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Gallery Exhibit Featuring Early Appalachian Photography to Open at GSC

Selections from the Glenville State College Archive will be on display for a gallery exhibit during Homecoming week. The theme of the exhibit will focus on early Appalachian photography and will include several prints from glass negatives, equipment used during the process, and even some of the original glass negatives themselves. The show will feature four different collections: the Byron Turner Glass Negative Collection, the Early Gilmer County Collection, the Gainer Family Glass Negative Collection, and the Pickle Street Glass Negative Collection.

The Free Press WV
One of the photos included in the Early Appalachian Photography Exhibit
reproduced from a glass negative from the Gainer family collection


An opening reception for the exhibit will be held on Tuesday, October 17 between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. in the GSC Fine Arts Center Gallery. The show will be open the remainder of Homecoming Week from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. daily and prior to the Bluegrass concert on Saturday, October 21 between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Beyond Homecoming Week, the gallery is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The gallery is also open one hour prior to most musical performances in the Fine Arts Center.

The Byron Turner Glass Negative Collection was preserved by Glenville State College’s former chemistry instructor, Byron Turner. Turner used the glass negatives as a project in his classes to demonstrate what chemicals were used to make the glass negatives and preserve the picture. The Early Gilmer County Collection was found in the Archives of Glenville State College. It dates back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The Gainer family collection contains donated prints from glass negatives provided by the Gainer family. The pictures were taken by Lloyd Gainer and are from around 1902. The pictures were preserved by West Virginia State Folk Festival founder and 1924 Glenville Normal School graduate Patrick Gainer. The Pickle Street glass negative collection was brought in from the auction house on Pickle Street in Lewis County, West Virginia. The negatives were found in an old barn and later donated to GSC.

“This gallery exhibit will show you what was important to past generations in Appalachia through photography. I hope that the cultural perspective provided gives attendees a better understanding of central West Virginia. It also provides you with more of an appreciation as to what people had to go through and how challenging it was just to take a picture,” said GSC Librarian and Archivist Jason Gum.

During the opening reception, there will also be a book signing for GSC’s recent history book, Preserving and Responding. Gum and the college’s Public Relations Specialist, Dustin Crutchfield, authored this work.

The exhibit will be on display in the Fine Arts Center Gallery through Friday, November 03.

For more information about the gallery exhibit or the book signing, call 304.462.6163.

Arts & Entertainment News

The Free Press WV

►  Joe Jonas engaged to ‘Game of Thrones’ star Sophie Turner

Singer Joe Jonas is engaged to “Game of Thrones” star Sophie Turner.

Turner and Jonas shared the same photo on Instagram on Sunday of her hand sporting a diamond ring and resting on top of his. Turner noted in her caption that she “said yes.”

The 21-year-old Turner has starred as Sansa Stark on “Game of Thrones” since she was 15. She played Jean Gray in last year’s “X-Men: Apocalypse” and will reprise the role in a follow-up next year.

Jonas shot to fame with his siblings as part of The Jonas Brothers. The 28-year-old now fronts the pop band DNCE.


►  ‘Happy Death Day’ scares off ‘Blade Runner’ at box office

The box office might be struggling this year, but the horror genre is alive and well.

This weekend the “Groundhog Day”-like horror pic “Happy Death Day” scored a first-place finish, surpassing expectations and blowing the much costlier and star-driven “Blade Runner 2049” out of the water.

Studio estimates Sunday show “Happy Death Day” took in $26.5 million from 3,149 North American theaters. With a $5 million production price tag, “Happy Death Day” is already a hit.

With a PG-13 rating, the film scored big with younger audiences — 63 percent were under 25.

It’s the latest success story from Blumhouse Productions, which earlier this year released “Split” and “Get Out,” with the help of Universal Pictures, which distributed.

Jim Orr, executive vice president of domestic distribution for Universal, said “Happy Death Day” is an original film that’s reimaging the genre.

“It’s as much thriller as it is horror film. It’s scary, it’s funny, and it has an extraordinarily clever script that is very well executed,” Orr said. “Blumhouse owns this space no doubt about it, and they do this better than anybody consistently.”

The film also had the benefit of coming on the heels of the massive success of “It,” which has earned $314.9 million domestically to date. The “Happy Death Day” trailer played in front of “It” at theaters, which “exponentially increased” audience awareness, said comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

Horror continues to be one of the bright spots during a roller-coaster year at the box office.

“This is a horror gold rush at the theaters,” Dergarabedian said. “It’s been perhaps the most consistently positive story this year.”

One film that does not look destined for a happy ending is “Blade Runner 2049,” which fell 54 percent in its second weekend in theaters, adding $15.1 million to bring its domestic total to $60.6 million.

