omplete QPORIT: October 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

 

A ROYAL AFFAIR

Magnolia Pictures & Zentropa Entertainment
Present

A MAGNOLIA PICTURES RELEASE

A ROYAL AFFAIR

Directed by Nikolaj Arcel
Written by Rasmus Heisterberg and Nikolaj Arcel
From the novel "Prinsesse af blodet" by Bodil Steensen-Leth
Starring Alicia Vikander, Mads Mikkelsen and Mikkel Boe Følsgaard

Official Oscar® Entry - Denmark
Best Foreign Language Film

Official Selection:
2012 Berlin Film Festival:
Winner – Best Actor & Best Script
2012 Toronto Film Festival
2012 Hamptons International Film Festival




Mads Mikkelsen and Alicia Vikander in A ROYAL AFFAIR
a Magnolia Pictures release. 
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

A ROYAL AFFAIR tells the story of Christian VII of Denmark, his wife Caroline Mathilde, and his doctor and advisor, Johann Friedrich Struensee, a story of sexual and political intrigue in the court from about 1766 to 1775.

A ROYAL AFFAIR is an important and very timely film, describing the “enlightenment(around 250 years ago) in terms that illustrate how far we have come, and how far backward we are slipping… again.

Three hundred years ago slavery was condoned, serfdom was the norm, civil liberties and equality for anyone but the elite were almost non-existent; but the excitement in philosophy, the momentum, was for political liberty.

The situation is now almost reversed. Civil liberties and equality for everyone has come a long, long way. But the drum-beat that makes the news here in the US is from the advocates of more money for the rich, less services for the rest. As if it was good for everyone. (Would you like to buy shares in the Brooklyn Bridge?) As if it were moral and positive.

A ROYAL AFFAIR (ARA) stands above other stories of its genre, but it covers ground that seems quite familiar: One character in ARA even remarks directly on the similarity between the story of these characters to the legend of the classic triangle of King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, and Guinevere. There is a “mad” king. And there is a beautiful princess shipped to a foreign land as a young teen to a foreign court with a foreign language and foreign customs (as was Marie Antoinette).

What makes this film special is the relevance of its political message, distinguished by the skill with which it is executed.

This film reminds us that “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.” It tells the story of the coups and counter-coups, the politics, the politicians, the bed-fellows, the plotters and the conspirators trying to catch the ear of the King, for and against reform. It tells of the struggle between reform and privilege, between enlightenment and entitlement.

Along with the relevance of the story, the film was made by experts, and was expertly made. The director and co-author of the screenplay, Nikolaj Arcel was a co-writer of the original GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. The screenplay for ARA received a Best Screenplay award at the Berlin Film Festival, and the actors playing the King and the Doctor were also honored with awards. The doctor is played by Mads Mikkelsen, who was seen as Stravinsky in COCO CHANEL & STRAVINSKY, and as Le Chiffre in CASINO ROYALE. Mikkel Boe Følsgaard was terrific in his first big role, while still a student!


Mikkel Boe Følsgaard and Mads Mikkelsen in A ROYAL AFFAIR
A Magnolia Pictures release
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.


The beautiful Alicia Vikander, who plays the central role of Caroline Mathilde, the Queen, was honored as one of the Europe’s Rising Stars, and this fall at HIFF as one of the Variety and HIFF Top Ten Actors to Watch.

Alicia Vikander in A ROYAL AFFAIR
A Magnolia Pictures release
Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Alicia morphs brilliantly from a girlish, barely teen-age British Princess sent across Europe almost alone to marry a Danish King, to a wronged and angry Queen, to an ecstatic lover, to a reformer, to the exiled, dying, but still loving young mother.

Alicia Vikander at the 2012 Hamptons International Film Festival
A ROYAL AFFAIR
Photo by Eric Roffman

Alicia, who is Swedish, speaks perfect English and is charming, friendly and direct in person. 

She will soon be seen as the lover of Domhnall Gleeson (another Rising Star and Top Ten Actor to Watch) in the Keira Knightley ANNA KARENINA.


An historical note:

A ROYAL AFFAIR is based on historical events describing the Danish court of King Christian VI (January 29, 1749 – March 13, 1808).

