"[F]rom the vantage point of a 12-year-old, adulthood is something best avoided. The key question, then, is how long can you run?" Rolling Stone launches their new monthly feature, "Be Kind, Rewind" with a new look at Step Brothers. [more inside]
Aria was an art movie/promotional stunt put out by Virgin Media in 1987 with famous directors providing a music-video take on various opera pieces. ( A full review by That Opera Chick). Of particular note is Julien Temple's (Of Earth Girls Are Easy fame) adaptation of Verdi's Rigoletto as a zany, cartoonish, ecstasy-fueled and very 80s farce set at the infamous Madonna Inn. Watch the whole delirious sequence here.
32 all new episodes of: Trapped. In. The. Closet. (The Alien is back and It has brought friends along.)
The French romantic thriller “Diva” dashes along with a pellmell gracefulness, and it doesn’t take long to see that the images and visual gags and homages all fit together and reverberate back and forth. It’s a glittering toy of a movie... This one is by a new director, Jean-Jacques Beineix... who understands the pleasures to be had from a picture that doesn’t take itself very seriously. Every shot seems designed to delight the audience. - Pauline Kael, 1982 [more inside]
Nigel Kneale's adaptation of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four was one of the most controversial television programmes of its time. Broadcast live, it made "unusually extensive and imaginative use of filmed inserts (14 in total). These sequences bought time for the more elaborate costume changes or scene set-ups, but also served to 'open out' the action." And now you can watch it too! The full version is currently on Youtube. Short of the John Hurt film released in 1984 being posted online, the 1954 BBC TV adaptation is about as doubleplusgood as it gets for now. [more inside]
Three years after the failure of his recklessly ambitious Marxist epic 1900, Bernardo Bertolucci returned to directing with La Luna - a story of opera and incest featuring a Golden Globe-nominated performance by Jill Clayburgh, then at the height of her late 70s fame. [Also appearing in small roles were Fred Gwynne and an up-and-coming Roberto Benigni.] Writing in The New York Times, Vincent Canby described it as "one of the most sublimely foolish movies ever made by a director of Mr. Bertolucci's acknowledged talents." Roger Ebert wrote, "Bertolucci has sprung his gourd this time." [more inside]
"... we are sweeping everything under the carpet, but the oddness is cropping up all over the place. And then, the carpet starts to move…". Michael Haneke, "le manipulateur" who introduced his latest film, Caché, at Cannes with a half-amused “I wish you a disturbing evening”, is the proponent of a "cinema of disturbance". A cinema of loving self-mutilation, where time is non-linear and everything happens in long take shots; in Haneke's world, guilt destroys lives decades after the original sin. All his male characters are "Georges" and his female characters are either "Evas" or "Annas", "because I lack fantasy". Unsurprisingly, he is a Bresson and Tarkovsky fan. He'll direct "Don Giovanni" at the Paris Opera in early 2006: "In 20 years of working in the theater, I only staged one comedy, and that was my single failure".
You've seen the movie, you've read the book. Now, watch Dead Man Walking, the Opera. (more inside...)