Monday, October 31, 2016

November 2016| most anticipated movies

November 3, 

Name: Doctor Strange 
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, 
Time: 115 min 
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy   
      A former neurosurgeon embarks on a journey of healing only to be drawn into the world of the mystic arts. Talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange after a tragic car accident must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City Doctor Strange must act as a mediator between the real world and what lies beyond.
      Sound very exciting and besides it is Cumberbatch, we are talking here about. 

November 10

Name: Arrival 
Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner 
Time: 116 min 
Genres: Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi    
      When mysterious spacecraft touch down across the globe, an elite team - led by expert linguist Louise Banks - are brought together to investigate. As mankind is on the edge of global war, Banks and the team competes against time for answers, what can save the world or destroy it.    
      What can I tell, I am definitely going to this movie as Amy Adams together with Emily Blunt are my most favorite actresses of today. 

Name: Shut In 
Cast: Naomi Watts, Oliver Platt 
Country: France | Canada | USA  
Genres: Drama, Thriller 
     A heart-pounding thriller about a widowed child psychologist who lives in an isolated existence in rural New England. Caught in a deadly winter storm, she must find a way to rescue a young boy before he disappears forever. 
       I actually quite like the synopsis and would love to see the movie, however it is not going to be shown in CZ theaters, so I need to wait till it will be available on DVD. 

November  17, 

Name: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 
Cast: Eddie Redmayne, Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell 
Time: 132 min 
Genres: Adventure, Family, Fantasy 
         The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York's secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school. 
       The password "Harry Potter" is accepted. The premiere date is recorded, the movie going is programmed. What can be more exciting than a story about wizards? The project promises to be a huge one as this is going to be only first part out of (I guess) 5 movies. 

Name: Manchester by the Sea 
Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler 
Time: 135 min 
Genres: Drama  
        A dramatic story about an uncle, who is forced to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy's father dies. To do so he had to return to the place of his youth and this does not bring him pleasure for the secrets that might be discovered. 
      I saw the trailer and I liked the way the nature is shot. I guess it should be a beautiful storytelling and a lot question raised between adults and youth. Unfortunately, again, this movie will not be shown in CZ. 

Name: Nocturnal Animals 
Cast: Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon 
Time: 117 min 
Genres: Drama, Thriller      
      A "story inside a story," in which the first part follows a woman named Susan who receives a book manuscript from her ex-husband, a man whom she left 20 years earlier, asking for her opinion. The second element follows the actual manuscript, called "Nocturnal Animals," which revolves around a man whose family vacation turns violent and deadly. It also continues to follow the story of Susan, who finds herself recalling her first marriage and confronting some dark truths about herself. 
        Again the synopsis and trailer are great, again Amy Adams (2 premieres in a month!). It promises to be a great psychological story.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Theather: The Deep Blue Sea

Autour: Terence Rattigan
Original title: The Deep Blue Sea
Director: Carrie Cracknell
Genres: Drama
Cast: Hellen McCrory (Hester Collyer), Tom Burke (Freddie Page), Nick Fletcher (Mr. Miller)
Time: 120 min
Premiere: 8.06.2016, Lyttelton Theater: National Theater, London 

1952, East London. The play starts when Hester Collyer is found by her neighbours after a failed attempt to commit suicide by gassing herself. Little by little details of her prior life with a husband William Collyer, whom she left for a former RAF pilot Freddie Page start to surface. Their relationship was quite passionate and physical, but quickly come to the point of desperation and dissatisfaction. The aftershock of her suicide attempt ruins the remains of this relationship. By the end of the day Hester is left alone with the question: to live or not to live? She chooses to live, but not without the help of an ex-doctor, another resident of the tenement house, Mr. Miller.

About the author:
Ragtigan was born in 1911. He left university in 1934 to dedicate his time to playwriting.  He was one of England's most popular mid-twentieth century dramatists. His plays are typically set in an upper-middle-class background. He is known for such works as The Winslow Boy (1946), The Browning Version (1948), The Deep Blue Sea (1952) and Separate Tables (1954) and many others.  The plays whiten during WW2 turned him into a celebrity. After the war his plays started to bear more autobiographic character.

