ARIZONA DREAM directed by  Emir Kusturica (USA, 1993)

What a bizarre movie this is!

There are on set stories of Kusturica sitting under a tree when actors expected to be shooting a scene. He was apparently trying to get into the ‘zone’, like a poet waiting for the muse.

The Serbian director’s surreal U.S. debut  looks as if it was made by someone who has immersed himself in articles about the Hollywood cinema but hasn’t actually seen so many America movies.

Arizona-Dream

An offer you can’t refuse! – Axel (Johnny Depp) being asked by his cousin Paul Leger (Vincent Gallo) if he’d like to come to his uncle’s wedding.

To say it has a loose structure would be an understatement and I’ve no idea what it is all supposed to mean, after a while I just gave up caring and went with the flow.

Featuring dreams of flying, Eskimos and halibut fish, you never really know what’s going to happen next but it hangs together because of the strength of the performances by the five main players   – Johnny Depp, Vincent Gallo, Jerry Lewis, Faye Dunaway and Lili Taylor.

Vincent Gallo’s mime of the crop duster chase scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s North By Northwest  at a talent show is particularly memorable as are the scenes where he shows his word for word knowledge of Raging Bull and The Godfather. Gallo is an actor I haven’t paid much attention to in the past but on this showing this is my loss.

Poetic, visionary or just plain bonkers? Who’s to say? I only know that this film make me laugh and that it has a higher than average number of scenes that stick in the head long after the closing credits have rolled.

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