Liev Schreiber

Now Playing: David Lynch is WILD AT HEART, Scorsese revisits the mob in CASINO

Article: Now Playing: David Lynch is WILD AT HEART, Scorsese revisits the mob in CASINO

This week’s assortment of celluloid delights begins tonight with Liev Schreiber’s directorial debut and continues with the seminal David Lynch road movie, a foul-mouthed British political parody, a profile of a sexy French coed, and Martin Scorsese doing what he does best. Sit back and enjoy the ride, because this road’s gonna take you anywhere you want to go.

Is Paul Ryan the new MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE?

Article: Is Paul Ryan the new MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A buff, young Congressman with a peninsular hairline unexpectedly earns his party’s nomination for Vice President, but he’s really just a puppet of global corporate forces who want to install him in the White House so he’ll implement their nefarious agenda. No, it’s not THE PAUL RYAN STORY—I’m talking about Jonathan Demme’s eerily prescient 2004 remake of THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, airing on Sundance Channel tonight at 9P.

THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE: Jonathan Demme remakes a political thriller — and himself

Article: THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE: Jonathan Demme remakes a political thriller — and himself

When Jonathan Demme remade THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE — airing tonight at 10P — in 2004, many people were perplexed: Why remake a film that was such a perfect time capsule of Cold War pop culture? Indeed, John Frankenheimer’s 1962 original, about a politician who has been brainwashed by the enemy, feels perfectly placed in history: It’s a film that both embraces Red Scare paranoia while satirizing McCarthyist histrionics. Demme probably felt that the post-9/11 political climate in the U.S., what with the enigmatic War on Terrorism and the controversial Patriot Act, warranted a revisitation of this premise. But the original was, in essence, a tight and effective suspense flick with political overtones — more Hitchcock than Sherwood Andersen. Demme’s politically pointed remake is darker, more modern and more despairing, with an A-List cast to match its ambitions, featuring Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber and Meryl Streep.

THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE: Jonathan Demme remakes a political thriller — and himself

Article: THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE: Jonathan Demme remakes a political thriller — and himself

When Jonathan Demme remade THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE — airing tonight at 10P — in 2004, many people were perplexed: Why remake a film that was such a perfect time capsule of Cold War pop culture? Indeed, John Frankenheimer’s 1962 original, about a politician who has been brainwashed by the enemy, feels perfectly placed in history: It’s a film that both embraces Red Scare paranoia while satirizing McCarthyist histrionics. Demme probably felt that the post-9/11 political climate in the U.S., what with the enigmatic War on Terrorism and the controversial Patriot Act, warranted a revisitation of this premise. But the original was, in essence, a tight and effective suspense flick with political overtones — more Hitchcock than Sherwood Andersen. Demme’s politically pointed remake is darker, more modern and more despairing, with an A-List cast to match its ambitions, featuring Denzel Washington, Liev Schreiber and Meryl Streep.

A View From the Bridge

Article: A View From the Bridge

Scarlett Johanssen and Liev Schreiber in Arthur Miller’s “A View From the Bridge”

When Arthur Miller’s play “A View From the Bridge” was first staged in 1955 as a one-act, it met with only moderate success. This was after the Pulitzer Prize for “Death of a Salesman” had already solidified his reputation as one of the most talented writers of the time, and only two years after the resounding success of “The Crucible.” So in 1956, one year after “A View From the Bridge” opened, Miller added second act and the one-act version was never seen again. The play is now considered to be one of his most notable works and has been performed over the last 50 years to much success, especially the 1987 production at the National Theatre in London starring Michael Gambon and the 1997 Tony Award-winning revival with Anthony LaPaglia, Allison Janney and the late Brittany Murphy. And while I never saw those productions, I think the casting director for the current production at the Cort Theatre struck the right notes with Liev Schreiber, Jessica Hecht and Scarlett Johansson in the roles of Eddie Carbone, his wife Beatrice and their niece Catherine.