International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. Vol. 2: Directors [Volume 2, 4 ed.] 1558624775, 9781558624771

This comprehensive resource provides thorough coverage of films and filmmakers through to the spring of 2000. Entrants i

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International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers- 2




International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers-2


International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers Volume 1 FILMS Volume 2 DIRECTORS Volume 3 ACTORS and ACTRESSES Volume 4 WRITERS and PRODUCTION ARTISTS

Tom Pendergast, Sara Pendergast, Editors Michael J. Tyrkus, Project Coordinator Michelle Banks, Erin Bealmear, Laura Standley Berger, Joann Cerrito, Jim Craddock, Steve Cusack, Nicolet V. Elert, Miranda H. Ferrara, Kristin Hart, Melissa Hill, Laura S. Kryhoski, Margaret Mazurkiewicz, Carol Schwartz, and Christine Tomassini, St. James Press Staff Peter M. Gareffa, Managing Editor Maria Franklin, Permissions Manager Debra J. Freitas, Permissions Assistant Mary Grimes, Leitha Etheridge-Sims, Image Catalogers Mary Beth Trimper, Composition Manager Dorothy Maki, Manufacturing Manager Rhonda Williams, Senior Buyer Cynthia Baldwin, Product Design Manager Michael Logusz, Graphic Artist Randy Bassett, Image Database Supervisor Robert Duncan, Imaging Specialists Pamela A. Reed, Imaging Coordinator Dean Dauphinais, Senior Editor, Imaging and Multimedia Content

While every effort has been made to ensure the reliability of the information presented in this publication, St. James Press does not guarantee the accuracy of the data contained herein. St. James Press accepts no payment for listing; and inclusion of any organization, agency, institution, publication, service, or individual does not imply endorsement of the editors or publisher. Errors brought to the attention of the publisher and verified to the satisfaction of the publisher will be corrected in future editions. This publication is a creative work fully protected by all applicable copyright laws, as well as by misappropriation, trade secret, unfair competition, and other applicable laws. The authors and editors of this work have added value to the underlying factual material herein through one or more of the following: unique and original selection, coordination, expression, arrangement, and classification of the information. All rights to this publication will be vigorously defended. Copyright © 2000 St. James Press 27500 Drake Rd. Farmington Hills, MI 48331-3535 All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data International dictionary of films and filmmakers / editors, Tom Pendergast, Sara Pendergast.—4th ed. p. cm. Contents: 1. Films — 2. Directors — 3. Actors and actresses — 4. Writers and production artists. ISBN 1-55862-449-X (set) — ISBN 1-55862-450-3 (v. 1) — ISBN 1-55862-477-5 (v. 2) — ISBN 1-55862-452-X (v. 3) — ISBN 1-55862-453-8 (v. 4) 1. Motion pictures—Plots, themes, etc. 2. Motion picture producers and directors—Biography— Dictionaries. 3. Motion picture actors and actresses—Biography—Dictionaries. 4. Screenwriters— Biography—Dictionaries. I. Pendergast, Tom. II. Pendergast, Sara. PN1997.8.I58 2000 791.43’03—dc2100-064024


Cover photograph—David Cronenberg courtesy the Kobal Collection Printed in the United States of America St. James Press is an imprint of Gale Group Gale Group and Design is a trademark used herein under license 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1



vii ix xi xiii 1 1111 1115 1127 1133

EDITORS’ NOTE This is a revised edition of the 2nd volume of the International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, which also includes Volume 1, Films, Volume 3, Actors and Actresses, and Volume 4, Writers and Production Artists. The book comprises more than 483 entries, consisting of a brief biography, a complete filmography, a selected bibliography of works by and about the entrant, and a critical essay written by a specialist in the field. There are 66 entrants new to this edition. Most of the entries from the previous edition have been retained here; all entries have updated filmographies and bibliographies; and many entries have updated critical essays. Since film is primarily a visual medium, the majority of entries are illustrated, either by a portrait or by a representative still from the entrant’s body of work. The selection of entrants is once again based on the recommendations of the advisory board. It was not thought necessary to propose strict criteria for selection: the book is intended to represent the wide range of interests within North American, British, and West European film scholarship and criticism. The eclecticism in both the list of entrants and the critical stances of the different writers emphasizes the multifarious notions of the cinema, and indeed of the various entrants’ role within it. On the vexing question of authorship in the cinema, it is to be hoped that this volume is properly seen in the context of a series which also focuses on the contribution to the cinema or actors and actresses (Volume 3), along with screenwriters, cinematographers, editors, animators, composers, and other production artists (Volume 4), as well as the individual films themselves (Volume 1). Thanks are due to the following: Nicolet V. Elert and Michael J. Tyrkus at St. James Press, for their efforts in preparing this collection for publication; Michael Najjar, for his tireless efforts in researching the entries; our advisers, for their wisdom and broad knowledge of international cinema; and our contributors, for their gracious participation. We have necessarily built upon the work of the editors who have preceded us, and we thank them for the strong foundation they created. A Note on the Entries Non-English language film titles are given in the original language or a transliteration of it, unless they are better known internationally by their English title. Alternate release titles in the original language(s) are found within parentheses, followed by release titles in English (American then British if there is a difference) and translations. The date of a film is understood to refer to its year of release unless stated otherwise. In the list of films in each entry, information within parentheses following each film modifies, if necessary, then adds to the subject’s principal function(s). The most common abbreviations used are: an assoc asst chor d ed exec mus ph pr prod des ro sc

animator associate assistant choreographer director editor executive music cinematographer or director of photography producer production designer role scenarist or scriptwriter

The abbreviation ‘‘co-’’ preceding a function indicates collaboration with one or more persons. Other abbreviations that may be used to clarify the nature of an individual film are ‘‘doc’’—documentary; ‘‘anim’’—animation; and ‘‘ep’’—episode. A name in parentheses following a film title is that of the director. A film title in boldface type indicates that complete coverage of that film may be found in the International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, Volume 1: Films.


