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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben -March 8, 2014


Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
March 8, 2014


03-03-14 Cast members Jessica Hecht and Dominic Fumusa at the opening night party for "Stage Kiss" at the West Bank Cafe. 407 West 42nd St. Sunday night. 03-02-14.  photo by:  aubrey reuben

03-03-14 Cast members Jessica Hecht and Dominic Fumusa at the opening night party for "Stage Kiss" at the West Bank Cafe. 407 West 42nd St. Sunday night. 03-02-14

On Broadway, All the Way, by Robert Schenkkan, is about the first year in office of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, played by Bryan Cranston, who give a splendid performance, one of the best performances by an actor this season. He is sure to be nominated for a Tony Award. The opening night party took place at the Restaurants in Rockefeller Center with guests like Elizabeth Ashley, Penny Fuller, S. Epatha Merkerson and Leslie Uggams.

Off-Broadway, Satchmo at the Waldorf, by Terry Teachout, is a one man play for 90 minutes about the famous trumpeter, Louis Armstrong, interpreted by John Douglas Thompson. He also portrays his manager and a rival, Miles Davis. Thompson give a superd performance, marred by incessant profanity, which is hard on the ears.

Stage Kiss, by Sarah Ruhl, is a silly play, with a wonderful performance by Jessica Hecht. She is terrific as an actress in an old-fashioned play that is being revived. The title represents the many kisses she has to perform. They are the highlight of the play and worth the price of admission. The opening night party took place at the West Bank Cafe. Among the guests were John Ellison Conlee, Celia Keenan-Bolger and Marylouise Burke.

The Happiest Song Plays Last, by Quiara Alegria Hudes, is the third play, about the two main characters of the other plays. This play has so many unbelievable incidents taking place that it will tire the viewer. In theatre, sometimes less is more.

The Red Dress performed by China Ningbo Performance & Art Group at the David Koch Theatre at Lincoln Center is a spectacular dance drama about the traditional red dress worn by the bride on her wedding day. Accompanied by lovely music composed by Kan Tian, the choreography by Yin Mei is beautiful and the sumptuous scenic design by Dai Yannianmakes this production a visual delight. The cast is superb with excellent dancing by all, especially by the two leading dancers.

Film Society at Lincoln Center and MoMA is presenting press screenings of the 43rd Annual New Directors/New Films March 19-30. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, byAna Lily Amirpour. USA, 2014,  is a ridiculous, atmospheric vampire movie, which makes no sense. It is a dark, gloomy film about a young man, a girlfriend, who is a vampire, his drug addicted worthless father, and a cat. The cat is the most interesting character in this boring, dull film.

We Come as Friends, by Hubert Sauper, France/Austria, 2014, is an anti-Western documentary, attacking the USA and Europe for its colonial exploitation of the Sudan. It is a chaotic, poorly edited film, which jumps from one scene to another. It's lack of coherence is irritating and annoying. Many of the Sudanese children are adorable. Their suffering is frightful. A better film would have a stronger influence on the public.

Of Horses and Men, by Benedikt Erlingsson, Iceland/Germany, 2013, is a fascinating film about the relationship of horses and man. After seeing this film, you may never look at horses in the same way. The film consists of a variety of tales about the rounding up of wild horses, their training, their deaths. We see their sexual behavior, both human and animal. The film leaves a deep impression. 









































Mouton (Sheep). by Gilles Deroo and Marianne Pistou, France, 2013, is a leisurely film, that begins with a young man with the title's nickname, working as a chef's assistant in a restaurant in a small seaside town in Normandy. We watch his daily working life, meet his friends, and his girlfriend, and watch the time go by. A tragedy occurs, which changes his life. It is a slow moving, interesting view of a small town existence.

Dear White People, byJustin Simien, USA, 2014, take place on the campus of a fictitious university, where blacks and whites appear to live separate lives. In this overlong, pretentious film, every cliche about black and white relationships is uttered. The actors are attractive, but the acting is mediocre.

The Babadook, by Jennifer Kent, Australia, 2014, is a horror story about a mentally deranged widow and her spoilt small child, who thinks their are monsters in his bedroom. After she read him a children's book Mister Babadook, the monster begins to appear. It is quite a scary film, and people who have nightmares should be warned in advance. The acting is first rate, and the film is unforgettable

History of Fear (Historia de Miedo), by Benjamin Naishtat, Argentina/Uruguay/France/Germany/Qatar, 2014, jumps from scene to scene without any apparent meaning. It is supposed to be about rich, sheltered families, being isolated in their gated, guarded communities, and possibly afraid of outsiders, but the characters and their actions make very little sense. 