Christian VII married Caroline Mathilde (who was actually his cousin) on November 8, 1766. After having a son with Christian VII, Caroline had an affair with the King’s doctor, a political reformer, with whom she worked to implement many liberating policies in Denmark. But Christian was mentally ill, and a palace coup by anti-reformists reversed the edicts, and revealed the affair, resulting in Christian divorcing Caroline, and sending her into exile where she died from scarlet fever on May 11, 1775 at the age of just 23.

Nine years later, then in his teens, on April 14, 1784, the son of Caroline and Christian VII took over as effective head of the government in a counter-coup and, becoming King Frederick VI on the death of his father, implemented many reforms, including the abolition of serfdom. (Tho’ later, in the face of economic, political, and military problems, he reversed some of his own reforms.)


A ROYAL AFFAIR was shown at the Hamptons International Film Festival in early October, and can be seen in a screening at the Gold Coast Film Festivalsee below – in Port Washington on Sat 10/27)
.
ARA is opening in the US on November 9. Whoever wins the election a few days earlier, the tension back and forth between enlightenment and entitlement, and the politicians on either side as told in this film, A ROYAL AFFAIR, will be seen as an essential and relevant commentary on the election – on whether the result is a victory for rational enlightenment, or for entitlement and privilege for those who are affluent and consider themselves entitled.


A ROYAL AFFAIR

PRINCIPAL CREDITS

Directed by Nikolaj Arcel

Written by Rasmus Heisterberg and Nikolaj Arcel
From the novel "Prinsesse af blodet" by Bodil Steensen-Leth


Alicia Vikander
... Caroline Mathilde -- The Queen & Queen Mother to the future King

Mads Mikkelsen
... Johann Friedrich Struensee – The Doctor and Reformer

Mikkel Boe Følsgaard
... Christian VII -- The King



TRAILER


LINKS

THE FILM FESTIVALS

THE HAMPTONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
www.hamptonsfilmfest.org

THE GOLD COAST INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
www.goldcoastfilmfestival.org/


THE FILM

A ROYAL AFFAIR – WIKIPEDIA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Royal_Affair

A ROYAL AFFAIR - IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1276419/



THE FILMMAKERS

CLICK ON THE IMAGE
FOR LINKS TO THEIR FILMS ON AMAZON
 


NIKOLAJ ARCEL -- IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1064048/


ALICIA VIKANDER – IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2539953/

MADS MIKKELSEN
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0586568/


MIKKEL BOE FØLSGAARD
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3140538/


SOME HISTORICAL LINKS

CHRISTIAN VII OF DENMARK – WIKIPEDIA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_VII_of_Denmark

THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT – WIKIPEDIA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment

FREDERICK VI – WIKIPEDIA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_VI_of_Denmark

THE DICTATOR – WIKIPEDIA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dictator_(1935_film)
(A film from 1935 about the same events)


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Sunday, October 21, 2012

 

GOLD COAST INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL


THE SECOND ANNUAL 
GOLD COAST 
INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
GCIFF 2012

October 22-28, 2012

Presented By The Great Neck Arts Center &
The Town Of North Hempstead

Films, Awards, Panels, Tributes, 
Workshops & Parties

With Honorees
Actor/Director/Producer/Writer Edward Burns &
Author Nelson DeMille

www.goldcoastfilmfestival.com

CHAKRAVYUH
Photo Courtesy GCIFF

The Second Annual Gold Coast International Film Festival (GCIFF) features a very strong line-up of films, many featuring a Q&A with the filmmakers. There are special events and special guests.

Presented by the Great Neck Arts Center, with the Town of North Hempstead as Founding Sponsor, the Opening Night Gala is Wednesday October 24, following two days of pre-festival special events.

Among the exciting films is Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut, QUARTET.

There is a very important film about current American politics, set in a Danish court around 1770. (See our story: A ROYAL AFFAIR.)

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK is a delightful confection with great performances by Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Julia Stiles and Jennifer Lawrence .

Honoring the legendary Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman, ORCHESTRA OF EXILES is more than just the story of the Israeli Philharmonic: it is an inspiring description of heroism and the force of culture. It features commentary by Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell and even some members of the Israeli Orchestra and their descendants.

And there will be a screening of WEST SIDE STORY with some members of the original cast present.

Other festival highlights include…




And, of course, those great highlights of any film festival…the parties, honors and galas!

