Posts in Film & Theatre
Towards a historical materialist theatre: Aimé Césaire’s Dramatic Works and the Representation of History

Theater in the English speaking world is not doing well. Our dramas are suffused with hock-Freudian placidity and overwhelmingly proud of their lack of any desire to look beyond the scope of a single family or relationship between individuals. Our comedies are not funny and rarely comical in their lack of humour, while our fantasies (musical or otherwise) are limited to a slightly more functional update of the world as it stands, unsurprising given how many of them function as adaptations of Disney films that functioned, even when originally released, as soporifics. If you are looking for visions of a future world better than this one, stay as far as you can from the theaters of Broadway or the West End.

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A Star Is Born: A Showcase of True Stardom

I have been counting down the days to the opening of A Star is Born, teased by the alluring trailer which so well paints the image of an enticing music-meets-love story. With the trailer flashing scenes of the talented dreamboat Bradley Cooper, fashioned like the dingy, drunken country star I always found secretly charming, and the iconic Lady Gaga flawlessly belting the earworm ‘Shallow’, I knew that this was going to be the movie to look out for. I hyped myself up for a love story full of song and fun; when I hit the theater the weekend A Star Is Born opened, I had no idea that I was headed for a nearly perfect storytelling of love, passion, sacrifice, and disease.

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Allowing for Context: A Constitution in Dialogue with the Present

Last Sunday evening at New York Theater Workshop, Heidi Schreck, playwright of What the Constitution Means to Me, walked on stage and the house lights dimmed imperceptibly. The confirmation hearing of, now, Justice Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court had taken place only one day prior. But Schreck doesn’t make us forget the outside; in fact, she keeps that door open and thanks us for being there during this time. This play only grows when the context of our reality bleeds into the room, it feeds on the here and now, unflinching from one of the more dire truths we find ourselves facing: the US Constitution is in need of attention and we must decide if we are to stand by it, or to cast it aside.

Photo by: Joan Marcus

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Crazy Rich Asians Review

Crazy Rich Asians is this summer’s movie bravado, it has the green light to end the stereotypes of Asian Americans allowing full range performances, and it has now been proven that Asian actors of color in an American produced film can turn a profit. See how Justin Lin has created a multi-cultural movie template (not just Asian) actors with great success.  Our fav figure Awkwafina, a NYC educated sassy upbeat Streetwise Rich gal  in the movie that adds a funky great comedic  point that helps relieve the tension of the filthy rich but is pretty stinkin’ rich herself as the film unravels into many musical scenes full of nostalgia and dreamy costumes for lavish hedonistic Asians to drool over, but as we covet the lifestyles of the rich  we blame the media for underrepresenting us all at the same time…how ironic we just aim  to be wannabes=  super successful =rich.

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BlacKkKlansman Review

Hate conversation and racial slurs were a small part of the tactics Colorado-based undercover detective Ron Stallworth used to infiltrate the Klu Klux Klan in the 1970’s. The true story of the African American cop is the inspiration for the comedic and shocking Spike Lee directed film Blackkklansman.

The new critically acclaimed film is one of Spike Lee’s best, contending with his 1990’s blockbuster movies (Malcolm X, Jungle Fever), pushing the limits on social issues including racism, community and police brutality.

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Gabrielle Union Lands Breakout Action Role in Thriller Breaking In

Throwing weapons and breaking glass are just a few of the things Shaun Russell does to rescue her children in the action thriller Breaking In. Gabrielle Union who plays Shaun takes on money seeking intruders using her wit and household weapons. Union, known for romantic comedy movies and the hit BET show, Being Mary Jane, takes on a new role requiring her to transition her drama techniques into physical warfare to defeat the burglars taking over her house.

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Avengers: Infinity War Brings Black Panther Back to the Big Screen with Confusing Ending

Comic book and Sci-Fi lovers get to see Marvel Comics characters unite to save the universe in the epic action movie, Avengers: Infinity War. The nail biting thriller will keep movie goers on the edge of their seats while watching amazing fight scenes and battleground action on the big screen. 

