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Autumn 1997
(Filed April, 1997)

Reviews this issue include:

Celluloid Immortality
When we were Kings (1)
Dante's Peak (1)
The Relic (1) (2)
Jerry Maguire (1)
One Fine Day (1)
Kama Sutra (1)
The Associate (1), (2)
Fever Pitch (1)
The Well (1), (2)
Twin Town(1)
Fifth Element (1)
Liar, Liar (1)

there's more, see the review index

also check out

Cinemania 97
Bernard of Hollywood's Marilyn

Every year I tune in to the end of the Academy Awards. It's not that I don't appreciate the technical awards, it's just that I've never been a fan of the weak introductions delivered by presenters of varying talent and commitment levels. Let's be honest here, they couldn't pay me enough to play some of the scenarios that have been written over the years.

But I change channels to catch the annual list of luminaries from all aspects of the film making craft who have died in the past year. Why? Not morbid curiosity.

The greatest gift that the technology of film making has given our people - the human race - is the enduring talent of actors and directors.

Writers are important, and a screenplay, whether it is made or not, is a lasting entity. It exists alone, it is the only part of the film making process that can stand without the contribution of others.

Screen capture, Marilyn of Hollywood
Marilyn Monroe, immortalised by film. This image from Cinemania 97 by Microsoft.
Therefore, the work of writers endures as long as there are printed copies. The work of playwrights like Shakespeare, Arthur Miller, Sam Shepard (yes, he's a writer) continues through the years, even centuries, and we can learn and appreciate and understand from their insights.

But the work of actors and directors is fleeting. A performance exists in a moment of time, and then is gone. Unless it is recorded - by film, by videotape, by digital camera, whatever. The interpretation of the director, and the execution of the actor are available for viewing and reviewing as long as we protect the medium.

And so every year, as they recite the list of actors and directors and writers and producers and cinematographers, I am grateful once again that although they are gone from us, their legacy lives on. In Japan, craftspeople can be living treasures, their skills deeply valued by their community. Film enables us to record the work of living treasures (and others), to be appreciated by generations to come.

by Ali Kayn

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ISSN 1328-8008
Published in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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Filed 30-Mar-97 : Last updated: 30-Apr-97:Last tested: :Last compiled: 08-Aug-2014

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