This year the festival will honor, among others, Long Island’s own Edward Burns (The Brothers McMullen, She’s the One, Saving Private Ryan), consummate actor, producer, director, and writer with the “Artist of Distinction Award for Achievement in Film.”

In addition, Best-selling author Nelson DeMille (The Gold Coast, The Gate House, The General’s Daughter, and his latest novel, The Panther) will receive the Festival’s “Gold Coast Legend Award” honor at the Great Neck Arts Center/GCIFF Opening Night Gala – complete with an entertainment performance by the incomparable KT Sullivan.

Venues for many of these events and parties include some of the fabled Gold Coast mansions that were once the havens for New York’s business and celebrity elite, including NYIT's de Seversky Mansion (former DuPont estate), the Oheka Castle, commissioned by Otto Kahn, and the former Chrysler Mansion (currently on the grounds of the United States Merchant Marine Academy).


The program for The Second Annual Gold Coast International Film Festival includes:

ANDREW BIRD: FEVER YEAR – Directed by Xan Aranda (USA)
A rare glimpse into the life of a remarkable contemporary musician and composer. Stirring, soulful vocals, eccentric violin plucking and whistling, and music that ranges from blues to calypso to rock and electronic.
With filmmaker Q&A.
Port Washington Clearview Cinema,
Thursday 10/25 at 9:30pm.

BAD PARENTS – Directed by Caytha Jentis (USA)
With: Janeane Garofalo, Christopher Titus, Kristen Johnston, Michael Boatman
This witty, satirical comedy exposes the absurd, yet very real world of suburban youth soccer. 
With filmmaker Q&A.
Port Washington Clearview Cinema,
Saturday 10/27 at 7:30pm.

BLISS (Glueck) – Directed by Doris Doerrie (Germany)
A black but ultimately affirming comedy about life at the fringes in the changing European landscape of today's Berlin. This film contains nudity and violence.
Manhasset Cinema,
Saturday 10/27 at 4:30pm.

CHAKRAVYUH – Directed by Prakash Jha (India)
A Bollywood action epic about a man who goes undercover and infiltrates the ranks of left-wing revolutionaries, but falls in love with one of the ultra-violent leaders and sees his allegiances begin to change.
Manhasset Clearview Cinema,
Saturday 10/27 at 1:00pm.

DON'T STOP BELIEVIN': Everyman's Journey – Directed by Ramona S. Diaz (USA)
A rare behind-the-scenes look at one of America's most beloved rock groups, Journey. Take a trip around the world with band members, fans and the newest Journeyman, Arnel Pineda.
With filmmaker Q&A.
Port Washington Clearview Cinema,
Friday 10/26 at 7:00pm.

ERROLL GARNER: No One Can Hear You Read – Directed by Atticus Brady (USA)
With: Woody Allen, Ahmad Jamal, the late Steve Allen, and Dick Hyman.
This film follows a career that lasted four decades and tells the piano virtuoso's story through perceptive and revealing conversations with friends, family, and fellow musicians.
With filmmaker Q&A.
Great Neck Squire Clearview Cinema,
Thursday 10/25 at 9:45pm.

ESCORT IN LOVE (Nessuno mi può giudicare) – Directed by Massimiliano Brun (Italy)
Alice lives with her family in a beautiful villa, when her quiet life takes a turn for the worse and she must find a way to support her family. In the best tradition of Italian comedy, offers pointed political criticism in between its explosions of laughter.
Manhasset Clearview Cinema,
Friday 10/26 at 9:30pm.

THE FITZGERALD FAMILY CHRISTMAS – Directed by Edward Burns (USA)
Writer-director-star Edward Burns returns with this warm, acutely observed story about an expansive Irish clan’s fraught yuletide when their long-absent patriarch declares his intention to come home for the holiday.
With Ed Burns on hand for Q & A 
and award reception following screening.
Port Washington Clearview Cinema,
Thursday 10/25 at 6:30pm

IN ANOTHER COUNTRY (Da-Reun Na-Ra-e-Suh) – Directed by Hong Sang-soo (South Korea)
A favorite of film critics, Hong has made one of his most charming and graceful comedies about an irresistible Frenchwoman (Isabelle Huppert) who finds herself in a deserted South Korean village.
A 2012 Cannes Film Festival selection.
Manhasset Clearview Cinema,
Friday 10/26 at 7:00pm.

