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1991 film

Related: 1991 - film

Films: My Own Private Idaho (1991) - Poison (1991) -

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  1. L.A. Story (1991) - Mick Jackson [Amazon.com]
    Steve Martin wrote this film as a meditation on both love and Los Angeles (and then-wife Victoria Tennant). He plays a L.A. TV weatherman who finds himself conflicted about what to do with his life, both professionally and personally. As he works his way through a couple of relationships (including a very funny one with a frisky Sarah Jessica Parker, who talks him into colonic therapy), he discovers a L.A. freeway sign that gives him romantic advice. It helps him realize what he knows intuitively: that the British woman he is attracted to (Tennant) is the one he should pursue. A big cast (and lots of cameos) have fun with this witty (if slight) material and director Mick Jackson adds visual pizzazz. --Marshall Fine for amazon.com

  2. Paris Is Burning (1991) - Jennie Livingston [VHS, Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Paris Is Burning closes with two neon-lit boys holding each other on the streets of Harlem. One looks into the camera and asks, "So this is New York City and what the gay lifestyle is all about--right?" This documentary takes an honest, humorous, and surprisingly poignant peek into one of America's overlooked subcultures: the world of the urban drag queen. It's a parallel dimension of bizarre beauty, where "houses" vie like gangs for turf and reputation ... only instead of street-fighting, they vogue their way down makeshift catwalks in competitive "balls." The only rule of the ballroom: be real.
    In surprisingly candid interviews, you discover the grace, strength, and humor it takes to be gay, black, and poor in a straight, rich, white world. You'll meet young transsexual "cover girls," street hustlers saving up for the big operation, and aging drag divas reminiscing about the bygone days of sequins, feathers, and Marilyn Monroe.
    Made in the late 1980s, this fashion-conscious film shows its age less than you'd expect. It's still a great watch for anyone interested in the whole range of humanity, or anyone who's ever been an outsider, desperately wanting something the world hides out of reach. --Grant Balfour for amazon.com

  3. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) - Jonathan Demme [Amazon US]
    Based on Thomas Harris's novel, this terrifying film by Jonathan Demme really only contains a couple of genuinely shocking moments (one involving an autopsy, the other a prison break). The rest of the film is a splatter-free visual and psychological descent into the hell of madness, redeemed astonishingly by an unlikely connection between a monster and a haunted young woman. Anthony Hopkins is extraordinary as the cannibalistic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter, virtually entombed in a subterranean prison for the criminally insane. At the behest of the FBI, agent-in-training Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) approaches Lecter, requesting his insights into the identity and methods of a serial killer named Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine). In exchange, Lecter demands the right to penetrate Starling's most painful memories, creating a bizarre but palpable intimacy that liberates them both under separate but equally horrific circumstances. Demme, a filmmaker with a uniquely populist vision (Melvin and Howard, Something Wild), also spent his early years making pulp for Roger Corman (Caged Heat), and he hasn't forgotten the significance of tone, atmosphere, and the unsettling nature of a crudely effective close-up. Much of the film, in fact, consists of actors staring straight into the camera (usually from Clarice's point of view), making every bridge between one set of eyes to another seem terribly dangerous. --Tom Keogh for Amazon.com

  4. Delicatessen (1991) - Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet [Amazon US]
    The title credit for Delicatessen reads "Presented by Terry Gilliam," and it's easy to understand why the director of Brazil was so supportive of this outrageously black French comedy from 1991. Like Gilliam, French codirectors Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro have wildly inventive imaginations that gravitate to the darker absurdities of human behavior, and their visual extravagance is matched by impressive technical skill. Here, making their feature debut, Jeunet and Caro present a postapocalyptic scenario set entirely in a dank and gloomy building where the landlord operates a delicatessen on the ground floor. But this is an altogether meatless world, so the butcher-landlord keeps his customers happy by chopping unsuspecting victims into cutlets, and he's sharpening his knife for a new tenant (French comic actor Dominque Pinon) who's got the hots for the butcher's nearsighted daughter! Delicatessen is a feast (if you will) of hilarious vignettes, slapstick gags, and sweetly eccentric characters, including a man in a swampy room full of frogs, a woman doggedly determined to commit suicide (she never gets its right), and a pair of brothers who make toy sound boxes that "moo" like cows. It doesn't amount to much as a story, but that hardly matters; this is the kind of comedy that springs from a unique wellspring of imagination and inspiration, and it's handled with such visual virtuosity that you can't help but be mesmerized. There's some priceless comedy happening here, some of which is so inventive that you may feel the urge to stand up and cheer. --Jeff Shannon for Amazon.com

