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While a British film crew are shooting a version of The Duchess Of Malfi in Venice, they in turn are being filmed by a sleasy documentary primadonna while the strange staff share meals which consist of human meat. Then there is the hit man, the call girl and the Hollywood producer all managing to become part of the madness... Written by
John Webster's play "The Duchess of Malfi" was first performed in 1614 at the Globe Theatre in London, and first published in 1623. The onscreen credits simply list the title followed by the author's name, and omit the word "play". See more »
Just finished *trying* to make sense of the DVD, and then watching the making of documentary in the special features, and at the moment what stands out most in my mind is that they show a cast meeting where Burt Reynolds fairly pointedly says to Mike Figgis "Well I got here yesterday and I've spent quite a bit of time looking at what's been shot so far and I can't tell who the characters are what their names are and what the relationships between them are so I want to know do you expect us actors to work that out between us? I'm just saying this because I've already got the job, or I don't, whatever." (this is not exactly what he said btw just paraphrasing the gist of it from memory).
Mike Figgis reply to him is basically "don't worry about it that will all come out in the editing".
Honestly I'm not a Burt Reynolds fan - something about his manner comes off as arrogant to me - but after trying to watch this confusing movie I sure wish Mike Figgis had paid more attention to what Burt was trying to tell him!! The only scene that worked well for me in the whole movie was the scene of the Flamenco dancer. Which I think is telling because it's the closest thing to a music video in the movie - i.e. the 4 screen technique I don't think works well for trying to tell a story. But for something like the flamenco dancer it's interesting visually to have closeups of her feet and her pretty face, etc. all juxtaposed on the screen at the same time. To overwhelm the viewer with the flash and fury of all this motion and music at the same time. But when trying to tell a story it's just frustrating really, as a viewer you don't know where to look and if you're missing something important.
I *love* Leaving Las Vegas obviously Mike Figis has incredible gifts as a film maker. But for me this movie was pretty much an experiment that failed.
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