The film was a costly endeavor with a production price tag north of $150 million and was well-reviewed by critics. But it couldn’t manage to draw in significant audiences beyond the fans of the 1982 original, which was also a flop upon release.

Jackie Chan’s “The Foreigner” debuted in third place with $12.8 million from 2,515 screens, while “It” landed in fourth place in its sixth weekend in theaters.

The Kate Winslet and Idris Elba disaster pic “The Mountain Between Us” rounded out the top five with $5.7 million.

Other new releases landed outside the top 10. The Thurgood Marshall biopic “Marshall” took in a promising $3 million from 821 theaters.

“Marshall is off to a solid start,” said Open Road Films CEO Tom Ortenberg in a statement. “We expect Marshall to hold very well and run well into the fall.”

But the Wonder Woman creator biopic “Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman” failed to capitalize from the massive success of “Wonder Woman” earlier this year. The film earned only $737,000 from over 1,200 locations.

“Goodbye Christopher Robin,” about author A.A. Milne and the creation of the beloved children’s books and characters, also got off to a poor start with $56,000 from nine theaters.

“October is off to a slow start,” Dergarabedian said.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included.

1.“Happy Death Day,” $26.5 million ($5 million international).

2.“Blade Runner 2049,” $15.1 million ($29.3 million international).

3.“The Foreigner,” $12.8 million ($5.2 million international).

4.“It,” $6.1 million ($10.4 million international).

5.“The Mountain Between Us,” $5.7 million ($4.1 million international).

6.“American Made,” $5.4 million ($3.2 million international).

7.“Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” $5.3 million ($15.6 million international).

8.“The Lego Ninjago Movie,” $4.3 million ($9.5 million international).

9.“My Little Pony: The Movie,” $4 million ($4.9 million international).

10.“Victoria and Abdul,” $3.1 million ($1.9 million international).

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Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:

1. “Never Say Die,” $30 million.

2. “Blade Runner 2049,” $29.3 million.

3. “Bad Genius,” $16.9 million.

4. “Kingsman: The Golden Circle,” $15.6 million.

5. “It,” $10.4 million.

6. “The Lego Ninjago Movie,” $9.5 million.

7. “Geostorm,” $9.1 million.

8. “The Snowman,” $9 million.

9. “The Outlaws,” $8.3 million.

10. “Chasing the Dragon,” $7.7 million.

___

Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

Arts & Entertainment News

The Free Press WV

►  Tyler Perry set to play Colin Powell

Madea goes to Washington.

Tyler Perry, the actor/producer/Oprah pal best known for his popular and profitable “Madea” movie franchise, just landed an surprising new role that doesn’t require a wig or a dress. Perry will play retired four-star General Colin Powell in the as-yet-to-be titled Dick Cheney project, according to Deadline.

Co-starring alongside Christian Bale as Cheney and Steve Carell as Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Perry, who has proven his movie mettle in non-Madea flicks such as “Gone Girl” and “Alex Cross,“ will become the former secretary of state during the drama of the President George W. Bush years. The film, written and directed by comedy vet Adam McKay, is a story about American power, according to the screenwriter.

“A lot of crazy stuff happened during those eight years,“ said McKay in a previous interview with Deadline, “and this is a vital puzzle piece in what got us to this moment with Donald Trump, with the world, as it is now, and Dick Cheney is at the center of it.“

Perhaps foreshadowing the news of his next big gig, on Monday Perry showed up in the White House briefing room - as Madea.

While promoting his current movie “Boo 2! A Madea Halloween” on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,“ Perry gave the audience a taste of what it would be like if the gun-toting grandma he plays became the Trump administration’s White House communications director.

When asked if she voted for Donald Trump, Perry as Madea pops off: “Hell, no. I didn’t vote for Trump. Only two black people voted for Trump. One was Ben Carson, and the other one is the man behind him at the rallies with the sign that says ‘Blacks for Trump.‘ I’m not one of them. I voted for Hillary three times. Thank you very much.“


►  ‘Happy Death Day’ recycles a comedy classic – as horror

Here’s a simple – and potentially chilling – concept: What if someone remade “Groundhog Day,“ in which a TV weatherman relives the same day over and over, as a horror movie?

Director Christopher Landon (“Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones”) and writer Scott Lobdell (of TV’s “X-Men” series) have done just that, paying fond homage to Harold Ramis’ 1993 comedy classic with a tale of a college student who must go through the day she’s murdered, again and again. Sadly, “Happy Death Day” proves that the clever notion is ill-suited to horror.

Set at a fictional Louisiana university, the movie opens on Tree (Jessica Rothe of “La La Land”), a popular sorority girl who wakes up on her birthday to find that she has spent the night with – gasp – an unpopular boy, whose name she doesn’t even remember (Israel Broussard).

