Daily Archives: October 9, 1992

Glengarry Glen Ross

The underrated James Foley (After Dark, My Sweet) shows an excellent feeling for the driven and haunted jive rhythms of David Mamet, macho invective and all, in a superb delivery of Mamet’s tour de force about desperate real estate salesmen, adapted for the screen by Mamet himself. Practically all the action occurs in an office and a Chinese restaurant across the street, and Foley’s mise en scene is so energetic and purposeful (he’s especially adept in using semicircular pans) that the unexpected use of a ‘Scope format seems fully justified, even in a drama where lives are resurrected and destroyed according to the value of offscreen pieces of paper. The all-expert cast consists of Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alan Arkin, and Ed Harris (labor), Alec Baldwin and Kevin Spacey (management), and Jonathan Pryce (a customer); the wholly appropriate jazz score, with fine saxophone solos by Wayne Shorter, is by James Newton Howard. (Bricktown Square, Golf Glen, Water Tower, Webster Place, Ford City, Wilmette)… Read more »

Cinema Glut: Here Comes the 28th Chicago International Film Festival

The 28th Chicago International Film Festival looks better on paper than most of the others I’ve written about over the past five years. Last year I noted some improvements in film selection and overall efficiency, and they seem to be continuing, thanks I suspect to the presence of Marc Evans, who joined the festival staff last year as program director. Another plus for this year is that the activity is focused on only two sites–four screens at Pipers Alley (which now boasts free parking) and one at the Music Box–which helps in terms of both convenience and continuity. And while there’s no large-scale retrospective that can compare with the ones devoted to 3-D in 1990 and CinemaScope in 1991–just sidebars devoted to Indian filmmaker Shyam Benegal (six features), Israeli filmmaker Dan Wolman (five features), and Switzerland-based producer Arthur Cohn (five features), all three of which are new names to me–a greater number of the main selections can be defended as responsible and intelligent choices. There’s still a certain amount of sofa stuffing (beware of some of the American independent selections in particular), but in general the list comes closer to representing an international consensus on the best new films available than an arbitrary string of also-rans selected by bureaucrats and embassies (but don’t expect the latter category to be entirely unrepresented).… Read more »