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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hugh the Man, Rose Blossoms in Adam, African films and Artomatic Lives On











Oh so attractive, stars Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne happily perched on their high director chairs to face a mostly pleased audience last week in Georgetown, following a preview of their new movie Adam. Dancy comes off a star turn in the Jane Austen Book Club, where he whined and dined Maria Bello. Byrne told us that it was liberating to leave the zombie world of 28 Days and the stern glances of Glenn Close in Damages.

The film follows the boy-meets-girl script, except this "boy" has Asperger's Syndrome, so there are many complications. It appears to be a pretty honest portrayal of the disease - one of the questioners said his brother-in-law has it and they captured it pretty well - and the actors played mostly nice both on screen and in person. Dancy was commended for the way he did not make eye contact in one particular scene, and he said "it's hard not to look at someone but be listening." Director Max Mayer shared the stage and a slice of the limelight. He got the idea for the story after listening to a piece on NPR, and then, of course, went to the Internet to do research.

The Big Screen does create some funny perceptions. My female friend was a bit disappointed, saying that Dancy is smaller than she envisioned and probably more average looking. But I happened to catch the Jane Austen movie a couple days later on cable, and he certainly looked the romantic-lead part, staring down at the older (!) blonde hotness that is Bello. Anyway, the two British stars agreed that doing American accents is no big deal - no budget for a dialect coach necessary, Dancy said with a smile. He later complimented the supporting actors in the film, Peter Gallagher, Amy Irving and Frankie Faison, and said too bad "Max had to go to the bottom of the barrel with the leads."

Byrne said she had been in India when shooting had started but was excited to come to New York to do the film. (The scenery in the mountains of California of a scene without her is just breathtaking.) Next she said that she's doing a sequel of Forgetting Sarah Marshall. I thought that had been a happy-ever-after ending but what do I know. I recommend seeing this film; it's a romantic dramedy with some twists, smiles, tough moments and real feelings.


Thursday night starts the African Diaspora Film Series at the National Geographic. There will be an opening reception at 5:30 pm followed by the movie Glorious Exit, a documentary about a Swiss-Nigerian actor in Los Angeles who must go home to bury his father. It's only $10 for the reception and film. Other films in the series look interesting as well, including Nothing But the Truth (6pm Saturday) and Movement (Friday at 8:30pm), a dance documentary that will have a Q&A afterward.

On Monday, July 27, at the Folger Theatre, Taffety Punk will present a free showing of Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida. TP has a good reputation for these and the Folger is an awesome venue, so there will probably be a good crowd for the Folger's 250 seats.

Tonight from 6:30-7:30 pm, Hillyer Gallery will be hosting an artists forum and organizational meeting. Sounds like a good way to be part of the community. There's also the ukelele festival at Strathmore and a dive-in movie (The Big Lebowski) at the Capitol Skyline pool. Always tough decisions!







One gallery that you should try to get over to see is Fraser in Bethesda. They are showing the Best of Artomatic and we took some photos when were there. There's another spurned girlfriend exhibit; these are getting a little old (the 2007 Biennale had the queen of these exhibits) but people - women - still seem to enjoy them. Then there's the mini-presidents and the sculpture horse - proceed at your own risk. Kudos to proprietor Catriona Fraser who went through Artomatic on countless visits to find good art among lots of not-so-good art.


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