Monday, July 30, 2012

NYC repertory theatres live!



Travelling on the east coast this summer and zipping in and out of New York it has been a treat to visit some of the city’s well known – and still existing! – repertory cinemas. I’ve seen films at two so far – Village East Cinemas on Second Ave. in the East Village, and at Cinema Village (left) on 12th St. a couple of blocks west of Broadway in Greenwich Village.....Village East has Hebrew writing on its cornerstone because it opened as the Yiddish Art Theatre in 1926. It has had several incarnations as a film and stage spot but was last restored in 1992 and renamed Village East and has seven screens. It is part of the Angelika Film Center chain. Angelika’s flagship is further west on Houston St....The film I saw at East Village last Wednesday was 30 Beats (Alexis Lloyd) a distinctively New York movie. But which shows that even when made in the Big Apple movies can be just as bad as second rate Canadian films (or even some considered first rate, but I’m being catty). The movie is about a series of rather coincidental romantic and sexual couplings among a circle of people during a hot New York summer, not unlike what we’ve been experiencing on the East Coast this year. But the topic by this first time director – and it shows his inexperience - has been done many times before. The acting is below par (even veteran Jennifer Tilly doesn’t give the script much umph). The writing is surprisingly poor and ridden with clich├ęs.....Then yesterday I saw Falling Overnight, written, filmed and directed by Conrad Jackson. It’s a dating movie, or more explicitly an almost minute-by-minute depiction of what happens between two Los Angeleans who meet accidentally and fall for one another. The movie is shot largely in close-up and captures rather well the nuances of emotion and the in-between-the lines meanings of small talk. It also has a great soundtrack.