Mill Valley Film Festival 1987

"Movie Magazine International" Special Report

(Air Date: Week Of 9/20/87)

By Monica Sullivan

Among the more intriguing entries at the Mill Valley Film Festival this year is Antony Thomas' excellent documentary "Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done." Originally intended as a "Frontline" special last May, the film focuses on the significant relationship between Christian fundamentalists and right-wing politicians. Thomas' film provides a rich, detailed investigation of his controversial subjects, and his soft-spoken interviewing style clearly soothes the fundamentalists into revealing themselves in ways they never would if his approach were more combative.

"Meier" is an enjoyable West German entry written and directed by Peter Timm. Its working class hero, played with considerable charm by Rainer Grenkowitz, tries to have the best of both worlds, East and West. The film gets considerable mileage out of situations which do not ordinarily lend themselves to comedy.

"The Method", is clearly a well-intentioned effort by Joseph Destein and 13 other men who worked on the film with him. Its the old story about the middle-aged woman who leaves home and family to find herself by taking acting lessons and by playing hookers on film. The filmmakers try to solve plot problems by picking up the slack with undeveloped sub-plots involving minor characters. Remember the pompous white teachers in the Black Actor's School Sketch in Robert Townsend's "Hollywood Shuffle"? "The Method's" pompous white male teachers show women how to be women, but their lessons, like this film, present a false vision lacking any real depth or understanding.

Copyright 1987 Monica Sullivan

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