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‘The Great Society’ Broadway Review: Lbj Meets His Match – Again – As Brian Cox Picks Up Where Bryan Cranston Left Off

  • Deadline
‘The Great Society’ Broadway Review: Lbj Meets His Match – Again – As Brian Cox Picks Up Where Bryan Cranston Left Off
As Robert Schenkkan’s The Great Society begins pulling you back back back to a cultural moment that rivals our own in meanness, division and barrel-scraping crumminess, Brian Cox would seem to have the toughest job on Broadway. Portraying the accidental president who succeeded the martyred one only to land waste deep in one big muddy after another, Cox must convince his audience that he can match, hog-tie and serve up like so much barbecue a personality as big as the Lone Star State itself.

I mean, just imagine having to follow Bryan Cranston.

If you’ve seen HBO’s robust Succession, you already know Cox seems up for just about any challenge tossed his way, including the role of Lyndon Baines Johnson in the second of Schenkkan’s two-part bio-drama. The first installment, All The Way, debuted on Broadway in 2014, winning Cranston a Tony Award for his uncanny performance
See full article at Deadline »

Broadway-Bound ‘The Great Society’ Completes Casting With Richard Nixon, Lady Bird Johnson & Coretta Scott King Roles Filled; Opening Night Set

Broadway-Bound ‘The Great Society’ Completes Casting With Richard Nixon, Lady Bird Johnson & Coretta Scott King Roles Filled; Opening Night Set
Robert Schenkkan’s Broadway-bound The Great Society, his second Lbj play following the celebrated All The Way, has completed casting and set an opening night for Tuesday, October 1 at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.

Joining the previously announced Brian Cox (as Lyndon B. Johnson) will be Marchánt Davis as Stokely Carmichael, Brian Dykstra as Adam Walinsky, Barbara Garrick as Lady Bird Johnson, David Garrison as Richard Nixon, Ty Jones as Reverend Ralph Abernathy, Christopher Livingston as James Bevel, Angela Pierce as Pat Nixon, Matthew Rauch as Robert McNamara, Nikkole Salter as Coretta Scott King and Tramell Tillman as Bob Moses.

Previews begin on the previously announced Friday, September 6 for a strictly limited 12-week engagement.

The newcomers join the previously announced Cox, Grantham Coleman as Martin Luther King Jr., Marc Kudisch as Richard J. Daley, Bryce Pinkham as Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Frank Wood as Senator Everett Dirksen, Gordon Clapp as J. Edgar Hoover,
See full article at Deadline »

‘Succession’ Star Brian Cox to Play Lbj in Broadway Drama ‘The Great Society’

‘Succession’ Star Brian Cox to Play Lbj in Broadway Drama ‘The Great Society’
Brian Cox, star of HBO’s “Succession,” will play Lyndon B. Johnson in this fall’s Broadway production of Robert Schenkkan’s “The Great Society” — the follow-up to his Tony-winning play “All the Way” that secured Bryan Cranston a Tony of his own as the Texas political giant who became the 36th president of the United States.

Performances will begin a 12-week run on September 6 for a still-to-be-announced official opening at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center. The show includes two dozen locations and 50 characters, including Richard J. Daley, Martin Luther King Jr. and Hubert Humphrey (Richard Thomas).

Actors playing Richard Nixon, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Coretta Scott King, Lady Bird Johnson, J. Edgar Hoover, Governor George Wallace and Robert McNamara are still to be cast.

Bill Rauch (“All the Way”) will direct the production, which depicts the tumultuous times that led to the conclusion of the Johnson presidency
See full article at The Wrap »

Lbj Play ‘The Great Society’ Bound For Broadway; Brian Cox Cast In Follow-Up To Tony-Winning ‘All The Way’

He may not have sought nor did he accept a return to the White House, but Lyndon B. Johnson is coming back to Broadway: The Great Society, a companion play to Robert Schenkkan’s Tony-winning All The Way, will begin performances in September, with Brian Cox as the 36th President of the United States.

