Wednesday, July 30, 2008

'An incredible accomplishment'

Rosemary Harris

  • Details have now been released about Courteney Cox's aforementioned directorial project starring Rosemary Harris. The short drama is entitled The Monday Before Thanksgiving, and according to IMDb will be released on October 15, 2008 in Los Angeles! Ms Harris plays Lillian Cotlo and stars alongside Laura Dern and Ms Cox herself. We will let you know when a synopsis emerges. (NB: We are also awaiting news about the previously mentioned The Yankee King, thought to have been filmed in Ireland last month).

Jennifer Ehle

On the rainy front, Thaindian News have hailed Before the Rains as 'a hit in Britain'. Indeed, in the wake of the British release, the film is being discussed all over the place, not least of all on the good old wireless:

  • At BBC Radio 5 Live, Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo evaluated the film as part of their regular cinematic round-up. Their discussion can be downloaded (scroll down to 'latest episode', and relevant chatter starts 39 minutes in). They also play a new audio clip. Alternatively, here is my paltry transcription:
[...] It's a solid piece of work...very beautiful to look at...very well shot. I think what it benefits mostly from is Linus Roache's central performance... he does guilty and conflicted like almost no other British actor...and that's what this central role requires of him. [It has] a good, solid, ensemble cast, a simple story, [it is] well-told [and] nicely paired down. ...
[...] The only criticism I have [is that] if it was on television on a Wednesday afternoon it wouldn't look out of place - I don't know that there's enough to get you into the cinema. ... Although I have to say, having gone into it with fairly little expectation, I did find it gripping, I thought it was well-played and it was a solidly put together drama. ... In an age when so many dramas aren't solidly put together, don't have believable characters and don't actually have a story to tell, it does have all of those things, and the time flew by. [...]

The dailies, weeklies and glossies meanwhile continue to expound their fair share of comments:

  • Cosmo Landesman for the Sunday Times calls the film 'a lush costume drama'. Despite adding that it overall 'seems rather inconsequential', he does admit the film 'is lovely to look at'.
  • Nigel Andrews of the Financial Times is somewhat more critical but again extols the visuals:
[...] There are bits of everything and not quite enough of anything. But director and ex-cinematographer Santosh Sivan does handsome screen painting. [...]
  • Continuing praise of the latter, Mark Adams of the Mirror says the film is:
[...] delightfully shot [and] there are certainly moments to enjoy. [...]
  • Moving upwards, Allan Hunter of the Sunday Express gives a big thumbs up:
[...] Handsome cinematography and decent performances turn this old-fashioned tale into the kind of quietly compelling drama. ... As the plot deepens into a tale of divided loyalties and moral dilemmas, this literate, small-scale picture exerts a much stronger grip. [...]
  • The most laudatory of all is James Mottram from Marie Claire:
[...] One of our most underrated actors, lovely Linus Roache goes all heartless on us in this steamy period piece set in India. With the always excellent Roache joined by equally unsung Jennifer Ehle (as his long-suffering wife), the result is a tense blend of passion and politics that burrows deep under your skin. [...]
  • Lastly, OK! magazine get straight to the point, and end up with a happy verdict:
[...] What’s good:
A moving story of forbidden love in a gorgeous setting, this is an involving romantic drama that’ll get you thinking. Henry’s an interesting character – he seems to love Sajani, but when it comes to the crunch he’s prepared to make selfish decisions to save his own skin. There are plenty of moral dilemmas to muse on in this tale.

What’s bad:
It’s slow-moving yet far from an epic.

OK! verdict:
A decorative, quietly moving drama, 3/5. [...]

One must not forget the cinema-going public however, who this week can't seem to get enough of Rains.

