As the snow fell relentlessly last weekend, I stayed in and watched most of Jackie Collins' Hollywood Wives, a gloriously trashy six hour miniseries from 1985. Not sure what I learned from it, although I did see a pre-Murphy Brown Candice Bergen (by far the "best" actress in it) deliver a sob story about clawing her way to the top, a pre-Hannibal Lecter Anthony Hopkins flail about in bed with a suitably slutty and vapid pre-She's The Sheriff Suzanne Somers (whom Hopkins at one point calls a "WHOARR!") and a hilariously bad good twin/bad twin double performance from some buff nobody named Andrew Stevens. Laura Branigan sang the theme song, although it could just as well have been Kim Carnes or Bonnie Tyler.

If any cultural artifact was a perfect fit for a '85 time capsule, this was it. Naturally, it was on WE (Womens Entertainment Network) as part of their "Sinfully Delicious Weekend". Given that they aired Moment By Moment ("Strip! Oh, Strip!") and Xanadu the weekend before, WE should just get it over with rename themselves Camp TV. Can't Stop The Music should be popping up any day now.

Before the snow hit, I caught a screening of Kill Bill, Vol. 1. I'll give it this--it looked fantastic, and the soundtrack rivaled any other Tarantino film (highlights: Santa Esmeralda's epic flamenco disco "Don't Let Me Be Missunderstood", a revelatory inspiration for Toni Braxton's "Spanish Guitar" remix; and the 5, 6, 7, 8's simple, spazzy trash pop "Woo, Hoo!"). Uma Thurman also is almost as fine as she was in Pulp Fiction, but the key word here is almost. Although I got off on the film in all its spectacle and gory glory, it felt a little hollow. For all its style, Pulp Fiction was actually about something deeper and more nourishing than the five dollar milkshakes at Jackrabbit Slim's, and Kill Bill is little more than an ironic, blown up take on kung-fu movies. It's beautiful, it's entertaining, and too much in love with itself. I will say that splitting it up into two parts is essential; after 93 minutes, the sensory overload teetered toward Moulin Rouge proportions.

I wanted to see In My Skin at the Kendall but opted for the Brazilian documentary Bus 174, which examines a fatal bus hijacking in Rio three years ago. Footage of the event captured by TV news cameras is interspersed with interviews, montages that provide a little backstory about the hijacker, and graceful, meditative overhead shots of the city in all of its coastal beauty and ghetto decay. The hijacking itself is thrilling and painful to watch, the interviews vary maddeningly in quality, purpose, and relevancy. It doesn't raise as many perplexing questions as Capturing The Friedmans; nor does it thrust you into the milieu as well. But, it does leave a strong, unsettling aftertaste, leaving us with little but tragedy and appropriate silence as the end credits roll.