Directed By: Louis Malle
Screenplay By: Andre Gregory
Based On The Play “DYADYA VANYA” By Anton Chekhov
Play Adaptation By: David Mamet
Cinematography: Declan Quinn
Editor: Nancy Baker
Cast: Julianne Moore, Wallace Shawn, Lynn Cohen, Larry Pine, Brooke Smith, Jerry Mayer, Andre Gregory, George Gaynes, Phoebe Brand, Madhur Jeffrey
An uninterrupted rehearsal of Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” played out by a company of actors. The setting is their run-down theater with an unusable stage and crumbling ceiling. The play is shown act by act with the briefest of breaks to move props or for refreshments. The lack of costumes, real props, and scenery is soon forgotten.
though you can tell it’s more performance, so stripped down and organic that it sometimes feels like the actors’ lives and drama might be bleeding into the performances. Keeping the audience on its toes and feeling magically
Though from time to time you can see the people watching. As an audience as well as the director. The film begins traditionally as the actors and director arrive to let us see the setup and give us a New York street view placing the location to a degree.
How it works, not such a staged production, but any distraction. No illumination. So that we are close in the middle of the action and relationships and characters as the camera stays close, rarely moving, and is always close in and tight on their faces. Feels like it is giving us intimacy with the characters.
Wasn’t quite sure exactly when the play started as it seemed more like a general conversation at first then all of a sudden moved on. Though serious it feels adventurous and experimental, open and free.
This is another collaboration that feels similar in spirit yet bigger and not as much of an endurance test. Whereas MY DINNER WITH ANDRE seems almost like a documentary of an intellectual dinner conversation between two friends that reflects so much personality and personality about the people involved. Though we know it is a put-on production, in reality, it was the actors using their real names and partial history but really two originally created characters. Here we have Andre Gregory break up the scenes and guide the audience a bit so that we are In New locations within the play.
Though we are with the camera and the theatrical viewers are right up on them they manage to establish being alone and to themselves quite well. So good it’s hard to tell the difference
Truly be amazing if done straight through act breaks need to explain what has passed and where we are at
Happy to see Brooke smith who over the years has quite a resume. Not exactly a star but a recognizable character actress over the years. Who has earned her success from small to significant supporting roles seems as if we can watch her grow up on the screen as I remember her early first role in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. One of my favorite immoral films in junior high school and high school where I earned the nickname Hannibal the cannibal by fellow students and Jeffrey danger because of the similar first name and I was also quiet and unassuming. It’s always a surprise to see her even at first if she seems miscast like in BAD COMPANY.