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Erica Abeel

Tilda Swinton’s Love to Offer (photo)

Tilda Swinton’s Love to Offer

If Tilda Swinton didn’t already exist, a novelist with a truly Baroque imagination would have to invent her. She’s a true original, a mercurial medley of unlikely traits. Nearly six feet tall, with the androgynous allure of a changeling and a fondness for David Bowie-style hairdos, she’s sometimes taken for a man. She’s descended from […]

The Education of Nick Hornby (photo)

The Education of Nick Hornby

You’d think that the coming-of-age tale about a girl in her teens had run out of juice. But then, along comes “An Education” to revitalize the genre. The darling of this year’s Sundance, which instantly put its radiant young star Carey Mulligan on the Oscar radar, “An Education” is based on journalist Lynn Barber’s tell-all […]

Dueling with Stephen Frears  (photo)

Dueling with Stephen Frears

Stephen Frears burst on the scene in 1985 with his cheeky “My Beautiful Laundrette,” igniting a winning streak that included “Prick Up Your Ears,” “Dangerous Liaisons,” “The Grifters” and “The Queen.” Though famously hard to pigeonhole, the genre-spanning filmmaker gravitates toward folks struggling on the social margins or engaged in emotional gamesmanship. Frears is also, […]

Interview: Diane English on “The Women”

By Erica Abeel In 1936, theatergoers were first treated to a rousing bitch-a-thon called “The Women.” Outrageous and often hilarious, the Clare Booth Luce-penned play is set in a female-only zone of Park Avenue, and its plot, a flimsy affair, concerns the trials of Mary Haines, a contented wife who discovers that her wealthy husband […]

Cannes 08: James Gray on “Two Lovers”

By Erica Abeel When was the last time you heard someone drop a mention of Jacques Lacan? (I’ll pause if you need to refresh your memory of the name at Wikipedia). If the answer is never, you haven’t sat down with the delightful James Gray, who was at Cannes with his new film “Two Lovers,” […]

Cannes 08: The Dardennes on “The Silence of Lorna”

By Erica Abeel Ever since “The Promise” in 1996, the prospect of a new film from Belgian siblings Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne has been cause for rejoicing. Impeccably constructed, uncompromising and emotionally searing, the Dardenne brothers’ films give voice to a population often despised or ignored: illegal aliens, slumlords, corrupt officials and smalltime criminals. To […]

Cannes 08: Walter Salles on “Linha de Passe”

By Erica Abeel The abiding humanism we’ve come to expect from Walter Salles is abundantly present in “Linha de Passe,” his luminous competition entry in this year’s Cannes. Co-directed with Daniela Thomas, the film explores the Brazilian underclass through the lives of four brothers who live with their mother on the outskirts of teeming São […]

Cannes 08: Fernando Meirelles on “Blindness”

By Erica Abeel Take it as a sign of some general anxiety disorder gripping the planet, but Cannes 2008 kicked off on a distinctly somber note. In “Blindness,” the fest opener by Fernando Meirelles, civilization as we know it goes to hell and back when a group of urbanites in an unnamed city succumb to […]