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ARIZONA DREAM

France, 1993 (MIFF 1994)

Director: Emir Kusturica

From Sarajevo to America, award winning director Emir Kusturica's (When Father Was Away On Business, Time Of The Gypsies) bizarre and unbridled imagination comes to grips with small-town USA mores and big-time ambitions.

It all begins with an Inuit's vision of flying fish...Amateur Ichthyologist and guileless, sexual innocent Axel (Johnny Depp) suspends his nature-worshipping job - counting fish for the New York Department of Game - and is persuaded to return to his Arizona hometown to attend the wedding of his slick Uncle Leo. Jerry Lewis revels in the role of the cradle snatching Cadillac dealer, whose Three S's of Sales are seduction, sex and psychology! Surreal visions of turtles, halibut and climbing to the moon on a stack of Caddys ensues as Axel becomes embroiled with the local lascivious eccentric, widow Stalker (played with strung-out panache by Faye Dunaway), a woman of tenuous sanity who shares his passion for flight. Caught between Uncle Leo's plans for him to inherit the car dealership mantle and his own burgeoning lust for both Mrs. Stalker and her equally pathological daughter, Grace (Lili Taylor), Axel finds his life has taken a decidedly offbeat turn. Desires and dreams collide as Kusturica's camera flies with the caprices of his out-of-control characters and he has fun running the gamut of screen classics, from the inspired wit of the miming of the crop dusting scene from North By Northwest, to sideswipes at Raging Bull and The Godfather Part II.

See also...

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