Ian McKellen is one of the most esteemed board-treaders alive, a thespian who has consistently and successfully balanced work on the stage with appearances before the camera. At 77, he’s had the chance to assay some of history’s great Shakespearean roles, portraying everyone from Macbeth to Coriolanus to Richard III. And today brings the news that a new project will allow him to blend his passions for the proscenium and the closed set in a revisiting of a signature role that McKellen last tackled way back in 1971.
English-language debuts from foreign-language auteurs are always a dicey proposition. In the best cases, the director maintains his or her artistic signature and imposes it on actors domestic audiences recognize in language we can speak, creating a more immediately affecting experience — 2014’s Snowpiercer is a fine example, bringing South Korean master Bong Joon-ho to American audiences. Too often, however, what makes a foreign director’s filmography great can get lost in translation, or snuffed out by overbearing studio heads. With his latest film Louder Than Bombs, Norwegian talent Joachim Trier makes the jump, working in English with such familiar faces as Jesse Eisenberg, Gabriel Byrne, and Devin Druid. (You know, from the episode of Louie where he smokes pot as a teenager?) Having caught the picture back in September at the Toronto International Film Festival, I come today bearing good news: Louder Than Bombs is the real deal.
History’s Vikings famously ditches the classic helmet imagery, but did you know the concept of filthy, horned raiders was historically inaccurate anyway? Or that the Travis Fimmel series pays homage to classic Norse myth in its titles? Sharpen your axes and fill your flagons, and let the 24th episode of ‘You Think You Know TV?’ take you along with Ragnar Lothbrok for a raiding party on History’s Vikings!
Since last week was so jam packed with upfronts announcing every new and returning show, unending trailers and press releases, this week has seen a bit of movement on the other networks gaining traction with their own original programming. We'd heard a bit about The History Channel's upcoming 'Vikings' epic before, but now the network gives us 'Treatment' to their first major casting!