Cinema: Souffle Surrealism


Directed by Paul Bartel

Screenplay by Paul Bartel and Richard Blackburn

With his bow tie, manicured beard, debaucher's lips and a forehead that recedes in disapproving furrows almost to the collar line, Paul Bartel looks like the last surviving member of the Preston Sturges Repertory Company. Sturges, whose spitball farces (The Lady Eve, The Miracle of Morgan's Creek) sped moviegoers giddily through World War II, might appreciate Bartel's continuance of that tradition, as actor and writerdirector, in high-camp style. His first feature, Private Parts (1973), was a Psycho drama about a winsome...

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