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Essays and Reviews, Film & TheatreMonica LinkMonica Link, Avengers, Comic book and Sci-Fi lovers get to see Marvel Comics characters unite to save the universe in the epic action movie, Avengers: Infinity War. The nail biting thriller will keep movie goers on the edge of their seats while watching amazing fight scenes and battleground action on the big screen. Black Panther fans get to return to Wakanda since a lot of fighting takes place there under the leadership of King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman). The beautiful landscape of the technology driven African empire plays an important role in Avengers. The supporting cast from Black Panther will also make appearances in the film. Avengers doesn’t have the glamour and smooth storyline of Black Panther, but the movie stays in its lane of being a collaborative superhero effort. Avengers actors keep a complicated storyline interesting for most of the movie. The producers chose to add a lot of characters to Avengers which is great in the end but in the early scenes of the movie it's tough to figure out the backstory of a lot of its characters. Devout Marvel comic fans will have no problem with this, but if you’re new to the comics or have only seen a few, avoid going for that popcorn refill so you don’t miss any of the story. In addition to T’Challa - who shows up slightly later in the film, Tony Stark Aka Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) have huge roles in organizing and executing the mission of the Avengers. Peter Parker aka Spiderman (Tom Holland) adds comedy and a fresh young take on the classic Marvel character. Award winning actor Don Cheadle also takes on the role of War Machine pilot James Rhodes, formerly Iron Man’s sidekick. Thanos (Josh Brolin) quickly becomes the most hated villain of all time with his tactics to dominate and acquire the infinity stones throughout the film. Avengers, with a more than two hour running time has its high and low moments. There are scenes that go too long and a few long breaks with no big action scenes. There was a lot of details and graphics packed in Avengers with its estimated $316 million budget. Costume designs stay true to its flagship characters. Judianna Makovsky, known for leading costume design for the Harry Potter and Hunger Games movies, created well crafted costumes, keeping the superheroes true to character with a modern look. The film’s music was creative with original action sequence instrumental music by Alan Silvestri. There is a lot of outrage and speculation about how the movie ends, but I won’t spoil too much. There are a lot of characters that die or disappear or die and disappear. It’s difficult to say because Marvel made Avengers very confusing at the end. The theater was quiet when the movie ended. There’s not much to say when you can’t figure out if your favorite characters have been killed. There is no doubt that Marvel will need to fix the end of Avengers: Infinity War by making a sequel to explain what happened and how the comic book franchise will move on from it. There is much debate online and tons of conspiracy theories, but the fact remains is that Avengers is worth seeing at the very least to chime in on the conversation and figure out the next chapter for the many superheroes in the film. Text REMOVE TAGS Monica LinkAvengers CATEGORIES Essays and ReviewsFilm & Theatre Comments Off No comments allowed, Steve Cannon, A Gathering of the Tribes, Film Reviews
Byron Allen Produced “Chappaquiddick” Breathes New Life Into Kennedy Scandal

          There are scenes that speak to Sen. Kennedy’s inadequacies from being the brother of a former President and a popular politician. Sen. Kennedy also had a strained relationship with his father.

The reenactment of the car being pulled the car out of the river and the reaction of the diver and the town sheriff show the shock of the town and how political power and selfishness can collide with society. 

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Millennial on Millennium Approaches and Peroistrika

          For many theatergoers this season’s revival of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America: Millennium Approaches and Pareoistrika, now playing in repertory in a limited engagement at the Neil Simon Theatre, can seem like a veritable theatrical marathon. The two shows, which run for a total of 7.5 hours and can be seen in either one full day or split between two, takes about as much time as it does to fly to Europe or binge-watch an entire mini-series.

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Nijinsky

 The National Ballet of Canadian performance of John Neumeier’s Nijinsky opened last Tuesday April 3 for its short run at the S.F. Opera House, through Sunday April 8, at 2:00, and it’s not to be missed. While I love ballet, I don’t go that often. Yet I followed my intuition and bought balcony tickets for the premiere and I have never been so grateful for my 6th sense as I stood with the crowd calling bravo as the curtains billowed and the dancers made their final bows. 

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An End to Repetitions: the violence of the breaking of the ice Review of The Death of Stalin

The Death of Stalin, the tremendous new film directed by Armando Iannucci and based on the comic book of the same title by Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin, begins in Moscow with a performance of a Mozart piano concerto, performed superbly by the pianist Maria Veniaminovna Yudina (Olga Kurylenko), conducted by Spartak Sokolov (Justin Edwards) and transmitted through the radio by two highly
competent sound engineers (Paddy Considine and Tom Brooke).

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Black Panther is Not An American Hero

Ryan Coogler and Michael B Jordan are the only men in film who are making movies about and for black boys. Their latest installment in this campaign, Black Panther, is a psychedelic adventure tragedy.

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Marvel Comics 'Black Panther' Draws Audiences with African Royal Storyline, Tops $700 Million Worldwide in Second Week

African superhero Black Panther brings movie magic into reality with sold out theaters and record-breaking box office sales around the globe.

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Zedd to Gentrifiers: Drop Dead

That was a nice time to come. In the mid-70s it was quiet and it was very cheap to live. And there was no hype. But I found it very depressing. Then later everything started moving. I think cheap apartments are an essential element in the creation of a counterculture. I think so And landlordism is an enemy of art. It's an enemy of civilization, really.

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