The Playgoer: Theatre Flicks

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Theatre Flicks

Here's a nice holiday time-waster, or even a shopping list!  Howard Sherman's lists of notable (if not always good) movies about the theatre: one for features, one for documentaries.

Titles I wholeheartedly second are: Looking for Richard, Topsy Turvy, Me and Orson Welles, The Libertine, The Cradle Will Rock, A Chorus of Disapproval, The Dresser, The Bandwagon, All That Jazz, and, yes, even Hamlet 2 (or at least the first half of it).

Your picks?


George Hunka said...

I'll third Topsy Turvy, but when it comes to documentaries there's also Ric Burns' (younger brother of Ken) Eugene O'Neill: A Documentary Film from 2006. Any contemporary reconsideration of O'Neill's career should start there -- it's written by the Gelbs and features interviews with Tony Kushner, John Guare, Al Pacino and Robert Brustein. An excellent case that justifies O'Neill's position as one of the (if not the) great American playwrights of the last century. A good review here. Available on DVD.

George Hunka said...

And I can't resist one more -- the Hegedus/Pennebaker 1983 Rockaby, which follows Alan Schneider and Billie Whitelaw as they rehearse and come to grips with one of Beckett's greatest late plays.

Slim and Slam said...

I'm not quite sure if Vanya on 42nd Street counts, but I'll heartily recommend it. I guess it's not about theater as such, but about actors acting in a theater, which is probably a hairsplitting difference.

High on the list of "films that I should see, but probably never will" is the second film from Merchant Ivory Productions, Shakespeare Wallah (1965). Anyone seen it? Does it belong on The List?

John said...

I'll stick up for "Shakespeare In Love." Okay, it beat better films for Best Pic (ditto Gwyneth for Best Actress), but don't hold that against it.