The Scenic Route

Mark Rappaport
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Exterior Night
In EXTERIOR NIGHT, there is no past. There is no present. There is only the inevitable now. Using rear-screen process plates from classic Warner Bros. film noirs, a young man (in color) searches for his past through black-and-white scenes from classic Hollywood movies like "The Big Sleep," "Mildred Pierce," and…
Casual Relations
An ordinary day. Or is it? People go about their habitual behavior. Characters appear and then reappear in other scenes that may or may not belong together. In CASUAL RELATIONS, hints of melodrama shudder beneath the surface and no one is quite who they seem to be. Everyone is haunted…
Mozart In Love
Mark Rappaport's second feature film (amongst a remarkable string of off-beat, experimental narratives that runs from CASUAL RELATIONS to CHAIN LETTERS) takes off from the deliberate anachronism of using modern props, performance styles and attitudes to evoke the romantic entanglements of the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Rich La Bonte) with…
Local Color
Although LOCAL COLOR is usually credited as being a minimalist film through its foregoing of complicated set design, director Mark Rappaport has intentionally conducted a feeling of excess in its textual elements. A shifting interior monologue among the cast of eight complicates our perspective of how this film is meant…
Impostors
A polysexual vaudeville playing promiscuously with melodramatic intrigue, camp and intellectual gamesmanship, IMPOSTORS remains as unclassifiable as it was in 1979. Its slippery "plot" centers on the romance between besotted Peter and elusive Tina. She's a faithless bisexual and beauteous onstage assistant to lookalike magicians Mikey and Chuckie (stage legend…
Chain Letters
Made in Manhattan during the worst early depths of the AIDS epidemic, this LA RONDE-style series of twosomes and threesomes never directly mentions that crisis. But the intricately interconnecting relationships glimpsed in mosaic-like shards here exist in a similarly embattled milieu, an urban war zone: war between the sexes (or…
The Circle Closes - An Examination of the Use of Props in Four Classic Films
An examination of four different films, which to varying degrees center on a prop, object, or an item that crosses various characters' lives and passes from hand-to-hand. The story in each film is, to a certain extent, told from the viewpoint of the object, which can neither speak nor evaluate…
Postcards
A long-distance love affair is prolonged through a series of postcards in Mark Rappaport's short film, one of the director's first experiments in video. The "deliciously ironic" (according to the Los Angeles Times) POSTCARDS tracks a romance played out entirely on assorted mailings written by a separated couple. American tourist…
Mur 19
Mark Rappaport's first film commences with Gerald Mur "studying the cinema" in the form of a blow-up glamor shot of Garbo. Then "the cinema" studies Gerald (from numerous angles) followed by a standoff as filmmaker and subject circle one another, dueling with cameras to determine who's watcher and who's watched.…
Foxtrot - The Far Side of Paradise
At the beginning of WWII, Liviu, a Romanian count, and his wife Julia come to live on an uninhabited tropical island, where they hope to escape the war and their past. This 1970's classic was directed by acclaimed Mexican filmmaker, Arturo Ripstein, and stars Oscar-nominated actors, Charlotte Rampling, Peter O'Toole,…
The List of My Desires - La liste de mes envies
When Jocelyne, a seamstress in the northern French town of Arras, finds out that she won EU18 million in the lottery, she only has one fear: losing her modest way of life made up of simple pleasures which she cherishes more than anything. But fate can be obstinate, and by…
Mark Rappaport: The TV Spin-Off - The Films of Mark Rappaport
In this short film, Mark Rappaport begins musing on "the movies" and then quickly turns to the subject of "his movies" in this raffish introduction to his work up to the late-1970s. Hiding behind a beard, sunglasses and a fedora, he offers fleeting insight into his means (credit cards) and…