by Shannonn Kelly
01:18AM, EST, September 07, 2013
Unexpectedly, my final film tonight was “Triptyque” (Triptych), by co-directors Robert LePage and Pedro Pires – Not originally on my Top 100 but I’ve heard so much about the play, that I decided to go see it since it was in close proximity to my previous film. The cinematography by co-director Pedro Pires was gorgeous. The story simple. The cast perfect. The overall feeling was very organic from storytelling to editing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I have never seen a bad film from Quebec. I could go watch ‘Triptyque’ again right now. It was what I would call “poetically artful”.
I also saw “12 Years a Slave” – – Stunning, beautifully acted narrative of appalling historical fact… Chiwetel Ejiofor is ready for his Oscar! A **Must See**
by Shannonn Kelly 05:12AM, EST, Thursday September 05, 2013
Well film lovers – the behemoth that is known as the 38th AnnualToronto International Film Festival is in full swing starting Today!
As my readers know, I try and give you the best bang for your $23.50 per ticket by breaking down the monster program book into a pop-culture-y take and make it all user friendly.
I always try to find the gems from all over the world and not just Hollywood blockbusters. Especially interesting to filmgoers should be films without distribution. Those are the films people need to see so the filmmaker can build and audience through word-of-mouth, no matter what country they’re from. This year was tough to stay ‘indie‘ with so many good people making good movies and a few GREAT directorial debuts, by the likes of (my crushes) Jason Bateman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt for instance.
This year Ejiofor stars in two heartfelt and dramatic films at TIFF. He plays ‘Odenigbo’ inHalf of a Yellow Sun about family and war in Nigeria by director Biyi Bandele and starring opposite Thandie Newton and Anika Noni Rose.
In “12 Years a Slave“, Ejiofor also stars as ‘Solomon Northup’ in this horrendous based on fact story about a fiddle playing 19th-century free black man abducted and sold into slavery in the pre-Civil War era Deep South. Directed by Steve McQueen “Hunger” (2008) and Shame (2011). Cast your early Oscar vote for for Ejiofor in “12 Years a Slave”. It’s going to be a Winner.
Franklin’s TV daughter from “One Day At A Time”, Valerie Bertinelli wrote on her website yesterday:
My heart is breaking. Bonnie has always been one of the most important women in my life and was a second mother to me. The years on “One Day At A Time” were some of the happiest of my life, and along with Pat and Mackenzie we were a family in every way. She taught me how to navigate this business and life itself with grace and humor, and to always be true to yourself. I will miss her terribly.Continue reading “Beloved Stage and TV Actress Bonnie Franklin – Dead at 69…”
Christmas eve angels were on double duty as another terrific character actor, Charles Durning died. He was 89 years-old.
In 2003, I worked on the set of a fairly forgettable MOW called “A Very Married Christmas” that starred Joe Mantegna, Jean Smart and Charles Durning who played a “a volunteer Santa”that helped the two lead characters get together.
With so many unexpected celebrity deaths this year we sadly report versatile character actor Jack Klugman (best known as Oscar Madison on TV’s The Odd Couple) passed away earlier today in his home in Woodland Hills, a district of Los Angeles, California.
Recently, I just started watching the “Odd Couple” (1970-1975) in syndication and really enjoyed the chemistry Klugman had with his co-star Tony Randall. Off screen, they were the best of friends, who Klugman gleefully indulged improvising with for the TV series.
Often leading TV actors have to wait a bit before moving onto another series, but a year after The Odd Couple wrapped, Klugman successfully starred in another series Quincy Jones M.E. which ran from 1976 to 1983.
It’s been a strong year for independent stage productions with Fringe faves “Tinfoil Dinosaur” by Sam S. Mullins and “Gay Nerds” by JP Larocque placed firmly at the top of my list. Last night I went to the opening night performance of “A Clockwork Orange” from director Victoria Fuller, a Newfoundland lass and recent graduate of The Royal Conservatoire Of Scotland at Glasgow with MA in musical theater.
