francofonia

ArtsWatch Weekly: Triffle on a cloud, a lobster in the tank

A look at the week that was in Oregon arts. A glimpse ahead at the week that's going to be.

Carol Triffle is Portland’s most prominent stage absurdist, a quiet comic renegade who makes a virtue of never connecting the dots. Her theater is whimsical, outrageous, so ordinary that it defies the ordinary, stretching it into cosmic pretzel shapes. It’s an anti-theater, almost, bopping narrative on the nose and then ducking around the corner to put on clown makeup and reappear as something utterly different, yet somehow also just the same. At its worst, it falls apart. At its best, it feels a bit like watching Lucille Ball or Danny Kaye caught inside a spinning clothes dryer and howling to get out. Head-scratching occurs at a Triffle show, and the audience can be divided between those who adore the effect and those who simply scratch their heads.

Source, Fagan, Hale, on a sofa, on a cloud, in a funk. Imago Theatre photo.

Sorce, Fagan, Hale, on a sofa, on a cloud, in a funk. Imago Theatre photo.

Francesca, Isabella, Margarita on a Cloud, Triffle’s newest show at Imago Theatre (where she is co-founder and, with partner Jerry Mouawad, creator of the mask-and-costume phenomenon Frogz), is the story, if that’s the right word, of three sisters who feud inseparably, supporting one another through thin and thin. Margarita (Ann Sorce, an Imago vet who’s utterly internalized Triffle’s madcap expressionist style) is the one who won all the beauty contests. Francesca (Megan Skye Hale) is the one who lost all the same beauty contests. Isabella (Elizabeth Fagan), the baby, is the one who seems to have just accidentally starred in a porno film. Isabella’s boyfriend RayRay (Kyle Delamarter) and Margarita’s fella Bob the Weatherman (Sean Bowie) drop in now and again, eager, somehow, to attach to the sisterly scene.

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FilmWatch Weekly: “A Bigger Splash,” “Tale of Tales,” and more

New films from the directors of "I Am Love," "Russian Ark," and "Gomorrah" top the week's art house releases

ARTSWATCH REVIEWS:

 

“A Bigger Splash”: A rock singer (Tilda Swinton) recuperates from throat surgery on a Mediterranean island with her boyfriend, when her old flame and his young paramour pay a visit. From the director of “I Am Love.” (Regal Fox Tower) READ REVIEW

(From L-R): Ralph Fiennes as "Harry," Matthias Schoenaerts as "Paul," Tilda Swinton as "Marianne" and Dakota Johnson as "Penelope" in A BIGGER SPLASH. Photo courtesy of Jack English. © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

(From L-R): Ralph Fiennes as “Harry,” Matthias Schoenaerts as “Paul,” Tilda Swinton as “Marianne” and Dakota Johnson as “Penelope” in A BIGGER SPLASH. Photo courtesy of Jack English. © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

“Tale of Tales”: Italian director Matteo Garrone’s first English-language feature stars Salma Hayek, John C. Reilly, and Vincent Cassel in a stylish adaptation of three 17th-century fairy tales. There’s also a giant flea. (Living Room Theaters, Hollywood Theatre) READ REVIEW

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Film Review: “Francofonia” loves the Louvre

The maker of "Russian Ark" returns with another ode to the joy, and necessity, of museums

When it seems like the world today is an unending series of catastrophes and injustices, and culture is constantly under assault from the forces of ignorance, remember this fact: Seventy-five years ago, the intellectual and artistic capital of Western civilization was in the hands of the Nazis. The actual, literal Nazis, one of the most barbaric and destructive regimes in history, were camped out in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Hitler held Paris in the palm of his hand. It’s really quite astonishing that things turned out as well as they did.

Prompting an awareness of that historical contingency is one of the goals of Aleksander Sokurov’s latest ode to museums, “Francofonia.” Sokurov’s 2012 film “Russian Ark” took a 100-minute, one-take trip through St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum, and now he turns his attention to the Louvre. This is a more intellectual exercise, but one that’s ultimately rewarding and even inspiring.

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