Sam Wanamaker

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Stunning 'Sam Wanamaker Playhouse' To Open In 2014 (Lit Entirely By Candles)


Eileen Atkins Sam Wanamaker John Williams

The new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, an indoor Jacobean counterpart to Shakespeare's Globe, will open to the public on January 9, 2014 with a season of plays, opera and one-off concerts. The opening of the visually stunning venue completes the vision of actor, producer and director Sam Wanamaker  first conceived for the Shakespeare's Globe complex in 1949.

According to The Guardian, the small 340-capacity theatre will host the company's winter plays as well as other events throughout the year. It will be lit almost entirely by candles. The grisly tragedy The Duchess of Malfi will open the season on January 9, directed by the Globe's artistic director Dominic Dromgoole, followed by Francis Beamont's satire The Knight of The Burning Pestle, which opens on February 20, 2012.

Continue reading: Stunning 'Sam Wanamaker Playhouse' To Open In 2014 (Lit Entirely By Candles)

Irreconcilable Differences Review


Good
Back in the "glory days" of the mid-1990s, Irreconcilable Differences was a cable television mainstay. It played at least once every week and often ran two or three times on weekends. For whatever reason I watched it over and over again, and in the process, sort of fell in love with this totally imperfect yet sneakily lovable movie.

Over a decade after it vanished from the cable TV lazy weekend repertoire, the film is finally getting a DVD release -- fittingly, as part of a series called "The Lost Collection." After revisiting the movie, it sure is a far-fetched, silly trifle of a fairy tale, but it's still charming, and still believable in its own way. Irreconcilable Differences carries with it the same charisma that most Nancy Meyers-Charles Shyer comedies (Private Benjamin, Baby Boom, Father of the Bride) possess; these films are comfort food with a few sharp-edged nutrients added to the mix, stories about likable people who veer wildly off course but eventually find their way back to the Yellow Brick Road.

Continue reading: Irreconcilable Differences Review

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace Review


Unbearable
Christopher Reeve allegedly insisted that if he was going to slum his way through a fourth Superman movie, it would have to involve a story about nuclear disarmament. Noble, yes, but after Supe tosses all the nukes into the sun, Lex Luthor tosses token villain "Nuclear Man" (Mark Pillow, whose career was promptly killed after this debacle) into the mix. Pathetic battle, combined with the usual "hide that secret identity!" subplot, ensues. Worst of all are the special effects: I didn't think you could make an entire movie on a bluescreen in 1987, but damn if director Sidney J. Furie doesn't try. I've also never seen people falling sooo sloooooowlyyyyyyyyyy. Avoid!

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace Review


Unbearable
Christopher Reeve allegedly insisted that if he was going to slum his way through a fourth Superman movie, it would have to involve a story about nuclear disarmament. Noble, yes, but after Supe tosses all the nukes into the sun, Lex Luthor tosses token villain "Nuclear Man" (Mark Pillow, whose career was promptly killed after this debacle) into the mix. Pathetic battle, combined with the usual "hide that secret identity!" subplot, ensues. Worst of all are the special effects: I didn't think you could make an entire movie on a bluescreen in 1987, but damn if director Sidney J. Furie doesn't try. I've also never seen people falling sooo sloooooowlyyyyyyyyyy. Avoid!

The Spy Who Came In from the Cold Review


Good
For those who like their spy thrillers convoluted, talky, and depressing, John Le Carre's The Spy Who Came In from the Cold sticks James Bond in the belly with a sucker punch. Sad and chilly, the story gives us Richard Burton as an aging British spy who reluctantly semi-retires to work in a library, where he meets a communist gal (Claire Bloom) he fancies. He picks up a final job -- defect to East Germany, but not really; the job is to feed the communists misinformation. Or is he serious? What about the girl? The Berlin Wall makes for an ominous and chilling symbol, a reminder of our Cold War heritage. Burton and Oskar Werner (who plays his nemesis) earned various acting nominations.
Sam Wanamaker

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