Love and Death on Long Island

views updated

Love and Death on Long Island ★★½ 1997 (PG-13)

Stuffy English author Giles De'Ath (Hurt), barely on speaking terms with the 20th century, wanders into the wrong theatre, encounters a teen exploitation flick and becomes obsessed with Ronnie Bostock (Priestley), one of the movie's “stars.” De'Ath's obsession leads to his discovery of fan magazines, TV, and video, which provide some moments of amusement as he comes to grips with the technology. It also leads Giles to seek out Bostock at his home on Long Island, where Hurt shines as Giles tries to reconcile his dignity and increasingly irrational behavior. Priestley does a fine job lampooning his own image (while not exactly dispelling it), and the supporting characters (especially Chaykin's diner owner) are appropriately quirky. Subtle reworking of “Death in Venice,” based on a novel by Gilbert Adair, has its moments, but is probably best enjoyed by the same type of people who would like De'Ath's books. 93m/C VHS, DVD . GB CA John Hurt, Jason Priestley, Fiona Loewi, Sheila Hancock, Maury Chaykin, Gawn Grainger, Elizabeth Quinn, Danny (Daniel) Webb; D: Richard Kwietniowski; W: Richard Kwietniowski; C: Oliver Curtis; M: Richard Grassby-Lewis.