Director : Gary Winick
With : Michael Imperioli, Mira Sorvino
A convincing tale of a white husband and father who slides dangerously into the world of crack addiction. Gritty and intelligent.
Your Discerning Guide to Modern Culture
I had the misfortune of having to sit through three hours of “Heat” a movie director Michael Mann (the guy responsible for Miami Vice) obviously forgot to edit. In a way, however, I’m glad I saw it though because it reminded me that it was once again time for my biennial screening of “Harold & Maude.” The reason being as I was watching I was reminded of the tiny cameo by Bud Cort (Harold) as the manager of the diner where DeNiro and company gather before their final heist.
In 1971 Hal Ashby directed one of the finest movies to be made in my lifetime. Ten years later I saw it for the first time. In many ways that movie changed my life. After “Harold & Maude” I became a devoted film zealot, I stopped hating Cat Stevens, and alas, I became a doomed believer in the concept of romantic love.
“Harold & Maude” is the bizarrely beautiful tale of a short and wonderful love affair between a soon-to-be-80-year-old Maude, played by Ruth Gordon, and a morbid teenager named Harold, played by Bud Cort. Harold is a rich kid whose hobbies include attending funerals and committing fake suicides to get his indifferent mother’s attention. Maude is an eccentric free-spirited older woman whose hobbies include stealing cars and attending funerals. The two meet, at a funeral, and fall in love.
Director : Giuseppe Tornatore
With : Gérard Depardieu, Roman Polanski
In this remarkably clever mystery starring Gerard Depardieu and Roman Polanski, director Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso, The Starmaker) has crafted a film so subtle and provacative that a video screening is almost imperative for understanding the difficultly simple conclusion. The film opens with a darkly frentic array of images conveying a blurry struggle on a torrentially rainy evening. Out of the darkness stumbles Depardieu who is taken into the custody of the local police. After an initally aggressive interogation by the Inspector, playing eerily by Polanski, we discover that Depardieu is a famous author who has become a troubled recluse during the past six years. Stricken by a bout of amnesia, Depardieu and Polanski very carefully uncover the events of the prior evening involving a mysterious murder. Like most great European films, director Tornatore refuses to tie the mystery neatly in bow, but instead drops just enough clues to make ones final understanding a truly satisfying experience.