Bil’s rating (out of 5): 0. USA, 1995. Miramax, A Band Apart. Screenplay by Allison Anders, Alexandre Rockwell, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino. Cinematography by Rodrigo Garcia, Guillermo Navarro, Phil Parmet, Andrzej Sekula. Produced by Lawrence Bender. Music by Combustible Edison. Production Design by Gary Frutkoff. Costume Design by Susan L. Bertram, Mary Claire Hannan. Film Editing by Margaret Goodspeed, Elena Maganini, Sally Menke, Robert Rodriguez. Toronto International Film Festival 1995.
Here’s an all-time low in film comedy, and there are four directors responsible for it. Alexandre Rockwell, Allison Anders, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez have all written and directed four short films that take place in various suites at the same run-down hotel on New Year’s Eve. Anders’ skit is the limpest but also the shortest (and therefore the least annoying), about a coven of witches (that include Madonna, Valeria Golino and Ione Skye) getting ready to resurrect the spirit of a dead member of their group. Rockwell’s short (the best of the bunch) concerns the hotel’s bellboy (Tim Roth, who appears in all four skits) coming upon some nasty domestic violence between a husband and his tied-up wife (a brilliant Jennifer Beals, who is Rockwell’s wife in real life). Then we have Rodriguez’s story about a millionaire couple (Antonio Banderas and Tamlyn Tomita) who pay Roth to watch their two spoiled little brats. Tarantino’s short, the last and worst of the bunch, has Roth walk into a hotel suite populated by Hollywood hotshots (played by Tarantino and Bruce Willis among others) who talk big and play nasty games with body parts, never for a minute saying or doing anything in the least bit interesting. A huge waste of time for all involved, including the audience.