This is essentially a Masterpiece Theatre fairy tale elevated exactly one degree by the director’s successful attempt to replace bland artifice with a cogent sense of color, which keeps him busy apart from some background activity that, like much of the rest, is indebted to Skolimowski.
Whatever’s going on in L.A. is as obvious as “The Purloined Letter”, so what is required of Figgis is to put all the cards on the table, and see what’s what. In the end, this is a good caricature of the “postmodern” world of the business revolution at the Galleria, done up with a very formidable, original technique, on choice locations. You can only get a kind of glimmer of its tightrope-walking in the satirical diffractions of the big bust tour de force, but another shot is telling in its small way, hard as it is to describe: a 45░ angle gives rhomboid cuts into the frame (from a countertop or table), then pans over for the reverse angle (45░) and a similar arrangement, a quick pan
Touch of Evil and Freebie and the Bean are more or less in evidence, with a hint of Robbe-Grillet’s La Jalousie and the windowside dinner in Accident.
Leaving Las Vegas
I’m not a
critic, so I’ll leave to others the task of deciding whether Leaving
Las Vegas is poetic or not. It does manage to bring into conjunction the
two archetypal personŠ governing much of the poetry that is being written in
the “zine scene,” and which as a rule are
kept as separate as the boys and girls at the West Side Story hop.
No-one reads the zines (and for good reason), but
this film had a measure of success; there’s a lesson in it somewhere.
The ending does not hit the unutterable bathos of The Crossing Guard (is it a response to Losey’s La Truite?), but it comes close.