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KCET Cinema Seriesby The Deadline Team

Latest Commentary News

breakingBox Office

Review: Slimmer And Sillier, Harvey Fierstein’s ‘Torch Song’ Is Revived With Michael Urie & Mercedes Ruehl

Shorter by a big word and a long act, Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy is back, trim, glittering and rechristened, simply, Torch Song. Michael Urie (Buyer & Cellar, Ugly Betty‘s Marc St. James) and Oscar winner Mercedes Ruehl (The Fisher King) play nice Jewish drag queen Arnold Beckoff and his loving, if annoying, Ma – roles indelibly created in 1982 by the playwright and a pre-Golden Girls Estelle Getty. The production, which opened tonight at off-Broadway’s Second… Read


Review: ‘The Siege’ From Palestinian Freedom Theatre; Also, Betty Buckley’s Master Class

Jack Skirball was a Reform Jewish rabbi from Cleveland who moved to Los Angeles, where he became a real estate developer and film producer best known for his relationship with Alfred Hitchcock: Skirball was associate producer of Saboteur in 1942 and producer, a year later under his own banner, of Shadow of a Doubt. Skirball also was a philanthropist with a keen interest in cross-cultural exchange. Among his most prominent legacies are the cultural centers named for him in… Read


The Deadline Podcast: “A Boxing Kangaroo”, With Guest Albert S. Ruddy

Peter Bart Podcast

The indie film business may be struggling, but each week 15 or so indie movies hit the cinemas, representing burgeoning new sources of indie support, Peter Bart reports on the latest Deadlinepodcast on film. The releases stem from a variety of sources ranging from billionaire investors to streaming services to stalwart indie distributors like Sony Pictures Classics, but some are falling along the way. Also on this podcast: The Godfather producer Al Ruddy reveals an Oscar… Read


Donald Trump Re-Tweets Bill O’Reilly Attack On NBC: What Do These Three Things Have In Common?

The morning after Chief of Staff John Kelly came to the White House press briefing to insist it’s not his job to contain the president’s tweeting, Donald Trump demonstrated. POTUS wanted to make sure his 40.5M followers saw Bill O'Reilly's tweet that “A free press is vital to protecting all Americans. A corrupt press damages the Republic.” Trump, who has vowed to revoke NBC’s TV station licenses, after NBC News reported he told military leaders over the summer he wanted a… Read


Review: Springsteen On Broadway

UPDATE, 8 PM: The echo referred to in the opening paragraph below is not of Stephen Sondheim (composer/lyricist of Sunday in the Park With George), but of James Lapine, author of that show’s book. EARLIER: You might think Bruce Springsteen doesn’t belong on Broadway, but you would be wrong. “I miss the beauty of the blank page,” he says at one point, echoing Stephen Sondheim, “and the endless possibilities.” He speaks that sentence, addressing the rapt and sometimes… Read

breakingBox Office

Review: Elizabeth McGovern In ‘Time & The Conways’ And A Steeplechase ‘Measure For Measure’

Two rarities converge with the Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of Time and the Conways. The J.B. Priestley drama has not been seen in these precincts since its 1938 U.S. premiere and its star, Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey‘s Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham) has been absent from the Broadway stage since 1992, when she played a good Ophelia in a bad Hamlet mounted under this same nonprofit’s auspices. A wealthy widow presiding over a spoiled brood of four… Read


Bart & Fleming: Timely Uber Sexism Movie Package Reminds Of Harvey Weinstein Mess

Uber The Weinstein Company

Peter Bart and Mike Fleming Jr. worked together for two decades aDaily Variety. In this occasional column, two old friends get together and grind their axes, mostly on the movie business. FLEMING: It might be too on the nose for Hollywood to give movie treatment to the stunning downfall of Harvey Weinstein, but how's this for a fortuitously timed movie package just now being shopped? Remember Susan Fowler, the Uber engineer whose blog post about sexual harassment within… Read


The Deadline Podcast: “The Tyranny Of The Tomato”, With Guest Mike Fleming Jr.

Peter Bart Podcast

At a moment when the indie film business is especially fragile, industry insiders are questioning the obstacles that are increasingly being put in the way of new releases, such as Rotten Tomatoes and similar services. Where distributors formerly relied on hopefully favorable reviews from a few top critics, the Tyranny of the Tomatoes today can pull the rug from under a release before it gains any traction, their ratings stemming from a maze of mostly unknown critics and… Read

breakingBox Office

Review: Powerful ‘Too Heavy For Your Pocket’ Brings Early Civil Rights Movement Up Close And Personal

The Roundabout Theatre Company’s developmental program is called Roundabout Underground, and it’s housed in the sub-sub-basement of the  nonprofit’s off-Broadway complex, the Steinberg Center for Theatre, where shows typically play to audiences of fewer than 100 patrons. Yet from this grotto chamber has come, with astonishing consistency, some of the most promising new works to have been seen on any stage in New York. The latest discovery to emerge from these depths is Too… Read


Las Vegas Shooting To Test Donald Trump’s Stance On Machine Guns (Commentary)

Route 91 Harvest Festival Shooting

The White House says President Donald Trump will travel to Las Vegas on Wednesday to console the victims of the worst mass shooting in American history. It will be the first test as president of his views on gun violence, but few expect him to break with the NRA's view that "the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." Or in this case, a bad guy with a machine gun. Audio from Sunday night's shooting during the Route 91 Harvest county music… Read


Peter Bart: HBO’s Steven Spielberg Documentary Celebrates Film Triumphs But Downplays His Mogul Missteps

Steven Spielberg seems to be on permanent rewind. At least that's the way he seemed at dinner Tuesday night. To explain, it was 20 years ago that I wrote my last column about Spielberg, which opened with this observation: While Spielberg is intently expanding his activities, both as a filmmaker and as a mogul, most of the other directors who shared the ’70s spotlight with him have either passed away or moved onto other things — Bogdanovich, Lucas, Ashby, Rafelson, Coppola… Read


The Deadline Podcast: “Hard R’s & Creative Differences”, With Guest Mike Fleming Jr

Peter Bart Podcast

The major Hollywood studios’ growing dependency on R-rated movies as evidenced by It, Mother! and The Kingsman sequel points up a potential need to revise the ratings code, we suggest in the The Deadline Podcast with special guest Deadline co-editor-in-chief Mike Fleming Jr. Deadpool's release two years ago (sequel forthcoming) was a reminder that “hard R”-rated movies found a wider audience than most pictures of that genre used to reach. In the 1960s, Jack Valenti… Read