Saturday, June 30, 2007

Politics of Passion: Plays of Anthony Minghella

Photo/Stan Barouh

Anthony Minghella, somewhat of a cold and intellectual director, is also a playwright -- the mind behind Truly, Madly, Deeply, among other movies you might never have seen. He's the same as a playwright: harshly reliant on language and even more so on silence. As a result, Cheryl Faraone's staging seems overdirected at every turn and a real hodgepodge of one-acts. "Hang Up" does well to divide the two actors, MacLeod Andrews and Lauren Turner Kiel, but the choice to have Kiel sitting on a ladder adds nothing to what is already turning into a terse conversation between He and She. A short excerpt from "Truly, Madly, Deeply," is filled with overflowing energy as a man tries to prolong what would otherwise be the shortest date ever with his art therapy insanity, but its brevity makes it seem like a scene being workshopped in class. The anchor of the night, the 70 minute one-act, "Cigarettes and Chocolate" begins too much in the misty vignette style of Jim Jarmusch, and by the time it settles and shows off Minghella's strengths as a storyteller (in monologue form), Faraone has already lost us with her pastel backgrounds and slanted lighting, all of which serve to make the play seem far more pretentious (or portentous) than it actually is.

[Read on]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Anthony Minghella cold? Have you actually seen Truly, Madly, Deeply? It's one of the most emotional movies I've ever seen!