BOARD OF ADVISERS Dudley Andrew Jeanine Basinger Ronald Bergan Lewis Cole Gary Crowdus Robert von Dassanowsky Jack C. Ellis Susan Felleman Ben Gibson Douglas Gomery Rajko Grlic Robyn Karney Philip Kemp

Susan K. Larsen Audrey T. McCluskey Ib Monty Gary Morris Dan Nissen Julian Petley Christopher Pickard Dana B. Polan Paul Shields Frank P. Tomasulo Leonardo Garcia Tsao Aruna Vasudevan


CONTRIBUTORS Charles Affron Mirella Jona Affron Dudley Andrew Roy Armes José Arroyo Erik Barnouw Jeanine Basinger John Baxter Birgit Beumers Audie Bock DeWitt Bodeen David Bordwell Ronald Bowers Stephen E. Bowles Stephen Brophy Geoff Brown Robert Burgoyne Julianne Burton Fred Camper Ross Care Michel Ciment Elizabeth Cline Cynthia Close Tom Conley Samantha Cook Kevin J. Costa R. F. Cousins Tony D’Arpino Gertraud Steiner Daviau Pamala S. Deane Charles Derry Wheeler Winston Dixon Susan Doll Robert Dunbar Raymond Durgnat Rob Edelman Robert Edmonds Jack C. Ellis Gretchen Elsner-Sommer Patricia Erens Mark W. Estrin Quentin Falk Greg Faller Rodney Farnsworth Howard Feinstein Susan Felleman Leslie Felperin Lilie Ferrari Theresa FitzGerald Manuel Dos Santos Fonseca Alexa Foreman Saul Frampton Frances Gateward Tina Gianoulis Jill Gillespie Verina Glaessner

Douglas Gomery Justin Gustainis Patricia King Hanson Stephen L. Hanson Ann Harris Louise Heck-Rabi Ellie Higgins Kevin Hillstrom Kyoko Hirano Judy Hoffman Deborah H. Holdstein Guo-Juin Hong Robert Horton Vivian Huang Stuart M. Kaminsky Joel Kanoff Robyn Karney Dave Kehr Philip Kemp Satti Khanna Tammy Kinsey Katherine Singer Kovács Audrey E. Kupferberg Joseph Lanza Samuel Lelievre James L. Limbacher Richard Lippe Kimball Lockhart Janet E. Lorenz Glenn Lovell Ed Lowry G. C. Macnab Elaine Mancini Roger Manvell Gina Marchetti Gerald Mast John McCarty Vacláv Merhaut Russell Merritt Lloyd Michaels Joseph Milicia Norman Miller Ib Monty James Morrison John Mraz William T. Murphy Ray Narducy Dennis Nastav Kim Newman Bill Nichols Dan Nissen Clea H. Notar Linda J. Obalil Daniel O’Brien John O’Kane

Liam O’Leary Vladimír Opela Dayna Oscherwitz R. Barton Palmer Robert J. Pardi Richard Peña Julian Petley Duncan J. Petrie Françoise Pfaff Gene D. Phillips Zuzana Mirjam Pick Dana B. Polan Richard Porton Victoria Price Lauren Rabinovitz Maria Racheva Herbert Reynolds Chris Routledge E. Rubinstein Marie Saeli Curtis Schade Lillian Schiff Steven Schneider H. Wayne Schuth Michael Selig David Shipman Ulrike Sieglohr Charles L. P. Silet Scott Simmon P. Adams Sitney Josef Skvorecký Anthony Slide Edward S. Small Eric Smoodin Cecile Starr Bob Sullivan Karel Tabery Richard Taylor J. P. Telotte John C. Tibbetts Doug Tomlinson Andrew Tudor Blažena Urgošíková Ravi Vasudevan Dorothee Verdaasdonk Ginette Vincendeau Mark Walker James M. Welsh Dennis West M. B. White Colin Williams Bill Wine Rob Winning Jessica Wolff Robin Wood



Percy Adlon Chantal Akerman Robert Aldrich Woody Allen Pedro Almodóvar Robert Altman Santiago Alvarez Lindsay Anderson Theodoros Angelopoulos Kenneth Anger Michelangelo Antonioni Michael Apted Gregg Araki Denys Arcand Gillian Armstrong Dorothy Arzner Timothy Asch Hal Ashby Alexandre Astruc Richard Attenborough Bille August Claude Autant-Lara Lloyd Bacon John Badham Bruce Baillie Juan Antonio Bardem Boris Barnet Paul Bartel Evgeni Bauer Mario Bava Jacques Becker Jean-Jacques Beineix Marco Bellocchio Maria Luisa Bemberg Shyam Benegal Robert Benton Bruce Beresford Ingmar Bergman Busby Berkeley Claude Berri Bernardo Bertolucci Luc Besson Kathryn Bigelow Fernando Birri Bertrand Blier August Blom Budd Boetticher Peter Bogdanovich John Boorman Lizzie Borden Frank Borzage Roy and John Boulting Stan Brakhage Kenneth Branagh Catherine Breillat Robert Bresson Albert Brooks Mel Brooks Tod Browning Luis Buñuel

Charles Burnett Tim Burton Michael Cacoyannis James Cameron Jane Campion Frank Capra Léos Carax Marcel Carné John Carpenter John Cassavetes Renato Castellani Alberto Cavalcanti Claude Chabrol Youssef Chahine Charles Chaplin Chen Kaige Benjamin Christensen Věra Chytilová Michael Cimino Souleymane Cissé René Clair Shirley Clarke Jack Clayton René Clement Henri-Georges Clouzot Jean Cocteau Joel Coen Martha Coolidge Francis Ford Coppola Roger Corman Constantin Costa-Gavras Wes Craven Charles Crichton John Cromwell David Cronenberg George Cukor Michael Curtiz Joe Dante Jules Dassin Delmer Daves Emile De Antonio Basil Dearden Philippe de Broca Fernando De Fuentes Jean Delannoy Cecil B. De Mille Jonathan Demme Jacques Demy Brian De Palma Maya Deren Vittorio de Sica Carlos Diegues Edward Dmytryk Stanley Donen Mark Donskoi Doris Dorrie Alexander Dovzhenko Carl Theodor Dreyer Germaine Dulac

E.A. Dupont Marguerite Duras Julien Duvivier Allan Dwan Clint Eastwood Atom Egoyan Sergei Eisenstein Jean Epstein Jean Eustache Zoltán Fábri Rainer Werner Fassbinder Safi Faye Paul Fejös Federico Fellini Emilio Fernández Abel Ferrara Louis Feuillade Jacques Feyder David Fincher Robert Flaherty Victor Fleming Robert Florey John Ford Milos Forman Willi Forst Bill Forsyth Bob Fosse John Frankenheimer Sidney Franklin Stephen Frears Martin Frič Fridrik Thor Fridriksson William Friedkin Samuel Fuller István Gaál Abel Gance Luis García Berlanga Sergei Gerasimov Haile Gerima Pietro Germi Terry Gilliam Jean-Luc Godard Sara Gómez Claude Goretta Heinosuke Gosho Edmund Goulding Peter Greenaway Jean Grémillon John Grierson D. W. Griffith Ruy Guerra Yilmaz Güney Tomás Gutiérrez Alea Alice Guy Patricio Guzmán Bert Haanstra Lasse Hallstrom