About the play:
Quite interesting is how the play was conceived. Rattigan was gay with numerous lovers, but no long-term partners. In 1939 he met an actor Keneth Morgan with whom he had a relationship. He swamped Keneth his lover with gifts, emotions and money. Morgan however hardly tolerated Rattigan's dominance and in 1949 left dramatist and moved in with another man Alec Ross. Rattigan was expecting that his lover would return to him and comfort he provided. However, in April 1949 Morgan died by gas self-intoxication after a quarrel with his new friend.
This tragedy brought the idea of a new play, which starts with the scene of a body lying in from of the gas fireplace. The next 3 years he worked on it. In the first version of "The Deep Blue Sea" the story of the unhappy relation between the two men took place, but in the 50s, when homosexuality was taken as "social and moral problem similar to heroin addiction", this kind of play would never be staged. The picture of the unhappy woman living with a lover was much more attractive. Now Hester is considered one of the most important theater female figures, which proves the timelessness of Rattigan's plays, in which he describes deep feelings about the unbalanced relationship.

About the cast:
Helen McCrory. This is the second time I saw Helen on the stage, and again she performed in a play directed by Carrie Cracknell, and again she had deeply disturbed and unhappy character person. But what a performance! She is so talented that she can show the transformation from quiet happiness to aggressive insanity in seconds. Her face is so vivid and emotional expressions are so meticulously elaborated that you can see she is in a different league from everyone else on stage.

Unequal love: Hester falls in love with Freddie Page. For this passionate obsession she leaves her successful husband, friends and environment she used to and finds herself in need, humiliation and long-termed depression. Freddie is not the type of a man, who can answer her passion and this understanding drains her strength pushing her to a suicide. Freddie is also not the villain here, he is trying to give as much as he can, but he just does not feel that kind of love towards Hester.
Broken lives: We find here 3 victims of the society in the 50s. First is eventually Hester, who is “living in sin” with her lover, and who left her prosperous husband for a shameful connection. The only way for her to regain her place in the society is to return to her husband apologetically and be forgiven.
Another victim is Freddie, a former RAF pilot, who cannot find his place in the world after the war. He is too old for flying and besides, he drinks a lot, there is no other occupation for him; he lost his path and cannot adjust to the contemporary life.
And the final victim is the sad, shambling figure of Mr. Miller. He is a tenant and former doctor who has been sent to prison for unknown to us crime. Mr. Miller assists Hester during her first attempt and prevents the second by talking her out of it with such desperation, sadness and unhappiness in his voice that even without knowing exactly why he was sent to jail the auditorium can feel that a lot of wrong has been done to this character.

Final thoughts:
Without doubts Terence Rattigan managed to capture the depth of despair in what we found the main character Hester. Together with a brilliant performance of Helen McCrory and director Carrie Cracknell this play shows the complexity of unbalanced relationship, the dependence of a woman on a toxic love without being able to get anything from it. Sure, the character is a victim of her own decisions, but either small or big decisions can change our lives so drastically, that a person will be only one step away from falling into the deep blue sea.

Monday, October 24, 2016

August and September 2016 Wrap Up

In August I read not so much due to the holiday and traveling. In September I read even less as the work pressure influence greatly the reading mood.

Read books August:
read: 5 / listen: 1 / pages: 359 /hours listened: 14h05m
1. Marissa Meyer "The Little Android" p. 35
2. Marissa Meyer "Glitches" p.32
3.Marissa Meyer "The Queen's Army" p.18
Cannot consider those even books. These are short stories that I read in connection to the Marissa Meyer's "The Luna Chronicles"
4. Jo Nesbø "The Devil's Star", 14h05m
5. Hanns Heinz Ewers "The student of Prague" p.18
This short story I have chosen as part of Popsugar Reading Challenge 2016: "the book set in your home state"
6. R.L.Stevenson "Kidnapped" p.256

