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February 3, 2012

A Byrd’s Eye View N











The Artist Draws a Perfect Silent Picture By Art Byrd

A Quote By

When a movie gets “buzz,” it becomes the one to see. It often starts slow, though – a big-city critic’s acclaim since it’s only showing in major metropolises. Then come nominations and awards: Sundance, The Golden Globes, The Oscars. Suddenly the “buzz” is deafening. That’s the story for The Artist. It is a very different movie because it’s a silent movie. Yep, I said silent. Silent films had their heyday in the 1920s. Charlie Chaplin and John Barrymore were stars, and the subject matter ranged from comedy to drama. In the 30s, talkies slowly gained popularity, edging silent movies out. The Artist has brought back the essence of a silent movie with the use of dramatic music, title cards and unconscious lip reading. French director Michel Hazanavicius has revived old cinema with a clever, well shot movie that doesn’t employ over-the-top acting, as was common in the old silent films. What makes a silent film timeless is simple storytelling. The Artist delivers that. The movie tells the story of silent film star George Valentin, played by French actor Jean Dujardin (OSS 117 series), who is at the top of his acting game. Movies co-starring his dog, Uggie, are popular. During one of his meet-and-greets with fans, a woman drops her purse and literally backs into Valentin. She is Peppy Miller, an aspiring actress. Valentin and Peppy share a laugh and a few photos for the press. Peppy is played by the beautiful Berenice Bejo (OSS 117: Cairo, Nest of Spies).

"I was a very bad student. I didn't listen in class. I was always dreaming. My teachers called me ‘Jean of the Moon’ and I realize now that I never stopped dreaming. Thank you very much. Thank you for this dream." Best actor winner Jean Dujardin, accepting his award for his role in The Artist.

February 3, 2012

Later, Valentin and Peppy meet on his movie set. One of the producers wants Peppy fired but Valentin steps in and saves the day. There is a great moment where Valentin and Peppy are doing a scene and laugh through take after take. They like each other even though Valentin is married and he remains faithful. Peppy’s career takes-off as talkies gain popularity and silent movies lose their glamorous glow. The studio tells Valentin he has to do something else, but he believes silent films still have an audience. He feels so strong that he finances his own silent movie. The project eats away at his savings. Peppy is now a star with her own movie. Her and Valentin’s respective movies open on the same day. Peppy’s movie has a line out the door where Valentin’s has only a few people in the theatre. It starts a downhill spiral for Valentin. The Artist has great moments which I don’t want to reveal so you can enjoy the movie like I did. I can say the movie has the feel of a silent movie where you really have to pay attention to the emotions of the character’s faces. Uggie the dog is a great addition to the movie as he is very loyal to Valentin from rise to fall. A nice touch to the movie is the use of actors familiar to American audiences, such as John Goodman, James Cromwell, Missi Pyle and Penelope Ann Miller. I traveled to Cleveland to see The Artist and ran into a friend, Jules, who also enjoys independent films. She loved the movie but her husband, Mike, thought it was slow. That is the beauty of classic filmmaking -- it is slow and lets you savor the acting, the sets and the emotion of the story like a four-course dinner. With many Oscar nominations, The Artist is playing in the area now. Go with the understanding that you will be experiencing a movie, not just seeing it. The Artist is a must see on the big screen.

Take Your Parent, Sweetheart out for St. Valentine’s Day Dinner Delicious food and delightful music are on the menu for The Ursuline Center’s annual Valentine’s Day Dinner.

The educational center, a ministry of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown, is holding the event Tues., Feb. 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the Center’s auditorium, 4280 Shields Rd. in Canfield. The Broad Street Diner will cater dinner and dessert; The Canfield High School Music Trio will perform. Tickets are $20 and include wine/ beverages. For tickets or more information, call Peggy Eicher at 330-533-7681 or email her at

February 3, 2012

Blue Wolf Tavern Has Howling Good Food By Monnie Ryan To read the full version of this review, visit

