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Everything posted by miliosr

  1. Rizzoli has released a new book devoted to legendary M-G-M costume designer Adrian: https://www.amazon.com/Adrian-Lifetime-Movie-Glamour-Fashion/dp/0847860116/ref=sr_1_1?crid=JTS6KCJ2SAMU&keywords=adrian+hollywood+designer&qid=1573344653&s=books&sprefix=adrian+hollywood%2Caps%2C187&sr=1-1 This is the third book devoted to Adrian in the last 20 years. Lyons Press has also released a monograph anout legendary M-G-M art director Cedric Gibbons: https://www.amazon.com/MGM-Style-Cedric-Gibbons-Hollywood/dp/1493038575/ref=sr_1_1?crid=HINORJ1YJ948&keywords=cedric+gibbons&qid=1573344927&s=books&sprefix=cedric+%2Caps%2C171&sr=1-1
  2. Victor Ullate has announced that the company he founded 31 years ago is to close as it was no longer viable to continue. Ullate has been quoted as saying that despite alleged funding of one million euros from the Government of the Community of Madrid, he no longer has sufficient funds to pay for hotels when the company is on tour, or even food for his 25 professional dancers. Source: Dance Europe
  3. For the first round of each classification, there's an imposed variation. In the second round of each classification, each competitor gets to choose their own free variation.
  4. Fun fact: Nikolaus Tudorin, Thomas Docquir and Pablo Legasa all danced the Dancer in Brown's first variation from Dances at a Gathering, And they were all promoted! Otherwise, the results weren't terribly surprising in the men's competition. Simon Le Borgne was the lead in Alexander Ekman's Play and Thomas Docquir was highly cast in the company's most recent revival of Swan Lake. So the competition results just caught up to events.
  5. Antonio Conforti and Nikolaus Tudorin promoted to coryphees Florent Mélac, Simon Le Borgne and Thomas Docquir promoted to sujets
  6. From the competition program: The women's field: https://www.facebook.com/dansomanie/photos/a.383575178480097/1293924747445131/?type=3&theater The men's field: https://www.facebook.com/dansomanie/photos/a.383575178480097/1293925034111769/?type=3&theater By my count, there are 32 women competing and only 24 men. Is the competition less of a "thing" for the men than the women? (Only 5 men competing in the sujet-to premiere danseur classification. Did all the male sujets over 30 just say: "To Hell with it"?)
  7. The annual competition for promotion is this week. Hopefully, some of our French correspondents will report! Here are the number of positions in play: 1 - première danseuse/3 - sujets (f)/3 - coryphees (f) 2 - premiere danseurs/3 - sujets (m)/2 - coryphées (m)
  8. What made Dark Shadows a pop culture sensation -- it's teenage and early twentysomething audience -- is also what killed it (haha - pun intended!). dirac is exactly right that the audience Dark Shadows had wasn't the audience advertisers were trying to reach. Advertisers of that era were trying to reach women who were at home during the daytime and were making the purchasing decisions for the home. (This was long before the all-important demos encompassing ages 16-24 had come into being.) The irony of it is that a show which had the kind of audience Dark Shadows had 50 years ago would run forever today. Dark Shadows was very fortunate because producer Dan Curtis saw the value in maintaining the masters. It's possible to watch the entire run of the show, which is not the case for most other soaps of that era. For instance, ABC debuted All My Children in 1970 but didn't start preserving the masters until the mid-70s. So it's impossible to see much of a young Susan Lucci during her formative years on the show because very few episodes have survived. (Dark Shadows, in contrast, moved to network syndication, then to cable television, then to VHS, then to DVD and now to on-demand.) One more thing: Dark Shadows died a quick death (in soap opera terms) because it became very repetitive. In 1968, the show had the ghosts of Quentin Collins and Beth Chavez possess the children, David Collins and Amy Jennings. In summer 1970, the ghosts of Gerard Stiles and Daphne Harridge (played by a very young Kate Jackson) possessed the children, David Collins and Hallie Stokes. It was the exact same story just with some name changes!
  9. The introduction of Barnabas in spring 1967 and Julia in summer 1967 definitely saved the show, which had been on the road to cancellation. But I do like the look and atmosphere of the pre- and early Barnabas episodes. You really did feel like you had been transported to this rambling mansion perched above the perpetually storm-tossed fishing village of Collinsport. I adore Grayson Hall but she would be a strong contender for the title of 'Most Theatrical New York Actress Ever,' especially for her portrayal of the gypsy, Magda, during the 1897 time travel storyline.
