Daily Archives: September 1, 2001

Films By Thierry De Mey And Daniele Wilmouth

Thierry De Mey’s dance film Rosas danst Rosas (1997, 57 min.), receiving its Chicago premiere, was shot in a Belgian building designed by Henry van de Velde. Curtain of Eyes, a striking black-and-white dance film (1997) composed for the camera by Daniele Wilmouth, is the product of a six-month collaboration with four Japanese dancers from Kyoto’s Saltimbanques butoh troupe. The dancers move in an abstract space, mainly in close-ups and medium shots, and Wilmouth’s textured imagery is every bit as detailed as the dancing. (JR) Read more

Haiku Tunnel

Josh Kornbluth codirected this comedy with his brother Jacob, cowrote it with the same brother and John Bellucci, and stars as an office temp who becomes an inept secretary when he winds up with a steadier job working for a demonic tax attorney. Some of the gags here are funny, but they aren’t executed effectively enough to score. 90 min. (JR) Read more

Hit And Runway

The directorial debut of writer, composer, and musician Christopher Livingston is a loosely autobiographical comedy about his relationship with his own screen-writing partner, on this film as well as othersgay stand-up comic and comedy writer Jaffe Cohen. Livingston is straight, but the comic bonding between his and Jaffe’s fictional counterparts, played respectively by Michael Parducci and Peter Jacobson, isn’t just about the mismatch of their sexual preferences; it’s also about the overall tension between their very different personalities. Not everything works here, but there are some pretty funny momentsincluding Hoyt Richards’s impersonation of Clint Eastwood, and Kerr Smith’s embodiment of a young actor with a passion for Jewish menand the overall tone is likable. With Judy Prescott. 108 min. (JR) Read more

The Vertical Ray Of The Sun

More plot heavy than The Scent of Green Papaya or Cyclo, this third feature by Tran Anh Hung concerns four siblings living in close proximity to each other in contemporary Vietnam. One sister is married to a novelist, another is married to a photographer, and the third and youngest (Tran Nu Yen-khe, the director’s wife and a prominent player in his films) shares an apartment with her younger brother. Their story is fairly conventional and not especially well told, though as usual Tran’s images are so sensual and beautiful that I was rarely bored or frustrated. In Vietnamese with subtitles. 112 min. (JR) Read more

Waterloo Bridge

The 1940 Mervyn LeRoy remake is much better known, but this early-sound weepie (1931, 81 min.), based on a play by Robert E. Sherwood, was the second feature of the great James Whale (Show Boat, Bride of Frankenstein). Mae Clarke is an American chorus girl who marries an officer in London during World War I; after he’s reported missing and his family rejects her, she drifts into prostitution. The film’s precode dialogue is said to be much saltier than that of LeRoy’s version, and Bette Davis appears in a small role. (JR) Read more