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1997 Stories by Michael Sragow

Archives: 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996
  • Denatured Dixie

    published November 27, 1997

    In John Berendt's beguiling travel-cum-true-crime book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, the people of Savannah (in Berendt's words)... More >>

  • War Story

    published November 27, 1997

    In his 1993 book Sarajevo: A War Journal, the Bosnian journalist Zlatko Dizdarevic reported on an 11-year-old who was waiting in line for water... More >>

  • Down by Law

    published November 20, 1997

    John Grisham's The Rainmaker lulls you into the mindset you get while reading a bestseller at the beach. What a sad thing to say about a Francis... More >>

  • For Love and Money

    published November 13, 1997

    Put brutally, the marvelous The Wings of the Dove is the story of a romantic frame-up that backfires. Thankfully, nothing is put brutally in this... More >>

  • Film at 11

    published November 6, 1997

    Mad City, a descendant of Billy Wilder's Ace in the Hole, may irritate orthodox movie buffs. In the coruscating Wilder classic, Kirk Douglas's... More >>

  • Peking Soap Opera

    published October 30, 1997

    Despite its muckraking pretensions, Red Corner is a rickety throwback to escapist adventures that featured beautiful foreign idealists spouting... More >>

  • Back to School

    published September 4, 1997

    Over the last few months, 30 years after its mixture of cheekiness and sappiness created a nationwide box-office sensation, The Graduate has been... More >>

  • Slaying Mantis

    published August 21, 1997

    When the beautiful entomologist rips open the chest cavity of a huge bloodthirsty insect in the sci-fi nightmare Mimic, it turns into Thoracic... More >>

  • Peace and Lite

    published August 21, 1997

    When Time magazine columnist Walter Shapiro recently referred to himself as part of a generation that still believes "A Thousand Clowns holds all... More >>

  • But What If the Nuts Are Right?

    published August 7, 1997

    Jerry Fletcher, the hero of Conspiracy Theory, is a comic, glamorous variation on Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver. Like Travis, he's a New York cabby... More >>

  • The Unhappy Hooker

    published August 7, 1997

    In the not-so-brave new world of independent filmmaking, low-budget movies premiere at Sundance or Cannes and win plaudits from over-psyched... More >>

  • Flunking Out

    published July 31, 1997

    187, a number favored by adolescent thugs, is the California state penal code number for homicide -- and a harsh sentence for all involved in this... More >>

  • Royal Pain

    published July 24, 1997

    Mrs. Brown (a Cannes hit and Miramax release) is dignified to the dead max -- brownish-gray in mood and look and spirit. It's based on the true... More >>

  • Galactic Mediocrity

    published July 3, 1997

    One speech and one prop from Men in Black combine to sum up the movie. An alien in four-legged Earthly form delivers the speech: "You humans,... More >>

  • Hit and Myth

    published July 3, 1997

    Slapstick decadence is the dominant style at the Disney studios this summer, reaching all the way from Touchstone Pictures' action hit Con Air to... More >>

  • Humblebees

    published June 19, 1997

    To get into a good-lovin' mood before each date, a college housemate of mine croaked along to Van Morrison's "Tupelo Honey" while blasting it... More >>

  • Magical

    published June 12, 1997

    In a season of lumbering big-screen circuses, Rough Magic provides a rowdy creative sideshow. It's the kind of haywire high-wire act that suspends... More >>

  • Tolstoy, Stripped for Speed

    published May 1, 1997

    Bernard Rose, the writer/director of the new movie version of Anna Karenina, talks about how lucky he was to discover "this marvelous story as an... More >>

  • Pulp Friction

    published May 1, 1997

    Robert E. Howard, the subject of Dan Ireland's wonderful debut film The Whole Wide World, created the sword-and-sorcery genre with his Conan... More >>

  • Prisoners of Bore

    published April 24, 1997

    No one exploited the historical-epic form better than David Lean. At his peak, he used its spaciousness and breadth to develop characters with... More >>

  • Stiffed

    published April 24, 1997

    On the festival-and-promo tour that helped the necrophiliac Kissed net advance praise everywhere from the Atlantic Monthly to Newsweek,... More >>

  • Hard, Round and Full of Seamen

    published April 10, 1997

    TV programmers and film distributors must be hearing the Call of the Deep. How else to explain the near-simultaneous presentation of two... More >>

  • Life and Darth

    published February 20, 1997

    Irvin Kershner's The Empire Strikes Back, the continuation of George Lucas's Star Wars, is a classic in its own right, one I vastly prefer to the... More >>

  • Mothers Against Deliberate Dying

    published January 30, 1997

    Terry George, the director and co-writer (with Jim Sheridan) of Some Mother's Son, has more complicated feelings about Northern Ireland than he... More >>

Archives: 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996