January/February 1989

Harvey Fierstein and Torch Song Trilogy, François Truffaut’s final screenplay La Petite Voleuse, special midsection: ’90s forecast, Vasili Pichul’s Little Vera, Oliver Stone’s Talk Radio, TV’s Manhunt…Live!

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TORCHING THE CLOSET
Test: how many nationally well-known public men are gay and wear a dress to work? Harvey Fierstein, a gay crossover figure with breakout potential, has the sass and sashay to send men running—into their closets for dressup time
After seeing Torch Song Trilogy, Jay Scott talks to the man about gender bending and pride
Harlan Kennedy adds a chapter to the ongoing saga of the Battle for Britatin. This round: The Gay Film Festival. Goodies: Its organizers. Baddies: Thatcher and the Legion of the Damned Stupid

FROM TRUFFAUT’S TYPEWRITER
By Annette Insdorf
François Truffaut may be gone, as we keep telling you, but his work lives on. His last screenplay La Petite Voleuse (The Little Thief) is now a film by Claude Miller. C’est si bon says Annette Insdorf, who introduces two scenes excerpted from the original script. Zut alors! Magnifique!

MIDSECTION: ARGH—THE ’90S
Crystal ball time. The ’90s are soon upon us—so why wait a year to moan about man’s fate. Let’s get it over with now:
Beverly Walker mulls the fate of the director—will he be auteur or airline pilot?
Acting may veer away from realism to teleprompterism fears Gavin Smith
Armond White diagnoses reviewers in critical condition and prescribes a purge
Jon Jost laments the fate of indie films
Karen Jaehne romances the stone cold future of love in the Bush decade
We draw up a list of the decade’s passing fancies
Jack Barth previews Film Comment of the ’90s—given the low state of the art and our standards
Plus: Meanwhile, argh—1988. Ten New Faces from Lawrence O’Toole, Oscar silly questions from Anne Thompson, and two scoundrels, Richard Corliss and Steven Harvey, summarize the dirty, rotten year we all just had

SERGEI AND VERA GET LAID
By Anne Williamson
The Russians are coming! But it’s make love, not war as those sex crazed Sovs plaster the screen with candid scenes from Moscow’s box office hit, Little Vera

BIGMOUTH STRIKES AGAIN
By Richard Corliss
Corliss sees a movie about Talk Radio and reflects on this year’s media model of the body politic

TV: BANG BANG WE’RE BORED
By Amy Taubin
Gross, says Taubin, after sitting through a new low in tabloid tack TV, Manhunt—a live hunt for a serial killer. Yuk

JOURNALS
Let’s get Latin for a while. Graham Fuller stayed in New York and saw a cross section of Sandanista and not-so Sandinista films
Laurence Kardish took in some Caribbean films at the San Juan festival, in between rum coctels