Next Wednesday afternoon, as part of its Stage on Screen series, the Avon Theatre Film Center, in Stamford, Connecticut, presents one of cinema’s most intimate explorations of theatrical craft, Louis Malle’s 1994 swan song Vanya on 42nd Street. A return to the collaborative relationship that Malle first forged with legendary stage director André Gregory in My Dinner with André, the film documents a private performance of Uncle Vanya held in the abandoned shell of New York’s Victory Theater. The result of a series of Chekhov-focused workshops that Gregory began in 1989 with a group of actors including Wallace Shawn and Julianne Moore, this bare-bones production breathes new life into a classic tale of thwarted desire and bourgeois boredom, its visual sparseness highlighting the blend of lyricism and rough-hewn American vernacular found in David Mamet’s adaptation of the play.
Two Stark Visions of the American Underbelly Hit the Big Screen
A new restoration of the groundbreaking vérité documentary Streetwise joins its companion piece, Tiny: the Life of Eric Blackwell, at New York’s Metrograph theater this weekend.