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‘Prick Up Your Ears’: Stephen Frears’ Lgbt Biopic Sets Itself Apart

“I was saying to my friend the other day that just proves being gay doesn’t change anything. Everybody has all the faults and failings of everybody else. A gay friend of mine said, ‘Just because I’m gay doesn’t mean I’m fabulous all the time.'” – Alfred Molina, actor in Prick Up Your Ears

Many of today’s Lgbt films are hagiographies about great people in the international movement toward sexual equality. In film, adulation usually results in flat characters and boring scenes (see: The Imitation Game). In Stephen Frears’ groundbreaking Prick Up Your Ears — which Metrograph screens from September 1-7 for its 30th anniversary — Gary Oldman brings pioneer queer playwright Joe Orton to life, warts and all. Alfred Molina plays Joe’s long-time boyfriend, mentor, and murderer, Kenneth Halliwell.

The story is structured with flashbacks to Joe and Kenneth. Wallace Shawn plays real-life Orton biographer John Lahr,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Prick Up Your Ears review – Stephen Frears' terrific testament to murdered playwright Joe Orton

Rereleased 50 years after Orton’s death, this Frears-directed 1987 biopic sees Gary Oldman and Alfred Molina in utterly convincing form

The title of this rereleased classic is the invention of Joe Orton’s biographer John Lahr, on whose book this is based: for a brief 60s moment, this brilliant young dramatist really did force London’s theatre world to listen to his outrageous and very tumescent wit. Then, after a grisly, gloomy murder-suicide, it was all over. Orton was bludgeoned to death 50 years ago by his partner, Kenneth Halliwell, apparently convulsed with jealous rage at Orton’s success, undiminished cottaging and ingratitude for the stability and mentorship that Halliwell had given him. (Maybe Kenneth was in his way Orton’s Bosie, or his vengeful Marquess of Queensberry, or both.)

Stephen Frears’ terrific 1987 movie – adapted by Alan Bennett from the Lahr book – is back in cinemas and Gary Oldman’s superb livewire
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

‘Office Christmas Party’s’ Rob Corddry Reflects on His Early Career

‘Office Christmas Party’s’ Rob Corddry Reflects on His Early Career
Before he was a “Daily Show” correspondent (from 2002 to 2006), or created the world of “Childrens Hospital” (starting in 2008), or took a dip in “Hot Tub Time Machine” (in 2010), Rob Corddry appeared in “The Manchurian Candidate,” an Off Broadway production (or, as Corddry remembers it, “more like Way, Way Off Broadway”) directed by John Lahr. The show was reviewed by Variety on July 18, 1994. Although he is listed in the cast, Corddry was not singled out in the review. The production from Art & Work Ensemble was panned, but Corddry survived and has enjoyed a varied career as an actor, writer, and producer ever since. After starring in Paramount’s “Office Christmas Party,” his upcoming projects include the crime thriller “Shimmer Lake” and two comedies: “The Layover,” directed by William H. Macy, and Ken Marino’s “How to Be a Latin Lover.”

Do you remember much about “The Manchurian Candidate”?

I think it
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Here Comes A Tennessee Williams Biopic

Recent indie upstart Broad Green has announced they are developing John Lahr's biography Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh for a biopic on the titular playwright. No talent is attached yet, but the potential is enticing.

Williams, legendary for work such as A Streetcar Named Desire and The Glass Menagerie, has a life ready for any number of interpretations. Struggling with mental illness at an early age and battling rampant addiction, attracting and creating stars with consistently controversial and revolutionary writing, not to mention temptestous family and love lives - if nothing else, we have a catnip coctail for any actor who could fit the bill.

Could this be heading toward a fluffy, star-filled treatment a la Hitchcock or something more character-focused like Capote? Lahr's book, a finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award winner, dives deeply into all aspects of Williams's life,
See full article at FilmExperience »

Life after Streetcar: Tennessee Williams biopic to cover playwright's later years

Broad Green Pictures buys screen rights to biography detailing Williams’s life, from first Broadway success in 1944 to his lonely death in a New York hotel room

The Hollywood production company behind recent indie hit 99 Homes and Eden is making a biopic of American playwright Tennessee Williams, reports Deadline.

Broad Green Pictures has picked up screen rights to the 2014 biography Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh by former New Yorker theatre critic John Lahr, and will now look for a screenwriter to develop the project. The volume was the Guardian’s book of the week in October 2014, with reviewer Sarah Churchwell praising a “compulsively readable, thoroughly researched” biography, while criticising Lahr’s propensity for “gaps and repetitions”.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Tennessee Williams Movie in the Works at Broad Green

Tennessee Williams Movie in the Works at Broad Green
Broad Green Pictures is developing a movie about iconic playwright Tennessee Williams, based on John Lahr’s book “Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh.”

Williams authored “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “The Glass Menagerie,” “Sweet Bird of Youth” and “The Night of the Iguana.”

The untitled project has not yet been set up with a writer or director. Lauren McCarthy and Shary Shirazi will be overseeing the project for the company.

