This past Wednesday, the Muny gave me a chance to visit a friend I hadn't seen in fifteen years. I'm not talking about a human friend, but a theatrical one: Disney's 1994 stage adaptation of the 1991 hit animated film "Beauty and the Beast." The years, I'm happy to say, have been kind to it, and the Muny's first-rate production certainly does it justice.
Washington University hosts the seventh African Film Festival March 23rd through the 25th. It includes eight films, three features introduced by short films plus a youth matinee. Selections this year celebrate independent women and the power of youth. Of those available for preview, A Trip to Algiers stands out for one family's political drama as Algeria embraces independence.
Everyone who applauded The Triplets of Belleville will welcome director and animator Sylvain Chomet's The Illusionist. The fabulous story behind the movie is that French comic director Jacques Tati had written a script that he never made into a live-action film. Chomet took Tati's original screenplay and, over four years, crafted this marvelous animated film.