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Our series “The Play’s the Thing: Vaclav Havel, Art and Politics” continues with Jan Němec’s A Report On Party and Guests.

A pleasant afternoon outing is cut short when a few pushy intruders force a group of friends to play a round of ridiculous party games. Jan Němec’s absurdist parable on the behavior of authority figures is a landmark of the Czech New Wave of the brief Prague Spring. Preceded by The Mist (Mlha) (1966, 28m) Capturing Prague’s celebrated Theatre on the Balustrade from a variety of different perspectives, The Mist is a celebration of the place where Václav Havel began as a dramaturge and stagehand.

Screens at the Trylon Monday and Tuesday, November 10 and 11 at 7:00 and 9:00. All shows are free and open to the public.

We are proud to partner with the National Film Archive Prague, Václav Havel Library, Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, and Czech and Slovak Sokol Minnesota to bring to the Twin Cities these feature-length and short films celebrating Havel’s work.

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by Trylon volunteer Caty Rent

 

Written in 1925 by Anita Loos, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes took the world by storm. There was already a stage adaptation in 1926 and a silent movie in 1928, which unfortunately is currently classified as a lost film. Then there was a musical on Broadway in 1949 starring Carol Channing. It ran for 740 performances and it is said that Marilyn Monroe was in the audience every evening for a month to study the part. It is from the musical that the Howard Hawks film was mostly born. Of course, from print to play to theatre to silver screen there are many things that end up being taken out or re-written, but Blondes still packs quite the punch in any of the forms.

 

Although Marilyn Monroe had already been in several films, this was her big breakout role. Jane Russell was actually the top-billed star because she had already been around for a few years longer. The actresses met in real life during rehearsal and hit it off very well. They became friends and it shows in the picture, which is one of the main themes that made it into all the reincarnations of Blondes. Lorelei Lee (Marilyn Monroe) and Dorothy Shaw (Jane Russell) are best friends. They stick up for each other and are good at schemes. Sometimes they don’t see eye to eye because they have very different personalities/demeanors, but they still care about one another very much. Lorelei is the secretly clever blonde bombshell always on the lookout for a man with diamonds, while Dorothy is more of the wise-cracking brunette heartthrob that falls for the broke fellas. The combination of the two is sweetly comical, and the one-liners are priceless.

 

Lorelei and Dorothy work together as showgirls. They are heading to France because the quiet, agreeable, and very rich Mr. Gus Esmond (Tommy Noonan) has proposed to Lorelei and his father does not approve of the marriage. Mr. Esmond finds out he will be delayed, so he and Lorelei will be unable to travel together. Dorothy is to watch over Lorelei during the boat trip. While they are on the dock, it is discovered that the entire Men’s Olympic Team will be traveling on the same vessel. Dorothy is more than thrilled to see all the hunks. Mr. Esmond seems nervous and reminds Dorothy why she’s there. She quips, “Nobody chaperones the chaperone.” Lorelei is also warned that if there is any hint of a scandal his father will most likely hear about it. Young, handsome, and with a quick attention to detail, Ernie Malone (Elliott Reid) has been hired as a Private Detective by Mr. Esmond Senior to keep an eye on Lorelei. At a cocktail party, the girls meet Sir Francis Beekman, (Charles Coburn) owner of a diamond mine. He is an older Englishman who likes to be called, “Piggy.” Lorelei decides to get better acquainted with Piggy, especially after she finds out his wife, Lady Beekman, owns a diamond tiara and she would do anything to get it. Much ado and hilarity ensue throughout the rest the the picture due to that tiara.

 
The sets and costumes truly make this movie something magical, and Hawks is a brilliant director. Some extra music was written for the film, with help from Hoagy Carmichael and Harold Adamson. “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend,” is clearly the iconic take-away. Nobody could ever forget that perfect, over-the-top imagery. The magnetism and allure of the leading ladies transcends the screen. The girls were honored by being invited to cement their foot and hand prints at the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. This film is a true classic and definitely a diamond that will never fade. — Caty Rent

 
Caty Rent is a confirmed ghost story and horror film addict.

 

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes screens Friday and Saturday, November 7 and 8 at 7:00 and 9:00, and Sunday, November 9 at 5:00 and 7:00, at the Trylon.  There will also be a special screening on Saturday, November 8 at 10:00 am, with a discussion of the book to follow next door at Moon Palace Books. Advance tickets for all shows can be purchased here.

 







 

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Pavel Juráček’s two-part absurdist drama examines the life of a soldier under socialism, and features Vaclav Havel in a role as a patient seeking treatment. Preceded by The Uninvited Guest (Nezvaný host) (1969, 22m): When a boorish official enters and makes himself at home in a young couple’s flat, it’s soon apparent that all the flats in the building face the same dilemma—each has its own intruder.

