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SUGAR TOWN

USA, 1998 (MIFF 1999, International Panorama)

Director: Allison Anders, Kurt Voss

Sugar Town is reminiscent of Robert Altman's Nashville, The Player and Short Cuts. An observalion that is meant as a compliment and as an indication of the quality company it keeps. The film cuts deep into Hollywood superficiality and the truly ugly side of ambition.

Anders and Voss follow the misadventures, schemes and scams of a number of wannabe movie and music industry types as Ihey flirt with stardom. All the various tales are interlinked by one character or another, forming a city-wide web of hilarity. Eva (Rosanna Arquetle) is hav­ing fo come to terms with her limitations—both talent and career—as she tries to land a legitimate film role after dozens of straight-to-video splatter films.

Eva's husband Clive heads up a group of burned out rockers still trading on a couple of 80s hits and a 90s demise. Scratching to even get a demo heard by the right sleazy record company executive, it transpires that compromising the virtue of aging lead guitarist Nick is the only way they will get to record a comeback album. Nick is played with delicious irony by Michael Des Barres, a genuine washed up 80s rocker of Chequered Past/Silverhead/Power Station fame. The rest of the band—which also includes ex-Spandau Ballet member Martin Kemp know of Nick's aversion to "sleeping with adult women" but deliver him into the clutches of lecherous, alcoholic but wealthy widower Jane (Beverly D'Angelo in an outrageous turn).

Vicious, hilarious and exquisitely cruel, Sugar Town is a lesson on how to get ahead in LA the hard way.

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