Susumi Hani Hal Hartley Howard Hawks Todd Haynes Josef Heifitz Astrid and Bjarne Henning-Jensen Cecil Hepworth Werner Herzog Walter Hill Alfred Hitchcock Holger-Madsen Agnieszka Holland Tobe Hooper Hou Hsiao-Hsien Ron Howard John Huston Kon Ichikawa Tadashi Imai Shohei Imamura Rex Ingram Otar Ioseliani Juzo Itami Joris Ivens James Ivory Peter Jackson Miklós Jancsó Derek Jarman Jim Jarmusch Humphrey Jennings Norman Jewison Jaromil Jireš Roland Joffé Neil Jordan Jean-Marie Gaston Kaboré Karel Kachyňa Ján Kadár Nelly Kaplan Raj Kapoor Lawrence Kasdan Philip Kaufman Aki Kaurismaki Helmut Käutner Jerzy Kawalerowicz Elia Kazan Buster Keaton Abbas Kiarostami Krzysztof Kieślowski King Hu Keisuke Kinoshita Teinosuke Kinugasa Alexander Kluge Masaki Kobayashi Barbara Kopple Alexander Korda Zoltan Korda Grigori Kozintsev Stanley Kramer Stanley Kubrick Lev Kuleshov Akira Kurosawa Diane Kurys Emir Kusturica


Gregory La Cava John Landis Fritz Lang Claude Lanzmann Alberto Lattuada Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat Richard Leacock David Lean Patrice Leconte Paul Leduc Ang Lee Spike Lee Jean-Pierre Lefebvre Mike Leigh Claude Lelouch Paul Leni Sergio Leone Mervyn Leroy Richard Lester Barry Levinson Albert Lewin Jerry Lewis Marcel L’Herbier Richard Linklater Miguel Littin Ken Loach Pare Lorentz Joseph Losey Ernst Lubitsch George Lucas Sidney Lumet Louis Lumière David Lynch Alexander MacKendrick Dušan Makavejev Mohsen Makhmalbaf Terrence Malick Louis Malle Nils Malmros Djibril Diop Mambety Rouben Mamoulian Joseph L. Mankiewicz Anthony Mann Michael Mann Chris Marker Gregory Markopoulos John Kennedy Marshall Albert and David Paul Maysles Leo McCarey Mehboob Khan Jonas Mekas Jean-Pierre Melville Jirí Menzel Márta Mészáros Russ Meyer Oscar Micheaux Nikita Mikhalkov Lewis Milestone Claude Miller George Miller Vincente Minnelli Kenji Mizoguchi Nanni Moretti Errol Morris

Paul Morrissey Robert Mulligan F. W. Murnau Mira Nair Gregory Nava Jan Nemec Fred Niblo Mike Nichols Manoel de Oliveira Ermanno Olmi Max Ophüls Nagisa Oshima Idrissa Ouedraogo Yasujiro Ozu G. W. Pabst Marcel Pagnol Alan J. Pakula Euzhan Palcy Sergei Paradzhanov Alan Parker Gordon Parks Pier Paolo Pasolini Giovanni Pastrone Sam Peckinpah Arthur Penn Nelson Pereira dos Santos Wolfgang Petersen Elio Petri Dadasaheb Phalke Maurice Pialat Lupu Pick Roman Polanski Sydney Pollack Abraham Polonsky Gillo Pontecorvo Edwin S. Porter Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger Otto Preminger Yakov Protazanov Vsevolod Pudovkin Bob Rafelson Sam Raimi Yvonne Rainer Man Ray Nicholas Ray Satyajit Ray Carol Reed Rob Reiner Karel Reisz Jean Renoir Alain Resnais Tony Richardson Leni Riefenstahl Marlon Riggs Arturo Ripstein Martin Ritt Jacques Rivette Glauber Rocha Nicolas Roeg Alexander Rogozhkin


Eric Rohmer George A. Romero Jörgen Roos Francesco Rosi Roberto Rossellini Robert Rossen Paul Rotha Jean Rouch Alan Rudolph Raúl Ruiz Walter Ruttmann Helma Sanders-Brahms Mark Sandrich Jorge Sanjinés Carlos Saura Claude Sautet John Sayles Franklin J. Schaffner Fred Schepisi John Schlesinger Volker Schlöndorff Ernest B. Schoedsack Paul Schrader Werner Schroeter Joel Schumacher Ettore Scola Martin Scorsese Ridley Scott Susan Seidelman Ousmane Sembene Mrinal Sen Mack Sennett Coline Serreau Larisa Shepitko Jim Sheridan Kaneto Shindo Masahiro Shinoda Don Siegel Joan Micklin Silver John Singleton Robert Siodmak Douglas Sirk Alf Sjöberg


Victor Sjöström Jerzy Skolimowski Kevin Smith Steven Soderbergh Fernando E. Solanas and Octavio Getino Humberto Solas Todd Solondz Penelope Spheeris Steven Spielberg John M. Stahl Wolfgang Staudte George Stevens Mauritz Stiller Whit Stillman Oliver Stone Henri Storck Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet Preston Sturges Hans-Jurgen Syberberg Istvan Szabó Alain Tanner Quentin Tarantino Andrei Tarkovsky Frank Tashlin Jacques Tati Bertrand Tavernier Paolo and Vittorio Taviani Andre Téchiné Tian Zhuangzhuang Leopoldo Torre Nilsson Jacques Tourneur Maurice Tourneur Jan Troell François Truffaut Edgar Ulmer Roger Vadim Gus Van Sant Stan Vanderbeek Jaco Van Dormael

