Eye For Film >> Movies >> Arizona Dream (1993) DVD Review
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
Johnny Depp's interview with producer Claudie Ossard is conducted half in English, half in French - he the English, she the French - obviously many years later, after the dust has settled.
Ossard reminds Depp that it had taken her 10 years to set the film up and a year to shoot, which included a three month break in the middle when the Bosnian director Emir Kusturica was too depressed to work.
"Emir is like Fellini," she says. "If it's not there, it's not there."
From the producer's point of view "not there" means nothing happens and that's expensive. Ossard is extraordinarily uncritical of her temperamental director, speaking of him with respect and admiration. It was after seeing Time Of The Gypsies that she decided to make a film with him. Why in America? Why this scenario? She asked him, "What are you like during a shoot?", and he told her, "Like a drowning man", and yet she went ahead and, despite the delays and creative blocks, the film is uniquely itself, like no other, too eccentric to fit into any category, difficult to market and dangerously original.
Depp remembers it as "a great memory, a great experience, a great education." Every evening they would meet up in Emir's room and mess around with next day's script. This was a movie that could be described as "organic" in the true sense, a work in progress almost.
The interview belongs to Ossard, while Depp is polite and friendly. What emerges is a long way from the studio's mutual admiration society's annual general meeting. Obviously this was an unusual and exceptional time for all concerned and the conversation is like an affectionate recollection of something that mattered to them both, and still does. A brush with genius, perhaps?
The Deleted Scene is continuous and so obviously beyond the reaches of even Kusturica's understanding. It starts with Axel walking the streets of the New Mexico town, being followed by a man carrying a door. He bums a cigarette off Axel and tells him he should buy his door. Axel refuses and breaks into Uncle Leo's deserted showroom, where he lies down to sleep beside the cat on the bonnet of a car, like in the film, and dreams of marrying Millie. In the dream, he has taken over the Cadillac franchise and is talking of the three Ss of sales - seduction, sexy and psychology.
At the wedding party, he gets drunk.Reviewed on: 26 Oct 2004