Tuesday, August 14, 2007

2nd Quadrant 8/20 '07

Week of August 20, 2007

David Wolk's Reading Comics

Jeremy Estes of Popmatters.com writes of Wolk’s Reading Comics, “Wolk analyzes comics components—pictures, words, negative space—and how a readers’ mind transforms that information into a story. Complex ideas, such as how comics suggest motion, how sound and sense are all present but never explicit, are discussed and dissected with the seriousness which they deserve.... Wolk’s arguments are bolstered by more than 100 illustrations…, allowing the reader to see the concepts of time and space as they’re actually represented on the comics’ page. By using specific examples, ideas that might at first seem daunting… begin to make sense.”


From the film’s website: The first film of its kind to chronicle the reasons behind Iraq’s descent into guerilla war, warlord rule, criminality and anarchy, NO END IN SIGHT is a jaw-dropping, insider’s tale of wholesale incompetence, recklessness and venality. Based on over 200 hours of footage, the film provides a candid retelling of the events following the fall of Baghdad in 2003 by high ranking officials… NO END IN SIGHT examines the manner in which the principal errors of U.S. policy – the use of insufficient troop levels, allowing the looting of Baghdad, the purging of professionals from the Iraqi government, and the disbanding of the Iraqi military – largely created the insurgency and chaos that engulf Iraq today.

“NO END IN SIGHT” won the Special Jury Prize for Documentary at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.


Christine Baranski

Playbill.com reports that Christine Baranski, who will play Tanya in the film version of “Mamma Mia!,” had previously said that she would likely star in the Theatre for a New Audience production of “Antony and Cleopatra,” but the company has yet to officially announce its 2007-08 season.

According to Broadwayworld.com she stated in a Time Out New York interview that "I’m supposed to do “Antony and Cleopatra” with Theatre for a New Audience, but that’s not for a while."

However, the two–time Tony Award winner for her work in “The Real Thing” and “Rumors” will be part of "An Evening of Shakespeare: Antony and Cleopatra" at the 92nd Street on March 3, 2008.

“Private Fears in Public Places”

The plot outline for “Private Fears in Public Places” on IMDb is, “In Paris, six people all look for love, despite typically having their romantic aspirations dashed at every turn,” and from the IFC YouTube channel, “Set inside a magically snowbound Paris, six lonely souls converge and commingle in their search for lasting connections.”

The Chicago Tribune writes that “Private Fears in Public Places” is a comedy-drama that follows six characters in search of romance through a set of criss-crossing amours and relationships. The characters reappear in each other's segments, often exposing sides we don't initially see. The film is made with such high polish and artful simplicity that every shot, movement and speech seems perfect.

“Private Fears in Public Places” Trailer

Rialto Pictures Retrospective @

From MoMa.org, “Over the past ten years Rialto Pictures has enriched American film culture by both reviving a significant number of classic films not seen in theaters since their original runs and premiering extraordinary films never before distributed in America. Taking care to release fresh, and often restored, 35mm prints with new English subtitles, Rialto has given a new generation of filmgoers the opportunity to experience the works of masters—such as Robert Bresson, Luis Buñuel, Jules Dassin, Federico Fellini, and Carol Reed, to name a few—as they were meant to be seen, and invites those who saw these films years ago to revisit them.”

New York Cool lists some of the classics in the retrospective:

  • Jules Dassin’s stylish and taut heist film Rififi (1955),
  • Carol Reed’s memorable film noir thriller The Third Man (1949), and
  • Jean-Pierre Melville’s powerful depiction of French Resistance fighters in L’armée des ombres (Army of Shadows, 1969), which was released in the United States for the first time in 2006, to wide critical acclaim.

The Museum of Modern Art
Rialto Pictures: Reviving Classic Cinema
The Roy and Niuta Titus 1 and 2 Theaters
July 25–August 10, 2007

The Septembers of Shiraz

Publisher Comments: Isaac Amin, an Iranian Jew, is arrested and imprisoned shortly after the 1979 revolution in Iran, accused of being a Zionist Spy. Dalia Sofer's remarkably accomplished debut novel, The Septembers of Shiraz, follows his descent from a venerated, wealthy jeweler to a helpless prisoner, and chronicles the disquieting effect of his arrest on his family.

The Times says, "The Septembers of Shiraz is a remarkable debut: the richly evocative, powerfully affecting depiction of a prosperous Jewish family in Tehran shortly after the revolution."

Here is a succinct review on CurledUp.com.

Collected Poems
by Frederick MacNeice

Frederick Louis MacNeice (September 12, 1907 – September 3, 1963) wrote in his introduction to Autumn Journal, “Poetry in my opinion must be honest before anything else and I refuse to be 'objective' or clear-cut at the cost of honesty.”

Frederick MacNeice was a British and Irish poet and playwright whose pleasure in things became, in his social poetry, a pleasure in people. The Literary Review opines that his work enacted a struggle between darkness and light. Variety being the spice of life, he set himself to champion variety and oppose homogeneity; his poetic joie de vivre had its source in a breaking wave.

The Literary Review goes on to say that this new, centenary Collected Poems, replacing E R Dodds' 1979 edition, is both more expansive and easier to negotiate, and appendices bring together much scattered and previously uncollected material. Peter McDonald's splendid new edition should put Frederick MacNeice’s standing beyond question.

Neo Rauch at the Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website relates that the Leipzig artist Neo Rauch, is one of the most widely acclaimed painters of his generation. Shaped by the experience of growing up in East Germany, Rauch’s paintings teeter between Surrealism and popular imagery and defy easy interpretation. Viewers are drawn into scenes replete with historical figures in ambiguous landscapes. With a distinctive palette of bright acidic colors contrasting with deep shadows, the artist’s paintings conjure up an atmosphere of confused nostalgia and failed utopias.

According to the New Yorker’s review of the exhibit, Rauch stated that his subjects often derive from his dreams, and that the recurrent character types—sensitive young man, bearded older man, chunky young woman, and proletarian, military, or fire-brigade squad—all represent him.

Neo Rauch at the Met: para is on display until October 14, 2007.

Pilobolus Dance Theater

The Pilobolus Dance Theater is an internationally known American dance company that started in 1971 in a dance class taught by Alison Chase at Dartmouth College. The theater’s Wikipedia pages states that, “Their performances have long been characterized by a strong element of physical interaction between the bodies of the performers, and exaggerations or contortions of the human form (or other anthropomorphic forms), often verging on gymnastics.”

The Times review of Pilobolus mentions that, “Its performers look as much animal as human. Further yet: Much of its imagery is vegetable, flora rather than fauna. Sometimes we find we’re watching amoebas; changing organisms; explosions of seed heads.”

If you missed the August 11 performance at the Joyce Theater, Pilobolus will be back in the New York area on the following dates in 2008:
March 29, 30 Queens Theater in the Park
February 16 Stony Brook Staller Center

Pilobolus @ 79th (2007) Oscar Awards

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