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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben September 9, 2017

 

 

Aubrey Reuben

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

September 9, 2017


 

It was like a United Nations event at the birthday celebration for my dear friend Edward Slavenburg (photo below) at the elegant Gabriel Kreuther restaurant, 41 West 42nd Street. His father Harald was born in Holland, his mother Pia (photo below) in Hungary, my wife Xiuli in China, me in England, his friend Carlos in Mexico, his girlfriend Ruth in Brooklyn, and Ruth's mother Gina in Haiti. Edward's charming parents flew in from Geneva, Switzerland, where they live, and where Edward was born. We sang Happy Birthday, and had a splendid time. It was a wonderful party with delicious food and superb Alsatian white wine.


 

The 53rd Street Library presented A Streetcar Named Desire, by Elia Kazan, USA, 1951, based on the play of the same name by Tennessee Williams. The film featured four magnificent film stars, Vivian Leigh, Kim Hunter and Karl Malden, all three winning Oscars for their performances, and made a star of Marlon Brando. Their acting is brilliant, in a film that is quite grim and depressing, without a trace of humor. An older neurotic sister (Leigh) visits her younger married sister (Hunter) in New Orleans. A friend (Malden) is single and interested in her. When the uneducated, and at times, brutal husband (Brando) discovers the lies she has been telling them about her life as a school teacher in a Mississippi town, tragedy ensues. Her misbehavior caused her to lose her job. The friend now is no longer enamored with her, and she loses her mind.






The film changed many of the scenes from the original play due to censorship. However, the four stars are so wonderful, that it makes the film a rewarding cinematic experience. It ranks as one of the finest Hollywood films.


 

The 53rd Street Library also presented Brazil, by Terry Gilliam, U.K. 1985, starring a wonderful actor Jonathan Pryce. Unfortunately, this film is not so wonderful. It is an overlong look at the future, where people have boring jobs, in a totalitarian state. It tells the story of one bureaucrat (Pryce), who has a multitude of ridiculous adventures pursuing a young girl that he loves, with explosions galore, silly car crashes, strange police in fantastic costumes, weird characters (some of England's finest actors appear in this film, obviously needing the money) and repetitious scenes. If one has read 1984, or seen the current Broadway version of George Orwell's book, one does not need to waste over two hours of precious time watching this nonsensical film.


 

MoMA presented 3-D Funhouse: Recent Restorations from the 3-D Film Archive, Sept 1-10. I saw Those Redheads from Seattle, by Lewis R. Foster, USA, 1953, about a mother (Agnes Moorhead), who takes her four daughters to the Klondike to join her husband, who she did not know had been killed. She becomes friends with the owner of a gambling club (Gene Barry), who falls in love with one of her daughters (Rhonda Fleming), and hires another daughter (Teresa Brewer) as a singer/dancer in the club. The plot is silly, but the songs, especially the ones sung by Brewer, and the dancing by lovely chorus girls, are fun to hear and watch, and the colorful film is entertaining. It was the first 3-D feature film.

 
       


 
 

Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/Blacktiemagazine.com

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