5 items from 2012
It was a magical evening at the New York Times Center last night for those lucky enough to be in attendance, for at long last, Jason Reitman brought his “Live Read” Series to NYC. The series began about six months ago when the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Lacma) asked Reitman if he had any ideas for programs. His idea was a simple one: to stage readings of classic screenplays live on stage, one time only for an audience of a few hundred people. As he told the NY Times recently, “I’d done table reads for my own screenplays, and I always thought they were so much fun. [So I thought], ‘Why couldn’t we do these for other classic screenplays and bring them to life?’ You can experience live theater, where you get to see plays produced by different directors and different casts, but there’s really nothing like that for movie scripts. »
- Cory Everett
Jason Reitman’s popular Live Read series is based on a simple equation: Take a screenplay, hand it to a smattering of actors running the gamut from “high-profile” to “awesome emeritus” to “internet famous,” and watch the sparks fly.
Tomorrow, Reitman expands the franchise to New York with a staged reading of The Apartment, and the cast he announced via Twitter should bring the Billy Wilder/I.A.L. Diamond to life splendidly. Paul Rudd and Emma Stone will take over from Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine in the lead roles. Even better, James Woods will play Sheldrake, the sleazy exec originally incarnated by Fred MacMurray. »
- Darren Franich
Jason Reitman’s popular series of live performances of beloved screenplays is coming to New York City later this month. After staging The Breakfast Club, The Apartment, The Princess Bride, Shampoo, The Big Lebowski, and Reservoir Dogs with all-star casts, Reitman is planning to host a reading of The Apartment in Manhattan on April 27. According to the New York Times, Reitman will use a different cast than he did in the original Apartment reading — where Steve Carell played the Jack Lemmon part and Natalie Portman filled in for Shirley MacLaine — so feel free to start throwing out your best guesses »
- Darren Franich
"I want to thank three persons,” said Michel Hazanavicius, accepting the 2012 Best Picture Oscar for “The Artist.” “I want to thank Billy Wilder, I want to thank Billy Wilder and I want to thank Billy Wilder.” He wasn’t the first director to namecheck Wilder in an acceptance speech. In 1994, Fernando Trueba, accepting the Foreign Language Film Oscar for "Belle Epoque" quipped, "I would like to believe in God in order to thank him. But I just believe in Billy Wilder... so, thank you Mr. Wilder." Wilder reportedly called the next day "Fernando? It's God."
So just what exactly was it that inspired these men to expend some of the most valuable seconds of speechifying airtime they'll ever know, to tip their hats to Wilder? And can we bottle it?
Born in a region of Austria/Hungary that is now part of Poland, Wilder's story feels like an archetype of »
- Oliver Lyttelton
Every now and then, we here at ComicMix like to look at books and movies beyond our normal pop culture purview to examine people who helped build the foundations of modern storytelling. We were reminded of this when 20th Century Home Entertainment sent us a Blu-ray edition of The Apartment for review. This 1960 release, out now, won five Academy Awards including Best Picture, and is a brilliant assemblage of director, performers, and story.
The movie comes from Billy Wilder who directed, produced and co-wrote the screenplay (with I.A.L. Diamond) and is a bit of settling old business. Back in the 1940s, he wanted to deal with adultery but the Hays Production Code forbade that so he finally got his chance in this story, partly inspired by Noel Coward’s Brief Encounter.
The story features Consolidated Life Insurance’s C.C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon), who has been lending his conveniently located »
- Robert Greenberger
5 items from 2012
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