360 (2011)

360
Director: Fernando Meirelles
Writer: Peter Morgan
Based on: Arthur Schnitzler‘s Reigen (loosely)
Cast: Lucia Siposová, Gabriela Marcinkova, Johannes Krisch, Jude Law, Moritz Bleibtreu, Jamel Debbouze, Dinara Drukarova, Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Rachel Weisz, Juliano Cazarré, Maria Flor, Ben Foster, Anthony Hopkins

Plot:
Starting with a whore Mirka (Lucia Siposová) and her pimp Rocco (Johannes Krisch) in Vienna, 360 moves through various stories that are all somehow connected. From Paris to London and Denver it takes a look at the various kinds of relationships, infidelities and betrayals.

360 is a bit uneven. It has a good cast and some of the stories work perfectly, while others are bland or don’t fit. In short, it just doesn’t really come together.

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Sweet Nothings

It’s Festwochen time again! [For my reviews of last year’s plays, click here.] I got a lot of theatre tickets lined up in the next weeks, so expect a lot of reviews of this stuff.

Sweet Nothings is a new translation of Arthur Schnitzler‘s Liebelei [my review] by David Harrower. The play was produced for the Young Vic in London, directed by Luc Bondy and stars Kate Burdette, Hayley Carmichael, Natalie Dormer, Tom Hughes, Jack Laskey, David Sibley and Andrew Wincott.

Plot:
End of the 19th, early 20th century, Vienna. Fritz (Tom Hughes) and Theodor (Jack Laskey) are best friends, both pretty wealthy but have a very different outlook on life, though both are ultimately jaded. While Dori doesn’t seem to take anything seriously, Fritz is in a rather destructive relationship with a married woman and fears that her husband found out about them and will challenge him to a duel. Dori tries to distract Fritz by introducing him to his current girlfriend Mizi’s (Natalie Dormer) best friend, Christine (Kate Burdette). But Christine really falls in love with Fritz, and quite hard at that. During an evening of partying, the husband actually shows up at Fritz’ place.

Sweet Nothings is an excellent production. The cast is absolutely great. The stage design pretty minimalistic but very effective and I like the play. The only thing that went a little awry was the marketing.

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Liebelei [Flirtation] (Arthur Schnitzler)

Liebelei [German] is in turn translated with Flirtation, The Reckoning, Dalliance or Sweet Nothings, depending on the translation you read. It’s one of the earliest plays by Arthur Schnitzler.
[I read it because I saw a new adaptation, which I’ll review tomorrow.]

Plot:
End of the 19th, early 20th century, Vienna. Fritz and Theodor are best friends, both pretty wealthy but have a very different outlook on life, though both are ultimately jaded. While Dori doesn’t seem to take anything seriously, Fritz is in a rather destructive relationship with a married woman and fears that her husband found out about them and will challenge him to a duel. Dori tries to distract Fritz by introducing him to his current girlfriend Mizi’s best friend, Christine. But Christine really falls in love with Fritz, and quite hard at that. During an evening of partying, the husband actually shows up at Fritz’ place.

Liebelei is a very fluid, quick read and it’s an interesting look at the influence of personal and social moral on relationships. I had my problems relating to Fritz and Christine, but I quite liked Dori and Mizi. In any case, these are interesting, well-rounded characters in a play that asks interesting questions.

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