Daily Archives: June 17, 1988

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

For once, a Hollywood entertainment that lives up to all of its advance hype. Set in Tinseltown in 1947, this zany detective story follows the efforts of gumshoe Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) to clear the name of cartoon character Roger Rabbit when the latter becomes the main suspect in a murder case. The movie, which combines live-action and animation with breathtaking wizardry, was coproduced by the studios of Disney and Spielberg, and although Robert Zemeckis is the director, and the script is by Jeffrey Price and Peter Seaman (based on a novel by Gary K. Wolf), another way of interpreting the title is to read it in cartoon terms as an inquiry into how one makes an old-style studio blockbuster without an auteur. In this respect, the “framer” of Roger Rabbit is a platoon of committed and talented individuals united by their love for both film noir and the Hollywood cartoon. As a tribute to the lost splendors (and characters) of both forms, this labor of love is deeply moving: in the world of the film, cartoon characters are treated like a repressed minority threatened by genocide, and gumshoes out of Raymond Chandler (or even Robert Towne) are almost equally archaic.… Read more »

Daisies

My favorite Czech film, and surely one of the most exhilarating stylistic and psychedelic explosions of the 60s, Vera Chytilova’s madcap and aggressive feminist farce explodes in any number of directions. Featuring two uninhibited young women who are both named Marie–whose various escapades, which add up less to a plot than to a string of outrageous set pieces, include several antiphallic gags, and a free-for-all with fancy food rivaling Laurel and Hardy that got Chytilova in lots of trouble with the authorities–this is a disturbing yet liberating tour de force from a talented director showing what she can do with freedom. A major influence on Jacques Rivette’s Celine and Julie Go Boating, this is chock-full of female giggling, which might be interpreted in this context as the laughter of Medusa: subversive, bracing, energizing, and rather off-putting (if challenging) to most male spectators (1966). (Facets Multimedia Center, 1517 W. Fullerton, Monday through Thursday, June 20 through 23, 7:00, 281-4114)… Read more »