1994 San Francisco International Film Festival

"Movie Magazine International" Special Report

(Air Date: Week Of 5/3/94)

By Monica Sullivan

Well, the great Pedro Almadovar is in town to promote "Kika", a film which has attracted below average audience attendance in his native Spain. Could it be---dare we say it?---at least partly because he has cast Peter Coyote as the serial killer? NO-NO-NO, Pedro. Peter Coyote as the serial killer's brother or stepfather or best friend or psychiatrist if there's a next time, okay?

I'd just love to see the application self-described sex addict Caveh Zahedi wrote to snag an American Film Institute grant. Maybe something like: "Dear AFI, My friends and I are going to take Ecstacy on camera and forget to turn on the sound until Denise shows up and then expose already exposed film and leave all the mistakes in and then, I'll add an intro and outro both to make the movie add up to 85M. and to explain what I've learned. "P.S. No sex in "I don't Hate Las Vegas anymore".

Better by far is Tom diCillo's "Scene 6, Take 1", a merciful 17 minutes long and manically well-acted by Steve Buscemi, all about the technical nightmares that occur on a low budget film where the six-day old milk is the most experienced member of the crew. And don't get me started on 1919's wonderfully appealing Australian silent "The Sentimental Bloke" or the 1923 Harold Lloyd classic "Safety Last" because it'll just sound like I feel that the greatest films of all time were made before the dawn of sound and on good movie days, I really don't feel that way.

Take Japan's stylish "Most Terrible Time In My Life", a stylish, entertaining send-up of the traditional, hard-boiled private eye. Or Stephen Okazaki's quirky examination of "The Lisa Theory". Or even a modest (50 M.) documentary effort like "Dream Girls" which asks the intriguing question: Why do female entertainers impersonating men fulfill the romantic fantasies of so many women among their loyal audience members? Back to the ultimate cognoscenti delight of the SFIFF: the much-honoured Manoel De Oliveira's 1985 epic "The Satin Slipper": seven straight hours of all you ever wanted to know about Paul Claudel's vision of 16th century Europe and the New World. In fairness to all the festival masterpieces I didn't get a chance to preview, they're probably all great. Just great. In any event, what would a squirmer with an attention span of 90-120 M. know anyway? (Have fun! Bring a cushion!)

Copyright 1994 Monica Sullivan

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