Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Week of March 23 to March 30 (Mann)

What’s on at the Tropic
by Phil Mann

You’ve probably heard about SHAME because of its NC-17 rating, or because of the nudity that earned it that rating. But really folks, the title is not “Hung”, but rather the theme of a Shakespeare sonnet:
The expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action…..
All this the world well knows; yet none knows well

  To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.

Brandon (Michael Fassbender) is a sex addict. Sissy (Carey Mulligan), his sister who comes to live with him in his sterile Manhattan apartment, is sloppy, needy and self-destructive. These are not characters from Friends. The film is “first and foremost a visual and sonic symphony, and a Dante-esque journey through a New York nightworld where words are mostly useless or worse…. it’s riveting, spectacular, passionate cinema.” (Andrew O’Hehir,

Fassbender is also currently on the Tropic screen as Carl Jung in A DANGEROUS METHOD, where he also has a problem with lust. But don’t type-cast him. He’s been a member of Brad Pitt’s Nazi hit gang in Inglourious Basterds, and Magneto in X-Men, after igniting his career as IRA zealot and hunger striker Bobby Sands in Hunger. The versatility of actors never ceases to amaze. I first noticed Carey Mulligan as a sweet young thing in An Education. When it was rumored that she might be cast as the the Dragon Tattoo girl, I thought, “no way.” Now I know I would have been wrong. In Shame she shows she’s got the range to handle a film that is “a complex, challenging, emotionally devastating drama.” (Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

A SEPARATION is one of the most acclaimed films of the year. Winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Language film, and many think, deserving of best movie overall. Simin and Nader, a Persian couple, struggle with conflicting priorities. The wife wants to get out of Iran to get a better life for their daughter. The husband feels compelled to stay to care for his Alzheimer’s -afflicted father. The family story builds, with a divorce suit, and a caretaker for the father, who has her own issues. It all takes place in Tehran, but it strikes much closer to home than the New York-based Shame. We can look at the Fassbender character and say, “Not me,” but Simin and Nader could be any of us.
“The movie has such a profound and compassionate understanding of human behavior, family ties and the way ordinary people respond when they’re forced into a moral quandary, I can’t imagine anyone not being transfixed by it.” (Rene Rodriquez, Miami Herald)

The ballet tour de force PINA (in 3D) is held over. For an extra treat, Tuesday evening will feature a brief performance from talented members of The Key West Contemporary Dance Company before the 8:30pm show.

Also held over are A DANGEROUS METHOD - the historical drama of the Freud – Jung conflict in the early days of psychoanalysis , and ALBERT NOBBS - the Glenn Close-Janet McTeer portrayal of two women passing as men in Edwardian-era Dublin.

Get your ration of culture on Thursday with the ballet ROMEO AND JULIET from the Royal Ballet in London. Live via satellite at 3:30pm EDT, with an encore at 7:30pm.

And keep going Wild About Wilder on Monday night with the Norma Desmond classic, SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950), starring Gloria Swanson as the fading actress and William Holden as her kept younger man.

Full schedules and info at or

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