2015 Oscar Predictions

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We recently asked Ryan Hill, ArtsQuest’s Programming Manager for Cinema and Comedy, and Lauren McAloon, our Performing Arts Coordinator, to give us their predictions, hopes and dreams, and assorted commentary for the Oscars this Sunday.

Speaking of the Oscars, you can catch many of the nominated films at Frank Banko Alehouse Cinemas so you don’t look out-of-the-loop at your Oscars party this weekend. And speaking of Oscar parties, you should totally come to our viewing party this Sunday. There will be a red carpet, specialty-themed drinks, prizes, and more. Way better than trying to stream the ceremony on your Apple TV.

And now for the predictions…

BEST PICTURE

Will Win:
Lauren & Ryan – Boyhood

Should Win:
Lauren – Boyhood or Whiplash
Ryan – Whiplash

Lauren: Boyhood will win because it took 12 years to make and it deserves the award.

Ryan: If it were up to me, this would be a race between Grand Budapest Hotel and Whiplash, not Boyhood and Birdman. I still believe that Boyhood is a better cinematic achievement than it is a movie, though it’s a pretty good movie.

I believe the sentimentality of Boyhood gives it the edge over Birdman with your typical Academy voter, though this category is really more of a toss-up than it has been in previous years.

BEST DIRECTOR

Will Win:
Lauren & Ryan – Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Should Win:
Lauren – Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Ryan – Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Lauren: Linklater stuck to his vision the whole entire time from concept to the end result.

Ryan: It’s quite likely that whoever doesn’t get Best Picture will get Best Director, meaning Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is just as possible to win as Mr. Linklater. I believe that Grand Budapest is Wes Anderson’s crowning achievement, though, and deserves recognition beyond a nomination.

BEST ACTOR

Will win:
Lauren & Ryan – Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Should win:
Lauren – Michael Keaton, Birdman
Ryan – Redmayne

Lauren: I liked Eddie Redmayne in the Theory of Everything but I think this one should go to Michael Keaton – those long takes had to have been hard and he was in most of them.

Ryan: I loved Michael Keaton in Birdman. I loved everything about it. But I simply can’t argue with the transformation Redmayne undergoes to turn himself into Stephen Hawking. Plus, Redmayne won the SAG Award for Best Actor; it’s been 11 years since the man who won that didn’t go on to also collect the Oscar.

BEST ACTRESS

Will Win:
Lauren & Ryan – Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Should Win:
Lauren & Ryan – Moore

Lauren: It’s Julianne Moore, come on.

Ryan: I’m not the biggest fan of Still Alice, but it’s impossible to argue that Moore doesn’t turn in the performance of a lifetime. There’s no way she doesn’t get the Oscar on Sunday.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Will Win:
Lauren & Ryan – J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Should Win:
Lauren & Ryan – Simmons

Lauren: He was terrifying and amazing in Whiplash. I will be scared of him for a while.

Ryan: There are some truly great performances in this category, specifically from Edward Norton and Mark Ruffalo, the latter of which I’d argue is the best part of Foxcatcher. But if you think J.K. Simmons doesn’t deserve this award, you deserve a cymbal to the skull.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Will Win:
Lauren & Ryan – Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Should Win:
Lauren – Arquette
Ryan – Tilda Swinton, Snowpiercer

Lauren: She really committed to the role and it showed.

Ryan: I know, Tilda wasn’t even nominated. Obviously, I believe she should have been. She’s both terrifying and hilarious in Snowpiercer, and continually proves herself to be among the best actors working right now. The chances that anyone else wrests this away from Arquette are very slim, as I believe that this is one of the weakest fields for this category in years. Tilda would have made it 80 times stronger.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Will Win:
Lauren – Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ryan – Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Should Win:
Lauren – Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler
Ryan – Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo, Birdman

Lauren – Nightcrawler was an amazing movie that was shafted this award season.

