The House


Misty Upham

1. "Arnaud Desplechin Remembers Misty Upham." A tribute to the actress he directed in Jimmy P: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian.

"The death of Misty Upham is bottomless sorrow. I loved this woman as if she were my younger sister. The press talk about her fragility; I know Misty had that rare gift of being able to offer fragility to the camera, and it gave her a force without limit. Misty had a great soul, and she gave that soul to the film. I don't know why tonight, I think about Marilyn Monroe. Probably because in these two actresses, I see a sense of tragedy and how their wounds turned into gifts—joy, pain, innocence, wildness mixed. Each of them trembling upsets us. And it is hard work that transforms fears and uncertainties into art. I remember our first meeting. I told her about my unreserved admiration for Frozen River. I had been dazzled: Lila was invulnerable as she was almost blind. With glasses, healed, the woman suddenly became very shy. It was her blindness that protected her from the world! When I told her this, Misty jumped on my neck! She could not believe that a European film buff had been able to see what she had done so secretly and subtly."

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TAGS: alan bean plus four, arnaud desplechin, chuck bowen, david lynch, denzel washington, fandor, hannibal, keith uhlich, liam neeson, Misty Upham, nick pinkerton, niles schwartz, paley center for media, the new yorker, tom hanks, twin peaks


Doctor Who

Hot on the heels of last week's "Mummy on the Orient Express," new writer Jamie Mathieson delivers an intriguing and suspenseful standalone episode with "Flatline." He certainly knows how to start a story with a good visual hook, as the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and Clara (Jenna Coleman) land in present-day Bristol and find themselves struggling to emerge from a police box that's suddenly shrunk to half its normal height. There's a refreshingly old-school feel to the episode in that the Doctor has no prior knowledge of what's going on, in contrast to much of the past few seasons (as he says to Clara, "Could you not just let me enjoy this moment of not knowing something? They happen so rarely"). Thanks to the TARDIS shrinking even further, the Doctor becomes trapped inside until the end of the episode, able only to offer advice and the occasional bit of equipment as Clara does the legwork, carrying the TARDIS with her in her handbag. The shots of the Doctor's face filling the tiny doorway, or his hand reaching out of the little police box, are equal parts funny and slightly disturbing.

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TAGS: doctor who, douglas mackinnon, flatline, jamie mathieson, jenna coleman, jovian wade, michelle gomez, peter capaldi, planet of giants, recap, Samuel Anderson


The Walking Dead

Though there's no denying the thrilling and unsettling power of the last two to three minutes of "Strangers," it would be incorrect to label the episode as all build-up. In fact, the image of Gareth (Andrew J. West) chowing down on a hunk of Bob's (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) leg meat while casually explaining away his barbarism wasn't even the episode's most remarkable moment. Rather, it was a short excursion into town to pick up supplies that yielded one of the more emotionally revealing reactions in the aftermath of Terminus and the return of Carol (Melissa McBride).

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TAGS: andrew j. west, andrew lincoln, chandler riggs, josh mcdermitt, lawrence gilliard jr., melissa mcbride, Michael Cudlitz, norman reedus, recap, seth gilliam, strangers, the walking dead


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.

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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.

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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.

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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?"

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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.

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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.'"

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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."

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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






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