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When you enter the East 4th Street home of New York Theatre Workshop, you can never be sure what you’re going to find. The blank-slate interior has been turned into an amphitheater for Caryl Churchill’s A Number, an Irish bar for Once, a television studio for The Little Foxes, and a multiplex for Scenes From a Marriage. This is not only a radical extension of “form follows function” but a message to playwrights (and audiences) that change is good — even if, on occasion, it fills you with dread. Dread is in fact the main feeling you get as you walk into the theater as it’s currently configured for Ayad Akhtar’s The Invisible Hand. You would not mistake the designer Riccardo Hernandez’s arrangement of concrete slabs and bare fluorescent fixtures in low, corrugated ceilings that fly over your seats for the set of, say, a sprightly comedy. »
- Jesse Green
Will a foreign-language film ever win an Oscar for best picture? The odds looked a bit more favorable when, in 2009, the Academy opted to increase its top category to 10 nominees — a tactic that was clearly aimed at better accommodating the Christopher Nolan movies of the world, but also one that, some of us dared to hope, might have the happy side effect of allowing a subtitled offering to slip into the running.
Since that overhaul (during which the Academy has gone from 10 best picture nominees to a more flexible “between five and 10”), exactly one offshore production, Michael Haneke’s French-language “Amour,” has benefited from the expansion. Progress of a sort, perhaps, especially considering that before “Amour,” the Academy had seen fit to nominate only eight such films for its top prize (roughly one per decade).
Yet it’s still disappointingly paltry, given the rich bounty of first-rate imports we’ve »
- Justin Chang
Updated Wednesday morning, with a few knots untangled, below.
August Strindberg and Ingmar Bergman both came in for some bruising comments Tuesday night courtesy of Liv Ullmann, the actress-turned-writer and director with intimate knowledge of both artists’ genius and foibles.
“Being Scandinavian, of course, Strindberg has always been familiar to me,” she told an audience gathered at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, where she was interviewed in advance of the Friday opening of her own adaptation of Miss Julie.
The film stars Jessica Chastain in the title role, a nobleman’s daughter who spends a fateful midsummer’s eve in a charged flirtation with her father’s valet, Jean, (Colin Farrell), sometimes in the presence of his fiancée, the cook (Samantha Morton). The play’s 1888 premiere scandalized audiences with its frank depiction of a dance of sex and power between people of different classes.
“But I never wished to play Miss Julie, »
- Jeremy Gerard
10. Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948)
Directed by: Max Ophuls
To be honest, the relationship at the center of “Letter from an Unknown Woman” barely even exists. It’s more of a longing from one side than the other. But the ways Ophuls structures the film qualifies it for this list. For the run of the story, we hear a voiceover, explaining the moments in these two characters’ lives. Lisa (Joan Fontaine) is a teenager who becomes obsessed with a pianist who lives in her building named Stefan (Louis Jordan). She only meets him once, but maintains her love for him. After her mother announces they will be moving, Lisa runs away, but sees Stefan with another woman. Lisa becomes a respectable woman and is proposed to by a young, family-focused military officer, whom she turns down, still in love with Stefan, a man she has barely met. Years later, she »
- Joshua Gaul
I am walking into a play, my most highly anticipated production of the year – Ivo Van Hove’s adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s 1973 film Scenes from a Marriage at New York Theater Workshop in the East Village. Obviously Bergman is a cinematic legend; he’s also my personal favorite artist. Van Hove’s stage adaptations tend to have a very different aesthetic than the films upon which they are based, but they are colored with the same emotional hysteria that deeply affected me when first watching Persona at the impressionable age of 20. Years later, Persona still takes my breath away. In […] »
- Taylor Hess
Spanning twenty five years in their lives together and based on the memoir Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen by Jane Hawking, The Theory of Everything is the first major motion theatrical release to explore the life of one of the world’s most celebrated physicists, Stephen Hawking, a man with a compelling foothold in the cultural lexicon. As an arena for poignant and impeccably calibrated performances, the film is bound to be highly notable, not unlike a pair of names that overshadowed the significant shortcomings of last year’s The Dallas Buyers Club. As directed by James Marsh, the film is something of a crowd pleaser from a filmmaker that vacillates between arresting documentaries (Man on Wire; Project Nim) and brooding cinema (Shadow Dancer and a portion of the BBC Red Riding trilogy). Standardly told, »
- Nicholas Bell
In the first half of the pilot Showtime's The Affair, Alison (Ruth Wilson), one-half of the couple set to engage in the act that gives the show its title, tells Noah (Dominic West) that her favorite book is Peter Pan. He quotes it back to her, and they flirtatiously talk about how though it's meant to be a children's book it's actually "terrifying." In the second half, told from Alison's perspective, Alison reads the book at the grave of her child. If co-creator Sarah Treem had it her way, characters would constantly be quoting Peter Pan. Treem hones in on »
- Esther Zuckerman
The premise of Showtime’s “The Affair” — in which Dominic West and Ruth Wilson get together, cheating on, respectively, Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson — didn’t much interest me when I heard about it, even when those actors were involved. Then I heard that Sarah Treem was one of the creators and the lead writer, and my tune started to change. Treem, a playwright turned screenwriter, was on staff for all three seasons of HBO’s great “In Treatment” — she was, in fact, the only writer to be with the show for all three years — and helped craft the episodes involving three of my favorite characters: Sophie the gymnast, April the cancer patient and Jesse the teen in search of his birth parents. (As the youngest writer on the show, she inevitably got assigned the youngest characters.) As it turns out, I really liked the pilot for “The Affair,” which Treem created with Hagai Levi, »
- Alan Sepinwall
Chicago – The 2014 edition, the 50th Chicago International Film Festival, kicks off tonight on October 9th. The premiere film will be “Miss Julie,” an adaptation of the August Strindberg play adapted and directed by Liv Ullmann. The first weekend promises a scintillating variety of cinema indulgences.
