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Vanya, 42nd Street (1994)

Original Title : Vanya on 42nd Street
Director : Louis Malle
Writer : Anton Chekhov
Andre Gregory
David Mamet
Genre : Drama
Country : USA
Language : English
Producer : Fred Berner , Beverly Karp
Music : Joshua Redman
Photography : Declan Quinn
IMDB ID : 0111590
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poster for "Vanya, 42nd Street" by Louis Malle (1994)
Vanya, 42nd Street (1994) - Louis Malle
 

Starring

Phoebe Brand Nanny
Lynn Cohen I
George Gaynes Serybryakov
Jerry Mayer I
Julianne Moore Yelena
Larry Pine Dr. Astrov
Brooke Smith Sonya
Brooke Smith Sonya
 

Plot

An uniterrupted rehersal of Chekhov's "Uncle Vanya" played out by a company of actors. The setting is their run down theater with an unusable stage and crumbling ceiling. The play is shown act by act with the briefest of breaks to move props or for refreshments. The lack of costumes, real props and scenery is soon forgotten.
 

Comments

Remarkable filming of a play The idea of filming a play gets turned upside down as we see the players before and after the (rehearsal) performance, essentially as themselves. One remarkable scene shows the cast during intermission chatting with each other and audience members while munching on goodies from a caterer. It gives the experience of watching a play in an old, run-down theater, including comments from the director. The play itself is no less remarkable. Shawn is a gifted actor, one of the few who can bring his entire body into a role. The rehearsal atmosphere takes some getting used to - it's hard to tell when real life ends and the play starts. There are no costumes, little in the way of sets, but it all works because the performances are so compelling. And Chekhov's Uncle Vanya is surprisingly relevant 100 years after it was written.
 
poster for "Vanya, 42nd Street"
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Vanya, 42nd Street (1994) - Louis Malle
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