Thursday, December 3, 2009

Week of Dec. 4 to Dec. 10 (Mann)

What's on at the Tropic
by Phil Mann

"How are you?" It's a tic. It's what we say when we meet. And the answer, unless you want to get into a long discussion is "fine." Well, everybody's not fine in EVERYBODY'S FINE, except the actors, that is. Robert DiNiro, as an aging widower who has lost touch with his grown children, and Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale and Sam Rockwell, as three of the children, are fine, DiNiro especially, who got the Best Actor Award at the recent Hollywood Film Awards. When Frank (the DiNiro character) can't get his kids to come to a reunion, he goes to visit them, one by one. Hardly anything is as he hoped and expected, but life's challenge is how you handle bad news, and that's what the movie is about. Accepting the pleasure of good news is easy, and does not make a movie. Written and directed by Kirk Jones (Waking Ned Devine, Nanny McPhee) Everybody's Fine is "a terrific choice for those who want something more in-depth from their Xmas viewing than tinsel and tired sentimentality," says the Hollywood Reporter.

If you are really aching to get beyond, beyond everything you could imagine, maybe Lars von Trier's ANTICHRIST is the movie for you. Talk about controversial! Either the movie "has the power to haunt beyond words.... a piece of staggeringly pure cinema" (Ty Burr, Boston Globe) or it's "a joke, a toxic cocktail of banal psychobabble, laughably arty slo-mo flourishes and unmotivated sexual violence" (Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York). But no one can deny the brilliance and beauty of its images, and the power of Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem DaFoe, its only two actors. Guess you'll have to see for yourself.

A SERIOUS MAN and PIRATE RADIO are held over. You definitely shouldn't miss the former, which is already generating award talk.

The biggest news this week is on the culture front, with two shows from the Tropic's Opera and Ballet in high def series. On Sunday at 1:00pm, the Tropic presents the NUTCRACKER, in this case the classic ballet performed at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, the place where it premiered in 1892. This show will repeat each Sunday throughout the month. Of course, we in Key West have our own version of the Nutcracker, created by Joyce Stahl's Paradise Ballet, but that's not being performed this year. Bring the kids to see the classic, and get ready for the hoped-for return of the Paradise Ballet next year.

Then, ta da, on Monday, the opening night of Milan's La Scala opera season comes to the Tropic live via a newly installed satellite dish. Since this is a live broadcast from Italy, the preshow will begin at 11:30am with the actual performance at noon. If you're a European opera fan, this will be like attending the Oscar ceremonies, with glittering celebs. The opera is CARMEN, conducted by Daniel Barenboim, with an international cast including the young Georgian mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili as Carmen. If you can't make the live matinee, there will be an encore Monday evening at 7:30pm, but the buzz is for the original live performance. This is the first of six live operas from La Scala and the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona coming over the course of the 2009-2010 season.

Another live performance... in this case live In Person, will be the Swami Beyondananda comedy show, WAKE UP LAUGHING, on Saturday night. This is a fund raiser sponsored by Keys to Peace. What's that? Check Tickets are available at the Tropic box office or website.

[from Key West, the newspaper]

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