From the Chicago Reader (September 1, 1995). — J.R.
** (Worth seeing)
Directed by John Boorman
Written by Alex Lasker and Bill Rubenstein
With Patricia Arquette, U Aung Ko, Frances McDormand, Spalding Gray, Tiara Jacquelina, and Victor Slezak.
Reviewing Salvador Dali’s autobiography half a century ago, George Orwell wrote that Dali “grew up in the corrupt world of the 1920s, when sophistication was immensely widespread and every European capital swarmed with aristocrats and rentiers who had given up sport and politics and taken to patronizing the arts. If you threw dead donkeys at people, they threw money back.” Offended by the sort of sophistication that he associated with mindless tolerance, Orwell recorded his own puritanical outrage at the brutal shenanigans of Dali and his apologists: “It will be seen that what the defenders of Dali are claiming is a kind of benefit of clergy. The artist is to be exempt from the moral laws that are binding on ordinary people. Just pronounce the magic word ‘art’ and everything is OK. Rotting corpses with snails crawling over them are OK; kicking little girls on the head is OK; even a film like L’age d’or is OK.”
Unfortunately, Orwell hadn’t seen Buñuel’s 1930 masterpiece and had been misinformed about it; it’s subsequently been demonstrated that, contrary to popular belief, Dali had little to do with it.… Read more »
This phone interview (see link below) with Douglas Storm in Bloomington, Indiana aired yesterday. Given all the Buddy Rich extracts, I’m sorry that there wasn’t time to discuss Welles’ own jazz taste (which was oriented more towards Dixieland, at least during the 40s). The clips from the film that are heard, which may be hard to follow in spots, testify to how much the art of Welles as a filmmaker is based on his editing, which obviously can’t be perceived in sound bites. [11/28/18]
One of the delightful things about Rose Troche’s stylish, low-budget, filmed-in-Chicago black-and-white lesbian comedy is that its characters all register as real people, even when bits of the dialogue are stiff or some of the lip sync is off; this isn’t a movie about lesbians, it’s a movie about these lesbians, and we’re likely to think of them afterward as if they were people we knew. As in the better American underground movies of the 60s, which this sometimes resembles, the youthfulness and the footloose free spirit — evident in everything from the performances and Ann T. Rossetti’s shooting style to Brendan Dolan and Jennifer Sharpe’s jazz score and the breezy rhythmic stretches bridging narrative sequences — keep things bouncing along like a clear spring day. (And though the characters themselves vary in age, there’s a clear note of shared adolescent braggadocio in the way that sex and romance here become real only after they’re talked about and described.) Written as well as produced by Troche in collaboration with Guinevere Turner, the younger of the two romantic leads (the other is V.S. Brodie), this movie dives into fantasy and stylized internal monologues with the same aplomb it brings to the buildup to a hot date.… Read more »