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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben -September 20, 2014


Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
September 20,


09-15-14 (L-R) Co-Creator Kendrell Bowman. producer Sheryl Lee Ralph. Co-Creator/ and star Anthony Wayne at the opening night party for "Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical" at The Grand Hall at the Theatre of St Clement's. 423 West 46th St. Sunday night. 09-14-14.  photo by Aubrey Reuben

09-15-14 (L-R) Co-Creator Kendrell Bowman. producer Sheryl Lee Ralph. Co-Creator/ and star Anthony Wayne at the opening night party for "Mighty Real: A Fabulous Sylvester Musical" at The Grand Hall at the Theatre of St Clement's. 423 West 46th St. Sunday night. 09-14-14




Dear Readers, let me explain the four week gap in my column. On August 18, I had Emergency surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, and I spent four weeks recovering at home. On Sunday, I took my first photograph. On Monday I reviewed a film at the press screenings of The New York Film Festival, and on Tuesday I reviewed a Broadway show. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to sit in a theatre or film seat for an extended period of time. I am forced to stand during most of the performance or film.

Recovery is a slow process. Still, I am happy to be photographing actors I admire, attending a live dramatic performance, and being transported around the world on film. To do this every day, makes me realize how lucky I am.

On Broadway, A revival of Love Letters, by A. R. Gurney, at the Brooks Atkinson, is a play, where two actors (Mia Farrow and Brian Dennehy), sit at a table and read letters written to each other from childhood until middle age. They are both from wealthy Protestant families. The girl is flighty and unstable, and has many problems. The boy is more grounded. The playwright is a fine playwright, very intelligent, and what he writes is always interesting, and occasionally witty. However, even with two fine actors, and both are very good, under the direction of Gregory Mosher, it is difficult to look at and listen to two actors for ninety minutes, who read from a script on a bare stage, without looking at one another. It is not dramatic. It is not theatrical. It is boring, and some of the letters from childhood are infantile. It is not a show for Broadway, and I doubt it will encourage people to write letters again in this age of computers..

Off-Broadway, the opening night party for Mighty Real: A Fabulous Slyvester Musical took place in the Grand Hall at the Theatre at St. Clement's. Sheryl Lee Ralph produced the musical and Anthony Wayne andKendrell Bowman co-created the show, with Wayne as the star. Among the guests were Lillias White, Brenda Braxton, Melba Moore and Stephen Schwartz. It was a lovely party.

Dame Angela Lansbury was honored at the American Theatre Wing 2014 Gala at the Plaza. Among the many guests to honor the great actress, were William Ivey Long, James Earl Jones, Jim Dale, Kate Burton, Dan Rather, Edward Herrmann, James Monroe Iglehart, Jason Danieley and Marin Mazzie, and many, many more too numerous to mention. It was a wonderful event.

Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil joined five cast members of  Beautiful: The Carole King Musical at Serendipity 3, 225 East 60th St, for the unveiling of the Beautiful sundae. I tasted it and it was delicious.

The press screenings for the 52nd New York Film Festival September 26-October 12, 2014 have begun. Misunderstood/Incompresa, by Asia Argento, Italy/France, 2014, is an overlong, repetitious story about a nine-year-old girl, who feels unloved. Her neurotic film actor father and her irresponsible concert pianist mother constantly battle and finally separate, leaving the poor child to travel back and forth between the two homes. It is an example of a dysfunctional modern Italian family. The film is a series of disjointed scenes, many of them quite unbelievable. There is not one likable character in the entire film. We see the mother's apartment being trashed, and then the father's apartment being trashed. The scenes in the girl's school are a travesty, and her cruel, sadistic teacher would not have been tolerated in any school, in any country. I wonder about the future of this nine-year old actress, who has to smoke cigarettes and vomit in a toilet, smoke marijuana and drink beer with homeless hippies, and steal other people's mail. I could go on, but what is the point. I, obviously, misunderstood this sick film.

'71, by Yann Demange, UK, 2014, is grim, depressing look at the conflict in Belfast, Northern Ireland in the 1980s. The hatred between the Catholics and Protestants is revealed in almost documentary fashion. The story is about an English soldier (Jack O'Donnell) trapped in the Catholic section, trying to escape alive from his pursuers. It is an absorbing tale, well acted, and an indictment of the futility of violence to resolve disputes. It is a very powerful film.























































Goodbye to Language/Adieu au langage, by Jean-Luc Godard, France, 2014, is the esteemed filmmaker's 43rd film, in 3D. The film stars his dog, who he claims is very wise. It also has a couple, who appear mainly undressed. They exchange dialogue, which is unintelligible to any normal person. The filmmaker drops lines from every single philosopher he can remember, which adds nothing to the film. He concentrates on the difference between reality and metaphor. There are also scenes from old black and white films on a television screen, and footage of Adolf Hitler. Scenes are repeated ad nauseum. I assume it is a self indulgent joke.

