Monday, April 23, 2007

About Migraines

his work.
I am the writer, director of 'THE EYES OF VAN GOGH', a full length film that was just released. There is nothing in Vincent's letters to indicate that he suffered migraines. Regarding the statement that his paintings were influenced by cataracts, insanity, etc., I invite you to check the Notes section of my website, Theeyesofvangogh.com, to get real insight into his mental condition and how it may or may not have influenced

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Response to the Folger production of King Lear by the Classical Theatre of Harlem

To equate the character of King Lear with Fidel Castro or Saddam Hussein is ludicrous. If we accept this interpretation, then Lear is a king who has brutally tortured and murdered his political rivals and has committed genocide. If true, it would make a mockery of the character of Kent, a man of unquestioned integrity,who obviously worships Lear and who would willingly give up his life for him. Imagine Kent, who vehemently protests Lear's disinheritance of Cordelia, tolerating for one minute the behavior of a Castro or Hussein. And what of Cordelia, Lear's favorite daughter, a woman of great courage and impeccable integrity, who is too honest to humor Lear's ego and vanity. Imagine her tolerating a Castro or a Hussein. Her love and concern for Lear is so great that when she hears of him being endangered, she mounts a foreign innvasion in order to rescue him. The attitude and relationship of Kent and Cordelia towards Lear Gives us great insight into Lear's true character and worth. Ultimately King lear is far more than a political play or the nature of devotion within a family. It's themes are of the most profound nature: redemption; self realization; the myth of universal justice; fortuitousness in the battle between good and evil; the nature of evil. The 80 year old Lear has been king for many decades. During his reign he has slowly and inexorably become blind to reality. He is a man of vast potential; a man of enormous passion, humanity, dignity and strength who has been inundated with lies flattery, unchallenged obedience and false adoration. His purpose and control have been eroded by his increasingly irrational emotional state. By the end of the play however, he achieves self realization He repents for his past errors and bad judgement.Most important, he comes to understand and feel deep empathy for the down trodden and misfortunate of the world. Equate this with Castro, who has never expressed regret for any of his odious deeds, or Hussein. who was defiant to the very end. Preisser's evaluation is a misreading and an insult to the character of King Lear who at his worst rises far above them. Lear is an 80 year old with the heart of a gladiator, who fights an epic and magnificent struggle against overwhelming physical and emotional turmoil and whose implacable refusal to surrender make him one of the greatest, most towering and pasionate tragic characters ever created. Posted by Alexander Barnett January 16, 2007 12:20 PM

The Eyes of Van Gogh: Still from The Eyes of Van Gogh

The Eyes of Van Gogh: Still from The Eyes of Van Gogh

Still from The Eyes of Van Gogh


Alexander Barnett as Vincent van Gogh in The Eyes of Van Gogh

Still from The Eyes of Van Gogh



Alexander Barnett as Vincent van Gogh and Gordon Joseph Weiss as his brother, Theo van Gogh.

Still from The Eyes of Van Gogh

Alexander Barnett as Vincent van Gogh and Lee Godart as Paul Gauguin

Still from The Eyes of Van Gogh


Alexander Barnett as Vincent van Gogh and Roy Thinnes as Dr. Peyron

Alexander Barnett

The Eyes of Van Gogh
THEATER REVIEW;Winners and Losers In a Seamy World

By ALVIN KLEIN Published: November 19, 1995, Sunday New York Times
WHAT I'm saying, what is our life?" (Pause.) "It's looking forward or it's looking back. And that's our life. That's it. Where is the moment?" (Pause.) "And what is it that we're afraid of? Loss. What else?" (Pause.) "The bank closes. We get sick, my wife died on a plane, the stock market collapsed . . . the house burned down . . . . What of these happen . . . ? None of 'em. We worry anyway. What does this mean? I'm not secure. How can I be secure?" (Pause.) "Through amassing wealth beyond all measure? No. And what's beyond all measure? That's a sickness. That's a trap. There is no measure. Only greed."
That's Richard Roma, top salesman, talking, venting, philosophizing, sans scatology. It comes next. To spare.
Welcome to David Mamet territory, where words -- weapons for the inarticulate -- speak loud, but action speaks louder.
In "Glengarry Glen Ross," a savage comedy about sleaze in the real-estate racket (or perhaps game, but not, in an acceptable sense, business), Mr. Mamet has written one of his most complete, most unarguable plays yet. Like "American Buffalo," it excludes women, thus freeing the playwright from the specters of ambiguity and misogyny.
Here are seven men: five salesmen, one detective and one customer, a pushover.
A woman's presence in a Mamet play presents a fierce challenge, usually unmet, for directors and actors to fill in the open-ended seething phrases. An all-male contingent can just go at it in a combative world of openness. Men outshark one another, "to try to earn a living," in one of the salesmen's words. The battleground or the carnival -- "All it is, it's a carnival," Roma says -- is a contest. It's about selling worthless land in Florida. The winner gets a Cadillac. Two losers get unemployment.
Where the action is in Mr. Mamet's 1984 Pulitzer Prize winner is in plotting to steal leads and ransacking the office, in the threat and the treachery -- more bile in an hour and a half (intermission included) than is packed into a blood-letting Elizabethan epic. The rampant ethnic put-downs are yet another extra. And nobody dies, except spiritually.
In this production by National Stage, a fledgling nomadic professional company, Andrew Lionetti (Roma) has the alternately cool, slick and manic staccato Mamet style down pat. In a show-stealing performance, the actor represents the playwright's views on the "ways of the world." Roma is a "member of a dying breed, a world of men."
Alexander Barnett (as Shelly Levene) and Jeffrey Norman (as George Aaronow) play the losers. Levene is actually a loser turned winner turned loser. Mr. Barnett invests the role Robert Prosky created on Broadway and Jack Lemmon played in the film, the character whose "bad luck runs in streaks," who then gets hot, scoring a Pyrrhic victory with a poignant sense of need that reveals a life of obligation outside the amoral confines of his job. The heart of Mr. Barnett's work is in sync with the playwright's nonjudgmental view of all the salesmen trapped in a demeaning system.
But no two performances have a right to be at the center of an ensemble piece. Chris Firriolo's staging is thus unbalanced, more formulaic than stirring.
If Mr. Barnett is jittery, Mr. Norman as the most hapless salesman -- an unwitting accomplice to a criminal plot "because you listened," as he is told -- is close to the edge and ready to jump, stammering to an obviously overplayed fault.
At a vulnerable point in its emergence, National Stage is trying to start a theater in earnest. It would be damaging to overpraise it. It is important to notice.