CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
CHICAGO – “Hi-diddle-dee-dee, the actor’s life for me!” Kevin Spacey, who took a considerable break from movie acting to become Artistic Director of the Old Vic Theater in London, puts the fruit of those labors in a new documentary, “NOW: In the Wings on a World Stage.” The film chronicles the international tour of Spacey and the troupe performing William Shakespeare’s “Richard III.”
CHICAGO – “Skyfall” is a gorgeous, action-packed, superbly structured piece of modern filmmaking. It is not only one of the best James Bond movies in the five-decade history of the beloved character but it’s one of the best action movies of the last decade. Sam Mendes’ film is smart, sexy, dangerous, and, most stunningly of all, beautiful.
CHICAGO – The next installment in the Bond films, the twenty-third installment to be accurate, has finally had its title revealed. Known as Bond 23 for months, the new film will officially be called “Skyfall.” The title was revealed this morning at a press conference by the producers of the film.
CHICAGO- It has been almost three years since the release of the last 007 film, “Quantum of Solace,” and it finally looks like things will officially get under way for the twenty-third Bond film. In a return to an area not foreign to James Bond, the opening sequences of the film have apparently been slotted to take place in Istanbul.
CHICAGO – Filmmaker Sam Mendes has always been drawn to telling stories set in a dysfunctional America where the sanctity of marriage is anything but “sanct.” For the past decade, he has specialized in brutally frank social satires about the deterioration of the American family. His work is nearly always riveting, but could never be described as “feel good”…until now.
CHICAGO – Focus CEO James Schamus made the announcement today that Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films is teaming up with Sam Mendes’ Neal Street Productions to produce a feature film based off the Joseph O’Neill novel “Netherland” for Focus Features. Focus will have worldwide rights to the film.
CHICAGO – Has life always been this difficult? Doesn’t anybody ever stay together anymore? Have the pressures of modern times turned the majority of us into screw-ups?
CHICAGO – The HD picture on “Revolutionary Road” is beautiful. At first, it threw me, as if my initial mostly negative response to the film had been misguided. But then I remembered that part of the reason “Revolutionary Road” doesn’t work for me is it looks too good. The arms-length, clinical, unemotional approach to the material makes for a great Blu-Ray, but it’s still a disappointing movie.
CHICAGO – Frank (Leonardo DiCaprio) and April Wheeler (Kate Winslet) refuse to believe that they’re like everyone else in the 1950’s suburbia of Sam Mendes’ frustrating “Revolutionary Road”. They may go to the same jobs and travel in the same social circles, but, unlike the bored housewives and husbands around them, they haven’t given up on their dreams.