Agnès Varda Paul Verhoeven Dziga Vertov King Vidor Jean Vigo Luchino Visconti Josef von Sternberg Erich von Stroheim Lars von Trier Margarethe von Trotta Andrzej Wajda Raoul Walsh Vincent Ward Andy Warhol John Waters Lois Weber Peter Weir Jiři Weiss Orson Welles William Wellman Wim Wenders Lina Wertmuller James Whale Robert Wiene Billy Wilder Robert Wise Frederick Wiseman John Woo Edward D. Wood, Jr. William Wyler Xie Jin Edward Yang Kozabura Yoshimura Krzysztof Zanussi Franco Zeffirelli Robert Zemeckis Mai Zetterling Zhang Yimou Fred Zinnemann


A ADLON, Percy

On ADLON: articles—

Nationality: German. Born: Munich, 1 June 1935; great-grandson of founder of the famed Hotel Adlon, Berlin. Education: Studied art history, literature, and theater, with a degree in acting, in Munich. Family: Married Eleonore, a frequent collaborator on his films; son: Felix, film writer-director. Career: Created documentaries for Bayerischer Rundfunk (Bavarian Broadcasting), 1970–1984; directed his first feature film, Céleste, 1981. Awards: Bavarian Film Award (Germany) for Best Director, for Fünf letzte Tage, 1983; Berlin Film Critics Ernst Lubitsch Award for Best Comedy, 1987, Bavarian Film Award for Best Screenplay, 1988, and Césars (France) for Best European Film and Best Foreign Film, 1989, all for Out of Rosenheim; Bavarian Film Award for Best Director, for Salmonberries, 1992; Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Films (Belgium) Silver Raven for Younger and Younger, 1994.

Walker, B., ‘‘Percy Adlon,’’ in Film Comment (New York), JulyAugust 1988. Boujut, M. ‘‘The Film Career of Percy Adlon,’’ in Avant-scène du Cinema, November-December 1988.

Films as Director: 1978 Der Vormund und sein Dichter (The Guardian and the Poet) (for TV) 1979 Herr Kischott (for TV) 1980 Celeste (+ sc) 1981 Fünf letzte Tage (Five Last Days) (+ sc) 1982 Die Schaukel (The Swing) (+ sc) 1983 Zuckerbaby (Sugarbaby) (+sc) 1984 Herschel und die Musik der Sterne (Herschel and the Music of the Stars) (for TV) (+ sc) 1987 Out of Rosenheim (Bagdad Café) (+ co-sc, pr) 1988 Rosalie Goes Shopping (+ sc, pr) 1989 Salmonberries (+ sc) 1988 Younger and Younger (+ co-sc, co-pr) 1989 In der glanzvollen Welt des Hotel Adlon (The Glamorous World of the Adlon Hotel; Hotel Adlon) (for TV) (+ sc) 1999 Die Strausskiste (Forever Flirt) (+ sc)

Other Films: 1997 Eat Your Heart Out (Felix Adlon) (pr)

Publications By ADLON: articles— ‘‘Dialogue on Film: Percy Adlon,’’ interview in American Film (Los Angeles), May 1988. Stone, Judy, ‘‘Percy Adlon,’’ interview in Eye on the World: Conversations with International Filmmakers, Los Angeles, 1997.

On ADLON: films— Die Schonheit im Normalen finden: Die inneren Bilder des Percy Adlon, Bavarian Television, 1993. *



Roughly a decade older than his more renowned compatriots in the German New Cinema, Percy Adlon began making feature films more than a decade after the remarkable early works of Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. If ultimately he has created a body of work more conventional than those of his younger contemporaries, he has still achieved a handful of works which remain important and distinctive, particularly for their mixture of cool detachment and genuine compassion for lonely eccentrics. Following a long career in Bavarian television, largely in documentary work, Adlon received immediate international notice with Céleste, his first feature. Based upon a memoir by Marcel Proust’s maidservant, the film patiently records the title character’s daily activities, or more frequently her stasis, as she sits waiting for Monsieur to ring for his daily coffee—or for help if seized by an asthma attack. The film is a kind of study in restraint—not only Céleste’s but the filmmaker’s, as he seeks visual and emotional variety within a restricted environment. Most of the drama is set in Proust’s apartment, but there are occasionally montages (handsomely composed shots, empty of people) of elegant apartment facades in Paris, or the writer’s vacation beach in Normandy, or bleak, wintry vistas in Céleste’s native village. Occasionally Céleste (Eva Mattes) addresses the camera directly; at other times her flashback-memories of a livelier, party-going Proust (Jurgen Arndt) weave in and out of the more somber present time of the narrative. Fragmented bursts of Franck’s String Quartet punctuate silences otherwise broken only by a clock ticking or an occasional cough from the master’s cork-lined bedroom; the music unexpectedly becomes live when a string quartet performs (still in fragments of music) privately for Proust and Céleste. Obsession is a common-enough preoccupation of modernist film, but Adlon often explores devotion—not without ironic perspective or quirky humor, but never with the derision of more cynical filmmakers. Céleste, for example, is devoted but not remotely doglike or pathetically spinsterish. She appears to have a satisfactory relationship with her husband, Proust’s manservant; and she is not obsequious, as Adlon establishes in an early flashback when, as a new servant, she




Percy Adlon (left) with Jack Palance.

refuses to use the third person (as in ‘‘Will Monsieur be having his coffee now?’’), though she also cannot accept his invitation to call him Marcel. Her visible grief over his death, which concludes the film, raises the question that much of the film has seemed to ask: Is the word ‘‘friendship’’ appropriate for this relationship? Less well known outside Germany but no less accomplished than Céleste is Five Last Days, which with quiet power presents just what the title alludes to: the five last days in the life of a young freedom fighter, beginning with her arrest for spreading anti-Nazi propaganda and ending with her being taken off to be hanged. The setting, again a restricted one, is Gestapo headquarters in Munich: its front office, interrogation rooms and, especially, Sophie’s bedroom in a cavernous basement area. No torture or even especially callous behavior is shown, but the menace of the place is palpable—groaning basement sounds, sinister empty spaces, barking guard dogs. Again Adlon uses a striking variety of shots within confined areas but this is not a dry, academic exercise in camera placement. Rather, the film, like Céleste, is centered upon a growing friendship, here between Sophie and her older roommate Else, a long-term prisoner. The nuances of the performances, and once again an austerity in film style matching the emotional restraint of the women, make this film among Adlon’s


