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  • Swing Shift

    Swing Shift

    In SWING SHIFT, the director, Jonathan Demme, attempts to recapture the atmosphere of the "home front" during the Second World War. He has the kind of respect for working people's homes that James Agee had for the shacks of tenant farmers, and he shows you the details of lower-middle-class life without satire or condescension. Demme could be said to have a reverence for kitsch. His tenderness—his looking for poetry in the tacky—is a rare quality, but in SWING SHIFT it…

  • Citizen's Band

    Citizen's Band

    HANDLE WITH CARE is exactly the kind of high-spirited light comedy that would have become a hit a few years ago. Today a picture is penalized if it isn't big enough, if it has no stars and no obvious selling point; hardly anybody hears about it. HANDLE WITH CARE had, at least, some identity when it was called CITIZENS BAND—its title when it was given regional playdates. CITIZENS BAND is what it's about, literally and metaphorically. Now that it has…

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  • Stop Making Sense

    Stop Making Sense

    STOP MAKING SENSE makes wonderful sense. A concert film by the New York new-wave rock band Talking Heads, it was shot during three performances at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre in December, 1983, and the footage has been put together without interviews and with very few cutaways. The director, Jonathan Demme, offers us a continuous rock experience that keeps building, becoming ever more intense and euphoric. This has not been a year when American movies overflowed with happiness; there was some…

  • Something Wild

    Something Wild

    For seven decades of romantic screwball comedies, sexy, smart, funny women have been waking up heroes who, through fear or shyness or a stuffy educational background, were denying their deepest impulses. The women perform a rescue mission. Sometimes, in earlier eras, they did it in the guise of dumb blondes (like Marie Wilson) or dizzy dames (like Katharine Hepburn in BRINGING UP BABY), but mostly they were wisecracking broads, like Mae West and Joan Blondell, and Jean Harlow in RED…