You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Rendezvous in Samarkand

Reviewed at AFI screening room, L.A., Oct. 13, 1999. (In AFI/L.A. Film Festival --- New Directions.) Running time: 100 MIN.

Reviewed at AFI screening room, L.A., Oct. 13, 1999. (In AFI/L.A. Film Festival — New Directions.) Running time: 100 MIN.

With: John Littlefield, Marie Ravel, Tsuyu Shimizu, Miho Nikaido, Lyes Salem.

Lugubrious drama of supposed sophisticates undone in their effort to smuggle a truck across the Sahara, “Rendezvous in Samarkand” reaches for existential profundities but is undermined by tyro helmer Tim Bridwell’s weak control of pacing and thesps. Efforts for atmospheric authenticity are commendable; pic was shot chronologically in its far-flung settings. But as adventure tale, mystery or inner quest, it falls considerably short, making for poor commercial prospects on its international travels.

Randall (John Littlefield) is a cocky American with a plan to hustle some wheels into Nigeria via Morocco for a fee, but he makes faulty decisions from the start, including picking up Japanese hitchers Atsuko (Tsuyu Shimizu) and Yumi (Miho Nikaido) outside Paris. Also on this trek is his French g.f., Cecile (Marie Ravel), whose backstory is carelessly inserted into the drama. Revelation of Yumi’s cancer serves only to intro a fate-vs.-free will theme, furthered by fatalistic Arab scout Mohammed (Lyes Salem). Thesps lack the chops to pull off confrontation scenes, but final plot turns provide a belated boost of energy. Pic is distinguished by Moroccan master musician Hassan Hakmoun’s score and Jan Maliszewski’s ultra-crisp lensing in harsh conditions.

Rendezvous in Samarkand


Production: A Samarkand Pictures production. Produced by Tim Bridwell. Supervising producer, Lee Beckett. Directed, written by Tim Bridwell.

Crew: Camera (color), Jan Maliszewski; editor, George Chiochios; music, Hassan Hakmoun; production designer, Frank V. Gaide; casting, Swan Pham.

More Film

  • Aaron Paul attends the 2019 Sun

    Aaron Paul, Chelsea Handler and Meg Ryan Topline Sun Valley Film Fest

    Aaron Paul is an Idaho boy at heart. The three-time Emmy winning star of “Breaking Bad” and producer and actor on Nickelodeon’s bawdy, subversive animated series “Bojack Horseman” currently makes his home in Los Angeles, but Paul was born in Emmett, a sleepy city about 30 miles outside of Boise, and escapes to the spud [...]

  • Writers Guild Blasts CAA, WME for

    Writers Guild Blasts Talent Agencies CAA, WME for 'Soaring' Profits

    The Writers Guild of America has singled out Hollywood’s largest talent agencies, William Morris Endeavor and Creative Artists Agency, for allegedly soaring profits. The WGA, in an acrimonious negotiation over proposed new rules on how agencies represent writers, issued a report called “agencies for sale” on Monday morning — a few hours before a fifth [...]

  • MGM logo

    MGM Hires Robert Marick to Expand Consumer Products

    Metro Goldwyn Mayer has hired industry veteran Robert Marick as executive VP of global consumer products and experiences. In his new role, Marick is responsible for overseeing the expansion of MGM’s traditional merchandise, interactive and consumer products business. He’s also developing a global strategy with a focus on core consumer products licensing, digital and gaming, [...]

  • Robert Iger and Rupert Murdochcredit: Disney

    Wall Street Applauds as Disney Nears Finish Line on Fox Acquisition

    Wall Street is rooting for Disney as the media giant reaches the finish line this week in its 15-month quest to acquire most of Rupert Murdoch’s film and TV empire. Fox shareholders, on the other hand, are being a little more cautious. Disney is poised to close the $71.3 billion deal that took many twists [...]

  • Personal Tales From Hong Kong, China

    Personal Tales From Hong Kong and China Among the Asia Film Financing Forum Projects

    A brace of personal tales from China and Hong Kong are among the 23 projects vying for attention at the 17th Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum. Liu Miaomiao is a rare female ethnic Hui Muslim filmmaker. She came to international prominence with 1993’s “Chatterbox” that won the President of the Italian Senate’s Gold Medal [...]

  • Josie Ho Makes 2019 the Year

    Josie Ho Makes 2019 the Year She Takes Risks in Her Film Choices

    Josie Ho vows to master the art of calculated risk in the year 2019. As an actress and film producer, she is conscious of the choices of projects she makes: appearing in the new film by Japanese hotshot director Shinichiro Ueda, producing a new documentary feature while developing some 10 titles in the pipeline of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content