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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California • Page 378
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California • Page 378

Los Angeles, California
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I F10 LOS ANGELES TIMES FRIDAY. AUGUST 21. 1992 SD MOVIE REVIEW MOVIE REVIEW 'Adventures' Trivializes a Masterpiece The Parisian Springtime of French Master Rohmer SAN DIEGO COUNTY challenges the film offered. None; of the characters moves in a way that suggests his personality, and the clumsily drawn animals seem to slide along the backgrounds. McCay drW more interesting movements for these characters 81 years ago, in a short film he used in his vaudeville act.

The only sequence that captures the urgency of the original fantasy world is a' chase involving a runaway loco- motive. Numerous Japanese sci-fi'," films have featured similar situa-'" tions, but the rapid cutting and shifting point of view suggest Ne-mo's helpless terror. "Adventures in Slumberland" might divert small children, but serious fans of animation will dis-miss it as a bad dream. 'Little Nemo: Adventures In talky seducer and Bennett catching the essence of yuppie intellectual competitiveness. Rohmer's detractors insist that nothing happens in his films.

They're wrong, particularly so here. Watching these gently agonizing scenes, in which Jeanne the outsider is constantly thrust into intimacies she hasn't asked for, becomes both invigorating and tense. The beauty of Rohmer's films and they are among the i most beautiful and enlightening in world cinema right now lies precisely in their mix of ordinary events and the acute consciousness with which they're observed, and also in his character's poignant, and usually unrealizable, quest for perfection. As we watch, they elevate and enlarge our own consciousness. They're delightful films, and "Tale of Springtime" at its best is as entrancing as any of them, radiantly alive, blissfully aware.

"Tale of Springtime" (MPAA-rated PG, though it is surely for adults), is a must-see, a picture to take heart from. Unpretentiously brilliant, it's an essential work from a director who somehow, magically, keeps his vision fresh as a sudden rain, brighter than noon, and younger than, well, By CHARLES SOLOMON SPECIAL TO THE TIMES When production began on the animated feature "Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland" more than a decade ago, the film was promoted as a triumphant fusion of the sophisticated direction in Japanese cartoons with the American tradition of polished character animation. Arriving more than two years after playing in Japan, "Adventures" (throughout San Diego County) showcases the weaknesses of both nations' styles. A dventures" fails to live up to lYits source, Winsor McCay's "Little Nemo in Slumberland" (1905-1927), one of the greatest strips in the history of newspaper comics. Each week in his dreams, Nemo became the chosen playmate of the Princess of Slumberland.

They rode on dragons, played with realistically drawn animals and flew past great vistas of opulent architecture in a series of fantastic adventures that ended when Nemo awoke in the last panel. McCay's consummate draftsmanship imbued these extravagant visions with an aura of reality. Decades later, this masterpiece of graphic imagination has been reduced to a long, drawn-out cartoon-adventure that suggests an overblown episode of a Saturday morning TV show. In a series of dreams, a whiny version of Nemo (voice by Gabriel Damon) and Icarus, his obnoxious flying squirrel sidekick, visit Slumberland and meet the Princess (Laura Mooney). Her father, King Morpheus (Bernard Erhard), entrusts Nemo with the magic Royal Scepter and the key to the prison of the Nightmare King (William E.

Martin). When Nemo gets tricked into releasing the nasty Nightmare King, some very uninteresting havoc ensues. Nemo eventually redeems himself, but he doesn't really risk anything in the process, so he never seems heroic. The international crew of animators simply wasn't up to the Rohmer is dealing here with his favorite subject, the sensual lives of the intelligentsia, and, as in all of his famous '60s-'70s "Moral Tales," with the dilemma of a person suddenly swerved from one romance into another. The plot starts as if by chance.

Jeanne and Natacha, two women who don't know each other, meet at a party at which neither really belongs. Sympatico flares up immediately and Natacha seizes on the fact that Jeanne is temporarily homeless that a cousin has borrowed her regular apartment and another one that Jeanne shares with a mathematician-lover depresses her too much when he is away. Both the main actresses, Teys-seddre and Darel, are real screen beauties, but atypical ones, Teys-sfiddre with her pixie brown cut, watchful eyes and seemingly unshakable poise, Darel with her charmingly lanky frame, angelic frizz of hair and bewitchingly un FSy MICHAEL WILMINGTON SPECIAL TO THE TIMES I-'ale of Springtime" (at the I Hillcrest Cinemas), the A latest film by France's 73-year-old master Eric Rohmer, and the start of his new four-film seasonal cycle, has a springlike clarity. But it also seethes with SAN DIEGO COUNTY that slightly desperate, boiling uncase that can come after the vernal equinox. There's nothing sluggish or sultry about Rohmer's springtime.

Outside, the air of Paris or Kountainebleau is crisp and ach-ingly clear. Inside, there's a constant thrum of tension, twanging the finely tuned wires of his characters' consciousness. Swiftly and subtly, we follow the often startling progress of Rohmer's central quartet: Jeanne, a philosophy teacher at the Lycee Jacques Brel (Anne Teyssedre); Natacha, a teen-age classical pianist (Florence Darel); Igor, her art bureaucrat father (Hugues Quest -er), and Eve, his lover (Eloise Bennett). And, gradually, among this foursome three "family" members and a bemused and increasingly uncomfortable outsiderthe tiniest gestures assume momentous significance. A Tokyo Movie Shinsha Co.

