Thursday, March 12, 2009

News marshal

Cinematic round-up

First up this week, USA Today have a minuscule but quotage-laden article on Michael Caine relating to the much-awaited Is Anybody There? As you may remember, Rosemary Harris plays Elsie in the film. (See past posts for cast comments and plot details). It will have a limited release in the U.S. on April 17 and will then open in the UK on May 1. In the meantime, feel free to have a peek at the trailer. A Canadian viewer (who incidentally also saw the TIFF Q&A) calls the film 'brilliant', adding 'I loved every minute of it. The movie had the perfect mix of comedy and drama'.

Meanwhile, Pride and Glory has almost completed its long list of scheduled openings, with just Norway left to go on April 17. Although reviews have become infrequent, ordinary viewers are still commenting. Blogger Rob Thomas for example found the film 'a bit disturbing at times' but describes the acting as 'off-the-charts good'. 'As far as corrupt cop movies go', he said, 'this was as well-acted as any'. A viewer at Film Journal generally agreed, saying the film 'doesn't disappoint', calling it a 'fine police drama' and considering it 'well-worth checking out'. Concurring also, Metro's short summing-up lists a few faults but commends 'good performances' and 'memorable scenes'. More loosely-related, the Times Online fleetingly drop the film's name into their article on corruption and the NYPD.

Elsewhere, one Before the Rains reviewer recommends watching the film 'on the largest screen' possible and 'with the best sound system you can find'. She goes on to claim that 'for two hours you will be absolutely transported to another world'. (Do we think she liked it?)

Other notables

Offering a different but no less exciting form of transportation are ex-Utopians Martha Plimpton and Billy Crudup. Both mighty theatrical talents will be taking part in the 52nd Street Project's Can Do event in New York next month. (See Playbill for more details). The performances - featuring plays by young writers - are free and will take place at the Public Theater from April 3-5.

Next, LiveDesign inform us that the much celebrated Bob Crowley (co-designer of The Coast of Utopia sets) has been awarded the 2009 Robert L. B. Tobin Award For Lifetime Achievement In Theatrical Design. He will receive the award in a ceremony on March 27 in New York. After charting Crowley's career from a bottom rung scene painter to top of the business, the article considers Crowley's collaboration with Stoppard before shifting to thoughts on one particular venue:

[...] Crowley may well be considered the scenic 'voice' of playwright Tom Stoppard in New York. ... 'I think you need to take a different approach to Tom Stoppard,' says Crowley. 'He intellectual writer but also has a phenomenal amount of humanity inside him. He is a poet, and I think you need to apply a sensual aesthetic. I love his language, and a poetic and sensuous approach changes the way you hear his words. People are generally too literal about Stoppard, but I don't think you should be.' [...]
[...] The Tony-winning The Coast of Utopia was staged by Lincoln Center Theater in the Vivian Beaumont, a space once considered awkward to design for. ... 'I love the Beaumont,' says Crowley. ... 'I have no fears at the Beaumont. You have to embrace these spaces. If you love them, they love you back.' [...]
Two little nymphets

Lastly, over at the Chat Extension, the lovely Kate has discovered an adorable anecdote (featuring an eight year old Jennifer Ehle) in a book about actor Sir Peter Ustinov. (Search 'Jennifer Ehle' within the book). Further proof Ms Ehle started her training young!

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