Matthew Sussman

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Illuminata Review


Grim
The art of acting is fascinating and mysterious, even for the actors who practice it. Unfortunately, for many artists, acting is too fascinating, and they can't resist the temptation to over-analyze it and to make plays/films about it. Playwright Brandon Cole and actor-director John Turturro, creators of Illuminata, are the latest to succumb.

Turturro plays a dramatist, Tuccio, struggling to make his name in the Manhattan theater scene at the turn of the century. Tuccio uses the unexpected illness of an actor (played by Matthew Sussman) to convince the owners of a Manhattan theater to chance his play, Illuminata. Unfortunately, that is not only the movie's premise, but also most of the plot.

Continue reading: Illuminata Review

Pollock Review


OK

As an actor portraying the inner turmoil of Jackson Pollock -- the revolutionary abstractionist known for his splatter-and-drip painting style -- Ed Harris gives a commanding, potent performance in "Pollock" that is a torrential mix of the artist's chaotic talent and his more chaotic psyche.

As a director depicting Jackson Pollock's world, Ed Harris (yes, he did double-duty on this film) captures with vivid, lively authenticity both the astute yet pretentious buzz of the 1940s Manhattan art scene and his subject's tumultuous personal life, marked by hard drinking and a stormy long-term affair with fellow painter Lee Krasner (Marcia Gay Harden).

Together Ed Harris the actor and Ed Harris the director create an imposing, invigorating cinematic biography fueled by its subject's stubborn, manic energy and his strangely uncommunicative charisma.

Continue reading: Pollock Review

Matthew Sussman

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