Also in the cast will be Richard Thomas, Marc Kudisch and Grantham Coleman (Amazon Studio’s upcoming Against All Enemies) making his Broadway debut as Martin Luther King Jr.

All The Way won the 2014 Tony Award for Best Play and Bryan Cranston took the Tony for his lead role as Lbj. All The Way director Bill Rauch will return in that capacity for The Great Society.

While the earlier play chronicled Lbj’s efforts on behalf of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the new play depicts the tumultuous events building to the conclusion of the Johnson
See full article at Deadline »

The Handmaid's Tale's Cmdr. Lawrence Is an Enigma to Bradley Whitford, Too: 'I Don't Know Where This Guy Lands'

The Handmaid's Tale's Cmdr. Lawrence Is an Enigma to Bradley Whitford, Too: 'I Don't Know Where This Guy Lands'
The Handmaid’s Tale‘s Commander Lawrence has shown an extreme willingness to aid women rebelling against the show’s misogynistic central regime. Which is ironic, Bradley Whitford muses, because the architect of Gilead literally never sticks his neck out for anyone.

The character wears a scarf wrapped up to his chin in nearly every scene, a concept Whitford recalls bubbled up during costume fittings. “I wanted a brazenness about him, but I wanted it to be protected,” he tells TVLine, adding that he’d just watched a piece about the language of necks in nature (“Human beings in bars,
See full article at TVLine.com »

‘Handmaid’s Tale': Bradley Whitford Explains Why Lawrence Created Gilead and How He’s ‘Testing’ June

  • The Wrap
‘Handmaid’s Tale': Bradley Whitford Explains Why Lawrence Created Gilead and How He’s ‘Testing’ June
(Warning: This post contains spoilers for the first three episodes of Season 3 of “The Handmaid’s Tale”)

Commander Joseph Lawrence is an enigma, even to Bradley Whitford, who plays the character — one of the architects of Gilead — on Season 3 of “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

“The fun thing about this guy, and the horrible thing, is that he is filled with contradictions,” Whitford told TheWrap. “And the basic way I think about this guy is like Robert McNamara, the guy who ran the war in Vietnam for Kennedy and Johnson. He was a brilliant, brilliant businessman and economic thinker who revolutionized the auto industry and then took all that brilliance and exterminated a couple million people in Southeast Asia. And I think Lawrence is a guy with a big brain that has obliterated his humanity. And I think when you meet him, what you are seeing are the unconscious beginnings of his humanity coming back.
See full article at The Wrap »

American Dharma: Steve Bannon Documentary Cannot Justify Existence

David Crow Oct 1, 2018

Errol Morris' new documentary, American Dharma, attempts to get honest answers out of Steve Bannon. That might be an impossible task.

There should be no fear of addressing a political opponent, even one as perilous as Steve Bannon, in an honest and genuine discourse. This principle (and the media attention it would generate) is precisely what the New Yorker Festival attempted to renew last month when Bannon was invited to share a dialogue about his frankly repugnant ideas. In a sincere debate of political beliefs—such as the kind Errol Morris pursues in his new documentary about the banished Trump advisor and happy nationalist—Bannon’s rooted ideology of bigotry, cynicism, and a crude rationalization for the worst excesses of greed masquerading as capitalism would disintegrate.

Yet while attempting to make that picture in American Dharma, Morris finds himself ultimately negotiating the finer points of a deal with the proverbial Devil.
See full article at Den of Geek »

Memo to Distributors: Buy These TIFF 2018 Movies

  • Indiewire
Memo to Distributors: Buy These TIFF 2018 Movies
The market at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival wasn’t sleepy, as some of the hottest sales titles found eager buyers over the course of the 10-day gathering: from Focus Features buying the campy Neil Jordan-Isabelle Huppert team-up “Greta” to Neon picking up Brady Corbet’s wild Natalie Portman pop star saga “Vox Lux” and A24 nabbing Clarie Denis’ space opera “High Life,” plenty of Tiff breakouts found homes. Nevertheless, Tiff features a massive lineup and many strong movies failed to close deals before the festival concluded. Here are some of the highlights that still need homes.

