The Living End

Shot with camera equipment and film stock furnished by Jon Jost, the third feature from radical independent writer-director-cinematographer-editor Gregg Araki–after the award-winning Three Bewildered People in the Night and The Long Weekend (O’Despair)–is a talky but potent doomed-couple-on-the-run picture in which both leads are desperate young men who recently tested HIV positive. Jon (Craig Gilmore) is a sometime film critic who lives in LA, and Luke (Mike Dytri) is a cop killer on the run; in a rough parallel to Godard’s Breathless, Gilmore plays Jean Seberg to Dytri’s Jean-Paul Belmondo. After beginning with episodes involving Luke in flight from murderous women (including Mary Woronov) that seem more misogynistic than satirical, the film settles down to something more serious and affecting, though not always more lucid. The main postmodernist references Araki has in mind are plainly Godard and Antonioni, and the sincerity and purity of his rage often gives this film more bite than its verbose and raw dialogue; a sharp sense of camera and editing rhythm helps (1991). (Music Box, Friday through Thursday, August 14 through 20)

Published on 14 Aug 1992 in Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

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Andrej Roublev

Andrei Tarkovsky’s first major film, cowritten by Andrei Konchalovsky, about a 15th-century icon painter. This medieval epic announced the birth of a major talent; it also stuns with the sort of unexpected poetic explosions we’ve come to expect from Tarkovsky: an early flying episode suggesting Gogol, a stirring climax in color. Not to be missed (1965). (Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson, Saturday, August 15, 7:00, and Sunday, August 16, 6:00, 443-3737)

Published on 14 Aug 1992 in Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

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The Hairdresser’s Husband

Like Monsieur Hire, Patrice Leconte’s subsequent feature (1990), written with Claude Klotz, is a claustrophobic, bittersweet tale of middle-aged sexual obsession filmed in ‘Scope. But I enjoyed this film more, perhaps because the colors and moods tend to be brighter, with more of a sense of comedy. After 40 years of dreams about marrying a hairdresser, the hero (Jean Rochefort) finally meets the manager of a salon (Anna Galiena) who happens to be married to the owner. Peter Greenaway regular Michael Nyman composed the music; with Roland Bertin and Maurice Chevit. (Fine Arts)

Published on 07 Aug 1992 in Featured Texts, by jrosenbaum

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