  5. Deadlock (1991) - Lewis Teague [Amazon US]
    A science-fiction adventure that steals from Alfred Hitchcock's 39 Steps and Stanley Kramer's Defiant Ones. Director Lewis Teague may not be in the same league as those two directors, but he did a dandy job with this futuristic prison flick. Originality may not be its strong card, but Deadlock offers appealing performances by Mimi Rogers and Rutger Hauer. They play convicts linked by high-tech neckbands that explode if one prisoner ventures more than 100 yards from another prisoner with a matching collar. None of the inmates knows to whom they are paired, so all are forced to stick around. When Rogers and Hauer discover that their collars match, the duo embark on a gutsy prison break. Of course, they must to stay together as they head for the diamonds he hid before his arrest. This may not be art, but it is, ah, a great escape. --Rochelle O'Gorman for Amazon.com

  6. Thanksgiving Prayer (1991) - Gus Van Sant Anyone who's ever felt bloated and full of self-loathing after Thanksgiving dinner will at least appreciate the tone of Burroughs missive to America. "Thanksgiving Prayer" is a pleasant shot of Burroughs for those unwilling to wade through the thickets of his masterfully unpleasant books. The film is a fine document of Burroughs' recitation style, which is as consistent as his writing. The latent humour of his writing becomes unavoidably clear in Burroughs' deadpan delivery. This "Prayer" should be heard by all Americans at least once before they sink from Thanksgiving's fatuous self-congratulations for their own good fortune, to Christmas' rampant abuse of that fortune. --(jdrew922@aol.com) for imdb.com

  7. Begotten (1991) - E. Elias Merhige [1 DVD, Amazon US]
    In a hurry, I grabbed "Begotten" from the rental shelf because the art on the box front promised something different and disturbing. I took the tape home in a plain plastic tape box, having never read the synopsis on the back and whatever comments it may have had on it from the critics. I watched it alone in the dark after midnight, with no idea what it was about and no preconceived notions. From start to finish, I was transfixed. "Begotten" is a primal, subconscious, fever-dream. What one comes away with, after seeing it, tells more about the viewer than it does about the film. With the final credits, I discovered that the film maker called his characters "self-destroying god", "earth mother", etc. At its core, "Begotten" works as a parable about the cycle of life from death, an image which both starts and completes the film. But all the same, I'm glad these labels were saved for the end, as it allowed me to find my own meaning. The Mother and Son were distinct individuals to me rather than archetypes in a pagan cosmology. I saw a cold, self-involved mother reject her imperfect son, only to embrace him after he'd been accepted by the other women. Upon taking him from their protection, Mother and Son are attacked by a society that fears and hates the son's imperfection and the mother who could give birth to one such as he. (...) What was done to the mother was too much like rape and murder to be seen as anything less appalling. The son mourning at his dead mother's body was for me the most memorable image of the whole piece. The attempt to obliterate Mother and Son by cutting away their remains, paralleled the father's attempts at self obliteration with which the story began, and in the end, proved as futile. Life from death, full circle. Of course, your mileage may vary. This is one of those rare films where the individual must become involved on a personal level, or they will get nothing from it. Personally, this one will be with me for the rest of my life, and that is not a bad thing. --a viewer for amazon.com

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