finest achievements. A touching lengthy scene in which the two women and a couple of male inmates are allowed by the guard to have a party in their room with some smuggled treats is superbly executed. Sugarbaby, which increased Adlon’s fame abroad, is filled with the sort of droll eccentricity for which he became known in America, as well as introducing his discovery, Marianne Sagebrecht, in a leading role. This film too is highly stylized, but far from austere, with its extravagant lighting scheme—neon pinks and blues, occasional slashes of gold or ghastly greens—and long takes in which the camera meanders a bit away from the actors, to the left and right in ever-wider drifts without ever quite leaving them. The tale leans toward the fantastic: a depressed, overweight funeral-parlor worker, 38, in an instant falls in love with a handsome young U-Bahn driver, 25, spies on him, seduces him with candy bars while his wife is out of town, and has night after night of fantastic sex with him until the wife beats her up on a disco floor. The film’s last shot, with Marianne (as the character is named) on a subway platform proffering a candy bar to an unknown figure, or to no one, is in itself highly stylized, an abstraction of her plight. A major part of Sugarbaby’s success is its ability to present Marianne’s dogged pursuit of the subway driver with alternating


amused detachment (e.g., their motorcycle ride) and serious compassion (a take of over nine minutes in which Marianne tells her lover about her earlier life of suffering and grief) without ever seeming to condescend. Another part is Sagebrecht’s understated performance, memorable even in small details like her first saying ‘‘Zuckerbaby’’ to herself in a hushed voice, as if it were a revelation. At only one point does the comedy cross over into John Waters-style campy melodrama (rather than, say, Fassbinderish degradation), when the wife viciously attacks Marianne on the dance floor and leaves her writhing in misery, while no one makes a move to stop the violence. (A couple of Adlon’s later films have strikingly Watersesque moments: the loony family acting hyper-normal at the dinner table and around the TV in Rosalie Goes Shopping, and the cartoonish lady with whom the older Mr. Younger has noisy sex in Younger and Younger.) Sugarbaby’s success led to Adlon’s making a film in the United States, premiered in Germany as Out of Rosenheim and released in the States, somewhat shortened, the next year as Bagdad Café. It is certainly Adlon’s only film to be turned into an American TV series, though without his participation. The trajectory of the plot is a bit predictable—two exceedingly dissimilar individuals become both friends and business partners—but films about women’s friendships were relatively rare in 1988, and the pair were vividly impersonated by Marianne Sagebrecht, as an ever mildly astonished echt-Bavarian (stranded in the Mohave Desert with little to her name other than a feathered hat and her husband’s lederhosen), and CCH Pounder, as a constantly exasperated and short-tempered African American owner of the cafe where Jasmin seeks shelter, then employment. Some of the supporting characters may be a little calculatedly oddball, but Jack Palance’s Rudy, a cowboyish ex-Hollywood scenic painter who senses Jasmin’s inner beauty and celebrates in oils her outward zaftigheit, is a memorable figure; the role revivified the actor’s career. Yellow filters give the film a markedly different color scheme than Sugarbaby’s, but some camera setups of near-expressionistic stylization recall the previous film. More impressively original are Adlon’s camera movements to connect the spookily empty desert spaces with the oddly cozy cafe, as in one lengthy tracking shot with assorted characters drifting on and offscreen across the dusty parking lot, and several shots following the boomerang thrown by a young vagabond, always taking us back to the cafe. The director also makes repeated use of Bob Telson’s haunting soundtrack song, ‘‘I’ll Be Calling You.’’ Adlon’s second American film, Rosalie Goes Shopping, in which a German immigrant wife (Sagebrecht again) develops petty credit fraud into major capitalist enterprise, has its supporters, but the comic characters are rather one-note (particularly in comparison to the leads in Bagdad Café), and the confessional scenes with Rosalie’s appalled priest (Judge Rheinhold) are rather too predictable. Subtler and more lingering in the imagination is Salmonberries, the last of Adlon’s trilogy of films about German women making a life for themselves in the United States. Friendship is once again the theme, but the couple is even unlikelier, and certainly less comical, than the pair in Bagdad Café: an East German woman (Rosel Zech) whose husband was slain as they attempted to cross the border to the West and who is now living an embittered life as an Alaskan librarian; and a half-Inuit orphan (the singer k.d. lang, who also contributes to the soundtrack) searching for the secret of her birth. Again Adlon secures a memorable performance from a non-professional, here lang


as the shy but fierce-tempered orphan for whom the librarian is at first only a tool for researching her strange name (Kotzebue) and origin, but later, on a trip to Berlin, the object of a hopeless sexual attraction. Adlon makes excellent use of another extreme environment—the snowy wastes of the Alaskan tundra—and has at least one scene of unforgettable beauty, when we see the librarian’s bedroom, a shrine glowingly lit not by stained glass but by row upon row of jars of her berry jam against the windows. Memorable in an altogether different way is the Berlin hotel sequence in which the librarian tries to explain to Kotzebue why she cannot have a love affair with her: we see fragments of a night-to-dawn session, each a separate shot with its own striking camera placement, separated by fades to black. The cleverly titled Younger and Younger returns to the cartoonishness of Rosalie in its tale of a philandering storage facility manager who becomes haunted by the ghost of his neglected wife. It does boast an extravagant performance by Donald Sutherland as the elder Younger—and a remarkable makeup job on Lolita Davidovich, who starts out as a middle-aged frump but as a ghost becomes younger and more luscious in every scene. But there is less of a truly distinctive visual scheme than in any of the earlier features, and some of the minor characters are rather palely conceived. Following the film’s commercial failure and the limited distribution of Salmonberries, Adlon seems to have retired, except for a short feature that was clearly a personal project, involving as it does his actual family and American movies. Combining documentary footage with staged scenes, In der glanzvollen Welt des Hotel Adlon is a biography of his uncle Louis Adlon (played by Percy’s son Felix), who grew up in the family hotel but lived in Hollywood in the 1920s, had affairs with stars of the day (e.g., Pola Negri, played by Céleste’s Eva Mattes), and returned to Berlin only after World War II, as a Hearst correspondent, to reminisce among the ruins of the hotel. While Adlon may have other projects at hand, the film serves presently as a moving capstone to the career of someone who seems to have found his calling only in middle age and whose work took him to an oddly German-inflected America before leading back home. —Joseph Milicia

AKERMAN, Chantal Nationality: Belgian. Born: Brussels, June 1950. Education: INSAS film school, Brussels, 1967–68; studied at Université Internationale du Théâtre, Paris, 1968–69. Career: Saute ma vie entered in Oberhausen festival, 1971; lived in New York, 1972; returned to France, 1973.