Read books September:
read: 1 / listen: 0 / pages: 219
R.L.Stevenson "Catriona" p.219

Movie watched August:
1.Jason Bourne (2016)
2.The Dressmaker (2015)

Movie watched September:
1. Bridget Jones's Baby (2016)
2.The Night Of (2016) (TV Mini-Series)

Theater visited:
1.One Flat Thing, Reproduced/Lux Tenebris by Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company (29.09.2016 - Dresden) - review

Sport events watched:
1.World Cup of Hockey 2016 (Canada - 17-29.09.2016)

Friday, October 21, 2016

Theather: Dance Show in Hellerau
Title: One Flat Thing, Reproduced
Choreograph: William Forsythe
Music: Thom Willems
Costumes:  Stephen Gallowat
Premiere: 2.02.2000, Frankfurt Ballet, Bockenheimer Deport, 
Frankfurt on the Main
     Title: Lux Tenebris                            
   Choreograph: Rafeal Bonachela        
Music: Nick Wales                            

Costumes: Aleisa Jelbart                  
                         Premiere: 26.02.2016, Sydney Dance Company,
                   Roslyn Packer Therather Walsh Bay, Sydney

        I am not a big fan of contemporary art, especially in theater. It does not mean that I am totally orthodox about new ideas, not at all. I am open to all kinds of experiments, but sometimes the performance just leaves me unmoved. Which does not mean it did not affect me; it does leave me in either positive or rather puzzled mood. Let's take ballet as an example. The change in setting and the dance routine is more than welcome as soon as the story continues to be logical and consistent. Put Romeo and Juliet in Americas 40s gangster years, why not? Retell the Snow White story by putting dancers in modern clothes and let them dance street dance – can be challenging, but still good as soon as the story line is impacted.

     But what to do with contemporary dance which does not have story line? It does have an idea which is sometimes difficult to grasp. Difficult to stay focused on any idea when a bunch of naked dances with epileptic abrupt movements change their position on stage with a one-note musical accompaniment.

         Similar happened to me again this September. My friend invited me to a dance show in Dresden. She told me this is a good opportunity not only enjoy the show, but to see the historical building Hellerau which used to be the center of contemporary expressive dance in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century.
The central building in Hellerau
So for a ridiculous sum of money the bus picked us up in the Prague center and brought us to the Hellerau quarter. We had a brief tour about the history of the "garden city". The lady-guide concentrated a great deal on the communist past of the building, when it was used as barracks for the soviet army on the Western front were left untouched on the walls of the Festspielhaus (building with the main stage). To many it can seem too ugly and out of place, but my impression was quite agreeable. It seems like a colour splash on boring white walls with historical message: a piece of conceptual art within modern and contemporaneity environment.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Quote of the day #1

Catriona by R.L. Stevenson
Alan Breck Stewart to David Balfour:

Statue of Alan Stewart and David Balfour in Edinburgh

"Them that cannae tell the truth," he observed to myself as we went on again, "should be aye mindful to leave an honest, handy lee behind them. If folk dinnae ken what ye're doing, Davie, they're terrible taken up with it; but if they think they ken, they care nae mair for it than what I do for pease porridge". 

      That is funny truth in the statement from Stevenson's book. How many times I was compelled not to tell truth about myself. There was nothing sinister in my motives. It might be variety of reasons: I really dislike the person, I was introduced to; I really do not trust the person anymore and do not want to share anything with them; or I am just terribly tired of the small talk with unfamiliar people. You know how it is: What is your name? Where are you from? Why did you come here? Are you single? What do you do? And so on and so forth for one thousand times. I get sick and bored of those talks sometimes.  
      Naturally, this is part of communication culture and how you get to know a new person without asking and answering? But in most of the cases this questionnaire just remains small talk, the one you have been through millions of times. So sometimes I wonder if I add something peculiar and unexpected about my live story, how it will turn out: will it come back to me one day in the form of a stupid gossip or will the person be satisfied with the answer and settled with what he thinks my character is, as it is suggested by Stevenson.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Leo's Oscar