Williams was born in Mississippi and had an unhappy childhood, dominated by an alcoholic father. He attended the University of Missouri’s Columbia Journalism School before dropping out to work at a shoe factory.

Williams suffered a nervous breakdown at the age of 24. He scored his first success in 1944 with “The Glass Menagerie,” the story of a young man, his disabled sister and their controlling mother, and saw his biggest success in 1947 with “A Streetcar Named Desire.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

John Lahr Talks New Book 'Joy Ride' at Theatre for a New Audience Tonight

John Lahr, long-time drama critic for The New Yorker and winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for his acclaimed biography Tennessee Williams Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, will talk about his newest book, Joy Ride Show People and Their Shows W. W. Norton September 21, 2015, a collection of some of his most popular and engaging New Yorker pieces, which puts the plays on Mr. Lahr's watch in the context of the lives of the artists who created them. Lahr will speak tonight, October 7, at 700pm at Polonsky Shakespeare Center, 262 Ashland Place.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

John Lahr to Talk New Book 'Joy Ride' at Theatre for a New Audience Next Month

John Lahr, long-time drama critic for The New Yorker and winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award for his acclaimed biography Tennessee Williams Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh, will talk about his newest book, Joy Ride Show People and Their Shows W. W. Norton September 21, 2015, a collection of some of his most popular and engaging New Yorker pieces, which puts the plays on Mr. Lahr's watch in the context of the lives of the artists who created them. Lahr will speak on Wednesday, October 7, at 700pm at Polonsky Shakespeare Center, 262 Ashland Place.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

The top 20 underappreciated films of 1987

From anime to pitch-black thrillers, here's our pick of the underappreciated movies of 1987...

Sometimes, the challenge with these lists isn't just what to put in, but what to leave out. We loved Princess Bride, but with a decent showing at the box office and a huge cult following, isn't it a bit too popular to be described as underappreciated? Likewise Joe Dante's Innerspace, a fabulously geeky, comic reworking of the 60s sci-fi flick, Fantastic Voyage.

What we've gone for instead is a mix of genre fare, dramas and animated films that may have garnered a cult following since, but didn't do well either critically or financially at the time of release. Some of the movies on our list just about made their money back, but none made anything close to the sort of returns enjoyed by the likes of 1987's biggest films - Three Men And A Baby, Fatal Attraction
See full article at Den of Geek »

John Lahr, Kika Markham & More Make Shortlist for 2015 Sheridan Morley Prize for Theatre Biography

The shortlist is announced today for the eighth annual Sheridan Morley Prize for Theatre Biography - the nominees are Tennessee Williams Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh by John Lahr, Our Time of Day My Life with Corin Redgrave by Kika Markham, What do I Know People, Politics and the Arts by Richard Eyre, Covering Shakespeare by David Weston and I Know Nothing The Autobiography by Andrew Sachs.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

One-Half The New Yorker’s Film Critic Splits, Sort Of

  • Deadline
New Yorker magazine critic David Denby, whose erudite and often contrarian film reviews have been essential reading for New York cineastes since he began as the film critic for New York magazine in 1978, will give up the reviewing duties he’s split with the equally erudite and contrarian (but generally funnier) Anthony Lane at the turn of the year. Denby — a self-described “Paulette” due to the influence of the New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael on both his critical discernment and his sometimes caustic attitude toward the film industry — will remain with the magazine as a staff writer and critic-at-large.

Word of the change came through a Tweet posted by Denby’s New Yorker colleague John Lahr, congratulating him for 16 years at the magazine where he and Lane have alternated writing the weekly movies column. Lahr is the former drama critic, now also an at-large contributor. The Tweet prompted speculation
See full article at Deadline »

The New Yorker’s David Denby Steps Down From Film Critic Post [Updated]

  • Vulture
New Yorker staff writer John Lahr caused a bit of a stir on Friday night when he tweeted, "Farewell David Denby, a masterly film critic and cohort, after a distinguished sixteen year ride at the New Yorker. Power to your pen!" Denby isn't entirely gone from the publication, though. He told Indiewire that he'll be staying on as a staff writer: "I will write some longer pieces on movies and other things, contribute to the web when I have something juicy to say. Right now, I'm finishing a book (nothing to do with movies)." As an alternating film critic with Anthony Lane, Denby has seen his share of controversy over the last decade and a half: Denby was once banned by Scott Rudin from screenings for publishing an early review of Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and most recently drew criticism for calling author Cheryl Strayed "big-bodied" in his review of Wild.
See full article at Vulture »

Film Critic David Denby Is Leaving The New Yorker

  • Vulture
An institution is leaving an institution. On Saturday morning, New Yorker writer John Lahr tweeted a farewell to David Denby, who has been a film critic at the publication for 16 years. He's seen his share of controversy over the last decade and a half: Denby was once banned by Scott Rudin from screenings for publishing an early review of Girl with a Dragon Tattoo and most recently drew criticism for calling author Cheryl Strayed "big-bodied" in his review of Wild. (We should note here that he is also the author of Snark: It's Mean, It's Personal, and It's Ruining Our Conversation). People are already speculating as to who will replace him. If the publication chooses to go with someone from within, Richard Brody, the movies editor for the Goings on About Town section and the author of Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard, would be an
See full article at Vulture »

