I’m off on an adventure, and will resume posting on 6 April 2015.
I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
A&E used to be the Arts and Entertainment network, but for the past few years has aimed its programming at the kind of people who live in the less selective trailer parks. Stuff like Duck Dynasty, Dog the Bounty Hunter, and Storage Wars.
There are signs, though, that the network is trying to attract a more upscale audience. Bates Motel surprised most people by being quite good. This year, A&E commissioned a much less successful remake of the brilliant French series, Les Revenants, called The Returned. Skip it and watch the superb original on Netflix or Amazon.
And now they plan to create a series based on Let the Right One In.
No. Just, no.
Here’s the UK trailer for the beautiful Swedish original:
On Saint Patrick’s Day, I went to the National Theatre, for the opening night performance of Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit. Angela Lansbury is making what she says will be her last tour, and Washington is the final stop on its four-city run.
She was, of course, wonderful. She’d won her fifth Tony award for an earlier New York staging of the play, and her performance in the role of Madame Arcati, medium and clairvoyant, is a show-stopper.
The play itself was an old-fashioned joy. It’s the kind of “sophisticated,” upper-class nonsense that Coward did so well. The style is out of fashion today, but still makes for a delightful night at the theatre.
The play will run through 29 March 2015.
This looks intriguing. Ex Machina opened in the UK back in January, to excellent reviews—it’s got a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s the directorial debut of Alex Garland, who wrote 28 Days Later and Sunshine.
US release date is 10 April 2015.
Pajiba has an interesting piece about a panel at the Oxford Union that featured key Game of Thrones people including Kit (“You know nothing, Jon Snow”) Harrington and GoT co-creator and show runner David Benioff, in which Benioff discussed the increasing divergence of the TV show from the books. He said that despite the alterations, the books and the TV series will end the same way.
Some Pajiba commenters speculated:
The Pajiba article has a video of the full Oxford Union program.
Something a little different this week.
Henry Nelson O’Neil wasn’t a Pre-Raphaelite. In fact, he was the most outspoken member of The Clique, a group of artists who vehemently opposed the Pre-Raphaelites.
Most of O’Neil’s work portrays historical subjects. like the above depiction of an an emigrant ship leaving England, and “Before Waterloo,” pictured below.
I’m just now in the process of discovering O’Neil’s work. Like it a lot.
Ryan Phillippe at Peak Twinkiness
It coulda been a contender.
54, Mark Christopher’s celebration of the Golden Age of Studio 54, was released 17 years ago, to terrible reviews and massively disappointed audiences. The blame for its failure can be laid at the feet of its executive producer, Harvey Weinstein, and Miramax, the studio that released the film. They butchered and sanitized Christopher’s original movie beyond recognition, cutting 40 minutes from the 106-minute running time, demanding 30 minutes of new scenes, and substantially de-gaying what could have been a landmark film.
But we may be able to see what-might-have-been sometime soon. A director’s cut of the film, was shown at the Berlin Film Festival last month—The Guardian gave it four out of five stars— and a digital version may be released later in this year.
54 starred Mike Myers as Steve Rubell and Ryan Phillippe, the then undisputed King of the Twinks, as Shane O’Shea, a naive New Jersey kid who gets into Rubell’s Studio 54 based on his looks, and winds up getting hired and becoming part of the late-70s Studio 54 scene.
Viv: He’s gorgeous. Look for yourself.
Shane O’Shea: [voiceover] I was warned that Steven didn’t hire any dummies and I should be on my toes because he could ask some really tricky questions.
Steve Rubell: What’s two plus two?
Shane O’Shea: Huh?
Steve Rubell: You’ll be fine.
I’ve been waiting for this one since 1998.