Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sarasota: In Pictures

More photos from the now ended Sarasota Film Festival are now available for viewing on Elevation. (There are four of Jennifer Ehle). As is evident, there is more pretty green florality from the Luncheon Under The Banyans, and then some pretty blue dottiness from the World Cinema Celebration. See the website for another variation on the latter.

Pictured with Ms Ehle are Before the Rains producer Mark Burton (Photo 2) and Rosemary Harris and producer/actor/director Norman Lloyd (Photo 3).

Press-wise, the Sarasota Herald Tribune report seeing a certain 'young, blond, talented actress' at the Liv Ullmann tribute luncheon, while the official Sarasota Film Festival website lists both Rosemary Harris and Ms Ehle as attendees of the ten-day event.

  • Ashok R. Chandran of the Loyola School in Trivandrum meanwhile interviews director Santosh Sivan. The Rains-related pieces are as follows:
[...] Santosh Sivan is taking Loyola to Hollywood. On 9 May, Before the Rains, his first Hollywood movie — an English language film, an American production — will hit the screens of New York and Los Angeles. I haven’t heard of any Hollywood movie set in colonial Kerala, or with Malayalam dialogues. In that sense, Santosh Sivan is probably taking Kerala (not just Loyola) to Hollywood. [...]
Sivan says:

[...] It was a dream to release a Malayalam/English film in the US. So Before the Rains is a first of its kind, presented by Merchant-Ivory. When we were to make it, the folks at Hollywood asked me, “Why Malayalam? Our research says, Hindi and Punjabi are better options, since Malayalis don’t see films and only buy pirated VCDs”!

Q. Asoka was partly inspired by your history teacher in Loyola. ... Is there a Loyola connection to Before the Rains?

A. Though the story is from the Hollywood producers, it deals with a colonial background, where there are always cultures clashing. For instance, it’s perfectly normal for us to sit in front of computers and crack our head on logic, and equally normal to sit and do religious rituals and break coconuts. I was always fascinated with the roads that wind up into the Wayanad hills, and the efforts to build them. Sort of clashing of nature and man. A road is always a leftover of the clash. And becomes timeless. So many landmarks are British. So these images trigger off. Imagining about them and their life in Kerala and our forefathers, and their relationship. The movie is about such people. Rahul Bose, who is caught in-between and the choices he has to make. So with Linus Roache, Jennifer Ehle, and Nandita [Das] who all have to make choices. It resonates today too where all have to make choices. The film explores the grey areas. No one is stereotyped black or white. [...]
  • As part of the 40th anniversary of New York Magazine, Jeremy McCarter rounds up the last forty years of New York theatre. The Coast of Utopia is one of the few recent productions that receive mention:
[...] THE COAST OF UTOPIA, 2006–2007

Arcadia and Rock ’n’ Roll are better plays, but director Jack O’Brien made Tom Stoppard’s epic about nineteenth-century Russian intellectuals a once-in-a-generation showcase for New York talent: BrĂ­an F. O’Byrne, Ethan Hawke, Billy Crudup, and Martha Plimpton, plus their co-stars, plus genius designers, plus an audience that kept the trilogy running long past Lincoln Center’s expectations. It was a milestone even before it broke the record for Tonys for a play. [...]
In other news:

  • The Daily Mail report that Pride and Prejudice screenwriter Andrew Davies is recovering at home after sadly being attacked in an altercation while walking his dog. We wish him a swift recovery.
  • One writer comments on the current name change debate surrounding North Carolina School of the Arts, attended by Ms Ehle and helped to be established by her father.
  • Rains' Rahul Bose takes part in an online conversation for IndiaFM.
  • And last but not least, for stateside fans in mourning after the culmination of The Complete Jane Austen, Jane Austen Today offer some thoughtful Austen-related alternatives.

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