Testament to the power and mastery of a movie that, nearly 60 years on, still feels as modern, complex and cutting-edge as any film released…
With the rugged features of a matinee idol and the physique of a trapeze artist, Burt Lancaster might easily have been typecast by Hollywood. Although he celebrated his physical grace and was not shy about appearing in action pictures, there was another side to his acting, right from the first: An angry, intellectual, introspective side, that led him to give some of the best performances of his generation.
NEW YORK -- Woody Allen's new comedy, "Bullets Over Broadway," is about a man who takes his art so seriously he is willing to kill for it. The man is a gangster, circa 1930, who gets involved in the rewrite of a play, and doesn't want anybody screwing it up.
So thank God for tape recorders, because in the old pen-and-paper days, this would be the act of a desperate man, trying to keep up with Quentin Tarantino, who talks like he's being paid by the word and starts every sentence in the middle of the previous one.
The saddest thing, Spike Lee thinks, is that in some neighborhoods the children no longer know how to play street games. The streets are so unsafe the kids hide inside, and decades of childhood culture have disappeared in a generation.
LOS ANGELES -- It's a touchy situation. You describe a guy's movie as one of the worst of the year, and then it grosses $200 million and makes him into Hollywood's flavor of the month. You say it wasn't funny, and the audiences can't stop laughing. Now you're supposed to walk into a room and interview the guy. Hey, let's hope he has a sense of humor.
LOS ANGELES--Winning an Oscar, it is said, means an actor gets a pass for a year or two. For a brief moment he seems to be the master of his destiny. Tommy Lee Jones won the Oscar in March, for his work in "The Fugitive," but by then his Oscar surge was already well under way, as if Hollywood had anticipated the award. He is one of the busiest actors of 1994.
LOS ANGELES -- Kevin Costner was so quiet and relaxed, so soft-spoken, it took a little while for me to realize how angry he was. Not angry at anyone or anything in particular, but just unhappy about having to get up every morning and deal with things that wear away at him. He didn't come out and say so. It was only later, looking over my notes, that I began to notice the same note being struck in different ways. If I could paraphrase his complaint, it would be that he means well and works hard and keeps plugging away, and the world is too careless with his pains.
CANNES, France -- The table has long since been cleared for the last time, and the wits who surrounded it rest in their graves, but the idea of the Algonquin Round Table lives on. For a decade, from the 1920s through the 1930s, the brightest and the funniest writers in New York gathered every day for lunch around a huge round table at the Algonquin Hotel, and then they went back to their typewriters and made each other famous by quoting what they said there.
America will be having a Hugh Grant festival this spring. The boyish British actor with the apologetic shrug is the star of three films being released almost simultaneously: "Sirens," "Four Weddings And A Funeral" and "Bitter Moon." All three are well-suited to his strengths as a likeable, diffident, chap who backs into situations apologetically, but usually prevails.
Two eighth-graders from Chicago's inner-city show talent on their neighborhood basketball courts. A free-lance scout spots them and recruits them for St. Joseph's High School in Westchester, a western suburb. St. Joseph's is known for its powerhouse teams; it was here that another young man from the inner city, Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons, began his climb to fame.