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January 14, 1993 - Image 12

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The Michigan Daily, 1993-01-14

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Page 4- The Michigan Daily -Weekend etc.--January 14,1993

Critiquing the
and the worst
Random thoughts on the year in
film, 1992:
Most underrated: Scripted by
Ingmar Bergman and directed by Bille
August, "TheBestIntentions" wascom-
pletely ignored by audiences and critics
after it won the big awards at Cannes.
The story of the doomed courtship of
Bergman's own parents, it displays the
kind of brutally honest emotions un-
seen on film since ... the heyday of
Ingmar Bergman.

best films

Independentfilms Iwouldn'twant to
part with in this unusually good year:
the truly great "Howards End"; "Let
Him Have It"; "The Waterdance","The
Player"; the slice-of-life Sovietcomedy
"Adam's Rib"; "Bob Roberts"; "En-
chanted April"; "A Brief History of
Tune"; and a slew of above-average
(though not great) films from first-time
directors: JeunetandCaro's out-of-con-
trol French comedy, "Delicatessen," on
video February 24; Quentin Tarantino's
"Reservoir Dogs"; Jocelyn
Moorehouse's "Proof"; Julie Dash's
"Daughters of the Dust"; and Carl
Franklin's"One False Move." Of course
it was abad year for Hollywood movies
- every year is - but if you looked
hard enough, these gems were there.
Guilty Hollywood pleasures:
"Wayne's World," "Basic Instinct,"
"Under Siege," "Trespass."
Guiltless Hollywood pleasures:
"Unforgiven," "Husbands and Wives,"
"Malcolm X," "The Last of the
Mohicans," "Aladdin," and the forgot-

critics of '92
ten Howard Franklinfilm noir with Joe
Pesci, "The Public Eye."
Bestdocumentary: BarbaraKopple's
moving tragedy "American Dream,"
which deservedly won the Oscar for
best documentary last year.
Most overrated: The misguided,
stiffly acted, and just plain boring "A
River Runs Through It."Just what is it
about this and "The Bodyguard" that
people like?
Bestflmsofl991not seen here until
1992 because distributors think Ann
Arbor's just full o' hicks: "Naked
Lunch," "Slacker," "Hearts of Dark-
ness" and Mike Leigh's great "Life is
Sweet." These top 10 lists are always a
problem for critics who don't live in
New York or L.A., because the good
movies don't come out until months
later. You'd thinkthat the culturalmecca
of Ann Arbor mightbe an exception; go
figure.
Potentiallygreat 1992f inswe won't
see until '93: "Tous les Matins du
Monde" with Depardieu, "Bad Lieu-
tenant," "The Crying Game," andLouis
Malle's "Damage."
Best restored classics: Henri-
Georges Clouzot's nasty thriller "The
WagesofFear,"Jean Cocteau's "Beauty
and the-Beast."
Biggest disappointment: Genius run
out-of-control in Wim Wenders'"Until
the End of the World," the very defini-
tion of self-indulgence. At least we saw
it in its "short" version: 2hours and 40
minutes.
Best critic: Terrence Rafferty, one of
the few things still tolerable (besides the
cartoons, of course) in the post-Tina
Brown New Yorker.
Worst TV clown: Jeffrey Lyons, for
asking, "Why do they let Peter
Greenaway make movies?"
See P.O.V., Page 5

Evil Jafar grins with parrot Gilbert Gottfried in what is becoming a Disney trend: producing animated wonders that regularly make top ten
Diyfilm ci top pix for 1992
Megan Abbott Cami lo Fontecilla seems as if film is finally understanding sags likeawetdiaper.Andyes, "B
its cultural power and responsibility, Returns" belongs in its stea
1. Reservoir Dogs 1. Howards End and emerges as the most powerful so- Burton's moody paean to weird
2. The Player 2. Husbands and Wives cial barometer of this decade. Ask any- much more worthwhile than wa
3. Light Sleeper 3. The Player one wearing an "X." space cadet Tim Robbins loll ar

year.

Batman
d. Tim
ness is
atching
ound in

4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

Husbands and Wives
Glengarry Glen Ross
One False Move
Last of the Mohicans
Of Mice and Men
Bob Roberts
Malcolm X

4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9,
10.

