Monthly Archives: June 2000

My Own Daughter And Son

Two medium-length Israeli films about difficult relationships between parents and children. Mooly Landsman’s My Own Daughter (1998, 50 min.) is a documentary in which a 22-year-old kibbutz member confronts memories of abuse from her father, and Nitzan Aviram’s Son (1997, 47 min.) is a fiction film about an aging poet and his son, who suffers from Down’s syndrome. Read more

The Stendhal Syndrome

In case, like me, you’ve never heard the title expression before, it refers to the psychological phenomenon of a work of art making the spectator swoon (which is apparently more common overseas). Italian horror director Dario Argento characteristically uses this condition as a pretext for fancy visual cadenzas, as a police detective who’s especially susceptible to paintings (the director’s daughter, Asia) tries to track down a serial rapist and killer, and they’re the main reason for seeing this poorly acted, over-the-top, and generally out-of-control bloodbath (1996, 114 min.). With Thomas Kretschmann. (JR) Read more

Meet Me At The Fair

Like the other small musicals Douglas Sirk directed at Universal in the early 50s, this is better than it was supposed to have been at the time, a nicely mounted and nostalgic turn-of-the-century story about a sideshow medicine man (Dan Dailey) who helps to hide a runaway orphan (Chet Allen) while romancing the woman who’s looking for him (Diana Lynn). Hugh O’Brian plays a corrupt politician, and Scatman Crothers is one of the performers in the musical numbers (1953, 87 min.). (JR) Read more

Claire Dolan

The disappointing second feature (1998) of Lodge Kerrigan (Clean, Shaven), starring Katrin Cartlidge as a New York prostitute: her performance is good, but the material is painfully familiar. With Vincent D’Onofrio and Colm Meaney. (JR) Read more

Mission: Impossible

Brian De Palma, who revitalized his box-office clout by glamorizing the FBI in The Untouchables, turned to glamorizing the CIA with this 1996 adaptation of another popular 60s TV series. Tom Cruise (who doubled as producer and assumed final cut) heads a team of intelligence operatives who do battle with Russian spies and arms dealers. Robert Towne and David Koepp did separate drafts of the script, and they might as well have been working on separate movies for all the narrative interest and concern for the characters that they generated, but I was entertained by the mise en scene and the action. With Emmanuelle Beart, Jon Voight, and Ving Rhames. 100 min. (JR) Read more