  • The film currently has a reader-rated average of 4/5 from New York Times readers. The latest viewer comments make interesting reading:
Reader one (5 stars)

[...] Back to old school cinema - a strong narrative, interesting characters and good acting. The rest of LA should take notice that an audience still enjoys quality stories instead of the same old sentimental [rubbish] salted with dull characters and predictable uber plots. Well done! [...]
Reader two (5 stars)
[...] Outstanding. ... this film is a wonderful and enlightening example of what film can do. At the same time that other films are trying to heighten suspense with special effects (how slowly can a bullet appear to travel?) this film accomplishes all it sets out to do simply through the special effects drama has always relied on: a great story well told by great actors, director, cinematographer, and many others. Mainstream filmmakers should be envious of this incredible accomplishment. [...]
  • In other quarters, blogger Kim Weiss nicely summed up the film as containing 'everything you love in a book, on screen'. She goes on to say:
[...] In my unofficial opinion, Before the Rains is an artistic masterpiece. ... Before the Rains didn’t disappoint me in the cinematic capacity but it happily drew me into a great story, good enough to curl up with and read in a novel. ...

I was holding my breath during the finale but walked out of the theatre intact. What was emotionally stirring did not turn out to be depressing. I much prefer to be dramatically affected by a movie without driving home in despair. Before the Rains left me slightly winded by the waves of feeling I experienced, but not devastated. The movie endures in a good way. Another movie measure for me is whether or not a movie stays with me as I leave the theatre. And, if it lasts even longer, all the better. Before the Rains did that for me. [...]

Sunday, July 27, 2008

It's "Raining" in the UK

Before the Rains officially opened in the UK on Friday, and unsurprisingly, a new flock of reviews has just flown in.

The Independent gives the film three out of five stars and says:
[...] Jennifer Ehle makes a welcome appearance as Roache's deceived wife, though acting honours go to Bose, his face an eloquently shifting register of shame, calculation and sympathy.
Although Tim Robey of The Telegraph didn't exactly love the movie, he was astute enough to make the following observation:
[...] There's more than a glint of Forster or Maugham in the affair between the British imperialist Henry Moores (a solid Linus Roache) and his housemaid Sajani (Nandita Das), which reaches a tragic impasse when his wife (Jennifer Ehle, sterling as usual) returns from England. [...]
In the same vein, Matthew Turner of View London says:
[...] Henry's bliss is short-lived, first because his wife Laura (Jennifer Ehle, lovely as ever) arrives from England with their young son in tow [...]
He later adds:
[...] The performances are good too, particularly the central trio of Roache, Bose and Das, although Ehle is rather wasted as Laura. [...]
While the review at Empire does not mention the welcome-ness, sterling-ness, or loveliness of any of the cast members in particular, it does applaud the leading players in general:
[...] Still, if the characters sometimes feel roughly drawn and over-pitched, the casting, particularly of the leads (Jennifer Ehle also stars), is spot on. [...]
For additional reviews with a mixed flavor, check out The Evening Standard, The Guardian, The Observer (*spoiler alert*), The Times, and Channel 4 Film.

For reviews that leave a bitter aftertaste, visit The Sun, Metro, Eye for Film, and Total Film.

Lastly, for something in the non-review category, The Toronto Star has a nice article about Nandita Das, who is quite a fascinating person. Here is a sample:
Nandita Das has never been one to shy away from controversy.

An unconventional actor in her choice of film roles, her repertoire includes playing a lesbian in Fire, a rape victim in Bawander, a witch in Maati Maay and a maid in love with her married white master in Before the Rains.

But her favourite film hasn't happened yet, she says over the phone from India. With three dozen acting credits, Das, who will be in Toronto this weekend for a retrospective of her films at the Masala! Mehndi! Masti! festival (starting tonight at the Queen Elizabeth theatre at Exhibition Place) has achieved greater fame outside India than within her own country.
. . .
"Many of my films have been triggers for conversations around social justice. So I see this (retrospective) as more like an exchange of ideas and thoughts, and sharing of common concerns around issues of women and social justice, which are close to my heart."

