License to Feel (DISTANT VOICES, STILL LIVES)

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http://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/1989/08/license-to-feel/

Published on 18 Aug 1989 in Featured Texts, Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

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Viva La Muerte

Spanish surrealist playwright Fernando Arrabal loosely adapted his own autobiographical novel Baal Babylon, about a 12-year-old boy growing up during the Spanish civil war, into this violent, scatological, blasphemous, and extremely tiresome phantasmagoria, with very little filmic sense. If you like this, you might think it has something to do with Bosch, but it looked like bosh to me back in 1971, when misogynist visionary romps of this ilk were all the rage. In French with subtitles. 90 min. (JR)

Published on 01 Aug 1989 in Featured Texts, by admin

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The Fearless Vampire Killers

Subtitled Pardon Me, but Your Teeth Are in My Neck, and also known as Dance of the Vampires, Roman Polanski’s macabre send-up of the vampire movie (1967, 108 min.) never got a fair shake in this country, because it was originally released in a mutilated and redubbed version that tended to flatten many of the film’s eastern European nuances and ironies (if memory serves, a few of the kinkier gags were lopped off as well). A comic duo composed of a bumbling professor (Jack MacGowran) and his awkward assistant (Polanski) go after a family of Transylvanian vampires, and the film amiably runs through all the standbys associated with vampire movies, putting a personal and goofy spin on most of them. Sharon Tate also appears, at her most ravishing. (JR)

Published on 01 Aug 1989 in Featured Texts, by admin

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