Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones. Sitting here sifting through an envelope bulky with promotional material--billions of those gaping ruby tongues, the usual bizarre scrawlings (remember the postcards from "Exile on Main Street?"), four incredible glossies of Mick, copies of the raves from New York...Facts: 90 minutes, quadraphonic sound (the unit is so swank that it travels with the show, hence the limited engagement), 1972 tour, a lot of fast numbers, no dumb shots of the audience, Music Hall, through Tuesday, 7:30, five and a half bucks, no reserved seats, available at Ticketron but going fast. Clearly a peak experience.
They Shoot Horses, Don't They. People are often "I was so much older then" about this movie: They like it at the time; they've grown out of it now; too self-consciously nihilistic and existential and despair-in-Atlantic-City. Maybe not, though. The dance marathon allegory might become tiresome except for the brilliance of Jane Fond's performance. She's best at jabbing out with neurotic intelligence, sharp enough to project that she knows her own mind is her worst enemy--the battle goes on before our very eyes, the nervous twitch furious with itself. Fonda is the smartest screen actress we have now. This film was the first chance she got (or took, anyway) to drown the brainless sex-kitten, and her work here almost equals the wonder of Klute's Bree Daniels.
Battle of Algiers haunts me from when I saw it long ago, and I'm scared to call it the most moving revolutionary film I've ever seen (which would be true) because maybe if I saw it now the emotional impact would make me suspicious that it evades important political issues. I do remember that it accounts for some of the tearing moral ambiguities of that struggle. But Gillo Pontocorvo's Algiers reminds that on an important level the 'complexities' don't matter. When the wailing city is such a resonant setting for collective, almost subconsciously-communicated solidarity, it's the heart, rather than the political head, that never forgets the statement.