  10. If you don't have anything good to say, come sit next to me! I saw the Morris company years ago. The bill consisted of My Party, All Fours, Silhouettes and V. Other than the costumes for My Party, my memory of that night is one of sameness in regard to steps. Actually, the most memorable part of the evening had nothing to do with Morris' movement vocabulary. Instead, the highlight was when the master himself bounded up on stage from the audience to take a curtain call worthy of a silent film comedian or any Broadway musical diva. I had the urge to sing, "Well, hello Dolly . . . it's so nice to see you back where you belong!!" but I constrained myself.
  11. Watching Barnabas and his primary ally, Dr. Julia Hoffman, in their first months on the original show is a real eye-opener. You wonder how the characters became so popular because they do some horrible things -- like Barnabas killing Julia's medical school friend, Dr. Woodard, when he deduces Barnabas' secret, Julia hypnotizing the governess, Victoria Winters, to recoil from Barnabas, and Barnabas trying to gaslight the young boy, David Collins. I do love the early episodes in black & white. The production staff were really able to make Collinwood look like a dark and foreboding place in black & white, especially whenever Collinwood lost power (which was all the time.)
  12. Or maybe because she was Mrs. John Carpenter at the time and this was her feature film debut! Seriously, though, Barbeau's part in the movie is unique because she has no face-to-face scenes with any of the other primary cast members and only has phone conversations with Tom Atkins and Charles Cyphers. I don't know how I feel about the Joker movie. Does The Joker really need an origin story? For me, The Joker is best with no origin story at all: Bruce Wayne creates his Batman persona and this brings The Joker into existence. If you go into it without too many expectations regarding the coherence of the plot, you should enjoy it. The isolated northern California setting is very atmospheric and Adrienne Barbeau became a genre favorite in the early-80s because of her performance in this movie. (She would go on to work with her husband again in 1981's Escape from New York, with Wes Craven in 1982's Swamp Thing and George Romero in 1983's Creepshow.)
  13. The Royal Swedish Ballet (dir: ex-POB star Nicolas Le Riche) premieres its revival of Bejart's Rite of Spring tomorrow night on an all-Stravinsky bill which also includes Angelin Preljocaj's Noces and George Balanchine's Agon. The Tokyo Ballet premieres its revival of Bejart's Rite of Spring on Saturday on a triple bill with Saburo Teshigawara's new work, Remains of a Cloud, and George Balanchine's Serenade.
  14. The plot holes and inconsistencies in The Fog don't bother me much as I don't watch this type of movie for rigorous logic. But the holes and inconsistencies are noticeable. John Carpenter himself has said that, when he assembled his rough cut, he realized that the movie didn't work. The Fog wasn't scary, lacked gore (relative to the competition) and had too many dead (no pun intended) stretches. Carpenter went back, reshot portions of the movie and added new scenes (such as the intro with John Houseman). I think you can see the stitched together quality of the movie as there are parts of it which make little to no sense: [Spoilers Ahead] At the beginning of the anniversary day, the undead sailor is about to kill the Tom Atkins character but the clock strikes 1:00AM and the sailor disappears. And yet, supernatural activity continues throughout the day. Who is causing it and why? At the coroner's office, how does one of victims killed by the undead sailors get off the table? (I wonder if Carpenter added this sequence because he found the middle part of the movie to be too slow.) Why do the sailors attack Adrienne Barbeau's character at the lighthouse when they've already killed 5 of the 6 people they need to achieve their revenge and the sixth -- Hal Holbrook's character -- is waiting for them at the church?
  15. As a youth, I enjoyed watching The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries with Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy as The Hardy Boys and Pamela Sue Martin as Nancy Drew. The episodes that stuck with me over the years were the two-parter that opened the 1977-78 season. The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew meet for the first time in these episodes and head to Transylvania, where they encounter Count Dracula -- or do they? I thought these episodes were so spooky when I was young and I was impressed that the episodes were taking place at Dracula's castle in Transylvania. Watching them again this month is a hilarious experience because the episodes aren't especially scary and "Transylvania" is obviously the Universal Studios back lot, where The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries were filmed. Still, both episodes are a lot of fun in a very 70s way. The entire two-parter is online but the best parts are Nancy Drew fighting a fake-looking vampire bat: And Shaun Cassidy singing: And if any Ballet Alert members want to buy me a pair of those boots Dracula is wearing, I will be happy to provide my size!
