Sunday, September 23, 2012

Marie Antoinette at the A.R.T.

Y'know I liked this play, but I did not love it. But that is a huge concession from me given the A.R.T.'s record of artistic bungling nigh these past five years or so. Oh it is a flashy witty production to be sure, anchored by a bravura performance from Brooke Bloom as the doomed Queen of France she goes easily from a sort of Lucille Ball clown to a trembling haughty Hepburn facing that final blade. Ms. Bloom seems bound for bigger places based on this performance. If I have a complaint its that the scenario is nigh hilarious in the first act and then as the Royal Family faces deposition and execution it darkens and darkens to pitch black. But then again that tracks pretty much with the broad flow of French History before and during the revolution, first farce then the massacre. Kudos to dramatist David Adjmi for catching that aspect of the story. As for the A.R.T.I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest their current fascination with all things transgressive, flashy and contemporary strongly suggests they ought to abandon all classical revivals and confine themselves to new plays a'la The Gate Theatre in Dublin. There is nothing worse than watching the A.R.T. work a disco glitter ball into something like Marlowe's Doctor Faustus. They are doing "Pippin" in december, that seems like a good start.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Pick of the Week...

is undoubtedly Carmine Gallone's 1926 silent Italian epic "The Last Days of Pompeii" screening at 4pm Sunday September 23rd at the Harvard Film Archive (for free no less!).
Carmine Gallone was a reliable hack who directed any number of forgettable fare under the aegis of Benito Mussolini back when the Blackshirts ruled the roost. His high point was directing "Scipio Africanus" (1937) a bloated lumbering epic given to celebrating the joys of Roman colonization in North Africa. After the war his career staggered on directing costume epics until the early 1960's....the man was nothing if not consistent. Well, we should know, Channel Zero first screened "Scipio Africanus" over ten years ago at the Coolidge Corner Theater. I just wanna say that this appears to be the third time in a year that the HFA has screened films dating from the Italian Fascist era, a film making epoch which, up until now, has been pretty much been the province of Channel Zero. Oh well, this is the HFA we are talkin' about they at least understand the worth of the film. But I reiterate, anyone out there who can get me a line on North Korean propaganda films....drop me a little note. Either that or wartime Japanese fare...I'm starting to get desperate...

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Channel Zero Returns Next Month!!

With a screening of "Journey Into Fear" (1942)

(Allegedly) Directed by Norman Foster

Joseph Cotten stars in this classic WW II spy movie as a befuddled American engineer who must flee wartime Turkey with Nazi Assassin's in pursuit!
Starring Joseph Cotten, Ruth Warwick, Jack Moss, Orson Welles, Everett Sloane, Agnes Moorhead & Delores Del Rio.
See this movie & recall one of the great mysteries of Hollywood's Golden Age,

"Did Orson Welles Really Direct Journey into Fear"?

Friday October 12th 8pm
The Somerville Theatre (micro cinema)
55 Davis Square
Somerville MA
Admission $5 (CHEAP!)
617 625 5700
Good Luck Finding Us on Facebook!!
Channel Zero, now in our sixteenth year of genteel video transcendence…

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Late word comes out of Somerville

of the unexpected death of Courtney Wayshak last week.
Long ago, in the life before The Internet made grubby pamphleteers of us all, Courtney was our editor and friend at the now defunct Boston Comic News. He was charming, full of anecdote and encouragement for the writers and artists in his charge....Courtney made an unpaid writing gig at an obscure publication into an adventure, a duel with giants, a ribald comedy and an epic of youth.

He will be missed, Peace to His Ashes, Succor to his Loved Ones.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Meanwhile back in the Granite State

Photographer Evelyn Lamprey has her first gallery show ever at The Studio in Laconia New Hampshire.

Yeah I KNOW it is a schlep but this is a new artist in the making, yuh wanna get in on the ground floor of something good doncha?

Ah Laconia, had a lot of fun there back when I was a wee summer camp counselor...Did a lot of good laundry, got spurned righteously by the local girls....