The Low Life

George Hickenlooper, codirector of the popular documentary Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse, was once quoted as saying that he purchased the rights to Orson Welles’s unrealized script The Big Brass Ring in order to direct it himself, because he was basically an auteurist at heart; I’ve been wondering ever since how an auteurist could be interested in making somebody else’s work. If you want to know what a Hickenlooper movie consists of, there’s this 1995 feature set in Los Angeles. It’s about an aspiring novelist (Rory Cochrane), his roommate (Sean Astin), a father-and-son slumlord team (J.T. Walsh and James LeGros), and one of their tenants (Kyra Sedgwick); John Enborn collaborated on the script. This Generation X exercise doesn’t have much identity of its own, though the cast is pretty good. And I guess it has some minimal bite if your expectations aren’t too high. (JR)

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