LET FURY HAVE THE HOUR – Directed by Antonino D'Ambrosio (USA)
With: Billy Bragg, Chuck D., Edwidge Danticat, Eve Ensler, John Sayles and others.
An exuberant mixed media collage incorporating art, music, animation, and performance. Brings together 50 influential creative voices, each revealing that we can re-imagine the world we live in. 
Manhasset Clearview Cinema,
Sunday 10/28 at 7:30pm.

THE MARK OF ZORRO: Silent Film with live music! – Directed by Fred Niblo (USA)
*Event sponsored by Gold Coast Bank.
Swing into action, drama, and romance! Starring the great swashbuckler himself, Douglas Fairbanks. With live musical accompaniment by Bernie Anderson on authentic 1920s theater organ. Following the film will be a presentation of early classic shorts by Charlie Chaplin (a Gold Coast resident) from his Keystone era.
Chaminade High School,
Saturday 10/27 at 7:00pm.

MOTHER OF NORMANDY – Directed by Doug Stebleton (USA)
With Special Panel featuring: Maurice Renaud, Director/Producer Doug Stebleton, Writer Jeff Stoffer, Henry Roosevelt, Dr. Peter Kinney and others.
Madame Simone Renaud spent a lifetime tending to the graves of those American soldiers who perished on D-Day and corresponding with their loved ones back home.
Great Neck Squire Clearview Cinema,
Sunday 10/28 at 4:00pm.

ONE TRACK HEART: The Story of Krishna Das - Directed by Jeremy Frindel (USA)
A young Long Island man leaves behind rock star dreams to search for happiness and fulfillment in India, struggles with depression and drug abuse and ultimately turns to music - emerging as Krishna Das, a world-renowned chant master and spiritual leader who continues to transform the lives of people all over the world.
Krishna Das will be attending and participating in the filmmaker Q&A.
Roslyn Clearview Cinema,
Saturday 10/27 at 1:00pm.

ORCHESTRA OF EXILES – Directed by Josh Aronson (USA)
Featuring: Itzhak Perlman, Zubin Mehta, Joshua Bell, Pinchas Zukerman
The remarkable story of the 4-year odyssey undertaken by the Polish violinist Bronislaw Huberman, which culminated in the founding of the orchestra that would become the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
Manhasset Clearview Cinema,
Sunday 10/28 at 4:30pm.

QUARTET – Directed by Dustin Hoffman (UK)
With: Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Pauline Collins
The story of retired opera singers and lifelong chums who reside in a home with an entirely musical clientele. Hoffman’s first effort as director addresses the theme of aging, and does so with grace, gusto and wonderfully wry humor.
Port Washington Clearview Cinema,
Saturday 10/27 at 1:00pm.

THE RABBI'S CAT (Le chat du rabbin) – Directed by Joann Sfar, Antoine Delesvaux (France)
In this vivid, lively, and imaginative animated film a rabbi’s cat swallows a parakeet and begins to speak, soon driving everyone crazy by insisting on having a bar mitzvah.
Not suitable for young children, as it includes both violence and subtitles.
Great Neck Squire Clearview Cinema,
Sunday 10/28 at 1:00pm

RESTORATION – Directed by Yossi Madmony (Israel)
Winner of 11 Ophir Awards (Israel's Oscars) this carefully crafted film traces the shifting bonds between father and son as a man struggles to hold on to the antique restoration workshop that has been his life’s work.
Roslyn Clearview Cinema,
Saturday 10/27 at 7:30pm

ROADIE – Directed by Michael Cuesta (USA)
With: Ron Eldard, Jill Hennessy, Lois Smith, Bobby Cannavale, David Margulies
After 20 years as a roadie for Blue Öyster Cult, Jimmy reluctantly returns to Queens and runs into his high school crush now married to his old nemesis. A film about a generation realizing you can't escape the past but you can't relive it either.
GCIFF 2011's hit is reprised to mark Blue Öyster Cult -
live at Landmark on Main Street on 10/27.
Roslyn Clearview Cinema, Saturday 10/27 at 4:00pm

A ROYAL AFFAIR (En Kongelig Affære) – Directed by Nikolaj Arcel (Denmark / Sweden / Czech Republic / Germany)
This sumptuous historical drama chronicles the scandalous love triangle between a queen, her German doctor and the mad King of Denmark. A sharp, contemporary edge to the notorious true story of illicit love and political intrigue.
Port Washington Clearview Cinema,
Saturday 10/27 at 3:30pm

THE SAPPHIRES – Directed by Wayne Blair (USA)
In this fun and uplifting musical, three young, sexy and talented are plucked from the obscurity of a remote Aboriginal mission, branded as Australia’s answer to “The Supremes” and dropped into the jungles of Vietnam to entertain the US troops.
Great Neck Squire Clearview Cinema,
Saturday 10/27 at 8:00pm.