Here Are the Finalists for the National Book Award

  • Vulture
Here Are the Finalists for the National Book Award
The 20 books on the short list for the 2014 National Book Awards were just announced. Just as in the other NBA, they can't all be champions: The winners in each category will be announced November 19.FictionAnthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot SeeRabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary WomanMarilynne Robinson, LilaPhil Klay, RedeploymentEmily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven Nonfiction Evan Osnos, Age of Ambition Roz Chast, Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant Edward O. Wilson, The Meaning of Human Existence Anand Gopal, No Good Men Among the Living John Lahr, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh Poetry Claudia Rankine, Citizen Louise Glück, Faithful and Virtuous Night Fred Moten, The Feel Trio Fanny Howe, Second Childhood Maureen N. McLane, This Blue Young People's Literature Jacqueline Woodson, Brown Girl Dreaming John Corey Whaley, Noggin Steve Sheinkin, The Port Chicago 50 Deborah Wiles, Revolution Eliot Schrefer, Threatened 
See full article at Vulture »

Daily | Books | Directors’ Novels

Iris Barry is "one of the secret heroines of the history of cinema—in fact, of the very idea that there is such a thing as a history of cinema," argues Richard Brody. Also in the New Yorker, Hilton Als reviews John Lahr's Tennessee Williams biography. For the Los Angeles Review of Books, Jordan Cronk talks with Michael Koresky about his new book on Terence Davies. At Flavorwire's Jason Bailey has posted an excerpt from his book on Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. And now that David Cronenberg's written a novel, Saul Austerlitz looks back on the many other filmmakers who've tried their hands at literature. » - David Hudson
See full article at Fandor: Keyframe »

Daily | Books | Directors’ Novels

Iris Barry is "one of the secret heroines of the history of cinema—in fact, of the very idea that there is such a thing as a history of cinema," argues Richard Brody. Also in the New Yorker, Hilton Als reviews John Lahr's Tennessee Williams biography. For the Los Angeles Review of Books, Jordan Cronk talks with Michael Koresky about his new book on Terence Davies. At Flavorwire's Jason Bailey has posted an excerpt from his book on Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. And now that David Cronenberg's written a novel, Saul Austerlitz looks back on the many other filmmakers who've tried their hands at literature. » - David Hudson
See full article at Keyframe »

Critic John Lahr Talks Tennessee Williams Biography at The Players Tonight

The Shakespeare Guild's 2014-15 season will open with a conversation that will launch the U.S. author tour for a biography that actress Helen Mirren calls 'a masterpiece about a genius.' Only John Lahr, she says, 'with his perceptions about the theater, about writers, about poetry, and about people, could have written this book.' John Lahr will discuss his acclaimed biography of Tennessee Williams tonight, September 24, at 6 p.m. at The Players, 16 Gramercy Park South, New York. Admission 20 in Advance 25 at the Door.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Critic John Lahr to Talk Tennessee Williams Biography at The Players This Month

The Shakespeare Guild's 2014-15 season will open with a conversation that will launch the U.S. author tour for a biography that actress Helen Mirren calls 'a masterpiece about a genius.' Only John Lahr, she says, 'with his perceptions about the theater, about writers, about poetry, and about people, could have written this book.' John Lahr will discuss his acclaimed biography of Tennessee Williams on Wednesday, September 24, at 6 p.m. at The Players.
See full article at BroadwayWorld.com »

Daily | Elaine Stritch, 1925 – 2014

When, in 2002, the one-woman show Elaine Stritch at Liberty moved to Broadway from the Public Theater, Marc Peyser, writing for Newsweek, noted that it'd "acquired the credit 'Constructed by John Lahr. Reconstructed by Elaine Stritch.' 'The reconstruction means I had the last say,' she says. 'Damn right I did.'" Stritch passed away on Thursday, and the following day, John Lahr wrote for the New Yorker: "Elaine Stritch’s death, at the age of 89, marks the end of an era—the end of old-school, succeed-or-die, knock-’em-dead, Broadway show-biz. We collect remembrances from, among others, Woody Allen: "I was crazy about her." » - David Hudson
See full article at Keyframe »

Daily | Elaine Stritch, 1925 – 2014

When, in 2002, the one-woman show Elaine Stritch at Liberty moved to Broadway from the Public Theater, Marc Peyser, writing for Newsweek, noted that it'd "acquired the credit 'Constructed by John Lahr. Reconstructed by Elaine Stritch.' 'The reconstruction means I had the last say,' she says. 'Damn right I did.'" Stritch passed away on Thursday, and the following day, John Lahr wrote for the New Yorker: "Elaine Stritch’s death, at the age of 89, marks the end of an era—the end of old-school, succeed-or-die, knock-’em-dead, Broadway show-biz. We collect remembrances from, among others, Woody Allen: "I was crazy about her." » - David Hudson
See full article at Fandor: Keyframe »
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