Once in a while, we get a recommendation from someone who shares our love of eating out. Such was the case a few months back, and the heads-up took us to the Blue Wolf Tavern in Boardman. It's such a neat place (and the food's so great) that we've returned more than once even though for us Boardman is a bit of a drive from our Mineral Ridge home. That should change next month, when the Wolves Den Bar and Grill just inside Creekside Golf Dome in Girard will open, or so the company’s website says. We popped in for a peek about three weeks ago, and work is progressing. But it’s the Boardman location we’ll report on now. Our first visit was during the hectic Christmas holidays, and by the time we got to the Blue Wolf we would have eaten anything the server could bring fast. Appetizers were a must, and I chose spicy marinated peppers while Jack opted for Zucchini Parmesan (both $5.99). For entrees, we went with cheese-stuffed ravioli with red sauce and a meatball with a side of wedding soup (me) and the heart-healthy bourbon chicken with a salad and one side for Jack ($8.99). The appetizers, which happily were delivered quickly, were accompanied by warm crusty Italian rolls and butter. My peppers included hot banana, cubanelle, green bell and red roasteds in homemade viniagrette with provolone wedges. I can’t say they were particularly hot, but they were delicious and the cheese chunks made a nice alternative to the usual bread or pita triangles. One of my pet peeves is that soup too often is served tepid, but here it was piping hot. Filled with veggies, chicken pieces, tiny meatballs and other "stuff," after one bite I put this at the top of the best I've ever had. I got six good-sized ravioli for my entree, and the red sauce was tasty. Jack's chicken breast was ample, sitting on top of a mountain of rice. He said the flavor was a little on the "blah" side, but that's often the case with so-called "heart-healthy" dishes. Next time we stopped in, I had to have wings, so I ordered the appetizer portion (12 for $8.99) with my favorite garlic sauce. I was a bit more adventurous with my entrée, picking Chicken & Shrimp Jambalaya. At $9.69, it features bell peppers, garlic, onions and Andouile sausage in sherry wine and marinara sauce over seasoned rice. Once again, Jack stuck with a good-for-you option, this time a house salad with greens, olives, tomatoes, cucumber, onions, carrots, shredded cheese, hard-boiled eggs and croutons at $5.99. The wings were gigantic, the breading crispy and absolutely delicious and the meat was juicy and tender. Had the meal ended here, I'd have been happy. Jack's salad was quite large, and while a salad is pretty much a salad, he polished off the whole thing. As for my Jambalaya, it was smothered in an absolutely tantalizing sauce that had a kick. Definitely a dish I’ll try again! If you go:BLUE WOLF TAVERN, 1295 Boardman-Canfield Rd., Boardman, 330-726-1736;

February 3, 2012

WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND THE VALLEY: FEB. 4TH – 12TH Ongoing in February The Butler Celebrates African-American History Month The Butler Institute of American Art, 524 Wick Ave., Youngstown, presents “A Celebration of AfricanAmerican History Month” exhibit featuring selected works from the Butler's Permanent Collection, running from Sunday, Feb. 5- Sunday, Feb. 26. The exhibit includes works by Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, John James Audubon, Elizabeth Catlett, Sam Gilliam, and eight works by Billy Morrow Jackson. Museum hours and more information about are available at 330-743-1107.

Sat. Feb. 4th The African Marketplace As part of African-American History Month, Youngstown State University will hold the event from noon until 6 p.m. in the Chestnut Room of Kilcawley Center. The African Marketplace will feature art objects, jewelry, Afrocentric writings and literature. Dance and musical entertainment will also be provided.  For more information, call 330-941-3097.

YSU Night at the Symphony Concert Presented by the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. at Edward W. Powers Auditorium. The YSU Night at the Symphony will feature narrator, Eric Wolford, YSU's head football coach, in Aaron Copland's Lincoln Portrait. The concert will also include The Fanfare for the Common Man of Copland, Franz Schubert’s "Unfinished" Eighth Symphony and Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story Symphonic Dances.  For tickets or more information, call 330-744-0264.

Sunday, Feb. 5th The Akron Art Museum’s Sunday Sampler Featuring Al Bright painting alongside the Jesse Dandy Band at 2 p.m. Al Bright is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Youngstown State University. He has created many of his works before public audiences to live music. The museum is located at One South High, Akron. For more information, call 330-376-9185.

Butler Art Guest Speaker As part of African-American History Month, the Butler Institute of American Art, 524 Wick Ave., Youngstown, will present a Gallery Talk by the Reverend Jim Ray at 2 p.m. Reverend Ray, the retired Youngstown State University Director of Campus Ministry, will discuss the Celebration of AfricanAmerican History Month exhibit, the various works of art in the exhibit, and the artists' lives and works. For more information, call 330-743-1107.

February 3, 2012

WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND THE VALLEY: FEB. 4TH – 12TH (CONT’D) Monday, Feb. 6th The Ohio Cultural Alliance Lecture: Resonating Voice of the Valley Sallie Tod Dutton, the great, great, great, great granddaughter of the Honorable David Tod, discusses the details of his life as a lawyer, industrialist, politician, ambassador, family man and Governor of the State of Ohio from 1862 to 1864 at 6 p.m. at the Georgetown Banquet Center, 5945 South Ave., Boardman. For reservations and more information, visit:

Saturday, Feb. 11th A Symphonic Valentine Concert Presented by the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra at 8 P.M. in the Edward W. Powers Auditorium.  Featured guests will be Broadway singer Michael Maguire and conductor Carl Topilow, who with the orchestra will perform music by Frank Sinatra. For tickets or more information, call 330-744-0264.

Sunday, Feb. 12th Free Faculty and Guest Artist Recital: The New Amici Trio Presented by the Dana School of Music at 3 p.m. in the Bliss Recital Hall on the campus of Youngstown State University. The New Amici Trio features violinist Hristo Popov, cellist Michael Gelfand, and pianist Per Enflo. For more information, call 330-941-3636.