SHUFFLE – Directed by Kurt Kuenne (USA)
Lovell Milo is a young man on a mysterious, harrowing journey through disjointed fragments of his life as he is transported to his past, present and future. Part Twilight Zone-style mystery, part Frank Capra fantasy, Shuffle stars TJ Thyne, co-star of the hit TV show Bones as a man who begins experiencing his life out of order; every day he wakes up at a different age, on a different day of his life, never knowing where or when he’s going to be once he falls asleep.
Great Neck Squire Cinema,
Sunday 10/28 at 7:00pm

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK – Directed by David O. Russell (USA)
With: Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Julia Stiles and Jennifer Lawrence
An acerbic comedy-drama from David O. Russell (Three Kings, The Fighter), about a former high-school teacher who returns to his family home after eight months in a mental institution and begins to slowly rebuild his life.
Great Neck Squire Clearview Cinema,
Thursday 10/25 at 7:00pm.

WEST SIDE STORY: Celebrating 50 Years – Directed by Robert Wise & Jerome Robbins (USA) – This pre-festival screening will take place on Tuesday, October 22 at the Auditorium on Broadway of the New York Institute of Technology in Manhattan.
With: Richard Beymer, Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris, Russ Tamblyn
Special Guests: George Chakiris, Russ Tamblyn
A special screening of the dazzling landmark musical that won ten Oscars, including Best Picture. 
There will be a Q&A preceding the film with original stars Academy Award winner George Chakiris (Bernardo) and Russ Tamblyn (Riff).
NYIT Auditorium on Broadway,
Tuesday 10/23 at 6:00pm.

Many of the narrative, documentary and short films in the program will be eligible for the Panavision and Deluxe Audience and Jury Awards.

AN EVENING WITH DIRECTOR, ACTOR AND STAR: EDWARD BURNS
The GCIFF is proud to honor Edward Burns with our 2012 “Artist of Distinction Award for Achievement in Film.” This very special event will feature a premiere of Burns’ latest film, The Fitzgerald Family Christmas followed by a Q&A with the star and an invitation-only after-party. Tickets are available to the general public for the screening and Q&A.

BILL PLYMPTON MASTER CLASS
Multiple Academy Award®-nominated animator and cartoonist Bill Plympton will delight audiences as he talks about his career as an independent animator, screens his classic shorts, music videos, and clips, conducts a drawing demonstration, and talks about how filmmakers can make a living creating short films. Followed by a book signing of his new book Make Toons That Sell Without Selling Out. Everyone who attends gets a free Bill Plympton drawing!
THIS IS A FREE EVENT.
NYIT de Seversky Mansion,
Friday 10/26 at 11:00am

CONVERSATION WITH BUDD BURTON MOSS & HIS HOLLYWOOD FRIENDS
Based on his book, …And All I Got Was 10%!, Budd Burton Moss takes us from the back stages of Broadway through the end of the old movie studio casting system; all the way up to present-day cutthroat agency deal making and the creation of reality shows. This panel is a true insider’s view of the entertainment industry and what it really takes to be a talent agent. Also on the panel: actor and model Kiera Chaplin (granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin), actors Andrew Prine and Heather Lowe, and filmmakers Loren Herbert and David Voci.
THIS IS A FREE PRE-FESTIVAL EVENT.
NYIT de Seversky Mansion,
Monday 10/22 at 6:30pm

GALA AT OHEKA CASTLE
Join us at this very special event at this truly remarkable venue. Honoring Author Nelson DeMille (Gold Coast Legend Award), KT Sullivan (Artist of Distinction: Music), Michael Lamoretti (Man of the Year) and Congressman Gary Ackerman. Cocktails, dinner, awards, and performances. Oheka Castle,
Wednesday 10/24 at 6:00pm

MAKING OF AN INDIE FILM: A TO Z
Join screenwriter and producer David Paterson (Bridge to Terabithia, Don’t Stop Believin’) and Writer/Director Louis Guerra (Emmy Award® Winning television series “Homeland”) for a true insider’s view of the making of an independent film.
THIS IS A FREE EVENT.
Manhasset Public Library,
Saturday 10/27 at 1:30pm.


