The Moderns

1988

Comedy / Drama

0
IMDb Rating 6.7

Synopsis


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2.42G
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French
23.976 (23976/1000) FPS /
126 min
P/S 2 / 3
1.53G
1280x688
Normal
French
23.976 (23976/1000) FPS /
126 min
P/S 2 / 4

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Michael Neumann 8

Alan Rudolph subscribes to the idea of Art for Art's sake, and as such is a kindred spirit to all the expatriate painters, poets, writers, and failures who flocked to the cultural Mecca of Paris in the naughty 1920s. The Jazz Age setting is tailor made for the director's latest romantic daydream, crafted here into a tongue-in-cheek satire of passion and creativity. The cast features his usual assembly of lonely eccentrics, cynical anti-heroes, and world-weary women, rubbing shoulders with historical figures like Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway, who at one point compares life in bohemian Paris to a "portable banquet". As always with Alan Rudolph the film is a grab bag of visual wit and verbal invention (coming, at times, dangerously close to self-parody), with the added virtues of sensuous camera-work and a moody music score by Mark Isham. This is one filmmaker with the rare ability to mock his own pretensions (as Wallace Shawn says in the film, "we're artists: temperamental people!"), and his preoccupation with the art of artifice has never been better presented. Too bad the conclusion is spoiled by a false happy ending, which wraps up too many loose ends too neatly.

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Reviewed by Tilly Gokbudak 7

I must admit Alan Rudolph's work is hard to either greatly admire or sternly criticize. He has become one of these directors, like David Cronenberg or Paul Verhooven, that some love and some despise. But, the reality is it is hard to know where such directors stand. I must say that my feeling that Rudolph's films were too much like his mentor Robert Altman's has been changed upon seeing "The Moderns." While I am a huge fan of Altman, it has been hard for me too admire directors that seem too merely imitate him. But, this film is much more surreal than anything that Altman has done, especially in recent years. The film also establishes a clear mood and setting. Rudolph also selects very solid shots throughout the film. If there has been one disadvantage of the cinema medium over stage, it is that the audience can not see an actor's immediate response to a given situation because the focus is on another character. But, here Rudolph lets you inside virtually each of the characters. The cast is also solid. Keith Carradine is at his best. It is a shame that he now apparently has to go to Iceland to find cinematic roles, but if one thinks Jeff Bridges is an underrated actor there is proof- at least in this film--- that Carradine has been overlooked even more. I also think Wallace Shawn is great here, which is amazing considering that I am NOT a fan of the film "My Dinner with Andre." And, lastly Mark Isham's score is brilliant in this film. It may not be a film for all tastes, and because of its simplistic nature it is understandable why this film gets lost in the shuffle when it comes to discussions about great films from the 80s. Nevertheless, I think it is a remarkable film if not for anything else it does prove that an American can make a great movie set in Paris, which is not a musical, even if it was (as this film was) shot in Montreal!

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Reviewed by domino1003 10

*****SPOILER ALERT!!!*****<br/><br/>Alan Rudolph&#39;s &quot;The Moderns&quot; is a wonderful, funny and twisted film set in 1920&#39;s Paris, France. The front burner story is a triangle between Nick, his runaway wife and a cold as ice businessman that wants to obtain a higher social status. Nick(Keith Carradine)and Rachel(Linda Fiorentino)were married years ago and she bails out of the marriage. Years later, she shows up on the arms of Bertram Stone (John Lone). While he deals with her reappearance, he is also talked into making art forgeries by a rather shady behaving gallery owner, Valentin(Genevieve Bujold), as a favor for the wealthy Nathalie De Ville(Geraldine Chaplin). His friend, Oiseau (Wallace Shawn)constantly tells Nick that they should head to a new town called Hollywood to seek their fortune and Ernest Hemingway (Kevin J. O&#39;Connor)wanders around in a state of alcoholic cynicism and making quirky observations. <br/><br/>The story, like the period in which the action takes place, is surreal. One scene has one of the dead characters rise from the grave like Houdini, strait-jack, chains and all. The relationship between Nick and Rachel is the heart of the story: Nick doesn&#39;t want to trust Rachel because of what she did, but all of his actions throughout the film are a result of Rachel. When he paints the forgeries, he thinks of Rachel&#39;s beauty and puts his feelings on canvas. He loves her, but is fighting with the possibility that if he opens his heart to her again, she will break it again. You can see this conflict when he slaps her in front of Stone, yet immediately becomes apologetic. Should he love her, or should he just back off? He clearly does when they share a sexual romp on the bathroom floor while her husband is downstairs. <br/><br/>The entire cast is great, but the best performance comes from O&#39;Connor, who I think is one of the most underrated actors around.<br/><br/>This is a great movie to have if you feel like having a Paris night movie marathon, or just to have fun.

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