Daily Archives: November 29, 2002

A Place In The Sun

George Stevens’s overblown, Oscar-laden adaption of An American Tragedy (1951, 122 min.) is hopelessly inadequate as a reading of Dreiser’s great novel, and as usual Stevens seems too preoccupied with the story’s monumentality to have much curiosity about its characters. But William C. Mellor’s cinematography and the star power of Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor manage to keep this going. Michael Wilson and Harry Brown wrote the script, and Shelley Winters gives a good performance in a thankless part. (JR)… Read more »

All About Lily Chou-chou

This is the second E-mail movie by writer-director Shunji Iwai that I’ve seen. The first was Love Letters (1995), his debut feature, and there as well as here we’re shown a lot of E-mails and then invited to note the discontinuities and incongruities arising when they’re juxtaposed with the interactions of the writers in real-life encounters. The concept was interesting and charming in Love Letters, up to a point, but here it quickly becomes repetitive, obvious, and dull. It doesn’t help that the film, which runs 146 minutes, is about cruel, violent, repressed, and uninteresting high school students who all happen to be rabid fans of a pop singer named Lily Chou-Chou. I didn’t believe in any of these kids for a second; they all come across as the projections of someone roughly twice their age, which is what Iwai is. In Japanese with subtitles. (JR)… Read more »