Sunday, September 09, 2007

It's been a few days, have been doing a lot of e.mailing and messaging on several boards... very strange.

On Friday, went to a small dinner for Daisuke Miyao, who has written the recently published biography on Sessue Hayakawa; it was a lot of fun.

Today, the news came from Venice: Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution" has won the Golden Lion, a special jury award went to Todd's "I'm Not There", Cate Blanchett won the Best Actress (Cup Volpi) for "I'm Not There" and Brian De Palma won the Silver Lion as Best Director for "Redacted". The Toronto Film Festival is now in full swing, it opened with a new film by Jeremy Podewsa.

The season is starting... and i don't know if i'm excited or not.

However i did do something yesterday: i made it to the Jewish Museum to catch the Louise Nevelson retrospective before it ended, and i went to the Guggenheim for the small Richard Pousette-Dart exhibition. Very evocative shows, reminding me of what art could be during that period in NYC of the 1950s and 1960s.

Last night, TCM showed a number of films adapted from the work of Oscar Wilde. I'd never seen "An Ideal Husband" before. It was far from perfect... but it had a fascination. Paulette Goddard was vivacious and attractive, but she had no nuance, no shadings. Everything was just so much on the surface. Diana Wynyard was so lady-gracious in that horrible great-lady way that infected certain actresses... she seemed so smug and superior, initially she's very off-putting. Her performance does seem to warm up, but she is insufferable. Goddard is utterly superficial, and Wynyard is insufferable... but at least they're dressed by Cecil Beaton, and his color costumes (filmed in spectacular Technicolor) were enchanting. Of the women, the only one who was superb, who caught the sly wit of Wilde and added a real human dimension, was Glynis Johns. She is such a delightful comedienne! Of the men, Hugh Williams was handsome and stuffy, and Michael Wilding was quite charming. But C. Aubrey Smith is amazing! So it's very much a mixed bag, but it looks divine, and it had its points, and i'm glad i saw it.

On "On Stage", the NY1 weekly show about NY theater, there was the annual fall round-up show, where a bunch of critics get together to talk about what's coming up in the coming season. But one of the critics (i think it was Patrick Pachecho?) was talking about interviewing Claire Danes, who will be starring in the upcoming revival of "Pygmalion"... and she revealed that she had never heard of the play, or "My Fair Lady", or George Bernard Shaw. At first i thought, what is she, an idiot? Then i realized that she is simply someone who was raised in the last two decades, where the whole education system broke down, and the idea of the Anglo-American tradition was utterly eradicated. Perhaps Shakespeare would be impossible to miss... but Marlowe? Wilde? Shaw? Congreve? Sheridan?

Oh, well, let's not get into that....


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