The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on December 29, 1989 · 97
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · 97

Los Angeles, California
Issue Date:
Friday, December 29, 1989
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F 1 4 FRIDAY. DLITMBIR 2". I WIS ANGLIJ3 TIMI S p:0r n; Picking the Decade's Best Directors, Performances i 7 M IK "Leonard Part VI." a "comedy" made only because creator and star Bill Cosby was important to Coca-Cola, which owned the studio. HOLLYWOOD Continued from F12 increase in actual admissions. In terms of real movie watching, however, the decade saw enormous change. The sales and rentals of videocassette movies, a business that didn't exist barely 10 years ago. surpassed theatrical revenues in the mid-80s. When all the math is in for 1989, the video industry is expected to outgross the theatrical playoff of movies by $11 billion to $5 billion. When you combine the two movie-driven businesses, and take into account the erosion in prime-time network TV viewing, the motion-picture industry appears stronger than at anytime since the late '40s. One thing that the mammoth video revolution proved was that nobody knows how big the next revolution will be. The long writers strike of 1988 which, in part, was about Hollywood's future confused members of the guild and the public, who had trouble understanding the victories claimed by both sides. Clearly, management and the industry guilds are jockeying for shares in future revenues from ancillary markets. There was certainly no revolution regarding women and minorities in film during the '80s. Amy Heckerling ends the decade on a high note, having scored a $100-million hit with her thinking-baby comedy "Look Who's Talking." But the number of women who directed major-studio movies was fewer than a dozen, and the number of black directors of either sex totaled even less. Dawn Steel, at Columbia, was the only woman to run a studio; no black did. Entering the last decade of its first century, Hollywood has some serious issues to address. At the top of list is the inevitable globalization of its resources and outlook. With everything that's imminent the social and cultural waves that will sweep over the world from Eastern Europe and from the Pacific who is going to set Hollywood's agenda? During the '80s, the creative voices were mostly stilled. The power shifted from studio heads to agents and producers, squeezing all but the most facile writers and directors out and creating an environment where deals were more important than films. Flying in the face of global trends and migration patterns, even those in its own community, Hollywood became more insular than ever. Once a window opening onto the world, it is now more a window opening onto "Saturday Night Live." Despite an occasional "Gandhi" or "The Last Emperor." both of which were made outside the major-studio system, few films with worldly themes were made. The farther American film makers went, the closer to home they got The outer-space adventure "Out-land" was a virtual remake of "High Noon." with the Frontier Ethic in full bloom. The "Star Wars" films were also reset Westerns; the "Star Trek" films were U.S. TV reunions. "E.T." was "Lassie Come Home." For the moment, the rest of the world still looks upon Hollywood as the capital of invention, but it is an appreciation of style rather than of substance. In some ways, Holly-wod enters the '90s where Detroit entered the 70s: full of self-confidence and commitments to short-term goals and domestic impulses. Soon, we'll learn whether the industry will change its outlook or, like some gas-guzzling, 4,000-pound Detroit sedan, get blown off the road. pi; hi Ill if III mmSWft&j ifrr lESSI iffiSiyij 1 111 m. llm j j , II M-JLM-gl t''i'i i ilWS'i'lir ill I wj if Must EXCLUSIVE LIMITED ENGAGEMENT NOW SHOWING I iwxiia J No Pre Are' Km Qnemi Si GOLDEN GLOBE NOMINEE-Best Actress The IIUMUW UIIIUk"HEll ROSE GARDEN mm in; u GOLDWYN' PAVILION TO 0vf "O ?'3 cinemas Exclusivt Engagement Now Showing SsJ Daily: 1220. 2 40. 5 00. 7:20. 