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DVD reviews: Great War inspired worthy dramas

This week, we begin in the trenches: World War I Centennial Commemorative Collection: Sergeant York, The Big Parade, Wings, The Dawn Patrol.

Courtesy photo/Edward Burtynsky<252>

DVD reviews: Water, water everywhere

This week, we begin in the water: Watermark (***1/2) Rated PG, 92 minutes. Available Tuesday on DVD and Blu-ray and in various digital download formats.

Briefly in the arts

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Jim Stodola: Journey to the heart of Texas

For previous vacations, I have sent you off into distant lands. Today, I will keep you in the heart of our beloved state, Austin, and its surrounds.

Thomas Judd

Society opens members exhibit

The latest exhibit of the Denton-based Visual Arts Society of Texas dedicates most of Texas Woman’s University’s East and West galleries to society members’ paintings. And yet the juried exhibit also features...

Sony Pictures Classics

DVD reviews: The ‘Dune’ that never was

This week we begin with a director called “Jodo.”

Briefly in the arts

Westward movement

Big Rig Dance Collective is getting ready to boogie in the desert. Co-directors Amanda Jackson and Meredith Knight are packing up the company’s velvet costumes and a great big set so that six dancers can perform in the group’s first national festival.

DVD reviews: Shared meal

Using a narrative device as old as the novel itself, writer-director Ritesh Batra renders a charming, bittersweet tale about two souls who find an unlikely connection. Set in the crowded bustle of today’s Mumbai, the mostly English-language film shows how comfort can often be found when and where least expected.


DVD reviews: Fool me twice

This week, we begin in Norfolk, England: Alan Partridge (***) Rated R, 90 minutes.

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Texas chef has her eyes on ‘Star’ prize

Sarah Wilson Penrod looks like she was made for a Malibu kind of life: blue eyes, blond hair and big dreams. But the 30-year-old chef who is holding her ground in the sound-stage kitchen of Food Network Star was born and bred in Denton.

Briefly in the arts

Local books

DVD reviews: Scorched earth

In this compelling drama from director David Gordon Green, Nicolas Cage plays the volcanic yet authentic Joe.

Jim Stodola: Savannah boasts plenty of charms

You are going to love Savannah, Georgia.

Briefly in the arts

Catching up

UNT Press

For more information about University of North Texas Press titles, visit

Motion and emotion

Becky Acton hardly misses a beat. “Holding back is a dancer’s biggest enemy,” she said, gathering with her peers in Denton City Contemporary Ballet.


DVD reviews: Force of the future

This week, we begin in the future. Director Jose Padilha remakes 1987's "RoboCop" with Joel Kinnaman playing Detroit detective Alex Murphy, who finds only parts of himself have survived a car bomb.

Briefly in the arts

Depicting the unseen

Poet Samika Swift and artist Angelia Ford gravitate to the unheralded and invisible.

Pam Rainey: Written memories will endure

Recently, my sister sent me several stories she had written about her childhood. She was attending a class teaching adults how to write their life story for their grandchildren.

Briefly in the arts

Briefly in the Arts

DVD reviews: Shades of deceit

Cohen Media Group, through the Cohen Film Collection, gives a Blu-ray debut to this 1999 murder mystery from French New Wave pioneer Claude Chabrol. But the writer-director follows his usual pattern by making the drama more about the surroundings than the event itself. Plus, again as usual, everything turns out about as expected — which means several surprises await.

A royal gift

Not long after he ended a run of The Taming of the Shrew in the leading role of Petruchio, Daniel Garcia was auditioning for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre of Scotland.

Briefly in the arts

DVD reviews: Time for a song

Walkway star to honor late pianist Bob Rogers

Late Wednesday afternoon, the beloved late Denton pianist Bob Rogers will be honored with a star in Denton’s small walk of fame outside of the Campus Theatre.

Hopeful and wonderless

Poet Michael Bergel knew he wanted to pair his work with Allison Proulx’s art during the opening reception for “Merging Visions” last year.

DVD reviews: Tech obsession

In his latest meditation on the human condition, writer-director Spike Jonze demonstrates how difficult relationships can be by having the significant other of his main character, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), be an operating system.

Briefly in the Arts

Center to be named for champions of the arts

The efforts of three people and their lifelong commitments to expanding the arts in Denton will be reflected in the renaming of the Center for the Visual Arts. The Greater Denton Arts Council will rename the building at the southeast corner of Hickory Street and Bell Avenue as the Patterson-Appleton Center for the Visual Arts in honor of Fred and Patsy Patterson and Roy Appleton Jr.

DVD reviews: Intrepid crew

In "Veronica Mars," a rare blend of detective tale and comedy, Kristen Bell plays the title character, reprising the television role that earned her a devoted following.

Pam Rainey: It’s OK to take time on repairs

Usually I am not afraid of storms. Recently, I was terrified during a hailstorm that hit Denton County. The hail sounded like giant rocks hitting our house.

Briefly in the arts

Coming of age

Spring Awakening brought 67 performers to auditions. That’s a big number for Music Theatre of Denton projects. “We had three auditions,” said co-director Vicki Kirkley. “At the last audition, we pulled the most difficult scenes from the show for them to do, because we knew that would show us what they could do.”

Hitting the right notes

The rumors of bad weather were exaggerated, allowing thousands to have a great time on the final day of the Denton Arts & Jazz Festival.

Free reads

Record Store Day had its moment. This month, comic book stores do their best to win new fans and fanboys.

DVD reviews: Feel all right

Briefly in the arts

Form and function

Better together

Four University of North Texas students make up one of the best barbershop quartets in the world.

Briefly in the arts

DVD reviews: You may say he’s a dreamer

Creativity soon to fill park

If you are an arts enthusiast of any kind, next weekend’s Denton Arts & Jazz Festival will be right up your alley.

Best of Denton

The votes are in, 142,634 to be exact, and they are counted. Here is the results of this year's Best of Denton.

Best of Denton: Autos