Ryan – I’m aware of the irony here: many believe that Wes Anderson will get this for Grand Budapest, while Boyhood and Birdman take the bigger awards, yet I’m rooting for Birdman here and Budapest for Director. And this is the category Academy voters will give ‘conciliation’ prizes to comedies for. But I think the Academy will remain lame here and give another prize to Boyhood, where the real imagination lies in the scripts for Budapest and Birdman.

In the end, however, this is a tough 3-way race and any of those films could get this award.

ORIGINAL SONG

Will Win:
Lauren & Ryan – “Glory” (Selma), John Stephens & Lonnie Lynn

Should Win:
Lauren – “Everything Is Awesome” (The Lego Movie), Shawn Patterson
Ryan – “Glory”

Lauren – The Lego Movie should get something!

Ryan – I had “Lost Stars” from Begin Again stuck in my head for weeks. It’s a good song. But it ain’t as powerful as “Glory”.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Will Win:
Lauren & Ryan – Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman

Should Win:
Lauren – Robert Yeoman, The Grand Budapest Hotel; or Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski, Ida
Ryan – Lubezki

Ryan – I did not see Mr. Turner, unfortunately, which is the film in this category many cinephiles want to see pull out the win. There were just too many shots in Birdman that left me with my jaw wide open to believe that any other film was better shot.

BEST FOREIGN FILM

Will Win:
LaurenLeviathan
RyanIda

Should Win:
Lauren & Ryan – Ida

Ryan – Ida was the front-runner in this category for a bit, but then Leviathan pulled off the Golden Globe win. And now many are saying Wild Tales will pull off an upset. Ida was my favorite film of 2014, however, so I’m not rooting or predicting against it. It’s simply mesmerizing.

Mr. Right, Mr. Wrong, or Whatever

By Morgan Harris, ArtsQuest Marketing Intern

PICTURE THIS: You’re the only single friend left in your group, and you’re seriously considering if you will ever meet Mr. Right. You see a nice-looking guy with expensive taste from across the bar. With a sip of his Grey Goose vodka on the rocks he sends a wink in your direction—you’re hooked.

Dates go by and you decide that maybe everyone is wrong and money can indeed buy your love (this is something you could get used to). The biggest rock you’ve ever seen gets placed on your hand a few months later. Although you have serious doubts about your relationship, you accept the offer. You figure, dating Mr. Wrong has never felt so right. Also, you really like FRIENDS and want to be like Monica.

That’s right, you scream it girl!

Giulia Rozzi’s story, Bad Bride, depicts the exact reasons why that huge rock on your hand won’t be able to make you happy forever. She’s lived through a similar experience and is taking her one-woman comedy show around the world to warn people to tread lightly when considering a spouse.

In this show Giulia fesses up about getting married when she knew she wasn’t ready. Through self experience and exploration she discusses topics such as, monogamy, divorce, romance and self-love. No matter what your relationship status is, you’ll be entertained by this honest tale of wedding woes.

Wander Woman

If Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Chelsea Handler rank among your favorites for all-out laughter, you’ll love Ophira Eisenberg.

By Morgan Harris, ArtsQuest Marketing Intern

If you’ve ever made fun of your roommate for coming home wearing the same clothes as the night before, then this is a show for you.

If you enjoy hilarious stories about sexual encounters, then this is *still* a show for you. (You’re lying if you said no to that last statement.)

Host of NPR’s Ask Me Another, Eisenberg is an inventive and witty stand-up comedian and writer. She was also selected as one of New York Magazine’s Top 10 Comics that Funny People Find Funny.

When Eisenberg moved to New York 12 years ago, she was a self-proclaimed “slut,” dedicated to a life of challenging conquests and nontraditional sexual encounters. She hooked up with guys on her own terms.

Through her debut memoir titled, “Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy,” Eisenberg explains how her hyper-sexual past led her to the man of her dreams. Her book has been optioned for a feature film, and she recently released her second comedy album, “BANGS!

Do yourself a favor. Enjoy an unconventional Valentine’s Day evening out and see this intelligent, badass woman.