9 35 By now. most of America's film critics have weighed the 1980s and sorted out the 10 films they considered the decade's best But how about the best director and the best performances? The Times' Sheila Benson. Peter Rainer. Kevin Thomas and Michael Wilmington have submitted their five favorites in the four acting categories and their choices of the five best-directed movies of the decade. Best Actor Sheila Benson: Robert De Niro ("Raging Bull"); Daniel Day-Lewis ("My Left Foot"); Burt Lancaster ("Atlantic City"); Jeremy Irons ("Dead Ringers"); Robert Duvall ("Tender Mercies"). Peter Rainer: Albert Finney ("Shoot the Moon"); Bob Hoskins ("Mona Lisa"); Robert De Niro ("Raging Bull"); Dustin Hoffman ("Tootsie"); Steve Martin ("All of Me"). Kevin Thomas: Burt Lancaster ("Atlantic City"); Klaus Maria Brandauer ("Mephisto"); Erland Josephson ("The Sacrifice"); Yves Montand ("Jean de Florette" "Manon of the Spring"); Max von Sydow ("Pelle the Conqueror"). Michael Wilmington: Robert De Niro ("Raging Bull"); Bob Hoskins ("Mona Lisa"); Robin Williams ("Moscow on the Hudson"); Ger ard Dcpardicu ("The Return of Martin Guerre"); Jack Nicholson ("The Witches of Eastwick"). Best Actress Benson.- Meryl Streep ("A Cry in the Dark"); Sally Kirkland ("Anna"); Jacqueline Bisset ("Under the Volcano"); Sandrine Bonnaire ("Vagabond"); Andie MacDowell ("sex, lies, and videotape"). Rainer: Vanessa Redgrave ("The Bostonians"); Judy Davis ("High Tide"); Marilia Pera ("Pix-ote"); Irene Papas ("Erendira"); Diane Keaton ("Shoot the Moon"). Thomas: Glenda Jackson ("Stevie"); Meryl Streep ("Sophie's Choice"); Sally Kirkland ("Anna"); Carmen Maura ("Law of Desire"); Stephane Audran ("Babette's Feast"). Wilmington: Gena Rowlands ("Love Streams"); Meryl Streep ("Silkwood"); Maggie Smith ("The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearn"); Katharine Hepburn ("On Golden Pond"); Sabine Azema ("A Sunday in the Country"). Best Supporting Actor Benson: Morgan Freeman ("Street Smart"); James Mason ("The Shooting Party"); John Lithgow ("The World According to Carp"); John Heard ("Cutter's Way"); Dennis Hopper ("Blue Velvet"). Rainer: Morgan Freeman ("Street Smart"); Jason Robards ( Melvin and Howard"); Mickey Rourke ("Diner"); Dennis Hopper ("Blue Velvet"); Ray Liotta ("Something Wild"). Thomas: Sean Penn ("Fast Times at Ridgemont High"); Morgan Freeman ("Street Smart"); Martin Landau ("Crimes and Misdemeanors"); Martin Landau ("Tucker"); Alec Guinness ("Utile Dorrit"). Wilmington: Morgan Freeman ("Street Smart"); Dennis Hopper ("Blue Velvet"); John Heard ("Cutter's Way"); James Earl Jones ("Matewan"); Raul Julia ("Tempest"). Best Supporting Actress Benson: Anjelica Huston ("Enemies, a Love Story"); Lisa Ei-chhorn ("Cutter's Way"); Linda Hunt ("Waiting for the Moon"); Cathy Moriarty ("Raging Bull"); Diane Wiest ("Hannah and Her Sisters"). Rainer: Linda Hunt ("The Year of Living Dangerously"); Peggy Ashcroft ("A Passage to India"); Coral Browne ("Dreamchild"); Anjelica Huston ("The Dead"); Cher ("Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean"). Thomas: Barbara Hershey ("Hannah and Her Sisters"); Kate Reid ("Atlantic City"); Marilia Pera ("Pixote"); Billie Whitelaw ("The Dressmaker"); Joan Greenwood ("Little Dorrit"). Wilmington: Meg Ryan ("Promised Land"); Peggy Ashcroft ("A Passage to India"); Angela Lans-bury ('The Company of Wolves"); Ellen Barkin ("Diner"); Anjelica Huston ("Prizzi's Honor"). Best Director Benson: Martin Scorsese ("Raging Bull"); Woody Allen ("Hannah and Her Sisters"); Philip Kaufman (The Right Stuff); John Huston ("The Dead"); David Lynch ("Blue Velvet"). Rainer: Paolo and Vittorio Tavi-ani ("The Night of the Shooting Stars"); David Lynch ("Blue Velvet"); Kon Ichikawa ("The Mak-ioka Sisters"); Satyajit Ray ("Home and the World"); Fred Schepisi ('The Chant of Jimmic Blacksmith"). Thomas: Claude Lanzmann ("Shoah"); Andrei Tarkovsky (The Sacrifice"); Woody Allen ("Crimes and Misdemeanors"); Spike Lee ("Do the Right Thing"). R.W. Fassbinder ("Berlin Alexan-derplatz"). Wilmington: Ingmar Bergman ("Fanny and Alexander"); Akira Kurosawa ("Ran"); Andrei Tarkovsky ("Stalker"); Robert Bresson ("The Devil"); Martin Scorsese ("Raging Bull"). 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