Archive for the ‘International’ Category

Deep Water

May 23, 2017

Australia’s 4-part mini series Deep Water based on the “real life hate murders of… up to 80 gay men in Sydney’s eastern suburbs (Bondi) beaches in the 1970s and ’80s” (Wikipedia)  might be a hard sell if the quality of production wasn’t so thoughtful. There was a documentary produced in addition to the mini-series. Starring Yael Stone (Orange is the New Black) and Noah Taylor as the detectives who link a gruesome reality of homophobic hate crimes and murders that continued through the present. The current killings are linked to the past as Stone’s Tori Lustigman uncovers a vast ritual of gay bashings dating back 30-40 years ago. Tori’s interest in the case goes from professional to personal jeopardizing the investigation at several key points. Deep Water creates a quiet, steady police procedural eschewing theatrics for methodical detective work which pays off in the end and makes the series easy to watch. Actor Jeremy Lindsay Taylor gives good eye candy as Tori’s friend Oscar who we find deeply connected to the past and puts himself into jeopardy to find answers. No denying the subject matter is difficult. The production respectfully honors the story with a steady, kind heart. 4 out of 5.

I watched Deep Water on DVD from the library. Netflix has it on DVD as well and it’s available streaming through Acorn TV.

King Charles III

May 20, 2017

I got so wrapped up in this weekend’s activities, I forgot to review the British production King Charles III (I keep trying to type Charlie III). Based on the play by the same name, King Charles III imagines the future king and all he would inherit. Tim Pigott-Smith plays Charles to perfection reprising his Olivier and Tony nominated role from the West End and Broadway. Unfortunately, Pigott-Smith died in April 2017. I loved the concept of imaging Charles reigning stronger than his quiet demeanor implies. I loved seeing his children act out of character as well. Who knows what is in store for the monarchy when Elizabeth passes. Written in blank verse, King Charles III has a decidedly Shakespearean quality to it. This is a well done production worthy of you time – especially if you are fascinated with royalty or anything British. 4 out of 5.

‘Top of the Lake: China Girl’ Trailer: Elisabeth Moss and Nicole Kidman Protect Their Own in Jane Campion’s Sequel (Indiewire)

May 12, 2017

Oooh, Top of the Lake is coming back with a Season 2! This time Elizabeth Moss stars with Nicole Kidman. I can’t wait for this one! From Indiewire,

It’s been four years since we last saw Elisabeth Moss’ Detective Robin Griffin, and it looks like quite a bit has changed. New faces and a new case dominate the first trailer for “Top of the Lake: China Girl,” Jane Campion’s follow-up to the critically acclaimed limited series.

Moss returns as Griffin, a mother still reeling from giving up her daughter at birth, and in a disconcerting twist, Nicole Kidman plays Mary’s adoptive mother.

“Top of the Lake: China Girl” premieres in September on SundanceTV. Episodes will be made available via Hulu the day after they air.

Read Reel Charlie’s review of Top of the Lake: Season 1
Read the full article on Indiewire
.

Bonne Chance France

May 4, 2017

The French presidential election is this weekend. Here’s hoping our French sœurs et frères (sisters and brothers) don’t make the same mistake England and the United States did with Brexit and the U.S. election. Go Macron!

Emmanuel Macron chose to pose shirtless on the front cover of gay French publication Garcon Magazine in order to counteract Marie le Pen’s rumors that Macron is closeted and his marriage is a sham.

Over the years, Reel Charlie’s reviewed a number of outstanding French films:

La Bûche (The Yule Log)
Avant que j’oublie (Before I Forget)
Juste une question d’amour (Just a Question of Love)
Ricky
Un Prophete (A Prophet)
L’Heure d’été (Summer Hours)
L’Homme du Train (Man on the Train)
Entre Les Murs (The Class)
Johan
Drôle de Félix (Adventures of Felix)
L’inconnu du lac (Stranger by the Lake)
Et si on vivait tous ensemble? (All Together)
Amour
Incendies
The Artist
Les Revenants (The Returned): Season 1
Paris 05:59: Théo & Hugo
Un conte de Noël (A Christmas Tale)

 

Gosford Park screens at Metrograph (NYC)

May 3, 2017

Metro NYC peeps: Robert Altman, Bob Balaban, and Julian Fellowes’ sumptuous pre-Downton Abbey class drama, Gosford Park appears on the big screen next week at Metrograph in NYC. Catch it if you can. Bob Balaban’s going to be there in person for Q&A. From Metrograph,

Gosford Park
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
1:15pm4:15pm7:00pm

2001 / 131min

DIRECTOR: ROBERT ALTMAN

CAST: BOB BALABAN, MAGGIE SMITH, MICHAEL GAMBON, KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS, CAMILLA RUTHERFORD, CHARLES DANCE, GERALDINE SOMERVILLE, RYAN PHILLIPPE

Introduction and Q&A with Bob Balaban

Robert Altman’s classic whodunit set over a shooting weekend at an English country estate in 1932 features a peerless ensemble cast portraying the upstairs-downstairs array of guests and servants, fusing the spirits of Agatha Christie and Jean Renoir in this arthouse hit. Bob Balaban, who created and produced the movie, plays a holidaying American film producer and joins Metrograph for this one-night-only screening to discuss the film’s production. The screenplay comes courtesy Julian Fellowes, who would continue to dissect the English class system in Downton Abbey.

