An Innuit hunter races his sled home with a fresh-caught halibut. This fish pervades the entire film, in real and imaginary form. Meanwhile, Axel tags fish in New York as a naturalist's ... See full summary »
Suffering from writer's block and eagerly awaiting his writing award, Harry Block remembers events from his past and scenes from his best-selling books as characters, real and fictional, come back to haunt him.
Stephanie Roth Haberle
An Innuit hunter races his sled home with a fresh-caught halibut. This fish pervades the entire film, in real and imaginary form. Meanwhile, Axel tags fish in New York as a naturalist's gofer. He's happy there, but a messenger arrives to bring him to Arizona for his uncle's wedding. It's a ruse to get Axel into the family business. In Arizona, Axel meets two odd women: vivacious, needy, and plagued by neuroses and familial discord. He gets romantically involved with one, while the other, rich but depressed, plays accordion tunes to a gaggle of pet turtles. Written by
Greg Pribyl <email@example.com>
The backing music used in the 'dinner party' scene between Axel (Depp), Paul, Elaine and Grace is a piece by jazz musician Django Reinhardt. The same piece was used in the 'river dance' scene in Chocolat, where it is performed on guitar by Johnny Depp. See more »
Elaine, I was trying to tell ya the other night: Eskimos believe that even though you die, you're never really dead.
What are you then?
Uh, you're Infinity. See they believe that when the physical suit of skin dies, it becomes apart of the Earth. But your soul, keeps going, y'know? Into other things like uh, trees or fish or rocks. Or even other people who're actually at that point you.
What if you don't like what you've turned into?
You just wait. You wait a few years and then you'll turn into...
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It's very rare that I see a movie that is truly, in all aspects, perfect.
For example, while The Princess Bride ranks pretty high on my list of movies I'd want to spend the rest of my life watching, I fully realize that the camera angles and special effects of that movie are just plain bad. And while Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas gets a perfect 10 from me, it still completely lacks plot. And so on.
Arizona Dream, however, is different.
The last movie I saw that was truly, in all aspects, perfect was Dog Day Afternoon, a 1975 true story starring Al Pacino and Chris Sarandon. For the longest time, it's been my obsession, my movified bible, everything other movies should aspire to be. And as of today, Dog Day Afternoon finally has competition in my personal top ten: Emir Kusturica's masterpiece very near surpasses Lumet's vision of captivating dialogue, insane details, and dodgy man-groping.
Let's change the subject for a bit. Do you know the scene in Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys, where Bruce Willis is in his cage, and a hamster is running inside a wheel in the corner? Don't say yes, because you don't. It's inaudible. It's impossible to see. But it's there. Kusturica, much like Gilliam, is willing to make his world more detailed than your wildest dreams. His backgrounds are filled with symbolism and surrealism, his dark corners filled with soft puppies. And like Gilliam, he can make you cry with laughter, your only worry in the world being, 'how will I remember all these great quotes in the morning?'
But unlike Gilliam, Kusturica has the power to, barely a scene after the happy happy joy, make you sit there in stunned silence, your number one worry in the world being, 'how will I get my brain to understand the sheer tragedy that is unfolding here?'. Your will find yourself thinking, 'how do I get my mind to comprehend how perfectly this music fits the dialogue?'. Your eyes will follow the camera angles, the expressions of the insanely lovable characters, the many things happening in foreground and background-and you know, you just KNOW, that you will have to watch the movie again, and again, and again.
If you're a fan of movies such as Big Fish and Amélie, movies about people finding happiness and warmth in a world of surreal ambition, Arizona Dream will be your next obsession. But even if you think massive explosions and a grunting Bruce Willis are the only thing that can make a movie worth watching, you will still want to give this movie a chance- for the 'explosions' it causes will far, far surpass anything you've EVER experienced before.
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