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  • Daydreams


    Silent slapstick comedy rarely encompassed visual elegance, but in England an oddly assembled group-the director Ivor Montagu (known to film scholars as the translator of Pudovkin), the writer H.G. Wells, and the heroine Elsa Lanchester, assisted by pudgy young Charles Laughton as the mock villain, and absurdly lean Harold Warrender as the mock hero-produced this little (23-minute) triumph of "advanced" editing and Art Nouveau decor, within the slapstick form. Wells' story-a servant girl fantasizes herself in the throes of aristocratic…

  • Seven Beauties

    Seven Beauties

    In Lina Wertmüller's SWEPT AWAY, a Sicilian Communist deckhand working on a yacht and the rich blond shrew who chartered the ship for a pleasure cruise are marooned on an island. She gave him a bad time when she had the upper hand, so when he takes charge on the island and starts whacking her around maybe one can say that he isn't hitting a woman, he's hitting the capitalist class. However, when she kisses his feet and gathers flowers…

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  • 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…

  • 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…