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November-December 1989

Michael Moore interviewed, Greil Marcus on ’80s culture and cinema, special midsection on character actors, Woody Allen’s Crimes and Misdemeanors, Atom Egoyan interviewed, festival reports, Laurence Olivier, D.W. Griffith, Euzhan Palcy interviewed, Prince and Batman, Kenneth Branagh

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Issue Details

Michael Moore interviewed by Harlan Jacobson
Not Roger Moore, Michael Moore directed Roger & Me, the documentary sensation of the Eighties: in which our hero, Moore, wheels about his hometown, Flint, Mich., chronicling the devastation wrought when General Motors’ Roger Smith closed up shop and moved it to Mexico. In response, Flint chased fantasies, Moore chased Smith, and our autodidact, Harlan Jacobson, chased Moore around the New York Film Festival to address some problems in the transmission

The Eighties belonged to one man—a movie star!—Ronald “We begin bombing in five minutes” Reagan
Gregg Kilday charts the industry’s unpoliced return to oligopoly
Greil Marcus picks a score of pictures and cinemabilia that tried to either tackle or outrun the Gipper

Creating reality out of personality, the character actor is the star—even in the celeb-saturated Eighties. We asked critics and writers to word-process their odes on a yearn for their favorite non-household names. Their paeans to peons appear throughout the section
Above the line, David Thomson reflects on what exactly we mean by “character actor”
Beverly Walker traces the arc travelled by character actors from potted palm to superstar
Acting mentors Jeff Corey, Brad Dourif, and William Hickey reveal the methods to their moods to Pat McGilligan, Merlaine Glicksman, and Gavin Smith respectively
Len Klady has the dope on acting teachers
Jack Barth hails the rise of a new breed of celebrity-actor who gets paid for being him/herself

By Marcia Pally
Woody Allen’s age of the victorious schlemiel is over; the bad guys really do win in the end. But Marcia Pally pays Crimes and Misdemeanors a call and, like Woody, finds peace of mind in the ritual visit to the movies

Atom Egoyan interviewed by Amy Taubin
Young-Armenian (by way of Canada) director Atom Egoyan has made his third feature, Speaking Parts, which aficionados at the New York Film Festival called the true sex, lies, and videotape

Reports from the 27th New York Film Festival by Lisa Katzman, the 14th Toronto Festival of Festivals by David Chute, and the 46th Venice Mostra, which looked verdi good to Harlan Kennedy

By Armond White
Prince’s Batdance and Partyman videos are smarter and more fun than the Bat-pic that spawned them. Armond White hangs upside down to turn it all inside out

The King is dead, long live the King: Graham Fuller eyes England’s youngest king, Kenneth Branagh, who mounts a Henry V not for the Olivier court but for the Batman bratpack
Everett Mattlin recalls a chat with Cary Grant