Tying the Knot: Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding

By Morgan Harris, ArtsQuest’s Marketing Intern

Tony and Tina will understand if you don’t bring them a wedding gift. This is not your typical awkward family wedding. (And let’s be honest, you don’t have the money for that blender with the laser accuracy and backflip capabilities anyway.)

Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding is a quirky, kooky, one-of-a-kind show experience. Nicknamed the “granddaddy of interactive theater,” you might become part of the show in the best possible way. Don’t be afraid to break it down and try those awesome new moves—they will look cooler on the dance floor than they do in front of your mirror. Or you can totally hit on that great-looking bridesmaid and not have to worry about her being your best friend’s long lost half sister. Aunt Gertrude won’t be there to judge you. Genius!

Tony and Tina know how to party.

RSVP today and be our guest at Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding this month for cocktails, dinner, and holy matrimony.

Girl Scout Cookie Palooza

Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Patties, Caramel deLites, oh my! So much for that New Year’s resolution to eat healthier, right? It’s nearly impossible to avoid such a yummy event like the first annual Girl Scout Cookie Crunch, so make Sunday, February 8 your food cheat day! (I know I will.)

By Morgan Harris, ArtsQuest Marketing Intern

At the Girl Scout Cookie Crunch you’ll enjoy a sampling of mouth-watering dishes and desserts featuring one of 12 Girl Scout Cookie brands such as Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Patties, Caramel deLites, or Shortbread. This event is not only a great time to taste test a world of new Girl Scout cookie-inspired possibilities, but also a way to support the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania and the ArtsQuest Arts Education Fund. Attending this cookie-happy event is going to be the best decision you’ve made so far this year.

How does Salted Caramel deLites Cheesecake sound? What about Chipotle Shortbread Mac and Cheese? Yup…I know those creations sound amazing, but that’s just the beginning on the list of yummy.

After having tasted the Frozen Peanut Butter Pie with Peanut Butter Patties you may become inspired. But don’t worry about trying to track down your neighborhood Girl Scout—a cookie booth will be available at the ArtsQuest Center upon your departure.

So join us with a cookie (or three) in each hand and sway to the poetic sounds of Lizanne Knott. You and I both know that it’s always more fun to indulge in calorie-filled snacks with friends, so tell as many friends as you can, or come find me there and I’ll be your snack sampling buddy!

Winning!

Choose-Your-Own First Friday Adventure

Those in the know know that First Friday is one of the best ways to feel like you’ve got your finger on the pulse of Bethlehem. Each month, we get a chance to get out on the town and have an amazing kick-off to the weekend because the South Side has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to that really cool restaurant, that neat little shop, that awesome art experience, or that great gallery opening.

You can see these colorfully awesome quilts at First Friday as part of Deciphering the Universe: Quilts by Barbara Schulman.

This month’s First Friday will kick off February 6 from 6-9 p.m. at the Banana Factory and 6-10 p.m. in South Side Bethlehem. Because there is no shortage of choices at this super awesome community celebration, we have created some ready-made adventure plans for you. Yes, you! Let’s begin.


Elizabeth’s First Friday Adventure
By Elizabeth Wiggins, ArtsQuest Visual Arts and Education Coordinator

Part 1: Fueling Up. I’m starting by covering the cool restaurant part of the evening first so I don’t get that rushing-because-I’m-hungry feeling and miss something I really want to see. Since I like places with a lot of vegetarian options, I’m likely to hit Nawab Indian Restaurant, Twenty Four East, Sal’s Brick Oven Pizza, or La Lupita for dinner before heading over to the Banana Factory to spend my evening checking out what’s new in the local art scene.

Part 2: The Banana Factory.

  • Fun Fact #1: The Banana Factory currently has 29 Resident Artists occupying studio space on the first, second, and third floors of the building. This month, there are two new Resident Artists, Melissa Perhamus and Michelle Neifert, to welcome to the building.
  • Fun Fact #2: Every month, two Resident Artists are Featured Artists on the first floor of the building. In February, Erin Anderson and Michelle Neifert both get their first turns as Featured Artists.
  • Fun Fact #3: All of the Resident Artists do something completely different from their fellow artists.

