What to do when there’s ‘nothing’ to do…



Downtown Chalk Art Festival. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 5, Downtown Longmont. 

The Downtown Chalk Art Festival will bring more than a dozen artists together to create colorful, intricate chalk art throughout downtown Longmont on Sept. 5. Artists will be socially distanced enough to allow people to watch their creation process. Enjoy live music and local artisan vendors as you peruse the chalk art and cast a vote for your favorite creation. The People’s Choice winner will be named based on likes on the ArtWalk Longmont Facebook and Instagram pages, where all works will be featured. 

Chautauqua@Home Fall 2020. Sept. 23-Dec. 14, chautauqua.com. Tickets on sale now. 

The Colorado Chautauqua has announced the first round of its Chautauqua@Home virtual programming season, featuring Chautauqua’s popular Space Series, in addition to Grammy Award-winning comedian David Misch (of Mork & Mindy fame) and powerful stories and images from Jon Waterman’s National Geographic Atlas of the National Parks. The centerpiece of the Fall 2020 Chautauqua@Home season is the family-friendly Space Series, which provides the opportunity for patrons to ask speakers live questions during the program, along with other interactive features. Chautauqua@Home events start at 7 p.m. Chautauqua will announce a second round of virtual programming in October, including silent films, local dance films and kids’ concerts. For a full lineup, please visit chautauqua.com.

Nancy Norton — with Jose Macall, Kate Strobel, Salma Zaky and Zoe Rogers. 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3, Dairy Arts Center loading dock, 2590 Walnut St., Boulder, thedairy.org. Tickets are $20.

Enjoy pandemic-friendly, socially distanced live comedy at the Dairy Arts Center’s Backporch Series. Last December, headliner Nancy Norton was named the 2019 Champion of the 40th Seattle International Comedy Competition. You may have seen her at the Dairy Arts Center when she became the 2016 Grand Champion of Truth Be Told. She will be joined by Jose Macall, host of the weekly Three AM podcast and veteran of many comedy festivals, dives and clubs. Kate Strobel and Salma Zaky are also on the bill, with Zoe Rogers opening and hosting the evening. Come laugh in your mask.

Longmont Museum presents: Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance  — ‘Because the Sky is Blue.’ 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, Longmont Museum, 400 Quail Road, Longmont, frequentflyers.org. Tickets are $25 for general admission, $23 for students/senior, $20 for museum members. 

Drawing inspiration from Terry Maker’s Because the World is Round exhibition at Longmont Museum, Frequent Flyers has tailored-made the site-specific performance, Because the Sky is Blue, especially for the museum. Aerial performers suspended in flight invite audiences to see the world from a fresh perspective. Three groups of 50 audience members will be led through three spaces, spending 15 minutes in each. Starting in the museum’s atrium, then moving into a large classroom and ending outside in the courtyard. Staggered start times will facilitate social distancing. Audiences will be seated, and staff will ensure ample room for social distancing. All are required to wear masks for the duration, including performers and tech staff. Purchase tickets online or call 303-651-8374.

CU Boulder Conference on World Affairs Virtual Speakers. Sept. 10-11.

The CU Boulder Conference on World Affairs virtual event will feature eight sessions over two days discussing leadership and human connection. The event is free and open to the public. Watch live at colorado.edu/cwa. Speakers include: A’shanti Gholar, president of Emerge, an organization dedicated to recruiting and training Democratic women to run for office; Steven Olikara, founder and president of Millennial Action Project, a nonpartisan organization of millennial lawmakers in the U.S.; and Roger McNamee, Silicon Valley investor and author of the New York Times best-selling book Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe. There will also be conversations about combating loneliness with a former astronaut and crew member of the International Space Station, sports activism with the executive director of the U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team Players Association, and lessons in leadership across generations with the Founder and President of the Privilege Institute.


Barbara Rudlaff: ‘Seen.’  Sept. 10-Oct. 4. Firehouse Art Center, 667 Fourth Ave., Longmont, firehouse.org. Second Friday reception 6-9 p.m. Sept. 11.

Barbara Rudlaff presents the culmination of her summer residency at Longmont’s Firehouse Art Center in her solo exhibit Seen. Featuring oil portraits of lesbians in her social circle, each 12”x12” portrait depicts the subject in a realist style against a white background, wearing a mask for health and safety in response to the pandemic. Portraits are spaced in the gallery at least 6 feet apart, commenting on distance while encouraging us to draw closer. To focus on representation, Rudlaff has chosen to depict only lesbians experiencing professional achievement. Accompanying the portraits are written statements from each person about their own experiences since the beginning of the pandemic, ranging in style from poetry to prose. 

