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May-June 1981

David Thomson on character actors, John Waters's Polyester, avant-garde film in the 1980s, Michael Snow interview, John Boorman, Francis Ford Coppola's One From the Heart, Berlin Film Festival, John Sayles interview, Manoel de Oliveira's Doomed Love, Bosley Crowther obituary, Stephen King's guilty pleasures

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Issue Details

BITS & PIECES
They are the foot soldiers of Hollywood, and its unsung heroes. They are the character actors, and David Thomson pays his own kind of tribute to fifty of their finest.

STILL WATERS
John Waters, who made waves with the coprophagous comedy of Pink Flamingos, has gone legit: Tab Hunter costars in Polyester! David Chute considers cinema’s most outlandish outlaw.

MIDSECTION: AVANT-GARDE FILM IN THE EIGHTIES
Buffeted by the gales of occupational poverty, or drifting in the indifference of the critical mainstream, the avant-garde ark has weathered a stormy decade. In our Midsection, J. Hoberman explodes three myths of the avant-garde. Michael Snow talks with Jonathan Rosenbaum about his latest film. Hoberman investigates Super-8 film, and Jonathan Buchsbaum considers the late-Seventies surge of Punk movies. Meanwhile, back in Hollywood, avant-gardist Scott Bartlett is making his first commercial film, and tells Mitch Tuchman all about it

THE SORCERER
‘Sblood! Excalibur, John Boorman’s magical retelling of the Arthur legend, is a palpable hit. Now that he’s on top, he talks with Dan Yakir about his roller-coaster career.

JOURNALS
In Seattle, Richard T. Jameson previews “a new film from Zoetrope Studios.” In London, Gilbert Adair parses a new film by Jean-Luc Godard. In New York, Tom Allen reviews thirteen New Films by New Directors.

GERMANY IN WINTER
The German Federal Republic has a lot more to offer the constant moviegoer than a Berlin Film Festival. As Elliott Stein discovers, there are film archives, glorious old theaters, and a most unusual castle.

JOHN SAYLES INTERVIEW
The writer-director of the winning Return of the Secaucus 7 talks about his struggle to go Hollywood and still make his own movies. By David Chute. Stephen King's Guilty Pleasures

STEPHEN KING’S GUILTY PLEASURES
His novels Carrie and The Shining made readers take leave of their senses. Now he does same, nine times.

THE ‘DOOMED LOVE’ MAN
This four-and-a-half-hour study of passion has mesmerized viewers on two continents, and brought belated recognition to Manoel de Oliveira, 72, who tells Carlos Clarens how he did it.

OBIT: BOSLEY CROWTHER
Andrew Sarris comes neither to praise nor bury the late New York Times critic.

BOOKS
Reading Moving Places is like re-viewing your own life. By Nancy Rothstein.

TELEVISION
Richard T. Jameson on SCTV.

INDEPENDENTS
Asparagus: health food for the anorexic art of animation. By Amos Vogel.

BULLETIN BOARD