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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben -March 1, 2014


Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
March 1, 2014


02-25-14 Cast members Christopher Sears and Julia Coffey at the opening night party for "London Wall" at Bea. 403 West 43rd St. Monday night. 02-24-14.  photo by:  aubrey reuben

02-25-14 Cast members Christopher Sears and Julia Coffey at the opening night party for "London Wall" at Bea. 403 West 43rd St. Monday night.

Off-Broadway, London Wall, John Van Druten, is another splendid production from the Mint Theater Company. Although produced in 1931, it could reflect the modern day office world where women are harassed, The acting is first rate, under Davis McCallum's expert direction. It is not to be missed by theatre lovers.

Middle of the Night, by Paddy Chayefsky, is a superb production with an outstanding performance by Jonathan Hadary as a 53-year-old widower, suddenly finding love with a 24-yeat-old soon-to-be divorcee. The entire cast is wonderful. The effect of their impending marriage on both families is devastating. It is a realistic, naturalistic play. I heartily recommend it.

Ode to Joy, by Craig Lucas, is about an alcoholic, bisexual painter (Kathryn Erbe), who has a relationship with a woman and, then a man, over 15 years. She suffers through both, as does the audience. The opening night attracted Amy Irving, Debra Winger and Jay O. Sanders. The party took place at Dublin 6 Bar.

Kung Fu, David Henry Hwang, is the story of Bruce Lee, the Chinese-American Martial Arts film star, from 1940-1971. Cole Horibe is fine as Lee, especially in the movements and choreography; in fact the entire 12 member cast is very good. The story itself is less interesting, but martial arts fans will enjoy it.,

Satchmo at the Waldorf, by Terry Teachout, opens on March 4. My comments will be in the next column.

Film Society of Lincoln Center also presented press screenings of Rendezvous of French Cinema March 6-16. School of Babel (La Cour de Babel), by Julie Bertuccelli, France, 2013, is a superb documentary, one of the finest ever produced. The film takes place in a reception class for 24 foreign students (ages 11 -15) from different  countries, adjusting to a new language and a new culture. Filmed over a year, one sees the progress made, when a dedicated teacher inspires them to succeed. It is a magnificent film, always focused on the students themselves, and confirms the belief that a teacher can have a major influence on students. It renews one's faith in education.

Playing Dead (Je Fais Mort), by Jean-Paul Salome, France/Belgium, 2013, is a mildly amusing, outlandish story of an out of work actor, playing a corpse in a reenactment of a criminal investigation. Filmed in Megeve, in the French Alps, it has beautiful photography.

Suzanne, by Katell Quillevere, France, 2013, is a depressing story of a young girl (Sara Forestier), pregnant as a teenager, turning to a life of crime under the influence of a worthless young boyfriend. The effect on her family is tragic in this well acted film. 

The Gilded Cage (La Cage Doree), by Ruben Alves, France/Portugal, 2013, is about a Portuguese couple, living for thirty  years in Paris. When the opportunity to return home arises, they have mixed emotions. It could have been a better  film, because the subject is timely, but a mixture of absurd situations and irritating caricatures of French and Portuguese characters are annoying.









































The Marchers (La Marche), by Nabil Ben Yadir, France/Belgium, 2013, is based on a true incident, in which nine people march 930 miles across France in 1983 protesting against discrimination and racism against Arabs, demanding equality. It will bring to mind the demonstrations in India (Gandhi) and in the United States (Martin Luther King, Jr.). It is a powerful film

Mood Indigo (L'Ecume des Jours), by Michel Gondry, France/Belgium, 2013, is a fantasy about a wealthy man (Romain Duris), falling in love with a woman (Audrey Tautou) he meets at a party. If you can suspend belief and go along with their fanciful adventures, you might enjoy the film. I did not.

Love Battles (Mes Seances de Lutte), by Jacques Doillon, France, 2013, is a film that reveals  Sara Forestier is a fearless French film actress. Playing the neighbor of James Thierree, she provokes him about not sleeping with her, punches and wrestles with him, and never stops talking. He spouts pseudo psychology. After the first irritating hour, they begin their simulated sex acts nude. They roll in mud in a stream, engage on a staircase, and, for the enjoyment of sadomasochists, he bangs her head on the floor. It is both exhausting and unpleasant.

Les Apaches, by Thierry de Peretti, France, 2013, is about a group of teenagers, who invade a wealthy home, when the owners are away, on the island of Corsica. When they steal property, tragic consequences follow. It is a well made film, and the young actors give convincing performances.

Eastern Boys, by Robin Campillo, France, 2013, is one of the highlights of the series. An absorbing, realistic glimpse of undocumented immigrants from the Ukraine, who hang around a railway station to pick up rich homosexuals. One such encounter produces a deepening relationship between a young man, who, unfortunately, is a member of a violent gang, and a middle-aged French bachelor. It is a powerful film.

Tonnerre, by Guillaume Brac, France, 2013, is about a musician, who falls in love with an immature young journalist. When she returns to a former boyfriend, he goes berserk, with painful consequences. It is a moderately interesting film.

His Wife (Son Epouse), by Michel Spinosa, France/India/Belgium, 2014, is about a widower, who visits India, where his wife committed suicide. He meets an Indian woman, who believes she is the dead man's wife, and she screams a lot in this ridiculous story.

A Castle in Italy (Un Chateau en Italie), by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, France, 2013, has the director starring as a neurotic, childless middle-aged woman with a brother dying of AIDS and a mother who is living in a dream world. This irritating family live in a castle, which they cannot afford. We watch a year in their lives. Also a young, egotistic actor (Louis Garrel) has a romantic affair with the woman. They are obnoxious characters to spend time with, and I cannot recommend the film.

Under the Rainbow, (Au Bout de Conte), by Agnes Jaoui, France, 2013, is a fairy tale, as a young girl seeks her Prince Charming. This is mixed with a realistic view of life in Paris. Some of the scenes are quite intelligent and thought provoking, and a few are whimsical. It features an all star cast, and is quite enjoyable.

Tip Top, by Serge Bozon, France/Luxembourg/Belgium, 2013, is an unfunny comedy about two female police investigators (one of whom is the always wonderful, except in this film,Isabelle Huppert), trying to solve the mystery of the death of a police informant. A lot of fine actors are wasted in this silly tale.

The French Minister (Quai d'Orsay), by Bertrand Tavernier, France, 2013, is a mildly amusing comedy about a young speechwriter (Raphael Personnaz) hired by the French Minister of Foreign Affairs (a superb Thierry Lhermitte). It makes fun of the workings of typical government bureaucracy, as the speechwriter travels the world with his boss, trying to solve its many problems.


02-28-14 Cast members (L-R) Roxanna Hope. playwright/director Craig Lucas. Kathryn Erbe. Arliss Howard at the opening night for "Ode to Joy" at the Cherry Lane Theatre. 38 Commerce St. Thursday night. 02-27-14.  photo by:  aubrey reuben

02-28-14 Cast members (L-R) Roxanna Hope. playwright/director Craig Lucas. Kathryn Erbe. Arliss Howard at the opening night for "Ode to Joy" at the Cherry Lane Theatre. 38 Commerce St. Thursday night. 02-27-14






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