By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
By Claire Lawton
By Kiernan Maletsky
By Anna Merlan
From the fertile mind of University of North Texas film teacher Justin Wyatt (who's also the author of High Concept, a compelling analysis of Hollywood's blockbuster mentality) comes one of the boldest and most provocative film festivals this city has seen in a while.
Titled The Cinematic Body: A Film Series, it explores the representation of the human body in cinema, with emphasis on features that portray people who for a variety of reasons don't fit into easily definable categories. Among them are people enduring flesh-altering surgery (The Body Beautiful, about a white mother of a mixed-race daughter who undergoes a radical mastectomy, February 13) and aging (the Faye Dunaway modeling melodrama Puzzle of a Downfall Child, February 20); transsexuality (the rarely seen Rainer Werner Fassbinder sex-change feature In a Year of 13 Moons, February 27); and androgyny (the Nicolas Roeg-David Bowie cult classic The Man Who Fell to Earth, to be shown March 6 in its original directors' cut with 20 minutes of previously unseen footage). There's also an important film dealing with AIDS: independent filmmaker Gregg Bordowitz's free-form, autobiographical 1993 documentary Fast Trip, Long Drop, screened with the director in attendance February 13.
All showings are free and take place Mondays at 7 p.m. through March 6 at the Lyceum, UNT campus, Denton. Call (817) 565-2537 for details.
If you happened to read the February 1 Wall Street Journal--the one with the story about the Kevin Costner sci-fi epic Waterworld--you're probably as amused and appalled as I am. The film's budget is reportedly hovering near $175 million, making it the most expensive motion picture ever made. For grins, I've decided to use the figure for a Hollywood budget equations game. Here are my entries. If you feel like offering your own, E-mail them to the address below. The best will run in a future "Rushes" column. There is no reward--except, of course, for your own sick satisfaction.
Waterworld's budget will buy:
* Two remakes of Ishtar, four of Heaven's Gate, and six of Cleopatra;
* An action package of sequels to True Lies ($115 mil), Speed ($30 mil), and Under Siege ($30 mil);
* Approximately 22 movies by Quentin Tarantino (going by the reported $8 million cost of Pulp Fiction);
* With postproduction and marketing costs figured in, 1,175 El Mariachis;
* 35 smarmy voice-overs by Bruce Willis, who earned $5 million up front for playing the inner voice of the toddler in the original Look Who's Talking;
* Between 30 and 60 perverse cameo appearances by Marlon Brando (rates vary according to how many cue cards he's expected to read).
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