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Archive for April 27th, 2009

coen1 

by Sam Juliano

Still basking in the glow of his successful 2008 run of Almost an Evening, an off-Broadway production that played for an encore after it’s initial run, Oscar-winning filmmaker Ethan Coen is hoping to again wow theatre goers with his second theatrical offering.  Offices, like it’s predecessor, is comprised of three interrelated one-act skits that tap into Coen’s experiences of working in offices years back after finishing college.  They all take place in offices or places of business and involve white-collar workers, and much like Almost an Evening, (which is similarly structured) showcases Ethan Coen’s inimitably distinct and dark comical tone.     

The first segment, “Peer Review” features a disgruntled worker named Elliot, who is fired after he is accused of harassing other employees, and some sexual escapades in a female’s office.  Joey Slotnick, who gave an excellent performance in Almost an Evening, again delivers the goods with a scene-stealing over-the-top, comically emotional turn, while as an executive, Cassidy, F. Murray Abraham is inflexibly wry in delivering his potent one-liners.     

“Homeland Security” pokes fun at governmental bureaucracy, and features John Bedford Lloyd as Munro and C.J. Wilson as Wilten.  One of the funniest skits in the piece involves a domestic scene involving a child, played by Daniel Yelsky.       (more…)

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 round1

by Allan Fish

(Hungary 1965 90m) DVD2

Aka. Szegénylegények

Search for Sandor

András Nemeth  d  Miklós Jancsó  w  Gyula Hernadi  ph  Tamás Somlo  ed  Zoltán Farkas  art  Tamás Banovich, Tilda Gáti  cos  Zsuzse Vicze

János Görbe (Gajdar Janos), Tibor Mólnar (Kabai), András Kozák (Ifj.Kabai), Gábor Agárdy (Torma), Zoltán Latinovits (Veszelka), Bela Barsi (Foglar), Janus Koltai (Varju Béla), Jószef Madaras (Magyardolmányos), Magda Schlehmann (Julie), Istvan Avar, Lajos Oze, Attila Nagi, Zoltán Basilides,

The Round-Up sounds rather like the title of a Monogram B western of the forties, but it couldn’t be more apposite.  Horses do feature, but that’s about it.  This is probably still the most influential film to come out of Hungary and, despite the various merits of the likes of Mephisto and Sátántangó, it remains, for me, the best film to come out of that long oppressed nation.  Oppressed is the operative word here, for Hungary was oppressed at the time of its release and the film itself is about an oppression earlier in its history.  Yet the film itself is also oppressed, as it is so hard to see these days.  Aside from a heavily priced semi-letterbox print released on video in 1993 in the US, it’s virtually impossible to see these days, but in some ways it contributes to its elusive aura.  Though Jancsó made many other fine films, from the magnificent The Red and the White to the almost terpsichorean Elektreia and the sexually explicit Private Vices, Public Virtues, this remains arguably his masterpiece, a film which, though maybe not comfortable viewing for many reasons, remains somehow just as essential over forty years on.  (more…)

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