Release Date: June 10, 2003 by Buena Vista
Starring: Salma Hayek, Alfred Molina, Geoffrey Rush, Edward Norton, Ashley Judd
Directed by: Julie Taymor
The Movie: Bringing the life of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo to the screen was a well-publicized labor of love for star and producer Salma Hayek. That passion is clearly conveyed in the colorful film, which spans 30 years of Kahlo’s life, beginning with the horrific trolley accident that left her painfully crippled, centering on her fiery marriage with fellow painter Diego Rivera (well played by a puffed-up Alfred Molina), and ending with her death at age 47. Taking audiences on such a long journey within two hours demands decisive focus, and director Julie Taymor has chosen to spend more time with Kahlo’s vibrant personality than with her wrenching sense of failure (physical, emotional, and otherwise), leaving the audience celebrating Kahlo instead of pitying her. The consequence of Taymor’s choice is that the film doesn’t delve much beneath the surface of Kahlo’s challenging life. But Frida’s innovative visual approach certainly makes up for the deeper drama the film sometimes lacks.
The Disc: With a full second disc of interviews and behind-the-scenes footage as well as commentaries by Taymor and composer Elliot Goldenthal, there’s a full afternoon’s worth of extras. It’s more than the average viewer might want, but perfect for Fridaphiles.
SALMA HAYEK ON BECOMING OBSESSED WITH FRIDA
Salma Hayek recalls the first time, when she was a young teenager, that she saw some of Frida Kahlo’s very personal, very disturbing paintings. “A friend of mine showed me her art, and I went, ‘Oh, that’s disgusting, so ugly,’ ” the actress says. “And then I said, ‘Would you show me that again, that horrible picture?’ I became fascinated by them, and then I became obsessed.” So obsessed that the Mexican artist, who died in 1954, invaded Hayek’s dreams during the making of Frida (due in theaters next year).
“I was dreaming about something else, and I heard her voice in Spanish yelling, ‘They stole my little leg!’ Her voice was that of a little girl, and [she was] screaming to get my attention.” Hayek has devoted six years to realizing her own dream of playing Kahlo onscreen. “I never knew if it was really going to happen until the first day of shooting,” she says. “Even then, I was cautious about everything I did, terrified that I was going to break a leg.” Along the way, she snapped up the rights to film Kahlo’s artwork (or likenesses thereof) and fended off competition from Madonna and Jennifer Lopez, who were among the many inspired by the bisexual, unibrowed artist and her juicy life story, which involved physical hardship (a near-fatal bus accident and crippling polio) and free-spirited sexuality (Kahlo had a loving but mutually unfaithful 25-year marriage to renowned muralist Diego Rivera, and her lovers included Leon Trotsky).
In her homeland, she is also an icon. “Frida and Diego are the two biggest stars of Mexico,” says Julie Taymor (Titus), the film’s director. “Frida’s even on every phone card.” Taymor, who reworked the script with the help of Hayek’s boyfriend, Edward Norton, says she was drawn to “Frida’s outrageous, death-defying life, as well as this extraordinary romance that is unlike any other. The test of fidelity and loyalty. People are very disturbed by these issues—how can you love somebody and still be unfaithful?” The cast includes Alfred Molina as Rivera, Geoffrey Rush as Trotsky, Ashley Judd, Antonio Banderas, Valeria Golino, and Norton. But it is Hayek who is in virtually every scene, and who logged at least 18 hours each shooting day (“sometimes 22—once 24,” the actress says cheerfully), aging from 16 to 47 and learning to paint for the role. “I never really could draw,” Hayek says, “[but] I painted two portraits of [Kahlo] that are really good.”
“No one’s seen Salma like this,” Taymor says. “She can use her sexuality, her humor, her innocence, and then have this incredible sophistication and acerbic smartness. That’s a fascinating combination for a woman, because we don’t allow it to happen very often.” Also rare is the combination of talented women who came together on this project, including the director, producers, line producer, editor, and many others. “It was so filled with female energy,” Hayek says. The shoot, which took place in Mexico with a largely Mexican crew, included regular Thursday-night dancing excursions and a great deal of affection. “I must have kissed 30 or 40 people every morning,” says producer Sarah Green (Girlfight). Hayek says with a laugh, “Geoffrey Rush would look at all these great, interesting, nurturing women and say, ‘My God, I think I’ve gone to heaven.’ ”
Dave Saint Show, The (UK Play 2000, John Thomson, Alexander Kirk)
The Dave Saint Show was a comedy about a useless heavy metal DJ on a local radio station. As was usual with with shows on extra terrestrial channel UK Play music videos were interspersed throughout the show.
