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Archive for April 21st, 2009

 bonnie-1

by Allan Fish

(USA 1967 111m) DVD1/2 

We rob banks

p  Warren Beatty  d  Arthur Penn  w  David Newman, Robert Benton  ph  Burnett Guffey  ed  Dede Allen  md  Charles Strouse  m  “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” by Flatt & Scruggs  art  Dean Tavoularis  cos  Theadora Van Runkle

Warren Beatty (Clyde Barrow), Faye Dunaway (Bonnie Parker), Gene Hackman (Buck Barrow), Estelle Parsons (Blanche Barrow), Michael J.Pollard (C.W.Moss), Dub Taylor (Ivan Moss), Gene Wilder (Eugene Grizzard), Denver Pyle (Capt.Frank Hamer), Evans Evans (Velma Davis),

Bonnie and Clyde is a phenomenon of a film, a movie that completely transformed the landscape of the American cinema, as well as the American landscape through the eyes of the cinema.  No film before (and arguably since) has shown violence and murder with such realism, with such literally in-yer-face brutality.  In short, it’s one of the true milestones of modern American film, a film that, along with The Graduate, The Wild Bunch and Midnight Cowboy, lead to the collapse of censorship. 

            In 1931 Clyde Barrow has been released from prison for armed robbery and is on the verge of stealing a car.  Suddenly he is hailed by a woman from an upstairs window, who he can see is both very young and very naked.  She calls for him to hold on and she hangs out with him, finding out about his criminal past.  But when she doubts he’s telling the truth, he commits a hold-up to impress her and they begin one of the most infamous crime sprees in American history, assisted along the way by their driver, a short former gas station attendant, and Clyde’s brother Buck and his wife Blanche.  (more…)

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 april-09-034

by Sam Juliano

The true story that informs Irena’s Vow, a new one-act play running at the Walter Kerr Theatre clearly recalls the heroic actions of Miep Gies, an Austrian-born Dutch citizen who hid the family of Otto Frank on the top floor of a factory warehouse for over two years.  Gies’s loyalty and cover were betrayed and the Frank family was arrested on August 4, 1944, with the two daughters Anne and Margot Frank perishing months later in concentration camps.  Still Gies is rightly considered a heroine, much as Oskar Shindler is for his acts of bravery, and the little-known Polish woman, Irena Gut Opdyke has accomplished the same kind of selfless subterfuge in the shadow of the worst kind of human atrocities known to man.     

There’s little denying that Irena’s Vow is pat and manipulative in the way it exploits material with incomparable emotional weight, and there’ nothing new here that we haven’t seen in the Holocaust literature, yet, this stage work has it’s heart in the right place, and Tovah Feldshuh as Irena is simply extraordinary.  The actress creates high drama with superlative use of her eyes, clenched fists and telling pauses, and she’s never maudlin.       (more…)

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