Glengarry Glen Ross
Bob Roberts
Malcolm X
Peter's Friends
Lovers
Mississipi Masala
Delicatessen

Aaron Hamburger

Altman's hazed-out L.A. For one thing,
Burton knows where to place a camera.
John R. Rybock

1992 should be remembered as the
year of the newcomer. Tim Robbins,
Gary Sinise, Carl Franklin, and, most
impressively, Quentin Tarantino all
came forth with astonishing rookie di-
rectorial achievements. In a year ham-
pered by the endless sequel cycle, cin-
ema lite, and Masterpiece Theater re-
treads, movies like "Reservoir Dogs"
remind audiences of what movies are
supposed to do: to stun, to push the
envelope, to grab viewers by the throat.
These movies give us hope, signaling
that perhaps the '90s will bring about a
surge of cinematic talent missing in
America since the mid-1970s. In other
words, maybe we are heralding the re-
turn of movies with guts:
Jon E. Altshul,

Hollywood has found a new mine to
exploit. After exhausting tear-jerkers,
psychological thrillers and feel-good
movies about invalids, voyeurism and
introspection seem to be the new vogue.
Nevertheless, "Howards End" floats
above the hype. It boasts all the visual
qualities of a period piece, but ventures
further and examines how beneath the
artifices of a particular society people
always want and feel the same things.
The other movies, in varying degrees,
diagnose a crumbling of our societal
conventions, be it the way we approach
relationships, politics or massification.
Shock value is also an important con-
stant: only a strong impression can in-
duce change. Voyeurism, along with
harsh self-criticism and gritty irony, turns
these movies inside out until the audi-
ence is implicated, willing or not. It

1. Howards End
2. Malcolm X
3. Aladdin
4. Husbands and Wives
5. The Best Intentions
6. A River Runs Through It
7. Last of the Mohicans
8. Batman Returns
9. Unforgiven
10. Mississippi Masala
It'shard to pick anumber one film in
a year that features such greats as
"Howards End," "Malcolm X," and
"Aladdin." It's like asking who's best:
Van Gogh, Monet, or Matisse? But,just
as Van Gogh is better than Monet and
Matisse, so is "Howards End" the best
film of the year, featuring the year's best
ensemble acting, subtle writing which
carefully swings from humor to pathos,
and dreamlike photography that sug-
gests a bygone age. Where's "The
Player" you ask? Rightfully absent.
Though Altman's film is impressive at
the beginning and the end, the middle

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

Malcolm X
Aladdin
A Few Good Men
The Player
Monster in a Box
Basic Instinct
Wayne's World
Deep Cover
Hand that Rocks the Cradle
Batman Returns

Ti. > was a disappointing year for us
averag"' Joes looking for quality for our
$6.25. Many of the movies which were
supposed to be good ended up being
really bad. The worst part was that
while I was spending my money and
time on crap, I was missing the good
films. "Howards End," "Last of the
Mohicans," and "Bob Roberts," to name
just a few, are still on my "must see"list.
Of course, the up side is thatitcannotbe
any worse in '93 ... I hope.

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

Unforgiven
A River Runs Through It
Malcolm X
The Player
The Crying Game
A Few Good Men
Of Mice and Men
Husbands and Wives
Roadside Prophets
Aladdin

1992 was the year I became disillu-
sioned with linguine. In its place I have
acquiredatasteforfettucine. It's athicker
noodle, and as a result it's much more
difficult to overcook. That's good, be-
cause I like to play Nintendo while my
pasta cooks, so sometimes I forget that
the noodles are cooking. I'm so con-
cerned with over-cooked pasta because
I like my noodles prepared al dente. I
think one of the real faults with Ameri-
can spaghetti lovers is that they place
toomuchemphasison thesauce andnot
enough on the pasta itself.
I like my movies the way I like my
fettucine-raw, naked, thick, and just a
bit crispy.

Joe Pesci in the much underrated "The Public Eye" by Howard Franklin.

Before: Tim Robbins, a fledgling actor, appears in "Howard the Duck." Check out the hip horn-rimmed glasses!

R

IGNORANCE RACISM DISCRIMINATION FEAR HATRED INTOLERANCE
Talking to people just like you wcn't change
anything...
This Martin Luther King Day
come to

x
}

aMUsKET**
announces its winter production of

A Dialogue

Building Bridges
between White People and People of Color
Monday, January 18 5-7 pm
Mason Hall (2443 - 2446)

to be performed march 25, 26, & 27
NOW HIRING: ALL STAFF POSITIONS

,a

This dialogue will be an opportunity for people from all racial and ethnic
backgrounds to come together and talk openly about what divides and unites us.
Dinner served.

Director
Music Director

Scenic Designer
Lighting Designer

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