Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ad Mat Memories

The film's deceptive simplicity is captured in this wonderful poster art .

After That Sinking Feeling, Gregory's Girl, and Comfort and Joy, Bill Forsyth was on an incredible roll, each new film a stronger tasting concentrate of his unique elixir.

With a dazzling score by Mark Knopfler and superb performances from Lancaster, Riegert, and Jenny Seagrove as the enigmatic 'Marina', Local Hero perfectly captured a period in our history when it seemed the beauty of our world wouldn't be annihilated by corporations intent on profit at any cost.

It was a naive view that overestimated the role of government in protecting the environment.   

Always thought this was a strange and powerful "family movie" from the cinematographer of The House By The Lake, Eric Saarinen.

It has a great John Barry score and spectacular location work on the Aleutian Islands and Alaska.

Dramatically, it's a little forced at times, and the emotional resolution (father and son saved by a seal!) tests our tolerance for cheese, but the tone is serious and engaging.

A flawless alternative to a film with similar intentions is Carroll Ballard's Fly Away Home, a masterpiece; his Never Cry Wolf ain't too shabby, either.

One of many AMC Century City screenings I attended as sole patron.

There was something about certain Handmade Films that just didn't draw audiences.

Nobody went to see their How To Get Ahead in Advertising, either, or Track 29, or Powwow Highway, or the amazing The Wrong Guy.

Starring Jeff Daniels (now ultra-visible in HBO's The Newsroom), it's a caustic and hilarious piece about a hypochondriac on a mission to find a missing punchline, amongst other things.

It was written by Joe Eszterhas (!) and directed by David Leland. Two years earlier, Leland had directed the superb and subtly sensual Wish You Were Here.

Looks like they're trying to sell this Richard Gere production as American Gigolo all over again. Bad move.

UK title is The Honorary Consul, taken from Graham Greene's novel of the same name. The generic Beyond The Limit is plain awful.

Certainly an interesting watch (I caught it at the Gratiot Drive-in), but Gere defaults to robo mode here, perhaps imitating his American Gigolo character. 

The film is MIA on US dvd, but available in England.

I didn't like Gere too much until he appeared in Mike Figgis's Internal Affairs. When he plays evil, he comes across as terribly dangerous. When he plays good, he comes across too often as smug.


  1. jervaise brooke hamsterSeptember 27, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    I want to bugger Elpidia Carillo (as the bird was in 1979 when the bird was 18, not as the bird is now obviously).

  2. Wow, I didn't think anyone remembered THE GOLDEN SEAL. I remember it, of course, as I was privy to every step of its production (note the last name of the screenwriter). I agree the ending was cheesy, having been rewritten at the last minute--the script's original conclusion was far more intense, involving a bear loose on the island. For a similarly themed effort by the same screenwriter check out the Danny Huston directed Disney telefilm BIGFOOT from 1987, which turned out about as well.