Black And White

Writer-director James Toback manages to combine the worst traits of his own braggadocio style of formless filmmaking with those of Henry Jaglom and Robert Altman, in an extravagant mess that awaits exegesis from Pauline Kael’s disciples regarding its Dostoyevskian qualities. Expect a lot of improvisation or semi-improvisation from the actors and just as much crosscutting from the director. Wealthy white teenage girls in New York lust after hip-hop black crime, a documentary filmmaker (Brooke Shields) with a gay husband (Robert Downey Jr.) follows them around, and the gay husband comes on to Mike Tyson, who plays himself. The point is to create a few desultory sparks, all of them unrehearsed, and land a piece of promo in the New Yorker’s The Talk of the Town. Among the other actors are Oli Power Grant, Ben Stiller, Knicks guard Allan Houston, Claudia Schiffer, Stacy Edwards, and Toback himself. 98 min. (JR)

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