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  • Twilight Zone: The Movie

    Twilight Zone: The Movie

    “Hysterics”

    When stories like the ones that were told on the Rod Serling TV show "The Twilight Zone" grow up, they become Borges fables—meta-physical hoodwinks. I didn't expect (or want) TWILIGHT ZONE—THE MOVIE to be Borgesian, but I did rather hope that John Landis, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante, and George Miller—the four young directors who are paying homage to the TV series—would tease us with more artful macabre games than the ones of the old shows. It's a naive (and…

  • Superman III

    Superman III

    “Time-Warp Movies”

    When we go into the theatre to see SUPERMAN III, we know that whatever else happens we're still going to have the pleasure of seeing a man fly without an airplane and without wings. But when I (for one) came out of the theatre it was with the distinct feeling that if the director, Richard Lester, had been able to deprive us completely of this pleasure he would have done so—not because he didn't want us to have…

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  • A Woman Under the Influence

    A Woman Under the Influence

    The Theories of R.D. Laing, the poet of schizophrenic despair, have such theatrical flash that they must have hit John Cassavetes smack in the eye. His new film, A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE, is the work of a disciple: it's a didactic illustration of Laing's vision of insanity, with Gena Rowlands as Mabel Longhetti, the scapegoat of a repressive society that defines itself as normal. The core of the film is a romanticized conception of insanity, allied with the ancient…

  • 1900

    1900

    “Hail, Folly!”

    At a certain point in their careers—generally right after an enormous popular success—most great movie directors go mad on the potentialities of movies. They leap over their previous work into a dimension beyond the well-crafted dramatic narrative; they make a huge, visionary epic in which they attempt to alter the perceptions of people around the world. Generally, they shoot this epic in what they believe is a state of super-enlightenment. They believe that with this film they're literally…