Archive for the ‘International’ Category

Maggie Smith Interview with British Film Institute (YouTube)

June 27, 2017

Maggie Smith: “I led a perfectly normal life until Downton Abbey”

Nearly 16 minutes of shear bliss with British acting legend Maggie Smith at the British Film Institute. From YouTube,

Dame Maggie Smith, who plays the Dowager Countess of Grantham in ITV’s costume drama, talks to Mark Lawson about why her character should be killed off, forgetting which film she’s shooting on and why she was considered “too common” to appear in plays at school. This event, which was called Dame Maggie Smith in Conversation, was held as part of the BFI + Radio Times TV festival, which took place in April.

Watch Maggie Smith on Youtube.

Frameline 41: Genre Queer

June 14, 2017

San Francisco’s amazing LGBTQIAA yearly film festival turns 41 in 2017. This line-up is as always fantastic. Information on dates and links to Frameline’s site below. I’ve also listed the film titles I’m most interested in watching when they come to a streaming service near me:

Frameline 41: Genre Queer
San Francisco, CA
June 15-25, 2017

100 Men
After Louie
Bayard & Me
Rusalka
The Colour of His Hair
Lavender Scare
Center of My World
My Friend Dahmer

Antarctica: Ice and Sky

June 8, 2017

Watched the Luc Jaquet (March of the Penguins) documentary on the life of French glaciologist Claude Lorius, credited as the first scientist to discover evidence of climate change. The film is not a political or activist work. It is a quiet film about Lorius’ many expeditions and his findings. I felt the film could have used more editing. Still it is important to chronicle this man’s achievements. 3 out of 5.

Although the doc appears to be in French during the credits, the film is actually in English.

The Great British Baking Show Returns to PBS for a Fourth Season of Merriment in the Kitchen (PBS)

June 2, 2017

Hell yeah this summer’s going to be delicious! PBS just announced Season 4 of The British Baking Show beginning June 16. From PBS,

PBS announced today at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour that THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW will return for a fourth season on June 16, 2017, airing Friday nights at 9:00 p.m. ET (check local listings). This upcoming season is the BBC’s most recent season, which received the highest-ever viewership for the series. PBS also announced it has committed to a fifth season of the series that has previously aired on the BBC.

Read the full article on PBS.

Sense8: Season 2

May 30, 2017

Took my damn sweet time making my way through the triumphantly gorgeous insanity that is Sense 8: Season 2.

Sun Bak
Riley Blue
Wolfgang Bogdanow
Kala Dandekar
Will Gorski
Nomi Marks
Capheus “Van Damme” Onyango
Lito Rodriguez

Seoul
London
Berlin
Mumbai
Chicago
San Francisco
Nairobi
Mexico City

Eight humans in eight cities around the globe connected both mentally and emotionally. We discover more about their origin in Season 2. More about Whispers and why they are being hunted. Some episodes are violent, some are corny, all are full of love. Sense8 breaks Sci-Fi barriers leading with love… friendship, romantic, familial, no matter what color, religion, gender, or sexuality. All are equal. All are full of love. I can’t stop thinking about this beautiful series. Sense8 continues to be flawed, but that’s part of its beauty. It’s busting through convention, experimenting with many different tools to tell their story. It’s contemporary, hip, sexy as all hell, nerdy, fun, dangerous, and dark with flashes of evil. These eight characters represent the future of humanity. We need to connect with others around the planet. Share what makes us unique and bond over what makes us the same. I’m excited to continue the journey hoping Season 3 will happen in 2018. Meanwhile discover, revisit, embrace Capheus, Kala, Lito, Nomi, Riley, Sun, Will, and Wolfgang streaming on Netflix. 4 out of 5 for their brave new world.

 

 

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.


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