Tuesday, October 9, 2007

2nd\NE Quadrant 10/15 '07

The Approval Matrix: Week of October 15, 2007

"Hotel Chevalier"

Wes Anderson's new short film, "Hotel Chevalier," is now available for free at iTunes! Starring Jason Schwartzman and Natalie Portman, the movie is described as "Part 1 of "The Darjeeling Limited," referring to Anderson's new movie "The Darjeeling Limited." In "Hotel Chevalier," Schwartzman's character has a tryst with an ex-girlfriend, played by Portman, and it's an integral part to the story told in "Darjeeling." The short is absolutely mandatory viewing before seeing Anderson's latest, since the scene is referred to later in the movie, and it allows us to know a lot more about Jack's character the first time we meet him.
(Coming Soon)

If you have iTunes installed, you can click here to go directly to the movie!

"The Darjeeling Limited"

Plot Outline: Three American brothers who have not spoken to each other in a year set off on a train voyage across India with a plan to find themselves and bond with each other -- to become brothers again like they used to be. Their "spiritual quest", however, veers rapidly off-course (due to events involving over-the-counter pain killers, Indian cough syrup, and pepper spray), and they eventually find themselves stranded alone in the middle of the desert with eleven suitcases, a printer, and a laminating machine. At this moment, a new, unplanned journey suddenly begins. (IMDb)

Carina Chocano of the Los Angeles Times said, "The film about three brothers in the wake of their dad's death is a pleasurable journey to nowhere, but it's worth the ride," but Ray Bennett
of the Hollywood Reporter said, "A train ride without laughs or charm."


"THE WAR," a seven-part series co-directed and produced by Ken Burns [who is a Brooklyn born director and producer of documentary films known for his style of making use of original prints and photographs] tells the story of the Second World War through the personal accounts of a handful of men and women from four quintessentially American towns. The series explores the most intimate human dimensions of the greatest cataclysm in history — a worldwide catastrophe that touched the lives of every family on every street in every town in America — and demonstrates that in extraordinary times, there are no ordinary lives. (PBS)

Robert Koehler of Variety said of "THE WAR," "As always with Burns' work, on-camera participants apply a great deal of the project's human touch, reaping several rewarding passages, including Burke's exceptional description of air fights over Germany in episode two that are precisely matched with brilliantly edited battle footage (by supervising editor Paul Barnes and episode editor Erik Ewers), and the lucky Aarenson's wildly improbable stories of multiple brushes with death.
(Photo Courtesy of National Archives\via PBS)

Freeman, McDormand, and Gallagher in
"The Country Girl"

Broadway.com reports that Morgan Freeman, Frances McDormand and Peter Gallagher are set to star in Mike Nichols' Broadway revival of Clifford Odets' The Country Girl. The production is planned to open at a Shubert theater in April 2008.

This classic backstage story features the title character, Georgie (McDormand), who is married to actor Frank Elgin (Freeman), once a great theater star and now down on his luck. When Frank is offered a major role by hotshot director Bernie Dodd (Gallagher), he has the chance to make a major comeback. The roles were originally played on Broadway in 1950 by Uta Hagen, Paul Kelly and Steven Hill and in the 1954 film adaptation by Oscar winner Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby and William Holden.

Freeman last appeared on Broadway in 1988 in "The Gospel at Colonus."
(Photo courtesy of Broadway.com)

"Lucia di Lammermoor"

Composer Gaetano Donizetti based what has become his most famous opera on a novel "The Bride of Lammermoor" by Walter Scott. He distilled a very long book into a fast-moving opera and then filled it with some of his most melodic music. Lucia came to typify “bel canto” operas”: pieces in which the dramatic flow of a scene sometimes becomes subservient to the need for “beautiful singing”. The long melodic lines are infused with a beauty that comes to life with singers’ embellishments – and nowhere more so than in Lucia’s famous mad scene. (Met Opera Family)

Justin Davidson of New York said, "The work’s whole reason for existence is the Mad Scene, in which Maria Callas and, later, Beverly Sills exhibited finely wrought hysteria."

Ian Bostridge in "Death in Venice"

The 2009-2010 season at New York City Opera will be devoted to 20th-century works. The English tenor Ian Bostridge will sing in a production of Benjamin Britten's "Death in Venice."(NY Sun)

Ian Bostridge was a post-doctoral fellow in history at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, before embarking on a full-time career as a singer. His international recital career includes the world's major concert halls and the Salzburg, Edinburgh, Munich, Vienna, Aldeburgh and Schubertiade Festivals. In 1999 he premiered a song-cycle written for him by Hans Werner Henze. In 2003/04 he held artistic residencies at the Vienna Konzerthaus and the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, in 2004/2005 he shared a Carte-Blanche series with Thomas Quasthoff at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and in 2005/2006 he had his own Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall. In 2001 he was elected an honorary fellow of Corpus Christi College, Oxford and in 2003 he was made an Honorary Doctor of Music by the University of St Andrew's. He was created a CBE [by Order of the British Empire] in the 2004 New Year's Honours. (EMI Classics)


That's right; don't bother looking for "In Rainbows" in your local record shop or on iTunes on October 10. Radiohead will sell tracks directly from its site and ask fans to pay what they think the album is worth instead of charging a set price. For a band as big as Radiohead, this is unprecedented in the music industry. No record label or online distribution service like iTunes will be able to dictate the price or get a piece of the profits.
(PC World\Kyle Sutton)

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