November/December 1983

Chantal Akerman's The Golden Eighties, Philip Kaufman's The Right Stuff, John Lithgow diaries, Kodak's 5293 stock, Sam Shepard, Venice and New York Film Festivals, Michael Mann's The Keep, Cannon Films

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Ordinary People
Melodrama is macho: men of action bounding decisively from chaos to climax. And off in the corner is the little woman, reacting, suffering, hanging around. Marcia Pally looks at a day in the life of women on film, from the slam-bang sentimentality of The Right Stuff to Chantal Akerman’s rough-draft musical comedy The Golden Eighties, and charts the banalization of women.

Lithgow Comes to ‘Terms
John Lithgow-these days he’s a busier actor than Craig T. Nelson put together. The transsexual jock in Garp, a hysterical airline passenger in Twilight Zone: The Movie, Lithgow is now stealing scenes from Debra Winger in Terms of Endearment. He kept a journal of his Terms time, recording an actor’s triumphs, insecurities, and flirtations. Nice man; good read.

Midsection: Sight & Sound
The smart folks at Kodak have developed a new film stock—5293—that could prove as revolutionary an advance as the introduction of three-strip Technicolor in the Thirties. At least, half the hot directors and cinematographers think so. The ears have it, too. Wizards of warp and woof are converting vacuum-cleaner blasts and computer clucks into the weirdest sounds you’ve ever heard. Marc Mancini reports both stories.

Sam Shepard
As an actor with magnetic screen appeal, and as the wiliest, most ambitious and American playwright of his generation, Sam Shepard has been able to create his own legend. David Thomson somehow got the guy into his typewriter waxed eloquent, and—psssst!—

Journals
Harlan Kennedy was in Venice when Federico Fellini’s latest ship sailed in. A cultural war broke out in Toronto, and our battle correspondent, Marcia Froelke Coburn, got the story.

Michael Mann’s ‘The Keep’
Scott Glenn battles Nazi monsters in Romania? The director of Thief has something more on his mind, and Harlan Kennedy finds out what it is.

Cannon Law
Golan and Globus are the Israelis who make good with bad B-movies. Now they look to make it big in Hollywood. Barry Rehfeld reports.

Flareup in Fear City
When two Jets from the Bronx (Abel Ferrara and Nick St. John) meet a Hollywood Shark like Bruce Cohn Curtis, something’s got to explode. This time it did. By David Chute.

I Remember Film School
Happy days at NYU in the Sixties: shooting a porn film, singing “Hail, Freedonia” in the Dean’s office, screening The Big Heat with Professor Martin Scorsese. By Allan Arkush.

New York Film Festival
Elliott Stein and Stephen Harvey scour the 21st NYFF for stars (**** too). Harlan Jacobson covers the independent scene; this review is rated R (language, violence).

Video: Firesign Theatre
On radio and records they were a Sixties cult. Now you can see them on videocassette. By Richard Gehr.

Independents: The Market
It’s where Americans sell their personal, low-budget features to European TV. Marsha J. Lebby reports.

Industry: ‘Testament’
The movie’s subject—nuclear war—and its distribution have both caused controversy. By Sheila Benson.

Back Page
Richard Corliss’s review of NBC’s Princess Daisy and Quiz Number 4.