The House


Homeland

Cunningly arranged as a collage of pithy scenes, tonight's episode of Homeland transforms the laborious setup of "Shalwar Kameez" into a precipitous cascade of new developments. Darting among several storylines, the irregular structure fosters a sense of simultaneity, with events piling up as quickly as Carrie (Claire Danes) and her allies in the CIA's Islamabad shadow station can process the information. Made from stalking horses and rabbit holes, "Iron in the Fire" is a taut, propulsive, ardently political spy game—and the best episode of the season thus far.

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: Art Malik, claire danes, homeland, iron in the fire, laila robins, Mandy Patinkin, michael o'keefe, nazanin boniadi, Raza Jaffrey, recap, Rupert Friend, showtime, suraj sharma


In the Basement

In the Basement, which premiered at this year's Venice Film Festival and screened last week at Montreal's Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, may mark Ulrich Seidl's return to feature documentaries after his "Paradise Trilogy," but it signals no shift in his thematic concerns. The film's title naturally indicates its predominant location: people's actual basements or, alternately, their favored underground lairs, like a shooting a range. And it also reflects Seidl's thematic preoccupation: the desires and behavior that humans keep to themselves, away from public view.

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: festival du nouveau cinéma, in the basement, ulrich seidl


Gwen Stefani

From her collaborations with electronic pioneer Moby and rapper Eve to her '80s dance-pop and R&B-influenced albums Love. Angel. Music. Baby. and The Sweet Escape, Gwen Stefani's solo work has always given her the opportunity to explore genres and styles outside the already eclectic No Doubt brand. And while the singer's appearance on DJ/producer Calvin Harris's upcoming V promises to continue that tradition, it comes as a bit of a surprise that her long-awaited solo comeback single, "Baby Don't Lie," doesn't venture too far from her band's established template. Co-written by Benny Blanco and Ryan Tedder, the midtempo pop song finds Stefani effortlessly grooving to a reggae-flavored beat and an admittedly catchy hook, complete with her signature yelp, but it hews too close to the sound of No Doubt's slept-on sixth album, Push and Shove, for which Stefani partly shelved her thriving solo career for eight long years. And a hip-hop-inflected breakdown, in which the Voice star raps, "You can tell me what you're hidin' boy/And you can tell me if I'm gettin' warm," feels forced, even for the eternally youthful Stefani, on an otherwise breezy track.

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: baby don't lie, benny blanco, calvin harris, gwen stefani, Love. Angel. Music. Baby., no doubt, push and shove, ryan tedder, single review, the sweet escape, the voice


The Knick

As immersive as it is overstuffed, The Knick's season finale opens on the anxious face of the hospital's secretly pregnant benefactor, Cornelia Robertson (Juliet Rylance), just days away from marrying her fiancée, Philip. In the dark of night, the Knick's ambulance driver, Tom Cleary (Chris Sullivan), pulls up on his carriage, and Roberston is astonished that he's the one with whom she made arrangements for her abortion: "You?" Cleary sighs and responds, "You know, it'd be nice if just once in my life, a lady wasn't disappointed to see me. Climb in the back." He takes her to an enclosed apartment where the Knick's resident nun, Sister Harriet (Cara Seymour), is waiting for her in medical scrubs; the two women embrace with a sad tenderness, each one acknowledging the unspoken burden that had been weighing the other down all this time. Robertson tells Harriet, "You could have told me, you know," to which Harriet responds in kind, followed by the lingering thought, "But we both couldn't, could we?"

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: Cara Seymour, chris sullivan, clive owen, crutchfield, Eric Johnson, jeremy bobb, Juliet Rylance, michael nathanson, recap, steven soderbergh, the knick


Ivo van Hove

Theater director Ivo van Hove has made a habit of breaching borders. Born in Belgium, he currently runs the internationally renowned Toneelgroep Amsterdam in the Netherlands and also brings his work to New York with welcome regularity. More significantly, van Hove makes an art of erasing the barrier not only between actor and audience, but also between one scene and another.

During the presidential 2012 election, his epochal production Roman Tragedies, which played at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, ran for nearly six hours without any breaks. Van Hove edited Shakespeare's Coriolanus, Julius Caesar, and Anthony and Cleopatra to focus both the text and the theatrical experience on the relationship between politicians and the public. Audiences were encouraged to come and go where and when they pleased—even up onto the stage. The production became an exhilarating and indelible exercise in democracy, mounted by one of the reigning auteurs in global theater.

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: angels in america, Arliss Howard, bam, bob wilson, dallas roberts, ingmar bergman, ivo van hove, jan versweyveld, john cassavetes, marina abramović, new york theatre workshop, opening night, philip seymour hoffman, pina busch, roman tragedies, scenes from a marriage, tal yarden, tony kushner


Interstellar

1. "Inside Interstellar." For EW, Jeff Jensen's cover story on Christopher Nolan's emotional space odyssey.

"Nolan says he has been changed by Interstellar, but he’s still figuring out how. 'The character of Cooper opened up something for me about the emotional possibilities of a protagonist,' he says, and he relates to Brand, the scientist who believes love is essential even though it defies logic. 'A lot of my job is what you might call scientific,' Nolan says. 'I have always tried to pour myself into the technical side of filmmaking, the things I can control. I relate to the struggle to quantify the elements that are giving you an emotional response. That always feels impossible to me. But I keep trying. A film being more than the sum of its parts is a true mystery.'"

