Stephen King comes to Amherst via Satellite

By Michelle Williams

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The Amherst Cinema will present TimesTalks Live, a discussion between author Stephen King and Janet Maslin, a New York Times book critic on Tuesday Nov. 10 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. with an introductory video to the TimesTalk LIVE event series at 6:30 p.m.

Broadcast live from New York City, Stephen King will discuss his latest novel as well as his past work, which includes over 50 novels. Throughout his career, King has sold over 350 million copies of his novels and short stories. He has also worked as a columnist, a screenwriter and an activist.

King will discuss his newest work with Maslin, titled “Under the Dome.” His upcoming novel is a work that has been written and re-written since the 1970s, being separated and re-jointed numerous times. The novel is a thriller set in a Maine town, featuring more than 100 characters who endure a supernatural experience.

In speaking about his latest work in an interview with Lilja’s Library, an online website dedicated to the work of the author himself, King said the rewrites were a part of two different attempts to utilize the same idea, which concerns itself with how people behave when they are cut off from the society to which they have always belonged.

Maslin has written over 4600 articles for the New York Times as a film critic for 22 years and is currently as a literary critic. She has also written as a rock music critic for the Boston Phoenix and Rolling Stone magazine.

Produced by the New York Times and BY Experience, Inc. the launch of TimesTalk LIVE will broadcast intimate discussions with authors, actors and other media personalities in the future. Future conversations include Sir Roger Moore, an actor who has the distinction of serving as James Bond the longest, the cast of the 2008 film Milk and former friends of the openly gay politician Harvey Milk, as well as actor Tom Cruise. This is the pilot season of this series.

Prior to the launch of this new project, the public was able to attend the event at the Times Center in New York City or listen to the podcast through their website or iTunes.
Across the United States and Canada, 74 theaters will be broadcasting the simulcast feed in high definition via satellite. Also participating in the event are 54 theaters throughout Canada and 20 venues in the U.S including California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington.

The first event broadcasted on Wednesday Oct. 28 featured acclaimed novelist John Irving and New York Times writer Charles McGrath.

Attendees were able to submit questions to Irving and have them answered on air. The same option is available for Tuesday’s discussion with King.

When asked about her feelings on the program, Carol Johnson, the executive director of Amherst Cinema and the Pleasant Street Theater in Northampton said, “It’s fabulous. I love the idea of this program.”

Johnson added, “In New York City, people have to pay $30 to go see these interviews. Here in Amherst it’s available to the community in HD, a program were very excited to offer to the community.”

While the equipment was expensive, costing over $5,000 according to Johnson, it offers Amherst Cinema the opportunity not only to host future TimesTalk LIVE programming, but they also have plans to screen performances of the London Ballet in real time from the Royal Opera House.

The Amherst Cinema’s theater can hold 182 attendees and currently still have dozens of seats available. Tickets are $12 and are available at the Amherst Cinema Box Office 20 minutes before the show or available for download from the cinema’s website.

Michelle Williams can be reached at [email protected]