Das's background in grassroots human rights advocacy – she has a master's degree in social work from Delhi University and has worked tirelessly to help uplift poor women and children – tends to influence the roles she chooses.
. . .
Das has spent the last nine months directing her first feature film, Firaaq (an Urdu word that means both separation and quest), an experience she calls thoroughly enjoyable and highly stressful.

"In acting at least you're focusing on one thing, but when you're directing, my God, you have to focus on 100 things almost simultaneously." [...]

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A wonderfully photographed film

On the eve of the British Before the Rains release, Time Out (London) are definitely mixed, but call the film 'solid'. There is no specific mention of Jennifer Ehle, but they consider Linus Roache 'understretched'. They go on to say:

[...] The film’s main strength lies in the relationships between its characters – each make terrible but understandable decisions that lead to tragedy, but none ever appears as an outright villain. Only towards the end does this careful balance become unstuck [...]
Similarly, at Vue Weekly the reception is mixed, but they also pick out strengths:
[...] Before the Rains is a traditionally constructed, competently acted and wonderfully photographed film. It’s a Merchant-Ivory production, and like most Merchant-Ivory films of yore, it’s conventionally beautiful filmmaking, chock-full of verdant jungles and sun-dappled colonial towns. ... And there are some genuine moments of suspense and tragedy. The melodrama rarely overplays itself, and the symbolism, while a little pat, gets the jobs done. [...]

Meanwhile, at the Guardian, Santosh Sivan repeats thoughts about his childhood and his approach to the film.

It also appears that The Russell Girl is now available for rental in the UK. The Daily Express corroborates this claim of a previous article, describing the programme as a 'classy tearjearker'.

Elsewhere, just a couple of thoughts have surfaced in the blogosphere:

FilmNotes considered Before the Rains 'beautifully shot,' adding that it was 'lovely to see Linus in such a key role'. The overall conclusion arrived at was that the film was 'good but not perfect'.

A Wired New York visitor said of Pride and Glory:

[...] It's set to release in October, which I think is better for the film as it looks to have major Oscar potential. ... The people behind it have been working on it for a long time and were given rare access inside the NYPD. [...]
Finally, there is brief mention of John Ehle's effect on author Robert Morgan in the Asheville Citizen-Times:

[...] John Ehle's novel, "The Road" (the 2005 Together We Read pick) "influenced me especially," Morgan said. Ehle was among the first to universalize local material and portray the people fairly and with dignity. [...]

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bit of a post drought today

. . .but here is a sprinkling of links to tide us over.
  • I'm excited to announce that you can listen to Mark Isham's score to Pride and Glory at Foward Musik Radio. (Just click on the picture.) Note that one of the tracks is called "Abby cries," which calls to mind Jennifer Ehle's (all too brief) appearance in the final montage of the movie's trailer.
  • Speaking of film scores, Zach Freeman has written a very intelligent review of the Before the Rains soundtrack. Here is a sample of the quotage:
    Like a mix between an Enya album and a disc of mediation music, composer Mark Kilian’s work on Before the Rains is both entertaining and relaxing. Listening to this album, it’s easy to forget that this is the score for a movie and drift away in a world of floating rhythms and gentle melodies. [...] Set in India in the 1930s, Before the Rains is a tale of ambition and loyalty, directed by acclaimed Indian director Santosh Sivan. To make the most of his opportunity here, Kilian traveled to India and conducted much research (and it shows). The score has a vaguely ethereal quality, particularly during the various vocal performances of Satya McGarry and the backup choir. Some portions of the percussion are deep and lingering while others are accelerated and driven, but it all fits together well and holds the score together. It’s not your typical dramatic score - and this is definitely a good thing. [...] It’s a wonderful listen from start to finish and leaves audience with the promise that Mark Kilian is just getting started.
  • In honor of the upcoming UK release of Before the Rains, another review has been published, this time by ScotlandOnSunday. Blogger Stefan has posted a thoughtful review as well.
  • At LiveMint there is an interview with Santosh Sivan, who speaks English but thinks in Malayalam.
  • Finally, in an article at Rediff News, we are told that the film's trek across North America could yield quite a chunk of change:
    Santosh Sivan's story of lustful colonial encounters and inequities, Before the Rains, starring Nandita Das, Rahul Roy and Linus Roache, has been better received than Brick Lane. The Sivan film received a strong review from The New York Times, and Pulitzer Prize winner Roger Ebert, while giving it two and a half stars out of four, had kind words to say about cinematographer-director Sivan. Before the Rains could likely end its North American run with about $1 million.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A great reason for time travel

