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LA Weekly from Los Angeles, California • Page 67
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LA Weekly from Los Angeles, California • Page 67

LA Weeklyi
Los Angeles, California
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LA.WEEKLY July 23-29, 1982 FILM STARTS FRIDAY JULY 23 Yoi BflnflpsrjAoon-joiw "MARRIAGE ISRAELI STYLE SHAI K. THE GARDENW2fi JlLbiebrPWiW enQItshP. french sonfities mnzv 831-1513 S1Z WllSHlRE A GRIPPING SPELLBINDER, PAR EXCELLENCE. Death Watch moves like a bullet. The acting is superb. Romy Schneider, for one, has rarely been better. Judy Stone, S.F. Chronicle Wli NOW SHOWING LAEMMLE THEATERS- HOLLYWOOD SANTA MONICA iLOS FELI2 1 MONICA 1 1822 N. Vermont 1332 2nd St 664-2169 451-8686 A BERTRAND TAVERNIER FILM very nice old ladies feel very sorry for broke, sick, despairing winos, so they invite them -poison them with elderberry wine, and have their son bury them in the cellar. (Their son thinks hes Teddy Roosevelt and that the winos died of yellow fever.) (MV) Vista, July 28 BRINGING UP BABY This isnt only one of the funniest comedies ever made, it's one of the most important, with Howard Hawks (1938) single-handedly creating the "screwball" style. Comedies before this had been either slapstick or parlor. Mae West had given hints, and the Marx Brothers had proved slapstick could be verbal, but though they made it hilarious they never suggested reality; and the epitome of parlor comedy (an essentially European, though very fine, comedy) was Lubitsch, and it was limited to the parlor. Hawks took the most native American form of comedy, slapstick wired its energy, in flurries of words and kept the gestures and actions as close as possible to the wildest staccatos of tap dancing without anyone actually doing a Fred Astaire. We're too busy having fun with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn to stop and marvel at their perfection of technique (especially Grant's). The result is one of the few sound comedies that, with the Marx Brothers, can compare with the best of Chaplin and Keaton. (MV) Vista, June 25 CHILDREN OF PARADISE An elegant, dense display of 19th century Parisian life on and off the stage, Marcel Carne's picture plays like a Tolstoy novel reads. It's not just the rich texture, the abundant details, not even the excellent acting something stronger and deeper moves through this movie. It was released in 1946, but much of it was made, in secret and under duress, during the Nazi occupation of France. And perhaps that's it. For once, the extravagance and courage off-screen was equal to that on-screen. Something would slip in French film after 1949; romances would become rigid little pretties applauded for their perfect form. But here there was still the headstrong, heartstrong sense that everything mattered and everyone cared. "Paradise," by the way, is theater slang for the second balcony. That's where "the seats are cheap and the life is.hard," as someone, maybe Chaplin, once said. (GV) Nuart, Sun July 25 ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS Howard Hawks directing Cary Grant and Jean Arthur in 1939 for laughs, for adventure, and for love. Watch how beautifully Hawks opens the film, the vividness and liveliness of this South American honky-tonk where Cary Grant and Thomas Mitchell hang out, fliers of the early days of, air mail who fly over 'the mountains. Watch how everyone in this film, from stars to imusm i ROMANCEffFAND watching perfectly functioning (and in this case, perfectly useless) equipment the Thing is more parts suck and slither and slime than anything seen on the screen since Alien. But that movie, ike the one this is a remake of, depended for its effect on a collaboration between the imagination of both technicians and audience. It was what people thought they saw which frightened them that and the visual and psychological authenticity created to support their fear. The Thing is like The Howling, a showcase for fiber and latex and the products they produce, by and for people who need their nightmares to be completely comprehensible and completely unreal. (GV) TRON I give up on the Disney people; They made this movie that supposedly extols the virtues of humans over machines, and then simply stood the premise on its head. The only character remotely approaching any similarity