The Supergrass (15) (Peter Richardson, UK, 1985) Adrian Edmondson, Robbie Coltrane. 107 mins. ‘We’re like the Sex pistols of comedy, distorting things and going off in a different direction with them.’ Peter Richardson is trying to define the Comic Strip’s relationship to the comedy mainstream in this country. Like it or not, he and his colleagues, who include amongst their number the likes of Rik Mayall, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, have become something of an institution to many people; the very fact that they can be collectively described as ‘The Comic Strip’ bears this out.

‘I think that’s why we've got to keep doing differentthings, keep coming up with different ideas ratherthan following up something we’ve already done.’ The different ideathat Mr Richardson and his chums are about to drop in our laps is a full length feature film ‘The Supergrass‘ which opened in London late last year and has been sneaking around the country ever since. Ade Edmondson takes up the tale: ‘lt’s abouta rather ingenuous young man played by myself-very well i might say—who, in orderto impress his girlfriend and get her down to a seaside hotel for a fortnight of thingy, pretends to be part of an international drugs ring.‘ Alas, this callow youth actually does get mixed up in such nefarious activities and the plot, as they say, thickens. All the Comic Strip family are in attendance, Robbie Coltrane and his cello case stealing the film effortlessly, and 'twas written and directed by Peter Richardson himself, who also appears as a policeman.

‘lt wasn’t too difficult— he says modestly! The character I play stands around looking miserable a lot, which I find easy, and the writing’s all done before you get to the directing. As for

Italy/France. 1964) Enrique Irazoqui. 142 mins. The Gospel according to Italian Marxist poet-filmmaker Pasolini sounds an interesting prospect. but unfortunately it turns out like any other Jesus flick but on a lower budget and in grainy black and white. More‘s the pity. Glasgow:


.I O The Haunting ( 18) (Robert Wise,

1 US. 1963)Julie Harris. Claire Bloom. Richard Johnson. 112 mins.

38 The List 2 15 May

XX. 5‘- 4 - .\‘~. ~15 ~~ ~.\ u \-

,§“'\‘&7‘ - . ~ We: * t : 1“ I ‘3 ~ \ ~ v 4M”.

and Henry James. Strathclyde: ABC Kilmarnock

o Jagged Edge (18) (Richard Marquand. US. 1985) Glenn Close. Jeff Bridges. 1(19mins. The

irresistible Bridges stands accused of . o Jimi Hendrix ( PG) (Joe Boyd. John

the brutal slaying of his wealthy wife in this old fashioned whodunnit. Edinburgh10dcon. Glasgow: ABC Sauchiehall Street. Lothian; ABC. Strathclyde: Odeon Ayr.

0 Jewel ofthe Nile (PG) «1*: (Lewis Teague. US. 1985) Kathleen Turner. Michael Douglas. Danny DeVito. 108 mins. More high adventure for romatic novelist Joan Wilder and dashing companion Jack (‘olton.

f Tired with the jet-set life and

that, when we used to do the TV series 1 3

would always know as an actor when a lake was right so I've just taken that criteria behind the camera with me. If

you write pictorially all you’re doing as i . . l comic relief and even the

a director is saying ‘I want that picture that I wrote down’. there’s a lot of mystique about directing that I don’t think should be there.’ This Renaissance Man was also responsible for the Comedy Store, a theatre rented from strip king Paul Raymond and turned into a venue for the emerging ‘alternative comedians’. ‘Well I don’t like your word, “alternative”, but I’d never seen anything like it before. A lot of people

trying to be Lenny Bruce— in England! It =

was always stand-up, variety or the Pythonesque sketches, Oxbridge type of humour. I think what’s happening now on the alternative circuit is that comedy has replaced fringe theatre. There’s now an audience for it, but there wasn’t when we started; that actually helped us. Our style, ouract came out of people being unpleasant to us at the Comedy Store, so you had to get your act razor sharp. We've got a very hostile audience at the moment. I thinkthe general feeling is ‘so what can you show us now?”

