Jan 31, 2007

Not a good movie month, but saw some great Greek theater

This month was not a good month, movie wise.

I made some really bad DVD choices that I'm too proud to add to my monthly movie memorabilia:

American Dreamz.
I was suckered in by the tag line: "Imagine a country where the President never reads the newspaper, where the government goes to war for all the wrong reasons, and more people vote for a pop idol than their next President."
Unfortunately, the on-screen result was not what I expected and it turned out to be a major disappointment.

Friends With Money.
I was drawn to it because of the female cast and that it had opened the Sundance Film Festival. The story ended too abruptly and I couldn't relate to the storyline, despite the actors' honest efforts.

A Prairie Home Companion.
The least of the three disappointments. It's worth seeing Meryl Streep and the other cast singing (no playbacks), which according to their interviews was mostly done in one take. I tried (really hard) to find the meaning. Maybe I wasn't in a delving mood.

To balance things out, I did take in 2 Greek theater shows that were extremely entertaining.

"The Aunt from Chicago" ("Η Θεία Από το Σικάγο"), the musical version of the very-well known Greek film that the majority of Greeks have seen at least once. Very amusing, and highly reminiscent of a nostalgic Athens struggling to come to terms with the new way of life after a civil war. Excellent directing and acting by all.

Don Camillo ("Δον Καμίλο"), very entertaining satire that pokes fun at politicians and clergy. The protagonist, a naive Italian Catholic priest (hence the name of the play), is coerced by his boss, Mon Signor, and the local politicians to use his popularity in post-war Italian local elections. Very, very funny. I had never seen Yiorgos Partsalakis (the leading man) on stage. Not once throughout the show did I not believe he was Don Camillo. Very impressive.



V-Grrrl said...

I saw Friends with Money recently too. I liked it because it explored the complexities of marriages, friendships, assumptions about people, and the way having money (or not having it, as the case may be) doesn't bring peace and happiness.

So, do you think that one character really is gay or just an effeminate hetero? That was an interesting line.

What I hated: the way Joan Cusack's character set her friend up with her personal trainer, who was clearly a loser.

As for a Prairie Home Companion, I slept through some parts of it! Garrison Keillor's voice does that to me, even on the radio. As a fan of the radio show, the film was an interesting romp through the characters and setting he's already created. It was funny to see Dusty and Lefty and Guy Noir as people, not characters, on the radio broadcast. But the whole thing with Virginia Madsen's angel was weird...

Windfall Woman said...

Not familiar with those movies nor the theater but stopping in to say HI.

Snake (a Cambridge kind of guy) said...

It's all subjective of course but I thought Friends with Money was excellent. I haven't seen the other movies you've mentioned, though.

Flubberwinkle said...

V-grrrl & Snake, I'm sure if I give this movie a second viewing I might see more into it. I think my viewing mood (tired or feeling down) influenced my opinion. Thanks for your feedback.

Hi back WindfallWoman!