The Japanese Dog, by Tudor Cristian Jurgiu, Romania, 2013, is about a lonely widower (a lovely performance by Victor Rebengiuc), whose house was damaged by a flood. His estranged son, now married to a Japanese wife, with a young son, returns to the little village to visit his father. Slowly, they reunite in this charming film, whose title refers to a small, robotic toy that the grandchild gives to his grandfather as a parting gift. The film is one of the highlights of the festival

Quod Erat Demonstrandum, by Andrei Gruzsniczki, Romania, 2013, takes place in 1983 in the communist controlled police state. A mathematician wants to have his theories published abroad, and hopes to have a friend take his papers to France, where she hopes to be reunited with her husband. The pressure for her to receive a passport, and the investigation by the secret police which suspects everyone of harmful activities against the state, is the theme of this intense drama. It is an excellent, well acted film, and another highlight of the festival.

To Kill a Man, by Alejandro Fernandez Almendras, Chile/France, 2014, is based on a true story, about a working class family being harassed and bullied by a big lout, who seems to be obsessed with making their lives miserable. After the daughter is sexually abused and the police action is ineffective, the father takes his revenge. It is another grim tale, that is not particularly interesting.

Stop the Pounding Heart, by Roberto Minervini, Belgium/Italy/USA, 2013, is like a documentary, which focuses on a home schooled adolescent girl, who lives in Texas with her goat rearing family. We see her milk the goats, deliver the milk, sell cheese at fairs, and she hangs around a group of young cowboys, who ride bulls in local arenas. We assume she might marry one of them in the future. Their Christian beliefs are emphasized during the film, where it is the duty of the wife to submit to the husband, and we see the mother constantly indoctrinating the family with quotes from the bible. It seems like propaganda for a certain way of life.

The Double, by Richard Ayoade, USA, 2014, is a grim, gloomy nightmare of a story, as Jesse Eisenberg plays a nervous worker in a miserable office inhabited by elderly workers. The depressing atmosphere changes slightly with the arrival of his extroverted, aggressive double (also played by Eisenberg), who seeks to take over his life. It is a another silly, unbelievable story.

A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness, by Ben Rivers and Ben Russell, Estonia/France, 2013, is film in three parts, none of which seem to be related to each other. There are many moments of silent scenes, some photographically beautiful, but mainly boring. When the unattractive naked hippies have banal conversations, it only adds to the boredom. I have not the slightest idea what this film is about

Buzzard, by Joel Potrykus, USA, 2014, is about a worthless young man, who works as an office temp in a company, where he steals equipment to resell, and other people's checks, which he fraudulently cashes. When he fears that the police will be after him. his downward spiral follows. He is not a particularly likable person, but it is interesting to see what happens to him.

MoMA is presenting Vienna Unveiled: A City in Cinema through April 20. Oh...Rosalinda, by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, Great Britain, 1955, is a thoroughly delightful, updated  film version of the beautiful operetta Die Fledermaus, by Johann Strauss. It features many wonderful stars of that period, Anton Walbrook, Michael Redgrave, Mel Ferrer, Anthony Quayle, Dennis Price and the adorable Ludmilla Tcherina. It takes place during the four Allied Powers' occupation of Vienna after World War II, and much of the music is maintained, performed by superb singers and dancers. It is a splendid production.

MoMA's ongoing An Auterist History of Film presented The Servant, by Joseph Losey, Great Britain, 1963, with a screenplay by Harold Pinter, is clever, intelligent film, about an upper class single man (James Fox), who hires a servant (Dirk Bogarde) for his new house. The servant brings his supposed sister (Saran Miles) into the house as a maid, where she seduces the master. We see the change take place between master and servant, where the roles are reversed as alcohol plays a role. Indirectly, the film is an attack on the class system in England. It is a very fine film.


03-07-14 Cast member Bryan Cranston at the opening night party for "All the Way" at the Restaurants of Rockefeller Center. 30 Rockefeller Center. Thursday night. 03-06-14.  photo by:  aubrey reuben

03-07-14 Cast member Bryan Cranston at the opening night party for "All the Way" at the Restaurants of Rockefeller Center. 30 Rockefeller Center. Thursday night. 03-06-14






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