February 18, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I, II, III & IV • Page 19 Joni Mitchell’s music featured in new DVD release by Dennis Seuling Joni Mitchell came to prominence with the 1968 release of her first, self-named album for Reprise Records. This seminal year also saw such artists as The Who, The Byrds, The Beatles, The Doors, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and Crosby, Stills and Nash as major influences in music. Canadian-born singer-songwriter Mitchell, whose style embraced both folk and lyrical pop, brought a new, fresh sound to contemporary music. Her best-known song, “Both Sides Now,” became a hit for Judy Collins in the 1960s. “Joni Mitchell’s The Fiddle and the Drum” (Koch Vision) is a collaboration between Mitchell and Alberta Ballet Artistic Director Jean Grand-Maitre. In 2007, the two created an emotional production blending Mitchell’s music and art with GrandMaitre’s choreography. The result was a narrative ballet that explores the human spirit’s potential to create and destroy, its ability to love and hate, and its capacity for war and peace. The set for the ballet features Mitchell’s artwork projected onto a large canvas screen. The work reflects Mitchell’s lifelong concerns about environmental neglect and the tendency of mankind to go to war. The soundtrack includes re-mastered versions of 10 songs from Mitchell’s catalog, including three from “Shine,” her most recent album: “If,” “If I Had a Heart,” and a remix of “Big Yellow Taxi.” It also contains “For the Roses,” “Passion Play (When All the Slaves Are Free),” “Slouching Towards Bethlehem,” “The Beat of Black Wings,” “Sex Kills,” “Three Giant Stimulants,” and “The Fiddle and the Drum.” The DVD release includes an interview in which Mitchell and Grand-Maitre share the personal story of their collaboration, a featurette of two ballet dancers describing their experiences with the project, and an eight-page booklet with liner notes by Mitchell. “Palo Alto, CA” (Image Entertainment) focuses on four college freshmen (Ben Savage, Johnny Lewis, Justin Mentell, Aaron Ashmore) who bite off more than they can chew when they come home for Thanksgiving break. Tom Arnold is on board as a school bus driver and mentor. What begins as a typical horny guys/coming-of-age flick turns out to be much more. Each of the initially shallow characters develops in depth as their stories unfold. The movie is many things: buddy film, comedy, romance, and drama. The screenplay by Tony Vallone is clever and touching, taking pains to make the four men real folks rather than mere deliverers of wisecracking repartee. The picture’s modest budget and lack of name stars gives it the look and feel of an indie, and also adds credibility to the story. The film proves that a comedy featuring young men need not take the low road of obvious jokes and tired, overused situations to milk laughs. The humor here derives from how the characters react to unexpected circumstances, growing up along the way. “I Served the King of England” (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) is directed by Jiri Menzel, director of the Academy Award-winning “Closely Watched Trains” (1968, Best Foreign Language Film). Jan Dite (Ivan Barnev) dreams of becoming a millionaire. This short-of-stature but (continued on Crossword page) The songs of Joni Mitchell (pictured) combine with dance in ‘The Fiddle and the Drum.’ Anthony Francos Ristorante & Pizzeria s from Acros ovie the M er Theat Pizza • Pasta Chicken • Veal Seafood Salads• Appetizers Hot & Cold Sandwiches FREE DELIVERY TO ALL LOCAL AREAS (Ample on-site parking) • Open 7 Days • Major Credit Cards Accepted • Full Menu at afpizza.com 128 E. Main St. • Ramsey • 201-236-8000 ����������� �������������� & Pizzeria ��������������� �������������������� ������������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������������� ���������������������������������������������� ����������������������������������� � ��������������� ���������������������������� ������������������������������ �������� ������������� ��������������� ������� ���������������������������� ������������������������������ ������������������� ��������������� ����������� �������������������������� ���������������������������� ������������������������������ ������������� ����������������� ��������������� ���������� ������� �������������� ��������������� ����� �������������������������������� ���������������������������� ������������������������������ ���������������������������������������������� 166 East Ridgewood Avenue, Ridgewood, NJ - 201.389.6156