to a living, breathing being is that played by Jeff Bridges. could hardly see him against the grey-black-dull-dirty-white computer interior he's fighting his way out of, but I could hear his occasional 1 comments and they sounded like a real person was saying them. And what's so special about effects that service the same illusion as cosmetics on a corpse? No matter how hard it tries to look like it, this picture has no life in it. But I do think Disney is back on top of the times. The one thing the humans do better than the machines is obliterate. (GV) THE WEAVERS: WASN7 THAT A TIME! In spring 1980, Lee Hays of The Weavers (America's first big folk group) decided to have a get-together with his fellow singers Pete Seeger, Fred Hellerman and Ronnie Gilbert. The foursome hadn't sung together in 20 years, but they fell into such immediate harmony that Seeger was prompted to suggest they give another concert at Carnegie Hall. The fact that Lee is dying is lost on no one, least of all himself and the moviegoer, but likewise, no one wastes a moment being mournful instead, they celebrate life the best way they know how, on a stage, singing forthrightly. Old '50s TV clips, cameo images of Joe McCarthy and contemporary interviews are splendidly interlarded with picnic and concert footage (hear "Goodnight, Irene and "If I Had a Hammer in four track Dolby giving the history of the Weavers' smash success, their eclipse at the qavel thumping fists of the blacklisted and i their greatest achievement) the extraordinary influence they had on music. This is no mere nostalgia trip: more than a concert, it is a vital, emotional experience, one that takes death and sorrow into account, but comes up joyful, affirming life. (FXF) A WEEK'S VACATION Rertrand Tavernier films the story of a young woman (Nathalie Baye, giving a lovely, delicate, difficult performance) living through a-week in which she recovers from a nervous breakdown. Her illness is not the kind that requires, hospitalization, and it is not the result of some obvious untoward event. But one morning she wakes up and knows she can no longer go on being the servant to her everyday life. It is a time when friends, lovers and family cannot help her and the eventual help she receives, the way she seeks it and the way it finds her, is the mason to see the movie. As for Taverniers technique, I can only say that somehow he manages to impress on something so insubstantial as a strip of film the interior tensions of the living web of human life. Here every person exerts a hold, whether directly or indirectly, on every other person, and those who recognize that connection find the courage tn go on living this preposterous, painful life. Perhaps that's not so much technique as philosophy, but in the best Tavernier films, including The Ciockmaker and Spoiled Children and now A Week's Vacation, the two are always one and the same, and that is their artistry (GV) ROYAL A LAEMMLE THEATRE 11523 Santa Monica 477-5581 Youth Accommodation "A HIGHLY EROTIC EXPERIENCE! Sonia Braga combines a blinding sexuality, a dark distinctive beauty, talent and intelligence, with wit, style and personality Kevin Thomas, LA. Times SONIA BRAGA IS A TRUE SEX GODDESS FROM Jack KroU. Newsweek in EUROPE Stay at Astor Hotels and other private hotels specializing in Youth Accommodation. No Curfews London Paris Amsterdam $10.50 per night Algarve Portugal $7.00 per night (213) 743-7580 IISC Travel Service STU 301, University Park Los Angeles, CA 90007 -LAEMMLE'S- H0LLYW00U 5308 MELROSE 461-4112 NOW SHOWING CONTINENTAL Hjnganbnnn: mBDBBtBBIllJlBBBgglMtttflMtl S3 4 Want to insure that your next party is a smasihit? Qomputeo Video Games Tempest, Centipede, Pinballs Jukeboxes iU lit hi I blACO T-Shirts Hats available ARSENIC AND OLD LACE Ask me whos the most underrated actor in Ims Cary Grant. Or maybe James Cagney, fhpy were incredible actors. In Arsenic and Old are watch the precision of Grant's expressions, at nuance in a fast paced scene registered ath lightning speed, each look and utterance crfuctiy timed, each gesture exact and just qht this 1942 comedy is one of his best, and one of director Frank Capra's best, with a af. I'lnus supporting cast: Peter Lorre, iv 'i ind Massey, Edwaid Everett Horton, Jack son and Josephine Hull. And the plot: two 33 aninmni

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