Pro Tip: Grab one of the Banana Factory maps created by the Resident Artists at the Front Desk as a handy reference guide. Then, start visiting studios on the third floor and work your way downstairs. The artists’ doors are open and they’re ready to meet you.

glass-studio

People glassblowing. In the Glass Studio.

Part 3: The ArtsQuest Glass Studio. After visiting with the Resident Artists, I’m going to stay on the first floor and head to the back of the Banana Factory, towards the ArtsQuest Glass Studio. On First Friday, our in-house glass artists do a long glassblowing demonstration and hold make-your-own workshops on the Studio floor. This month they’re decorating the studio in all red for Valentine’s Day and sculpting a bust of the goddess Aphrodite out of hot glass.

For those interested in trying out glass themselves, the make-your-own is glass hearts. Spots will go fast, so reserve yours here: http://buff.ly/1zdrJyz

And, if you’re looking for a special, handmade something, there will be one-of-a-kind Valentine’s Day themed glass merchandise for sale on First Friday only. Treat yourself or someone else.


Elena’s First Friday Adventure
By Elena Douvanis, ArtsQuest’s Marketing Manager

Part 1: Exhibitions at the Banana Factory. Let’s get this party started at one of the Banana Factory’s four current exhibitions. This is my adventure, so I’m going to explore the Hope & Healing Juried Art Show‘s opening reception in the Crayola Gallery. This show, which is the signature project of Healing Through The Arts, helps change the quality of health for patients and caregivers by providing inspirational art to hospitals and healthcare facilities, where people often spend time waiting in patient rooms and treatment areas. Talk about a cool mission. Learn more about the Hope & Healing Juried Art Show: http://buff.ly/1JIYKXO or read about the other exhibitions you can choose: http://buff.ly/1LiB7ax

Part 2: Crafters and Shopping. Looking often leads to shopping, which is where I’m off to next. On the first floor of the Banana Factory, you’ll find First Friday crafters with an array of wares from 3-D paper objects, to handmade accessories that put Etsy to shame, to colorfully up-cycled garments and jewelry. Don’t be “that guy” who buys generic scented hand soap for birthday presents. Be “that guy” who buys incredibly unique, locally sourced gifts that people will want to fight over. Learn more about the crafters: http://buff.ly/1LiBeTr

Part 3: More Shopping. There’s lots of cool handmade stuff to buy at the Banana Factory, but you’d be missing out if you didn’t visit some of the great shops in South Bethlehem, too. I’m starting to get a little hangry, so I’ll pick up some made-from-scratch sea salt caramels at Tallarico’s Chocolates to hold me over. Then I’ll stop at Cleo’s Silversmith Studio and Gallery to ogle the lovely jewelry, ceramics, furniture, and more made by over 100 American craftsmen Cleo has selected to feature in the shop. All this while Brooklyn-based violinist and fiddler Sam Barnes and Rich Jeffries play in the background. There are many more places to check out, but I’m hungry!

tallarico's-chocolate

I’m a sucker for sea salt.

Part 4: Carbs and Drinks. Time to hit up one of South Bethlehem’s many restaurants. I’m in the mood for pasta (when am I *not* in the mood for pasta?) so let’s check out Molinari’s. After a glass of Italian wine and bowl of premise-made pasta, I’m ready for a nightcap at the newly opened Social Still. Social Still has the honor of serving as Bethlehem’s first distillery, featuring small-batch craft spirits, cocktails, and small plates. I’ll have the Crazy Mary, featuring a shot of Social Still’s jalapeño-infused vodka. Or maybe I’ll have the Pickled Martini. Scratch that–I’ll have both. #FirstFridayYOLO


The options are plentiful at First Friday, dear reader. You can see them all here. Feel free to use one of our Guaranteed Fun Plans, but we also encourage you–nay, challenge you–to go wild and create your own First Friday adventure experience!

You can do it!