Museum of Boulder Call for Artwork Submissions — ‘Drawing Parallels: Community Art & Artifacts from 2020.’  Submissions accepted through Oct. 1, museumofboulder.org.

Museum of Boulder invites you to submit art that explore the relationships among simultaneous, sweeping events — from world wars, to movements for civil rights, to pandemics — in Boulder’s past and present for the fall exhibit Drawing Parallels: Community Art & Artifacts from 2020. Submissions may be centered on any relevant events or topics the artist deems significant to this year. Submitted artwork can date from the March closures up until present. Artwork will not be accepted past the proposal due date. No submissions of digital media — 2D and 3D pieces only. Photography accepted. The Museum is not responsible for any printing costs. For more information and to submit artwork, go to museumofboulder.org.

Street Wise Mural Festival. Sept. 7-13, various locations around Boulder, streetwiseboulder.com.

Street Wise Boulder is back, Sept. 7-13, for its second year, bringing more than 30 muralists (and 3D artists) from around Colorado and as far away as New York to paint engaging works in public spaces around the city. RSVP for workshops and panel discussions, and to take a self-guided walking or biking tour of the murals, with QR codes available to learn more about the artists and stories behind the art. Please respect social distancing and wear a mask while touring artist installations. RSVPs are donation-based — give what you can.

Sept. 4 — Soft opening First Friday art at the Bus Stop Gallery in NoBo

Sept. 9 — Virtual Live Art and Activism panel hosted by Museum of Boulder

Sept. 7 and 12 — Womxn’s Spray Painting workshop with Grow Love (ages 13+)

Sept. 12 — Artist Reception and Exhibition at the NoBo Bus Stop Gallery

HOMEVIEWING: ‘Beau travail’

by Michael J. Casey

Released at the tail end of the last century, Beau travail was filmmaker Claire Denis’ fifth film: the one that launched her onto the world stage and established her as one of the key cinematic voices of this century.

The emphasis on chronology isn’t arbitrary: Beau travail (French for “good work”) is a loose adaptation of Herman Melville’s unfinished novella, Billy Budd — written in the 19th century, published in the 20th — and a spiritual sequel of Jean-Luc Godard’s 1960 film, Le petit soldat. At the end of that film, Bruno Forestier (Michel Subor) flees the French-Algerian war and the world of double agents. Forty years later, Bruno (still played by Subor) resurfaces as a French Foreign Legion Commandant stationed in Djibouti in Beau travail.

The return of Bruno is one of many resurrections in Beau travail. Denis pulls the past to the present and confronts it with a poetic and inquisitive gaze.

The legionnaires train under Bruno’s watchful, but distant, eye. The grunt work of day-to-day training is left to Sergeant Galoup (Denis Levant), who becomes suspicious of Sentain (Grégoire Colin) once Bruno expresses an interest in the young legionnaire. Galoup’s face is craggy and pockmarked; Sentain’s is smooth and sculpted. You could say that the underlying tension between Galoup and Sentain is homoerotic, and you’d be right. You could also say it smacks of Snow White with Galoup as the Evil Queen and Sentain as the fairest of them all.

Galoup and Sentain bicker and fight, and Denis and cinematographer Agnès Godard eschew their masculine bravado by stripping it of violence and choreographing their movements. When one strikes the other, the punch is slowed to the point of softness. When they perform calisthenics with the rest of the legionnaires, the motions look like ritualized worship. It gives the men a spiritual quality, but it also gives them sensuality.

The results are hypnotic and dreamy, and Beau travail would have floated away if Denis had not grounded it by pulling on strands of African colonization and populating the frame with foreign faces in captured spaces. A feeling no doubt familiar to Denis, who was born in Paris but raised in colonial French Africa — her father was a civil servant stationed in West Africa.

It all works, but it is the movie’s final scene that brings everything home. Without hesitation, it is one of the most ecstatic endings in all of cinema, a moment where 90 minutes of tension and rigor release with a flurry of motion and music: A curtain call like no other.

Janus Films’ stunning 4K restoration comes to CU-Boulder’s International Film Series’ virtual theater on Sept. 4. On Sept. 15, the Criterion Collection releases a Blu-ray and DVD set — including interviews with Levant and Colin, a video essay from film scholar Judith Mayne, a written essay from critic Girish Shambu, and a conversation between Barry Jenkins and Denis. And on Sept. 29, TCM screens Beau travail as part of their 14-week series, Women Make Film