short takes (1)
Among films not connected with the New York festival, The Stunt Man, on the surface, is dazzling entertainment, though many viewers will be put off by its occasional vulgar language and nudity. The main character is a fugitive from the police, who hides out on a movie location, masquerading as a stunt man. He has an affair with the leading lady and develops tempestuous relationship with the director of the film-within-the-film, who runs the show with demigodlike authority. The action rushes along at a furious pace, often blurring the distinction between illusion and reality. If there were more real human emotion beneath the cinematic trickery, this might be the movei of the year. As it stands, it's a provocative though rather shallow adventure. Richard Rush is the filmmaker, with Peter P'Toole heading a strong cast.
I have never been a big fan of the singing of Paul Simon -- since he broke up with Art Garfunkel, anyway -- so I didn't know what to expect in his first film as screenwriter and star, One-Trick Pony. The result is a delightful surprise, largely because of the civilized approach of director Robert M. Young, who brings a quite intelligence to all his projects. In following the life of an aging rock musician, the picture includes some foul language and a few peeks at the squalid, catch-as-catch-can love life of an immature singer on the road. But this is precisely what the hero, and the film itself, emphatically reject in the last scenes. Viewed as a whole, "One-Trick Pony" is the most grown-up movie ever made on the subject of rock-and-roll, despite some excesses and shortcomings. What further surprises does Simon have up his sleeve?