Archive for the ‘International’ Category

‘Dark’ and other German TV series to watch worldwide (Deutsche Welle)

December 14, 2017

Has Netflix first German produced series, Dark given you a hankering for all things FRG? If so, Deutsche Welle offers ten series from Germany that have been distributed or soon will be worldwide. I’m very excited about Berlin Babylon. From Deutsche Welle,

The most expensive non-English drama series ever produced, “Berlin Babylon” started airing in Germany last October. Netflix purchased broadcast rights for the US. Three directors, including Tom Tykwer, recreated the atmosphere of Berlin in the 1920s for this period drama.

Check out the slide show now.

 

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The Crown: Season 2 drops

December 8, 2017

A reminder the lavish British monarchy series, The Crown drops Season 2 today on Netflix. Looking forward to new cast members Michael C. Hall and Jodi Balfour as Jack and Jackie Kennedy, and Matthew Goode as Lord Snowdon as we careen into the 1960’s. Who’s binging this weekend?

Read Reel Charlie’s review of The Crown: Season 1.
Watch the trailer for The Crown: Season 2 on YouTube.

Broadchurch: Season 3

December 7, 2017

My love of Broadchurch and has waxed and waned. I gave Season 1 a 5 out of 5. Then I gave Season 2 a 3.5 out of 5. Season 3 redeemed itself solving yet another crime and finally making peace with Danny’s murder from Season 1. David Tennant and Olivia Colman are back and in top form. Colman is a force to be reckoned with. I look forward to watching her career post-Broadchurch. This time, Season 3 investigates a rape. Because of the nature of the crime, the series focuses most of its attention on gender and a woman’s place in the world. There are lots to digest and consider. And in the middle of it all, Danny’s murder from Season 1 finally finds, if not some closure, a bit of peace for his parents and siblings. Jodie Whittaker (the new Doctor Who) and Andrew Buchan share outstanding acting moments as Danny’s estranged parents Beth and Mark Latimer. Heavy stuff. The beauty of the landscape helps temper the seriousness of this crime drama. I’m leaving Broadchurch with a 4 out of 5 for Season 3.

Read Reel Charlie’s review of Broadchurch: Season 1.
Read Reel Charlie’s review of Broadchurch: Season 2.

(BPM) Beats Per Minute (trailer)

December 1, 2017

I couldn’t let World AIDS Day 2017 go by without mentioning the brand-new French film, (BPM) Beats Per Minute. It’s the film I’m most excited about seeing this year.

Indiewire calls it “the Most Authentically Queer Film of the Awards Season.”
France selected it as their entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards this year.
Glenn Kenny at Roger Ebert’s site said, “Even if you consider yourself reasonably well-versed in the history, “BPM” is a kind of wake-up call, a cinematic alarm against complacency.”
Rotten Tomatoes gives Beats Per Minute (BPM) a 98% rating.
Check out BPM’s official site.
Watch the BPM trailer on YouTube. 
BPM screens this Sunday, December 3, 2017 in Hartford, CT, a co-presentation with REAL ART WAYS and Out Film CT.

Murder on the Orient Express (2010)

November 14, 2017

In anticipation of the new Branagh 2017 Murder on the Orient Express, I ordered the British television 2010 version for the library. I had a blast watching this adaptation. It stars David Suchet as Poirot and includes a strong supporting cast featuring Eileen Atkins, Jessica Chastain, Barbara Hershey, Hugh Bonneville, David Morrissey, Brian J. Smith, and Samuel West. Without even seeing the remake, I know it’s a simpler film than Branagh’s big budget release. As a result, the film relies on the talents of the director, writer, and cast. Murder on the Orient Express offers real comfort food whodunit excitement. 4 out of 5 for this Agatha Christie classic adaptation.

The Collection: Season 1

November 11, 2017

Spoiler alerts: Amazon Studios produced the UK/French production of The Collection, a romance drama set in post-WWII Paris centered around the mystery and intrigue of a young couture house and its founder Paul Sabine. I watched two episodes. The first didn’t sway me but I wanted to give it a second chance, so I watched episode 2. The production design and acting are first-rate – a mix of British, French, and American actors. The story lags however despite the best efforts of the cast and design crew. Characters feel more like caricatures than real people. They lack depth. The gay character only attracts men prone to violence and when it becomes clear in a later episode who the father of the child given up for adoption by the young, innocent seamstress is, of course it’s the gay brother. Hello paging Dynasty, your icky stereotype is ready for a redux. 2.5 out of 5 for The Collection. Next.