Hoops for Hope The 8th Annual Game of Hope Basketball Classic will take place Saturday, Feb. 4th at 4:30 p.m. at Beeghly Center on the campus of Youngstown State University. Teams will be comprised of elected officials, community leaders, celebrities, dignitaries and media from the region. The game, which raises money for chronically/terminally ill children so that they may have once-ina-lifetime experiences, is open to the public with tickets $6 each. More information about this event is available at

February 3, 2012

ON STAGE The Youngstown Playhouse: Be Young, Gifted, and Black Running weekends from Friday, Feb. 3rd through Saturday, Feb. 11th . Evening performances are at 7:30 P.M. To Be Young, Gifted, and Black tells the story of author Lorraine Hansberry, born in 1930 in the South side of Chicago. When her family moved to a white neighborhood, they faced racial discrimination and hostility. These events inspired her to write her most famous work, A Raisin in the Sun. 600 Playhouse Lane, Youngstown. For tickets or more information, call 330-788-8739. Salem Community Theatre: M*A*S*H Running weekends from Friday, Feb. 3rd through Sunday, Feb. 12th. Evening performances are at 8 P.M. and Sunday matinees are at 2 P.M. M*A*S*H includes beloved characters doing what they do best. 490 E. State St., Salem. For tickets or more information, call 330-332-9688. Oakland Center for the Arts: Shining City Running weekends from Friday, Feb. 3rd through Saturday, Feb. 18th. Evening performances will begin at 8 P.M.  Shining City is set in Dublin, where a guilt-ridden man reaches out to a therapist after seeing the ghost of his recently deceased wife. Wrestling with his own demons, the therapist can only do so much to help. 220 W. Boardman St., downtown Youngstown. For tickets or more information, call 330-746-0404.

Upcoming The DeYor (Ford Family Recital Hall): He Loves Me! She Loves Me Not? The Stageplay A Urban play that has universal messages about fear and commitment. Saturday, February 18th at 7:30 p.m at 260 West Federal Street, Youngstown. Tickets available at the box office $20.00 advance $25.00 at the door.

It’s Time to Go Mad about the Arts It’s time for the annual and much-anticipated fundraiser that benefits Youngstown State University’s SMARTS --Students Motivated by the Arts -- and the McDonough Museum of Art on the university’s campus. Guests will enjoy music from the classic horns of Second Avenue Project, who play selections from Swing to Top 40–to keep everyone dancing Friday, Feb. 24 at the McDonough. 6:30 p.m. begins the Friends Reception ($80); 7:30-10:30 p.m. is the Main Celebration ($45). For tickets or more information, call YSU SMARTS at 330-941-2787 or visit

February 3, 2012

PRIVACY POLICY Some of you on A Byrd’s Eye View newsletter mailing list came to us from other e-mails sent to us regarding stories about Arts events in the area. We thought you would be interested in reading about additional Arts-related information of interest in the Mahoning and Shenango valleys, and added you. However, if you no longer wish to receive the newsletter, simply send a blank e-mail to with UNSUBSCRIBE in the subject line.

The e-mail addresses we have are NEVER shared in any way with anyone, nor are they sold. All copies of the newsletter are sent as blind carbon copies, so that no one receiving the newsletter knows the addresses of anyone else receiving it. If you have received this free newsletter as a forward and would like to subscribe, please send a blank e-mail with SUBSCRIBE in the subject line to

Excerpts from A Byrd’s Eye View can be read in The Review, Newspaper, available throughout the Valley and online at

Another Way To Get A Byrd’s Eye View Excerpts of our newsletter are now online in the form of a blog. You can view shortened versions of reviews and find documents from past newsletters. You can also give us feedback on the site. Be sure to bookmark us at

Art Byrd Jr. has won awards as a filmmaker and journalist. After working many years as a videographer and director for WFMJ TV News, he retired from broadcasting to share his experience and insight with students as an instructor at Youngstown State University. Art has written and produced numerous Indie films, which have been shown at prestigious film festivals. In addition to teaching and writing/ producing A Byrd’s Eye View newsletter, Art also does freelance media work. He is based in Youngstown, Ohio. Michele Ristich Gatts began her full-time career in journalism with WKBN TV News, where she worked closely with radio news as well. After a decade in broadcasting, she branched into print, working five years for The Business Journal in various reporting and editorial capacities. Michele was fortunate to be recognized with a few prestigious journalism awards along the way, and has done a little teaching for YSU. She currently works as a freelance writer, editor and media consultant, and is based in Youngstown, Ohio. Contact her at Monnie Ryan retired in 2003 after 14 years as managing editor of The Business Journal in Youngstown, where she continues to contribute to the print and online editions. Articles she has written have appeared in more than 20 national publications and at several travelrelated Web sites, and she has won numerous awards for photography. Contact her at

A Byrd's Eye View Feb 3, 2012  

Newsletter about films, TV and Happenings

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