HollywoodChicago.com contributors Nick Allen and Patrick McDonald have been sampling the festival offerings, and provide this preview to cover the first four days of the event. The depth and breadth of the films is a reminder to participate in the variety of the Festival, especially if interested in a particular country, for their cinema is a glimpse into their culture. Each capsule is designated with Na (Nick Allen) or Pm (Patrick McDonald), to indicate the author.
Photo credit: Chicago International Film Festival
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Chicago – One of the finest places in the world to witness its best cinema is the Chicago International Film Festival, which is now hitting its golden year of 50. This year’s festival boasts a lineup of top tier entries from world renowned filmmakers, packaged in the distinct Chicago flavor that keeps the city on a level all its own.
The festivities begin on Thursday, October 9 with a presentation of Liv Ullman’s “Miss Julie,” an adaptation of the August Strindberg play starring Colin Farrell and Jessica Chastain. With the film playing at Chicago’s Harris Theater, Ullman and Farrell are scheduled to walk the red carpet, along with “The Fugitive” director Andrew Davis and Academy Award-nominated actress Kathleen Turner.
A delicious lineup of films from around the world, adored at previous festivals and now ready for Chicago audiences, begin their presentation the next day (Friday October 10) with all festival screenings »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Gone Girl 20th Century Fox Reviewed for Shockya by Harvey Karten. Data-based on Rotten Tomatoes. Grade: B+ Directed by: David Fincher Screenplay by: Gillian Flynn from her novel Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry Screened at: AMC Empire, NYC, 9/30/14 Opens: October 3, 2014 In Ingmar Bergman’s TV series “Scenes from a Marriage,” Johan and Marianne examine their relationship after ten years. They find that unlike one couple with whom they’re friendly who regularly have alcoholic-influenced fights, they do not engage in such boorish ways. But there is an aloofness to their relationship: they behave even beyond what we in the U.S. think of as [ Read More ]
The post Gone Girl Movie Review appeared first on Shockya.com. »
- Harvey Karten
The last time Carmen Zilles worked with renowned Flemish director Ivo van Hove at New York Theatre Workshop, the circumstances were rather different. “He was around when I was an intern,” said Zilles, who can currently be seen onstage in van Hove’s production of Ingmar Bergman’s “Scenes From a Marriage.” “I got him coffee. He had no idea who I was.” Zilles’ trajectory is proof that an internship, especially one at a well-connected and established theater like Nytw, can really pay off. After a year of sitting in on artistic meetings, attending dozens of new play readings, and getting to know the people who run the New York theater community, Zilles felt fully equipped to pursue her acting goals. “It wasn’t a corporate environment, so there was a lot of freedom in the internship for me to make it what I wanted it to be,” she told Backstage. »
Written by Gillian Flynn
Directed by David Fincher
There’s something rotten in the state of Missouri, as one man’s wife has gone missing and he takes on the role of primary suspect, looking guiltier with every grimace. David Fincher’s latest film is Gone Girl, based on the best-selling novel from Gillian Flynn. It’s a film that festers and feels dead inside, but imbued with a lively pessimism, a stinging bitterness. It’s one of Fincher’s best films in years.