P.S. For those who come out to First Friday, we’ve got a contest for you: This month, we’re hosting a Twitter photo contest to find out what and who you love at the Banana Factory. During your visit, keep your eye out for something special that makes your heart soar or gives you a little smile: a piece of art, a group gathered to hear an artist talk, an amazing demonstration, or something we can’t even imagine yet. Then, grab some people—an artist, friends, loved ones, new friends you’ve just made—and get them all together in a picture. Tweet it to @bananafactory with the hashtag #ForTheLoveOfFirstFriday by 9 p.m. on Friday, February 6. We’ll go through all your amazing photos and pick the photo that best captures the sentiment of our hashtag to win one of our February or March Photography Workshops.

It’s all about that BUTTER

A brief love letter to the most quintessential of movie snacks: popcorn. Specifically, Frank Banko Alehouse Cinema popcorn.

By Elena Douvanis, ArtsQuest’s Marketing Manager

Frank Banko Alehouse popcorn is best with butter. Lots and lots of it. Since I’m passionate about butter in a Julia Child sort of way, I’ve tested popcorn from movie theater concession stands across the Lehigh Valley. I’m here to tell you that Frank Banko Alehouse does it best. I recently went to Another-Movie-Theater-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and excitedly ordered my popcorn, only to find out that their butter game was seriously subpar. Dejectedly, I found a seat in Crappy Popcorn Theater, but Katniss Everdeen’s archery skills lost their luster after that culinary disappointment.

All The Butter

Julia knows what’s up.

Frank Banko Alehouse popcorn can be ordered with BEER. Or wine. Or a mixed drink. The Mike & Ike Bistro Bar offers more than 20 domestic and imported beers and 25 wines. Pro tip: Remember to enjoy responsibly and not to the point where you get sleepy! It’s a dark theater, but you paid for a movie ticket, not a nap. And if popcorn’s not your thing (why are you still reading this blog post?) the Bistro also has candy, peanuts, appetizers, soups, sandwiches, gourmet pizzas, and dessert. So basically: all of the snacks.

Frank Banko Alehouse popcorn accompanies some badass movie selections. You’ve got Oscar nominees. You’ve got Sundance winners. You’ve got independent films. You’ve got foreign flicks. You’ve got documentaries. SOLD.

To recap: Butter, beer, movies. Weekend plans? Handled.

Hey thanks, Olivia.

We have things for you to do this week (and on Christmas Day)!

ThumbsupBy Jon Lunger, ArtsQuest’s Director of Marketing.

After the presents have been presented and the feast has been feasted, you want to escape the family. It’s OK to admit it, there’s no shame, we’ve all been there. In fact, it’s part of the reason why Christmas is a big day at the movies.

So, with that it mind, we’ve got some fantastic things lined up for you on Christmas (and all week, really) to help you survive (or perhaps even enjoy) the holidays!  Not only do we have movies, but we’ve got comedy shows, concerts and more! For a complete list of what we’ve got going on, visit www.steelstacks.org

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Wednesday, 12/24

  • The Theory of Everything (final screenings!) – The incredible story of Jane and Stephen Hawking.  Stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones.
  • Wild – A chronicle of one woman’s 1,100-mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent catastrophe. Stars Reese Witherspoon.
  • The Imitation Game – English mathematician and logician, Alan Turing, helps crack the Enigma code during World War II. Stars Benedict Cumberbatch.

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Thursday, 12/25

sliver_imitation

Friday, 12/26

sliver_cupcakes

Saturday, 12/27

sliver_wild

Sunday, 12/28

That’s gets us all through the holiday weekend, with some seriously fun options for you leading up to the week of PEEPSFEST!  Go to one, go to them all… or anything in between.  I wish you the best of luck and hope to see you at SteelStacks.

Happy holidays to you and yours!

-Jon

12 deals on 12 items for 12 days!

SALE

It’s our first-ever 12 Days of Christmas Sale:
12 deals on 12 items for 12 days!

In the spirit of the most difficult Christmas carol to memorize the words to, we’ve put together 12 deals on 12 great gifts available in our online store – https://store.artsquest.org/ – for the next 12 days (now thru 12/19)!

