Laila Robbins, Edward Albee, Jane Alexander and Thomas Jay Ryan - Peter Francis James, Catherine Curtin, Laila Robbins, Jane Alexander, Edward Albee, C.J. Wilson, Tricia Paoluccio, Thomas Jay Ryan and Michael Hayden Monday 5th March 2012 Opening night after party for 'The Lady From Dubuque' at Signature Theatre Companys Pershing Square Signature Center - Arrivals
Nathan (Bender) is a new kid in a rural town, living with his deeply religious parents (Scarwid and Ryan). He catches the eye of his neighbour Roy (Roeg), a classmate who helps him adjust to his new school, and while doing homework together they discover a mutual attraction, which they of course have to keep hidden in such a church-going community. And there are other issues in Nathan's life, including parental abuse and bullying from two of Roy's friends (Wayne and Beckman).
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Part of the problem is Hartley's distinct style, which, if you're a fan, you already know well. Characters often speak slowly, pausing pensively for dramatic or comedic effect. Conversations -- and camera angles -- are unexpectedly funny and skewed, dabbling in established genres. When this approach has purpose or emotion (as in Henry Fool), it works. When it runs in circles, as in the second-half of Fay Grim, it exists only for the "art" and can be annoying as hell.
Continue reading: Fay Grim Review
Gypsy (Annunziata Gianzero), a beautiful alternative rock violinist achieving worldwide recognition, abandons her international tour in order to retire with her acclaimed composer husband Lucian (Andrew Borba) to their beachside retreat off Cape Cod, where he will begin work on a follow-up album to his recent hit. What lurks in the background of Gypsy's insistence to her agents and bookers that "I don't play anymore" is the nagging competitiveness between the marriage partners concerning just how much of her influence contributed to his success. Rather than argue the issue, she sacrifices her career for the sake of her marriage, unwilling to claim such a contribution. But the discord (or "dischord") is an insistent murmur, an emotional leitmotif.
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The story turns mainly on the relationship between Queens garbage man Simon Grim (James Urbaniak) and Henry Fool (Thomas Jay Ryan), a pretentious aesthete who drifts into Grim's life. Fool is thoroughly unlikeable - Ryan plays him as greasy, chain-smoking poseur, acting smarter than he actually is - but Simon clearly need somebody in his life. He's friendless, antisocial, and living with his mother and sister, who routinely berate him as retarded. Fool blathers on out his memoirs and opines about the difficult life of a genius ("An honest man is always in trouble," he opines), but he also encourages Simon to start writing himself. For Simon, that counts as friendship enough.
Continue reading: Henry Fool Review
Miles away from what we critics enjoy referring to as "visually austere" (i.e., static shots with careful compositions), The Book of Life throws caution to the wind. Working with new cinematographer Jim Denault (Boys Don't Cry) instead of old standby Michael Spiller (Trust), Hartley spins and fusses in colorful blurred abstractions, creating a dreamy, impressionistic look with none of his trademark hard edges. Look, ma -- no hands!
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A silly cybersexual fantasy hinged on the fetishistic sci-fi gimmick of replicant women who need sperm to survive, "Teknolust" isn't much better than what it sounds like -- a porn spoof. The fact that writer-director Lynn Hershman Leeson genuinely considers this concept a high-minded metaphor makes the eccentric comedy laughable in ways that were certainly never intended.
A low-budget, one-dimensional concoction with art-house pretensions, the film employs such "futuristic" trappings as two-year-old candy-colored iBooks and a brushed-steel microwave that doubles as a computer terminal. But while its shoestring style may have come of necessity, the movie's absurdly ineffectual intellectualism and that-take-will-have-to-do performances are what really makes it hard to sit through.
Odd-bird indie icon Tilda Swinton ("The Deep End," "Orlando") stars a nerdy-virgin microbiologist with the ridiculous name of Dr. Rosetta Stone. Swinton also plays Stone's home-made clones, the clumsily sultry Ruby (who always wears red), petulant, child-like Marine (blue) and shy, cerebral Olive (green) -- the first of whom has been trained, through watching old movies, to go out and seduce men with bad pick-up lines so she can bring life-giving sperm home to her sisters. (That the injections are given intravenously is all that keeps "Teknolust" from being even more ill conceived than it already is.)
Continue reading: Teknolust Review
The movie begins filming in the UK.
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