Intrigue with Faye

Teresa just sent me links to articles and pics about Kate Robin’s ”Intrigue With Faye,” staged at MCC Theater in New York City in 2003 and featuring Benjamin and Julianna Margulies. It received poor reviews from critics, but it was very successful with audiences and I think it was a pity it was never made into a movie, as it is good material for a screen comedy.

http://theater2.nytimes.com/mem/theater/treview.html?html_title=&tols_title=INTRIGUE%20WITH%20FAYE%20(PLAY)&pdate=20030612&byline=By%20BEN%20BRANTLEY&id=1077011430380

http://www.curtainup.com/intriguewithfaye.html

http://www.theatermania.com/content/news.cfm/story/3632

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B0CE6D61330F93BA35755C0A9659C8B63

http://wireimage.com/itemlistings.aspx?igi=29043&cl=1

http://articles.latimes.com/2003/jun/01/entertainment/ca-pacheco1

http://www.contactmusic.com/new/xmlfeed.nsf/mndwebpages/bratt%20and%20margulies%20audition%20for%20reality%20show

http://www.usatoday.com/life/theater/news/2003-07-01-theater_x.htm

Bratt Secret Battle With Disabled Daughter

Since the news has been reported in several media, I can post it here as well

Bratt Secret Battle With Disabled Daugher

Benjamin Bratt Opens Up About Daughter’s Disability

I appreciate Benjamin’s and Talisa’s tact in keeping info about their daughter’s condition confidential, while they worked to help little Sophia overcome her disability, and only went public about it when things seem to be turning out for the best.

Benjamin on NBC’s The More You Know

Launched in 1989, NBC’s “The More You Know” series of brief public service announcements has utilized the talents of some of Hollywood’s brightest stars, writers, and directors to deliver messages about such topics as tolerance, mentoring, parental involvement, violence prevention, health, and the environment. The winner of numerous Emmy and Peabody Awards, “The More You Know” has been praised for its effectiveness in harnessing the power of television for a greater good.

Benjamin did clips on violence prevention in 1996, reading, substance abuse, and family communication.

I thought I could share the clip Benjamin did on violence prevention.

Benjamin: Violence Prevention Clip

(It’s a wmv file, zipped)

The Woodsman

Based on a play of the same name, The Woodsman is a moving tale of a man’s attempt to re-enter society. Walter (Kevin Bacon), a convicted child molester, returns to his hometown after a 12 year in prison, moves into a small apartment across the street from a grade school, gets a job at a lumberyard, and mostly keeps to himself. A quiet, guarded man, Walter finds unexpected solace from Vickie (Kyra Sedgwick), a tough-talking woman who promises not to judge him for his history. But he cannot escape his past; he is warily eyed by his brother-in-law – Carlos (Benjamin Bratt) -, shunned by his sister, lives in fear of being discovered at work, and is hounded by a suspicious, verbally abusive local police officer, Detective Lucas (Mos Def), whose role is to make sure Walter is staying away from children. In the movie, Walter must deal with the temptations around him, including the nearby grade school and a young bird-watcher, who he realizes is being abused at home and who helps him understand the damage he has done in the past. He also comes to suspect that a man he has seen watching children near his apartment building is also a child molester.

The movie was shot in Philadelphia, was nominated for the “Grand Jury Prize” award at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, won the “Jury Special Prize” at the Deauville Film Festival, and was a featured film at the 2005 Traverse City Film Festival.

What to say of this movie? It is disturbing and unsettling, but it is brilliant, solid, thought-provoking. Kevin Bacon adopts a minimalist acting style, his performance is mesmerizing. Benjamin is characteristically superb and intense.

Traffic

I went to my local library last to look for books for summer reading and came home with Traffic, instead, that I had not watched for a while.

Don’t watch this film just because there is Benjamin in it because he doesn’t have much screen time, but I think it is a good film, acted brilliantly, from which no character gets away clean.

The central focus of the film is the drug epidemic in the US and Mexico. It tells three separate stories that are each distinct unto themselves, yet interwoven into a common thread. One story takes place in Mexico and revolves around a cop with a conscience (Javier Rodriguez/Benicio Del Toro), the second story takes place in Ohio and Washington and involves the country’s new drug czar (Robert Wakefield/Michael Douglas) and the troubles he faces on the job and with his daughter who is a drug addict, and the third story takes place in San Diego and involves DEA agents (Montel Gordon/Don Cheadle and Ray Castro/Luis Guzman) trying to take down a big drug trafficker (Carlos Ayala/Stephen Bauer) whose wife (Helena/Catherine Zeta-Jones) learns the drug trade while he’s detained. Each story is shot in a different colour filter with the Mexico scenes being bright but grainy, the Ohio and Washington scenes in a moody indigo and the San Diego scenes in a sunny, vivid illumination. There are several other subplots that are also of note and move the story along. All of these vignettes interlock with one another somehow, serving to bring the story full circle.

It is a complex film that should be given repeated viewing to understand…  if you blink, you’ll miss a vital part.