Young Cheryl moves into her estranged aunt Martha's rundown King Edward Hotel. One of its offbeat residents, disturbed photographer George, takes special interest in her. Cheryl begins suspecting that a resident was murdered.
Tabloid reporter Lois Thornedyke and her photographer Barry Denver stumble upon evidence of a sex scandal, blackmail, and political conspiracy that may involve her love interest Franklyn, the saintly Mayor of New York City.
This is another story of the secret Coast to Coast auto race across America The only rule is, the first to finish is the winner. Naturally, anyone driving 55 miles per hour isn't going to ... See full summary »
Welcome to the Secret Cinema, now featuring a series of films on the real-life misadventures of Jane, a New York City office secretary. See Jane being sexually harassed by her boss, Mr. Troppogrosso. See Jane get dumped by her boyfriend, Dick. See Jane humiliated in lots of ways. And here's the kicker: Jane doesn't know that her life is being filmed, or that she's being set up by some of the people closest to her. But she's starting to have her suspicions...Written by
Eugene Kim <email@example.com>
Three decades ago, a young, up-and-coming movie director named Paul Bartel pulled together a lot of shoestrings to produce this wonderfully resourceful little black comedy (less than 30 minutes long) about Jane, an office secretary who comes to realize that her life is being secretly filmed for a shadowy outfit called The Secret Cinema. Some critics have pointed to what they see as a striking similarity between this film and "The Truman Show." But there's at least one crucial difference: Whereas Truman Burbank's environment is completely fabricated, Jane's life in New York is very real, although it's being manipulated by the filmmakers.
Bartel uses his budgetary and technical limitations to excellent advantage: the cheap-looking black & white photography, the obviously looped dialogue, the stock music and canned sound effects are very much in keeping with this low-budget movie about low-budget moviemaking.
Bartel later remade "The Secret Cinema" as an episode of Steven Spielberg's NBC anthology series "Amazing Stories." The remake starred Penny Peyser as Jane, Griffin Dunne as Dick and Bartel himself as Jane's psychiatrist. The NBC version was, I thought, terrible; it was over-produced, over-written and over-acted, and totally lacking the charm of the original. Worst of all, it failed to adequately convey the story's basic premise that Jane's life was being secretly filmed. (The remake also offers an ending completely different from the darkly humorous resolution of the first film.)
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