Dennis Schwartz'
Short Reviews 
'Z'  3

 



ZELIG (director/writer: Woody Allen; cinematographer: Gordan Willis; editor: Susan E. Morse; music: Dick Hyman; cast: Woody Allen (Leonard Zelig), Mia Farrow (Dr. Eudora Fletcher), Garrett Brown (Actor Zelig), Stephanie Farrow (Sister Meryl), John Buckwalter (Dr. Sindell), Mary Louise Wilson (Sister Ruth), Sol Lomita (Martin Geist), Ellen Garrison (The Elder Dr. Fletcher); Runtime: 84; MPAA Rating: PG; producer: Robert Greenhut; Orion; 1983)

Zelig is a chameleon figure, always taking on the persona of the person he is with. Some funny skits arise: such as the Jewish Zelig at a Hitler rally looking very enthusiastic. It is shot in black-and-white documentary style, imitating those newsreels once seen in movie houses. A mildly amusing Allen film, with the premise  being better than the actual film. GRADE: B-



ZERO KELVIN (director/writer: Hans Petter Moland; screenwriters: Lars Bill Lundholm/from the novel Larsen by Peter Tutein; cinematographer: Philip Øgaard; editor: Einar Egeland; music: Terje Rypdal; cast: Stellan Skasgard (Randbaek), Gard Eidswold (Henrik Larsen), Bjorn Sundquist (Holm), Camilla Martens (Gertrude); Runtime: 113; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Bent Rognlien; Kino International; 1995-Norway-in Norwegian with English subtitles)

Filmed in Greenland, 1925, as three men: a poet (Stellan), a scientist (Bjorn), and a sailor (Skasgard), are forced to live together in an isolated Arctic cabin fighting the elements and their own demons. They work for a trading company, interested in getting fur. The poet joins the other two leaving his girlfriend, whom he loves, at home, so he can get some money and write a book about trappers. The others have abandoned society: the scientist is withdrawn, content to hunt and be left alone; the sailor is prone to fits of violence, leaving society after he caught his girlfriend in bed with a rich man whom he murdered. A fascinating metaphorical look at these characters, that is both memorable and troubling. GRADE: B



ZOUZOU (director: Marc Allegret; cast: Josephine Baker, Jean Gabin, Yvette Lebon; 1934- France)

Baker is the expatriate African-American beauty of a  laundress in love with the stage electrician Gabin in Paris. He likes Baker but loves another laundress. When Gabin gets falsely accused of murder, Baker goes onstage to get money for his defense. She sings and dances, and goes through several exhilarating ornate production numbers -- which is the only reason to see the film. GRADE: C+ 



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