Clockwise (PG) (Christopher Morahan. UK. 1985) John Cleese. Penelope Wilton, Alison Steadman. 87 mins. Back in the good old days, there usedto be things called 8 movies and if they were still around. Clockwise would surely be one. There appears to be a worrying trend in British cinema at the momentformaking films around absurdlyflimsyplots—the appalling CarTroubleforinstance—and Clockwise is ofthis ilk. The screenplay is byplaywright Michael Frayn, and it shows. The story of a pathologically punctual headmasterbeing late fora headmasters‘ conference. Clockwise is basicallyatheatrefarcetaken outdoors
and filmed. Thisis not to saythat itis bad. there are some genuinely funny moments. like the gathering of schoolmasters andthere isa wonderfully typical performance from Cleese. Truthtotell, this isthefilm's saving grace andwithouthim there would be little to chuckle about, as he is given precious little help from the supporting cast. The main complaint is that it is not realy the stuff feature films are made of and leaves one curiously unsatisfied like having a tonic without the gin. Lightweight and amusing it may be, but the future of British cinema itisn‘t. (Graham Caldwell)
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Turtle DiarylPG)(John lrvin. UK. 1985) Glenda Jackson. Ben Kingsley. 97 mins.
Turtle Diary the film. does make a fine job of telling a fable which is significantin itself. The two lonely people, William G. and Neaera H. have to escapefromtheirown single dwellings(hardly homes) to takethe sea-turtlesfromtheirequivalent “little bed-sitter of ocean‘ in London Zoo and travel down to the sea. The freedom the rescuersthemselves achievethrough this act is partly sexual liberation. but more importantly a liberation of the spirit. Life in London is almost
unchanged. but somehow more fulfilling.
There are fine performances from all, especially Glenda Jackson as Neaera. Ben Kingsley as William and Eleanor Bron as the tragi-comic Miss Neap. sharing William‘s building of bedsits, familiarly squalid with communal kitchen and bathroom
Strangely enough, this iilm. which unavoidably loses so much of the book. is still thought-provoking and full of charm and humour— like the turtle rescue itself. a low-key success. (Stephanie Billen).
The List 21 Mar—3 Aprzs