Angelo

Markus Schleinzer follows up his daring character study “Michael,” which focused on the experiences of a young child kidnapped by a pedophile, with another disturbing look at a boy kidnapped and forced to participate in a lifestyle beyond his control. This time, the setting is 18th century Vienna,
See full article at Indiewire »

Tiff Review: ‘American Dharma’ Finds Errol Morris Getting Lost in the Fog of War

It’s impossible to separate American Dharma, the latest film from legendary documentary filmmaker Errol Morris, from the controversy surrounding its subject. Steve Bannon—former Trump campaign/administration advisor and guru of the so-dubbed “alt-right” movement with his former far-right propaganda news site Breitbart that he helped popularize alongside the late Andrew Breitbart—recently found himself “pulled from” the New Yorker festival of “ideas” when people fairly questioned the point of giving his “ideas” a platform. The broad strokes of his rhetoric are saving America’s economy and bringing about jobs through racist dog-whistle nationalism, disrupting the elite class of bureaucratic politicians, and even more unregulated trickledown economics—a policy a lot of Democratic and Republican elites already agree with him on (remember that “tax bill”?) despite the evidence that it is responsible for creating more wealth inequality than ever.

Which is why going into Errol Morris’ third installment of
See full article at The Film Stage »

Venice Review: ‘Arrivederci Saigon’ Looks at the Vietnam War Through a Female Perspective

After Ken Burns’ exhaustive, comprehensive documentary series The Vietnam War aired last year there was little in the way of answers to the lingering question of how something as catastrophic as the Vietnam War was allowed to happen. The most common answer is that the United States were afraid of the spread of communism as Mao and his following had seized China. With Russia in lock-step, they feared the rest of Asia falling and considered Vietnam the last stand. Everyone now in hindsight knows that this was not a just war or a civil one, but a battle of a hypothetical fear that hadn’t been proven. President Kennedy and Robert McNamara were going to end things before it got even worse and Vietnam became a chess piece in a long-gestating cold war, but what they hadn’t fully considered was that Vietnam had a right to govern itself, especially after France occupied the land,
See full article at The Film Stage »

Toronto 2018 Review: American Dharma Wrestles With Our Current Political Carnage

The third chapter in Errol Morris's documentary interview trilogy on significant figures in USA policy creation and thinking is described by the director himself as "his horror movie." Indeed, the Oscar-winner featured a very considerate and quite repentant Secretary of State, Robert McNamara, examining his mid-20th century legacy with a candour and generosity directed towards the filmmaker. Another U.S. Secretary of State, in the latter part of the 20th century, Donald Rumsfeld was more adversarial and his interview plays out like a chess match. It's an interview that results in a stalemate, and some frustration towards the audience, but fully captures the paradoxes of the man, in spite of no answers. Now Steve Bannon and Morris interact somewhere between a wild-West showdown and a slow-motion mud...

[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Toronto Docs Tackle Politics and Current Affairs

  • Variety
Toronto Docs Tackle Politics and Current Affairs
It’s been close to two years since the 2016 presidential election and although a few documentaries about President Trump have been released, including Jack Bryan’s “Active Measures” and Maxim Pozdorovkin’s “Our New President,” there has yet to be a seminal film about the making of America’s 45th president.

Until Tiff 2018.

This year’s fest nonfiction lineup features a crop of powerful films from veteran doc directors that explore not only the rise of Trump, but also the people responsible for his success. People such as Steve Bannon and Roger Ailes.

“It makes sense that we’re seeing films directly reflective of the 2016 election now, two years later,” said Tiff documentary programmer Thom Powers. “I think two years is the kind of typical gestation period for filmmakers to really pull off a great documentary.”

