Wednesday, September 6, 2017
Sunday, September 3, 2017
Victoria & Abdul (2017, directed by Stephen Frears. England, English, Color, 112 minutes) It has been 20 years since Judi Dench last played Queen Victoria in "Mrs. Brown", and what a perfect way to return to the role that earned her her first Oscar nomination than with a story that takes place in about the same timeframe where that film left off? Like in "Mrs. Brown", the matriarch finds herself enamored with a younger man, but this time it's a young Indian, Muslim servant named Abdul. It's a timely story about cross-cultural interactions among people, but it never has that heft that makes it anything more than a lighthearted piece of social commentary.
Saturday, July 29, 2017
|Pat Walsh as Quasimodo in Upper Darby Performing Arts Center's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" Rachel Lombardo|
"Hunchback" is an elaborate and big musical based on the Victor Hugo novel about the grotesque Quasimodo that takes place on a single 30-foot tall cathedral set that houses a 30-member chorus, features a stain glass impression and is decorated with large bells, kind of like the real Notre Dame in Paris. At the helm for the Philadelphia-area premiere is the PAC's own Jeff Dietzler who is graced with having such a large venue to host the massive production and having all of the talent needed on- and off-stage to tackle the epic production.
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Detroit (2017, directed by Kathryn Bigelow. U.S.A., English, Color, 143 minutes) The most important thing about a society steeped in the arts and culture is the ability to observe our own behavior. Every form of media can be used to deliver a message about who we are, or who we have been, as a civilized group of people. In the history of American cinema we have seen film used to glorify the KKK ("The Birth of a Nation") and even excoriating a presidency ("Fahrenheit 9/11"). Needless to say, it's one of the most powerful and controversial mediums in the world for the stories it tells. "Detroit" is a movie presented as a contemporary art piece that exploits extremely raw emotions of modern events to create a telling of a previous heinous event in our history. The film is as empty, shallow and void of feeling as the society we live in.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
Dunkirk (2017, directed by Christopher Nolan. U.S.A./U.K., English, Color, 106 minutes) In the realm of war movies, the most memorable one of recent years is 1998's "Saving Private Ryan" - even though "The Hurt Locker" is better. It's violent, it's bloody, there's a human interest aspect to it, and it has pretty boys in it acting out a young man's fantasy of shooting guns and fighting off the Nazis.
Almost 20 years later and Christopher Nolan releases "Dunkirk", a film with a keen eye for suspense and storytelling that it easily eclipses Spielberg's one-trick pony of a film.
Friday, July 14, 2017
|The Weinstein Company|