Dennis Schwartz'
Short Reviews 
'Y'  2

 



YEAR OF THE HORSE (director/writer/cinematographer: Jim Jarmusch; cinematographer: L.A. Johnson; editor: Jay Rabinowitz; cast: Neil Young and Crazy Horse (Ralph Molina, Frank "Poncho" Sampedro, and Billy Talbot); Runtime: 107; Shakey Films; 1997) ... Reviewed on 1/5/2001.

A spontaneous onstage documentary of Neil Young and Crazy Horse in their 1996 tour, plus footage spanning 20 years; some shots are in b&w. The music is great, the band goes from being temperamental during a rehearsal to being stoned. Surprisingly Young isn't the main focus; though, his presence is always felt.The film intercuts from their performances and the director interviewing them. The most informative thing we learn, is that the band's sound and energy is a combination given off from all the members and not just Young's. The funniest spot in the film is of Jarmusch enlightening Young about the ways of the God of the Old Testament. GRADE: A-



YOU AND ME (director/producer: Fritz Lang; screenwriters: story by Norman Krasna/Virginia van Upp; cinematographer: Charles B. Lang; editor: Paul Weatherwax; music: Kurt Weill; cast: Sylvia Sidney (Helen Dennis), George Raft (Joe Dennis), Barton Maclane (Mickey), Harry Carey (Mr. Morris), Vera Gordon (Mrs. Levine), Roscoe Karns (Cuffy), George Stone (Patsy), Warren Hymer (Gimpy), Robert Cummings (Jim); Runtime: 90; MPAA Rating: NR; Paramount; 1938)

Lang's Runyonese comic film opens in a department store that the very liberal Carey runs specializing in hiring ex-cons, as the song "You Can't Get Something For Nothing" fills the aisles of the store. Ex-cons Raft and Sidney fall in love and marry, the only catch is that Sidney doesn't mention her criminal record. Great montages and some very funny lines come out of this off-beat film, that disappointed Lang. It probably should, if compared to his superb noir films; nevertheless, this one's a charmer, even though only a minor Lang charmer. GRADE: B-



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