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Milos Forman proved once more he knows how to push the politically incorrect button in his native land. It’s been 30-something years since he ran afoul of Brezhnev-era authorities and left Czechoslovakia.
John Travolta, the star of such films as “Saturday Night Fever,” “Pulp Fiction” and the current “Face/Off,” will be the recipient of the American Cinematheque’s career honor at its 12th Moving Picture Ball on Sept. 13.
A wonderfully evocative coming-of-age story, “Tramway to Malvarrosa” is based on the semi-fictional memoirs of Spanish writer Manuel Vincent (born 1940), who grew up at the height of Francisco Franco’s power. Gorgeous lensing, soul-stirring music, a bittersweet comic touch and a slightly surrealist bent, however, make this look back far more personal than political.
A shamelessly sentimental but occasionally majestic evocation of a WWII boyhood in a large Jewish family in Algiers, Roger Hanin’s semi-autobiographical “Sun” features a radiant turn by Sophia Loren as a loving matriarch. The pic, produced by Hanin’s wife, industry vet Christine Gouze-Renal, is extremely old-fashioned but sincere in its approach, and will warm the cockles of older Eurotube viewers’ hearts after making some theatrical rounds.
Filmed in Queensland, Australia, by Sea Change Prods. in association with Universal Television. Executive producers/writers, Ron Koslow, Shaun Cassidy; co-executive producer, Michael Nankin; producers, Paul Barber, Larry Barber, Howard Grigsby; co-producers, Brain Chambers, Lawrence Meyers; consulting producer, Jefery Levy; director, Ralph Hemecker; Even 1,500 years ago, it turns out that the Celtics were in need of a decent shooting guard and a big man in the middle. At least, that’s what we’re told in this adventure drama set in 5th century Europe that follows a ragtag band of Celtic warriors (is there another kind?) and their bloody battles with a group of nasty, oppressive Romans. Think of the Carringtons vs. the Colbys with a lot more leather … and fewer showers.
“Queens Blvd.” is a one-joke farce that quickly runs out of gas on the comedic highway. Even the production’s determined directing and pleasurable acting will not draw the gay audience that Paul Corrigan’s play targets.
Filmed in New York City by Levinson/Fontana Co. in association with Rysher Entertainment. Executive producers, Barry Levinson, Tom Fontana; co-executive producer, Jim Finnerty; co-producer, Debbie Sarjeant; supervising producer, Bridget Potter; directors, Darnell Martin, Nick Gomez; writer, Fontana; Just how vicious and raw is “Oz,” HBO’s first drama series? So much so that the typically bold pay cabler is debuting it in the ungodly timeslot of Saturday at 11:30 p.m., leaving the impression that even HBO is a little squeamish about launching a prison drama in which sadistic white supremacists co-exist alongside cannibalistic parent killers. Just the kind of thing you want to come home to after the perfect date.
Aeschylus meets Robert Wilson in “Les Danaides,” Romanian director Silviu Purcarete’s avant-garde adaptation of the ancient Greek tragedy. Given its U.S. premiere at the Lincoln Center Festival 97, “Danaides” is as impressive visually as it is distant emotionally, a work that strives for grand vision but falls into a cool mix of choreographed ensemble movement and minimalist set design that will seem all too familiar (and second-rate in its monotony) to fans of the Wilson-Robert Lepage school.
Will Pat Bullard become the new matchmaker/referee on “Love Connection”? He will if Warner Bros.’ syndie arm decides to go forward with a revival of “Love Connection,” which wrapped its original 11-year run as a syndie strip in 1994.