Weekly Wire
Film + TV
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Prime Time Apartheid
The case could be made that in prime-time TV, blacks haven't gained much since "Amos 'n' Andy." [2]
Jason Gay

Reel Success
With its recent billion-dollar merger, Regal Cinemas became part of the largest theater chain in the country. The story of how it got there begins with a guy bagging groceries. [3]
Mike Gibson

Making Movies on Cyber-Location
Doug Block's documentary film "Home Page." [4]
Jon Lebkowsky

And Now a Word From Our Subject
Justin Hall speaks about a Doug moment. [5]

Off Camera
Tom DiCillo's fourth feature, "The Real Blonde." [6]
Ray Pride

Full Reviews
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Cloak of Lies
Watching "Waco: The Rules of Engagement" is almost as painful as learning there's no Santa Claus. [7]
Devin D. O'Leary

Art of Darkness
Flying beyond "The Crow." [8]
Ray Pride

Memory Lame
In "Dark City," director Alex Proyas creates an atmosphere of dread, mystery and awe at issues generally not pondered much since sophomore philosophy class. [9]
Peter Keough

Hop 'N' Go
Riding the rails during the Great Depression was dangerous; the trains themselves, the railroad detectives, and other vagrants were all potential threats. But that didn't stop these kids. [10]
Stacey Richter

Pink is for Girls
What makes "Ma Vie en Rose" such an artistically compelling film? [11]
Angie Drobnic

The News That Fits
"Welcome to Sarajevo" delivers bad news with integrity and power; "The Winter Guest" is mostly unwelcome. [12]
Jim Ridley

Quality Star
In "Afterglow," the incomparable Julie Christie shows the kids how "it" is done. [13]
Hadley Hury

Me So Corny
Call it corny, but "The Wedding Singer" is a feel-good, old-fashioned love story high on heart, filled with plenty of laughs and '80s hits. [14]
Mary Dickson

Movie Guru
The Movie Guru didn't go see "The Apostle" this week, either, and he paid a horrible price. Anybody want to read a review of "Palmetto"? [15]
Zak Weisfeld

The Loopy Sleuth
Movie Reviews: "Zero Effect" and "The Gambling Cleric." [16]
Rick Barton

Video + TV
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Steve Martin galore! [21]
Adrienne Martini

Call the Doctor
On "Ma Saison Préferée," "Gravesend," "David Halberstam's The Fifties," "A Night to Remember," and more. [22]
Noel Murray, Rob Nelson, and Jim Ridley

Videos a Go-Go
Hung Tran Anh and Chen Kaige could teach Hollywood directors a thing or two about the meaning of art in film. [23]
Jesse Fox Mayshark

Video Tip of the Week
Rent Wim Wenders' "Lisbon Story" this week. [24]
Ray Pride

Volume I, Issue 39
March 2 - March 9, 1998

R emember "Diff'rent Strokes," with its multi-racial, multi-class family? Remember "What choo talkin' about Willis?" I fondly recall watching that program and feeling a sense of identification with the two young boys, who were always trying to make sense of their lives while hanging out on those perpendicular bunk beds. It didn't matter to me that they were black and I'm white -- the happy coexistence of different races was assumed, and I went with it. Though a dopey show in retrospect, I still feel its racial blend was very positive.

So what happened? With a few small exceptions, none of today's TV fare offers such an integrated scenario. How could we take such a giant step backwards? That's a question Prime Time Apartheid goes into great detail to answer; I strongly recommend it. And be sure to go the original source, The Boston Phoenix, to read the sidebars. One's titled Color Bind and looks back at 50 years of African-Americans on TV; the other's called Memorable Moments and selects pivotal highlights from those 50 years. That's what I'm talkin' about, Willis.

But that's not all I'm talkin' about. I'd also like to point your way to a sensational story on the Regal Cinemas rags-to-riches climb, a cool cool cool piece about a documentarian who's chronicling a close-knit Web community, and a very brief interview with director Tom DeCillo. Truth be told, it's sort of an amorphous review/interview thing, but read it anyway because DeCillo, whose films include "Johnny Suede," "Living in Oblivion" and "Box of Moonlight," kicks butt. (Anybody who puts Catherine Keener in all his films obviously knows what he's doing.)

Want to read some super-duper opposite reviews? The critics behind this article and this one completely contradict each other regarding the merits of "Palmetto." Who's right? Plus we've got two reviews of "Dark City" that are as different as, well, night and day. I also strongly suggest checkin' out the documentaries "Waco: The Rules of Engagement" and "Riding the Rails," because "Dark City" aside, truth is always stranger than fiction. Other groovy reviews include "Ma Vie en Rose," "Welcome to Sarajevo," "Afterglow," "The Wedding Singer" and "Zero Effect."

Alright, now, I'm going to say it one more time for good measure:

What choo talkin' about Willis?

Mini Reviews
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The Boston Phoenix

  • The Cinema of Andrei Konchalovsky
  • Dangerous Beauty
  • Caught Up
  • Krippendorf's Tribe
  • Kissing a Fool
  • An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn

Austin Chronicle

  • Live Flesh
  • Dark City
  • Habit
  • Kissing A Fool
  • Krippendorf's Tribe
  • Ma Vie en Rose
  • Palmetto
  • Swept From the Sea

Tucson Weekly

  • Afterglow
  • The Borrowers
  • Kundun
  • Palmetto
  • Sphere
  • The Sweet Hereafter
  • Washington Square

NewcityNet Chicago

  • An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn

From The Vaults

The Film Vault Curious about a particular director's work? Not sure what to rent at the video store? Enjoy reading several contrasting opinions of the same film? This is the place for you. One of the all-time best film-review resources on the Web. Sort alphabetically or by publication, genre, director, or date. Check it out!

Now What?
What's the matter, couldn't find a review of that blockbuster film you're excited about? We certainly don't want to leave you disappointed -- why not try some of these larger-than-life movie links? [25]

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