Fincher is an expert chemist when it comes to concocting the nastiest tales of cynicism and darkness. Gone Girl may not be the culmination of his efforts to date, but it’s undoubtedly a sinister piece of work. There’s an oppressive air within the film, from its meticulously created soundscape and score (from Fincher alums Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross) to its plasticized aesthetic. »
- Kyle Turner
You can’t accuse the Belgian director Ivo van Hove of picking fights with weaklings. His productions of Hedda Gabler, The Little Foxes, and A Streetcar Named Desire, all at New York Theater Workshop, have sometimes sucker-punched those venerable plays but in the end did no harm. I realize that’s not a high bar to set, but I have not usually been a fan of van Hove’s garish intrusions, which too often literalized sexual and aggressive drives in ways that made nonsense of the repressive worlds from which they arose. So I thought I was in for more of the same when Nytw announced that it would be producing a version of Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes From a Marriage that van Hove had conceived and directed for his company, Toneelgroep Amsterdam. All anyone was talking about was the staging — and perhaps a part of the director’s motivation »
- Jesse Green
Back in the 1960s, the cineastes’ world could easily be divided into two groups: those who considered Ingmar Bergman a god and Jean-Luc Godard a juvenile prankster. Then there were those who considered Godard a god and Bergman a pretentious depressive. It's doubtful the Swedish film director would approve — or much less recognize — what Ivo van Hove has done with the 1973 mini-series “Scenes from a Marriage” (later released as a feature film) in its stage adaptation at the New York Theatre Workshop, where it opened Monday. In many respects, it looks as if that ironic, mocking, playful »
- Robert Hofler
You know the hair. The glasses. The voice. The sheer talent. Richard Ayoade spoke to HeyUGuys about The Double, which is out now on DVD and Blu Ray. Other subjects included The It Crowd, a new book, Ingmar Bergman, and trying not to bore audiences.
I’d like to start by going back a little bit to your first feature, which was obviously Submarine. I think for many people, they didn’t realise that a comedy actor was also going to be a great director. So I was wondering, did you feel that was a liberating experience?
Erm, I don’t know. I’d directed TV before – I directed a show called Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, and music videos and things, so the main thing at the time [was I] felt the writing of something that was much longer than anything I’d done, and the structure of doing a film that has ninety minutes to it. »
- Gary Green
Over the next week, your only real duty as a film lover is to see Richard Linklater's Boyhood. Yes, it's almost three hours long. Yes, the reviews are mindblowingly great. Yes, it's the real deal. I attended last weekend's Austin Film Society Q&A screening with Linklater, Patricia Arquette and Ellar Coltrane in attendance and I'm definitely ready to see it again. It's that good.
Speaking of special screenings, Afs is bringing the SXSW hit Road To Austin (Mike's review) to the Marchesa tonight. The documentary examines how Austin became the "Live Music Capital Of The World" and features live performance footage from Kris Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt, Delbert McClinton, Joe Ely and over 40 other artists. If that sounds up your alley, so will the Sunday afternoon screening of Tommy Hancock: West Texas Muse. Following the leader of West Texas's premiere western swing band, the film features many Texas musicians including Jimmie Dale Gilmore, »
- Matt Shiverdecker
Justin Chang: Andrew, if you’ll allow me a brief (sort of) digression before we get down to business: A few nights ago, as part of our foolhardy mission to rank the films of Richard Linklater, I watched “Waking Life” for the first time since I’d seen it at a college screening in 2001. Back then, we were both sophomores at USC (though we didn’t know each other at the time), and presumably of the ideal age and mindset to groove on the film’s kaleidoscopic visuals and similarly trippy discourse. I recall having been more bored than seduced at the time, though I’m happy to say that my very different reaction following this second viewing — which began around midnight, all the better to cultivate the optimal bleary-eyed dream state — was enough to move “Waking Life” a few notches up my own list.
At a certain point late into the movie, »
- Justin Chang and Andrew Barker
Performer-turned-writer/director Paul Mazursky, who was Oscar-nommed five times and helmed hit movies including “Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice” and “An Unmarried Woman,” has died. He was 84. Mazursky died of cardiac arrest Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
While his most significant films as a director came several decades ago, he returned to acting on TV in later years, playing Norm on “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and appearing on “The Sopranos” and on ABC drama “Once and Again” as Sela Ward’s father.
Mazursky at his best captured the spirit of the late ’60s and the ’70s, when the American moral climate was turned on its head. His films entertainingly explored such weighty issues as marital fidelity, the merits of psychological therapy and modern divorce: “Bob and Ted,” starring Robert Culp and Natalie Wood as a “liberated” married couple; “Blume in Love,” starring George Segal and Susan Anspach »
- Richard Natale
Scenes From a Marriage: Troell’s Latest an Engrossing Character Study
Swedish auteur Jan Troell, at 81, is thankfully still making films, and his latest, The Last Sentence, is a period piece centered on a somewhat obscure historical figure, more in the vein of Hamsun (1996) than the immigrant or social change narratives that Troell is perhaps most famed for, such as his last effort, a 2008 masterpiece, Everlasting Moments. Beginning his directorial career in the mid 60’s, Troell was not only a contemporary of Ingmar Bergman but has often showcased many of Bergman’s troupe, like Max Von Sydow and Liv Ullman (Sydow was purportedly first choice for this latest as well). Here, he assembles a distinct cast and digital black and white cinematography to offset this from his larger body of work, and the pay off his decidedly worthwhile.
Featuring the announcement of Hitler as Germany’s Chancellor in 1932 via newsreel, »
- Nicholas Bell
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