Friday, December 23, 2011

Amy Glazer at FAU for "Charlie

By Skip Sheffield

Filmmaker Amy Glazer will appear in person after the 7:35 screening of her film Seducing Charlie Barker at FAU’s Living Room Theaters for a Q&A.
“I always enjoy speaking with audience members,” said Glazer recently. “We have had a great reception for seducing Charlie Barker. It has been a labor of love and kind of a family affair.”
Amy Glazer and brother Mitch, a film producer, grew up on Miami Beach and became interested in the performing arts there.
“Seducing Charlie Barker” is a dark comedy and cautionary tale about a struggling New York actor who falls into an ill-advised affair with a beautiful, sexy, extremely ambitious young woman.
Charlie Barker (Steven Barker Turner) is married to Stella (Daphne Zuniga) who is called a “frigid Nazi’ by her nemesis, but in fact is understandably at the end of her rope as the only support for her increasingly erratic, disloyal husband.
When Charlie is approach by the aforementioned gorgeous, seductive woman at a party, he is just weak and vulnerable enough to fall under her spell.
Charlie’s best friend Lewis (David Wilson Barnes) had set his sights on Clea (Heather Gordon), a manipulative blond goddess, but heedless Charlie falls for her anyway. It is the first of a number of betrayals in a downward spiral of a morbidly self-destructive man.
“Charlie Barker” is based on a play by Theresa Rebeck. Director Amy Glazer worked with all four of the principal cast members prior to making the film.
“The play was called The Scene, and we first did it at the Humana Festival of 2006,” Glazer revealed. “Theater is my first love, but when a patron saw our production, he said ‘That could be a movie,’ and he signed on as producer.”
Because she had worked with the two women in California and the men at the Humana Festival in Kentucky, Glazer said they developed a kind of shorthand.
“It was kind of like The Brady Bunch,” she says with a chuckle. “It wasn’t that hard to jump into shooting, even though we had to shoot out of sequence. I really lucked out with this cast.”
Heather Gordon interrupted her MFA studies at Harvard to do the film. Daphne Zuniga had to work around a busy acting schedule.
Glazer says the film is more a commentary on shallow contemporary values rather than an indictment of a vain, weak-willed man.
“Clea steals the show the way she contradicts herself,” says Glazer. “In real life she would be a studio president one day.”

A Heartwarming “Zoo”

If it’s heartwarming you want this season, you won’t go wrong with “We Bought a Zoo.’
“Zoo” is based on the real-life zoo story of British journalist Benjamin Mee, who used his life savings to rescue a dilapidated zoo and its 200 creatures from destruction.
The American version is by writer-director Cameron Crowe and stars Matthew Damon as Benjamin Mee.
Damon is just the right all-around good guy to play this selfless, brave soul. Thomas Haden Church is likewise right on target as his skeptical older brother.
Scarlett Johansson is less likely a prospect for a tough, determined zoo manager, but she tones down her natural allure and turns up her determination as Kelly Foster.
Yes there are cute kids and many funny, unpredictable animals and even a huffing, puffing-type villain, but in this holiday season, you can’t beat this for family fare.

A Hard-Hitting “Girl With Dragon Tattoo

“Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” is most definitely not family fare, but it is not a recycling of the hit 2009 Swedish mystery-thriller, but a re-visioning by American director David Fincher. If anything, this version is more shocking, harder-hitting and more understandably a horror film, starring Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) as Stieg Larsson’s angry, tough, yet vulnerable computer-hacking hero.Daniel Craig is a more animated, appealing version of crusading investigative journalist, Mikael Blomkvist. If you like it unflinching hard, dark and tough, this is your cup of hemlock.