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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben -August 16, 2014


Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
August 16,


08-15-14 Cast member Gia Crovatin at a Meet & Greet for "The Money Box" at Second Stage Theatre. 305 West 43rd St. Thursday morning. 08-14-14.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

08-15-14 Cast member Gia Crovatin at a Meet & Greet for "The Money Box" at Second Stage Theatre. 305 West 43rd St. Thursday morning. 08-14-14

I attended another Mostly Mozart concert on
August 9. Osmo Vanska conducted the orchestra, which began with a rousing Symphony No. 1 in D major ("Classical"), by Prokofiev. It is short (15 minutes) and sweet. I had never heard Concerto No. 1 for piano, trumpet, and strings in C minor, by Shostakovich, and I was duly impressed by the young, Chinese piano soloist Yuja Wang. Her excessively, rapid playing of the first and fourth movements was, in a word, astonishing. The tumultuous ovation she received at the work's conclusion was well deserved. Philip Cobb was the trumpet soloist, and gave an excellent performance. The program concluded with Symphony No. 8 in F major, by Beethoven. It is a delightful, pleasant work, composed when the composer experienced a rare, happy time in his life. It was a perfect ending to a fascinating concert.

Mostly Mozart reached its high point on August 13, when Gianandrea Noseda conducted an all-Beethoven concert. It began with the Overture to The Consecration of the House. After a pause, we heard a thrilling rendition of the Symphony No. 9 in D minor, with four superb soloists Erika Grimaldi, Anna Maria Chiuri, Russell Thomas and Ildar Abdrazakov, plus the Concert Chorale of New York, under the direction of James Bagwell. The fourth movement's Final Chorus from Friedrich Schiller's Ode to Joy never sounded more joyish. It was a powerful performance, and the audience granted the performers a standing ovation.

A Meet and Greet was held for the cast and creative team of The Money Box, by Neil LaBute. I told Terry Kinney, I am willing to understudy cast member Frederick Weller (without pay). Why should he be allowed to work with three gorgeous actresses, Heather Graham, Callie Thorne and Gia Crovatin alone? He needs my support. I eagerly await opening night.

Film Society of Lincoln Center presented This is Softcore: The Art Cinema Erotica of Radley Metzger August 7-13. Therese and Isabelle, France/USA/Netherlands, 1968, takes place in a girl's boarding school, where Therese (Essy Persson), a sad, unhappy girl, arrives when her mother remarries. She meets Isabelle (Anna Gael), a free spirited girl, and they become close friends. This develops into a lesbian relationship. It is a discreet film as far as the sex is concerned, with modest shots of nudity. Although the film is slow moving, it casts a sympathetic eye on their affection for one another.

Camille 2000, Italy/USA, 1969, is an updated version of The Lady of the Camellias, by Alexandre Dumas. Daniele Gaubert plays the tragic heroine of the title. She is beautiful, and a pleasure to watch with or without clothes. Handsome Nino Castelnuovo is her young lover. It is a joy to see a gorgeous pair of actors on screen, in elegant clothes (when dressed). When undressed, their bodies are a delight. Everything about the film, is in good taste. The nudity is beautifully photographed, not prurient. The party scenes and orgies are also tastefully presented, and I have never seen so many attractive and good-looking actors in those scenes. 

The Lickerish Quartet, Italy/USA/West Germany, 1970, is abut a couple, who think a girl (Silvana Venturelli) they see perform in a carnival is a porn star in one of their adult movie collection. They invite her to their castle, where they are staying, and she proceeds to seduce the two of them plus their son. Venturelli is quite beautiful and sexy, so it would seem quite possible for all of them to be attracted to her. The three films that I saw by Metzger were popular in a time when softcore erotic films were a rarity.
















































Film Society of Lincoln Center is presenting Red Hollywood and the Blacklist August 15-21. Zulu, by Cy Endfield, UK, 1964, is wonderful film about the Zulu warriors fighting the British in South Africa, The photography is amazing, and the cast is excellent, with Michael Cainemaking his film debut. Veteran film actors, Stanley Baker and Jack Hawkins are superb. 4,000 Zulus against 100 British soldiers ended when the Zulus retired from the battle after recognizing the heroic defense of the British.

