The Sundance Channel continues to air Universal titles that Universal apparently doesn't care about. Alan Alda's "The Four Seasons" was one of the recent survivors, for example.
Anyway, check on George Roy Hill's masterwork, "Slaughterhouse-Five" (1972), faithfully based on the Kurt Vonnegut book, at 7 p.m. (est) pm Friday, August 31st.
George Miller's "Lorenzo's Oil" (1992), an intelligent sick-child film featuring affecting performances by Nick Nolte and Susan Sarandon, airs at 8 a.m. (est) Saturday, September 1st, followed by Allan Winton King's 1981 Canadian film, "Silence of the North", starring Ellen Burstyn, at 12:30 p.m.(est).
The film verison of the stylized Luis Valdez Broadway musical "Zoot Suite" (1981) , starring Edward James Olmos, Tyne Daly and most of the Broadway cast, pops up at 2 p.m. (est) on Thursday, September 6th. It's difficult to believe that Universal even made this film.
But the big news is the dual debut of two long-lost French titles - Jean
-Luc Godard's 1972 "Tout Va Bien" ("All Is Good") and expatriate American filmmaker William Klein's 1966 "Que êtes-vous, Polly Maggoo?" ("Who Are You, Polly Magoo?").
"Tout Va Bien," airing on Thursday, August 30th at 11:15 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. (est), was something of an art-house and festival event in '72, pairing the still-militant and social-conscious Jane Fonda with French workhorse Yves Montand in a talky, pretentious, ultimately disappointing polemic about a workers' strike at a slaughterhouse in Paris.
Fonda and Montand play a married couple - she's a reporter, he directs commerials - who find themselves trapped in the meat factory where a lot of preachy soul-searching about class takes place. You stay with it because it's Godard, Fonda and Montand, but "Tout Va Bien" (released on DVD by Criterion in 2005) is decidedly minor. There's a reason why it's been largely forgotten.
"Polly Magoo," meanwhile, directed by former fashion photographer William Klein and featuring a score by Michel Legrand, is a lively curio about the Swinging Sixties, French-style, and the fashion industry.
Airing Saturday, September 1st at 8 p.m. (est), it is colorful, fun and almost depressingly date but definitely worth the watch, especially for the late, great Grayson Hall who plays the editor of Voguehere and is allegedly doing a wicked variation on Diana Vreeland (Klein's old boss), seemingly by way of Kay Thompson (shades of "Funny Face" here).
Co-starring French stalwarts Jean Rochefort, Sami Frey and Philippe Noiret. The unknown, untrained Dorothy MacGowan plays the titual Polly. She's fab, but it was her first and last film.
The film all but evaporated until it showed up for two screenings at the Whitney Museum of Art in 1997. This is its first America broadcast.
Note in Passing: As a filmmaker, Klein is perhaps best remembered for his stirring 1969 Muhammad Ali documentary, "Fly Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee."
(Artwork: Dorothy MacGowan as Polly Maggoo/Polly Magoo, and friends, in William Klein's seemingly lost French novelty)
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