Review: The Tempest

 

I supposed my reaction to Julie Taymor’s photographically bold, yet cinematicly flat rendition of William Shakespeare’s play could be summed up by comparing the performance of Alan Cumming from her previous film Titus to the one he yields here. In Titus, he is a campy-over-the-top force of nature, a pure delight of showmanship. In The Tempest, he is yawning his way through the inevitable march across the Hawaiian voclanic badlands with an equally subdued Chris Cooper and David Strathairn. Maybe the gory Grand Guignol of Titus was a more suitable fit than the more introspective, meta-ish nature of The Tempest for her particular sort-of-a-stage-production-sort-of-a-film style. Outside of the farcical comedic elements, Alfred Molina is at his bawdy best here, with Russell Brand providing somewhat consistent support, which seem to capture the best elements of Shakespeare’s ability to play to the back of the room, The Tempest merely makes me want to go back and revisit Peter Greenaway’s take on the Bard with Prospero’s Books, or for that matter, just re-watch Tarsem’s The Fall.
Would you like to know more…?

Clips and Images for Taymor’s “The Tempest”

 
Which is really all I need to know I’m seeing this asap. Kind of a lover her or hate her director it seems, I personally love the visual flair and flavor of Taymor’s style. The only other director that is comparable in the original and fantastical look of their films is probably Tarsem.

I personally can’t wait for this adaptation. Taymor seems to like her Shakespeare and with Mirren, Whishaw, Cumming, Molina, Cooper and Strathairn, how can anyone not? Definitely in my most anticipated list of movies for December.

Collider was kind enough to let me steal all of their images and mash all of the clips into one long streaming experience of rad.

clip and more stills below the seats…
Would you like to know more…?

Cinecast Episode 169 – Stone Dildos

 
Today we are joined by Killerfilm’s Serena Whitney to pontificate on the the latest multiplex horror film, Sex And The City 2. Matt Gamble chimes in with the herding of the drunken and frocked chattel to sold out screenings. Mucho negativity ensues. We also revisit The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, to delve into the films shortcomings and another one of those ‘book to movie adaptation’ discussions. Lots of Movies We Watched, spanning Norm MacDonald‘s post-SNL flop to an obscure French New Wave release. There is also a smack-down of Andrew on his flippant dismissal of The Iron Giant and a fairly lengthy tangent on George A. Romero‘s filmography and orbiting remakes. The whole crew gives their DVD picks, which turns into a limbo game of trying to dodge the slew of Clint Eastwood releases coinciding with his 80th Birthday. Enjoy.

As always, feel free to leave your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!




To download the show directly, paste the following URL into your favorite downloader:
http://rowthree.com/audio/cinecast_10/episode_169.mp3

 
 
 
Full show notes are under the seats…
Would you like to know more…?

Eyes Wide Shut @10

ews10thStanley Kubrick’s last (often disputed) masterpiece starring two of the biggest stars of the late 1990s who just happened to be a married couple was released this week in 1999. Kubrick died shortly before this (at 70). The tales and perfectionist stories on the set, casting a veteran and up-and-coming directors in key roles (that would be Sydney Pollack and Todd Field, there is some insight here and here), and a big whopper of an Orgy sequence in the middle which started a censorship kerfuffle involving ‘digital silhouettes’ in the US.

Many found the film tedious and laboured, but it has been winding its way into full-blown cult status over the past decade with strange articles like this one. I revisit the film often enough and come away alternating between love it and leave it with almost each viewing, although recently things have been sliding to the former. Kudos to Kubrick for turning Tom Cruise into an ineffectual doofus though, and several years before Oprah’s Couch cemented it (You are burning in hell Michael Mann and P.T. Anderson for recharging the diminutive actors manliness.)

Back to the film, the gorgeous lighting, the interesting marriage insecurities and the hallucinatory euro-NY. And Leelee Sobieski and Alan Cumming in warm and charming bit parts. The masterfilmmaker went out with a bang, ending his professional career with the simplest and most complicated of words: “Fuck.”

Rowthree’s Finite Focus on the Orgy Sequence.