MoMA is presenting The Great War: A Cinematic Legacy from August 4-September 21. Friendly Enemies, by Allan Dwan, USA, 1942, is about two German immigrants (Charles Winninger and Charles Ruggles), who become successful businessmen in the United States, and face conflicting loyalties to their mother country during World War I. Based on a very popular play produced during World War I, the film features two excellent actors, who argue their political positions throughout the film, which provided sentimental propaganda during World War II. It ends on a high note, as the supporter of Germany is converted to becoming a patriotic American. It is an uplifting film at a perilous time for the United States in both World Wars.

Chances, by Allan Dwan, USA, 1931, is a romantic film about two brothers in England, in love with the same girl during World War I. When sent to the trenches, we await who will win the lady, as one of the brothers is doomed. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr, is the star of this wonderful film, which features many powerful battle scenes of this horrendous war. The acting, by the entire, cast is first rate, the dialogue is intelligent and witty, and the expert direction make this one of the best films about the first World War.

Journey's End, by James Whale, Great Britain, 1930, was shown in a shortened version (65 minutes). It maintained the essential story about life in the trenches during World War 1. Based on a play of the same title it was a success both on stage and on film. The acting was excellent, and the psychological problems affecting the British officers were easy to understand. Trench warfare was a horror and it destroyed a generation of Englishmen.

Tell England (The Battle of Gallipoli), by Anthony Asquith and Geoffrey Barkas, Great Britain, 1931, is another film about The Great War, which proves war is hell, and does not achieve anything but death and misery. Two brothers, enjoying life in the British countryside, are inducted into the army and sent to the disastrous invasion of Gallipoli, which was one of England's worst defeats. One dies and the other lives, and nothing has been gained for the future of mankind.

MoMA presented A Fuller Life August 6-16. The Big Red One: The Reconstruction, by Samuel Fuller, USA, 2004, is the original film (1980) with many scenes, which were cut, restored. A sergeant (Lee Marvin) leads a six man squad of young infantrymen through World War II, beginning with the invasion of North Africa. It continues to Sicily, Normandy, Belgium, Germany and finally a concentration camp in Czechoslovakia. It is a relentless look at what American soldiers experienced in wartime. All the cast is fine, especially Marvin. The battle scenes are realistic, and the film leaves a deep impression. It is a splendid film.

House of Bamboo, by Samuel Fuller, USA, 1955, is an interesting gangster film, taking place in Japan, which gives it an exotic charm. That plus beautiful photography of Tokyo and the Japanese countryside makes it a visual delight. Robert Stack infiltrates the gang, led by Robert Ryan, and action and adventures follow. A love interest with Shirley Yamaguchi as a "kimono" girl adds to the delightful conclusion. It is a very entertaining film, and all the actors give fine performances.

Film Forum is presenting a 50th Anniversary restoration of That Man From Rio, by Philippe de Broca, France, 1964, August 22-28. I attended a press screening. It is considered the film the made Jean-Paul Belmondo famous. He plays a soldier on leave in Paris, whose sweetheart (Francoise Dorleac) is kidnapped, and flown to Brazil. He pursues the kidnappers to rescue his girlfriend. Thus begins a thrilling chase through Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and the Amazon Jungle. It is beautifully photographed, and Belmondo has an extremely likable personality. Most viewer will enjoy this highly entertaining film.

08-15-14 Cast member Heather Graham at a Meet & Greet for "The Money Box" at Second Stage Theatre. 305 West 43rd St. Thursday morning. 08-14-14.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

08-15-14 Cast member Heather Graham at a Meet & Greet for "The Money Box" at Second Stage Theatre. 305 West 43rd St. Thursday morning.






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