Love and Death on Long Island

Love and Death on Long Island

Director: Richard Kwietniowski

Cast: John Hurt, Jason Priestley, Fiona Loewi

     
 

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Can a stodgy intellectual who regards the 20th century as a waste of time find happiness with an American teen idol who doesn't really know him? That's the question posed in this gentle satiric comedy. Giles De'ath (John Hurt), who takes great pains to remind people that his surname is pronounced "Day-ath," is a well-regarded British author whose wife passed away a

Overview

Can a stodgy intellectual who regards the 20th century as a waste of time find happiness with an American teen idol who doesn't really know him? That's the question posed in this gentle satiric comedy. Giles De'ath (John Hurt), who takes great pains to remind people that his surname is pronounced "Day-ath," is a well-regarded British author whose wife passed away a decade ago. Since then, Giles has retreated into a world of his own; he is thoroughly disinterested in contemporary culture and lives in the 20th century only to the degree that it is absolutely necessary. However, one night Giles accidentally locks himself out of his apartment just as a rainstorm has begun to open up the sky. Soaked to the skin, he takes refuge in a nearby movie theater, since he's heard that the works of E.M. Forster have lately become popular screen fodder. However, once inside the multiplex, Giles discovers to his disgust that he's accidentally bought a ticket for a low-brow teen flick called Hot Pants College II. Just as he's about to register his repugnance with the management, actor Ronnie Bostock (Jason Priestley) appears on screen, and immediately Giles is entranced. In Ronnie, Giles discovers an unexpected sort of beauty that he's never considered before, and he's eager to learn more about the young actor. However, Giles soon discerns that reading up on his new obsession means buying teen-oriented fanzines (whose covers proclaim him "Snoggable!"), where he learns that Ronnie's own cultural signposts include Axl Rose and Stephen King, whose names could just as well be Sanskrit to Giles. He also discovers that to view the rest of Ronnie's screen work, he must visit a video rental store, which means he must first purchase a VCR, and that he'll also require a (gulp!) television in order for the VCR to work. Eventually, Giles finds out that Ronnie lives in a small town on Long Island, and decides to fly there, hatching a scheme to meet Ronnie by first making the acquaintance of Audrey (Fionna Loewi), Ronnie's fashion model girlfriend. Based on the acclaimed short novel by Gilbert Adair, Love and Death on Long Island was adapted for the screen and directed by Richard Kwietniowski.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Clark
An observant, richly funny look at unlikely obsession (which takes its cue wittily from Visconti's Death in Venice), this engaging debut film by Richard Kwietniowski manages to be a slightly satiric dissection of class structure as well as a tale of unrequited love, a truly difficult balance that this film makes winning and real. John Hurt excels in a tricky lead role, mostly due not only to his mordant wit as an actor, but to his warm realization of the events the film depicts. The movie's look at contrasting sensibilities shines through, and never cheapens the central relationship of the two leads, giving it a gravity that a less nuanced film would have missed entirely. Jason Priestley is also a key to the film's success, delightfully sending up his television heartthrob background and, more importantly, creating an object of affection that is believable and endearing. Many critics have pointed out that the story bears some resemblance to the Oscar-winning Gods and Monsters that would follow a year later, and though there are similarities, this picture is truly original in its own right and deserves a larger audience than its scant release would have indicated.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/01/2000
UPC:
0031398835721
Original Release:
1997
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
1:34:00

Special Features

16x9 Widescreen (1.85:1); English & Spanish subtitles

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Hurt Giles De'Ath
Jason Priestley Ronnie Bostock
Fiona Loewi Audrey
Sheila Hancock Mrs. Barker
Maury Chaykin Irving Buckmuller
Gawn Grainger Henry
Elizabeth Quinn Mrs. Reed
Marguerite McNeil Actor
Harvey Atkin Lou

Technical Credits
Richard Kwietniowski Director,Screenwriter
Steve Clark-Hall Producer
Jon Comerford Casting
Oliver Curtis Cinematographer
Kate Day Casting
Brian Donovan Associate Producer
Andrea Galer Costumes/Costume Designer
Richard Grassby-Lewis Score Composer
Insects Score Composer
Emanuel Jannasch Art Director
Max Keene Asst. Director
Neil Kingsbury Sound/Sound Designer
David McHenry Production Designer
Jim Rillie Sound/Sound Designer
Susan Shipton Editor
Fleur Whitlock Art Director
Christopher Zimmer Producer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Rare Interview [3:43]
2. The Pictures [3:51]
3. Chatterton at the Tate [4:30]
4. Ronnie Bostock [4:20]
5. Bostockiana [3:59]
6. Video [4:41]
7. Skid Marks [3:02]
8. New Territory [3:51]
9. The Death of the Future [2:42]
10. Chesterton [3:13]
11. Chez D'Irv [2:23]
12. Happy Hunting [3:28]
13. Stryder [4:02]
14. Supermarket [2:37]
15. Closer [3:21]
16. Daydreaming [3:36]
17. Rabble in the Pit [3:51]
18. Screenplay [5:14]
19. Hamptons [2:39]
20. The Stupidest Idea [3:09]
21. Baseball [3:32]
22. Confession [6:29]
23. Departure [7:18]
24. Closing Credits [3:43]

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