CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.
CHICAGO – One of director Tim Burton’s great actor collaborators is the veteran performer Martin Landau. Landau voices Mr. Rsykruski, a science teacher who inspires young Victor Frankenstein in “Frankenweenie,” released on Blu-Ray on January 8th. This is part of Laudau’s magnificent 60 year career in film, television, stage and acting instruction.
CHICAGO – There are very few directors who have a more distinct career halfway point than Tim Burton. With very few exceptions, I vastly prefer the first half of his career, when he took chances on films like “Edward Scissorhands,” “Batman,” and the great “Ed Wood,” recently released on Blu-ray for the first time to coincide with the Blu-ray release of “Dark Shadows” and the theatrical release of “Frankenweenie.”
CHICAGO – Would I love Ed Wood as much without Tim Burton’s amazing film of the same name? Probably not. I’ll admit that I can’t watch “Bride of the Monster” and NOT think of Martin Landau’s Oscar-winning performance and I smile when thinking of Wood directing some of his awesomely-bad features but I’m really picturing Johnny Depp more than the actual filmmaker. Does it matter? For whatever reason you enjoy the king of Z-movie cinema, the 6-disc “Big Box of Wood” set is a treasure for cheesy movie fans.
CHICAGO – The legendary Martin Landau was recently in Chicago with two films in special presentation at The 45th Annual Chicago International Film Festival - the classic “North by Northwest,” also releasing on Blu-Ray tomorrow, November 3rd, 2009, and the new drama “Lovely, Still,” co-starring Ellen Burstyn.