From Tree’s smug, dismissive interactions with fellow students and former bedmates, it’s clear she isn’t a nice person. Later that evening, as students wander around campus wearing masks fashioned after the school’s grotesque infant mascot, a masked, hooded assailant stalks and kills Tree. Just at the moment of death, she wakes up in the boy’s bed, living through the same day, until she is killed by the same attacker.

Slaughter, rinse, repeat.

Like a character in a PG-13 after-school special, Tree comes to see this vicious cycle as an opportunity to become a better person. Unfortunately, while the movie’s cast is not unappealing, Tree’s journey to self-knowledge feels abrupt and unconvincing. What’s more, the cycle makes it impossible to build tension. We already know that Tree is going to die. Details and methods may change, but they aren’t particularly inventive.

With its circular arc of soul-searching and redemption, “Groundhog Day” has become a modern cautionary tale – “A Christmas Carol” for contemporary times that people watch, again and again. By borrowing that same premise, the makers of “Happy Death Day” hope to cash on the earlier film’s enduring appeal. But this is one movie that no one needs to relive.

—-

Two stars. PG-13. Contains sexual situations, strong language and graphic violence. 96 minutes.


►  French suspense novel chills, thrills, leads to unanswered questions

I didn’t understand the title, “Three Days and a Life,” but something about the premise intrigued me so I decided to read it anyway, figuring I’d learn what the title meant as the story moved along.

No, I never did figure out what the title meant, and for the first time, I reached the end of the quick-reading story somewhat scratching my head. The ending is full of nuances that allow the reader to ponder the route taken by the protagonist should the story continue.

If the reader wants to read deeply into the book, an English translation by Pierre Lemaitre, it is a complex experiment in the social infrastructure of a small French town, right and wrong and the rawness of the family unit. The easy reading suspense tome could also simply be the aftermath of a homicide – no mystery here though – committed by a child and its effect on that small village and its inhabitants.

The “good kid,” 12-year-old Antoine, kills a 6-year-old neighbor boy in a fit of rage over the death of a dog. Antoine hides the body and then watches as the entire village implodes, each person dealing with the disappearance of the youngster in their own way. The story is written from Antoine’s perspective as he runs through the gamut of emotions that truly do tear him from limb to limb as he realizes the gravity of what he has done. The story takes us through the turmoil in Antoine’s head as he attempts to make sense of what he has done, the ramifications of his actions and what he believes others are thinking about him.

Fast forward over a decade, the body has not been found, Antoine is a doctor, has a fiancée and, on the outside, appears to be doing well for himself. On a trip home, he has a fling with a childhood crush, she gets pregnant and she then attempts to coerce him into marriage. He refuses and right about the time her father says he’s going to demand a paternity test, the body of the young 6-year-old is found. Fearing a connection between the DNA tests, Antoine gives in, marries her and moves back to the small French town to which he swore he’d never return.

As the tragedy unfurls once again, there are several surprises, including the ending that leaves the reader a bit surprised and pondering the meaning of the nuanced semi-closure.

I found myself sort of sympathetic towards Antoine at the beginning. The usual angst of a preteen plus the pressures of living in a fishbowl of an environment and while being a good kid, not exactly fitting in to a niche. And then he goes and commits an incomprehensible act in a rage that is not typical of his personality. As an adult, though, I saw the same fears of getting caught, only this time, Antoine grappled with his emotions with pathetic cowardice.

As I continue to contemplate the ending, I still want to think Antoine will release the burden and come clean – perhaps the calculated action of one could propel him to give closure to the many who still grieve the child.

I just don’t have any answers.

But it’s a great book that generates a lot of thought-provoking questions.

“Three Days and a Life,” by Pierre Lemaitre

Arts & Entertainment News

The Free Press WV

►  How Hollywood’s decades-later sequels stack up

Harrison Ford appears destined to reappear as much-aged versions of the characters that made him a star: Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and now Blade Runner’s Rick Deckard. These decades-later followups rarely match the box office power of the original when inflation is taken into account.

That pattern was evident with both Star Wars (38 years between “A New Hope” and “The Force Awakens”) and Indiana Jones (27 years between “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”). Now Blade Runner 2049, with its 35-year gap between Blade Runner and the newly released sequel, hopes to avoid that fate. It’s off to a slow start, taking in a disappointing $31.5 million in its opening weekend in North America, according to an estimate by ComScore.

Movie studios have made the reboot tactic commonplace: Take an old franchise steeped in fan nostalgia, revive it with an ample budget for stars and modern special effects, and hope to score big. “Blade Runner 2049” cost $150 million to produce, not including marketing costs, and the opening box office take fell short of expectations, despite glowing reviews from critics. It still might be the rare example of later-date followup that outperforms the original at the inflation-adjusted box office, in larger part because 1982’s “Blade Runner” wasn’t a huge success and gained a hardcore following only after its initial run.