Glory Glory
  • While we are not exactly inundated with comments on the new Pride and Glory release date (co-writer and blogger Joe Carnahan is on holiday for a start), there is some anticipatory glee from another Joe at Moviedrome:
[...] This looks like it's got a good premise, great cast...and strong production values. Can't wait. [...]

(For anyone in Belgium meanwhile, IMDb now gives your release date for the movie as November 19, 2008. In America, it will be out October 24.)

The weather forecast
  • CNN have a fairly large updated piece on the Before the Rains, seemingly bringing old and new thoughts together:
[...] It is roads, of all things, that Indian director Santosh Sivan cites as the inspiration behind his exquisite English-language debut "Before the Rains." ... Sivan has managed to conjure up the Kerala of his childhood recollections - and there can be few films that evoke India's natural beauty more breathtakingly. [...]
The large amount of quotage from Sivan that they give derives from their video interview with the director. It includes speakage from Linus Roache, and looks like it was filmed during the EIFF. (NB: Notice Sivan's 'we had wonderful actors, like Jennifer...')
  • August's edition of Empire magazine (not available online) gives a contented three stars - hailing the director and his cast:
[...] [Sivan] does a fine job, but it's a shame he didn't have a bigger canvas - [Rains] lacks the Lean-esque scope to match its emotional scale. Still...the casting, particularly of the leads (Jennifer Ehle also stars) is spot on. [...]
  • On the rest of the net, filmgoer Ralph considers the film to be:
[...] a beautifully photographed period piece...with particular attention to the costumes. There’s nothing wrong with the pacing or the length of the movie. The acting is fine... [...]
  • According to Simon, the current IDEA magazine (unavailable online) notes that the film:
[...] captures the clash of cultures and religions as the characters struggle to do the right thing. [...]
  • The film's official website also points to a few reviews we have missed, firstly from June. Karen Durbin of Elle Magazine described the film as 'beautiful' adding that [its] intelligence and capacity for surprise keep things exhilarating.' Secondly, Jeffrey Lyons from NBC's Reel Talk (link unavailable) is quoted as saying Before the Rains was 'a deeply absorbing movie'.
  • A reminder that you can order or download the lovely Rains soundtrack, or pre-order the Rains DVD, all via Amazon.
  • A quick note to Britishers - only nine days to go. In the meantime, MyFilms are giving away ten pairs of tickets for an advance screening in Central London on July 22. You can enter the competition as many times as you want up to the 20th. (Also, using the 'Where It's On' feature on this page, you can sign up to be alerted when/if the film comes to cinemas near you.)
Lizzys and Larry
  • Lastly in the P&P blogosphere, one lady was unimpressed with the 1940 version of Pride and Prejudice and kept wanting to make a particular addition from the 1995 version:
[...] I found myself wishing for Jennifer Ehle to be transported through time into the role. Not only is she a better Elizabeth than Greer, but then I could see her act with the legendary Laurence Olivier, who makes a wonderful Darcy. [...]

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It's raining blockquotes

Before the Rains opened in select cities in Canada on Friday, resulting in a new batch of reviews and, best of all, an interview from the Times Colonist, which features great quotage from Santosh Sivan, Linus Roache, and Jennifer Ehle herself:

[...] "You may think I make films that are always on the edge, but you know, I make children's movies, too," says Sivan, smiling a slightly mischievous smile.

