December 23, 2012 |
"Hidden Moon" is a two-hour romantic drama that feels like two seasons of a telenovela - not because the story, set in Mexico and Los Angeles, is rich with divergent subplots and intertwining characters, but because the attention it pays to every fluttered eyelash, flared nostril and furrowed brow makes for one long haul of an affair. Devoid of irony or humor, the kind of soapy romanticism that director José Pepe Bojórquez espouses is a tough fit for today's big screen under the best of circumstances.
August 29, 2010 |
Marriage between word and music has never been simple, and is seldom stress-free. Take melodrama. I'm not sure what caused its meaning to change over the years. In the 18th century, melodrama was the genre of spoken word accompanied by — and elevated by — music. Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt and Richard Strauss were melodramatists. Now Oxford English Dictionary defines melodrama as "a crude appeal to the emotions. " But call it what you will, the genre in its original sense has never lost its effectiveness or appeal, as Aaron Copland's lasting "Lincoln Portrait," with its stirring orchestral score joined to Honest Abe's magnificent words, attests.
June 5, 1989 |
As part of the ongoing Jean Cocteau Centenary Festival, choreographer Tony Clark turned to a problematic art form--the melodrama--for his "Orphee, Oedipus and the Lady With the Red Gloves," seen Friday at the Gallery Theatre in Barnsdall Park. Long associated with musical composition in Germany and France, melodrama is distinguished as a form by the use of an actor who speaks instead of sings. It runs the risk of satisfying neither those interested in dramatic recitation nor those interested in singing--or, in this case, dancing.
April 28, 1993 |
Alfredo Ramos' "The Last Angry Brown Hat," at Plaza de la Raza, is a standard reunion-and-revelations play, staged with such conviction that it's possible to ignore its formulaic qualities, at least until you're out of the theater. Four former Chicano activists reunite 20 years later, after the funeral of a fifth. They meet in a garage stashed with memorabilia from their Brown Berets days. The set, credited to the "production staff and artists," looks homemade, in the very best sense.
March 4, 2003 |
It's hard to distinguish one whiny, tattooed pop punk-emo band from the next lately, but a new crop of young rascals is infusing emotional aggression and erratic arrangements into feisty melodies to create something altogether more passionate.
January 9, 2014 |
The most beautiful depiction of war ever rendered on film might be found in the first six minutes of "Evangelion: 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo. " In the third installment of four films rebooting the anime series "Neon Genesis Evangelion," the fate of the universe depends on giant robots that blast across magenta-orange sunsets, shooting comets of turquoise, emerald and amethyst. It's splendor on steroids. Unfortunately, the battle wages on for 20 more minutes, a gorgeous tangle of explosions, sexy-sleek visuals and nonsensical dialogue delivered in screeches.