The Gold Coast International Film Festival celebrates the rich culture, history and talent of this fabled region. The “Gold Coast” was once a haven for New York’s elite such as the Pratts, Whitneys, Roosevelts, Fricks, Guests, DuPonts, J.P. Morgan, and Otto Kahn, and today their mansions exist as museums, historic spots and party spaces (which GCIFF makes good use of). 

Great Neck (the hub of the Festival) was home to many celebrities including Groucho Marx, Joan Crawford, Paulette Goddard, Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields, George M. Cohan and other titans of the silver screen. Most apropos, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote his most famous work The Great Gatsby here. 

Today’s Gold Coast remains a confluence of culture and class. Those influences from our past combined with the artistry, storytelling and technology of today’s world, enable the Gold Coast International Film Festival to thrive and soar and present our audiences with a fantastic and accessible festival experience. 

 Everyone’s Invited!


For more information
Including enhanced film synopses, 
Times, dates, schedules,
Specific screening and events venues, and more,

And for Tickets and Box-Office information for 
the Films, Programs, and Events of the
2012 Gold Coast International Film Festival,

Please visit
www.goldcoastfilmfestival.com

or
Great Neck Arts Center,
113 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck, NY 11021 –
516-829-2570

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Saturday, October 20, 2012

 

SNL -- OCT 20, 2012 -- BRUNO MARS


Bruno Mars has the rare distinction tonight of being both Host & Musical Guest on SNL.


He is well known as a singer-songwriter, but less established as an actor.  He does have lots of experience appearing as Himself.  

Hosting SNL is a hard job.  It requires getting into good sketches, getting all the words right, and being funny.  Few hosts, even distinguished actors with lots of improv experience have stumbled.

If he succeeds, he is a star!

Bruno turned 27 on October 8.  He was born in Hawaii as Peter Gene Hernandez. He started making music as a kid.  

"Just the Way You Are" and "Grenade" are his big recent hits.  For  "Just the Way You Are" he won the Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the 53rd Grammy Awards, in addition to being nominated for six more Grammies.


RECAP

Bruno Mars did a solid job hosting an above average, amusing SNL. Tom Hanks made an almost unrecognizable surprise appearance.

It started strong with a Cold Open terrific parody of the 2nd debate that caught the flavor of the true nature of the event. The setup for the question, "Libya?" was terrific.

A series of Brad Pitt commercials that echo-ed his recent Chanel commercial had some funny products pitched Pitt-ifully.

The Sad Mouse, an SNL digital short (that they don't call an SNL Digital Short anymore) was touching. "What if I wave but they don't wave back?"

The Haunted Castle was amusing, but similar sketches on previous shows were more inventive.

Wilderness Lodge was a laid-back version of a funny sketch.

Weekend Update had some good jokes, and some good advice for the debates.  ...Don't mention that the Olympics you ran were the Winter Olympics, that's just "48 different kinds of sliding."

Bruno has a style and voice that works well with the SNL sound mix.He does a nice impression of other singers.





LINKS
SNL
http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/

BRUNO MARS - WIKIPEDIA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruno_Mars

BRUNO MARS - IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3960069/


BRUNO MARS - AMAZON
Click on the image 
for access to music by Bruno Mars








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Friday, October 19, 2012

 

BROOKLYN CASTLE


BROOKLYN CASTLE

Directed and produced by Katie Dellamaggiore
Edited and produced by Nelson  Dellamaggiore
At IS 318 in Brooklyn
Featuring student players 
Justus, Alexis, Rochelle, Pobo and Patrick
With educators 
Elizabeth Vicary, John Galvin and Fred Rubino


Rochelle at the chess board
BROOKLYN CASTLE
Photo courtesy Brooklyn Castle


Katie Dellamaggiore, director and producer
and Nelson Dellamaggiore editor and producer
BROOKLYN CASTLE
Photo by Eric Roffman

BROOKLYN CASTLE is a terrific movie.  It tells the story plainly and simply of IS 318 in Brooklyn, which has consistently produced some of the best Junior High School chess players in the country.

