It would take more than a few western visitors to turn Moscow into a Soviet version of Hollywood, but the 100 or so Americans in the Russian capital for the Moscow International Film Festival are doing their best. There reportedly has been a fair amount of grumbling about the lack of the usual amenities, but Hollywood has been far busier and more visible at this festival than any of the previous 14.
Elem Klimov, head of the Soviet Filmmakers Union, has become the first foreigner to be granted entry into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; plans are under way to show more American films in Russia, and Russian films in America, starting at the White House; an international film newsletter is also in the works.
And, crucially, the Hollywood visitors are beginning to wheel, deal and schmooze with the Soviets, and exploit current Russian catch phrases: Columbia Pictures chief David Puttnam, for example, used his time in Moscow to sign director John Boorman for a film tentatively titled "Glasnost," and producer Stanley Kramer for one called, and concerning, "Chernobyl." They'll both film in the U.S.S.R.
In between trying to raise enough money to stay in business, Cannon Films' Menahem Golan has also been making deals in Moscow. After securing the rights to release 10 Soviet films in Israel, Cannon is reportedly talking about a film biography of Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff and a new movie version of "Crime and Punishment."
The Surprising Summer At its halfway point, the summer of 1987 has been one of the least predictable moviegoing summers in memory, as well as one of the most profitable. After the entirely predictable success of "Beverly Hills Cop II," things got harder and harder to figure: First "The Untouchables" became a surprisingly big hit; then "Dragnet" and "Spaceballs" opened well (which was generally expected) and held up in their second weeks (which wasn't); "Innerspace" became the second Steven Spielberg-produced summer movie to seemingly fizzle while "Adventures in Babysitting" looked like a dud for Disney, whose summer had been highlighted by the freak success of "Ernest Goes to Camp."
Then came last weekend to confuse everybody one more time. Sure, the weekend produced its expected short-term hit: "Revenge of the Nerds II," which made more than anything else. But it had a surprise adult hit -- "Full Metal Jacket," which in its first week of wide release saw "Platoon"-style grosses; and a completely unexpected comeback movie -- "Adventures in Babysitting," which somehow surged to totals that were 45 percent higher than its first weekend. The weekend also had its unexpectedly consistent movies: "Innerspace," which only dropped 9 percent, far less than usual for a second weekend, but also "Roxanne" (only 8 percent down) and "The Witches of Eastwick" (down 14 percent). And it had a major flop: Tri-Star's Michael Keaton comedy, "The Squeeze," had a terrible opening -- which, this summer, might mean it will do well this weekend.
Cimino's Dublin Donnybrook Director Michael Cimino has seemingly upset most of the citizens of Dublin. Cimino's $18 million production "Michael Collins," which starts filming in Ireland in two months, deals with a real-life Irish revolutionary and his love affair with an upper-class woman. Some Protestants in Northern Ireland have apparently asked the producers to scrap the project, protesting that it will make a hero out of a terrorist; Catholics are concerned that the womanizing aspects of the character will overshadow Collins' other achievements.