Films as Director: 1968 1971 1972 1973 1974

Saute ma vie L’Enfant aimé Hotel Monterey; La Chambre Le 15/18 (co-d); Hanging out Yonkers (unfinished) Je tu il elle




Publications By AKERMAN: books— Les Rendez-vous d’Anna, Paris, 1978. Bordering on Fiction: Chantal Akerman’s D’Est, New York, 1995. By AKERMAN: articles— Interview with C. Alemann and H. Hurst, in Frauen und Film (Berlin), March 1976. Interview with Danièle Dubroux, and others, in Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), July 1977. Interview with P. Carcassone and L. Cugny, in Cinématographe (Paris), November 1978. Interview in Stills (London), December 1984/January 1985. Interview in Inter/View (New York), February 1985. Interview in Cinéma (Paris), 25 June 1986. Interview in Nouvel Observateur (Paris), 28 September 1989. Interview in Filmihullu, no. 4, 1991. Interview in EPD Film (Frankfurt/Main), July 1992. Interview in Séquences (Haute-Ville), July-August 1997. On AKERMAN: book— Margulies, Ivone, Nothing Happens: Chantal Akerman’s Hyperrealist Everyday, Duke University Press, 1996. Chantal Akerman

1975 1977 1978 1980 1982 1983 1984

1987 1988 1989 1991 1992 1993 1994 1996 1999 2000

Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles News from Home Les Rendez-vous d’Anna Dis-moi Toute une nuit (All Night Long) Les Années 80 (The Golden Eighties) (co-sc); Un Jour pina a demandé L’Homme à la valise; J’ai faim, j’ai froid (episode in Paris vu par . . . 20 ans après); Family Business; New York, New York Bis Seven Women, Seven Sins (co-d) Un jour Pina m’a demande Histoires d’Amérique: Food, Family, and Philosophy/American Stories Nuit et jour Contre l’oubli D’est (+ sc); Moving In (Le Déménagement) Portrait of a Young Girl at the End of the 1960s in Brussels (+ sc) Chantal Akerman by Chantal Akerman; Un divan à New York (A Couch in New York) (+ sc) Sud (South) (+ sc) La Captive (The Captive) (+ sc)

Films as Producer: 1998 Fifty Fifty (sup pr, sup dir)


On AKERMAN: articles— Bertolina, G., ‘‘Chantal Akerman: il cinema puro,’’ in Filmcritica (Rome), March 1976. Creveling, C., ‘‘Women Working,’’ in Camera Obscura (Berkeley), Fall 1976. Mairesse, E., ‘‘A propos des films de Chantal Akerman: Un temps atmosphere,’’ in Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), October 1977. Bergstrom, Janet, in Camera Obscura (Berkeley), Fall 1978. Martin, Angela, ‘‘Chantal Akerman’s Films,’’ in Feminist Review, no. 3, 1979. Seni, N., in Frauen und Film (Berlin), September 1979. Perlmutter, Ruth, ‘‘Visible Narrative, Visible Woman,’’ in Millenium (New York), Spring 1980. Delavaud, G., ‘‘Les chemins de Chantal Akerman,’’ in Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), April 1981. Philippon, A., ‘‘Fragments bruxellois/Nuit torride,’’ in Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), November 1982. Dossier on Akerman, in Versus (Nijmegen), no. 1, 1985. Barrowclough, S., ‘‘Chantal Akerman: Adventures in perception,’’ in Monthly Film Bulletin (London), April 1984. Squire, C., ‘‘Toute une heure,’’ in Screen (London), November/ December 1984. Castiel, E., in 24 Images (Montreal), nos. 34/35, 1987. Paskin, Sylvia, ‘‘Waiting for the Next Shot,’’ in Monthly Film Bulletin (London), March 1990. Bahg, P. von, ‘‘Keskusteluvourossa: Chantal Akerman,’’ in Filmihullu, no. 4, 1991. Williams, B., ‘‘Splintered Perspectives: Counterpoint and Subjectivity in the Modernist Film Narrative,’’ in Film Criticism, no. 2, 1991. Roberti, B., ‘‘Tradire l’immagine,’’ Filmcritica, September/October 1991.



Klerk, N. de, ‘‘Chantal Akerman,’’ in Skrien (Amsterdam), June/ July 1992. McRobbie, A., ‘‘Passionate Uncertainty,’’ in Sight and Sound (London), September 1992. Chang, Chris, ‘‘Ruined,’’ in Film Comment (New York), November/ December 1993. Boquet, Stéphane, ‘‘Ce qui revient et ce qui arrive,’’ in Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), December 1995. Preziosi, Adelina, and Michele Gottardi,‘‘Corpi di cinema/Esordienti alla carica/Il silenzio invisible,’’ in Segnocinema (Vicenza), September-October 1997. *



At the age of fifteen Chantal Akerman saw Godard’s Pierrot le fou and realized that filmmaking could be experimental and personal. She dropped in and out of film school and has since created short and feature films for viewers who appreciate the opportunity her works provide to think about sounds and images. Her films are often shot in real time, and in space that is part of the characters’ identity. During a self-administered apprenticeship in New York (1972–73) shooting short films on very low budgets, Akerman notes that she learned much from the work of innovators Michael Snow and Stan Brakhage. She was encouraged to explore organic techniques for her personal subject matter. In her deliberately paced films there are long takes, scenes shot with stationary camera, and a play of light in relation to subjects and their space. (In Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, as Jeanne rides up or down in the elevator, diagonals of light from each floor cut across her face in a regular rhythm.) Her films feature vistas down long corridors, acting with characters’ backs to the camera, and scenes concluded with several seconds of darkness. In Akerman films there are hotels and journeys, little conversation. Windows are opened and sounds let in, doors opened and closed; we hear a doorbell, a radio, voices on the telephone answering machine, footsteps, city noises. Each frame is carefully composed, each gesture the precise result of Akerman’s directions. A frequent collaborator is her sensitive cameraperson, Babette Mangolte, who has worked with Akerman on such works as Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, News from Home, and Toute une nuit. Mangolte has also worked with avant guardists Yvonne Rainer, Marcel Hanoun, and Michael Snow. Plotting is minimal or non-existent in Akerman films. Old welfare clients come and go amid the impressive architecture of a once splendid hotel on New York’s Upper West Side in Hotel Monterey. New York City plays its busy, noisy self for the camera as Akerman’s voice on the sound track reads concerned letters from her mother in Belgium in News from Home. A young filmmaker travels to Germany to appear at a screening of her latest film, meets people who distress her, and her mother who delights her, and returns home in Les Rendezvous d’Anna. Jeanne Dielman, super-efficient housewife, earns money as a prostitute to support herself and her son. Her routine breaks down by chance, and she murders one of her customers. The films (some of which are semi-autobiographical) are not dramatic in the conventional sense, nor are they glamorized or eroticized; the excitement is inside the characters. In a film which Akerman has called a love letter to her mother, Jeanne Dielman is seen facing the steady camera as members of a cooking class might see her, and she prepares a meatloaf—in real time. Later she gives herself a thorough scrubbing in the bathtub; only her head and the