On many levels this mount of “A Clockwork Orange” worked and I would place in my Top 6 of all the plays I’ve seen this year. Staying true to the storyline, compressing it but going through all 21 chapters the way Burgess had intended.
The play opens at the Korova Milkbar, an establishment that serves milk laced with drugs in which fifteen-year-old Alex (played with physical litheness and postmodern angst by Adrian Yearwood) who talks in a teenage slang called Nadsat (part Russian, part Cockney English) and revs up his trio of teenage criminals: Pete, Georgie and Dim to roam the streets of London, robbing and beating men and raping women. The last of these crimes is particularly brutal.
Alex and his band of misguided brothers happen upon an author also named “Alex” as in F. Alexander, played with natural warmth by Jake Fisher, who is out for a stroll with his lovely supportive wife. The bad Alex takes an immediate dislike to the good Alex. The fact that the author’s name matches the team leader and that he’s written a manuscript with the metafictional title “A Clockwork Orange” somehow enrages teen-thug Alex beyond comprehension so they beat up the author and gang-rape his wife while making him watch. Continue reading “Review :: Indie Stage :: A Clockwork Orange :: Takes a Licking and Keeps On Ticking”
by Shannonn Kelly 03:10AM, EST, September 14, 2012
What a DAY! 14 hours of film viewing and Q&As. I’m exhausted beyond exhausted but here are some of my highlights:
Sightseers By director Ben Wheatley was the unexpected highpoint of my day, filled with murderous mayhem through the English countryside when two sad sack lovers on their first ‘dirty weekend’ together exact their own brand of civil justice. It’s “The Trip” meets “No Country for Old Men”
Sons of the Clouds: The Last Colony I learned about a part of the world I hear nothing about in the media and the terrible injustice done to the native Sahwari people of northern Africa: the Western Sahara, which has the distinction of being the last “colony” on the African continent.
Very small almost Made-for-TV feel independent film about a couple that drinks to celebrate everything, everyday. Unusual casting, but it all works.
Peaches Does Herself
What do you say about a girl who wants it all. Peaches showed up with 18 people from the “Live Show” documentary for the premiere. An added highlight for me was the on-screen appearance of one of the most gorgeous he/she creatures I’ve ever seen. Dannii Daniels absolutely took my breath away. Her presence was totally magnificent.
Come Out and Play
By Russian director now living in Mexico who goes by the moniker “Makinov”. No last name and the film was no good. But, beautifully shot… Midnight Madness crowd left in droves grumbling feedback such as: “That’s the worst movie I’ve ever seen.”, “What the hell what Makinov thinking?”, “What a waste of my time.”…
Today Windom may probably better known his role in “Murder She Wrote” and to Trekkies everywhere for a “Star Trek” episode called the “Doomsday Machine”. Windom played Commodore Matt Decker, the sole survivor of a spacecraft who, along with the crew of the Enterprise, tries to neutralize a planet-destroying robot.
William Windom Quote:
“A lot of people today think the first thing they saw is the first thing that ever happened, and that means ‘Star Trek’ or ‘Murder, She Wrote,’ ” he once told The New York Times. “But the thing I’m most proud of is playing ‘Richard III’ in Biarritz…”
Sometimes in this city you get a little something unexpected when you go out for an evening –
Last night I went to a performance of “HELLO! – The Musical” by 1st time director Mandy Leon and I felt I was abducted and taken back in time to when I lived in New York City pre 9/11.
Given the fact that “HELLO” was staged at the “Electric Theatre” with big blue eyes of an extra terrestrial staring down at you as you enter; your hopes rise that the show will follow suit and offer you a little something ‘not of this world’ in terms of entertainment.
“HELLO” has only 2 reviews and not a lot of advertising. Last night the venue was less than ½ full. That’s a bit of a shame.
It deserves with an appreciative audience who knows what they’re in for when they step past those big blue Alien eyes.
So why is “HELLO! – The Musical” not packed every night?