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: andrew corsello, christopher nolan, dear white people, entertainment weekly, gq, heather langencamp, interstellar, jeff jensen, justin simien, kenneth lonergan, kim morgan, margaret, new nightmare, nicholas spark, richard brody, steven boone, the best of me, udo kier, wes craven


Elizabeth Peña

1. "Elizabeth Peña R.I.P." The Prolific Hispanic Actress Has Passed Away at 55.

"Elizabeth Peña has passed away. The actress, with a professional career spanning nearly 40 years, left us on the night of October 14 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. She had recently wrapped work on the first season of the El Rey Network's action series, Matador, where she played the title character's mother Maritza. Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey and raised by her Cuban immigrant parents, Peña was destined for a career in the arts. Her father, Mario, was a playwright, director, actor, and designer in their native Cuba, who opened up the Latin American Theatre Ensemble after establishing a life for he and his family in New York. As a teen, Peña began making a name for herself as a formidable young actress in the New York theatre scene. She attended, and graduated from, the High School of Performing Arts and began her professional film career in 1978 with León Ichaso's El Super. A few years later, the ambitious Cubana would set off to try her fortunes over on the west coast. That move would prove fruitful, as she would go on to land roles in several major films in the 1980s. By the end of that decade, she had a resumé that included La Bamba, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, *batteries not included, and Blue Steel. She even did something that was almost unheard of for a Latina actress: She had her own primetime ABC series, I Married Dora. She played the title role of Dora in the series, which became infamous and notable because of its controversial premise- which centered on a "green card marriage" that would eventually evolve into something more genuine."

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: all that jazz, bob fosse, Bob Rafelson, elizabeth peña, film freak central, in the heart of the sea, lena dunham, lumière festival, matt zoller seitz, mountains of the moon, not that kind of girl, pedro almodóvar, ron howard, the criterion collection, walter chaw


American Horror Story: Freak Show

After a premiere that logically provided us a 101 on the characters and their blossoming resentments, the second episode of American Horror Story: Freak Show allows us to leisurely soak in the considerable atmospherics of Elsa's (Jessica Lange) financially imperiled Cabinet of Curiosities. "Massacres and Matinees" opens with a gorgeous master shot of the sideshow that pans from the top of one of the tents to provide us with a full daytime survey of the grounds, which includes the nearby swamp and its accompanying water and wild grass, a Ferris wheel, a merry-go-round, a great variety of red and blue striped tents and the dusty trails connecting them, and even a pickup truck with the word "circus" painted across it. This image is lit by autumnal sunlight that's equally suggestive of dawn and dusk, emphasizing both beauty and decay, particularly as embodied by the broken-down vehicles and the exhausted workers shuffling between tents. There's no doubt that Ray Bradbury would kill for such an iconic and suggestive portrait of the comingling of Americana evil and innocence.

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: american horror story, american horror story: freak show, evan peters, Frances Conroy, jessica lange, John Carroll Lynch, massacres and matinees, Michael Chiklis, recap, sarah paulson


Bill Murray

1. "Bill Murray Interview." For Variety, Ramin Setoodeh speaks to the actor about St. Vincent, fame, and the "virus" of Oscar season.

"Even if Murray may have a beer with strangers, he won't be hobnobbing with the press during this year's awards season, despite the Oscar buzz he's generating for St. Vincent. Don't look for him to be joining the other awards-season hopefuls on the campaign trail, either. 'I've never done that,' he says. 'I know that's something Harvey (Weinstein) does—he forces you to do these things. I'm not that way. If you want an award so much, it's like a virus. It's an illness.' When Murray was nominated for Lost in Translation in 2004, he convinced himself he would take home the Academy Award. 'Six months later, I realized I had taken the virus. I had been infected.' He says the careers of some of his peers have faltered because of the golden statue. 'People have this post-Oscar blowback,' he says. 'They start thinking, ‘I can't do a movie unless it's Oscar-worthy.' It just seems people have difficulty making the right choices after that.'"

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: academy awards, bill murray, chris wisniewski, Damien Chazelle, hip-hop, ismail muhammad, jazz, martin scorsese, ramin setoodeh, reverse shot, richard brody, san francisco bay guardian, shia labeouf, st. vincent, the age of innocence, variety, whiplash


It's Only a Play

One way to recognize first-rate playwrights is to seek moments of surprising inspiration in their more unambitious plays. An example: On stage is a room full of theater celebrities, sobbing over their stalling careers. A starry-eyed wannabe behind them grabs the nearest cape and passionately renders the act-one finale of Wicked. This image, at once surrealist and satirical, speaks volumes of the contemporary Broadway theater's distance from its noble legacy and the infuriating but optimistic ignorance of the generation now awash on its shores.

The rest of Terrence McNally's two-and-a-half-hour It's Only a Play, now at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, consists mostly of jokes and comic bits poking fun at the contemporary theater and the personalities that occupy it. The setting, a lavish Manhattan condo decked by designer Scott Pask in silver and gold, is an unsentimental reminder that Broadway theater is a plaything for the rich, and this loving but cynical tone governs the evening.

More >>

  • print
  • email

TAGS: ann roth, f. murray abraham, gerald schoenfeld theatre, it's only a play, jack o'brien, matthew broderick, megan mullally, micah stock, Nathan Lane, rupert grint, scott pask, Stockard Channing, terrence mcnally






The HouseCategories



The HouseThe Attic

More »



Site by  Docent Solutions