An amiable, partially contrived documentary by Mika Kaurismaki (1994) in which Jim Jarmusch joins Sam Fuller as Fuller returns to a Brazilian rain forest where 40 years earlier he scouted locations and shot 16-millimeter footage for a Hollywood adventure story that was never made. What keeps this fun and watchable are Fuller and Jarmusch holding forth for the camera and each other, but the settings and the Karaja Indians they visit hold plenty of fascination as well. Winner of the international critics’ award at the Berlin film festival. Music Box, Saturday and Sunday, April 1 and 2.
Jerky in both senses of the term, this slapdash comedy follows the efforts of the half-wit son (Chris Farley) of a midwestern auto parts manufacturer (Brian Dennehy) to follow in his father’s footsteps after the old man kicks off on his wedding day. (Bo Derek is the woman he’s just married, and she’s up to no good.) Directed by Peter Segal (Naked Gun 331/3: The Final Insult) from a desperately unfunny script by Bonnie and Terry Turner, this has a cheesy, unreal plot that vaguely suggests an overhauled Roger & Me with a happy ending. David Spade costars and Lorne Michaels, who should hang his head in shame, produced. (JR)
Although most of the elements are familiar and virtually all of the characters are unpleasant, this is a better than average melodrama–mainly because of the volcanic power of Kathy Bates in the title role, but also because of some attractive cinematography by Gabriel Beristain and disciplined script work by Tony Gilroy in adapting a Stephen King novel. (William Goldman, credited as a consultant, likely lent a hand to the writing as well.) Centered on a remote island off the coast of Maine and teeming with regional accents, the plot involves a bitter, hard-nosed maid (Bates) who’s suspected of murdering her wealthy longtime employer. Her long-alienated daughter (Jennifer Jason Leigh), a neurotic and ambitious New York journalist, turns up to reluctantly help her out. The story is full of achronological flashbacks, delayed revelations, bitter recriminations, and long-term grudges, but Bates gives it all more flavor and substance than the conventions require, and the other cast members–including Christopher Plummer, David Strathairn, John C. Reilly, Eric Bogosian, and Judy Parfitt–do their best with relatively limited parts. Taylor Hackford directed, with a fair amount of panache. Ford City, Biograph, Bricktown Square, Gardens, Lincoln Village, Esquire.
This 1994 feature about a friendship between two intellectual writers in the 50s and 60s doesn’t qualify as writer-director Carlos Reichenbach’s best work, but it’s an excellent introduction to one of the most interesting and creative Brazilian filmmakers around. His artistic interests and surreal imagination evoke Raul Ruiz as well as the French New Wave. Three Penny, Saturday and Monday, March 25 and 27, 8:45.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Still.