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.