Powers was referring to the cluster of docus that tackle and reflect upon America
See full article at Variety »

Errol Morris Defends Controversial Steve Bannon Documentary

  • Variety
Errol Morris Defends Controversial Steve Bannon Documentary
Errol Morris is no stranger to controversy.

Over the course of his Oscar-winning career, the documentary filmmaker has grilled such political lightning rods as Robert McNamara and Donald Rumsfeld, men who have been blamed for needlessly spilling American blood on unpopular wars. In Steve Bannon, a provocateur who is credited with helping Donald Trump capture the White House, he may have stirred up the hornets nest. Morris’ new film, “American Dharma,” is an earnest attempt by the “Fog of War” director to figure out what the hell happened. How did a reality TV star and real estate developer mount the most successful populist campaign since Andrew Jackson?

“We have to look at these people to understand them,” said Morris. “We have to wrestle with their ideas rather than pretend they don’t exist. As much as we may not like to admit it, Trump is president, and if we don’t understand how that happened,
See full article at Variety »

American Dharma Review

  • HeyUGuys
Ok, there’s no easy way to say this, but watching an interview with Steve Bannon is not pleasant viewing. I know, shocking right? But the hope for Errol Morris’s film was that Bannon would get a skewering. Morris brought us the doc about Robert McNamara and the Cuban Missile Crisis, The Fog of War (a film which Bannon saw as inspirational for his own politics) and the brilliant The Unknown Known (which also made its debut in Venice in 2013) in which Donald Rumsfeld takes a pasting.

So does Morris lure Bannon into making any telling revelations or skewering himself? The answer is a resounding no. Bannon, often mocked by the liberal left as a shambolic bully who looks like a homeless drunk, comes across in this film as a highly intelligent, articulate and enormously capable man in pretty much any field he has worked in, most notably at
See full article at HeyUGuys »

‘American Dharma’ Review: Errol Morris’ Steve Bannon Documentary Is the Most Disturbing Movie of the Year — Venice

‘American Dharma’ Review: Errol Morris’ Steve Bannon Documentary Is the Most Disturbing Movie of the Year — Venice
Errol Morris excels at interrogating morally complicated men, from Robert McNamara to Donald Rumsfeld, but he’s never ventured as far to the dark side as he does with “American Dharma.” Confronting Steve Bannon in a cold, empty room for the duration of this unsettling portrait, Morris presses the alt-right icon to justify the racist ideology behind the machinations that propelled Donald Trump to the White House.

Morris consolidates Bannon’s evolution from conservative media maverick to the architect of the Trump campaign into a slick overview. However, those details are less compelling than Morris’ tendencies to interrupt Bannon’s self-mythologizing in search of the truth. “American Dharma” delivers a suspenseful and upsetting showdown between one man confident of his cause and another mortified by it.

At certain points, “American Dharma” becomes a nightmarish variation on a TCM special, with Bannon narrating highlights from some of his favorite movies, drawing
See full article at Indiewire »

Steve Bannon to Attend Venice Film Festival Premiere of Documentary About Him

  • Variety
Steve Bannon to Attend Venice Film Festival Premiere of Documentary About Him
After being dropped as a participant by The New Yorker Festival former top Trump advisor Steve Bannon is expected tomorrow on the Venice Film Festival’s red carpet for the world premiere of “American Dharma,” the documentary about him directed by Errol Morris.

Bannon, who will not be doing press at the festival, is currently in Venice and is expected to attend the gala screening of the doc on the Lido tomorrow. The festival has confirmed that Bannon will probably attend the premiere, but not as part of its official delegation.

There was never a plan for Bannon to attend the press conference, according to the doc’s publicist.

American Dharma,” which is launching from Venice out-of-competition, stems from a sit-down between the alt-right maven and Morris who previously turned his cameras on such controversial figures as Donald Rumsfeld (“The Unknown Known”) and Robert McNamara (“The Fog of War”).

