October 8th, 2010
Ridley Scott and a Philip K Dick adaptation: sounds promising…
Blade Runner director Ridley Scott is returning to the work of the late Philip K Dick to executive produce a BBC TV adaptation of one of the American sci-fi writer's novels.
Howard Brenton, the playwright and Spooks writer, is adapting Dick's Hugo award-winning dystopian novel The Man in the High Castle into a four-part BBC1 mini-series.
Make that two things I learned from one short article: I had no idea that Howard 'The Romans in Britain' Brenton had written for Spooks.
[Via The Medium is Not Enough]
January 30th, 2010
Something to catch up with on the BBC iPlayer. Between the Ears: The Chekhov Challenge – The Sound of a Breaking String:
One of the most enigmatic stage directions in all drama appears in Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard: 'A distant sound is heard. It appears to come from the sky and is the sound of a breaking string. It dies away sadly.' Between the Ears focuses on the many attempts to produce this sound, ranging from musical saws to gun-shots. Guests include Paul Arditti, who mixed industrial, musical and bird sounds for the production by Sam Mendes, and musician Leafcutter John, who accepts Radio 3's own Chekhov Challenge, recording his experiments to find a resonant breaking string sound for the 21st century.
[Via TV Today]
October 25th, 2009
From a John Cleese interview at The Onion's A.V. Club, intriguing news about a musical adaptation of A Fish Called Wanda:
AVC: Can you say any more about the musical?
JC: Yes, well, they suggested a musical of Wanda to me some time ago, and I was completely unenthusiastic, and then ever so slowly, the idea grew on me. Because it's a chance to work with Camilla, and we enjoy each other a great deal. She's very funny. She's also very, very rude, but very, very funny with it. God, she's rude. [Laughs.] Mainly about my age. So we have a lot of fun working together, and she's very original and creative, so that's fun. And I brought in this guy, Bill Bailey – I don't think he's very well-known in America, is he yet?
Is it just me, or is the idea of getting Bill Bailey in to work on the musical a masterstroke?
February 8th, 2009
September 2nd, 2008
The New Yorker profiles Alec Baldwin:
"Forever Lulu," Baldwin's first film, in 1987, was bad. But within a couple of years he had played six memorable supporting roles in six better-than-average movies – "She's Having a Baby," "Beetlejuice," "Married to the Mob," "Working Girl," "Talk Radio," and "Great Balls of Fire!" – with some beguiling note of severity, even cruelty, in each. Baldwin had a precise, self-contained style: his performances suggested that although he might accept an audience's attention, he cared little for its approval. Even in "Beetlejuice," some inner killjoy seemed to pull against the innocent, newlywed scampering required of Baldwin's character. This was the last time a director asked Baldwin to play a blameless square – a Darrin Stephens – and one can survey Baldwin's twenty-odd-year film career without finding a fully persuasive rendering of happiness. One has to be satisfied with flared nostrils and a dangerous flash of teeth.
April 20th, 2008
Pure genius: Point Break Live!
Point Break LIVE! is the absurdist stage adaptation of the 1992 Keanu Reeves/Patrick Swayze extreme-sports blockbuster that tells the story of former College football star, Johnny Utah, in pursuit of the surfing, bank robbing, skydiving, bare-hand-fighting adrenaline-junkie-cum-Zen-master Bodhi Sattva.
The starring role of Johnny Utah is selected from the audience each night, and reads their entire script off of cue-cards. This method manages to capture the rawness of a Keanu Reeves performance even from those who generally think themselves incapable of acting. The fun starts immediately with the "screen test" wherein the volunteer Keanus (usually 5-15 men and women vie for the role) go through a grueling audition process. The part is then cast via applaus-o-meter.