Sextette

Mae West’s swan song to cinema at age 86 is one of the world’s all-time worst movies but that doesn’t detract at all from its immense charm and lewd fascination. Based on West’s own play, directed after a fashion by Ken Hughes (reportedly many hands were involved), and including such standbys as Timothy Dalton, Tony Curtis, Dom DeLuise, Ringo Starr, George Hamilton, Alice Cooper, Keith Moon, Walter Pidgeon, Rona Barrett, and George Raft, the movie often defies description as an inept but heartfelt tribute to West’s talent and worldview, produced by two wealthy English West fans in their early 20s. This is amateur filmmaking at its most delirious, complete with a rousing production-number version of “Hooray for Hollywood”; West herself remains visibly sedated but indefatigably game throughout. (Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Friday, September 30, 7:30, and Saturday, October 1, 4:00, 443-3737)

Published on 30 Sep 1988 in Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

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Someone To Love

Another of Henry Jaglom’s let-it-all-hang-out gabfests, this one set in a beautiful, about-to-be-destroyed Los Angeles theater, where Jaglom invites his friends on Valentine’s Day. It certainly has its momentsmost of them provided by Orson Welles (in one of his last extended film performances), his vivacious long-time companion Oja Kodar, and the venerable Sally Kellermanbut most of this largely improvised movie, as critic Elliott Stein has pointed out, is pretty much the equivalent of the Donahue show, with all the strengths and limitations that this implies, and Jaglom’s own earnest inquiries about what makes so many people lonely can get a bit cloying after a while. However, Welles, as the equivalent of a talk-show guest, is very much in his prime, and his ruminations about feminism, loneliness, drama, and related subjects certainly give the proceedings an edge and a direction that most of the remainder of this floundering movie sadly lacks. Among the other participants in this encounter session are Jaglom’s brother Michael Emil, Andrea Marcovicci, Ronee Blakley, and Monte Hellman. (JR)

Published on 01 Sep 1988 in Featured Texts, by admin

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Sextette

Mae West’s swan song to cinema at age 86 is one of the world’s all-time worst movies, but that doesn’t detract at all from its immense charm and lewd fascination. Based on West’s own play, produced by two wealthy English fans in their early 20s, directed after a fashion by Ken Hughes (reportedly many hands were involved), and including such standbys as Timothy Dalton, Tony Curtis, Dom DeLuise, Ringo Starr, George Hamilton, Alice Cooper, Keith Moon, Walter Pidgeon, Rona Barrett, and George Raft, this inept but heartfelt 1978 tribute to West’s talent and worldview often defies description. It’s amateur filmmaking at its most delirious, complete with a rousing production-number version of Hooray for Hollywood; West herself remains visibly sedated but indefatigably game throughout. 91 min. (JR)

Published on 01 Sep 1988 in Featured Texts, by admin

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