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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben -September 27, 2014


Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben
Where All the Stars Shine Brightly!
September 27,


09-26-14 Cast member Richard Gere (L) and director Oren Moverman after a Q & A following a press screening of their film "Time Out of Mind" at the Walter Reade Theater. 165 West 65th St. 09-25-14.  Photo by:  Aubrey Reuben


09-26-14 Cast member Richard Gere (L) and director Oren Moverman after a Q & A following a press screening of their film "Time Out of Mind" at the Walter Reade Theater. 165 West 65th St. 09-25-14

On Broadway, This is Our Youth, by Kenneth Lonergan, at the Cort Theatre, was produced Off-Broadway in 1996, and was well received. The play takes place in 1982 in the apartment of a spoilt, domineering teenager (Kieran Culkin), who makes his money as a drug dealer. His immature friend (Michael Cera) drops in, having been kicked out of his father's apartment, while stealing $15.000 in cash from his father, and carrying a suitcase with all his precious toys. The third character is Culkin's neurotic, argumentative girlfriend (Tavi Gevinson). The three aimless youths, without a clue to leading normal lives, are well directed by Anna D. Shapiro. The dialogue is natural and realistic, and as a picture of lost teenagers, it holds a certain interest. The three actors are competent, but Gevinson has limited acting experience, and is the weakest on stage. One wonders why she was cast to make her debut on a Broadway stage

Off-Broadway, The Money Shot, by Neil LaBute, at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, is a wild play, about two film stars (Fred Weller and Elizabeth Reaser) in Hollywood, whose careers are going down the drain. In order to salvage their careers, they come up with a crazy idea to do a scene that borders on pornography. The four member cast (Gia Crovatin and Callie Thorne are the wife of Fred and  the lesbian lover of Elizabeth) is excellent under the direction of Terry Kinney. It is a very funny play with many hilarious scenes. The opening night party took place at 49 Grove with guestsJosh Hamilton, Stephen Belber and Steven Pasquale among many others.

The New York City Ballet began a month long season, and I attended a Balanchine program of three of his ballets, featuring four outstanding ballarinas. Donizetti Variations, music of Gaetano Donizetti, is a charming ballet, and Ashley Bouder was brilliant in her solo variations. La Sonnambula, music by Vittorio Rietl, has sumptuous costumes by Alain Vaes, and Sara Means as the Coquette looked ravishing in her gown. Wendy Whelan is retiring in October, and won tumultuous applause as the Sleepwalker. The two dancers are simply marvelous, and Whelan will be missed. The third ballet was Firebird, music by Igor Stravinsky. It is an exotic ballet, with splendid scenery and costumes designed by Marc Chagall. Teresa Reichlen was spectacular as the Firebird. The opportunity to watch four magnificent dancers is the reason why The New York City Ballet is a treasure for ballet fans.

The press screenings of the 52nd New York Film Festival continue. Pasolini, by Abel Ferrara, France/Belgium/ Italy, 2014, stars Willem Dafoe as the famous filmmaker. It is disjointed film, but constantly absorbing, and Dafoe gives a riveting performance. It leads up to his horrendous death. There is footage from some of his films, which are of a sexually explicit nature.

The Princess of France/La Princesa de Francia, by Matias Pineiro, Argentina, 2014, has a group of young people, preparing a radio production of Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost. Again, as in his previous films, he tries to relate the play to the romantic problems of the actors. Unfortunately, the actors involved lack charisma, are unattractive, and some are irritaing. This filmmaker is an acquired taste, and I have not been able to acquire it.

Life of Riley/Aimer, boire et chanter, by Alain Resnais, France, 2014, is the great filmmaker's last film, and he departed his life in splendid glory. The film is based on Alan Ayckbourn's play Relatively Speaking. It takes place in picturesque villages in Yorkshire, England, and the opening scenes are glorious views of them.























































Three couples are brought together, because an old friend is dying. What follows is an hilarious account of the three ladies, one an ex-wife (Sandrine Kiberlain), another a former lover (Sabine Azema), and the third a frustrated wife (Caroline Silhol), wanting to offer him help during his final days to the dismay of their husbands. The playwright is a master craftsman and Resnais has followed his concept, while adding his own genius. It is a thoroughly delightful film, and the acting by a brilliant cast is superb

Eden, by Mia Hansen-Love, France, 2014, is based on the life of her brother, who for twenty years was a DJ of French "Garage" music in discoteques, and is the co-writer of the film script. It captures the atmosphere from 1992 to the present and we see the the DJ (Felix de Givry) follow his dream, while descending into drugs, sinking into debt, having unsatisfying relationships with various women, and, in general, leading a worthless and useless life. That he survives is a minor miracle. For lovers of this type of music, there is an abundance of music, which contributes to the film being overlong. There are also real life performers appearing and singing. 

