Ishtar (1987)


I am writing this at a time when George Bush is still president, Michael Moore’s film has just appeared and the American people are beginning to understand what has happened.

We all grasp at the movie we live in. At the moment, the “Republican” movie is in competition more with alternative comfortable movies instead of real life.

“Red, White and Blond” is the standard of the conservatives: well-meaning (and white and privileged) beats dumb. Stuff like the recent “SeaBiscuit” is usually the matter of the “other” side: small guy against established, moneyed interests. But things are getting worse on the message movie side as preachers of both strips make movies about their respective fantasies.

That’s why I retreated to this wonderful film. It wasn’t so wonderful when it was made. But now the world has changed around this little thing and made it rich. I prefer to break it into pieces on my computer and mix up the pieces “Pulp Fiction”-like.

We have three pretty interesting actors, and arguably one of the best writers in the business. They obviously were ahead of their time in finding humor in the bungling of CIA and siblings, Shiite mob violence, “Berber” factions, and bazaar chases. The humor is rooted in the notion that all these goobs want to do is perform. The Army is rousted out to applaud by command.

Check it out and see if it doesn’t better Michael Moore’s effort. He needn’t have tried so hard.

That third interesting actor I mentioned above was the actress Isabelle Adjani. She would segue perfectly from the last scene in this to the obsession of sculptress “Camille Claudel,” and she had previously been Herzog’s Lucy in his vampire film which bears many resemblances to this.

Posted in 2004

Ted’s Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.


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