a la Potsdamer Platz by Brian Brooks
In Berlin and handling the questions at a very packed room of journalists for their opening night film, “La Vie en Rose” (called “La Mome” outside the U.S.), French actress Marion Cotillard and director Olivier Dahan were surrounded by photogs and overly aggressive camera crews throughout the press conference Thursday afternoon at the Grand Hyatt Hotel (somehow recording them sitting down must make for great television). Word in Potsdamer Platz was that Cotillard gave a dazzling performance portraying French chanteuse Edith Piaf in the dramatic–if a bit lengthy–film.
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Director of “The Lives of Others” by Brian Brooks
German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck made his mark early on at home with his short “Dobermann,” taking best short film at the Dresden Film Festival as well as an award at the Munich Film Festival. His latest film, “The Lives of Others” (Das Leben der Anderen) surrounds East Germany’s secret police (Stasi) and a famous couple living in the DDR. In the early 1980s, the successful dramatist Georg Dreyman and his longtime companion Christa-Maria Sieland, a popular actress, are big stars, although they secretly don’t always maintain the party line. One day, the Minister of Culture becomes interested in Christa, so the secret service agent Wiesler is instructed to observe and sound out the couple, but their life fascinates him more and more. “The Lives of Others” has been nominated for a best foreign-language Oscar as well as a Film Independent Spirit Award. The film has won awards at festivals around the globe including Locarno, Denver, Vancouver, London and his native country. Sony Pictures Classics opens the movie in the U.S. beginning in limited release Friday, February 9.
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“All of the creative arts are important because they don’t have resolutions. They don’t have answers, they only present questions, they show people trying to resolve the questions, and they make audiences feel that they are someone else for a little while. They put people into touch emotionally, and I think that’s the most important thing anyone can do in this world because I think people tend to harden as they get to be mature. They harden away from each other. And when people have no emotion toward each other, it’s unspeakable what one human being can do to another. So to me, it’s an artist’s function to make other people burn and suffer and feel all of the things that he does. If you can remember that, then you can’t harden your heart towards others.”
– Gena Rowlands
After four intense weeks of rehearsals my play Inconcevable opened Monday night, January 29th! Benoit Carre, Cyril Dubreuil, Sophie-Charlotte Husson and Sophie Vonlanthen brought the world of my play to extraordinary life! Each one a breathing, thinking, feeling, dealing, human being! I could not have been happier. For me it was truly a magical night. The enthusiastic SRO crowd appeared to agree.
I want to thank everyone who contributed to making the production what it is! I’m extremely proud of all of our hard work. And I want to give special thanks to my brilliant assistant, Cecile Carrere, for jumping in and assuming the responsibility of lights and sound when we found ourselves without a technical operator. I’m a lucky man to have such a remarkable team. I adore each and every one of them!
I’m back home in North Carolina catching my breath! I return to Paris on February 11th to begin my next workshop and check in on the show! Hope to see everyone at the Manufacture des Abbesses! One of the classiest and most comfortable private theatres I’ve ever spent an evening in!