September 24

Siesta (1987, d. Mary Lambert)

I can’t think of many films with more perplexing critical responses: nominations from both Independent Spirit and the Razzies, positive reviews from Janet Maslin and Roger Ebert that refer to it as a ‘bad’ movie. It’s glamorous and stagey, but those aren’t necessarily faults; that the whole film is awash in chic 80s style makes it kind of charming, uniquely dating it. Siesta is much like Memento – non-linear storytelling, characters that are more symbolic for the sake of symbolism than purposeful in the narrative. It’s also like Dennis Hopper’s better late films – The Hot Spot and Catchfire – in its unpredictability and intensely eroticized aesthetics. A music video director tries to make an Antonioni film. At least it seems to expect its audience to think.

It also has the most terrifying performance I’ve ever seen a comedian-turned-actor give in a movie: Alexei Sayles as a rapist cab driver who may or may not be real.

The Big Easy (1988, d. Jim McBride)

Cutting Class (1989, d. Rospo Pallenberg)


September 23

Alice, Sweet Alice (1977, d. Alfred Sole)