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Review: The Three Musketeers, Midnight in Paris, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Monte Carlo and Tabloid

By Cinema and Reviews

The Three Musketeers posterI don’t know what the French did to be so roundly insul­ted at the movies this week but I’d advise them to steer clear of Wellington cinemas for a while – per­haps until their film fest­iv­al gets under way again next year. Firstly, crass action auteur Paul W.S. Anderson (Resident Evil) attempts to reboot a fran­chise from one of France’s most cher­ished pieces of lit­er­at­ure but then makes The Three Musketeers without a single French per­son appear­ing on screen.

Actually, I’m teas­ing a little as neither the 1993 Charlie Sheen ver­sion or the 1973 Oliver Reed one had any sig­ni­fic­ant French involve­ment, but to pop­u­late the latest film with Danes (Mads Mikkelsen), Austrians (Christoph Waltz), Germans (Til Schweiger) and Ukrainians (Milla Jovovich) does seem a bit on the nose.

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Cricket Test

By Theatre

The Second TestWhen the New Zealand crick­et team (note not BLACKCAPS™) first toured South Africa in 1953 they had nev­er won a Test Match and were giv­en no show against a ruth­less South Africa, on pitches tailored to sup­port their fast, mean quick bowlers.

The crick­et was tough, and vic­tory was ulti­mately bey­ond New Zealand’s grasp, but it was­n’t the crick­et that ensured that the series became a NZ sport­ing legend. The 1953 Second (Christmas Day) Test is fam­ous for the pro­foundly mov­ing story of one play­er, Kiwi fast bowl­er Bob Blair, and his story has been brought to the stage by tal­en­ted act­or Jonny Brugh (Sugar & Spice) and it’s play­ing now at BATS.

During the rest day of the Test, Blair got the news that his fiancée Nerissa Love had been killed along with 150 oth­ers in the Tangiwai Rail Disaster. When play resumed on Boxing Day nobody expec­ted Blair to play any fur­ther part in the game. Without giv­ing too much away, the rest (as they say) is history.

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Some Frank Langella trivia

By Asides, Humour, NZ and Theatre

Here’s a New York Times pro­file of Frost/Nixon star, and great char­ac­ter act­or, Frank Langella. Langella once bought the Broadway rights to the hit kiwi “com­edy” Ladies’ Night and author Anthony McCarten told me once of sit­ting in Langella’s trail­er in Hollywood col­lab­or­at­ing on the American-ization of the play that may or may not have even­tu­ally become The Full Monty. Periodically, Langella would have to excuse him­self and vis­it the set: “Excuse me, I have to go and make love to Ellen Barkin.”

Significant Contribution

By Asides, History, Theatre and Wellington

Heartfelt con­grat­u­la­tions to Sunny Amey who, at last night’s Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards, was presen­ted with “The Mayor’s Award for Significant Contribution to Theatre”.

Often on these occa­sions people will say, “without this per­son I would­n’t be here” but in Sunny’s case I believe it to be lit­er­ally true. When my par­ents got mar­ried in 1966, Sunny (and Ralph McAllister) organ­ised the event, cooked the kai (meat­balls and pavlova) and the recep­tion was hos­ted at Sunny’s flat in London. Therefore, she’s always been a pres­ence in my life (although I did­n’t actu­ally meet her until 1993 when I star­ted work­ing for Downstage the first time and she was on the Board).

I’m very happy that I’ve got to know her since, and that Downstage (where she was the first woman Director back in 1970) is where I have landed.

Elaine Stritch on Beckett

By Asides and Theatre

The incom­par­able Elaine Stritch is doing Beckett’s Endgame in New York:

I always remem­ber the story of the woman who under­stud­ied Lena Horne in some Broadway music­al. And she was told she was going to go on that night because Lena had lost her voice. And the under­study said, “Oh, won­der­ful!” She said she just needed a cer­tain kind of eye shad­ow she had to pick out her­self. And she was going to go out to one of the drug­stores on Eighth Avenue and she’d be right back. And she went to Philadelphia instead. Isn’t that a great story? And it’s true. I under­stand it per­fectly. I love the fact that she went to Philadelphia. What a story. And that’s an example of Beckett’s unhap­pi­ness being the fun­ni­est thing in the world.

[via Gothamist]