Two Shots Fired/Dos Disparos, by Martin Rejtman, Argentina, 2014, has a young man finding a gun in a shed at his home. He aims it at his head and grazes it. He aims at his stomach, where it remains throughout the film. He survives his unexplained, attempted suicide. We follow him through the first part of the film, where his only activity appears to be playing ancient, renaissance and baroque music with his the flute in an amateur flute quartet. There are many scenes of them playing. The second part of the film has his lawyer mother taking a vacation at the beach with his flute teacher. However, to split the driving, they invite a weird divorcee to join them. Every character in this interminable film is unpleasant and every action is unbelievable.

Hill of Freedom/Jayuui Eondeok, by Hong Sang-soo, South Korea, 2014, is about a young Japanese man, who returns to South Korea to find a woman, that he loved a few years before. He realizes that he now wants to marry her. The director shifts the action from the present to the past, which requires careful attention to understand what is happening. It is a pleasant, low-key film with attractive characters.

Beloved Sisters/Die geliebten Schwestern, by Dominik Graf, Germany/Austria, 2014, is a sumptuous film capturing the atmosphere of the eighteenth century, when the German poet Friedrich Schiller has a romantic affair with two sisters. He marries one and sleeps with the other. Although the sisters have a close bond, it eventually leads to unhappiness and anger among the three of them. It is a wonderful film, exquisitely photographed and the acting is first-rate. It is one of the best films in the festival up to now.

The Wonders/Le meravglie, by Alice Rohrwacher, Italy/Switzerland/Germany, 2014, is an unusual film about a family with four daughters, who are primarily beekeepers in the Italian countryside. When the oldest girl (Alexandra Lungu) signs up for a television competition, without telling her parents, problems ensue. The competition is called Country Wonders, in which the different farmers describe what they produce naturally. In the case of the beekeepers, one receives an education in the difficult process of producing honey. The film is remarkable, and possibly unique, with an ending, that seems to reflect magic realism.

La Sapienza, by Eugene Green, France/Italy, 2014, is a gorgeous film. The photography of Rome, Turin and Stresa is magnificent. It is almost a travelogue. The story about an unhappy French architect and his wife, doing research on a baroque architect in Italy, is intelligent and beautifully presented. At Stresa, they meet a young brother, who has graduated and wants to continue to become an architect, and his sister, who is incapacitated with a nervous disorder. What the two young people teach the older couple is inspiring. It is one of the most wonderful films of the festival.

Heaven Knows What, by Josh and Benny Safdie, USA, 2014, is film about heroin addicts in New York. For ninety-four horrendous minutes, we watch a young girl (Arielle Holmes) begging for money on the streets, attempting to commit suicide to please her repulsive heroin addicted lover (Caleb Landry-Jones), hooking up with various other drug addicts in abandoned apartments and parks, stealing other people's mail from a mailman's pouch and objects from pharmacy stores, and, in general, leading a worthless and aimless life. The cast is full of non-actors, whose claim to fame is that they cannot utter a single sentence without fifthy and vulgar words, and their voices are irritating. I do not know who would enjoy watching this depressing film, except perhaps sado-masochists. 

I was invited to a special screening of Pride, by Matthew Warchus, UK, 2014, at the Ziegfeld Theater, which stars Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton, in a film, that takes place in 1984-85 in London and South Wales, based on a true story, about a Gay and Lesbian group, who raised money to support the striking miners during the Margaret Thatcher era. Through many trials and tribulations, the film closes on an inspirational note when everyone bonds during The Gay Pride parade in 1985. It is a well acted, beautifully photographed, sentimental film.




09-16-14 James Earl Jones and honoree Dame Angela Lansbury at the American Theatre Wing 2014 Gala at the Plaza Hotel. Fifth Ave and Central Park South. Monday night. 09-15-14.  photo y Aubrey Reuben

09-16-14 James Earl Jones and honoree Dame Angela Lansbury at the American Theatre Wing 2014 Gala at the Plaza Hotel. Fifth Ave and Central Park South. Monday night. 09-15-14






joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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