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Black Tie International:
On The Town With Aubrey Reuben - December 29, 2012


Aubrey Reuben

On the Town With Aubrey Reuben

Where All the Stars
Shine Brightly!

December 29, 2012

Film Society of Lincoln Center is presenting See It in 70MM! Dec 21-Jan1. Star!, by Robert Wise, USA, 1968, is the story of Gertrude Lawrence, who became a stage star in London and on Broadway. Julie Andrews played her in the film, which was not a commercial success, showing her as vain, sometimes violent, and quick to anger. Daniel Massey was a supportive Noel Coward in the lavish, overlong production. The songs and theatrical numbers are quite good.
Khartoum, by Basil Dearden, UK, 1985, is a spectacular war film, that takes place in the Sudan in the city of the title, about the death of the British General Gordon (Charlton Heston) by the islamic tribes under a self-proclaimed Muslim prophet (Laurence Olivier). The acting is superb, the photography is magnificent and the film is engrossing and riveting. It is a marvelous film.
Hamlet, by Kenneth Branagh, UK/USA, 1996, is a complete version of the play, lasting four hours, featuring an all-star cast, including the director in the title role. While it is a laudable effort, it was a failure commercially. It is understandable, because of its length and the performance of some of the featured players, who are miscast in a play by Shakespeare.

Lord Jim, by Richard Brooks, UK/USA, 1965, is a beautifully filmed adventure story, that begins excitingly with a vessel about to sink. Peter O'Toole plays one of the sailors, who abandons the ship. However, as the film progresses, it becomes dull and boring, and the characters, which includes a number of fine international actors like Jack Hawkins, Eli Wallach, James Mason and others, are figuratively lost at sea, in this overlong film.
MoMA is presenting Dickens on Film December 20-Jan 3. Nicholas Nickleby, by Cavalcanti, Great Britain, 1941, follows the novel, with a wonderful Derek Bond as the titular hero, with many of the finest actors of the time, including Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Sally Ann Howes, Stanley Holloway and Bernard Miles. It is a typical Charles Dickens' tale, with a happy ending and villains punished.
The Pickwick Papers, by Noel Langley, Great Britain, 1952, follows the amusing adventures of four members of the Pickwick Club, named after its founder Samuel Pickwick (the excellent James Hayter). Pickwick and his three colleagues explore the countryside and run into problems when they encounter a sly actor (a wonderful Nigel Patrick). The film takes a serious turn, when Pickwick is forced to defend himself in court in a breach of promise suit and his imprisonment in a debtor's jail.  It is an indictment of injustice in England. It is suitably Dickensian. 
Ballet in Cinema by Emerging Pictures presented a beautiful The Nutcracker, by the Royal Ballet which was performed on December 12 at Covent Garden. It is a sumptuous production with exquisite dancing by the entire cast, headed by Gary Avis (Drosselmeyer), Meaghan Grace Hinkis (Clara) and Ricardo Cervera (The Nephew/Nutcracker) in the first act and Roberta Marquez (Sugar Plum Fairy) and Steven McRae (The Prince) in the second. It is the perfect viewing at this holiday time.

joyce brooks, gerard mckeon.  photo by:  rose billings

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