Name: The Revenant
Year: 2015
Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki
Time: 156 мин. / 02:36

Author:  Michael Punke
Original title: The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Western 
Edition Language: English
Pages: 272 


         Фильм, за который Лео наконец-то получил Оскара, просто необходимо было видеть. Первое, что я поняла о фильме, что его нельзя смотреть в кинотеатре. Напряжение захватывает с первой минуты и не отпускает до конца. Этот фильм надо прочувствовать, прожить, и думаю, жующий попкорн сосед, не очень вписывается в картину заснежённой Америки 1823 года.
Кинодрама завораживает с первых минут, и отнюдь не волосатостью и мужественностью Лео и не грубостью и наглостью Тома Харди, а операторской работой. Кадры природы потрясают своей красотой и простотой. Простые снежинки, падающие на кучу усталых мужиков; качание могучих сосен; стебли прошлогодней травы, торчащие сквозь снег – все это складывается как части пазла в общую картину жёсткой борьбы за выживание. Эти карды наполнены мировым спокойствием и грандиозностью ещё ярче оттеняют тщетность и мелочность жизни человека, маленькой щепке в бушующей реке. Не удивительно, что Эммануэль Любецки получил Оскара за свою работу
         Так, а что же Лео..?
         Хью Гласс, опытный следопыт и охотник, подвергается нападению медведицы. Его истерзанное тело, заштопанное на скорую руку, не так легко нести в форт под постоянной угрозой нападения индейцев. Гласса оставляют под присмотром его сына Хока, молодого парнишки Бриджера, и опытного Фитцдеральда. Последний, позарившись на лёгкий гонорар, не хочет ждать естественной смерти Гласса и пытается удушить его. Хок, помешавший этой попытке, убит героем Тома Харди. С этого момента начинается противостояние двух героев, которое решится только в последних 10 минутах фильма при личной встречи, первой с этого драматического момента. Фитцджеральд бросает Гласса в лесу без пропитания и оружия и хитростью уводит Бриджера. Далее идёт ожесточённая борьба Гласса с самим собой и воспоминаниями о былой жизни, с болью и ранами, с природой и голодом, с французами и индейцами. Как ни печально, но конец драмы был предсказуем: зло отомщено, миссия, заставляющая тело и разум бороться, выполнена.
           Как бы не был прост сюжет, не столь просто его восприятие. Как бы не были мерзки и корыстны поступку Фитцджеральда, как бы не было жестоко убийство Хока, суровость условий и природы ставит его с Лео одну ступень. У обоих цель выжить, но идут они к ней разными путями. Определённую симпатию также вызывают его некоторые жизненные суждения и поступки, он придерживается своего кодекса морали.
Необычайный протест у меня вызвало убийство капитана Генри (его играет Донал Глисон). Этот герой с мягким и нежным лицом и сильным характером необычно симпатичен. Он крепко держит своих людей в узде, но глубоко переживает потерю каждого человека. Чёткость его действий и стойкость его суждений – это оазис здравого смысла и порядочности в море крови, вражды и убийств. Этот герой должен был жить, но увы без его смерти Гласс не добрался бы до Фитцджеральда для финальной схватки, а Лео до своего Оскара.

Сюжет книги отличается от фильма некоторыми событиями. Во-первых, сына у Гласса нет, меньше драматизма, но так же сильна жажда мщения. Месть должна покарать обоих Бриджера и Фитцджеральда, никаких исключений. Во-вторых, в книге Гласс встречает больше сочувствия и получает больше помощи. В книге нет никаких лирических объяснений жестокости индейцев (в фильме вождь ищет свою дочь, похищенную бледнолицыми и вырезает всех подряд), видимо сложно передать на экране запутанность отношений белых и краснокожих. И на послед, в книге Гласс так никого и не убил, Бриджера он конечно отколотил как следует, но простил. С Фитцджеральдом вышло все немного хаотично: Гласс настиг его в форту недалеко от Сент-Луиса. К тому времени Фитцджеральд успел проиграться и ему пришлось пойти в регулярную армию. Обвинение Гласса было рассмотрено на суде, где Фитцджеральд свалил всю вину на Бриджеса, выставив себя добрым самаритянином. У Гласса не выдержали нервы, он понял, что Фитцджеральду верят, и достав пистолет выстрелил в негодяя. Все обошлось ранением в плечо Фитцджеральда, и двухнедельной гауптвахтой для Гласса.

