May 26, 2024


Showing: Wednesday, February 11 – 8:00 PM
Year: 2014
Country: USA
Actors: ,,,

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Master300Meet the Filmmaker: join director Jonathan Demme for a discussion after the screening.

As the film opens, architect Halvard Solness, a despicable megalomaniac, lies dying. It soon becomes clear that Halvard is also a paranoid control freak who terrorizes everyone he comes in contact with. Halvard must choose a successor to his business; his talented assistant is the obvious choice, but Halvard is loath to bestow this on him. Halvard’s final hours are fraught with ghosts past and present, and a reluctance to admit that he is less than superhuman. Louis Malle adapted this 1892 play by Henrik Ibsen, which was staged and refined over a 14-year period by Malle’s long time collaborator Andre Gregory (My Dinner With Andre, Vanya on 42nd Street). USA, 2013, 103 minutes

“Demme, following in the footsteps of the late Louis Malle, takes a spare, direct approach to the material— his economy pays off in quiet eloquence…” – Stephanie Zacaharek, Village Voice

“As both an actor and a playwright, Wallace Shawn, at his most audacious, goes for the jugular, but in sneaky roundabout ways.” – Stephen Holden, The New York Times

“Gregory and Demme have turned A Master Builder into (pardon my invoking the name of a Strindberg work) a dream play, and have made it once more madly, bitingly, chillingly alive” – David Edelstein, New York Magazine

“Halvard’s fears may represent Ibsen’s own mea culpa: his acknowledgment of the price to pay for being an artist. Or maybe this is just gloomy Scandinavian business as usual. Whatever the case, the film resounds with hyperbolic passion. Hot bubbling currents flow through this film’s constricted veins. Grade: A- ” – Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor