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Heights native exhibits artworks at Moraine Valley ‘Vestiges’ show

  • Written by Kari Nelson

JS pic 1In the print “This Could Really Happen,” Justin Santora explores the conflict between nature and manmade structures, a theme that is common to his work. Submitted photo.

Artwork by Palos Heights native Justin Santora will be on JS pic 2Justin Santora is well known for his prints promoting musical acts, from well-known rockers like Phish (right) to local bands struggling to make a name for themselves. Submitted photo.display from Monday, Feb. 10, through Saturday, March 8, at the Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery at Moraine Valley Community College, 9000 W. College Parkway, Palos Hills.
The “Vestiges” exhibit will include about two dozen prints, according to Santora, a 2002 graduate of Stagg High School who later graduated Northeastern Illinois University.
A reception for the exhibit is set for 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20. Santora will speak at 3 p.m.
Santora’s work “represents a universal struggle: the want to stay young, avoiding the conventions of adulthood with the desire for control over one’s life. It seems in our world these two ideas are often at odds with one another. His work uses themes of construction and disassembly to relate to his pursuit for security and his desire for autonomy.”

A tale of two Brians is one of the best movies of the year

  • Written by Tony Pinto

Still of Paul Dano in Love & Mercy. © 2015 - Roadside AttractionsStill of Paul Dano in Love & Mercy. © 2015 - Roadside Attractions

Tony PintoThe film “Love and Mercy” is about Brian Wilson, the legendary singer-songwriter of the Beach Boys. This film brings you the rise, the fall, and the revival of this musical figure.

It tells the tale of two Brians.

The Brian of the past is played by Paul Dano, and the Brian of the future is played by John Cusack. Both do a phenomenal job of playing Wilson. Even Cusack wearing his familiar jet-black dye job doesn’t let that undercut his performance too much. The only major flaw of the film is that John Cusack looks too much like John Cusack and not enough like Brain Wilson.

We can probably all agree that Paul Dano is not growing up to look like John Cusack, but when a movie’s this good you need to nitpick. The intent was for these two actors to be separate and different. It is two completely different portrayals of one man.

This could be an issue for some that there is not enough continuity between the two actors. Most won’t even notice or care that there is no resemblance between the two. In all honesty I would like to point out that I didn’t notice they look nothing alike until I saw a picture of Paul, John, and Brian together.

That picture ruined a little of the mystique for this writer, but again I’m nitpicking because the film is that good. This is ultimately what the film wanted: two actors that were totally different playing the same part.

In Cusack’s story he plays a mentally screwed up, tentative millionaire genius who gets taken advantage of. Somehow he is under control legally by therapist/guru Dr. Eugene Landy played by Paul Giamatti. The relationship between the two is complicated and depressing. You see a man in Brian who knows he needs to escape but can’t figure out how.

Even though Landy is portrayed as this manipulative and controlling person, he did save Brian from the big mental breakdown that he had. Soon after that the relationship became manipulative, controlling, over-medicating and predatory. How a man like Landy ever becomes a doctor is perplexing.

The story of the past with Paul Dano as Brian Wilson is when the Beach Boys are getting famous. Here we start to see the voices in his head come out, the drug addiction start, and his first marriage fall apart. It’s a fascinating thing to see but it’s also sad and depressing to see someone with so many positive things going fall so hard.

Director Bill Pohlad intertwines the two separate Brain’s very well. We can go from a happy Brian hanging with his bandmates to an older Brian being verbally attacked by his doctor. This is something that could easily go wrong, but somehow manages to work.

This may not be the most distributed film out there, which could make it hard for you to see and that is an issue because this is arguably the best film of the year to this date. Whether you like the Beach Boys or not this is one film you should see.

Tony Pinto’s grade: A+

Womantalk discussion

  • Written by The Reporter

The Center, 12700 Southwest Highway, Palos Park, will host its monthly Womantalk coffee hour and discussion on Tuesday, June 30, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Ladies are invited to join the discussion of “Simple Abundanc” and other readings by Sarah Ban Breathnach.

There is no cost, but advance reservations are required. Ladies are invited to contribute an item to the picnic potluck if they would like to stay after the discussion. Call The Center at 361-3650.

Kids’ beading workshop

  • Written by The Reporter

A beading workshop for children in kindergarten through eighth grade is offered on Friday, July 3, from 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., at The Log Cabin Center for the Arts, 12700 Southwest Highway in Palos Park.

Art instructor Heather Young will teach the children to create 3-strand necklaces and a matching bracelet from the art center’s large assortment of beads.

The workshop costs $14 per child, which includes all supplies. Advance registration is required. Class size is limited so early registration is advised. Call 361-3650.