"Every movie will speak to people differently because sometimes I have different things to say," he says. "The Terrorist was about finding a way to kill -- and training yourself to cross that line. Before the Rains is about finding a way not to kill. This one is about making a moral choice to not cross that line -- which also takes great courage, perhaps more courage than it takes to kill."

Sivan says he didn't set out to make a statement movie when he took on Cathy Rabin and Dan Verete's screenplay about a Englishman seeking to create a spice fortune.

"I was interested in exploring this cross-cultural encounter because as a filmmaker, it's an idea that's familiar to me. Movies speak from different traditions as well," he says.

"There is Bollywood. There is Hollywood. There is a whole history of European traditions as well. In Before the Rains, I did try to incorporate different styles. I tried to reference this notion of cultural collision -- and that helped with the overall design as we move from this brand of Eden to a very different reality," says Sivan.

Because Sivan generally has everything in his head before he rolls a second of film, the actors may find themselves in a dramatic game of catch-up.

"You don't really ever have a normal conversation with Santosh," says Roache, an actor probably best known as Thomas Wayne -- Batman's father in Batman Begins -- or newly installed executive A.D.A. Michael Cutter from Law and Order.

"He's such a natural storyteller you have to trust and follow him. He's not the kind of director who's going to indulge in long conversations about motivation. He's extremely visual, so if something's not working, he lets you know. But he's not so particular that he doesn't let you explore," says Roache.

Jennifer Ehle, who plays wife to Roache in the film, says talking can be a detriment to character anyway. "Sometimes, it's not helpful talking things over with a director. You just want to feel safe and secure, which is why you're probably talking to the director in the first place because you want to make him/her happy. Santosh always made us feel comfortable, so I didn't mind the lack of chatter," she says.

"And I think it worked well because we ended up being very spontaneous. We didn't know how some scenes would unfold until we did them . . . and that can be a lot of fun. There were other scenes that were very rehearsed. Santosh seems to direct by instinct, and you learn to follow along," says Ehle, who just wrapped Gavin O'Connor's Pride and Glory alongside Colin Farrell, Edward Norton and Jon Voight.

Roache says like all dramatic endeavours, a movie comes down to energy and inspiration. "Energy breeds energy, and Santosh has nothing but energy. He's truly incredible because he's always working, even when it looks like he's not doing anything. He's working."

The director says being back in his old stomping grounds served as his central inspiration. "I had a chance to explore the history of the place I grew up in -- I learned who made the roads and why. How could you not be excited to tell such a story? In so many ways, I felt like I was given a chance to tell the stories that had yet to be told -- stories about my ancestors, about my people, about those who fight for freedom," says Sivan.

"From beginning to end, it was a privilege." [...]
Katherine Monk, the author of the above interview, also published a review of the film at The Gazette. She astutely observes:
[...] The movie doesn't feel or even look like a survival story, but it's all about survival - not just of the individual, but of an entire culture on the verge of being swallowed whole.

The palpable sense of unease and unpredictability serves the movie extremely well because it cranks up the tension and pulls us out of the image-induced trance. It also blocks any attempt to turn Before the Rains into an epic romance in the tradition of The English Patient.

Thanks to the nuanced performances from the talented - and rather attractive - ensemble, every character earns empathy and respect, despite the flaws, because they all feel authentic.
Talented and attractive, indeed!

In the same vein, Ken Eisner of offers some kind (and all too true) words about Ms. Ehle:
[...] Little here is unpredictable, but the film is full of deft touches, courtesy of director Santosh Sivan (who also made Theeviravaathi: The Terrorist). When Henry’s English wife shows up, for example, she is a fine, loving person, not the shrewish colonial you’re expecting to meet. (The fact that she’s played by the too-rarely seen Jennifer Ehle helps.) And one long scene in which T. K. is sorely tested by a tribal council offers a harrowing twist in a tale that turns out to be tougher than it looks.
If you feel so inclined, more reviews can be found at Online Athens, the Austin Chronicle, the Palm Beach Post, the Miami Herald, and the Basehor Sentinel.

