September/October 1986

F. Murray Abraham, French directors on American artists in ‘Round Midnight and Ménage, David Byrne’s True Stories, Roland Joffe’s The Mission, Dorris Dorrie, Hanif Kureishi, David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, Alex Cox’s Sid and Nancy, Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It

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Issue Details

AMAZON GRACE
In the mid-Eighties, the trend is clear: major filmmakers have taken to the Bush. Harlan Kennedy considers Roland Joffe’s The Mission in light of a dozen films that have articulated the West’s search for meaning

TWO FRENCHMEN
Bertrand Blier has been at the front lobbing shells in the war between the sexes for a decade. Now, Blier tells Dan Yakir that “The war is over. Nobody knows who won.” In his new film Ménage, Blier manhandles men, women, and moviemaking. And William Hackman observes Bertrand Tavernier’s ’Round Midnight as one more example of how the French have always understood American artists better than we, and all that jazz

COMPANY MAN
F. Murray Abraham has played it risky by playing a company of men who play it safe. The Inquisitor in The Name of the Rose, Abraham is given the third degree by Gideon Bachmann

MIDSECTION: FIVE RESTLESS VOICES
A new generation of filmmakers have started hitting their stride with films about lovers and laws. David Lynch knocks over the rock of a small American town in Blue Velvet, and David Chute got him to sexpound in a Bob’s Big Boy
Alex Cox charts the downward slide of Sid and Nancy from nowhere to oblivion, to Todd McCarthy
What do men want? Ask Dorris Dorrie, who told all about Men to Marcia Pally
Spike Lee blisters the black (and white) screen in She’s Gotta Have It, and Marlaine Glicksman was all ears
And Hanif Kureishi reads Marcia Pally a writer’s riot act

JOURNALS
The one thing no one can agree on is how to spell Muammar Qadaffi’s name. This is how we spell it in the table of contents. Harlan Kennedy went to the Taormina festival, Mary Corliss went to Cannes, and nobody learned how to spell whatshisname. So they watched movies and waited for Godot. Or Godeaux. Or Gohdoh

SULTAN OF SWEAT, II
You loved him last issue, in Part I. Now, David F. Friedman, the Ruth of babes, concludes his tale of tails with a lament for the way of all flesh films. David Chute listened in

HEART BYRNE MALL
David Byrne is one smart Talking Head. In True Stories, Byrne offers a vision of life in the shopping mall of Our Town. Bill Wyman appreciates

TV: DIVORCE COURT
One session of Judge Keene’s court of banana splits, and you’ll stop answering the Personals. Jack Barth chronicles the docket of folks who once said “I do,” but now say “Oh, (rhymes with docket)”

ORBITS: VINCENTE MINNELLI
A sensualist of the camera, Vincente Minnelli seemed to play by all the rules. Or did he? Stephen Harvey eulogizes

LETTERS: RATE DEBATE
Tipper Gore, Jack Valenti, Alan Reitman, and more rate Lois P. Sheinfeld’s X-ray of the Ratings System in our June issue. She gets four X’s and an A (for Aces)

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