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A Q&A with the great Frank Langella

If you’re near Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville on Thursday, February 10 (or even if you’re not), come see the wonderful 2007 film Starting Out in the Evening and its even more wonderful star, Frank Langella, in an onstage Q&A with yours truly. (My original review is here.) The screening is under the auspices of Pelham’s vintage The Picture House theater (currently being renovated) and will be introduced by the novel’s author, Brian Morton, who teaches fiction at Sarah Lawrence and NYU. I’ve had the excellent excuse in the last weeks not just to re-watch Starting Out, Frost/Nixon, Good Night, and Good Luck, Dracula, and other familiar films, but to see him as a strangely beautiful juvenile in taped versions of the stage plays The Seagull and The Eccentricities of a Nightingale (both with Blythe Danner at her most enchanting) and also in the title role of Kleist’s The Prince of Homburg (my favorite). My other discovery was the 1994 HBO movie The Doomsday Gun, in which Langella plays the intensely over-engaged weapons manufacturer Gerald Bull, who nearly finished a gun that might have given Saddam Hussein the power to take out targets 1000 miles away with one blast. A terrific film and performance. Sometimes, I really love this job.

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