motion of her arms are visible. Her straightening and arranging and smoothing are seen as a child would see and remember them. In Toute une nuit Akerman displays her precision and control as she stages the separate, audience-involving adventures of a huge cast of all ages that wanders out into Brussels byways on a hot, stormy night. In this film, reminiscent of Wim Wenders and his wanderers and Marguerite Duras’s inventive sound tracks, choreography, and sense of place, Akerman continues to explore her medium using no conventional plot, few spoken words, many sounds, people who leave the frame to a lingering camera, and appealing images. A little girl asks a man to dance with her, and he does. The filmmaker’s feeling for the child and the child’s independence can’t be mistaken. Akerman’s Moving In, meanwhile, centers on a monologue delivered by a man who has just moved into a modern apartment. A film of ‘‘memory and loss,’’ according to Film Comment, he has left behind ‘‘a melancholy space of relations, relations dominated by his former neighbors, a trio of female ‘social science students.’’’ —Lillian Schiff

ALDRICH, Robert Nationality: American. Born: Cranston, Rhode Island, 9 August 1918. Education: Moses Brown School, Providence, and University of Virginia, graduated (law and economics) 1941. Family: Married Harriet Foster, 1941 (divorced 1965); children: Adell, William, Alida, and Kelly; married fashion model Sibylle Siegfried, 1966.

Robert Aldrich




Career: Worked for RKO studios, 1941–1944; under contract to Enterprise studios, 1945–1948; TV director, from 1952; founded ‘‘Associates and Aldrich Company,’’ 1955; signed contract for Columbia Pictures, then fired after refusing to ‘‘soften’’ script of The Garment Jungle; after five–year period working abroad, returned to Hollywood, 1962; after The Dirty Dozen, established Aldrich Studios, 1967, but forced to sell, 1973; elected president of the Directors Guild, 1975; ‘‘Aldrich Company’’ reorganised, 1976. Awards: Silver Prize, Venice Festival, for The Big Knife, 1955; Silver Bear Award for Best Direction, Berlin Festival, for Autumn Leaves, 1956; Italian Critics Award, Venice Festival, for Attack!, 1956. Died: In Los Angeles, of kidney failure, 5 December 1983.

Films as Director: 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1959 1961 1962 1963 1964 1966 1967 1968 1969 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1977 1979 1981

The Big Leaguer World for Ransom (+ co-pr); Apache; Vera Cruz Kiss Me Deadly (+ pr); The Big Knife (+ pr) Autumn Leaves; Attack! (+ pr) The Garment Jungle (un-credited) The Angry Hills; Ten Seconds to Hell (+ co-sc) The Last Sunset Sodoma e Gomorra (Sodom and Gomorrah); Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (+ pr) Four for Texas (+ co-pr, co-sc) Hush . . . Hush, Sweet Charlotte (+ pr) Flight of the Phoenix (+ pr) The Dirty Dozen The Legend of Lylah Clare (+ pr); The Killing of Sister George (+ pr) Too Late the Hero (+ pr, co-sc) The Grissom Gang (+ pr) Ulzana’s Raid Emperor of the North (The Emperor of the North Pole) The Longest Yard (The Mean Machine) Hustle (+ co-pr) Twilight’s Last Gleaming; The Choirboys The Frisco Kid All the Marbles (California Dolls)

Other Films: 1945 The Southerner (Renoir) (1st asst-d) 1946 The Story of G.I. Joe (Wellman) (1st asst-d); Pardon My Past (Fenton) (1st asst-d); The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (Milestone) (1st asst-d) 1947 The Private Affairs of Bel Ami (Lewin) (1st asst-d); Body and Soul (Rossen) (1st asst-d) 1948 Arch of Triumph (Milestone) (1st asst-d); So This Is New York (Fleischer) (1st asst-d); No Minor Vices (Milestone) (1st asst-d) 1949 Force of Evil (Polonsky) (1st asst-d); The Red Pony (Milestone) (1st asst-d); A Kiss for Corliss (Wallace) (1st asst-d) 1950 The White Tower (Tetzlaff) (1st asst-d); Teresa (Zinnemann) (pre-production work) 1951 The Prowler (Losey) (1st asst-d); M (Losey) (1st asst-d); Of Men and Music (Reis) (1st asst-d); New Mexico (Reis) (1st asst-d)


1952 Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd (Lamont) (1st asst-d); Limelight (Chaplin) (1st asst-d); The Trio: Rubinstein, Heifetz and Piatigorsky (Million Dollar Trio) (Dassin) (1st asst-d); The Steel Trap (Stone) (pr supervision) 1957 The Ride Back (pr) 1969 Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice? (pr)

