Daily Archives: September 1, 1995

Nadja

Dracula’s daughter–and more specifically Lambert Hillyer’s Dracula’s Daughter (1936)–comes to Manhattan’s East Village in a quirky, lyrical independent feature by writer-director Michael Almereyda. It’s shot in luscious, shimmering black and white, with prismatic, pointillist interludes shot with a toy Pixelvision camera (also used by Almereyda in Another Girl, Another Planet, his previous feature), transferred to 35-millimeter without letterboxed framing. Produced by David Lynch, who turns up in a cameo, this offbeat horror item works much better as a dreamy mood piece with striking poetic images and as a semicomic appreciation of a few quintessential low-budget actors than as straight-ahead storytelling. In some ways it’s a throwback to the pathos of Twister, Almereyda’s first feature–a black comic treatment of various dysfunctional family members yearning for normality. With Elina Lowensohn, Martin Donovan, Peter Fonda, Galaxy Craze, Suzy Amis, Karl Geary, and Jared Harris. Music Box, Friday through Thursday, September 1 through 7.… Read more »

Double Happiness

This 1994 Canadian comedy by Mina Shum revolves around a 22-year-old aspiring Chinese actress (Sandra Oh), living in a North American city with her parents and younger sister, who has to choose between her ambitions and traditional family loyalties. I wouldn’t call the film an unqualified success–the acting is uneven, for instance–but I learned a whole lot more about Chinese traditions here than I did from the middle-class crowd pleaser The Wedding Banquet, and Shum kept me amused and engrossed besides. With Stephen Chang, Frances You, and Allanah Ong. Fine Arts.… Read more »