REEL TALK: ‘Cruella’ cannot discover target market | Arts & Leisure

We have seen more than a dozen Disney live-action remakes in the past 10 years, including Beauty and the Beast, Vicious, Mary Poppins, Dumbo, The Lion King, and “Mulan”.

“Cruella” is the latest live-action version, but this dark origins story isn’t your typical Disney tariff.

Rated PG-13 and with a running time of 2 hours and 14 minutes, this is not the one that makes the small tikes see, especially on the big screen. In fact, I’m not sure who the target audience for this is, with its traumatic and tragic beginnings and twisted finale to play out for the subsequent stories in the film.

We meet Estella (Tipper Seifert-Cleveland, plays the young version of the character) – who later transforms into Cruella (Emma Stone) – as a teenager who shows even on the day of her birth that she is not like everyone else.

With hair evenly split on each side, light and dark, similar to the personality of this character, little Estella and her mother live a humble life. Estella proves that behavior cannot be taken for granted as she tries to follow her cute mother’s advice to be kind and get along with others.

She is lively, refutes all the rules and does not hesitate to throw the first blow. But after witnessing the death of her mother, Estella – now an orphan – has to develop street arts and educate herself thanks to the Baroness (Emma Thompson) indictment against the Dalmatians … with a little help from her new found friends Jasper (Ziggy) Gardner) and Horace (Joseph MacDonald).

After a very drawn out childhood story, we are finally catapulted into the 1970s when Estella, an aspiring seamstress, accidentally finds her way into the baroness’s couture clothing company. She stands out from her competition and works her way from coffee runner to ball gown designer.

But when Estella learns more about the dirty story between the baroness and her mother, she discovers that an internal switch has been thrown and that her goal in life is to kill the baroness. With smart planning and two lackeys ready to obey any instruction, Estella becomes Cruella in search of sweet revenge.

“Cruella” has so many flaws in the story design, despite its beautiful costume and production design that has established itself as the forerunner of all other Cruella stories known to us, that it is nothing more than a bundle of rags sewn together.

The young Estella, who is smart, stands up for the little guy and is tougher than any other boy, will no longer be recognized as the adult version of Estella. She is initially scared, insecure, and meek.

This contradicts the entire makeup of Estella’s intrinsic traits and makes us question the character in general. She gets nasty, but spending so much time on childhood backstory seems such a waste now that it turns out to be irrelevant.

Time and tempo are another theme in this film as art trumps history. Director Craig Gillespie, who gave us such masterful films as “I, Tonya” and “The Finest Hours,” loses track of his story because he spends so much time on unnecessary close-ups and looking for shots that lack emotion and those who can’t. Tell a fable succinctly.

With the exception of Emma Thompson, the story fails in terms of pace, but also in terms of casting. Stone can’t shed her embarrassingly adorable sweetness despite her threatening dialogue.

Oscillating between her low self-esteem Estella and the cunning Cruella, Stone has two cogs to portray these characters, and we always see through the veneer – she’s still the bubbly girl next door. Fry and Hauser try as hard as they can to channel their inner morons as Jasper and Horace, but there is no laugh between them.

Mark Strong, as best he could, is completely untapped as a key character in John the Valet. Unfortunately, even Thompson’s killer performance can’t revive this Disney classic.

As the story stutters and falters, the harrowing, but somehow funny, musical score wakes you up to get back into the story. The soundtrack, a uniquely curated soundtrack that is perfectly tailored to the situations and scenes, is a highlight of “Cruella”. This will be fun for rock fans of the 1970s, but that aspect will go way over the head for the little ones.

Disney’s attempt to give us a backstory to explain Cruella’s beginnings falls flat like a pancake. With the wrong cast, an incredibly dark and disturbing beginning, an inconsistent character development and an urgent need for massive editing, “Cruella” fidgets both when telling the story and when it comes to knowing the target group.

Reel Talk Rating: 2 stars (great production, costume and musical design)

NY Philharmonic provides 1st live performance with viewers in 13 months | Ap-entertainment

NEW YORK (AP) – Esa-Pekka Salonen took the stage to join the New York Philharmonic, which hadn’t gathered in front of an audience in exactly 400 days.

“On behalf of all of us on stage, welcome back,” the conductor told the crowd on Wednesday night. “We dreamed of this moment for a long time.”