Ltd. production, re- leased by Hemdale Pictures Corp. Directors Masaml Hata William Hurtz. Producer Yukata FuJIoka, co-pro-J Oucers Barry Glasser, Stiunzo Kata Eijl Katayama. Screenplay by Chris Colombus St Ricahrd Gotten, story by Jean Mobius Glraud Yukata Fujloka, concept for the screen by Ray Bradbury.

Music by Thomas Chase Rucker. Songs by Richard M. Sherman Robert B. Sherman. Running time: 1 hour, 24 minutes.

MPAA-Tltftd Q. UNIVERSAL STUDIOS H0UYWO0D Si5i5y) guarded smile. (And also, because she plays Schumann's "Songs of Dawn" for us on screen.) But what affects you most is the spark of intelligence leaping between them, even when Natacha is at her most maddening and selfish. The other two, Quester and Bennett as father and mistress, complement them in comic style: Quester as an over- inLDLdi nun vr ml iliw Bruce Williamson, PLAYBOY (HIGHEST RATING) Kathleen Carrxjtt, NY DAILY NEWS -Jami Bernard, Nriwi aw aov Tirana, utvi-1 9" Mike Clark. USA TODAY Ed Gulhmann, SF CHRONICLE Jack Garner, GANNETT NEWS William Arnold, SEATTLE PI 5)E LAEMMLE'S COLORADO LANDMARK'S LAEMMLE'S ROVAL West Los Anoeles Plot 477-5581 DAILY: 5:00, 8:00 Corona Del Mar FRI-SUN.

1 00. 4:00, 10:00 MON-THUH: 1:00.4:00,7:00,9:50 SAI (714) 673-bZtKJ WO PASSES ACCOTtOrofl WVOEUENt UUL "MADLY INVENTIVE FUN!" -Filer Tnwen, ROI.IJINK- SI ONE MAGAZINE "ORIGINAL!" -Joanne Kaufman, FOP IF MM.A7JNF "DIABOLICALLY INVENTIVE!" -Date Krtr, CHK'AVO IRIBINK "MURDEROUSLY FUNNY BLACK COMEDY!" -Snun Granger, AMERICAN MOVIE CLASSICS "A COMEDY WITH TEETH AND HIGH STYLE!" -Da'M Anten, NEWSWEEK MAGAZINE "BIG LAUGHS, INCREDIBLE!" -JotlSiffirl, GOOD MORNING AMERICA "EXCEPTIONALLY BIZARRE!" -Jhn Emerton, ORANGE (OUN IY REGISTER "DELIRIOUSLY WICKED!" -Jamei Vernier BOSTON HERALD THE1 TIIRIUIR Of Till YOU DON'T HEED AN AIR-CONDITIONED THEATER, THIS MOVIE HAS ENOUGH RUSSELL AND UOTTA ARE ROTH GREAT." -st "THE MOST EXCITING SUSPENSE THRILLER SINCE 'FATAL RIVETING! RRISTLES WITH TENSIUN AND SUSPENSE; UNLAWFUL ENTRY' IS SLICK, SCARY ENTERTAINMENT." Meryl Streep Bruce Willis GoldieHawn er EDITED IK, schmidt "snun CO- riODLCil 1 Sfictftl Viuil CiTectt Bf I PG -1 3 iHMim 5TROMCLT CAU TIOWUHP mjgffianr HODliClDJ) PIIHIT RAY MADELEINE RUSSELL HOnA STOWE illWlBMsnilliitiaiSlWiiKlIlllillSIl inir mm aw mmmmmm mmm mm shm, NB "Will NOW SHOWING ijj.Hjiii'itHiM BlSSHHHkQSQXESCOHEEilSlilZEHHHi AMC Century 14 Hollywood Pacfflc eKU PUMK Hills HERMOSA SEACH 310553 8900 213V464-4111 Untied Artist) AMC Puerile Mall 10 flllouTwIn Dolly 9:50 PM Marturplaca 8167810-5565 310318-2668 I 714529-9036 (prH.M-i.liw.) 0r.nmin wtttru Mon Thins 9 20 RfflnTRrBBJBJ END0 SEACH iZZ cRnosMi w.m,iiw,iiiiMBBBiiaM iSZiuL, United Artists Clmtrra MONROVIA Monn 6 BURIANK 310542 4361 3Vra-nj 6187358-4545 AMC Burbot wim Tlckel Purchase. CHICKIHHrl( WiicioiiiiotcMtHHiinowiiiis 818953-9800 SOIIT. NO USUI 04 COUKm HU 11 ACCIPUD FOI IMS MMIMINT. WESTWOOO n-mUYWOODTBK BEVERIT KIUS 'CENTURY CITY UNIVERSAL CITY GCC AVCOCIWMA GCCH01LYW000 BEVERLY CENTER CINEPIEX AMC CENTURY 14 CINEPIEX OOEON UNIVERSAL (310)4750711 GALAXY 6 (310)652-7760 (3IO)553r8900 CITY CINEMAS (818) 509O58A On Two So oens OnTwoSoewa 2:30, 4:45, DAILY 12:43.

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