Reviewed at London Film Festival, Nov. 13, 1993. Running time:44 MIN.
Dancer … Kate Bush
Male dancer … Stewart Arnold
woman … Miranda Richardson
Guide … Lindsay Kemp
Shyly retiring British pop diva Kate Bush, 35, steps behind the lens with mixed artistic results in “The Line, the Cross & the Curve,” a music promo flick high on whimsy and low on content. Cinematic values (and demo-quality Dolby digital sound) make this a solid bet for special events, however, with eight numbers sure to please Bush aficionados.
Written and directed by Bush herself to promote her new album, “The Red Shoes ,” the pic (played at ear-splitting volume) got a warm welcome at its SRO London Festival screening at a large downtown theater. It goes out on U.K. homevideo later this year. Story is a snappy variation on the 1948 Michael Powell-Emeric Pressburger classic “The Red Shoes,” with Bush as a dancer who’s given a pair of red ballet shoes that won’t stop dancing by a mysterious woman (Miranda Richardson) in exchange for three magical symbols (pic’s title).
Richardson, reprising her “Crying Game” Irish accent, steals the acting stakes as a kind of wicked witch. When not warbling, Bush is colorless. Mime artist Lindsay Kemp, under whom Bush studied, is reliable. Pic’s visual style is relatively conservative, far from the usual musicvid fare. Aspect ratio is also a conservative 1.33.