At Newindpress there is an interesting article by Santosh Sivan, aptly titled "The art of light." Here is a short sample:
I have always believed that most faces are beautiful. Especially if you can focus on what is going on inside their minds. Sometimes what one sees as flaws is what is really interesting to others. When I film people and their faces, I make them feel secure so they are not conscious and they just perform.
. . .
Water plays a living, breathing character in my films. My unconscious study of nature and the colours, especially black and whites (I studied in a convent) are courtesy Kerala where you find water everywhere, in various moods, from a waterfall to a static pool.
. . .
Some say I follow the Zen way of life but that is an exaggeration. I get up and look at everything as if I’m seeing it for the first time, that’s all.
Linus Roache also discusses the film and his character, Henry Moores, in an interview at
[...] “My character becomes less likable as the story progresses, but, I think, he remains very understandable. I very consciously avoided bringing too much of a modern-day perspective to the part. I just wanted, as much as I could, to play straight that kind of British Raj arrogance: it was inbuilt and inbred. At the same time, he was kind of progressive, and definitely an ambitious guy, trying to make something big happen. In that sense, it does serve as a kind of metaphor for the British Empire, both in its energy and drive and in its ultimate demise and downfall.”
. . .
“The story is very well done when you look at it closely,” Roache avers. “Yes, you can pass judgment on what Henry does, but within that structure, what choices does he actually have? He’s a guy who has everything and thinks he’s entitled to more. Of course, once he has this affair, he’s in a situation where the two cultures collide. Events conspire, in the end, to force him to do nothing, and this is the case when nothing is a very strong action indeed.” [...]
Film Festival Alert: As part of its grand tour, Before the Rains will be featured at the Durban International Film Festival in South Africa, which will take place from July 23 to August 3. (Rains will be shown on August 1 and 2.) Visit the official DIFF website for the official press release and ticket information.

Finally, in the just for fun category, here are a few links about Rosemary Harris, courtesy of our favorite googler, Janet:

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Fewer tidbits and a distinct lack of desserts

  • Voices from Russia have a small piece on the Russian version of The Coast of Utopia, in which they bat around more thoughts on the play's characters and ideas. They also provide further explanation as to how May's Stanford University event came about:
[...] An international cultural and educational project [was] initiated by Tom Stoppard. The project, known as “Strolling Along the Coast of Utopia”, incorporated essay and review contests and open disputes in which the participants mulled over freedom and despotism, and personality and society. Some members of the disputes gathered at an international symposium at Stanford University. [...]
(For video/audio/general information on the Stanford shenanigans, see past posts).
  • Today's thoughts on Before the Rains come from Jean Lowerison of the San Diego Metropolitan, who says 'this beautiful if standard-issue story is both well directed and rivetingly shot'. Reviews we appear to have missed come from Tim Cogshell (Boxoffice), Duane Dudek (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) and Wolf Entertainment who mention 'fine actress Jennifer Ehle'.

  • Brits might be interested to know that the UK's BBFC have just rated The Russell Girl a PG, possibly a sign of an upcoming Region 2 DVD release. Sofa Cinema actually give a date of 21 July 08, but there does not appear to be any corroboration of this at present.

  • For those with an appetite for Austen-era fashions, see pieces by Huffenglish and The Jane Austen Centre, which will introduce the words 'pelisse', 'reticule' and 'sarsenet' into your vocabulary. See either link for a picture of Ms Ehle sporting a 'spencer' in Pride and Prejudice.

