I know I promised a longer write-up on ISHTAR - and it's coming! Just not right now, and probably not before AICN and HitFix get down to the business of feting two of the most unjustly maligned movies in recent memory today and tomorrow (April 1st and 2nd) at The New Beverly!
But I shouldn't have to dazzle you with an in-depth deconstruction of Elaine May's ISHTAR - which works rather brilliantly as both a silly Hope & Crosby road picture and a pointed political satire - to get you down to the best repertory house in Los Angeles to see these two should-be classics back-to-back. When are you going to get a chance to see a double-feature of ISHTAR and JOE VERSUS THE VOLCANO again? No one screens these movies in the first place, let alone programs them together. They're notorious failures. Career killers. John Patrick Shanley just returned to filmmaking after an eighteen year layoff; May, on the other hand, hasn't directed a film since.
While I can't wait to watch these movies with devoted fans, I hope we'll complement the converts with a healthy portion of first-timers. What's nice is that these movies are surprising in different ways: ISHTAR is stunning in that it starts off so strong, you're stunned that anyone could call it "humorless"; JOE is much more measured and, well, cloudy.
Drew and I will introduce both films, and we'll be giving out a few prizes. For more on JOE VERSUS THE VOLCANO, Drew just wrote the film up as part of his "Must-See" project at HitFix. And if you want to read a great little piece on ISHTAR, check out Kim Morgan's appreciation from last Monday (which was also Beatty's seventy-second birthday!).
I hope to see you at 7:30 PM for ISHTAR, and again at 9:40 PM for JOE VERSUS THE VOLCANO!