If your choice was between death, and killing another human being, what would you do?
What if, in order to survive, you had to kill once a month?
Such is the moral dilemma faced by Jake Marlow, the protagonist of Glen Duncan's "The Last Werewolf."
Duncan told Midmorning's Kerri Miller that Marlow's situation is just an extreme version of dilemma's that human beings face in their own lives.
What you get with Jake is a personality that is divided, a psyche that is divided. ...Intellectually his position is an existential one, that the universe is absurd, and godless and demonstrates that on a daily basis. There are no absolute moral values. Nobody's watching, nobody's keeping score. Nothing supernatural will happen to you as a result of doing the wrong thing. That's what his intellect tells him.
But he is of course still an emotional being as well, one with imagination and a past that informs his sense of right and wrong at an emotional level. This is what makes his dilemma a very common human dilemma.
You can hear Duncan's entire conversation with Kerri Miller by clicking on the audio link below:
Not many people can claim to love the building they work in, but Cindi Beth Johnson can.
Photo credit: Sieger/Dolan
Here's Johnson's nomination:
Over the last seven years it has been a setting for the gifts of performing artists including Jearlyn Steele, Kevin Kling, Peter Mayer and Sandra Benitez. It has been a place for profound worship services led by students, faculty, and guest preachers. It has been a place for interfaith worship, weddings, memorials, and community presentations by speakers including Walter Mondale, Marcus Borg and Winona LaDuke.
It has been a respite for the weary and a place of engagement for those who come with questions about faith and meaning. The architectural space is a profound statement of God's presence and mystery in the world made manifest in wood, stone and glass.
The HGA website has this description of the building:
Clad in textured precast stone and infused with warm interior light, the 5,300-square-foot Bigelow Chapel has become the architectural focus of the United Theological Seminary's multi-denominational campus. The chapel sits horizontally on its site. A 42-foot-high bell tower marks the south end. A glass curtain wall defines the western façade. Inside the sanctuary, the translucent maple panels radiate warmth while the curving wood frame wraps visitors in a gentle embrace to create an intimate environment. The interior/exterior glass fins further diffuse light from the curtain wall and skylights, introducing a weightless quality.
Many thanks to Cindi Beth Johnson for her nomination. Do you have a building you'd like to nominate to the Minnesota Architecture series? Send a photo or two, along with a paragraph on why you admire it, to email@example.com.
This week's hounds embrace the notion of not only presenting cinema, but defending it in a screening room full of film aficionados, they endorse a series that plucks emerging talent from the local dance scene, and they open their ears to a national handbell conference in Minneapolis/St. Paul.
(Want to be an art hound? Sign up!)
The Walker Art Center's Momentum: New Dance Works at the Southern Theater is perhaps the biggest dance event of the year, according to dance and theater videographer Ben McGinley. Ben is thrilled with this year's line-up, which includes choreographers Chris Yon, Kenna Cottman, and Kaleena Miller, plus the zany three-woman troupe Mad King Thomas. Momentum: New Dance Works 2011 is on stage at the Southern July 14 - 23.
Attention, movie geeks! Cheapo music clerk and former film student Jon Gilbert wants you in on The Defenders, a series at the Trylon Microcinema in Minneapolis. It's a monthly get-together of cinephiles in which one local film personality presents a movie of his or her choosing and then defends it in a vigorous, rigorous post-screening discussion. The next installment of "The Defenders" happens Wednesday, July 20th at 7pm, and features Star Tribune Movie Critic Colin Covert.
As music director at North Como Presbyterian Church in Roseville, Sean Johnson knows a good handbell choir when he hears one. But do you? Sean says you'll have abundant opportunities to refine your taste in handbell music this weekend, July 14-17, when the Handbell Musicians of America holds its annual conference at the Minneapolis Hilton.
And you can get an early sneak peek at the Art Hounds' picks every week by texting the word ART to 677-677.
Art Hounds is powered by the Public Insight Network.
James Rodriguez as Estragon and Dave Gangler as Vladimir in Theatre Pro Rata's staging of 'Waiting for Godot'
Theatre Pro Rata presents Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot" at the Hollywood Theater in northeast Minneapolis through July 23.
Critics seem to agree that, despite the stifling heat in the old building, this show is "worth the wait."
At intermission, I offered the man sitting behind me $10 for his bottle of Mountain Dew. He wanted $20, so we had no deal, but such was the value of a cold drink among us languishing in the heat of an abandoned building. Actually, that guy did me a solid because a tall Dew likely would have necessitated a subsequent visit to the Porta-Potty outside the Hollywood Theater in northeast Minneapolis. No air conditioning, no running water; just this dusty, disheveled auditorium teeming with ghosts -- the perfect location to consider Theatre Pro Rata's production of Samuel Beckett's "Waiting for Godot."
Director Ryan Ripley and his cast of able buffoons are emphasizing the comedy and letting the philosophy take care of itself, which seems like exactly the right choice. They don't overdo it, they just follow Beckett's lead. After all, absurdity is more often laughable than it is tragic. The outlines of the play are fairly simple. Vladimir (Didi) and Estragon (Gogo) are waiting. In each act, they have different coping strategies for passing the time. In each act, they are visited by the slightly menacing giant form of Pozzo (David Tufford) and his hapless servant-on-a-leash Lucky (Jesse Corder). In each act, they receive a visit from Godot's messenger boy (Hazel Cutting), telling them that Godot has been delayed and will probably not arrive until tomorrow. Within that framework, all sorts of comic shenanigans come to pass.
Gangler and Rodriguez make for an effective duo, playing the Vaudevillian moments and the crises with equal aplomb. Their two-man-act moments can be a lot of fun, but the characters really come alive when they begin to plumb the depths of their collective despair only to be saved by the friendship that has kept them coming back to this field, day after day, for years on end.
Director Ryan Ripley's production is brisk and energetic. He seems to understand that the Hollywood is not the place for the deliberate, stylized, balletic interpretation so in vogue these days. His Godot emphasizes physicality and pratfalls. It doesn't pause to savor Beckett's opulent language, or his philosophical/quasi-theological musings. This Godot moves.
Have you seen Theatre Pro Rata's production of Waiting for Godot? If so, what did you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section.