Screen

O'Brien, Tom

The panelists themselves are professionals with a personal sues his doctor. Later still, we find ourselves considering Joe stake in the field under consideration. Each is called upon to Jr....

...But perhaps I am simply faulting the film for its deepest Americans walk off to face a fork in the road that recalls touch of pathos...
...What more can one expect in an hour...
...Viewers find themselves facing the term (November 4...
...The photography is entirely, black and white...
...mannerisms and burnt-out adulthood...
...Like so many init the funniest film per dollar in years...
...Throughout the hour, cases are Turner's versatility, however, involves mood as well as subtly changed, gradually complexified...
...the types of roles medical practitioners play in programs...
...At its best, Peggy Sue brilliantly synthesizes adventure, fool...
...gressman Barney Frank join the panel to talk over how a No one ever pretends these questions or the decisions under decision is made to bring or not to bring a damaged fetus to discussion are simple...
...film, not always clearly, concerns this basic plot...
...John Cardinal Krol and Massachusetts Con- information from family members, on and on...
...phasize their enclosure, tension, and hostility...
...To arrange for inertia, he has to do and adds some future notes on microchips and panty hose...
...it evaporates...
...One very minor argument within the larger case is cerns a fortyish woman who attends her twenty-fifth high thereby closed...
...While this keeps defects...
...It's a nice touch, but illustrates Jarmusch's probD OWN BY law cost only $1.4 million to make, which makes lem: his film doesn't end...
...Both are fruitful for Jarmusch, but both, as usual, Noir...
...It deeper impulse: to freeze aging...
...I don't know the answer," a doctor admits to Miller...
...prostitutes, and petty crooks...
...botched communication and plain error in skill, judgment, and From the pacing, coffee-cup wielding, strong personality of moral reasoning...
...To allow his understatement to work, he has to physicist is treated interestingly...
...Furthermore, while the number of women per panel is But Peggy Sue involves its heroine in a multiplicity of small, the moderator assures that one or two women in each relationships, all treated with a compelling bittersweet tone...
...Marilyn P. Donnelly What distinguishes Down By Law is not the story but the Visiting My Children photography, the offbeat situations, and the acting, particularly by Robert Benigno as an exuberant, poetic, inventive, Awaking at Maple Avenue in Cambridge and hilarious Italian immigrant at the center of Jarmusch's On a beige futon on the living room floor...
...For example, a supporter of the New York City Gay responsibility between doctor and patient to the duties a doctor Rights Bill, Mayor Ed Koch, shares the table with Georgia owes society, the duties the patient owes his neighbor, the Congressman Newt Gingrich in a discussion on AIDS (Oc- responsibilities incurred by informing or withholding medical tober 28...
...the moderator asks initially...
...You've got me in a corner...
...What would (embarrassing her kid sister with "weird" expressions of you do...
...sues Joe...
...His immediate, impulsive spontaneity provides pure "steady" and later husband overacts both sixties teenage comic joy...
...Or in the episode on INVENTIVE ADVENTURES malpractice (October 21), a defense lawyer complains about 'PEGGY SUE' & 'DOWN BY LAW' the excessive fees received by plaintiff lawyers...
...and finally meet, Jarmusch keeps the camera static to em- Make of me a Matisse...
...bug-infested swamps, where Jack, with unconscious irony, There are, however, a few defects, some incidental, some tells Roberto, "You're lucky to even be here...
...The movie's beginning ransacks film noir, are too understated, as if the actors were straining to be ultra with dark, wasteland shots of streets deserted but for pimps, -cool...
...Jarmusch doesn't let the camera move an travel, or rather penetrates past its mere adventurism to its inch, as if to say: now, or never, this film must open up...
...Roberto, aptly, lucks into love, but the two better...
...percentage of lawyers' fees his company pays varies little: 35 Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, Peggy Sue makes the percent to plaintiff attorneys and 33' percent to defense motif much more serious, even sad at times...
...But, some massive Prime Moving...
...When she first finds herself back at her 1960 home, has epilepsy...
...school reunion, passes out (a contrivance, but essential), and The viewer watches a raw decision-making process, enters "goes back" to 1960, meeting all her old friends with her later into it, and enjoys an intelligent sorting out of complicated experience of them completely in mind...
...After the escape, the trio has to wander across snake- and pop Americana, philosophy, and tender nostalgia...
...Arlene Sarner deserve high praise for using a popular vehicle "Bub" has a difficult time with his comrades, because of and wacko story line to say some important things about love their comically homonymous names (Waits is Jack and Lurie of one's family and a mature appreciation of what time costs Zack), because they often fight, and because they think he's a us...
...Yet participants must refrain from name- enters the professional relationship with a patient...
...Later still, we find ourselves considering Joe stake in the field under consideration...
...Arthur Miller to the mild-mannered, unobtrusive style of Pro- KAREN SUE SMITH fessor Charles R. Nesson of Harvard, moderators are experts in forcing panelists into introspection whenever possible, but Screen without brow-beating...
...down on his luck (Tom Waits), the other a suave but stupid pimp (John Lurie...
...Coppola seems to have taken a very laid-back ap- Roberto who brings good luck, especially when he catches a proach to directing the actors, with mixed results...
...In their limited number...
...I can't tell...
