Alexandre Rockwell – In the Soup (1992)


Soup’ Dreams

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Essentially a retread of The Freshman (1990) on a much lower budget, In the Soup concerns a young wannabe filmmaker, Adolfo Rollo (Steve Buscemi) who becomes mixed up with a gangster-type, Joe (Seymour Cassell) in the name of financing his first film.

Very little filmmaking occurs, though. What really happens is the old story of the life-loving older guy teaching the high-strung younger fellow a thing or two about living.

Yes, it’s an old story that has been told a thousand times before and since, but Alexandre Rockwell’s little film has a home movie charm and a streetwise wit that make it a must-see sleeper. Continue reading

Jean Rollin – Le frisson des vampires aka Shiver of the Vampires (1971)


Jean Rollin’s third feature film Le Frisson des Vampires, alternately known as Thrill of the Vampires, Shiver of the Vampires and Sex and the Vampire, is one of the key works in his impressive filmography. A perfect melding of all of Rollin’s thematic obsessions, Le Frisson des Vampires is the director’s first masterpiece and one of his greatest achievements. Continue reading

Robert Altman – The Player (1992)


The Player is a 1992 satirical film directed by Robert Altman from a screenplay by Michael Tolkin based on his own novel of the same name. It is the story of Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins), a Hollywood studio executive who gets away with murdering a wannabe screenwriter who Mill believes is sending him death threats.

The film, loaded with movie references and Hollywood insider jokes, is a critique of the Hollywood movie business, which treats artists poorly and sacrifices quality for commercial success. It might seem surprising that around sixty big Hollywood names agreed to play cameos as themselves in the film, but Altman himself admits that “it is a very mild satire” and it offended no one.[1] Continue reading

Alejandro Jodorowsky – The Rainbow Thief (1990)


A petty crook, in search of the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, hopes to cash in by befriending the heir to a huge fortune.

Production notes:
This was Jodorowsky’s sixth feature-length film, and his first British film. Filming was carried out in Gdansk, Poland. He was frequently threatened by the producers not to change anything in the script, effectively restraining further artistic involvement from his behalf. Jodorowsky has since disowned the movie. It was released in cinemas in London (May 1990), Italy (Il Ladro dell’arcobaleno, 1990), France (Le voleur d’arc-en-ciel, Paris, 1994) and, after, Spain (El ladrón del Arco iris, Cine Doré, Madrid, 2011); but it was never released in American cinemas.This movie, along with his previous Tusk in 1980, mark his most impersonal work, set far apart from his earlier work. It was discussed along with his other films in the documentary La Constellation Jodorowsky (1994). Continue reading

Emir Kusturica – Crna macka, beli macor AKA Black Cat, White Cat (1998)



Bosnian-born filmmaker Emir Kusturica made this farce, set in a Gypsy settlement along the banks of the Danube, where three generations of characters burst forth in manic and frenetic displays of charm, confusion, and chaos.

Garbage dump godfather Grga Pitic (Sabri Sulejman) and cement czar Zarije Destanov (Zabit Memedov), both in their 80s, remain friends even though they haven’t seen each other in 25 years. Zarije’s son Matko Destanov (Bajram Severdzan) goes to Grga for a loan. Matko is double-crossed by his partner, gypsy gangster Dadan Karambolo (Srdan Todorovic), who demands that Matko’s son, Zare Destanov (Florijan Ajdini), marry Dadan’s small sister, Afrodita (Salija Ibraimova). Continue reading