  • In the same vein, there has been heightened activity over at our Chat Extension of late, prompted by one reviewer's inference (scroll down) that Jennifer Ehle and Susannah Harker wore Jane Austen's actual topaz crosses during filming. Pictures of both suggest this is unlikely, but feel free to join in the real vs. replica debate!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

A few tidbits plus a tasty treat for dessert

Since it's always best to start with dessert...

(A special thank you to googlemeister Janet for finding the following gem of a link and thereby preventing this post from becoming a complete flop!)

The letters of the North Carolina writer and activist Paul Green, who was a friend and mentor to John Ehle, have been published as a collection in A Southern Life: Letters of Paul Green, 1916-1981 (1994). The book contains one of Green's letters to Ehle, which can be viewed at Google Book Search. Here is what the letter says:

Dear John --

The Winter People script arrived all okay, and I've just finished reading it. Thanks for sending it and thanks too for the lovely photo of you three. Jennifer is already a beautiful young lady. Think of that! Well, naturally she would be with such parents.

When I think of the amount of work you have put into this novel and others - as well as the multitude of creative things you bring to pass outside and beyond your writing - I berate myself for my laziness.

According to the footnotes, the "you three" refers to Ehle, his wife, and his daughter (as I'm sure you were able to figure out!) while also pointing out that Jennifer was twelve at the time. The notes further explain:

"Elizabeth always asks for evidence of Jennifer's growth and health," Ehle wrote, "so I'm sending [the snapshot] along to her as proof" (John Ehle to Paul Green, 3 March 1981, PG-SHC).

Too bad the “evidence” is not included!

The rest of the footnotes contain more information about John Ehle and the context of Green's letter. Unfortunately, the google preview does not continue on to the next page of the book, so we can't see what follows...

Now on to the tidbits:

  • First up is a video interview with Linus Roache and Before the Rains producer Doug Mankoff at the AFI Dallas Film Festival, which slipped by us last Spring.
  • There is a mixed (and occasionally ouchy) review of Before the Rains at the Colorado Springs Gazette, but the ouchiness is easily forgiven thanks to this perceptive observation:
    [...] Where "Before the Rains" excels is in its painterly cinematography, its representations of two different cultures set on a collision course, and the performance of the wonderful Jennifer Ehle, an actress woefully underutilized since her star turn in A&E's "Pride and Prejudice." [...]
  • For further reviewage, check out the Providence Journal and the Tallahassee Democrat. The latter claims:
    The culture-clashing costume drama 'Before the Rains' is such a beautifully photographed film that you want to stop it occasionally just to gawk. [...]
  • Does Mr. Darcy have a potential rival? Vancouver's Blog alerts us to the "male eye candy" in Before the Rains (which takes the form of a shirtless Rahul Bose) while simultaneously alerting us to the fact that the film will open in Vancouver on Friday, July 11.
  • Lastly, you might be interested to know that the hip-hop artist and poet, Paul "Sage" Francis, is currently working on the Pride and Glory soundtrack. According to Oziemcee's blog:
    [...] Mark Isham is composing the music to which Francis is writing lyrics, speaking the conscience of the main character, played by Edward Norton. [...]

P.S. Another special thank you to Abi for doing such a fantastic job of solo-blogging this past month! xxx

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Seriously microscopic post

[...] Before the Rains is an enjoyable period drama... With sweeping rainforest vistas and impressive scenes of the building of the road, the film is easy on the eye, and the story is straightforward with the direction competently handled. ... The strength of the piece lies in the performances of the two male leads, which lift a spare script off the page and make this film much more than just a run-through of familiar Fall of the Raj themes. [...]
  • By contrast, the Scotsman's Alistair Harkness quickly dismisses the film and many others offered at the EIFF.

  • One avid theatre-goer briefly recalls 1996 play A Delicate Balance - in which Rosemary Harris played Agnes - putting it among his favourite theatre experiences of the last 25 years. For more information, see Mel Gussow's New York Times piece on Rosemary Harris from 1996.