  16. Even Suzanne Farrell has said that there's been too much sameness in body type since Balanchine died, which implies that there was more variety before he died. When I read Danchig-Waring's reference to "double-barreled," I immediately though of "barrel-chested": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrel_chest
  17. Regarding this comment of Danchig-Waring's: "What I do know is that, by ballet standards, I’ve always had more muscle mass than is “desirable” for the “lean style” advocated by George Balanchine." One of the responders in the comments made this excellent reply: "And, as for what Balanchine advocated in a dancer’s body, that’s always been overplayed. His principals and soloists, especially, were more physically diverse (though not racially so at the time) than people liked to think. Violette Verdy, Anthony Blum, Gloria Govrin, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Judith Fugate—all these brilliant dancers, and many more, didn’t fit the supposed mold. I watched the company when Balanchine was alive and selected his dancers, and he was never as myopic as people liked to think."
  18. And that's not even the dumbest thing she does! [Spoilers Ahead] After Bill (Bing Crosby's son, Harry) and she find a bloodied axe in a bed, she goes to sleep on a couch. Then she makes herself a cup of hot chocolate. She also repeatedly drops the weapon she's holding or fails to pick up Mrs. Voorhees' weapons (until the fourth and final fight.) I will say that my favorite scene in the entire movie involves Alice. After Crazy Ralph delivers his warning of doom to Alice and two other counselors, he races to his bicycle outside the cabin he was hiding in and cycles away. Alice is the only one to follow him out and it's such a creepy moment: the twilight, the wind picking up and, especially, the look of consternation on Alice's face. It's a great 'Last Girl' moment -- the most perceptive member of the group slowly realizing all is not as it appears.
  19. Watched one of the greatest of all slasher films, Friday the 13th, this weekend. Filmed in fall 1979 and released in 1980, Friday the 13th -- even more than Halloween -- ignited the slasher craze that overtook the horror genre (and the box office) in the early-1980s. Dispensing with any attempt at being artistic, Friday the 13th established many of the conventions that came to rule the genre -- the isolated setting (Camp No-Be-Bo-Sco in northern New Jersey), the sinister ambience, the local figure warning of doom (Crazy Ralph) who no one pays any attention to, the point-of-view being the killer's, etc. [Spoilers Ahead] Friday the 13th is still marvelously effective after all these years even when you know the jump scares are coming (and when the characters are being incredibly stupid.) The movie really hits its stride in the last 25 minutes when Betsy Palmer shows up as the deranged Mrs. Voorhees. Palmer plays the part with gusto and her performance has been rightly celebrated as a horror classic. Even though she was in her early 50s when she took the part (so she could buy a new car!), Palmer gives her all duking it out with 'The Last Girl,' Alice (played by Adrienne King). And still one of the great shock endings in horror history!
  20. Fun fact: John Carpenter offered the part of Dr. Loomis in Halloween to Christopher Lee but he turned it down! Later in life, Lee told Carpenter that turning down Halloween was one of the biggest mistakes he ever made in the business. I have a soft spot for the two Christopher Lee-Peter Cushing 'Draculas' the two of them made together in the early-70s -- Dracula A.D. 1972 and The Satanic Rites of Dracula. Moving the Hammer 'Dracula' series from the 19th century to the early-70s was a novel idea. Not everything works but there are some genuine scares in both.
