Gillespie Life


Strike up the band with 'Whiplash'

How can you see jazz? It’s easy to hear and a delight to listen to, but how can one visualize jazz in pictures rather than sounds?

Is it in a contrast of colors? Harsh browns and tans counterbalancing bright hues of blue? The dueling colors of black and white intermixing like yin and yang.

The best independent film of our time — winner of both the audience and grand jury awards at the 30th Sundance Film Festival in January — explores just such a topic.

“Whiplash,” which easily moves into the top spot as 2014’s best film, features Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons in an emotional tug-of-war style dance that engulfs the viewer in a 106-minute free-style jazz duet of obsession and the pursuit of greatness.


Epic 'Interstellar' encompasses best, worst of Christopher Nolan


Everything about the space odyssey “Interstellar” crafted from the mind of director Christopher Nolan oozes with the grandiose brushstrokes of a supreme master of cinema.

One of 2014’s best offerings, the film is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise lifeless year of filmmaking.

Where most new movies lack creativity and originality, “Interstellar” bathes in it. There is no other movie like “Interstellar,” a rare feat in cinema.

Watching the film in its native IMAX is an experience all to itself as the cinematography and visual stimuli on a mammoth screen help give “Interstellar” the weight and impact that is needed to completely immerse the viewer into the experience Nolan creates.

So much of the film is shot using IMAX-specific cameras that missing out on the “Interstellar” experience on an IMAX screen is like showing up 30 minutes into the film and expecting to see a complete movie.


'Stories through art' – Cowboy Bronze now at home in new space

At home in his new space at 226 W. Main Street, Bub Vickers of Cowboy Bronze Fine Art Gallery stands beside one of his bronze sculpture, "Veterans' Day." Vickers' and the other artists represented at the gallery will be celebrating the move with a "Fall Group Show" that opens on Friday night during First Friday Art Walk Fredericksburg and continues throughout the month. — Standard-Radio Post/Yvonne Hartmann

By Yvonne Hartmann

Bub Vickers is a storyteller, but not in the traditional sense.

Standing in his new gallery space at 226 West Main Street, Vickers looked around at his bronze sculptures. “There’s a story behind all of these pieces,” he said.

The bronzes tell the stories of Vickers’ life from his days as a cowboy with titles such as “Hog Wild,” “Trophy Hunter,” “Bogged Down,” “Barrel of Fun,” “Veterans’ Day” and more.

Along with his bronze sculptures, Vickers is also a painter.

Celebrating a new space

Vickers and his late wife, Susan, opened Cowboy Bronze Fine Art Gallery in Fredericksburg in 2009, and he recently relocated to what he describes as “one really big gallery space.”

To celebrate the move, the gallery will host a “Fall Group Show” starting Friday, Nov. 7, and showcasing the work of the gallery artists.


Trail Rider – Langerhans' pastime has taken him racing across the country

Carl Langerhans (right) and Mike Seward (left) begin the trek up a vertical rock face at Canyons off Road in Fredericksburg on Saturday, Oct. 25. Lnagerhans and Seward eventually won the race. — Standard-Radio Post/Austin R. Eck

By Austin R. Eck

It’s the roar of the engines that pierce through the quiet Saturday afternoon.

Out Ranch Road 2323, the terrain becomes more and more formidable with each mile, and cut into the rocky, tree-covered hills are a series of paths used for racing.

One of the engines roaring the hills and the trees belongs to Fredericksburg’s Carl Langerhans, who won this year’s Central Division Dirt Riot Endurance Racing Series, an organized off road racing series.

Langerhans’ first experiences with dirt racing started in high school in his 1978 Toyota Land Cruiser when he started recreational wheeling.

“I did that for years and years,” he said. “Just going out, hitting the trails and hanging out with friends.”


Enigmatic Gyllenhaal shines in near-perfect thriller 'Nightcrawler'

You’ll probably need more than one viewing to fully appreciate the incredibly cerebral “Nightcrawler,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal as a neurotic loner who stumbles into a career as a “nightcrawler” — a freelance television cameraman tasked with filming crime scenes and car accidents.

Though its trailer focuses more on the action, “Nightcrawler” is a fairly “talky” film, with Gyllenhaal’s Lou getting most of the movie’s best — and most ominous — lines.

Lou’s insistence to his intern that he “will never ask you to do something that he would not do himself,” is a common enough phrase used in business taken to a bone-chilling and intense level when viewers actually learn what Lou will do to be first and best at filming a crime scene.

The faint at heart will not appreciate some of the imagery depicted in the gruesome scenes that match the “if it bleeds, it leads” mentality of the television news programs the film is centered around.