The Philharmonic gave its first public performance after a historic hiatus of more than 13 months caused by the coronavirus pandemic. She played at the Shed on Brookfield Place, about two miles from the under-refurbished Geffen Hall in the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

“I’m currently at a euphoric climax because I missed it more than I realized,” said concertmaster Frank Huang afterwards.

There was a reduced strength of 23 strings – all masked – and no brass or woodwinds for a program that lasted an hour: Caroline Shaw’s “Entr’acte”, Jean Silbelius ‘”Rakastava (The Lover)” and Richard Strauss’ ” Metamorphoses “. ”

The cavernous shed, which opened in April 2019, had a masked audience of 150 people spread out in groups of one and two folding chairs with about 10 feet of space between each set in a venue typically seating about 1,200.

There were electronic tickets with timed entry, and temperatures were measured upon entry. Each person had to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test or proof that the vaccination had been completed at least 14 days before.

Many musicians taught during the gap. They had the benefit of continued but reduced salaries, unlike their Lincoln Center neighbor, the Metropolitan Opera, which long stopped paying their unionized employees.

The last time the Philharmonic gathered in front of an audience was on March 10th last year for a night of Claude Debussy compositions with mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard and conductor Louis Langree.

Since then, at most a handful of the Philharmonic Orchestra had played together in public, with “bandwagon” performances moving around the New York City area and as a quartet in Florida, where COVID-19 regulations were less stringent. There were also digital release programs on NYPhil + recorded at St. Bart’s Church and Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center with music director Jaap van Zweden.

The Philharmonic hope to resume their regular subscription concerts in September, which will be relocated to Tully and the Rose Theater at Lincoln Center Jazz until the Geffen reopens in September 2022. Her musicians will open the summer series of picnic performances in New York’s Bryant Park with four nights beginning June 9th and hope to play in Vail, Colorado as well. The limited return is ahead of the Broadway shows, which have been talking about a possible resumption in September, and the Met, which opens on September 27, if new working arrangements can be made.

Salonen, the 62-year-old music director of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and chief conductor of the London Philharmonia Orchestra, appeared as a guest conductor and will repeat the program on Thursday evening.

“If there’s one thing we musicians have loved in these 14 months or so, it’s that nothing – absolutely nothing – can replace the plot and ritual of a live concert,” he told the audience. “Music, of course, exists on many different levels: in written form using the complex system of symbols we call notation; as recordings on various media; or perhaps most importantly in our memories and dreams. However, music can really fulfill its original. I dare to say the biological function as a powerful tool to convey deepest emotions and feelings only when it is performed here and now at this point in time of the union, when musicians and audience become one in a perfect symbiosis. “

Acoustics are difficult for an orchestra in The Shed because the high ceiling creates the need for reinforcement. The players grinned as they saw the crowd, and some in the audience responded with standing ovations.

“The three works we picked tonight all share a sense of moan, nostalgia and loss that is elevated to something deeply and essentially human by sheer beauty,” said Salonen. “Of course, after these months, not a single program can begin to sum up our feelings and emotions. Instead, we should see today’s concert as a new beginning, a signal for happier times, filled with music and other things that give meaning to our existence in this troubled world. “

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Queer on-line collection meets keen Russian LGBTQ viewers | Leisure

MOSCOW (AP) – Russian film director Andrei Fenochka says his online series about queer young people is important to LGBTQ people in a country that bans gay “propaganda” among minors.

Fenochka’s “Here I Come” series, which debuted last fall, is only available to people over the age of 18 under Russian law.

Fenochka said Tuesday that Russian audiences welcomed the series, which he described as a romantic story that mixes “mystics, dreams and everyday life”.

“We have had a very positive, supportive response from young viewers as they are finally seeing this part of society being portrayed not just in English or Korean, but also in Russian,” he said. “It is important that they feel that they are not alone, that they are not isolated and that they are not forbidden. Therefore the interest is very high. “

Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993, but anti-gay sentiment remains widespread. In 2013, Russia passed federal law banning “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations between minors”. The law has been widely criticized for effectively blocking any public discussion of homosexuality, while authorities have argued that it is intended to protect children’s interests.

In the predominantly Muslim-Russian province of Chechnya, human rights groups have reported that numerous men have been arrested and tortured, and some have been killed on suspicion of being gay in recent years. Kremlin-backed regional strong leader Ramzan Kadyrov from Chechnya has claimed that there are no gays in Chechnya and a government investigation has found no evidence of abuse.