These followup films are often sold as soft reboots. Rather than resetting the series entirely, they maintain the storyline continuity from previous films, either as a prequel or sequel often set many years away from the original. The category includes revamps of such cult films as “Blade Runner” and “Evil Dead” as well as extensions of commercial powerhouses such as “Star Wars” and “Rocky.“ Few of these films following decades after the original title totally bomb at the box office, helped by preexisting fan bases loyal to the franchise.

But a look at inflation-adjusted ticket sales data, which includes sales from multiple releases, casts doubt on the ability of these soft reboots to pull in more viewers than the initial title. Most come up short at the domestic box office compared with their hugely successful predecessors.

It’s not that these next-generation films aren’t commercially successful-they’re just going up against some of the biggest hits of all time. In unadjusted sales, in fact, many will come out on top of the originals, thanks to wider distribution.

“Jurassic World,“ the sequel to “Jurassic Park” released 22 years later, was the No. 2 movie at the box office worldwide in 2015. “The Force Awakens” topped global charts at more than $2 billion in global sales. The new “Planet of the Apes” trilogy has fared well, too, nearly a half century after Charlton Heston first crashed on a world full of aggressive gorillas.

“Mad Max: Fury Road” may be the most critically acclaimed of all these new tales. George Miller’s new narrative in the barren dystopia of 1979’s Mad Max was rewarded with six Academy Awards and hauled in $378.4 million at the global box office. It far outpaced the original, too, since the first film never enjoyed blockbuster status.

Many of these new films, such as 2015’s “Terminator: Genisys,“ took advantage of an international market that wasn’t available when the original came out. The first Terminator, which came out in 1984, made about 51 percent of its box office haul overseas. Its wildly popular sequel, “Terminator 2: Judgement Day,“ made about 60 percent of ticket sales overseas. By the time “Genisys” appeared, markets outside the U.S. accounted for about 80 percent of its global gross.

Then there are the failures. The much-hyped new “Ghostbusters,“ released in 2016, didn’t gain much traction and was severely outperformed by the the 1984 film despite showing in thousands of additional theaters. A 2017 full reboot of “The Mummy,“ a franchise that has been reset numerous times since the 1930s, flopped at the box office despite casting Tom Cruise in the lead.

There are plenty more reboots to look forward to (or dread). Dwayne Johnson is set to star in a remake of the 1986 cult classic “Big Trouble in Little China.“ A new “Cliffhanger” film is in the works, although there’s no word yet if Sylvester Stallone will rejoin the mountain climbing franchise as he did in “Rocky Balboa” and “Creed.“ Sci-fi saga “The Matrix” is reportedly coming back for more slow-motion action sequences as well.

Oh, and Harrison Ford still has a few roles from the 1980s he could renew.


►  The porgs are becoming the new stars of ‘Star Wars’

Just in time for the holidays, the porgs are having their moment in the Ahch-To sun.

This week’s release of the latest “Last Jedi” trailer lets us hear just what a screaming space porg sounds like - as we see the furry critter riding in the Millennium Falcon with the “walking carpet” that is Chewbacca.

That briefest of teaser shots launched an armada of memes, and one of the most impressive responses mixes that porg peal.

Volpe Music has re-created John Williams’s triumphal “Star Wars” theme by making it sounds as if the porgs are singing. The result seems to be the first Porg Symphony.

The porgs were also featured prominently in the kickoff to Tuesday’s “Late Show With Stephen Colbert.“ In the comedic short, BB-8, the then-new mascot of a droid in 2015’s “The Force Awakens,“ now wallows in its diminished resident cute Star Wars creation status, as REM’s “Everybody Hurts” cuts like a lightsaber.

Every “Star Wars” film offers adorable critters and droids, largely as reassuring comedic relief from all the masked baddies roaming the galaxy with menace. And Disney chairman Bob Iger personally helped greenlight BB-8 as a character.

Now, to introduce a new alien species to the franchise, director Rian Johnson and his team drew direct inspiration from Ireland’s Skellig Michael, the remote isle that stands in for Ahch-To, Luke Skywalker’s hideout while in exile.

As the filmmakers told Entertainment Weekly, these space-puffin puppets were created in the creature shop of Neal Scanlan after Johnson saw the island seabirds while scouting locations for the final scene in “Force Awakens.“

“If you go to Skellig at the right time of year, it’s just covered in puffins, and they’re the most adorable things in the world,“ Johnson told EW, adding: “So the Porgs are in that realm.“

Ahch-To is also home to the Caretakers, a species of prehistoric-looking female aliens who reportedly loom like an order of nuns.

So far, alas, the Caretakers lack the porgs’ commercial appeal.

Perhaps that will change when “Last Jedi” lands December 15. But we highly doubt it.

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