longest Ride’ tells 2 love stories, old and new

Twentieth Century Fox photo by Michael Tackett -- Oona Chaplin as Ruth and Jack Huston as Ira star in 'The Longest Ride.'

Ever since “The Notebook” made moviegoers swoon in 2004, Nicholas Sparks’ name has been synonymous with teary-eyed romance. The author’s latest novel adapted for the big screen, “The Longest Ride,” is no exception, offering two love stories at once. But the most heartfelt affair here isn’t between its impossibly good-looking stars; it’s shared by a couple… Continue reading →

Second Billy Idol show added at House of Blues

Photo by Michael Muller -- Billy Idol

By popular demand, House of Blues has added a second Billy Idol show to the club’s fall schedule. Idol, the British singer known for such hits of the ’80s as “Rebel Yell,” “White Wedding” and “Dancing with Myself,” will perform at the French Quarter music venue September 28 and September 29. Tickets for the second show… Continue reading →

Blues Festival returns to downtown BR

Photo by BRIAN BAIAMONTE -- The crowd gathered in North Boulevard Town Square listens to music at last year's Baton Rouge Blues Festival.

The Baton Rouge Blues Festival returns to downtown Saturday for an eclectic, full day of music, including blues, soul, hip-hop, zydeco, gospel and indie-rock. Due to inclement weather forecasted for Saturday, the normally outdoor festival is moving from the Repentance Park and Galvez Plaza areas to inside the Baton Rouge River Center. Performances will take… Continue reading →

Fairs and festivals calendar for April 10-16, 2015

Advocate file photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Adults relax under a berry-decorated tent for a game of bingo at last year's Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival. This year's fest opens Friday night and runs through Sunday in and around the town's Memorial Park.

MARKET AT THE MILL: 311 Mill St., New Roads. A three-day antique and handmade craft show at the historic cotton oil mill. LOUISIANA RAILROAD DAYS FESTIVAL: Railroad Museum, DeQuincy. Festival features a pageant, barbecue cook-off, rides, cannonball run, railroad “idol” contest, a canine pageant, craft and food booths, plus a gospel… Continue reading →

Runnels student returns to showcase

Photo submitted -- Runnels High School senior Kara Peneguy performs at the House of Blues in New Orleans.

Runnels High School senior Kara Peneguy will transform into her performance pseudonym “Silence is Noise” Tuesday for a performance at the teen showcase Bringin’ Down The House — New Orleans. Peneguy snagged first place in a competitive portion of the series in December 2013 and was selected to perform this year. “I was by myself… Continue reading →

Brian Wilson releases album, plans summer tour

Photo by BRIAN BOWEN SMITH -- Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson, the musical genius behind the Beach Boys’ classics, released his 11th solo album, “No Pier Pressure,” this week. Wilson’s golden back pages include the album-length 1966 Beach Boys’ masterpiece, “Pet Sounds,” and the hit songs “California Girls,” “Don’t Worry Baby,” “Good Vibrations” and “God Only Knows.” True to his legacy,… Continue reading →

Review: ‘Woman in Gold’ a remarkable story lifelessly told

Photo provided by The Weinstein Company -- From left, Ryan Reynolds, Helen Mirren and Daniel Bruhl share a scene in the film, 'Woman in Gold,' opening Friday.

“Woman in Gold” has a rich story to tell. The true account of Maria Altmann’s fight to reclaim a famed Gustav Klimt painting of her aunt, “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I,” first stolen by the Nazis and then appropriated by Austria after the war, is laced with riveting history, deep and complex emotion, and fascinating bureaucracy. Yet… Continue reading →

Pixar gets emotional with film 5½ years in the making

This photo provided by Disney-Pixar shows a progression image from the animated film, "Inside Out." For animation and simulation - when layout is complete, the primary and secondary characters are animated and brought to life by the Animation department.  Animators create the personality and "acting" of the characters.  The secondary motion of the hair and garments is added by the Simulation department and this simulation allows the hair and garments to move naturally to complement the acting.  (AP Photo/Copyright Disney-Pixar)

Fear, anger, disgust, sadness and joy have taken over Pixar headquarters, and things are going great. The Oscar-winning animation studio is celebrating the completion of “Inside Out,” a film that features each of those emotions as personified characters controlling operations inside a little girl’s head. Sculptures,… Continue reading →

Age doesn’t matter anymore, Def Leppard frontman says

Associated Press photo by JOHN CARUCCI -- Joe Elliott

Def Leppard frontman Joe Elliott understands that the working life of a rock band no longer comes with an expiration date. All that’s required is to make great music and stay healthy to endure the rigors of the road. Elliott said it was important to tweak the mantra of sex, drugs… Continue reading →

‘Bloodborne’ a punishing trek through a haunted city

Photo provided by Sony -- A hunter battles a mutated tree creature in a haunted Gothic city in a scene from the video game 'Bloodborne.'

There’s something masochistic about video gamers. Even if you’re playing an innocuous-looking game like “Pac-Man,” you will be killed dozens of times before you get any good. “Bloodborne” (Sony, for the PlayStation 4, $59.99) doesn’t waste any time getting to the hard stuff. Almost immediately after it starts, you get eaten by a werewolf. Sure, you… Continue reading →