Vanya on 42nd Street [Criterion Collection] [DVD] [1994]

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Overview

Special Features

  • Documentary featuring interviews with André Gregory, that play's director; actors Lynn Cohen, George Gaynes, Julianne Moore, Larry Pine, Wallace Shawn, and Brooke Smith and producer Fred Berner
  • Trailer
  • Plus: a booklet featuring an eassay by critic Steven Vineberg and a 1994 on-set report by film critic Amy Taubin

Synopsis

Vanya on 42nd Street
In the late 1980s, noted theatrical director Andre Gregory assembled a group of friends and actors and began rehearsing a new translation of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya by David Mamet, not with any specific performance in mind but as a way of exploring the beauty and precise construction of Chekhov's play. Louis Malle, a friend of Gregory's, became interested in the project and spent two weeks filming Gregory's actors as they performed Uncle Vanya without an audience in a run-down theater near New York's Times Square. In these performances, the line between theater and real life is blurred as conversations between actors -- juggling take-out cups of coffee and wearing street clothes -- slowly grow into a superb performance of Chekhov's classic, with Wallace Shawn as Vanya, Julianne Moore as Yelena, Brooke Smith as Sonya, and Larry Pine as Dr. Astrov. With a certain sad irony, this marvelously realized adaptation of a play about people wondering what they've done with their lives proved to be Louis Malle's final film; he died of cancer in 1995. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Wallace Shawn
    Wallace Shawn - Vanya
  • Andre Gregory
    Andre Gregory - Himself
  • Brooke Smith
    Brooke Smith - Sonya
  • Julianne Moore
    Julianne Moore - Yelena
  • Larry Pine
    Larry Pine - Dr. Astrov
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