Daily Archives: February 1, 1995

The Empire Of Passion

Japan’s most compulsively commercial avant-gardist, Nagisa Oshima (Boy, The Ceremony), makes a companion piece to his In the Realm of the Senses. A rendition of the Double Indemnity plot told as a ghost story, it’s said to be a lush, formal exercise. Read more

18 Again!

It’s hard to know who, if anyone, is borrowing from whom, but it seems singularly odd that the theme of older and younger male blood relations switching bodies should occur three times in the history of cinema, all within the space of about six months. The main distinction of this entry in the body-swapping sweepstakes is that this time it’s a grandfather (George Burns) and grandson (Charlie Schlatter) rather than father and son (Like Father Like Son, Vice Versa), and the grandson with his grandfather’s body spends most of the movie in a coma. Otherwise, Schlatter does his best to mimic Burns’s cigar-chomping manner, but Josh Goldstein and Jonathan Prince’s script is only fair, and Paul Flaherty’s direction is downright feeble. Both of the female leads (Anita Morris and Jennifer Runyon) are treated like bimbos, and Red Buttons has little to do in a secondary part. (JR) Read more

Drama In Blond

Lothar Lambert stars in his own 1984 West German comedy about an uptight office worker who yearns to sing in a nightclub in glamorous drag. Read more

Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb

Like most of his work, Stanley Kubrick’s deadly black satirical comedy-thriller on cold war madness and its possible effects (1964) has aged well: the manic, cartoonish performances of George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, and Peter Sellers (in three separate roles, including the title part) look as brilliant as ever, and Kubrick’s icy contempt for 20th-century humanity may find its purest expression in the figure of Strangelove himself, a savage extrapolation of a then-obscure Henry Kissinger conflated with Wernher von Braun and Dr. Mabuse to suggest a flawed, spastic machine with Nazi reflexes that ultimately turns on itself. With Peter Bull, Keenan Wynn, Slim Pickens, and James Earl Jones. 93 min. (JR) Read more