JOHN CARPENTER: OUT OF ‘THE FOG’
He makes low-budget, no-star “exploitation” thrillers informed by an elegant mise en scène and filled with homages to Hitchcock and Hawks. Yet John Carpenter’s Halloween is the most profitable film ever made; and Elvis was a popular TV movie. With a decade of impressive work behind him (he won an Oscar in 1971), the 31-year-old writer-director has a lot to talk about. Todd McCarthy talks with John Carpenter and his producer, Debra Hill.
IRENE DUNNE REMEMBERS
She could act; she could sing; she could make us laugh and weep. James McCourt pays tribute to this “great natural beauty.” And in a rare interview (with James Harvey), the Lady talks about her films, and shows she hasn't lost any of her wit and charm.
MIDSECTION: THE SEVENTIES
It may be flogging a dead horse, but we can't put this bang-bang whimper-whimper decade to rest without a few last words. So Richard Corliss considers the tone of American movies, there is a pictorial history of the Seventies compiled by editor Stephen Harvey. And a group of distinguished observers volunteer some thoughts on Seventies trends and their implications for the Eighties:
The Movie Industry, by Stuart Byron
Film Exhibition, by Harlan Jacobson
The World-Wide Avant Garde, by J. Hoberman
Books and Magazines, by Richard T. Jameson
The 10 Best Films, by Elliott Stein
There Go the Eighties, by Lawrence O’Toole
‘THE ROSE’: A STAR, A WRITER
A week in the life of Mary Rose Foster—the last week—is the frame for The Rose, Bette Midler’s dynamite debut, and Donald Lyons sings its praises. But the trip from script to screen took a bit longer—almost seven years—and screenwriter Bill Kerby gives Dan Yakir the inside story.
As David Overbey notes, French films are still attracting audiences and repelling the censors. In Israel, the cinema is finally flourishing; Ratricia Erens reports.
MODERNISM! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE
Godard, Resnais, Duras, and other radical filmmakers stretched narrative cinema to the breaking point. Don Willis says the stretch marks show, and the damage is severe.
IDA LUPINO: AUTEURESS
Lupino the actress was tough and beautiful enough to be cited in a Hemingway novel; but as a director she has yet to receive her due. Ronnie Scheib offers an eloquent appraisal of the director’s films and their heroines, who sleepwalk into nightmares.
Thomas Simonet on Hollywood's new infatuation with market research.
Robin Wood on two recent books by Richard Dyer: Stars and Gays & Film.
Amos Vogel surveys some vital New York film institutions.
“Real-life” shows like Eight Is Enough prove that all happy families are the same. By Daniel Menaker.
1979 FILM COMMENT INDEX
Martin Scorsese on the color crisis.