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  • Conrack

    Conrack

    “A Brash Young Man”

    Jon Voight has finally got a chance to loosen up on the screen and play a rude, warm, expansive character. In the title role of CONRACK he has his best role since Joe Buck in MIDNIGHT COWBOY, and one that’s at the opposite end of the emotional spectrum. His Joe Buck was a limited dreamer, an overgrown adolescent who wanted to market himself as a stud; his fear-filled blue eyes, his ingenuous, stricken face exposed his…

  • 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…

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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…