Liebestraum

1991

directed by Mike Figgis

Writing credit to Figgis

Starring:  Keven Anderson, Pamela Gidley, Kim Novak and of course...........

 

Mike Figgis has a reputation for creating films that are compelling or out on the cutting edge.  Some critics can't stand him; some love him.  Like everything else in life.

No matter what you think, Figgis is a master at creating a mood, and he does so with great elan in "Liebestraum".  His use of light is outstanding; cinematographer J. R. Anchia deserves full credit for capturing the marvelous lighting.

This mystery/thriller follows a murder committed 30 years ago in a small town in a department store.  Nick, a professor of architectural history returns to his hometown of Elderstown to check in on his dying mother (played by Kim Novak).  He runs into Paul, a chum from high school, and a real estate developer.    Paul is preparing to tear down the old department store, which is a "cast iron" building.  Paul is married to the busty Jane, a photographer, who is not a happy woman and who opposes the demolition of the building.  She and Nick share a passion for the old building and team up to document its architectural details.

Well, we know where this is going.  Figgis hits us over our collective head with the parallel plot of the sensational murder and rumors of an illicit affair and flashbacks to that time.  Kim Novak is the mysterious connection between the past & present.

Our man Bill plays Paul with a delightful sleaziness befitting a "rape & pillage" real estate developer.  He imbues Paul with a sinister air that is fleeting, giving him almost chamelian quality--is he a nice guy in a bad profession & circumstance or just a really bad guy who has a really good good guy act?   And that is the brillance of the part for Bill:  a role so ambiguous, so meaty, so minutely constructed,  that it is a feast for someone like him.  Bill has stated in interviews that this is one of his favorite films.  No wonder.

Shot in Binghamton, NY near Bill's hometown of Hornell.   Rated R for graphic sex, bad words, and an adult-themed plot.

summary & comments by dlrs

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Liebestraum photos

Thanks to Ildi

Kevin & Bill, the stage is set

 

Ah, the sleezy developer

Isn't he a character?

At home

Checking out the party crowd

 

Happy Birthday, wife

Dreams can be real

None here

Appreciating an old building

 

Paul & Nick in the bar

 

Nick & Paul in the bar

"You can come and go..."

Acting like guys

Nick looks on

 

Getting the idea

Paul gets real

Paul discovers

Paul considers the lovers

 

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