UK / UK Play – Channel X / x30 minute episodes / Broadcast 2000
Writers: Alexander Kirk, Simon Messingham / Script Consultant: Stacy Herbert / Music: Steve Cripps, Dan Mendford / Costumes: Pookie Russell / Producer: Jim Reid / Director: Mark Mylod
JOHN THOMSON as Dave Saint
ALEXANDER KIRK as AK
KATE LOUSTOU as Jeneane
Game of Thrones Season Six Opener reviews from around and about
Assorted reviews from the interweb of the season six opener for Game Of Thrones.
Game of Thrones is back, with a premiere full of shocks, bloody acts and creepy reveals – but no definite answer about the fate of Jon Snow.
Season six is the first time the TV series has moved ahead of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, so even dedicated readers have no idea what will happen. Reviewers say the first episode, The Red Woman, resolved some of the cliffhangers from the last series, but also has a few shocks in store, including one very creepy reveal involving a leading lady.
“The tension was incredible,” says Ed Power in the Daily Telegraph.
Season six opened with the camera swooping low over Castle Black and pausing on noble Jon Snow after his bloody run-in with the traitorous Night’s Watch.
“Alas, the Bastard of Winterfell (Kit Harington) was, for the time being at least, staying very dead indeed,” says Power. This was confirmed by “a haunting close-up of his waxy visage and the pool of scarlet arranged like a skewed halo”.
Short of spelling out: “He’s dead!” in huge flaming letters, the writers couldn’t have driven the point home harder, adds the critic, who asks whether this was “a sadistic riposte to fans” who have waited a year to see if their heart-throb will return or “a sleight-of-hand intended to make his eventual reappearance all the more dramatically satisfying”.
Christopher Hooton in The Independent writes: “The last season of Game of Thrones didn’t so much end on a cliff-hanger as a splat on the beach below. Jon Snow is unequivocally dead,” or so we’ve been repeatedly told over the past few months.
However, he adds, the sheer amount of screen time given to his body “suggested more than just a ‘funeral then we all move on with our lives’ narrative”.
With the “obligatory Jon Snow death check” out of the way, this episode was mostly about setting up the playing field for the rest of the season, continues the critic.
Indeed, it was “a sombre, sturdy opening”, says Matt Fowler on IGN. While “not a high watermark for the show”, the series’ opener resolved some cliff-hangers and included “a big creepy reveal regarding Melisandre right at the end”.
It also set up the pieces on the chessboard and managed to touch upon just about every character in the ensemble, says the journalist, a much easier task these days, “now that the herd is so thin”.
Yes, it was a “table-setting episode”, says Daniel Fienberg at the Hollywood Reporter, as premieres are supposed to be. The episode did what it needed, putting this mammoth locomotive back on the track.
Being Game of Thrones, however, there were a few shockers, including some gory violence and nudity that is “more shocking in its narrative ramifications than its gratuity or titillation”. And while the answer to Snow’s wellbeing comes quickly, says Fienberg, “it needn’t necessarily be permanent, because what things are?”
Source: The Week
Columbo Series Three Region 1 DVD Review
Distributor: Universal Home Entertainment
Certificate: Not Rated | 11 Hours and 24 minutes
Available to buy
ANYONE IN IT WE KNOW?
Peter Falk, Martin Sheen, Vincent Price, Deidre Hall, Jackie Cooper
WHAT’S IT ABOUT THEN?
The Columbo releases from Universal are now upto the third season and of course by now it is full steam ahead as Columbo really hits its stride, of course the basic premise of the show dictates that we know who the killer is right from the get go but by the third season the audience was lapping up the way the Superlative Peter Falk as Lt Columbo doggedly pursued
his villain who were always lulled into a false sense of security by Columbo’s grubby mac, battered old car and down at heel demeanour, all tactics designed to throw the suspect off guard before he lets them know that he knows they did it.
Spread over two double sided discs this nicely put together set features all 8 feature length season three episodes, Columbo’s cases include the mysterious death of a well known author, a country singer who is prime suspect in a murder case, he also finds time to uncover police corruption and political skullduggery. Columbo also always managed to attract a high level of guest and this series includes the legendary Johnny Cash in the episode Swan Song as well as the likes of
Jose Ferrier, Vincent Price, Martin Sheen, Dana Elcar and Robert Culp. A classy slice of 1970’s Tec TV Heaven, Columbo always entertains and should be on any Classic TV fans must have list.
ANY SPECIAL FEATURES?
There’s a great bonus episode from the series Mrs Columbo (which many have claimed isn’t a spin off from Columbo but having now seen an episode it clearly is) this is called Murder Is A Parlour Game (from 1979) and features Kate Mulgrew as Kate Columbo, journalist on a small local paper and married to a never seen Lt Columbo, she investigates when a suicide case appears to be murder, the excellent Donald Pleasance guest stars, this is great fun and is hopefully a precursor to the whole series getting a release.
Please note: This article predates the published date and is from the old HTML version of Memorable TV and is part of our From The Archives collection.
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