Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
France/USA, 2000. Artic Productions LLC, Canal+, Ice Cap Production, Polar Entertainment Corporation. Written by by John Waters. Cinematography by Robert M. Stevens. Produced by Joseph M. Caracciolo Jr., John Fiedler, Mark Tarlov. Music by Basil Poledouris, Zoe Poledouris. Production Design by Vincent Peranio. Costume Design by Van Smith. Film Editing by Jeffrey Wolf.
Pompous and tiring film by John Waters that attempts to glorify the independent film scene at the expense of mainstream Hollywood cinema. While some of Waters’ jokes are pretty funny (“Children Of Paradise The English Version!” one billboard proclaims), most of them tend to be too clever for their own good and feel like insults to the film’s viewers. Stephen Dorff plays the titular character, a thoroughly off-kilter independent filmmaker who kidnaps big time movie star Melanie Griffith and forces her at gunpoint to make his little film. All of his film crew introduce themselves by displaying their tattoos of their favourite directors, presumably Waters’ naming them as independent mavericks and citing his admiration for them; all well and good, but how come his own little independent film is boring and badly plotted, and why is the film that Dorff’s character is making so bad? The best in groundbreaking independent cinema are usually movies that push the envelope in quality, not taste. The film’s saving grace is a hilarious performance by Griffith, who gives it all she’s got but is too good for this film.