Screens at the Trylon Monday and Tuesday, November 3 and 4 at 7:00 and 9:00.  All shows are free and open to the public.

We are proud to partner with the National Film Archive Prague, Václav Havel Library, Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, and Czech and Slovak Sokol Minnesota to bring to the Twin Cities these feature-length and short films celebrating Havel’s work.

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Hausu is an absurd, winking and blood-drenched high-wire act, the sort of movie you’d get if Quentin Tarantino had directed The Rocky Horror Picture Show using only the sets of Pee Wee’s Playhouse. It might be a masterpiece, but no one has ever been able to tell: the movie won’t stop jumping around long enough for anyone to get a good look at it. It’s stuffed to the gills with visual gags, verbal non-sequiturs,  zany Technicolor in-jokes and baffling shifts in tone, style and music.

It has a plot, sort of: a pack of giggling Japanese schoolgirls are out on summer break.  One of the girls impulsively writes to her mysterious aunt, asking if she and her schoolmates can visit her old house in the country.  Soon a reply comes through the mail: all the girls are welcome. Once the girls arrive we quickly discern that the aunt likes them the way a spider likes flies; and in short order the house begins picking off the sailor-suited unfortunates in various horrible, demented and darkly comic ways.

But the plot doesn’t really matter; sitting through Hausu is an act of visual gluttony that makes you feel like you had a hundred Japanese game shows and a thousand episodes of Sailor Moon mainlined into your cerebral cortex. Watch the trailer below: doesn’t it look like fun?  Yes, it does. And it is. It’s become a Halloween tradition at the Trylon. You don’t want to miss out, do you? - Michael Popham

 

 

 Hausu screens Friday and Saturday, October 31 and November 1 at 7:00, 8:45 and 10:30; and Sunday, November 2 at 5:00, 6:45 and 8:30 at the Trylon.  Purchase advance tickets here.

 

 

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Review by Trylon volunteer Patrick Vehling

In the Parisian suburbs lit by a dusk sun, a woman stands by the side of the road. A semi-trailer drives by slowly; the driver locks eyes with the tussle-haired woman, a woman he perceives to be a hooker. He parks, gets out and proceeds to her aged and dented van. Cut to night scene: A man on a motorcycle approaches and notices the van and slows down, walks into a field and sees the woman – the woman is covered and blood and passionately chewing on flesh. The man approaches.

 

In this coldy crafted film by the brilliant French director Claire Denis (Chocolat, Beau travail), characters are introduced slowly and tenderly with minimal dialogue to allow the atmosphere to be revealed on a different sense than expected: the sort of sparse air watching a tree blow in the wind on a cool fall day.

 

The man (Alex Descas) approaching the woman (Béatrice Dalle) is as mysterious as the concept of walking up to someone chewing on a dead human body. He is a doctor who worked in the Guyanese jungle experimenting with unsavory subjects, seemingly for the benefit of the woman, with whom he worked and partnered with. His devotion to her feeds his love and inability to deal with her breakdown.

 

The film takes on an almost postcard-like feel as the young couple Shane (Vincent Gallo) and June (Tricia Vessey) arrive in Paris for their honeymoon, to do touristy Parisian things a couple in love would do. From the beginning, this couple, though recently married and physically close, have a sort of distance – an emotional dissonance that the actors gracefully and tenderly explore in a way non-actors being filmed would. That tenderness and absolute emotional weakness is captured perfectly by Gallo, who is no stranger to those types of roles.

 

Trouble Every Day came out a few years before Gallo’s controversial The Brown Bunny (2003). The similarities between the two characters Gallo plays are striking in their loss of control, mental breakdown, and vacancy – something many more experienced actors can’t seem to get down without approaching over-dramaticism. Despite Gallo’s off-screen persona as a homophobic, racist asshole who offers his sperm to any non-Jewish white woman for one million dollars – it’s hard to actually confirm or deny if that is merely just a shtick for celebrity or if he really is a prick – he certainly has cornered the market on the weak and distraught male lead.


This film is a horrific and devastating look at love, sexual tension and the emotional veracity and weakness involved in sharing life, or as the Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky puts it, “like a symptom of the hopelessness of trying to grasp what is boundless, or unite what cannot be joined; a reminder of how finite, how curtailed our experience on earth must be.” — Patrick Vehling

 

Trouble Every Day screens Monday and Tuesday, October 27 and 28 at the Trylon.  Showtimes are 7:00 and 9:00, and you can purchase advance tickets here.