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May-June 1989

Jerry Schatzberg's Reunion, Harold Pinter interviewed, Ray Carney on John Cassavetes, Gena Rowlands, Ben Gazzara interviewed, Alexander Sokurov, Soviet censorship, Ken Russell's The Rainbow, Holly Hunter interviewed, Carl Th. Dreyer

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American in Paris
Voluntary exile Jerry Schatzberg finds the past is a foreign country where the trains run on time and a childhood chum can be Nazi but nice. The film is Reunion, and the ever-admiring Michel Ciment meets its maker and then trades pregnant pauses and subtext with play-and-screenwriter Harold Pinter—the thinking man’s thinking man, or what?

Midsection: Cassavetes’ Faces
Actor/writer/director and all-around innovator John Cassavetes, 1929-1989. He made a mere eleven films and made a difference. Raymond Carney explains why and provides an annotated list of the films, plays, etc. Lisa Katzman argues that Opening Night is a key text in its by-play of acting and experience. The jewel in the Cassavetes crown is the very wonderful Gena Rowlands: Beverly Walker appreciates. Gavin Smith provides a snapshot view of Cassavetes’ acting career with selected highlights, and interviews a bravo buddy Ben Gazzara about his collaboration on the likes of Husbands. Len Klady wraps everything up with some classic Cassavetes anecdotes via quotes from those who knew and loved him, among them Richard Dreyfuss, Peter Falk, Paul Mazursky, etc.

Bloc Busters
Eastern Bloc film keeps on keeping on: three glasnost boat rockers forge a dream realism, Soviet-style. Gyula Gazdag talks sense and censorship with J. Hoberman. Nancy Reagan-admirer, Sergei Paradjanov, reflects on his Ashik Kerib, his prison career and the guy with the birthmark on his head, to Anne Williamson. Back from Berlin, Amos Vogel has the word on latest Soviet discovery, Alexander Sokurov.

Somewhere over The Rainbow Graham Fuller finds something beyond our ken—a prequel to Women in Love by enfant terrible Ken Russell. D.H. Lawrence isn’t turning in his grave—he’s spinning. Morton Feintisch-Ng catches up with legendary loose cannon movie-mogul Avi Timmel, now gone legit—restoring classic films with previously unseen, unrelated footage. And we take an unscientific survey of the magazine hype surrounding Oscar winners and losers.

Henley’s Golden Egg Beauty Dreamers
Beauty is only soul deep (or is it?) muses Karen Jaehne, on the subject of Miss Firecracker, which concerns itself with things Southerly and unsisterly-some would say irresistibly. She talks to two smart cookies, writer Beth Henley and actress Holly Hunter.

Eyes on Dreyer
Carl Th. Dreyer, the Danish giant of screen and psyche, got a retrospective rave at MOMA just now. Armond White explains why movies and metaphysics make for an intoxicating brew and savors Dreyer’s grasp of the medium. Coming to your town soon.

New Directors
At the recent New Directors/New Films festival, Armond White and Karen Jaehne wondered whether there was anything new under the sun. Worthy but dull or edgy and awesome?

Shot in the Dark
Here come the tarnished angels of the 1919 Chicago Black Sox. They don’t play right field; they play right wing. A son of the bleachers, Harlan Jacobson views Field of Dreams from a distance.

TV: Our Primetime Has Come
The very understanding Oprah Winfrey took Gloria Naylor’s novel The Women of Brewster Place and turned it into chopped liver, says Marlaine Glicksman. And Robin Givens was a given.

Quiz #37

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