New Play Against Opens at the Almeida Theatre
Last weekend Christopher Shinn's new play Against premiered at the Almeida Theatre in London. The production, directed by Ian Rickson, stars Ben Whishaw as Luke, an aerospace billionaire who is chosen by God to change the world, yet violence stands in his way. The cast of Against also includes Adelle Leonce, Emma D'Arcy, Elliot Barnes-Worrell, and Philippe Spall. The production runs from 18 August to 30 September.
I love Ben Whishaw. Period. End of discussion. It's exciting to him back at work, especially in the theatre. His stint in The Crucible on Broadway last year actually redefined my life - it was an awakening. Anyways... The concept of Against sounds rather intriguing. Bring God into Silicon Valley will, without a doubt, bring about some interesting themes and conversations. If you're going to see Against give me a shout and let me know about it. I'm intrigued (and always love to gush about Ben Whishaw).
Related: Arthur Miller's The Crucible at the Walter Kerr
BFI Announces the Closing Night Gala for the 2017 London Film Festival
The BFI has announced that Martin McDonagh's new film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri will be the feature presentation at the Closing Night Gala for the 2017 London Film Festival. The film stars Frances McDormand as a mother desperate to find her daughter's killer, Woody Harrelson as the town's chief of police, and Sam Rockwell as the Harrelson's second-in-command. McDonagh is best known for his provocative scripts, both for theatre and film, such as In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths, and The Cripple of Inishmaan. The film will premiere on 15 October, with the BFI London Film Festival running from 4-15 October.
I'm not going to lie, I was genuinely surprised when I heard that this film was the closing night film at this year's festival. Not only was I surprised because I had just never of this film before its announcement, but also because it just seemed so... American. Martin McDonagh seems to be taking his filmography in that direction lately - his latest film Seven Psychopaths was set in Los Angeles. I will also admit, I'm not the biggest fan of McDonagh's work - yes, I understand his humor is abstract, but it's just a little too abstract for me... And that's saying something (I'm the Queen of abstract). I'm interested to see who this film pans out nonetheless.
Related: The Cripple of Inishmaan and The Tony Awards
The Toronto International Film Festival Announces the Full Lineup of Films and Attendees
The Toronto International Film Festival announced this week the festival's complete 2017 lineup. The festival will feature a number of highly anticipated films of this year including Borg/McEnroe, Breathe, Stronger, Battle of the Sexes, Darkest Hour, The Current War, Molly's Game, Redoubtable, and much more. The festival also announced the stars that would be attending this year's festival including Battle of the Sexes stars Emma Stone and Steve Carrell, Brie Larson will be showing her directorial debut Unicorn Store; Lady Bird, as well as Molly's Game stars Idris Elba and Jessica Chastain and The Current War's Benedict Cumberbatch. TIFF runs from 7-17 September.
Another item on my bucket list is TIFF as it's probably one of my favorite film festivals (second to London, obviously). I have a particular fondness of TIFF because so many amazing British films are screened there (It's insane how many British films are playing this year) and also because the films that screen at TIFF are usually a slated for awards season (and y'all know I live for award season). Maybe one year I'll make it up to TIFF and relish in the glory of fantastic films.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Directed by Martin McDonagh
After months of little progress being made on capturing the culprit in her daughter's murder, Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) sends a controversial message to the town's chief of police, William Willoughby (Woody Harrelson) by painting three billboards that lead into the town accusing him of lack of effort. Mildred soon finds herself in a battle with the town's law enforcement. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is directed by Martin McDonagh and is due to be released 10 November.
I mentioned above that I have a hard time relating to McDonagh's work, but it seems like Three Billboards may be the first project of his I'll enjoy. If the trailer is anything to go off of, that is. I thoroughly enjoyed this trailer - I laughed, I... Yeah, laughed. Three Billboards looks like an intriguing, provocative, and layered dark comedy that might just make me jump on the Martin McDonagh bandwagon.
Battle of Soho
Directed by Aro Korol
In November 2014 the iconic club Madame Jojos closed its doors. Over a 3rd of London's music venues have closed in the years following. There's a clear force at working trying to destroy the atmosphere and culture of these famous neighborhoods. As one organization after another begins emerging, it's clear there is a fight to persevere the cultural identity of Soho. Director Aro Korol speaks with the slew of celebrities and organizations who are fighting to keep Soho's doors open and asks why this neighborhood is so important. Battle of Soho will be released in cinemas 28 October.
This documentary speaks to an extremely important issue and one that is very close to my heart. When I lived in London last year, I must have been in Soho just about every day. It became my favorite spot in the city because of its appreciation for the arts. Soho is a hub of glorious art, a place of experimentation, a home of acceptance for the wacky minds of artists. It's a wonderfully beautiful place, but it's a place that is going to be lost forever if we don't rise up and fight its demolishers.
Related: The Best Places for Film Lovers in London