Indianapolis is best known for its famous Memorial Day auto race, and arguably the world’s most famous, the Indy 500, and for being the butt of some good-natured monologue barbs from native son David Letterman. The fact is that Indianapolis is no longer the sleepy town of Letterman’s youth. Thanks to investment of millions of dollars into the city’s downtown there is plenty for a visitor to do here.
The film pushes all the emotional buttons to tell an almost crackerjack tale of a young man’s journey from eager beaver new guy to seasoned veteran who has seen his best friend die on the job, his wife give birth to two children and become the typical fireman’s wife while holding back her fears about her husband’s dangerous career, and the time when mortality rears its ugly head and you are forced to decide how you plan to live out the rest of your life. When you’re a member of the Brotherhood of the Bravest, there is only one decision you make.
The TV station the George W. Bush regime loves to hate (“Osama Bin-Laden’s mouthpiece” – Colin Powell) gets its close-up in this controversial new film by director Jehane Noujaim “StartUp.com”.
Though the county fair vibe of TFF is fine for folks with children, browsers and downtown vendors, serious filmmakers may be given pause. Sans a distribution platform, or a science-themed script for the Sloan competition, it shouldn’t be a priority on the level of Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Rotterdam, Berlin or Venice, which all, rightly or not, have established status as hothouses for new talent and new work by veteran directors. Unless the timing of TFF is reconsidered, it’s unlikely to join their ranks.
Make no mistake, THE DREAMERS is better than a not bad film. Its pretty OK but still something of a disappointment. The film is supposedly set in Paris in the Spring of 1968 and begins with footage of the battle for the Cinematheque Francaise both original and recreated. Instead of staying in the streets the film retreats to the interior of a grand apartment where the three principals spend most of the following film. It reminds me of the film 1969 (1988) in which while the world around is exploding in crazy ways the principals can only watch from afar as they work out their own personal what used to be called hang-ups.
The 9th Annual Hamptons International Film Festival opened with a presentation of Yurek Bogayevicz’ “Edges Of The Lord” with Haley Joel Osment and Willem Dafoe. Bogayevicz, an acclaimed theatre director who directs films only occasionally, is best known for “Anna.” The closing night film was the much-anticipated Tom Stoppard adaptation of Robert Harris’
CARNAGES is a bad film made by an untalented director. Still some people strongly liked this film. It was very controversial when shown in Cannes.
The script for BEAUTIFUL STRANGER (TWIST OF FATE) is a derivative rehash of what was mildly popular as a second feature a few years before. In other words – a noir. The dialogue seems to be the type where one expects an actor to turn to the camera and remark ‘We’re all in a movie, aren’t we?’ The real potential star of the picture, Stanley Baker, is miscast and badly used as the heavy of the piece, the fifteen-year age difference between Rogers and him poorly covered up with grey streaks in his hair. Herbert Lom is a thief and a foreigner and crazy and doing none of them well. Jacques Bergerac was the nominal hero because he was the best looking etc. This was his film debut and was Ginger Rogers fourth husband at the time. Bosco, I believe, is the Italian word for wood and a piece of wood could have done a better acting job. I’m sure he must have had some other talents.
Not as bad as one has been led to believe. The strengths and weaknesses of this production are exactly those of the studio system. No expense or effort has been spared to make this film, yet it never really `sings’. The cast is one of the most spectacular rounded up for an 84-minute film. The photography has a black and white sheen, luminosity, which must have been unspeakably spectacular in the original nitrate print projected on a silver screen. The sets, a rare non- Cedric Gibbons design at MGM (credited to Alexander Toluboff) are suitably jazzy. The first five minutes are a set-up for audience sympathy dealing with an emergency delivery of Polio serum. Corny, but well done. The worst parts of the film are exactly where it cleaves closest to St. Expury’s original. Characters stop and begin to expostulate with a touch of the Eugene O’Neills. In this case poetry is better shown than expressed. One of the strangest phenomena of NIGHT FLIGHT is the fact that the legion of stars in the cast rarely, if ever, play a scene with one another. Helen Hayes is married to Clark Gable yet they never share the screen together.
What a very, very strange movie. From the title and set up one would think that this would be a neat, Depression era, class reversal, screwball comedy complete with the icon of that genre, Mary Boland. How wrong one would be.