Publications By ALDRICH: articles— Interview with George Fenin, in Film Culture (New York), July/ August 1956. Interviews with François Truffaut, in Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), November 1956 and April 1958. ‘‘High Price of Independence,’’ in Films and Filming (London), June 1958. ‘‘Learning from My Mistakes,’’ in Films and Filming (London), June 1960. ‘‘Hollywood . . . Still an Empty Tomb,’’ in Cinema (Beverly Hills), May/June 1963. ‘‘What Ever Happened to American Movies?,’’ in Sight and Sound (London), Winter 1963/64. Interview with Joel Greenburg, in Sight and Sound (London), Winter 1968/69. ‘‘Why I Bought My Own Studio,’’ in Action (Los Angeles), January/ February 1969. ‘‘Impressions of Russia,’’ in Action (Los Angeles), July/August 1971. ‘‘Dialogue,’’ with Bernardo Bertolucci, in Action (Los Angeles), March/April 1974. ‘‘Up to Date with Robert Aldrich,’’ interview with Harry Ringel, in Sight and Sound (London), Summer 1974. ‘‘Aldrich Interview,’’ with Pierre Sauvage, in Movie (London), Winter 1976/77. ‘‘Dialogue on Film: Robert Aldrich,’’ in American Film (Washington, D.C.), November 1978. On ALDRICH: books— Micha, Rene, Robert Aldrich, Brussels, 1957. Higham, Charles, The Celluloid Muse: Hollywood Directors Speak, London, 1969. Silver, Alain, and Elizabeth Ward, Robert Aldrich: A Guide to References and Resources, Boston, 1979. Salizzato, Claver, Robert Aldrich, Florence, 1983. Piton, Jean-Pierre, Robert Aldrich, Paris, 1985. Arnold, Edwin T., and Eugene L. Miller, The Films and Career of Robert Aldrich, Knoxville, Tennessee, 1986. Maheo, Michel, Robert Aldrich, Paris, 1987. Silver, Alain, and James Ursini, What Ever Happened to Robert Aldrich? New York, 1995. On ALDRICH: articles— Rivette, Jacques, ‘‘On Revolution,’’ in Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), no. 54, 1955. Jarvie, Ian, ‘‘Hysteria and Authoritarianism in the Films of Robert Aldrich,’’ in Film Culture (New York), Summer 1961.



Cameron, Ian, and Mark Shivas, ‘‘Interview and Filmography,’’ in Movie (London), April 1963. Bitsch, Charles, and Bertrand Tavernier, ‘‘La Fonction de Producer,’’ and Claude Chabrol, ‘‘Directed By:,’’ in Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), December/January 1964/65. Silke, James, editor, ‘‘Robert Aldrich,’’ in Dialogue on Film (Washington, D.C.), no. 2, 1972. Silver, Alain, ‘‘Mr. Film Noir Stays at the Table,’’ in Film Comment (New York), Spring 1972. Beaupre, Lee, ‘‘Bob Aldrich: Candid Maverick,’’ in Variety (New York), 27 June 1973. Ringel, Harry, ‘‘Robert Aldrich: The Director as Phoenix,’’ in Take One (Montreal), September 1974. Silver, Alain, ‘‘Kiss Me Deadly: Evidence of a Style,’’ in Film Comment (New York), March/April 1975. Combs, Richard, ‘‘Worlds Apart: Aldrich since The Dirty Dozen,’’ in Sight and Sound (London), Spring 1976. Duval, B., ‘‘Aldrich le rebelle,’’ in Image et Son (Paris), May 1976. Legrand, Gerard, ‘‘Robert Aldrich et l’incompletude du nihilism,’’ in Positif (Paris), June 1976. Gazano, R., and M. Cusso, ‘‘L’Homme d’Aldrich,’’ in Cinéma (Paris), June 1980. McCarthy, T., obituary of Aldrich in Variety (New York), 7 December 1983. Salizzato, Claver, ‘‘Robert Aldrich’’ (special issue), Castoro Cinema (Firenze), no. 106, 1983. ‘‘Aldrich Section’’ of Cinéma (Paris), February 1984. ‘‘Robert Aldrich,’’ in Film Dope (London), March 1985, and March 1988. Lang, Robert, ‘‘Looking for the ‘Great Whatzit’: Kiss Me Deadly and Film Noir,’’ in Cinema Journal (Champaign, Illinois), Spring 1988. Stefancic, M. Jr., ‘‘Robert Aldrich,’’ in Ekran (Ljubljana, Slovenia), vol. 14, no. 5–6, 1989. Lyons, D., ‘‘Dances with Aldrich,’’ in Film Comment (New York), vol. 27, March-April 1991. Jopkiewicz, T., ‘‘Malownicz Apokalipsa,’’ Iluzjon, July-December 1991. Charbol, D. ‘‘B. A., ou une dialectique de la survie,’’ in Positif (Paris), June 1994. Danel, Isabelle, ‘‘Le sale gosse d’Hollywood,’’ in Télérama (Paris), November 9, 1994. Grant, J., ‘‘Bob le copieux,’’ in Cinémathèque (Paris), Autumn 1994. Ranger, J.-F., ‘‘La dernière lueur d’Aldrich,’’ in Cahiers du Cinéma (Paris), January 1995. Kahn, Olivier, and others, ‘‘Hommage à Robert Aldrich,’’ in Positif (Paris), no. 415, September 1995. *



Despite a commercially respectable career both within the studio system and as an independent producer-director, Robert Aldrich remains an ill-appreciated, if not entirely bothersome presence for most American critics. Andrew Sarris did praise Aldrich in 1968 as ‘‘one of the most strikingly personal directors of the past two decades’’; yet, for the most part, it has remained to the French and the English to attempt to unravel the defiant quirkiness of Aldrich’s career. Only the otherworldly Kiss Me Deadly, which Paul Schrader

unequivocably dubbed ‘‘the masterpiece of film noir,’’ has received anything like the attention it deserves on this side of the Atlantic; yet the film is quite indicative of the bitter ironies, bizarre stylistics, and scathing nihilism characteristic of most of Aldrich’s work. In bringing Mickey Spillane’s neo-fascist hero Mike Hammer to the screen, Kiss Me Deadly plays havoc with the conventions of the hardboiled detective, turning the existential avenger into a narcissistic materialist who exploits those around him for the benefit of his plush lifestyle. In an outrageous alteration of the novel’s plot, Hammer becomes a modern neanderthal whose individualism is revealed as insanity when it causes him to botch a case involving a box of pure nuclear energy and thus the fate of the world. The result is a final shot of a mushroom cloud rising from a California beachhouse, consuming both Hammer and the bad guys. Only at this extreme and this distance in time has Aldrich’s acute sense of irony impressed itself upon a liberal critical establishment whose repugnance to the surfaces of his films has usually served as an excuse for ignoring their savage, multi-layered critiques of Hollywood genres and American ideology. The extremity of Aldrich’s reinterpretations of the Western in Ulzana’s Raid, of the war movie in Attack!, of the cop film in The Choirboys, and of the women’s melodrama in Autumn Leaves betrays a cynicism so bitter that it could only arise from a liberal sensibility utterly disillusioned by an age in which morality has become a cruel joke. In fact, the shattering of illusions is central to Aldrich’s work, and it is a powerfully self-destructive process, given the sweetness of the illusions and the anger of his iconoclasm. In Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, a gothic horror film whose terms are explicitly the hideous realities hidden