Nothing Could Be Finer

While New Line Cinema busies itself trying to swallow the distressed Orion Pictures, Fine Line Features, the company’s New Yorkbased affiliate, will release a bumper crop of arty foreign and domestic films this summer. Nick Broomfield directs an adaptation of Spalding Gray’s hit monologue Monster in a Box, featuring music by Laurie Anderson. Hanif Kureishi, author of the novel The Buddha of Suburbia and screenwriter for My Beautiful Laundrette, makes his directorial debut with London Kills Me. the story of a street kid called Clint Eastwood whose ticket to respectability depends on finding a decent pair of shoes—I’m not making this up. Mark Peploe, who scripted Bertolucci’s The Sheltering Sky and The Last Emperor, also directs for the first time with Afraid of the Dark, a psychological drama about a London boy whose terror of approaching blindness plunges him into crisis. Night on Earth, directed by Jim Jarmusch (Stranger Than Paradise. Down by Law, and Mystery Train), spans several continents in a sequence of comedies based on conversations between cabdrivers and their passengers. Coming soon in the new wave of monosyllabic, deadpan comedies inspired by Jarmusch: Hal Hartley’s Simple Men, about two brothers’ search for their father, and (from Miramax) Tom DiCillo’s Johnny Suede, a whimsical piece of neo-Jarmuschiana about a strange-haired Rick Nelson wanna-be (played by Brad Pitt, whose impeccable pecs stole hearts in Thelma and Louise) in search of perfect love and perfect suede shoes. What is it with these guys and shoes?