The 95-minute doc,
See full article at Variety »

Hot Titles at Toronto Film Festival 2018

  • Variety
Hot Titles at Toronto Film Festival 2018
The Toronto International Film Festival is a launching pad for Oscar-hopefuls, but it’s also a thriving market. In the past, movies such as “I, Tonya” and “Still Alice” have scored major deals at the Canadian gathering, going on to enjoy critical success and awards love.

That’s always the dream. But for every “I, Tonya,” the festival is littered with examples of sales that sputtered out when the movies finally saw the light of day. Remember “Hardcore Henry,” “Top Five,” or “Begin Again”? Didn’t think so. However all of those films inspired bidding wars up north. Their failure is a reminder of the very real dangers of festival fever, the virus that encourages normally level-headed studio executives to keep sweetening their offers beyond the point of reason.

Which movies will inspire big bids at this year’s fest? Here are a few that have buyers buzzing.

Hot Titles
See full article at Variety »

Venice Film Festival Kicks Off Star-Studded Anniversary Edition

  • Variety
Venice Film Festival Kicks Off Star-Studded Anniversary Edition
The Venice Film Festival kicks off one of its most star-studded editions Wednesday with Ryan Gosling, Lady Gaga, Emma Stone and Joaquin Phoenix among the top talent expected to descend on the red carpet, as the Lido boosts its status as an awards season king-maker.

The 75th edition of the world’s oldest film festival is top-heavy with a slew of awards hopefuls, starting with the opener, Damien Chazelle’s space epic “First Man,” in which Gosling plays astronaut Neil Armstrong. The movie’s press screening prompted positive reactions, both on the Lido and on Twitter where, besides Gosling’s performance, praise was being lavished on Claire Foy’s portrayal of Armstrong’s wife, Janet Shearon. But critics have yet to weigh in, abiding by the festival’s new embargo on reviews until a film’s public screening takes place.

Gosling and Chazelle were cheered when they arrived for the film’s press conference,
See full article at Variety »

‘Seal Team’ Ups Judd Lormand to Series Regular for Season 2

  • Variety
‘Seal Team’ Ups Judd Lormand to Series Regular for Season 2
Judd Lormand has been promoted to series regular for the second season of “Seal Team” at CBS.

Lormand plays Lieutenant Commander Eric Blackburn, the Seal Team troop commander who coordinates operations whenever Bravo team is on mission and serves as the team’s leader and confidant, both on and off the battlefield.

In addition to his work on “Seal Team,” Lormand has appeared in over 70 feature films and television shows. His television credits include fellow CBS shows “NCIS: New Orleans” and “Zoo,” as well as “American Horror Story” on FX. He also played Secretary of State Robert McNamara in “Lbj” opposite Woody Harrelson, Mr. Freely in “Carter & June,” and a corrupt police officer in “Jack Reacher: Never Go Back.”

He is repped by Alexander White Agency, Rugolo Entertainment, and attorney Derek Kroeger.

“What I love about Judd as an actor is his naturalness, his ease of performance and his
See full article at Variety »

Bradley Whitford on the ‘Profoundly Creative Experience’ of Joining ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

  • Variety
Bradley Whitford on the ‘Profoundly Creative Experience’ of Joining ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’
Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Postpartum,” the 12th episode of the second season of “The Handmaid’s Tale”

When Bradley Whitford tries to put his experience with “The Handmaid’s Tale” into words, the first thing that comes to mind is that it is a “brutal show” and “overwhelming to watch.”

He’s not the first to say so.

But he also says it has been a “profoundly creative experience,” all-around, including costume fittings, shooting his scenes, and looping dialogue after production.

“It is obviously one of the most emotionally brutal shows that has ever been made, and it is truly the sweetest, kindest set you’ve ever been on, which I think enhances the work. But it is quite a contrast once they say action,” Whitford says.

The veteran actor made his debut as Commander Joseph Lawrence on the Hulu and MGM series
See full article at Variety »
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