Spotlight: The Late Show
Italy/France, 2007, 105 minutes
Sat, Apr 26 / 11:45 / Kabuki / GOGO26K
Mon, Apr 28 / 9:30 / Kabuki / GOGO28K
Wed, Apr 30 / 3:15 / Kabuki / GOGO30K
At Ray Rubyís Paradise strip club, chaos reigns. The eponymous manager (genially played by Willem Dafoe) is four months behind with the rent. He hasnít paid his dancers either, who are threatening him with a strike. And the clubís chef, who has gourmet aspirations, is upset that the rottweiler who performs with Monroe (Asia Argento, popping up memorably for the third time in this yearís Festival) is eating his gourmet free-range hot dogs. Added to this roster are a malfunctioning tanning bed, pregnant lesbian strippers, a dwindling clientele and more. Not to mention the fact that itís talent night, when the strippers put their clothes on and reveal their non-ecdysiast skills. Though Rayís show-must-go-on attitude has him endeavoring to take care of all these matters at once, his shrewish landlady, Lillian (an unforgettable Sylvia Miles), trains his attention on financial matters by continually threatening to turn the club into a Bed Bath & Beyond. Writer/director Abel Ferrara is in grand form here, and it is a great pleasure to see how he plays out these multiple narrative strands. Altman seems a major influence to this end, as the camera roams throughout the club eavesdropping on the numerous characters. Ray Ruby, though, remains the through-line, and his surprising scheme to save the club from ruin proves hilariously and calamitously plausible. With a bump-and-grind soundtrack, a terrific (and pulchritudinous) cast and a delightfully improvisatory flow, these Tales are told with terrific panache.
Sponsored by Stella Artois.