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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben -July 19, 2014


Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
July 19, 2014


07-15-14 Chistina Korop and cast member John Bolton at the opening night party of "Pageant" at the Bourbon Street Bar and Grille. 346 West 46th St. Monday night 07-14-14.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

07-15-14 Chistina Korop and cast member John Bolton at the opening night party of "Pageant" at the Bourbon Street Bar and Grille. 346 West 46th St. Monday night 07-14-14


Off-Broadway, Atomic, book and lyrics by Danny Ginges and Gregory Bonsignore, music and lyrics by Philip Foxman, is an overlong musical about the making of the Atomic Bomb during World War II.  The nine member, which includes Sara Gettelfinger, Jeremy Kushnier and Euan Morton, sing and act well. The story is sensible and the music is pleasant, although not memorable. 

The Long Shrift, by Robert Boswell, is about a young man (Scott Haze) convicted of rape, who returns home after ten years, and is confronted by his victim (Ahna O'Reilly), who wants to apologize for her false accusation. It is barely credible, and the scenes seem endless. The opening night party at the Tribeca Grand Hotel, however, was a huge success, with many guests like Julia Stiles, Karen Allen, Chris O'Dowd and James Franco, who directed the play.

Pageant, book & lyrics by Bill Russell & Frank Kelly, music by Albert Evans, is a fun musical about a beauty pageant, in which the six female contestants are played by men. The six contestants are very good, and, especially, John Bolton as the emcee, directed by Matt Lenz. You will have an enjoyable time at the Davenport Theatre. The opening night party was held at the Bourbon Street Bar and Grille with guests like Alice Ripley, Karen Ziemba and Eve Plumb.

I went to Vivid Cabaret, 61 West 37th St, to meet and photograph Bella French, the Number 1 Adult Film Star of Canada. She was sweet and charming, and she posed with many of the young, attractive ladies, who perform there.The venue is new (it opened in May) and is elegant, with three floors and a rooftop. It was a very enjoyable evening.

Film Society at Lincoln Center is presenting press screenings of  2014 Sound + Vision July 31-August 6. Flashback Memories 3D, by Tetsuaki Matsue, Japan, 2012, is a documentary about a Japanese didgeridoo player GOMA, who suffered partial memory loss in an automobile crash in 2009. We see him performing before the crash and after, with his recovery. He plays an unusual instrument, with a strange sound, but the music is hypnotic, and quite lovely and relaxing to the ear.

Shield and Spear, by Peter Ringbom, USA/South Africa, 2014, is a disturbing documentary, about life in South Africa, twenty years after apartheid and the creation of democracy with free elections. Unfortunately, with rampant corruption in the government, massive crime among the population, a lack of educational opportunities and attacks on freedom of expression by artists, musicians and activists, it presents a sorry picture of a chaotic country. One can only hope, the future will be brighter. The film is filled with pleasant musical selections, and fascinating interviews with the artists.

Pulp. by Florian Habicht, UK, 2014, is a sweet documentary, about the band's final concert in 2012 in their hometown, Sheffield, England. There are scenes of the town, and interviews with their fans, both old and young. Also, we see senior citizens singing their songs in a restaurant, and an acapella  harmony group of women rehearsing one of their hit songs. It really is quite impressive the band's influence on their hometown. At the sold out arena concert, the fans are seen having the time of their lives. Jarvis Cocker is the front-man of Pulp, and is a charming, charismatic character. It is a lovely film.

For Those About to Rock: The Story of Rodrigo y Gabriela, by Alejandro Franco, Mexico, 2014, is about a young Mexican couple, not achieving success in their country, who take their guitars to Dublin, Ireland, and become buskers playing their own form of music. It becomes a mixture of flamenco, salsa and hard rock. They perform in other European countries, and then, amazingly, become stars in the United States. Each one alternates telling their story, and it is an inspiring one. They are a decent, honest couple, and deserve their success. I have said that I will photograph any Rock 'n' Roll musician, but I don't want to listen to them. However, these four films were pleasant, and the music was painless, and my hearing was not damaged.

Film Society at Lincoln Center is presenting NewFest, New York's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Film Festival July 24-29. Futuro Beach, by Karim Ainouz, Brazil/Germany, 2013, is about a lifeguard on a beach in Brazil, who falls in love with a German tourist. He follows him to Germany, and, eventually, they split up and go their separate ways. Years later, the Brazilian younger brother searches for him in Germany. These three main characters are the dullest people imaginable, and while Brazil is sunny, Germany is gloomy and rainy. A highly boring film.

Lilting, by Hong Khaou, UK, 2013, is a beautiful, deeply emotional film, about a Chinese woman (Pei -pei Cheng), who lives unhappily in a senior citizen home in England. When her son dies suddenly, his lover (Ben Whishaw), whom she cannot tolerate, reaches out to her by way of a young female translator. Gradually, they bond, in spite of the fact that the mother only speaks Chinese. It is a warm, tender film, and the acting by the two leads is superb.





















































Lyle, by Stewart Thorndike, USA, 2014, is about a neurotic, pregnant lesbian (Gaby Hoffman), who moves into a creepy house in Brooklyn. She begins to suspect that the apartment is filled with evil. She becomes suspicious of her partner and friends with tragic consequences. As the lead is unappealing, it is difficult to have much sympathy for her.

