Sunday, November 16, 2008

"What Have You Done to Its EYES!"

Saw "Back Back Back" at MTC on Friday night. Had never seen Itamar Moses' plays before - he writes good dialogue. This is one about doping in baseball, seen through the eyes of three fictional players. The actors - all young guys I've never seen before - are excellent.

Saturday afternoon was "Rosemary's Baby" at Film Forum with Dave. God, this is still a great movie no matter how many times I see it. Just a successsion of creepy, seemingly unrelated details - the suicide of the nice girl from the laundry room, the note left by the previous tenant on the desk, that says "I can no longer associate my self," the rival actor who wakes up blind one morning, the chocolate mousse with an undertaste. Ruth Gordon is as good as it gets on film in this one - the whole supporting cast of over-the-top theatrical neighbors - Gordon, Sidney Blackmer, Patsy Kelley - set off Mia Farrow's simple innocent lamb to the slaughter. Years after seeing this film for the first time, the Dakota still gives me the heebie jeebies.

Sat PM was "The Seagull." An excellent production. Simple, to the point, no onerous directing concepts inflicted on unsuspecting masses. Just a top drawer translation (Christopher Hampton) and a fine cast. That's all you need. Kristin Scott Thomas is the star - and she's aces - but everyone delivers in this cast. Some friends have problems with Peter Saarsgaard but I liked his low-key Trigorin. I knew I was in it when I was thinking as Constantin goes for the gun, 'don't do it, think about it, this is not a good idea.'

The rest of the time? Reading Sheridan Morley's "A Talent to Amuse," the Noel Coward bio. Perfect for the train. And I've been listening to a lot of Offenbach - don't ask me why. I have no idea. Maybe the weather is just so dang gloomy, I want to hear happy people singing about sex and marrying well when I get home. Right now, it's the Natalie Dessay "Orphee aux Enfers" - goofy and endearing - and "La Belle Helene" with a bunch of French people I've never heard, but they sound like they're having a great time.

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