First rehearsal of Apparition today. Not to sound like the Harriet Meirs blog or anything, but I am so goddamn excited! Reading a play about ghosts and haunting for the first time out loud on Halloween. Sheesh. And it has a truly wonderful team of which I am blessed to be a part of. I don't think I can really write much about the show on this blog (I want to, after all, be able to keep my ADing career going, and directors need to know they can trust me) but let me just say that it is a fantastic group of people assembled, all of whom have worked together in some capacity or another.
Anyway... it's been a busy week. I saw three plays, one of which I directed, and watched the movies High Tension (to be avoided at almost all costs) Shopgirl (to be perhaps rented sometime) and the original Dutch version of The Vanishing (thoroughly depressing). Shopgirl was the oddest of the three. It is quite well acted but horribly filmed. It may, in fact, be worth seeing as a case study in how not to direct a movie. Every moment Claire Danes spends in close up is also in soft focus (why? to hide the nonexistant wrinkles?). Every moment of "coverage" you can tell the other actor is no where near the person talking. The score is both intrusive and unmemorable. The editing and cinematography are clunky in the extreme (particularly during the parts of the film involving sex) and the lighting is curiously both dark and stagey. None of these things work for a film that clearly fancies itself both a work of naturalism and a kind of fairy tale. It lacks both a feeling of the natural world, and a feeling of fairy tale whimsy.
Which is too bad, because the core ensemble and the (albeit underwritten) screeplay both deserve much much better, and the movie happens upon moments that are both quite funny and movie. In other words, it's not the total waste of time that Broken Flowers revealed itself to be, but it certainly isn't work the multiplex's prices these days.