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Kafka-ish: Kafka @Finborough

In offering proof that Kafka is everything to everyone - writer-performer Jack Klaff plays various roles, including the man himself in what is a part tour, part immersion and part legend of Franz Kafka. He is a writer who achieved fame after his life was cut short due to succumbing to tuberculosis at the age of forty. He is probably better known for his reputation and the Kafkaesque style attributed to his writing than his life. But after this piece, you’re left curious to learn more about the man and his works. And that has to be the best theatrical tribute you could give a writer, even for a writer who stipulated that his works be destroyed upon his death. It’s currently playing at the Finborough Theatre . Franz Kafka was born in Prague in 1883. In 1901, he was admitted to a university and began studying law. While studying, he met Max Brod, who would become his best friend and eventual literary executor. Brod would posthumously publish many of his works and writings. Kafka’s life co

Movies: The Black Swan

Just before it opened this week I caught a preview of The Black Swan, the Natalie Portman movie which currently has posters all throughout the tube network. It is a gripping film about paranoia, fear, dedication and broken nails. Portman plays the role of Nina, who is coming to grips with the leading role in Swan Lake, while fearing her understudy played by the sexually provocative Mila Kunis.

You don't see much ballet so it is not a modern day The Red Shoes. It has more in common with films such as Polanski's The Tennant. The art is metaphor here and the central message surely has to be you can never try hard enough, as long as you stay away from broken mirrors and lesbian fantasies...

The debate about whether it remotely resembles anything of life in the ballet will continue. This is a movie so one suspects it is as far removed from reality as possible. Winnona Ryder is supposed to be a brilliant ballerina in her decline but spends her small amount of screen time looking unhappy and throwing around bitchy comments. It's hilarious if you take that she is talking about her own career. There is also Barbara Hershey who as Natalie Portman's mother looks creepy even before she says anything. It's all good fun in a slightly unnerving way so get the popcorn and go...

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