Donald Sutherland

The Secret Of NIMH is a classic animated film based on nightmarish rodent population research.

It’s got tons of cute talking animals… and the terrifying experiments preformed on them. And their duels to the death. And their encounters with a creepy owl that will scar any children witnessing it for life.

It was a dark and complex film, more Watership Down than Rescue Rangers.

However, the DVD release of NIMH really pushed it as a movie about a family of friendly mice and a goofy crow who go around having adventures. Now, there was a crow in the movie for comedic relief, and there was a family, and we suppose if “trying to move your home so your sick child doesn’t get caught in the farmer’s thresher” counts as an adventure, we guess it had that, too. But it’s all about tone, and any parent renting the film based on that bright, cartoony charm-fest of a cover up there is in for a surprise when, after watching, their kids can only ask “Mommy, what’s LSD?”

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Cities in films #2: VENICE


After their young daughter drowns, Laura and John Baxter (Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland) travel to a wintry Venice, where John is overseeing a church renovation. Nicholas Roeg’s Venice, like Italo Calvino’s, is a puzzle of subjective layers, a world both physical and metaphorical. It becomes a spatial manifestation of the couple’s grief and confusion, as the water which embodies that initial tragedy winds endlessly around them, creeping ever higher. (photo by Maciej Hermann)