AMADEUS (Milos Forman)
Not since WEST SIDE STORY had a hit Broadway musical been just screaming to be put on the silver screen. Wise decisions were made to leave well enough alone. The playwright (Peter Shaffer) wrote the screenplay and the actors (Tom Hulce and F. Murray Abraham) repeated their roles. Milos Forman came in and opened things up for the screen. Oscars would soon follow. The glorious music of Mozart flows throughout this joyfest that undoubtedly plays with facts regarding Mozart’s life…….but who gives a hoot?
The Director’s cut is R-rated and runs longer of course, but is not really an improvement. It’s just more of a good thing. More of the glorious spectacle. The only downside to it all is in contemplating…….whatever happened to its two lead stars?
PARIS, TEXAS (Wim Wenders)
The images of Harry Dean Stanton wandering purposefully through the desert while Ry Cooder’s 2-note slide guitar cadences follow him hauntingly are so potent that it’s easy to forget that there’s a whole movie surrounding these images. And it’s a pretty good one at that, grounded by Sam Shepard’s moving screenplay. Director Wim Wenders’ films often seem undeliberate, almost accidental. And to some degree they are. But there are always decisions to be made in filmmaking. More often than not, Wenders makes the right ones.
THIS IS SPINAL TAP (Rob Reiner)
The king of all mockumentaries, the best of the best. Almost too good, it actually fooled a lot of people on its release, including Ozzy Osbourne! Christopher Guest has since continued to take up the game, and to great effect. (WAITING FOR GUFFMAN, FIRST IN SHOW). This one is a true “11”!