March-April 1980

Quebecois cinema, David Cronenberg, Steve Lack, Richard Gere interview, Paul Schrader's American Gigolo, on the Oscars (plus predictions), John Huston's WWII documentaries, Robin Wood on Last House on the Left, Amos Vogel on death in cinema, John Lee Mahin interview

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CANADIAN FILM
In the Golden Age, Canada was known for Nelson Eddy and Nanook. In the Fifties and Sixties, the National Film Board’s documentaries and fiction features were highly regarded. But it took a tax shelter, some hungry producers, and a few oil-rich investors to make Canada the cinema Klondike it is today. Richard Corliss analyzes the Canadian feature market in light of its honorable past and chaotic present. David Chute profiles David Cronenberg, director of such “venereal horrors” as Rabid and The Brood. Ann Johnston considers the career of Bill Marshall, producer of Outrageous and several hot comers. Larry Kardish interviews Renaissance outlaw Steve Lack, who could be Canada’s next big star. And Michel Euvrard and Bernard Queenan survey the Quebec cinema—once a vital force in Canadian film, now hoping the Klondike stake won't be driven through its heart.

FOUR NIGHTS OF A GIGOLO
Paul Schrader’s American Gigolo is attracting moviegoers with its picture of the call-boy as Bressonian victim. Schrader talks about the film with Mitch Tuchman. Richard Gere, the star of Gigolo, discusses the crafts of film and stage acting with Brooks Riley. And Stephen Harvey considers the notion of star quality—and whether Gere has demonstrated that divine spark.

30 YEARS OF OSCARS, AND THIS YEAR’S
It’s Oscar time again—and time for Andrew Sarris to consider thirty years of Academy winners and losers. It’s also time for our experts—David Ansen, Lee Beaupre, Stuart Byron, Roger Ebert, Todd McCarthy, Maureen Orth, Frank Rich, and Sarris—to crystal-ball this year’s winners

JOURNALS
James McCourt, from New York, on three new Douglas Sirk movies. Gilbert Adair at the London Film Festival. Brooks Riley at Telluride, with lively, 90-year-old Abel Gance.

STYLE VS. ‘STYLE’
Pauline Kael once described an auteur director as someone who “expresses himself by shoving bits of style up the crevasses of the plots.” Richard T. Jameson demurs. A good director—Sternberg or Scorsese, Lester or Carpenter—turns style and content and form into a seamless, glorious whole.

AT WAR WITH THE ARMY
John Huston’s trilogy on the WWII soldier is a documentary masterpiece—but the government says it can't be shown. By Scott Hammen.

NEGLECTED NIGHTMARES
Robin Wood on some unsung horror films: Last House on the Left, The Night Walk, The Crazies, Jack’s Wife.

BOMBSHELL DAYS AT MGM
John Lee Mahin wrote some of the Thirties’ fastest, raciest films (Scarface, Red Dust, Bombshell, Too Hot to Handle). At 79, he’s as racy as ever, and so is his interview with Todd McCarthy and Joseph McBride.

INDUSTRY
Our fifth annual Grosses Gloss. Lee Beaupre on ’79’s hits and flops.

TELEVISION
Brian Camp on six European melodramas worth staying up late for. They’re all impressively directed and well acted—and they all seem to star Telly Savalas.

INDEPENDENTS
Amos Vogel reviews a film on the ultimate taboo topic: death.

BULLETIN BOARD