Saturday, September 01, 2007

Midsummers and movies and mums, oh my!

First off, lets all give a huge round of applause for Tez!!!! Thank you for everything, T!!!!

A cute photo of Jennifer Ehle in her full park attire at the opening of A Midsummer Night's Dream can be found at New York Magazine. I dig the red sneakers! The same photo can be seen at New York Social Diary (minus the annoying scissors border). There is one more photo of the Utopian trio at Theater Mania and a couple at getty images (search for "Jennifer Ehle"). New York Magazine also has an opening night photo of Martha Plimpton and a quote of her heroic attempt to speak in iambic pentameter offstage: “Methinks you ask a question very bold / I do not know if I have e'er been told a thing such as this / And I can't believe I'm letting you record me / Speaking in this way / Which is so embarrassing.” No pressure there!

At the Toronto International Film Festival site, the screening schedule for Before the Rains has been posted along with a description of the film: (Warning: it includes a few spoilers)
In the south of India in 1937, an Englishman could have his way with the land, the workers and sometimes with the woman of his choosing. Such power could shatter lives, even when exercised by the mildest of men. Acclaimed director and cinematographer Santosh Sivan explores this shock of collision between the forces of will and desire in colonial India.

Henry Moores (Linus Roache) has big plans to establish a spice plantation in Kerala. But his plans require a new road to be cleared through the vast hills, and the money and manpower to do it. To secure the trust of the local villagers, he depends on his right-hand man, T.K. (Rahul Bose). To satisfy his baser needs, he depends on his lover – and house servant – Sajani. Played with fire and intelligence by Nandita Das, Sajani is an irresistible, quicksilver beauty. Their sojourn to collect honey in the forest turns into a charged erotic encounter, but they are witnessed by two local boys – and Sajani has a husband back in her village. How long will it be before her betrayal becomes known?

The risk escalates when Henry’s wife and son arrive from England. Domestic demands rein him in, but Sajani will not be cast aside so easily. Threatened with death in her own village, she presses T.K. for help and Henry for refuge. Henry cannot reveal his infidelity, so he does what any man in his position might have resorted to at the time. Can his power and privilege still protect him?

A sweeping film full of striking vistas, Before the Rains has the look of a fine period epic, but as it binds its characters tighter and tighter within their dilemmas, it reveals the gears of a good film noir. Having made his reputation in Priest, Roache once again excels as a respectable man capable of catastrophic acts. Bose, however, as the local subaltern, is the heart of the film: here is the Indian man navigating all the harsh choices that came with colonization.
It seems that Before the Rains has been acquired by a new production company. According to Newswire, "Producer Robert Lantos, founder and former Chairman/CEO of Alliance Communications Inc., today announced his return to international and domestic film distribution with the formation of two new companies, Maximum Films International and Maximum Film Distribution...Maximum Film International will acquire, promote and sell independent films from around the world for theatrical release." Before the Rains is among the films on its initial slate. Interestingly enough, Robert Lantos was also the producer of Sunshine.

If anyone is planning to go to TIFF, you might want to check out this TIFF Talk blog. Richard seems to know his way around the festival and might be a good source of information.

There is exciting news for those of you on the US West Coast: Rosemary Harris will be starring in Oscar and the Pink Lady at the Old Globe in San Diego, CA from September 22 through November 4. According to Playbill, Oscar and the Pink Lady is a poignant one-woman play that "tells the story of a young hospital patient and his uplifting relationship with a kindly volunteer 'Pink Lady,' whose daily visits provide him with inspiration and hope." The Old Globe calls it "sensitive, heartbreaking, amusing, and ultimately life-affirming." Read more about the production at Theater Mania, BroadwayWorld, or and visit the Old Globe website to order tickets online. (Remember that Utopia director Jack O'Brien has been the artistic director of the Old Globe since 1981.)

Speaking of Rosemary Harris, the Hollywood Reporter has a long article about her new film Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, which will make its world premiere at the Deauville Film Festival on September 7 before it heads to the TIFF. (See the TIFF site for the screening schedule and IMDB for international release dates.)

Also, the Spider-Man 3 DVD is now available for pre-order at

The Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS annual Broadway Flea Market has been scheduled to take place on September 23 in Shubert Alley (NYC). This is one of Broadway Cares most popular events. In addition to the possibility of finding a rare Utopian treasure, you might get the chance to see Amy Irving, who will be among the celebrity booth participants. Check out the official press release at All That Chat to see a list of all the participants. For those of us who cannot attend, we do have the option of participating online through FLEABAY during the month of September. The BC/EFA assures us that the FLEABAY auction will feature "at least 100 items that are typical of our true Broadway Flea Market finds. From authentic costumes to unique opening night gifts, from scripts to rare posters, many items featured are the only ones we have received."

Finally, some loosely related linkage:

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