This movie is an inspiring study of how to produce exellence in education.  It is specifically about the chess program, but by being specific it is universal.

Everyone interested in looking at how education can succeed should see this film. It was one of the highlights at the 2012 Hamptons International Film Festival and it's playing near Lincoln Center now. Seek it out, wherever you are!

It is an extremely well-made documentary that avoids the primary pitfalls (confusion, hackneyed story-line, sugar-coating, conspicuous directorial style, exaggerated highs and lows) of even the best documentaries: BROOKLYN CASTLE tells, very clearly, simply and understandably what is really a quite complex story with many personalities. It is also free of mannerisms. It follows the successes, the ambitions, the motivations and the problems of the teachers, the student players, and the students' parents.  It is also a "sports-competition" movie that does not follow the primary cliche (build-up to a climactic final competition) of that genre's cliched formula. Rather, it just tells what actually happens: (win some, lose some, do well, but not perfectly, and learn).

The film also documents the effects on education caused by cuts in public financing for public education, during these lean years.

The film is careful to document both the pressure that the school puts on the students to win, and the comfort and perspective they provide about losing. (Note: chess can be very stressful: two guys I played chess with in high school -- who seemed pretty normal at the time -- went on to become chess Grandmasters; and both developed mental problems. That does not happen to everyone of course. But the desire to win, and keeping a healthy outlook win or lose, are both essential parts of education for any competitive enterprise.) According to the director, IS 318 has an excellent history of providing students with an education that gives them a healthy start... for success in chess and/or other academic pursuits after they graduate.

BROOKLYN CASTLE is original, well shot, well edited, very interesting, and -- I'll say it again -- inspirational for anyone interested in high quality public education.


OFFICIAL TRAILER




HAMPTONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
www.hamptonsfilmfest.org


BROOKLYN CASTLE OFFICIAL SITE
http://www.brooklyncastle.com/

BROOKLYN CASTLE ON WIKIPEDIA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooklyn_Castle

BROOKLYN CASTLE - IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1800266/


RESOURCES FOR CHESS AND AFTER-SCHOOL ACTIVITES
http://www.brooklyncastle.com/resources/afterschool

CHESS IN THE SCHOOLS
http://www.chessintheschools.org/


ON SATURDAY OCT 20 FROM 12-5 THERE WILL BE A SPECIAL CHESS EVENT 
NEAR THE LANDMARK CINEMA AT HOUSTON & CHRYSTIE STREET
WHERE BROOKLYN CASTLE IS SHOWING






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Thursday, October 18, 2012

 

"ONLY WHEN YOU WIN" - FLIGHT AT NYFF 50


Paramount Pictures Presents

FLIGHT

Starring Denzel Washington
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Written by John Gatins


CAST:               

Denzel Washington – Whip Whitaker… the pilot,
Don Cheadle… his lawyer
Kelly Reilly… a friend
John Goodman… his dealer
Bruce Greenwood… his friend and the Pilots’ Union rep
Melissa Leo... the investigator




Denzel Washington in the (dark) cockpit
As the pilot, Whip Whitaker
FLIGHT
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures and NYFF


FLIGHT, starring Denzel Washington, begins as thriller, then morphs into serious drama. The closing night film at the 50th New York Film Festival (NYFF 50), it is entertaining, interesting, and exciting. 

A pilot, after a long night sleeping with a stewardess, with little sleep, lots of alcohol and some cocaine, steps into the cockpit of a commercial airliner, braves his way up into the sky through rain and turbulence, then brilliantly saves almost all the "souls" on board when the airplane malfunctions and begins to fall out of the sky.


About twenty years ago, walking past the open cockpit of a commercial airplane, when that was still possible, the pilot invited me inside to look around.  At the time, I was inventing and developing a multimedia computer game and, impressed by the lights and dials and switches and style, I remarked that this cockpit would make a great video game.  Not missing a beat, the pilot replied immediately: "Only when you win."

I thought of this again for a moment when the idea of the cockpit as a video game arose in FLIGHT, the new Denzel Washington vehicle (pun intended), closing the New York Film Festival 50th season.


