Kasdan’s ‘Big Chill’
Lawrence Kasdan writes smart movies for kids (Empire, Raiders, Jedi) and for grownups (Body Heat). The Big Chill may satisfy both groups: it’s got sex, drugs, and a fast car; it has much to say about a generation of Americans a little uneasy about taking over. Harlan Jacobson reviews this witty, likable film, and introduces scenes from the script by Kasdan and Barbara Benedek.
Midsection: The Far East
For its movies or its turbulent politics, the Far East is making news these days. A Japanese film wins the grand prize at the Cannes Film Festival for only the second time in almost three decades. A Chinese film details corruption and torture in the new Vietnam, and stirs controversy wherever it plays. In the Philippines, the assassination of opposition leader Benigno Aquino sheds a harsh light on the Marcos government’s policies toward a fettered film industry. So: Dave Kehr considers the career of prize-winning Japanese director Shohei Imamura; Harlan Kennedy profiles Hong Kong director Ann Hui and her Boat People; Elliott Stein reports on Filipino cinema; and Luis H. Francia chronicles the struggles of Asian-Americans to make movies true to two cultures.
Coppola rumbles Back
Never a dull moment with Francis Coppola. He’s made blockbuster movies, godfathered a swarm of Hollywood brats, created—and almost demolished—his own studio. His new film, Rumble Fish, may be his most rabidly debated; his next one, Cotton Club, may signal a return to the Hollywood fold. He talks about all this and more in the Playboy. . . oops, FILM COMMENT interview with David Thomson and Lucy Gray.
Fred Schepisi (The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith) is up in the Great White North with Timothy Hutton, carving an Iceman; Jim Verniere reports. The Soviets provide an answer to Warren Beatty: Franco Nero as U.S. red John Reed. Kathy Gunst has the story.
It Came from Beyond Midnight! A sensibility so outrageous only weird insomniacs could find it appealing! El Topo set the stage; Rocky Horror paraded on it. David Chute reviews the high and low points (sometimes they were the same thing) of cult movies. Outlaw Cinema dead or Alive?
Luchino Visconti’s 1963 masterpiece has been restored to its full length. David Ehrenstein tells how and, more important, why.
Two Old Masters
A pair of cinema giants died this summer. Samson Raphaelson is lauded by director Bob Rafelson (his nephew), Richard Corliss, and Andrew Sarris. Luis Buñuel is recalled (in interviews by Dan Yakir) by some of the actors who worked with him.
The wizard of special effects (2001, CE3K, the first Star Trek movie) has come up with a provocative Brainstorm. As Stephen Farber reports, it’s more than Natalie Wood’s last movie.
People We Like
She’s grown-up, smart, full of fun. Richard Corliss likes Joanna Cassidy in Under Fire and Bonnie Bedelia in Heart Like a Wheel—two post-graduate American Beauties.
Why is this holocaust different from all other holocausts? Annette Insdorf wrote a book about movies on Hitler and the Jews; Steve Lawson reviews it.
The winner of Quiz No. 2 listed more than 250 movies. Doing that for our new contest will be even tougher: the entry can be only 50 words long.