Contact Metrograph for tickets.
Read Reel Charlie’s review of the triumphant Gosford Park
. It’s been nearly three years since I’ve last seen it.

Sense8: Season 2 (trailer)

May 1, 2017

Are you ready? Four days until Netflix drops the entire second season of Sense8 – the global suspense mystery intersecting race, class, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. Eight people from all over this beautiful planet awaken to their supernatural connection. Catch up with Season 1. Or if you’re ready, watch the Season 2 trailer of the only show ever created which combines car chases, tender love, spectacular worldwide locations, mysterious supernatural powers, and psychic orgies. Bring it Wachowskis!

Watch Sense8‘s Season 2 trailer on YouTube.

From my Season 1 review: Sense8 (films)… on four continents spanning Chicago, San Francisco, London, Iceland, Seoul, Mumbai, Berlin, Mexico City and Nairobi.

‘Maurice’ returns to the big screen 30 years later (LA Blade)

April 29, 2017

My favorite film of all-time, Maurice returns to theaters after 30 years. From the Los Angeles Blade,

It’s been 30 years since “Maurice,” the Merchant-Ivory adaptation of E.M. Forster’s posthumously published novel of gay love, made its theatrical debut.

A lot has happened across that time span, not the least of it being the rapid gains LGBT rights have made, climaxed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s approval of same-sex marriage. Two entire generations of gay men suffered the ravages of a deadly AIDS epidemic. In that context, it is striking to see the film again, given all we have achieved since its release.

On the screen many gay love stories have come in “Maurice’s” wake, the most famous being the closeted sheepherder saga “Brokeback Mountain” (2005). But that was a gay love story with an unhappy ending. Those with happy ones like “Maurice” include “Beautiful Thing” (1996), a tale of gay lower middle-class British teenagers, and “Weekend” (2011), about an adult pair of British bohemians. But none have quite the special charge of “Maurice,” stemming from its lush setting and aristocratic-commoner breeding.

E.M. Forster (1879-1970) has long been acknowledged as one of Great Britain’s greatest writers. But he was largely the subject of academic study until the 1980s, when film adaptations of his work made him popular.

Cohen Media Group has re-mastered 30 films by the legendary Merchant Ivory Productions, including Maurice, which is set for release in select theaters this month.

Read the full article at Los Angeles Blade.
Read Reel Charlie’s review of Maurice.

I’m not thrilled with the new 4K poster. It should have James Wilby front and center with Rupert Graves next to him and Hugh Grant fuzzed out in the background. Hopefully the Blu-ray will have better cover art.

Prisoners of War: Season 1

April 22, 2017

Watched the first few episodes of the excellent Israeli series, Prisoners of War which Homeland is based on. Prisoners of War was a completely different show. First there’s no Carrie Mathison character. Second the action takes place inside the minds of the characters. The stories revolve around two former Israeli POWs reliving the horrors of their torture and their families readjusting to their appearance after 17 years in captivity. A fairly simple series with excellent writing and many profound moments. I stopped watching because the flashback torture sequences were too much for me to stomach. Definitely worth investing time into even with the violence. 4 out of 5.

Spies of Warsaw

April 20, 2017

Tried watching the David Tennant 2013 mini-series, Spies of Warsaw based on the 2008 novel by Alan Furst. Didn’t even make it through the first episode. Watched 35 minutes of it. Another show that felt like a soap opera to me. Not so much in the drama of it, but the construction. I have to say I continue to feel relief these days when I can put something to the side. So much on my to-watch list it gets overwhelming and pisses off my Kindle. Spies of Warsaw frustrated me given Tennant’s usual star power. 2 out of 5. Next.

The Weissensee Saga: Season 1, Ep. 1

April 18, 2017

I read a great review of Germany’s The Weissensee Saga television series based on the final years of  East Berlin in the 1980s. I expected higher quality production values and writing from the series. Instead the first episode felt like a soap opera which is not what I was in the mood for. Too bad. Great premise. Oh well, onto the next possibility. I do love the fact we are getting access to a world of television. The Weissensee Saga came to me on DVD. 2 out of 5. Next.


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