But my pilot's remark actually goes deeper, and could be the tagline for the whole film, which describes how a pilot (a super-pilot actually) flying under the influence of drugs and alcohol lands a crippled airliner with consummate skill, saving almost all the "souls" (as they are called in the film) aboard, making him a hero and a potential felon at the same time.


The "soul" of the movie is the character of Whip, and the dynamic is the conflict between the role of Whip as a hero, for his spectacular accomplishment in saving the lives of almost everyone on the plane; and the dark side of his life with drug and alcohol abuse, which has repercussionsas flying under the influence is a felony.


The first part of the film describes the flight, and it is truly thrilling to watch. And it is extraordinary filmmaking, with every detail of the complex effects expertly executed.


The second part of the film describes Whip's personal demons, manifested not just in his drug and alcohol abuse, but in all his behavior.  Denzel gives full life to all his character's dark shadings, in a terrific performance.


The last part of the film provides a fine resolution to the plot but, as suggested by the conspicuous use of the word "souls" for the passengers, tries for too much spirituality with too little good writing.


In FLIGHT, the film's plot ends in the most honest, natural way, I think.  The resolutions is almost predictable -- but in a good way -- because it seems clearly determined by the situation.  However, the speeches (specifics would be spoilers)  that are given to Denzel's character seem to me completely inconsistent with his nature (as well as being very general, unoriginal, and  unnatural); and could only be justified if he were being as insincere and dishonest then as he had been throughout the film.  However, the way the film is made suggests that the character is supposed to be sincere.


Note: Last year at NYFF, the recurring theme seemed to be catastrophe, with two megadisaster films:  4:44 LAST DAY ON EARTH -- a messy film about the end of life on earth -- and MELANCHOLIA -- a brilliant, completely controlled film about the end of life on earth and, for good measure, the end of all life in the entire universe as well.  This year the repeated theme -- in the Opening Night film LIFE OF PI and the Closing Night film FLIGHT -- seemed to be a kind of lazy spiritualism.


Two more mostly irrelevant notes:  First, it should be noted, for the record, that after TRAINING DAY and UNSTOPPABLE, Denzel here completes the trifecta... of planes, trains, and automobiles.

Second: A curious phrase in the end titles, that says that no payments were made for the use of tobacco products, raises the question of whether there were other product placements.  In particular, I think I remember Rolling Rock beer and Bushmills Irish Whiskey getting their close-ups.  Denzel seemed to almost turn the beer so the label would show.  But sometimes I think I see things in movies the first time I see them that seem inconspicuous on the second viewing, so perhaps I am just overly suggestible.  (I did go home and have a Bushmills Irish Whiskey that night.  It's very good!)




FLIGHT is an entertaining, exciting film that begins as action and continues as drama.  Denzel is excellent, and the (distinguished!) supporting cast is also terrific.  The early airplane action scenes are breathtaking.




TRAILER FOR FLIGHT



LINKS
NYFF 50
www.filmlinc.com


FLIGHT – WIKIPEDIA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_(2012_film)

FLIGHT – IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1907668/




Director Robert Zemickis with Denzel Washington
On the set / location
FLIGHT
Courtesy Paramount Pictures and NYFF

ROBERT ZEMECKIS

ZEMECKIS – WIKIPEDIA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Zemeckis

ZEMECKIS – IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000709/

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RELATED TO ROBERT ZEMECKIS




DENZEL WASHINGTON



Denzel Washington at the Press Conference for FLIGHT
At NYFF 50.
Photo by Eric Roffman


DENZEL WASHINGTON – WIKIPEDIA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denzel_Washington

DENZEL WASHINGTON – IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000243/

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MORE CAST LINKS...


 

John Goodman at the Press Conference for FLIGHT
At NYFF 50
Photo by Eric Roffman

JOHN GOODMAN – WIKIPEDIA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Goodman

JOHN GOODMAN – IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000422/


DON CHEADLE – WIKIPEDIA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Cheadle

DON CHEADLE – IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000332/



MELISSA LEO – WIKIPEDIA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melissa_Leo

MELISSA LEO – IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0502425/



KELLY REILLY – WIKIPEDIA
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelly_Reilly


BRUCE GREENWOOD - IMDB
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0339304/







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