Cinema: Time Bomb

RUMBLE FISH

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola Screenplay by S.E. Hinton and Francis Ford Coppola

The easiest way to praise a film is to call it poetic. The easiest way to dump on a film is to call it unrealistic. Believability is the line drawn in the dirt; on either side are warring sensibilities, rival gangs of moviegoers or critics. Seen this way, the defenseless movie is reduced to a Rorschach inkblot, an excuse for prolonging the debate between fantasy and naturalism.

Rumble Fish is the messiest, most provocative inkblot of the year. On...

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