Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Week of October 29 thru November 4 (Mann)

What’s on at the Tropic

Since the current world seems so dystopian (etymology, from Greek: “bad place”) it’s only appropriate that we indulge ourselves in a little dystopian entertainment. It might make us feel a little better, since we haven’t gone as far into the dark world as the imaginations of novelists and filmmakers can take us.

NEVER LET ME GO, based on the multi-award winning novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, posits a world where human clones are raised to be organ donors. The novel, and its faithful movie adaptation, focuses on three of these special persons, played by Carey Mulligan (An Education), Keira Knightley (The Dutchess, Atonement), and Andrew Garfield (The Social Network). Some critics have complained: why do they accept this fate? But we might ask, why do people join the Army? That question may be an undercurrent in the movie, but it’s more about the humanity of these farm-raised creatures, and the manner in which they relate to their unusual lives.

A “poignant, troubling and altogether splendid new film.” (Time Magazine). This “meticulous and devastating adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's dystopian novel…. richly deserves the Oscar consideration it will surely receive.” (

Speaking of Oscars, THE SOCIAL NETWORK is the hottest prospect out there. Jessie Eisenberg (the boy from The Squid and the Whale) is Mark Zuckerberg, the socially inept Harvard student who founded the ubiquitous new mode of social interaction known as Facebook. Along the way he lost his own best friend and partner (Andrew Garfield - see above) as well ask a variety of others, but became filthy rich.

The striking thing about the buzz surrounding this film is how fundamentally uncinematic the story is. Its strength lies in the sharp dialog from writer Aaron Sorkin (West Wing), and our fascination with the characters in a movie populated with anti-heros in pursuit of a new order.

If all this makes you long for something traditional, LOVELY, STILL is the movie for you. Martin Landau (age 82; he was in North by Northwest in 1959) and Ellen Burstyn (age 77; sexy-she was in Tropic of Cancer in 1970), meet and fall in love. It shouldn’t be a surprise, these guys are lovely, still, and at the top of their games. Ms. Burstyn does three or four movies a year, and Landau has roles in five movies currently in production. Of course, it’s not all going to be smooth sailing, but I can’t tell you why.

Also opening this week is part two of the biopic about the French master criminal Jacque Mesrine. MESRINE: PUBLIC ENEMY #1 completes the story of his remarkable twenty-year career. What a guy. And what a film!

If you haven’t seen it yet, this week will be your last chance to see Woody Allen’s YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER.

Moving on to Special Events, the much underused Tropic stage will spring to life on Thursday with a performance by the Key West Contemporary Dance Company, accompanied by site-specific dance film and music. Tickets only $10, are available at the Tropic boxoffice or via the Tropic’s online ticketing system.

P.S. The Tropic will be closed all day on Saturday, Oct. 30, for Fantasy Fest. Hey, the staff deserves a little fun, too.

[from Key West, the newspaper -]

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