Serviceable thriller 'John Wick' overcomes various obstacles

Nothing much is surprising about the latest action thriller “John Wick,” except for the fact that it isn’t completely terrible.

The plot is raw and unoriginal — vengeful assassin Keanu Reeves takes out a lot of bad people after they steal his car and kill his dog, a final present from his dying wife.

Every indication points in the direction of an absolute bust of a movie. The trailer is downright comical in the worst possible way.

It shouldn’t make sense that “a vengeful Keanu Reeves” is something anyone really wants to see, given what poor quality Reeves has put out over the last decade.

Yet somehow, despite all the tell-tale red flags of a poor movie, “John Wick” overcomes them all and is actually a pretty serviceable traditional action film, reminiscent of a more modern homage to “The Boondock Saints,” a film about vigilante killers who don’t really have, or need, a good reason to kill the bad guys.


Pitt, Lerman lead strong cast in gripping WWII drama 'Fury'

If “Fury” is any indication of the direction cinema is headed for the rest of 2014, it’s a good time to be a film fanatic.

Coming off the release of David Fincher’s terrific thriller “Gone Girl,” it was hard to imagine Hollywood providing any level of consistency in the quality of filmmaking heading into the final few months of the year, but the action epic “Fury” puts out a tremendous effort just short of remarkable.

Director David Ayer, best known as the writer of “Training Day” and the director of “End of Watch,” provides a nearly perfect fictionalized account of a lone American tank stuck behind enemy lines in World War II Germany.

Interestingly enough, “Fury” is the first movie since 1946 in which an actual German “Tiger” tank was used in filming instead of a prop one.


Local P.E.O. making an impact

Three Hill Country girls joined the freshman class at Cottey College in August. Taking a break from moving into dorm rooms in August were Jaida Brown (in front) and in back, Con-nie Pressler, Cottey chair-man for the Chapter IB of the P.E.O. in Fredericks-burg; Felisa Ramirez; Betty Stutz, president of Chapter IB in Fredericksburg, and Daniela Vargas. — Submit-ted photo


Chapter IB of the P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization) members in Fredericksburg are on a mission.

They are trying to help local women of all ages further their education by sponsoring students to Cottey College and by offering financial assistance through grants, loans, awards and scholarship programs.

But they need to get the word out about their various projects and how they can benefit women.

“We are always searching and looking, but it’s still hard to spread the word,” said Betty Stutz, president of Chapter IB.

In addition to owning Cottey College, the P.E.O. helps women through its Program for Continuing Education, Educational Loan Fund, STAR Scholarship and Scholar Award.

The programs are designed to help women — from high school seniors, to those pursuing a doctorate, as well as those who have decided to return to school.


It's Native Plant Week

Native Plant Society of Texas-Fredericksburg Chapter has tended this native plant garden on the grounds of the Pioneer Museum complex. The garden is an example of diverse, colorful native selections.

By Raeann Reid


Native Plant Week, Oct. 19-26, is a time to pay homage to the many beautiful and useful plants that for centuries have made their home here in the Texas Hill Country.

In celebration, the Fredericksburg Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) invites you to pay special attention to the native plants around town. In addition to being beautiful, these plants require less water than non-natives, attract and sustain local wildlife, require little or no soil amendment, are natural to their ecosystem and help to maintain biological diversity.

Consider taking advantage of the cool, wet weather to plant natives in your landscape. Plants transplanted from one-gallon or larger containers will have time to establish roots to survive the winter and be thriving before the summer heat.


'Ugliest tree, prettiest wood'

A turquoise star inlay, with additional decorative items, is a specialty of Robert Lerma, of Mesquite Wood Gallery near Alice. Lerma’s son, Carlos Lerma, of Brownsville, also works with mesquite wood, spe-cializing in furniture. — Standard-Radio Post/Ken Esten Cooke

By Ken Esten Cooke


Charlie Roberts of San Angelo has been working with mesquite for four decades. His artistic pieces include round mesquite frames that are inlaid with other woods and even turquoise.

Roberts was one of 55 artists at the 22nd Annual Texas Mesquite Show, held Friday through Sunday at Marktplatz, overflowing its spaces under the Adelsverein Halle and the adjacent pavilion. Thousands of curious onlookers came to see this Texas wood being used in all manner of artistic pursuit, from furniture, to decoration to kitchen items.

“It’s the ugliest tree and the prettiest wood,” Roberts said.

Al Carr, the festival director, joked that people call him “the rainmaker,” as it has rained 15 of the 22 years of the show.

Still crowds were strong, and a lot of vendors sold out completely.

Carr said he will use $500 of the show’s proceeds to donate to the Fredericksburg High School’s industrial arts program.


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