Friday, January 6I Copenhagen by Michael Frayn In the fall of 1941, German atomic scientist Werner Heisenberg paid a visit to his mentor, Niels Bohr, “the father of modern nuclear physics,” in Nazi-occupied Denmark. The subject of their conversation, and its impact on subsequent scientific, military, and world history, has been debated all the decades since — did Heisenberg warn Bohr about the German nuclear program, or pry for information about the potential of an Allied atomic bomb? Did he earnestly try to prevent the destructive potential of the split nucleus, or was he himself too fragmented to know his own motives, let alone their outcomes? Did Bohr panic needlessly, misunderstanding Heisenberg’s intentions, or did he understand them all too well? Copenhagen reunites Bohr, Heisenberg, and Bohr’s wife Margarethe, long after all is over and done, to retrace the paths of memory, physics, loyalty and politics surrounding that inscrutable visit, and try once again to illuminate the limits of what can be understood about the universe, and the darkness inside the human soul.
Saturday, January 7 I WARREN ELLIS: CAPTURED GHOSTS Screening The film features the most extensive interview Ellis has ever given, and spans his life, from his first memory watching the moon landing as a child, to his recent cross-media success with the film adaptation of “Red.” Along the way, Ellis’s acerbic wit and core belief in humanity comes across like never before. Complimenting Ellis’s own words are interviews with his artistic collaborators, friends and admirers from across all media, including actress Helen Mirren, Director Joss Whedon (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer”), comedian Patton Oswalt, Adult Film Star Stoya, Musician Claudio Sanchez (of Coheed and Cambria), comics writers Matt Fraction and Antony Johnston, and futurist Jamais Cascio. Ellis’s comics collaborators like Marvel Comics CCO Joe Quesada, artists Darick Robertson, Ben Templesmith and Phil Jimenez also provide insight into Ellis’s mind and creative workings. The film features numerous ambient interludes that spotlight Ellis’s prose and writing from both his online columns and his comics. The film was shot over the course of 2010 and 2011 in England, San Diego and New York. It was completed in Fall 2011 and will premiere at the Napa Valley Film Festival in November 2011, before a worldwide theatrical and special engagement run.
Tuesday, January 10 I SESSION AMERICANA’S TUESDAY NIGHT RESIDENCY – NEW DATES ADDED! For the uninitiated, Session Americana are a who’s who of the Cambridge roots music scene sitting tightly around a small cafe table, ambient mics tuned to catch the whole sound of the voices and instruments. A suit-case drum kit, an old electric bass, a bunch of acoustic instruments, a field organ: This format feels very theatrical and though the musicians face each other, the audience feels drawn into the circle by the warmth, joy and camaraderie that emanate outwards by the all star cast of characters seated around the table. And for the month of December that will include esteemed Boston guitarist Duke Levine. It’s just this joy and spontaneity that’s kept those in the know filling local clubs week after week of their long running residencies, most recently at the Lizard Lounge. You’re never sure what the next song might be or who might join them at the table. Set lists are written and discarded. A harmonica driven blues stomp that gets the whole room shouting is followed by a Hank Williams tune delivered in a way that makes you so lonesome you could cry.
Wednesday, January 11 I THE DENNIS BRENNAN BAND – Wednesday night residency Boston has a music legacy that needs no introduction. Think of the J. Geils Band, Morphine, and Willie Alexander for starters. At the heart of the scene, though, is an artist like Dennis Brennan. He’s a cagey veteran who hasn’t won similar fame but can electrify audiences with his ability to cross brilliantly from rock to soul, blues, country, and jazz, while breathing fresh life into each. Returning to Wednesday nights at The Lizard Lounge with a fantastic band each week that will include Duke Levine, Kevin Barry or Russell Chudnofsky on guitars, Richard Gates on bass, Billy Beard on drums and Jim Gambino on keys
Know of any other events happening in the Boston area this week? Post them in the comments section.