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Love and Death on Long Island

In a life-changing instant of absent-mindedness, reclusive British author Giles De'Ath (John Hurt) locks himself out of his home. Forced to fend for himself in the foreign modern world until his maid returns from her day off, Giles reluctantly ducks into the movies, ostensibly to scoff at the cinematic butchery of a work by E.M. Forster. As it happens, he wanders into the wrong auditorium and is subject to the Porky's-like fol-de-rol of Hotpants College II. He is at first horrified by the bawdy shenanigans onscreen, but is soon pacified by the presence of American B-movie teen idol Ronnie Bostock (Jason Priestly), who inspires in this aged sophisticate a sudden urge to purchase a television, a video player, and every teen magazine featuring Ronnie's dreamy-eyed visage. He even shocks his literary followers by making rare public appearances, giving lectures on the grace of film acting. This, of course, cannot sate Giles' newfound passion, and he subsequently embarks on a trip to Ronnie's hometown of Chesterton, Long Island, to stalk the fledgling actor like an impetuous fan. This odd film is perfect in its very small way. Hurt's quest is funny and touching, in a sad and subtle manner, as he wanders naively and awkwardly into two new worlds at once. Priestly, it must be said, is also quite good, having fun with and also quietly puncturing his shallow Bop-magazine image. Richard Kwietniowski has scripted and directed this adaptation of Gilbert Adair's novel with rare care and skill. Presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and 2.0 Dolby Surround. Trailers, keep case.

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