Archive for March 3rd, 2009


by Sam Juliano

The Bridge Project is an unprecedented three-year, transatlantic partnership uniting the Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Old Vic, and Neal Street Productions.  Sam Mendes, whose theatre resume far surpasses his film work, was previously at BAM in 2003, directing productions of Twelfth Night and Chekov’s Uncle Vanya. This month, a double bill of revered “ocean spanning” classics ends it’s two month run at the Harvey Theatre in Brooklyn.  Both Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard have run alternately at the cavernous renovated opera and theatre house, which was previously a movie palace.  In the first of the twin plays launching this ambitious project’s mission to enable audiences and artists on both sides of the Atlantic to experience one another’s work, Chekov’s daring meditation of bourgeois materialism was adapted into a new interpretation by Tom Stoppard, and a bevy of distinguished actors were assigned the pivotal roles:  Simon Russell Beale, Sinead Cusack, Rebecca Hall, Richard Easton, Josh Hamilton and Ethan Hawke.  Stoppard’s appealingly-accessible adaptation accentuates the comic aspects of the play and it also lends itself to director Mendes’ giving free reign to the actors to speak in their natural accents.     (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(France 1956 21m) DVD2

Aka. All the World’s Memory

The imprisoned word

p  Pierre Braunberger  d  Alain Resnais  w  Remo Forlani  ph  Ghislain Cloquet  ed  Alain Resnais  m  Maurice Jarre  md  Georges Delerue  narrated by Jacques Dumesnil

If someone was asked to name a seminal short documentary directed by Alain Resnais, you can be fairly sure that, if they gave an answer, it would be Nuit et Brouillard.  Let us then ask another question; what is the name of the most important short documentary directed by Alain Resnais?  Though lending itself to ambiguity and even arbitrariness, the answer for most people would be the same.  In this instance, they would be quite, quite wrong.  Toute la Mémoire du Monde sounds a Herculean sort of work, and so it is, and yet it is so much more besides.  In Nuit et Brouillard the prisoners were Jews and other undesirables murdered by the Nazis to support an ideology.  In Toute the prisoners, as they are described, are words, be they bound in books, newspapers, pamphlets or any other media.  The film details the working rituals of the gigantic and ever-expanding universe of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.  Now that may be important on one level for showcasing arguably the most famous library in the world’s history after the one Julius Caesar set fire to in Alexandria, but why might it be important to Resnais? (more…)

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