Shakespeare Wallah at The Quad (NYC) with James Ivory and Madhur Jaffrey

November 8, 2017

Exciting news for Merchant Ivory fans in the metropolitan NYC area. The Quad is screening a restored version of Shakespeare Wallah this week with director/screenwriter James Ivory and star Madhur Jaffrey. I went to the city a few months ago and was honored to catch Ivory for the screening of Maurice. It was a magical evening. Loved hearing stories from one of my favorite film partners of all-time.

Shakespeare Wallah
1965, 120m, DCP, UK/India

Opens Friday—North American theatrical premiere engagement of 2K restoration
The second feature uniting director/screenwriter James Ivory and producer Ismail Merchant—known then and forever as Merchant Ivory—with screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and actor Shashi Kapoor secured the world cinema reputations of all concerned. Based in part on the diaries that Geoffrey Kendal kept while performing Shakespeare all across India with his wife Laura Liddell, the film introduced audiences to their daughter Felicity Kendal, who stars as the UK theatrical troupe’s ingenue, caught in a love triangle with an Indian playboy (Kapoor) and a Bollywood film actress (Madhur Jaffrey, named Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival). The Merchant Ivory tenets of literate wit, heartbreak, and cultural collision all take center stage.

With Madhur Jaffrey & James Ivory in person at 6.30pm on Fri November 10

Purchase tickets online at The Quad.

French Aids drama BPM shows Hollywood how to capture gay history (Guardian)

October 21, 2017

Really looking forward to French writer-director Robin Campillo’s BPM (Beats Per Minute). From The Guardian,

The biggest breakthrough of the lot, however, might be French writer-director Robin Campillo’s BPM (Beats Per Minute), which opens in US cinemas on Friday. Outwardly, Campillo’s sprawling, impassioned reflection on the formative years of Aids activist group Act-Up Paris doesn’t appear especially subversive. Meshing fact and fiction with formal grace, conscientious historical detail and a fascination with the to and fro of human debate – it’s not hard to tell that Campillo co-wrote Laurent Cantet’s thrillingly argument-driven The Class – it’s an A-grade prestige film that has met with acceptance and acclaim. Pedro Almodóvar’s jury handed it the Grand Prix award at Cannes, while France has selected it as their entry in this year’s foreign-language Oscar race, where it’s the strong favourite to win.

What’s new, you ask? We’ve seen Aids dramas before: they’ve been winning prizes since Tom Hanks accepted an Oscar in lachrymose fashion for Philadelphia in 1994. BPM, however, has about as much in common with Philadelphia as The Danish Girl does with Hedwig and the Angry Inch: Campillo’s film isn’t just a gay film, but an explicitly, ebulliently queer one, shot through not just with righteous political anger and equal-opportunity compassion, but joyous, unabashed carnality.

Read the full article at The Guardian.

Tin Star

October 20, 2017

Amazon Prime airs the British-Canadian crime series, Tin Star featuring Tim Roth and Christina Hendricks. I love the play between the family members. The bad guys creep me out and not in a good way. Over the years I have enjoyed many inappropriate laughs from bad guys doing bad things ala Fargo. For some reason, the back and forth between good and evil in Tin Star doesn’t work for me. 2 out of 5. Yes, I stuck around for the big death. I still wasn’t convinced. Next.

Transparent: Season 4

October 1, 2017

“Sleep and I shall soothe you, calm you and anoint you…”

Who knew the Pfeffermans were as obsessed with Jesus Christ Superstar as I was when I was a little boy. And they remember the words to the songs after all these years. Even Maura’s sister! Such a magnificent and glorious television series Transparent continues to be. Is this the most loving, dysfunctional family you’ve ever met? Does yours rival them? Mine sure doesn’t. Which is probably why I love watching them tick. This season the family connects with their spiritual and social roots on a trip to Israel. Every one comes together and then proceeds to find their own corner and take some time out to contemplate life: Josh at meetings, Sarah with Len, Ali at the farm, and Maura and Shelly meditating in the midst of the chaos. The only logical family member of Maura’s who gets any back story time this season is the luminous Davina, my favorite non-Pfefferman. We dig deeper into Davina’s past to find her vulnerabilities. I love Davina even more after this season. She is the heart, soul, and calm of the show. Alexandra Billings brings nuance and wisdom to the role. Can’t say enough how much I adore Transparent. 5 out of 5 for this family ensemble.


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