Tsai Ming-liang’s striking and beautiful second feature, a haunting look at alienation among three young individuals in Taipei–a real estate agent, a street vendor, and a gay and painfully withdrawn burial-plot salesman–won the Golden Lion at the Venice film festival and remains one of the key modernist works of the Taiwanese New Wave. Working principally without dialogue–with a feeling for both modern architecture and contemporary urban despair that often recalls Michaelangelo Antonioni–it gathers force slowly but builds to a powerful and devastating finale. Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Saturday, August 17, 3:30, 443-3737.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo from Vive l’amour.… Read more »
To say that John L’Ecuyer’s lovely black-and-white 16-millimeter (1995) adaptation of an autobiographical story by Jim Carroll–playing at the Chicago Underground Film Fest–is incomparably better than the movie version of The Basketball Diaries isn’t saying very much. Better to say that it’s sweeter, warmer, sharper, and filled with more human understanding than Trainspotting as it deals with a similar portrait of friends going in and out of drug addiction, this time in the lower reaches of New York City. Atom Egoyan and Patricia Rozema served as executive producers, and the performances of Maurice Dean Witt as a crackhead who thinks that his wife and mother-in-law are casting voodoo spells on him and Callum Keith Rennie as the friend who tries to talk him through his fantasy are highly charismatic as well as letter perfect. Carroll, incidentally, likes this movie himself, and it isn’t hard to see why. Theater Building, 1225 W. Belmont, Saturday, August 17, 9:00, 866-8660.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo from Curtis’s Charm.… Read more »