Right now, it seems like the creative culture, in all its forms, is about the Cold War.
There are the two Oscar contenders: Stephen Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies” and “Pawn Sacrific”e about Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky when chess mattered. Both films are gray-washed, cold things, as if we need some kind of visual reinforcement of the plots. Both are very fine films, the former marginally warmed by Tom Hanks; the latter not at all.
The Hours Count by Jillian Cantor tells the woeful story of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg from the viewpoint of a neighbor. It’s a harrowing piece of fiction based on the facts. I dare you to put it down.
I just finished the novel when surprise, the new play with Linda Lavin has a doozy of a plot twist. Spoiler alert ahead. Absolutely stop reading now if you’re going to see “Our Mother’s Brief Affair.”
Lavin’s character had a long-ago affair, to the shock and discomfort of her adult children. Turns out, she had that affair with David Greenglass, Ethel’s brother, who named names all the way to the electric chair.
Or did she? That’s the question we’re left with, as she states she has a moment–a moment when she was really seen. So what if he was a spy responsible for the gruesome deaths of his family? She and he had a moment. Or did they?
The play is clearly the weakest of all these works. But I was affected by the idea of the importance of moments, in it and them all, and the ramifications those moments can have.
Now, emerging, I hope, from this Cold War moment, I’m really ready for some color and warmth!
P.S. I initially forgot to mention the very fine “Trumbo” in the listings of Cold War movies this season.