The Playgoer: Wally Shawn with a British Accent (and taller)

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wally Shawn with a British Accent (and taller)

News to me: Vanessa Redgrave has made a film of Wallace Shawn's intimate political monologue The Fever with her son directing, and HBO is showing it this week--Wednesday, June 13, 9:30pm EST.

Video clip available at the HBO site. And for those premium channel-free, a DVD release is planned this summer.

From what I can tell from the clip--no, Vanessa does not "play" Wally Shawn. It's been retailored for a woman, I guess.

According to NY Mag, the network is burying it in the schedule without fanfare. Wonder if they'll do the same for her upcoming "Year of Magical Thinking" film, which I hear Scott Rudin has already sold to them. (Perhaps the rationale for that play all along?)

That lady could just speak into a camera solo for the rest of her career! Doing other--less telegenic-- writers' memoirs, that is.

Ok, Fever's not a memoir. But kind of a fictional one, if you follow me...


Anonymous said...

the same year they filmed The Fever (2004, I think) they also committed Marie and Bruce (which I have an unhealthy love for) to celluloid. It starred Matthew Broderick and Julianne Moore (whaaa?) played Sundance and far as I can tell dropped off the face of the planet. Shawn and (good) films don't mix that often.

Playgoer said...

The exception just might be the David Hare-directed "Designated Mourner" with a rare acting appearance by Mike Nichols in the lead role. I confess it's still waiting for me on tape, but I'm very excited to see it.

(It surfaces on Sundance channel occasionally)

Not that a film of depressing monologues featuring actors sitting around a table will do anything more for the man's rep on the film circuit...

Anonymous said...

I fell into a blessed sleep about 30 minutes into The Designated Mourner and woke up as the credits were rolling. Behind and in front of me several other patrons appeared to be reawakening from a deep sleep!

Anonymous said...

I could be wrong, but at the beginning of the published copy of "The Fever", there's a note saying that the monologue is not written for a specific gender or race. It's just so connected to Wally Shawn that it's hard to watch or read it without thinking about him.