Two Days, One Night/Deux jours, une nuit, by Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Belgium/France/Italy, 2014, stars the magnificent Marion Cotillard, as factory worker, who has been out sick and is about to be laid off. She has to try to persuade her co-workers to forgo a promised bonus, so that she can retain her job, before a secret ballot to decide if she can stay. She spends the two days, before the balloting, visiting her colleagues to see if she can persuade them to forgo their bonuses, which most desperately need, to save her job. It is a harrowing picture of the life of low level workers in a small industrial town, and Cotillard gives a remarkable performance, worthy of an award.

Horse Money/Cavalo Dinheiro, by Pedro Costa, Portugal, 2014, is the slowest film I have ever seen. We follow Ventura (apparently a favorite actor of the director) walking down gloomy stairs, along empty corridors, and trapped in an elevator in a hospital with a soldier, who tells him repeatedly to be quiet. At times, it plays like a silent movie. Dialogue is repeated over and over again, and he sings songs, with the lyrics repeated over and over again. The film is so dark, that one can lose one's eyesight watching it. It is not a pleasant cinematic experience, and I have not the faintest idea what the filmmaker has to say about workers from Cabo Verde.

Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait, by Ossama Mohammed & Wiam Simav Bedirxan, Syria/France, 2014, is 1001 images of film shot with hidden cameras, revealing the horrors of civil war in 2011, and which is continuing today in Syria. Simav, a brave Kudish woman, filmed many of the scenes in the devastated city of Homs. The torture, brutality and death by the soldiers of their own people is shown graphically, and is difficult to watch. One can only feel sorrow and pity for the innocent victims, especially children and women, of this senseless carnage. 

Map to the Stars, by David Cronenberg, Canada/Germany, 2014, features a fearless performance by Julianne Moore, who won the Best Actress prize at Cannes. There are scenes of her sitting constipated on the toilet, engaging nude in a threesome, and having sex in the back seat of a car withe the driver (Robert Pattinson) . I hope her children never have to see this film. She plays an aging, neurotic film star, trying to continue her career. Unfortunately, she hires a strange assistant (Mia Wasikowska) with dire consequences. The film also focuses on another Hollywood family, with a son, who is an obnoxious child movie star (Evan Bird), with weird parents (John Cusack and Olivia Williams). The film script by Bruce Wagner is unrealistic, totally unbelievable, and pointless, and includes dialogue and scenes meant to shock. It is, however, beautifully photographed, and the two homes of the film stars could be featured in a Home & Garden magazine.

Time Out of Mind, by Oren Moverman, USA, 2014, stars Richard Gere as a homeless man in New York City. We watch him wandering the streets, sleeping on benches, going to shelters, visiting offices of city officials, occasionally accompanied by a garrulous Ben Vereen, a former jazz musician, now homeless. Gere obviously has a confused mind, no identification, and needs medical attention. He has a daughter, employed as a bartender, who rejects him, as he had abandoned her ten years previously. It is a grim tale, and, again, an overlong film. A Q & A with the star and the director followed the screening.

Jauja, by Lisandro Alonso, Argentina/ Denmark/France/Mexico/USA/Germany/Brazil, 2014, is a beautifully photographed film, starring Viggo Mortensen as a Danish military engineer in Patagonia with his teenage daughter in the nineteenth century. When she disappears with a young soldier, he searches for her. Up to that point, the film makes sense. Afterwards, we have a scene with an old, white woman living in a cave, spouting her philosophy. And finally, a modern day scene of a beautiful mansion in Denmark, where a teenage girl awakens, and wanders around with one of her dogs. We never learn what happens to Mortensen nor his daughter. With many dogs in the film, it is probably a shaggy dog tale.

Whiplash, by Damien Chazelle, USA, 2014, is about an obsessed first year jazz drummer (Miles Teller) at a music conservatory, who wants to be the finest, or, at least, one of the finest drummers in the world. His teacher (J.K. Simmons) is sadistic disciplinarian, who terrorizes his students to achieve results. Musicians and jazz lovers will enjoy this film. There is plenty of music, and the acting by the two leads is terrific. This young filmmaker is one to watch. He has made an incredible film. A Q & A followed the screening with Simmons and the director.

Gone Girl, by David Fincher, USA, 2014, is based on the best selling novel by Gillian Flynn, who wrote the script. Ben Affleck returns home one morning to find his wife (Rosamund Pike) has disappeared. On circumstantial evidence, he is accused of her murder. The film also tells of how the marriage became sour, as he tells his version, and her diary is read in voiceover telling her version of their destructive marriage. There are so many twists and turns to the story, as neither spouse is what he or she seems to be. The acting is first rate, and the photography captures the film noir perfectly. That said, it is a far-fetched tale, with a couple of horrendous scenes; but, it consistently grabs the attention of the audience, and, in fact, I found it entertaining.


09-24-14 Cat members (L-R) Gia Crovatin. Elizabeth Reaser. Frederick Weller. Callie Thorne at the opening night party for "The Money Shot" at 49 Grove. 49 Grove St. Monday night. 09-22-14.  Photo by:  Aubret Reuben

09-24-14 Cat members (L-R) Gia Crovatin. Elizabeth Reaser. Frederick Weller. Callie Thorne at the opening night party for "The Money Shot" at 49 Grove. 49 Grove St. Monday night. 09-22-14





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