AND we’re offering 12%-off everything else in the online store (except the featured 12 items below and gift cards) when you use promo code SAVE12 (all caps).

TWELVE!

OK, onward to the dozen deals:

1. This green Bethlehem hoodie

Don’t just tell people Bethlehem was founded in 1741, SHOW them by wearing this hoodie!

  • Was: $29.99
  • Buy it now for only $23.99

2. This handpainted SteelStacks ornament

This handpainted ornament, depicting the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks, is painted by hand.

  • Was: $19.99
  • Buy it now for only $9.99

3. This Bethlehem Steel hoodie

You can never have too many hooded sweatshirts, let alone hooded sweatshirts with the Bethlehem Steel logo on them!

  • Was: $34.99
  • Buy it now for only $27.99

4. This Bethlehem Steel spinning logo mug

None of your other mugs have a Bethlehem Steel logo that you can spin around while you’re in a boring meeting.

  • Was: $9.99
  • Buy it now for only $7.99

5. This grey Bethlehem Steel hat

Cover your head with a Bethlehem Steel logo!

  • Was: $19.99
  • Buy it now for only $9.99

6. This Bethlehem: The Christmas City – DVD

Narrated by actor and Bethlehem native Jonathan Frakes (Star Trek: The Next Generation), this 30- minute documentary is info-tainment.

  • Was: $19.99
  • Buy it now for only $9.99

7.This Bethlehem Steel t-shirt

Everyone needs a Bethlehem Steel shirt, why not get one that is steel-colored?

  • Was: $19.99
  • Buy it now for only $9.99

8. This keychain / greeting card combo

You will look foolish buying just a greeting card or just a keychain, when you can  just combine the two!

  • Was: $6.99
  • Buy it now for only $3.50

9. This postcard ornament

FACT: It is not technically a Christmas tree unless you have a Christmas City ornament on it.

  • Was: $29.99
  • Buy it now for only $15

10. This handcrafted St Nicholas ornament from Poland

Santa gives more gifts to people who have tiny versions of his likeness on their trees.

  • Was: $59.99
  • Buy it now for only $30

11. This Musikfest Cafe vessel for drinking beverages out from

You never have to pour a beverage into a boring, plain glass again!

  • Was: $2.49
  • Buy it now for only $1.50

12. This Musikfest “Tailgate Hoodie”

If your hoodie doesn’t have a built in Neoprene beverage holder inside pouch pocket and an attached bottle opener, it’s like you’re not even trying.

  • Was: $49.99
  • Buy it now for only $39.99

 

So there you have it, our latest online store discounts! These 12 deals can be yours now thru 12/19 at https://store.artsquest.org only. Remember you can use promo code SAVE12 to save 12%-off everything else (except giftcards) thru 12/19 as well!

Happy shopping!

Fine print: While supplies last! Deals are for online sales at https://store.artsquest.org only and aren’t valid in combination with any other promotions or discounts. 12% discount not valid on the items listed above or giftcards. Must use promo code “SAVE12” (all caps) to receive discount.

Cyber Monday deals because internet

cybermonday
By Jon Lunger, ArtsQuest

You’re on the internet right now, reading this blog post, so I don’t need to explain to you what Cyber Monday is… So, on to our deals!

Monday, 12/1, starting at 9am, you can get 50%-off tickets to the following shows, when you use discount coupon code CYBER14 (all caps) at checkout:

This offer is good for online purchases online. It isn’t valid on previously purchased tickets, or in combination with other offers. Discount is before fees and taxes. Oh yeah, and it’s while supplies last (only 50 discounted tickets are available for each show).

We’ve got some most excellent merchandise deals too!

  • Now thru Sunday, 11/30 at 11:59pm, use promo code BLACKFRI (all caps) to save 20% in our online store: http://store.artsquest.org/
  • Monday, 12/1, thru Wed, 12/3 – Get a $10 giftcard with every online purchase of $100!