, by Bruce LaBruce, Canada, 2013, is about a young teenager, who is attracted to older men. He takes a job in a senior citizen nursing home in Quebec, and becomes intimate with an 82-year-old patient. When the man speaks of his desire to see the Pacific Ocean, the young man sneaks him out of the facility, and drives him across Canada. The plot is ridiculous, the acting atrocious, and one is left worrying about the fate of senior citizens, unable to care for themselves.

I Am Happiness on Earth
, by Julian Hernandez, Mexico, 2013, is about a filmmaker, who likes to make films about dance, so he can seduce the male dancers. The film focuses on nudity, and mainly gay encounters. There is long scene with two men and one woman that borders on the pornographic. It appears out of nowhere, and I have no idea what it has to do with the plot. There is also a lot of voiceover philosophical dialogue, which is essentially meaningless. This is a film for voyeurs. An elderly Gloria Contreras, a respected dancer and choreographer, whom I know personally, appears in the first scene displaying modern dance movements at her advanced age. What she thinks about the film would be interesting to discover.

The Way He Looks, by Daniel Ribeiro, Brazil, 2014, is a coming of age story, about a blind teenager, who is attracted to a new student in his class. As their friendship grows, it becomes a gay love story. The two boys give fine, sentimental performances, and the film itself is quite charming, with a penetrating view of high school life. It is one of the best films of the festival.

MoMA is also presenting Lady in the Dark: Crime Films from Columbia Pictures, 1932-1957 from July 11-August 4In a Lonely Place, by Nicholas Ray, USA, 1950, stars Humphrey Bogart as a screenwriter, who is a suspect in the murder of a hat-check girl. It is also a love affair with his neighbor (Gloria Grahame), which turns sour, because of his violent behavior. The acting is first rate, the plot is absorbing and the dialogue is sharp and intelligent, and, at times, quite funny. I recommend it highly.

By Whose Hand, by Ben Soloff, USA,1932, is an entertaining thriller, that takes place on a train heading to San Francisco.  Murders occur, and there are many suspects among the interesting passengers. It is also quite humorous. It is well worth the train ride.

The Ninth Guest, by Roy William Neill, USA, 1934, is an absurd story about eight high society people invited to a party in an elegant penthouse, where the unknown host plans to murder them one by one. Fashion lovers will enjoy the gowns worn by the three female guests, while intelligent viewers will be bored by the unbelievable plot.

The Whistler, by William Castle, USA, 1944, is based on a popular radio series of the title. The film is about a businessman (Richard Dix), suffering from depression after his wife died drowning on a trip, who hires a contract killer to end his life. When he learns his wife had survived, he tries to stop his own death. It is a silly story, but entertaining.

The Big Heat, by Fritz Lang, USA, 1953, is about a tough detective (Glenn Ford), whose wife is killed by gangsters in an explosion when she starts their car. He seeks revenge. The film is filled with corrupt cops, crooked politicians, vicious mobsters (Lee Marvin) and sexy dames (Gloria Grahame). It is a fascinating film, which will hold your attention from the beginning to the end.

The Power of the Whistler, by Lew Landers, USA, 1945, has an escaped lunatic from a mental hospital (again Richard Dix) become an amnesiac, after being hit by a car. A woman takes pity on him, and tries to help him find out who he is, and even allows him to stay overnight in her apartment. It is a bad choice, and she places herself in grave danger. Of course, like all B-crime movies, it is utter nonsense, but it is riveting and entertaining, and it hold one's attention throughout the film.

Let Us Live, by John Brahm, USA, 1939, is social commentary, about a miscarriage of justice. An innocent cab driver (Henry Fonda) is convicted of murder for a crime he did not commit. With the help of his fiancee (Maureen O'Sullivan) and a police lieutenant (Ralph Bellamy), they manage to save him from execution, and capture the three criminals responsible for the actual crime. It is a well acted film, with a splendid cast, and it is a serious look at how justice can be perverted.

The Secret of the Whistler, by George Sherman, USA, 1946, is about a man (also again Richard Dix), who wants to murder his wealthy wife, so that he can marry a young, beautiful lady. She does die, but, unfortunately, she kept a diary. Since murderers are always apprehended in B-movies, you can imagine the result.

Film Forum is presenting the 70th Anniversary Restoration of Double Indemnity, by Billy Wilder, USA, 1944, from August 1-7. Do not miss one of the finest examples of Film Noir with an outstanding cast. An insurance salesman (Fred MacMurray) is seduced by a married woman (Barbara Stanwyck) to murder her husband for his insurance policy. An insurance investigator (Edward G. Robinson) realizes that the death is murder not suicide. The plot is riveting, the acting is superb and the film is filled with brilliant dialogue. It is one of the finest films ever made of this genre.



07-17-14 Adult Film Star Canadian Bella French poses with the Vivid Cabaret Lady Emma (L) at Vivid Cabaret. 61 West 37th St. Thursday night 07-17-14.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben

07-17-14 Adult Film Star Canadian Bella French poses with the Vivid Cabaret Lady Emma (L) at Vivid Cabaret. 61 West 37th St. Thursday night






joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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