Articles by

<Caitlin Bahrey>

11/18/10 3:58pm

With the midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 airing, well, tonight (11/18) at midnight, everyone is feeling a bit of Potter fever. Galapagos Art Space is not an exception.

Their Harry obsessed staff wish to celebrate the last of the beloved series by hosting “99 Problems but a Snitch Ain’t One.” For only $5 you can come count down to show time, while sipping on a Butter Beer(!) and sitting in Dress Robes (Yes, there will be people in costumes). Did I mention that there will be Butter Beer? If that’s not enough, there will be House Team quizzes, dramatic readings of scenes from the novel performed by professional actors and actresses, as well as a discussion on Harry Potter in Critical Context. Get all of this and you’ll still have time to make it to the midnight showing.

You can buy your tickets here, OR you can get some from us. We’re giving away 5 pairs of tickets, so either tweet at us or write on our facebook wall telling us why you deserve them.

Doors are at 8. Good luck my fellow witches and wizards!

11/15/10 4:00am

The Magician
Directed by Scott Ryan

“The Magician”—he makes bodies disappear—is Ray Shoesmith (Scott Ryan) a Melbourne hitman who’s decided to document his violent profession via film student and neighbor Massimo “Max” Tutti (Massimiliano Andrighetto). Australian director, writer and star Ryan delivers an eerie performance as an unrelenting killer, whose charisma and disturbing remove provide for a very unpredictable experience. The film’s format enhances this unpredictability, often randomly placing scenes out of sequence.

Strictly relying on Max’s camera, the film comes off amateurish with shaky shots and often dusty lenses—but having a “film student” shoot the “documentary,” Ryan makes the story primarily focused on Ray’s relationship with his friends as well as his drug dealing targets—the terms often becoming interchangeable. His conversations with his targets, as well as Max, allow for a continuous stream of opinions and witticisms (at one point he and Max discuss how much money it would take them to eat shit) that let the audience read deeper into the protagonist and ultimately, yes, relate to him.

The actors’ performances are raw and enticing, which may be a result of some scenes actually being ad-libbed. This adds a tangible, gritty element to Max’s documentary, giving the film itself a more realistic feel.

Despite the film’s successful lo-fi approach, only one question remains unanswered: Why Max filmed Ray in the first place, and why wasn’t he fased by Ray’s multiple murders? Perhaps he understood that if he spoke out, he would disappear as well.

Now playing at the Quad Cinema

10/14/10 4:00am

The Deep Throat Sex Scandal
Written by David Bertolino
Directed by Jerry Douglas

In the face of obscenity, Harry Reems wants us to get naked—at least that's the impression David Bertolino's The Deep Throat Sex Scandal gives. The play follows the making of the notorious "fuck film" Deep Throat and its immense repercussions. The comedy embodies what it means to fight for freedom—or perhaps just for nudity—when the censors attack.

The story is narrated by porn star Harry Reems (Malcolm Madera) who brings us from his rise to fame during the making of Deep Throat, a 1972 skin flick about a female patient whose clitoris is in the back of her throat, to his legal battle against Tennessee prosecutor Larry Parish (Frank Blocker) who leads a nation that deems oral sex more sinful than bestiality or child porn.

Reems' narration is compelling and relatable, as he plays a nobody driven to become a somebody. He yearns to become an actor so badly that he has no issue with using adult movies as stepping-stones. Teaming up with hairdresser by day-adult filmmaker by night Gerard Damiano (John-Charles Kelly), Reems finds his calling in the low-budget, mob-funded Florida project Deep Throat. Here we're introduced to Linda Lovelace (Lori Garner), a timid newcomer to the porn industry whose self-esteem is as damaged as her relationship with husband and manager Chuck Traynor (Zach Wegner). As both Harry and Linda are launched into the world of adult filmmaking, the actors deliver a strikingly hysterical performance, be it during Linda's awful first attempts at wide-eyed, emotionless acting, or Harry's attempted use of an accent to demonstrate his acting ability.

As the pair acts out the making of a scene, the actual footage from Deep Throat is projected in the background, adding to the hilarious contrast between play and porn. This technique is used continuously throughout the production, showing clips of news reporters and even Nixon's speeches against obscenity. Harry's continued addresses to the audience and archival clips integrated into the plot make the story more accessible—though Harry's character seems to have about as much control as the viewer. The walls of the stage are adorned with two hanging mannequins wrapped in pages of the U.S Constitution and rolls of film that frame the white backdrop. The mannequins embody the dilemma of freedom of expression through free speech; the backgrounds are cleverly projected onto the screen, saving on props and space. A continuous hot pink light shining onto the stage makes for a very "skin flick" feel.

Deep Throat launches its cast-members to levels of fame they never knew they'd reach, but as Linda's struggle to find empowerment through her work flourishes, the play focuses on Harry's plight—despite porn veteran Shana Babcock's (Rita Rehn) spiel about how the woman comes first in adult films. Ironically, the movie only becomes successful when the government makes it the centerpiece of its fight against obscenity. Larry Parrish plays dirty with Harry, finding loophole after loophole to hold him accountable for the entirety of Deep Throat. Faced with an impartial judge and jury, Harry turns to attorney Alan Dershowitz (Kelly again) in hopes of fighting a fleeting first amendment battle.

The debate rages, inviting heated responses from both ends of the spectrum. This leads Parrish to deliver the most descriptive, grotesque, and awesome speech against obscenity that you're likely to hear in a play this year. We are challenged to ask ourselves how far one can go before artistic expression is considered obscene. Does freedom of speech include freedom of expression and is it right to ignore these conflicts entirely? And finally, if Deep Throat were to pass, what else would pass because of it? Without Linda's help, Harry is thrown into a lion's den of anti-oral conservatives looking for any and every means to put him down. However, like any good porn star, Harry finds a way to stay up.

(photo credit: Carol Rosegg)

10/13/10 4:00am

Samson & Delilah

Written & Directed by Warwick Thornton

Warwick Thornton’s début, Samson & Delilah, is a necessary and original film addressing the immense poverty and racial differences within Australian culture. These issues are simply (and cleverly) a background, however, to a complicated yet beautiful love story that unfolds between the two teenage protagonists, played by newcomers Rowan McNamara (Samson) and Marissa Gibson (Delilah) in raw performances which allow the viewer to feel as if they aren’t even acting during their largely wordless interactions.

The story begins in an isolated Aborigine community in Central Australia, poor as it is dirty and restricting (the characters wear the same clothes for two-thirds of the movie). The teens’ lives orbit in repetitive cycles: Delilah cares for her sick Nana (Metjili Gibson) and helps her paint original Aborigine art, while Samson huffs petrol, plays his brother’s guitar when he’s not looking, and follows Delilah around.

Samson’s expresses his interest in Delilah childishly. He throws pebbles at her to get her attention and writes S + D on a supply store wall that she visits. Much to her disdain, he starts following her as she carries out her responsibilities to her Nana. Eventually he imposes himself on her completely by bringing his mattress and pillows to her space and forcing his residence with her. Delilah eventually accepts his presence, though she pretends to ignore it.

Once Delilah’s Nana dies, everything changes. Samson recognizes this and takes Delilah away from community pressures (by stealing the community car) and towards a freer life.

By escaping the restraints of their Aborigine community, the two are forced to face their skin color and extreme destitution. Silent together, they’re also silent to the outside world, where they arguably cannot survive amid addiction, abuse and exclusion. But pushed to the brink of poverty and physical exhaustion, the two find solace and connection with each other . Through Samson and Delilah, Thornton speaks up for them, and he doesn’t even need words to yell.

Opens October 15th