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Film at Wit's End
A conversation with the Godfather of American experimental cinema. 
The Full Monty follows some ordinary, out-of-work guys trying to make big bucks in the world of nude dancing. 
The French get existential in this modern-day Day For Night. 
Devin D. O'Leary
This Movie's a Crime
Hoodlum robs viewers of what could have been a great movie; director Mike Leigh works overtime to make Career Girls something special. 
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men
The Movie Guru finds that Rolaids won't cure his Fire Down Below. 
The Bare Necessities
The Full Monty lets it all hang out. 
Jim Ridley, Noel Murray, and Donna Bowman
The Chronicle's film reviews. 
A guide to documentaries on insects and a review of Dracula vs. Frankenstein (all video). 
Really Basic Instincts
Every week, we pick a movie genre for your enhanced rent 'n' view pleasure. 
Jesse Fox Mayshark
Video reviews from our glassy-eyed couch potato critic. 
Having It All
The PBS special Affluenza examines the growing malady of excessive consumerism. 
'Tis the Season
The lazy man's guide to TV, plus "The Week in Sloth". 
Devin D. O'Leary
What's the matter, couldn't find a review of that blockbuster film you're excited about? We certaintly don't want to leave you disappointed -- why not try some of these larger-than-life movie links? 
Build your own custom paper. To find out more
about this feature, click here.
If you're one of the few who didn't think Volcano blew, The Lost World
bit, or The Fifth Element was one element too many, here's the forum to
defend your opinion--crazy though it may be.
Volume I, Issue 15
September 15 - September 22, 1997
e's famous and influential, but I regret to admit I've never
seen any of Stan Brakhage's experimental films. The veteran visual
poet's 250 short pieces have influenced an entire generation of
filmmakers, from MTV video artists to Oliver Stone to university
film students. This article certainly makes him sound worthy:
Touching on a diverse set of influences that includes Kenneth
Anger, Akira Kurosawa, Jean Cocteau, Vittorio De Sica, Sergei
Eisenstein, John Cassavetes, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves,
Brakhage discusses such topics as the current state of the art,
the laziness of postmodern film aesthetics, and his love/hate
relationship with Hollywood movies. It's a terrific interview
for video-rentin' couch potatos and serious cinephiles alike.
Who knows, maybe someday I'll actually see some of the man's films.
Unfortunately, I've already seen one of the films included in
this week's reviews. Why "unfortunately"? Because it
was Fire Down Below, the most laughable Steven Seagal movie
yet (and that's saying a lot). Though the title evokes visions
of a man who eats too many jalepeño poppers and gets diarrhea,
the movie's really about an E.P.A. agent's fight against pollution.
Get this: when he's not beating up thugs for irresponsibly dumping
toxic waste, the multitalented Seagal can be seen playing gee-tar
and crooning with the local yokels. A hilarious review provides
the full, brutal details; and this one and this one summarize
the idiocy quite nicely as well. What was I doing seeing a Seagal
film in the first place? Don't ask.
I should have seen The Full Monty instead; every reviewer
seems to give it two paunches up. I'm a little wary, though, since
watching big fat men dance around naked isn't exactly my idea
of a good time. Wasn't Chris Farley's flab-flopping Saturday
Night Live-skit performance, auditioning topless for Chippendale's
opposite Patrick Swayze, enough? Apparently not. This reviewer
had an enormous time, and so did this one and this one. With Stallone
gaining 40 pounds for Cop Land, it looks like cinematic corpulence
is making a comeback.
Other reviews this week:
If you're bugged by the current crop of movies and just want to
sit back and point your antennae at some groovy video, both our
Scanlines and our Video-a-Go-Go columns give the lowdown on rentable
insect and animal flicks (including the recent Microcosmos).
For camp/horror fans, Scanlines also recommends Dracula vs.
Frankenstein, while our Videodrome column chops to the heart
of the matter with reviews of movies in the Friday the 13th
And, for those of you too darned cheap to actually pay
for visual stimuli, here's a couple of scrappy articles about
what's on free TV. The aptly-titled Idiot Box column lists the
best and worst of the fall season's new shows, while a summary
of a PBS documentary called Affluenza explains how our
consumer-based culture has made mush of our collective souls.
I would love to see Affluenza, but I've got to rush down
to Sears -- I hear they've got a really bitchin' appliance sale.
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. Hundreds of reviews lie at your fingertips, sortable by
genre, date or director.