the take

Blink and You’ll Miss Premiere of Redgrave in Wallace Shawn’s ‘The Fever’

Courtesy of HBO

New York City’s small-but-loyal contingent of Wallace Shawn fans, take note: Vanessa Redgrave stars in the film version of playwright Shawn’s The Fever, and the film’s totally unpublicized premiere is tomorrow night on HBO. Like most of Shawn’s plays, The Fever is intensely focused on the intersection of the personal and the political; onstage, it’s presented as a monologue by one well-to-do character (frequently, through the play’s history, played by Shawn himself) who is stricken physically ill by realizations about the inequity of wealth in the modern world. The film version seems to expand the play’s dramatic scope, with Redgrave’s co-stars including Michael Moore (!) and Angelina Jolie.

Look, we understand that Wallace Shawn is not the most bankable of names. And director Carlo Nero is not a high-powered auteur (in fact, he’s Redgrave’s son). But surely HBO could’ve publicized The Fever even a tiny bit; seriously, when the first we read about a movie is in Playbill, someone’s not doing his job. Why spend good money to make a movie — one with real stars, and with an actual news peg to publicize it — only to dump it on a Wednesday night at 9:30 with no advertising whatsoever? It doesn’t even get a proper trailer on HBO’s Website.

If only Vanessa Redgrave, Angelina Jolie, or Michael Moore had been in the news recently!

“The Fever” — Starring Vanessa Redgrave — Will Make HBO Debut June 13 [Playbill]

Update! When a blogger doesn’t read his own magazine, someone’s not doing his job!

Blink and You’ll Miss Premiere of Redgrave in Wallace Shawn’s ‘The Fever’