           A movie for which Leo finally got Oscar was a must see for me. The first I realized about the movie is that is that you cannot see it in a movie theater. The movie grasps from the first scene and does not let it go till the end. This movie should be lived through and I guess the neighbor chewing popcorn is not fitting the picture of snowy America in 1823.
          Thee drama bewitches from first seconds, but not by the hairy and masculinity of Leo and audacity of Tom Hardy, but by the cameraman's work. Nature shots stagger the imagination by its beauty and simplicity. Plain snowflakes falling down on a bunch of tired men; swinging of great pines; stalks of last years' grass sticking out of snow veil - all this coming together as puzzle pieces and reveal the cruel battle for survival. These shots are full of peaceful calmness and grandness what emphasize the futility and pettiness of human live even brighter. It is not a surprise that Emmanuel Lubezki got Oscar for his work.
         And what about Leo..?
         Hugh Glass, an experienced trapper and frontiersman, is attached by a huge grizzly bear. His mauled body, sewed up in haste is not easy to carry under constant threat of Indian attack. Glass is left under supervision of his son Hawk, young trapper Bridger and skillful John Fitzgerald. The latter, lured by easy money, does not want to wait till Glass dies and tries to "help" him with that. Hawk, who intervened this "helping" is killed by Tom Hardy's character. From this moment begins the struggle between 2 main characters, which will be resolved only in the last 10 minutes of the movie in their first meeting after the killing of Hawk. Fitzgerald is leaving Glass in the forest without food and weapon and makes Bridger go with him as well. Then follows the struggle of Glass with himself and recollection of live he had, with pain and wounds, with nature and hunger, with French and Indians. It is sad but the movie's conclusion was crystal clear: the evil would be revenged; mission that drives the body and mind to fight would be completed.
        As simple the plot might seem, not so easy its perception. No matter how filthy and selfish  Fitzgerald's deeds are, no matter how cruel the Hawk's murder was, the nature' s severity puts him on the same level with Leo. Both have the primary target - to survive, but their journeys are different. Certain degree of sympathy is also gained by Fitzgerald's rational judgments and actions, he has his own code of behavior and he sticks to it. The biggest outcry for me was the killing of Captain Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson). This character with soft face and strong spirit is absolutely adorable. He keeps a tight rein on his men but deeply suffers the death of each of them. Precision of his actions and firmness of his judgments is the oasis of common sense in the ocean of blood, hatred and killings. This character could have lived but, alas, without his death Glass would not face Fitzgerald for final combat and Leo would not get his Oscar.

The book naturally differs from movie. Firstly, Glass does not have a son: less drama, but the thirst for revenge is still strong. Revenge must do justice on both Bridger and Fitzgerald without an exception. Secondly, in a book Glass faces more compassion and gets more help. There are no lyrical excuses explaining savagery of Indians (in the movie a chief is searching for his kidnapped daughter and slaughters every white man on his way). I guess it is difficult to picture in a movie complicated relationships between white and native people.
Finally, in a book Glass does not kill anyone. Of course he gives Bridger a good beating, but late forgives him. With Fitzgerald it turns out a bit chaotic: Glass finally catches up with him close to Sent-Louise fort; by that time Fitzgerald gambled away a lot of money and has to join to regular army. Glass’s accusation was taken to court where Fitzgerald dumps the fault on Bridger and show off himself as Good Samaritan. Glass loose his nerve in a court and tries to kill the rascal, but only wounds him. Everything ends with Fitzgerald’s shoulder wound and Glass’s two weeks military custody.