  21. The Legend of Hell House is an unsung classic. It has a great cast (Pamela Franklin, Roddy McDowall) and is very faithful to Richard Matheson's book. As far as rating the Halloween movies, here goes: Halloween (from 1978) is a true horror masterpiece and remains influential to this very day. I have a strong liking for Halloween II (from 1981) with its hospital setting, ominous mood and slow build-up. (For better or for worse, you can also see the impact the Friday the 13th franchise had on the Halloween franchise with the increase in gore in Halloween II.) Halloween III exists outside the Laurie Strode-Michael Myers continuity so I have no strong feelings about that. Parts IV-VI (w/ Donald Pleasance but without Jamie Lee Curtis) start out OK (Part IV) and end up as terrible (Part VI). H2O from 1998 (w/ Jamie Lee Curtis returning to the franchise after 17 years) has its moments but the tone is uncertain (LL Cool J in a Halloween movie?) H20's immediate sequel, Resurrection, is awful but for the beginning with Jamie Lee Curtis' character Laurie duking it out again with Michael. The two Rob Zombie "reimaginings" from the 00s should be avoided at all costs -- they are repulsive. Last year's Halloween, which set aside all continuity from Halloween II onward, felt more like a series of set pieces from the other movies strung together rather than an actual movie. Curtis was fantastic in it, though, as she returned to her signature role after 20 years. (Be warned: The body count is astronomical in this movie.) Filming has already begun on a sequel to the 2018 Halloween. Curtis returns as Laurie as do Kyle Richards (Lindsay) and Charles Cyphers (Sheriff Brackett) from the 1978 movie.
  22. I kicked off my Halloween viewing season by watching director John Carpenter’s atmospheric ghost tale, The Fog, which was his follow-up to his 1978 smash, Halloween. [Spoilers Ahead] Filmed in the spring of 1979 and released in February 1980, The Fog is set in the fictional coastal town of ‘Antonio Bay’ in northern California. As the town prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary, uninvited party guests in the form of undead sailors who died 100 years before arrive for the celebration; seeking vengeance. What comes to light is that the sailors were actually lepers who wanted to form a community north of the town. Six town members tricked them into crashing their ship on the rocks during a dense fog and then stole the gold the lepers had amassed in hope of building their community. The Fog is a well-told ghost tale that is all the more effective because much is left to the imagination. The undead pirates appear mostly in shadows or thick fog which aids the believability of the central tale. Also contributing to the overall atmosphere is Carpenter’s deliberately slow pacing. There are only a few shocks in the movie’s first 60 minutes before the action really gets going in the last 30 minutes. The sense of mounting dread makes the final mayhem more effective (although young audiences of today may find the build-up too slow.) Several Halloween alumni appear in this, including Jamie Lee Curtis, Nancy Loomis and Charles Cyphers. Joining the fun are Adrienne Barbeau and Tom Atkins, who would become important members of the repertory company of actors moving from one Carpenter film to another during this period. (Barbeau, Atkins, Cyphers and Curtis (uncredited) would join Halloween vets Donald Pleasance and Nancy Stephens in Carpenter’s next film, Escape from New York, and Curtis, Pleasance, Loomis, Cyphers and Stephens would all return for the Carpenter written and produced, Halloween II.) But the biggest star of the movie is the northern California coastal setting itself. The remoteness of the locations and the vastness of the Pacific Ocean add a lot to the overall mood. Special mention must go to the Point Reyes Lighthouse, which serves as the radio station from which Adrienne Barbeau's character makes her nightly broadcasts. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Point_Reyes_Lighthouse The Fog isn't the scariest of movies and it isn't especially gory (by late-70s/early-80s standards) but, if you like ghost stories, this is a very satisfying one.
  23. Adolphe Binder has won her lawsuit against the city of Wuppertal: https://www.tagesspiegel.de/kultur/rufmordkampagne-gegen-adolphe-binder-kuendigung-der-wuppertaler-intendantin-bleibt-unwirksam/24932758.html The story is in German but here's a sample courtesy of Google translate: "It was no surprise. Adolphe Binder won the case against the world-famous Tanztheater Wuppertal in second instance. The state labor court in Dusseldorf has confirmed on Tuesday that their termination is ineffective. The judge Alexander Schneider has not recognized any of the allegations against Binder as a reason for termination. The cultural manager was accused in the first place to have presented no actionable game plan, also their leadership style was criticized. Even bullying was mentioned. Adolphe Binder is now fully rehabilitated, so the verdict can be interpreted. But she has no reason to celebrate. Because soon begins a new act of Wuppertal drama, which seems like a thriller and like a provincial farce." "The verdict is a bitter defeat for the dance theater. Ten years after the death of its founder and principal Pina Bausch, it is still looking for a new governance structure for the future. The court has only spoken a partial judgment - was cleared by nothing. Only in a next negotiation, probably in January 2020, will it decide whether Adolphe Binder is allowed to return to work. That she wants that, she made it clear again at the trial. However, Bettina Wagner-Bergelt was hired by a new director last November." "provincial farce" indeed!
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