What the Comic Strip can show us at the moment is a low key comedy that gets better with repeated viewing; Peter knows this because he keeps going back to see how audiences like ‘Supergrass' and finds them laughing at things he didn’t think were funny.

‘We assume our audience knows certain things when we write. We assume that they’re left-ish politically, we assume they know about popular culture, the gutter press, pop music. Our audience knows that Heavy Metal is not another name for cast iron!’ (Mark Hagen)

An unenviable group ofpeople spend a weekend in a haunted New England mansion. Highly effective supernatural tingler, genuinely suspenseful without recourse to the paraphenalia of the special effects department. Edinburgh: EU Filmsoc 0 House By the Cemetery (18) (Lucio Fulci. Italy. 1981) Katherine MacColl. Giovanni de Nari. Paolo Malco, 85 minsServrceable shocker l blending elements of Frankenstein


betective (15) (Jean-Luc Godard,

stymied on her latest potboiler she jumps at the opportunity to write the offical biography of an enigmatic middle-Eastern leader and is soon up to her stilettos in peril.

Overlong. mechanical. sequel-by-numbers to the altogether more enjoyable Romancing the Stone. De Vito supplies the lame

considerable charisma and chemistry of the 'l‘urner-Douglas double-act cannot overcome the deadening obstacles of a tired and contrived narrative and lazy direction. Edinburgh; ()deon. Glasgow; Odeon

Head. Gary Weis. US. 1973) 102

mins. ()K documentary on Hendrix

with good concert sequences intercut with eyewitness testimony from those who knew him best. Glasgow; Grosvenor.

0 Jubilee ( 18) (Derek Jarman. UK, 1977) 'I‘oyah. Ian Charleson. Adam Ant. 104 mins. Queen Elizabeth I is transported to Britain in the late 1970s and is not amused by what she sees. Outrageous black satire filled with violent and disturbing images as it ferociously overturns the stones of a decaying society. Glasgow: GET

0 Kiss of the Spiderwoman ( 15) Hector Babenco. Brazil/US. 1985) William Hurt, Raul Julia, Sonia Braga. 121 mins. Two men share a prison cell. victims in their individual ways of an unspecified fascist


; France, 1985) Nathalie Baye, Claude

Brasseur, Johnny Hallyday. A hotel detective named Prospero (Laurant Terzieff), dismissed after an unsolved

' murdertwo years before, mounts 3 surveillance on a disparate but 7 interlinked set of guests: an airline

pilot (Brasseur) and his wife (Baye), a

9 boxing promoter who is also her lover (Hallyday) and his entourage, and a

Mafia family looking to collect a large sum of money he owes them. As with

b g ~ :2 :‘u

all Godard’s work, the plot is incredible

and largely irrelevant, a convenience to be freely subverted in pursuit of his real subjects (always plural).

In Detective, two love stories, two debts, and a questto understand a mysterious catastrophe are interwoven in the director’s characteristically stylish (if exasperating) way. Within this framework, Godard incorporates his customary barrage of allusions to cinematic and literary sources, all accompanied by another of his eclectic (Schubert to Ornette Coleman) soundtracks. The plot is brought to a peremptory and rather dismal climax in



a classic film noir fashion in a hotel lobby gun-battle, while the detective’s painstaking investigation reveals only a stupid error and a further mystery; what has been a playful, often hilarious, comedy becomes an absurd tragedy—of sorts.

The ironic juxtaposition is typical of Godard; pessimism constantly bounces off an often self-mocking sense of humour in his work. This is one of a number of his recent films in which the narrative style seems to have returned to a more mainstream cinematic vein (he is reportedly about to direct a version of King Lear forthe American major Cannon, with screenplay by Norman Mailer). For Godard's admirers (or those of Ms Baye, an altogether more sensible enthusiasm) Detective will be self recommending; the uncommitted will find one of his more accessible offerings. As usual, he coaxes marvellous performances from his clearly committed cast; whatever the reservations about his work, Godard is one of the great craftsmen of the contemporary cinema. (Kenny Mathieson)