Daily Archives: October 31, 2007

Praise

When I spent a day in Brisbane four years ago, it struck me in terms of climate as well as social ambience as being the Mississippi or Louisiana of Australia. That’s only one of the reasons why this grim, passionate, and graphic love story about two highly dysfunctional young individualsa chain-smoking asthmatic (Peter Fenton) and an irritable, promiscuous, and possibly crazy victim of eczema (Sacha Horler), both unemployedreminds me of the tale about a doomed couple that forms half of William Faulkner’s The Wild Palms. Another reason is the uncanny way that Andrew McGahan, adapting his own best-selling novel, director John Curran, and cinematographer Dion Beebe have of making their story paradoxically superromantic by keeping it so doggedly antiromantic. With its honesty about sexual inadequacies (his rather than hers), drugs, squalor, and compulsive behavior, this obviously isn’t a film for everyone. But you can’t accuse it of toeing the Hollywood line, and parts of it remind me of Gus Van Sant’s first three movies, before he was swallowed whole by the studios. If you’re looking for something other than the usual cheering up, check this sick puppy out (1999, 98 min.).… Read more »

The Most Dangerous Game

Probably the best of all the film versions of Richard Connell’s creepy story about a crazy count who hunts humans on a remote island for sport, adapted by James Creelman. This 1932 movie was made by many of the same people involved in King Kong the following year, including producer Merian C. Cooper, director Ernest B. Schoedsack (codirecting here with Irving Pichel), composer Max Steiner, and actors Fay Wray and Robert Armstrong. If memory serves, this is dated but wonderful, and it lasts only 63 minutes. With Joel McCrea and Leslie Banks. (JR)… Read more »