*Curb checks in with the latest news from the Atlantic Yards
*Albee Square mall demo is under way (Brownstoner)
*BAM is seeking arts organizations to relocate to its Cultural District (Brooklyn Eagle)
Written and Directed by Noel Baumbach
Starring Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jack Black
There’s a scene in Noah Baumbach’s dysfunctional family tragicomedy, Margot at the Wedding, where a character notes, after finding out his fiancé
is pregnant, that he hasn’t had the moment yet where he realizes he isn’t the most important person in the world anymore. This self-centered malady afflicts most of the characters – especially the adults – throughout the course of the film, leaving the viewer feeling a bit frosty and in the near dark, much like the hazy, naturally lit dusk that permeates film’s look.
The story involves the titular character Margot (Nicole Kidman), a successful fiction writer who, with her son, visits her less successful and previously estranged sister Pauline (Jennifer Jason Leigh) for her wedding to Malcolm (Jack Black), an out-of-work schlemiel. Each character – especially the adults – carries excessive emotional baggage, highlighted by Margot’s Zelig-like mania, that causes repeated conflicts, especially between the two sisters. However, most of the scenes destined for conflict cut just before the simmer to a later moment when all seems forgiven and forgotten; that’s the lesson, I guess, when it comes to family. Compared to Baumbach’s great The Squid and the Whale, with its poignant depiction of the moment one realizes that his parents are truly imperfect beings, Margot at the Wedding, while featuring some top-notch work from Ms. Kidman, leaves a much less indelible mark.
BAM’s Ingmar Bergman retrospective begins tonight (in just a couple of hours, actually) with Persona at 6pm, to be introduced by one of its stars, Bibi Andersson. It will be followed by Shame at 8:45pm, with an introduction by Jonathan Lethem.
Tomorrow we’ve got Fanny and Alexander, with introduction by Pernilla August.
Easy Being Greene is happy to introduce our newest contributor, Corey Green, who will be reviewing new films as they premiere at BAM. First up is No Country for Old Men. Keep an eye out for his review of Margot at the Wedding later this week.
NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN
Written and Directed by the Coen Brothers
Starring Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, and Woody Harrelson
Have you ever been out with an older relative who muses that things were better in the old days? I’ve always thought these declarations were born out of nostalgia for the past; that things now are more or less the same as they always were. In the Coen Brothers latest, the magnificent No Country for Old Men, the writer/directors confirm my suspicions by making a movie that can easily hold its own against any film of the Golden Age.
After indulging their more quirky side with lesser efforts like Intolerable Cruelty and The Ladykillers remake, the Coen Brothers return to the more desolate and violent Midwest aesthetic that made their debut, Blood Simple, and their most feted film, Fargo, so successful. In No Country, Josh Brolin plays Llewelyn Moss, a blue-collar welder who, out on a hunting trip, finds five deserted trucks, dead people, heroin and two million dollars, which he takes home. The cash belongs to Anton Chigurh, played wonderfully by Javier Bardem with a distilled and succinct evil that may have gone over the top in lesser hands. The balance of the movie is a cat-and-mouse game as Chigurh tries to hunt down Moss and his money through Texas and Mexico. Based on a novel by Pulitzer-Prize winning author Cormac McCarthy and beautifully shot by Roger Deakins, No Country for Old Men feels like a Sam Peckinpah movie refracted through the Coen Brothers’ lens, proving that cinema today can be as good as it was generations ago.
Plans for a new 30 story performance space and apartment building to be built on Fulton Street, right across from the new Forte Condos, were unveiled today. See the horror for yourself:
It’s going to be a pretty green building, by all indications, but a pretty ugly one, as well. I’m sitting here baffled, asking — Why? Can’t green and aesthetically not-awful go hand in hand at this point?
And on a personal note: This is what I’m sacrificing my view of the Statue of Liberty for?
More info in the Brooklyn Eagle.
A couple of exceptional events are coming to Lafayette Avenue this weekend: