‘Lord of the Flies’ Reins at CMU; ‘Trumbo’ a Film About Hollywood Blacklisting Now Screening (Tues., 12/1/15)

1) William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is one of those novels you read during your school days and think you’ll never forget, but for many of us, the grisly details fade as time goes by. Now comes a rare chance to see it all brought back. Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama is performing the 1995 stage adaptation by Nigel Williams, which is highly regarded in the U.K. (where a major new production is currently on tour), though few Americans even know that a theatrical version exists. For the uninitiated: Lord of the Flies is a fictional story about English schoolboys stranded on a remote island. They’re bright young fellows who promptly organize to do what’s needed—forage for food, build shelters, get along together—until dissension and irrational fears turn their civil society into a bloodbath. 8 p.m. Performances through Saturday. Philip Chosky Theater in the Purnell Center for the Arts at Carnegie Mellon, 5000 Forbes Ave., Oakland. (MV)


2) Trumbo There’s already Oscar-buzz surrounding this biopic about, and Bryan Cranston’s portrayal of, blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo. One of Hollywood’s highest paid screenwriters he, along with nine others, were called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities to testify about Communists working in the industry. But they refused to talk, were all sent to prison and became known as the Hollywood Ten. Once released, Trumbo couldn’t get work so he and his family moved to Mexico. For ten years he wrote screenplays under assumed names and even won two Oscars during that period; for The Brave One and Roman Holiday. Cranston stars, along with Michael Stuhlbarg, Diane Lane and Helen Mirren playing Hedda Hopper. Check Fandango for screens and times. (TH)


3) Secret in Their Eyes – The winner of the 2009 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film was El secreto de sus ojos. An Argentine film set against the backdrop of the 1970’s “Dirty War,” this crime thriller involved one-time lovers obsessed by a horrific murder committed years ago and led to a surprising and shocking climax. And now Hollywood is having a go with this remake written and directed by Billy Ray. The story’s been reconfigured somewhat and features Chiwetel Ejiofor and Julia Roberts as FBI investigators and Nicole Kidman as a District Attorney. The three are devastated when the child of one of them is brutally murdered. Years later they come together to close the investigation, which leads to—we hope —a surprising and shocking climax. Dean Norris and Michael Kelly also star. Check Fandango for screens and times. (TH)