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Oscar-Winning Director Ang Lee Enjoys Two Retrospectives
With his feature film retrospective going on at the Lincoln Center Film Society's Walter Reade Theater and the August 28th release of Taking Woodstock, Taiwan-born director Ang Lee is being put into an ever-bright spotlight. A premiere was already held in Woodstock and Manhattan to commemorate the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival's 40th Anniversary. And now, Lee, with primary screenwriter/producer James Schamus (also CEO of Focus Features), will unveil a new 138-minute long director's cut of his fascinating western, 1999's Ride with the Devil tonight.
Detailing the underexamined conflict between the pro-Union Jayhawkers and pro-slavery Bushwhackers along the Kansas/Missouri border, the film focuses on friends Jack Bull Chiles (Skeet Ulrich) and Jake Roedel ("The Ice Storm vet Tobey Maguire) as they wrestle with battle, romance and death. Lee and Schamus will appear on stage following the 7:30 pm screening to discuss their careers and filmmaking process.
Read more: Oscar Winning Director Ang Lee...
Rarely has a film's release dovetailed with an earth-shattering event so that, by its very existence, it can contribute to radically altering world affairs. The Stoning of Soraya M. is such a film--especially since it highlights the plight of the women of Iran. It tells the tale of Soraya Marnò, who refuses to divorce her abusive husband, a former criminal, so he falsely accuses of her of adultery which leads to her execution by stoning. In revolutionary Iran, women have few rights and the religion is manipulated by those claiming correct religious practice. Though set in 1986 Iran, Soraya's plight and that of her one defender, her aunt, Zahra--played by Oscar nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo--is similar to that of the formerly liberated Iranian women, who, chafing under the current regime's oppression, have been at the forefront of the protests happening now since the Presidential election was stolen by conservative incumbent MaMoud Amadinajad.
Read more: Actress Shohreh Aghdashloo...
Every film festival yields an unexpected treat and this year's Tribeca Film Festival is no exception. With the premiere of Accidents Happen, the 51 year old actress Geena Davis steps into the spotlight again, this time by doing a quirky little indie -- the feature directorial debut of composer and short filmmaker Andrew Lancaster -- shot in Australia but set in 1980s Connecticut.
For this Oscar winner, her startling and starring reappearance makes for a snappy and sharp-witted comeback. At a time when dysfunctional moms seem to dominate the news and daily talk shows, Davis plays a flippant Gloria Conway, the maternal head of a decidedly distraught suburban family traumatized by a fatal auto accident in which one of the kids is killed and another is brain damaged.
Read more: Q&A: Actor Geena Davis Got an...
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