Tonawanda News

Features

October 31, 2013

CALLERI: Get ready for the march of the motion pictures, plus a pair to see during the lull

(Continued)

Tonawanda News — I’ve been advised by studio publicists that starting Nov. 8 and running through Jan. 3, the Buffalo-Niagara region will definitely see these pictures, and certainly some others: “12 Years A Slave,” “Thor: The Dark World,” “About Time,” “The Best Man Holiday,” “Delivery Man,” “Kill Your Darlings,” “Frozen,” Philomena,” “The Book Thief,” “Saving Mr. Banks,” “Walking With Dinosaurs,” “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” “The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty,” “47 Ronin,” “American Hustle,” “The Wolf Of Wall Street,” “Nebraska,” and “Paranormal Activity 5.” Not all will be winners, and not all will be screened in advance for critics.

If you’re looking for something to see right now, you might want to check out two small independent pictures.

One is “Inequality For All,” an interesting documentary by economist Robert Reich, who worked in the Ford and Carter administrations and was President Clinton’s Secretary of Labor. The movie is, of all things, a breezy and refreshing look at economics. In fact, it makes economics, a very dry subject, quite lively.

Reich doesn’t browbeat the audience, and he doesn’t demonize the rich or make scapegoats of the poor. He explains with charts, music, animation, and his reasonable and peppy narration style how the economy works, how it’s bolstered, what it needs to flourish, and where the middle class fits in. If college economics classes were half as interesting as “Inequality For All,” there might be more smart graduates who understand monetary matters and the world in which we live.

The other movie to see is “Wadjda,” the debut feature from writer-director Haifaa Al Mansour, the first female filmmaker in Saudi Arabia, which makes her a very important person in that country. Her wonderfully crafted and beautifully photographed (by Luiz Reitemeier) story is about a 10-year old girl named Wadjda, who lives in a suburb of Riyadh. She’s a free-spirit in a nation that frowns on women exhibiting minds of their own.

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Features
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    But what not all of the visitors may realize is that much of this summer tradition is the result of months of hard work by 4-H Club members and their leaders and families, all focused on the words of the 4-H motto: “Learn By Doing.”

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    Tattoos can be a touchy subject. Of course, people have heard they shouldn’t judge a book by its cover; still, people continue to report being denied jobs and being judged harshly for proudly displaying their ink.

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    At 35 years old, I may be the oldest person ever to record an out in a kids’ T-ball league.

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    This past week, our lovely neighbors went to the beach for their annual weeklong vacation.

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    More than 90 private gardens throughout Western New York, and a number of public ones, are open to the public for select hours Thursdays and/or Fridays during July as part of the National Garden Festival’s Open Gardens program, now in its fifth year. The program is separate and distinct from local garden walks, and the gardens range from Gasport to Holland. They’re organized into districts of about five to eight gardens each, including Northtowns West (which includes gardens in Kenmore and the Town of Tonawanda) and Niagara Trail (which includes gardens in Lockport, Gasport and Lewiston).

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    Sara Johnson lives surrounded by green and growing things. Showing a visitor around her apartment in North Buffalo, she pointed out the plants in every room, the balcony and even in two small greenhouses — houseplants, flowers, vegetables, even carnivorous plants.

    "I try to keep as much growing in the house as I can," she said.

    Another goal of hers is to show others how to do the same — and to that end, Johnson is offering a series of workshops this summer in connection with her business, Sylvatica Terrariums, and Project 308 Gallery in North Tonawanda, teaching people how to bring a piece of the outdoors into their homes in the form of a terrarium or other greenery.

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    As an effort to get children out of the big city and give them a chance to spend part of their summer playing outside, the Fresh Air Fund brings New York City kids to stay with host families for a 10-day trip to a place which is vastly different from their usually surroundings.

    “They will be running outside and playing in the grass and going swimming,” said Cheryl Flick, a fund representative of the Northern Erie and Niagara Counties chapter of the Fresh Air Fund at a picnic for the host families and kids. “They won’t be cooped up inside, they’ll be outside, getting fresh air and being active.”

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    I think it’s true of many parents, that amidst the many challenges and hard work of parenting, we anticipate the day our children grow up just enough ... to like the same things we like, whether it’s as an ongoing phenomenon or a fond childhood memory.

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    Did you know that the suffix “vore” comes from the Latin word “voro,” which means to devour? I probably knew that once, but I should have paid better attention in my Latin class. “Vore” is used to form nouns indicating what kind of a diet an animal has, such as omnivore, carnivore and herbivore.

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    When Explore Buffalo Tours got started about eight months ago, the business concentrated on specialized tours designed to showcase specific aspects of the City of Buffalo’s history, architecture and culture.

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