4 items from 2017
By Lee Pfeiffer
All things come to those who wait. Having somehow inexcusably missed actor/writerJim Brochu's award-winning play "Zero Hour" that depicts the controversial life and career of Zero Mostel, I was able to see the show's most recent revival at the Theatre at St. Clement's which is just off Broadway. The show is presented by the Peccadillo Theatre Company, which specializes in staging worthy productions in the prestigious venue that is just off Broadway. For Brochu, the one-man show is a triumph.. He wrote the script himself and the production is directed with flair by three-time Oscar nominee Piper Laurie. Mostel was a larger-than-life talent and he is played with uncanny skill by Brochu, who somehow makes himself into the spitting image of the iconic actor (he doesn't bare the slightest resemblance to Mostel off-stage). The imaginative scenario finds the entire play set in Mostel's New York painting »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Not so fast Savant — with the help of correspondent input, DVD Savant presents more information on David Swift’s adaptation of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying — correcting and modifying some assumptions in my first review. Don’t worry — it’s good reading.
A Savant article
This is an odd circumstance. I routinely update, modify, correct and de-stupidify DVD Savant reviews, but this time I’m taking a more radical step. In my March 25 coverage of Twilight Time’s Blu-ray of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, I made a big point of the fact that David Swift’s film adaptation had not made many changes. Several songs were dropped, but that would seem the right thing to do considering that the movie wasn’t planned as a Road Show — it’s only 121 minutes in duration and has no break for an intermission. The much missed »
- Glenn Erickson
An experimental film by an Irish playwright, shot in New York with a silent comedian at the twilight of his career? Samuel Beckett’s inquiry into the nature of movies (and existence?) befuddled viewers not versed in film theory; Ross Lipman’s retrospective documentary about its making asks all the questions and gets some good answers.
First there’s the film itself, called just Film from 1965. By that year our high school textbooks had already enshrined Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot as a key item for introducing kids to modern theater, existentialism, etc. … the California school system was pretty progressive in those days. But Beckett had a yen to say something in the film medium, and his publisher Barney Rosset helped him put a movie together. The Milestone Cinematheque presents the UCLA Film & Television Archive’s restoration of Film on its own disc, accompanied by a videotaped TV production »
- Glenn Erickson
The Coen brothers' recent Hail Caesar! may have seemed pretty bold in featuring both a Roman sword-and-sandal epic and a water ballet musical in its story of old Hollywood chicanery, but in 1955 MGM went several steps further in producing Jupiter's Darling, which is simultaneously a Roman epic and a water ballet musical, starring the queen (and sole proponent) of the latter genre, Esther Williams.One of the perplexing things about the genius of the system, whereby a studio apparatus geared to make crowd-pleasing entertainment also produced, on a fairly regular basis, great cinematic art as a kind of incidental by-product (incidental except to the artists employed) is that often the mass audience, which was the ultimate arbiter of taste, would get things badly wrong. Thus Keaton's The General, his bravest and best film, was a commercial flop, and thus the climax of the Williams water-and-song cycle proved to be an »
4 items from 2017
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