...At first it seems realistic, but eventually it becomes symbolic, a perfect Ficus tree, come with your dappled forest greens, choice for the New Orleans street scenes that serve as a Sun, splash me with shattered shafts of yellow, backdrop for the petty, grubby hell of the American cons...
...I am a stretched canvas waiting to be painted...
...A welcome addition to the usual, stereotypical set is the audience off balance, and nicely prepares for the deflation one "commie beatnik" who drives a motorcycle and whom of the mock heroic in jail and after, Jarmusch's methods here Turner, with the wisdom of age, regards as a prophet of the are totally the opposite of those in later, laidback sections of Age of Aquarius around the comer...
...is an ex-D.J...
...Soon, we are told that tenderness, outraging her father by laughing at the new Edsel Sam, the worker next to Joe on the line, is at risk because of he has proudly bought) and melancholy vignettes with her Joe's condition...
...Then, Sam is killed and his widow...
...Director Jim Jarmusch (celebrated for his cult hit are limiting...
...Stranger Than Paradise two years ago) doesn't have that much TOM O'BRIEN to say, but he has found a droll mode of understatement that fits his meager content and even makes it seem larger...
...segment command a disproportionately large share of the She is played by Kathleen Turner, one of the few actresses comments (at least in the episodes I previewed), making up for around who could pass, arguably, for either forty or twenty...
...P EGGY SUE GOTMARRIED will be glibly compared to Back Within minutes, an insurance representative discloses that the to the Future, but it is time travel with a difference...
...A Porsch," the-lawyer replies to peals of laughter...
...When the two are brought to jail Worid, mitigate my skepticism...
...To get his two Americans to jail, The portrayal of the group of high school students who grow Jarmusch has to stage two lengthy "temptation" scenes in up to be Peggy Sue's adult friends also has strengths and which they are lured into damning set-ups...
...Even a teenage "nerd the film...
...One Sky, azure me with tenuous morning light...
...While rabbit and recalls his "Mama's" handy ways with such critTurner keeps her balance perfectly, Nicholas Cage as her ters...
...His story is simple: three cons trying to break jail, a mock heroic venture detailing some oddities of male camaraderie...
...The story conattorneys...
...They aim for a public rethinking of a position in light of new information, a pointed question, a peer's retort...
...Roberto's allusion to "Bub" Frost's "The Road Less Traveled...
...mother and older relatives...
...one early scene as she enters the reunion with her own high Finally, there is the case method itself - not actual case school daughter, an usher comically invokes the dishwashing studies, but hypothetical cases for discussion that no panelist liquid commercial, asking "Who's the mother...
...In truth, it is central...
...Some witty lines (try to Jarmusch's technique, however, can be contrived and catch the wordplay at a blues club on "treble without a cause") heavy-handed...
...Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and a limits of a doctor's knowledge, the biases of a doctor's own representative from Reynolds Tobacco discuss smoking moral code, and the prudence and respect with which a doctor (November 11...
...Turner tells him her secret, overstate initial conditions...
...Since (in later life) she issues without being manipulated, condescended to, or neces- is about to divorce the high school sweetheart she married, she sarily persuaded, all without benefit of a strained consensus wants to undo the past, and dump him at eighteen...
...except in his case, character portrayal is too conventional, Such a central contradiction is irksome...
...wacky trio...
...The problem is especially when suggesting that people never change for the evident at the end...
...Most of the among panelists...
...Joe asks his doctor to withhold this fact on an Turner perfectly catches this ambivalence in comic scenes insurance form requiring the doctor's signature...
...looks, and she does a fine job portraying, often simultaneThe program on confidentiality, for example, considered ously, glee at revisiting old friends and sad foreboding at their the case of Joe Taylor, an assembly line machine operator who fate...
...broken English, and plaintively looks at their two hostile mugs At such moments, Peggy Sue renews the genre of sci-fi time for five minutes...
...has previously addressed...
...Turner, Coppola (who made does, though only into spring bayous whose leafless silhouthe Godfather films), and screenwriters Jerry Leichting and ettes at first remind us of prison bars...
...the lives of their patients as well as the human foibles of Moderators have been selected for skill, humor, and candor...
...His boldest touch occurs as their new inmate ("Roberto, but you can calla me Bub'') enters the cell, pleads for friendship in 10 October 1986: 535...
...stated views with which other panelists wholeheartedly dis- As the scenario expands so do the issues: from the mutual agree...
...The moderator sympathetically asks: "And what kind of car do you drive...
...The best scene in the film occurs Or, because the doctor reveals the epilepsy, Joe is fired and when she can't even talk to her grandmother on the phone, Commonweal: 534 since she knows from the future that she is talking to a ghost...
...It could be titled The novators, he has but two modes: expressionist contrivance and Marx Brothers Go Cajun or The Three Stooges Meet Film minimalism...
...The viewer calling, sloganeering, or other rhetorical devices all too com- gets a taste of the hazards of patient autonomy as well as the mon in one-on-one debates or in confrontational-style news benefits of it...
...who faces genetic risks in light of his father's fatal Hunspeak before professional peers, many of whom hold publicly tington's disease...

Vol. 113 • October 1986 • No. 17


 
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