From the November 20, 1992 Chicago Reader. –J.R.
ROCK HUDSON’S HOME MOVIES
Directed and written by Mark Rappaport
With Rock Hudson and Eric Farr.
In the creation of art, the verb is there to authenticate the subject with the same name.
To paint is the act of painting. . . . To write becomes the act of writing and of the writer. To film, that is, to record a sight and project it, is the act of cinema and of the makers of films . . .
Only television has no creative act or verb to authenticate it. That’s because the act of television both falls short of communication and goes beyond it. It doesn’t create any goods, in fact, what is worse, it distributes them without their ever having been created. To program is the only verb of television. That implies suffering rather than release. — Jean-Luc Godard
You were a great star, Mr. Hudson — one of the biggest. Sorry it all had to end like this. — director Mark Rappaport’s voice in Rock Hudson’s Home Movies
The precipitous decline in the quality of American movies since the 1970s can be attributed to several factors, but three interconnected changes in U.S.… Read more »
From the Chicago Reader (September 14, 1990). — J.R.
THE ICICLE THIEF
Directed by Maurizio Nichetti
Written by Nichetti and Mauro Monti
With Nichetti, Caterina Sylos Labini, Federico Rizzo, Heidi Komarek, Renato Scarpa, Carlina Torta, Lella Costa, and Claudio G. Fava.
There is still so much we have to learn about TV! — Kurt Vonnegut, Hocus Pocus
Some people have called Maurizio Nichetti the Italian Woody Allen, an unfortunate appellation in more ways than one. Not only does it not do him justice, it also attributes to him an urban snobbishness that couldn’t be further from his world and persona. In the New York Times, where Allen’s movies are ranked higher than the late works of Welles and Antonioni — apparently because Allen, unlike Welles and Antonioni, reflects the worldview of many New Yorkers — the label can only backfire. But take a look at both actors and ask yourself which of the two is funnier.
The first time I saw a Nichetti movie, all it took was the opening sequence to convince me that there was no contest.
At an international conference in Milan, a distinguished participant suffers a stroke. A desperate call is made across the city to Colombo — a short nebbish with a mop of hair and a Groucho mustache, who operates a hilltop refreshment stand — for a glass of mineral water for the poor man.… Read more »