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May-June 1982

Blake Edwards' Victor Victoria, John Milius and Conan the Barbarian, Ernie Kovacs, Jean-Luc Godard and Francis Ford Coppola's television work, Saul Bass, Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo, Billy Wilder, Steven Spielberg interviewed, aspect ratios, Amos Vogel on sex in avant-garde films

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Issue Details

Gay Films, Straight Movies
There’s been a lot of talk recently about “gay movies”: Making Love, Personal Best, Partners. Are they good movies? Are they truly gay? Mary Richards has some thoughts on the subject. And Carlos Clarens offers a new look at Victor Victoria.

Milius the Barbarian
At least, that’s the popular notion of this writer-director (Dirty Harry, The Wind and the Lion, Apocalypse Now). Truth is, he’s a poetical soul, as his Guilty Pleasures should prove. His new movie is the Arnold Schwarzenegger pectacular, Conan; Carlos Clarens reviews it.

Midsection: The Video Revolution
Video is exploding everywhere: on the burgeoning cable channels, in art galleries, even in the conservative stronghold of Hollywood. J. Hoberman offers an informed overview of the subject, from Ernie Kovacs to Jean-Luc Godard. Richard Zacks spots big companies and big bucks in narrowcasting. Arlene Zeichner checks out rock music on TV and in the clubs. Amy Taubin profiles some important video artists. Andy Klein stays up late to catch the L.A. cable freex. And Brooks Riley previews a thrilling future in Francis Ford Coppola’s experiments with film and video.

The Names Behind the Titles
They hook you; they hold you; they tell you what you’re about to see. They are movie titles—and sometimes they do their job so well that you leave the theater humming the credits. Title art is an exact and exacting craft, brought to maturity by the four men whose work Dean Billanti profiles Saul Bass, Maurice Binder, Wayne Fitzgerald, Dan Perri. Fitzgerald, who has designed hundreds of movie titles, tells Mitch Tuchman all about how it’s done.

In Utah, Austin Lamont finds good films and an independent spirit.

Acting English
From Cary Grant to Larry Olivier, from The Invisible Man to Brideshead Revisited, English actors have lent movies their special elegance and flair. An appreciation by David Thomson.

Assignment: Berlin
. . . where Harlan Kennedy found lots to like. But the best was in Munich: Werner Herzog’s new Fitzcarraldo.

Bracketting Wilder
Billy Wilder, the subject of this year’s Film Society of Lincoln Center tribute, had a productive screenwriting apprenticeship with Charles Brackett. Tom Allen reappraises it.

Hollywood Lays an Egg
Things look bad for the industry, but look closer: A new multimedia cartel is forming. By Harlan Jacobson.

Steven Spielberg Interview
The Wonder Boy of Jaws and Close Encounters has turned producer-auteur with E.T. and Poltergeist. He tells Todd McCarthy about his new roles.

Amos Vogel sounds the clarion call: Let’s save sex from the pornographers! Some film artists are doing just that.

Now there’s a cacophony of books on the Hollywood musical. Our Lawrence O’Toole has found the best one.

Would you slice the top and bottom off a Picasso? Then why watch films in the wrong ratio? By Dan Yakir.

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