Arts Previews

  •  The film “Combat Obscura,” which critics have praised for its Cinéma vérité approach to chronicling the war in Afghanistan, plays at Amherst Cinema June 19. Image from movie website

Published: 6/12/2019 8:26:21 PM
Groundbreaking film at Amherst Cinema

“Combat Obscura,” a film shot by U.S. marines in Afghanistan that the New York times calls “an eye-opening dispatch from a conflict mired in confusion,” plays at the Amherst Cinema on Wednesday, June 19 at 7 p.m. The film’s director, Miles Lagoze, and Veteran Chris Jones will be at the presentation to take questions.

Lagoze enlisted in the Marine Corps out of high school and, after deploying to Afghanistan, served as his unit's official videographer, tasked with shooting and editing footage for the Corps’ recruiting purposes and historical initiatives.

But upon discharging, Lagoze took all the footage he and his fellow cameramen shot, and, according to press notes, “he assembled quite simply the very documentary the Corps does not want you to see…. ‘Combat Obscura’ is a groundbreaking look at daily life in a war zone as told by the Marines themselves … [that] repurposes the original footage to reveal the intensity and paradoxes of an ambiguous war from an unvarnished perspective.”

The event is free to Amherst Cinema members. More information is available at

Northampton concert celebrates local composer

The Illuminati Vocal Arts Ensemble, the Hampshire Young People's Chorus and two soloists will join forces on Saturday, June 15 at Smith College to debut a new choral work by composer Geoffrey Hudson, “A Passion for the Planet,” which offers a musical exploration of climate change.

Hudson, a native of Pellam, has had his work performed across the U.S. and Europe and has directed the Quabbin Valley Pro Musica, a choral group of about 50 members, and Pioneer Valley Cappella.

The concert, which will feature solos from Dashon Burton and Alisa Pearson, takes place at Sweeney Concert Hall, Sage Hall at Smith College, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at An interview with Hudson and others about the new composition can be see at

Seminal rock band with Valley roots returns

Sebadoh, the indie rock band co-founded in the late 1980s by Eric Gaffney and Lou Barlow — the latter was the former bass player for Amherst legend J Mascis’ Dinosaur Jr. — has a new album out and will play at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke on Friday, June 21 at 8 p.m.

“Act Surprised,” recorded in western Massachusetts, has 15 songs and is Sebadoh’s ninth studio album. One critic says the new disc is full of “spiky, aggressive three-minute rock songs that don’t let their jagged edges obscure the throbbing heart at their center."

The album has also garnered good reviews in publications such as Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and others, according to press notes. Tickets for next Friday’s concert, which is produced by DSP Shows, range from $20 to $25 and can be purchased  at






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