Desert Hearts (18) (Donna Deitch, US, 1985) Helen Shaver, Patricia Charbonneau, Audra Lindley. 91 mins. Reno, Nevada. 1959. Vivian Bell arrives from New York lor the most traditional oi reasons-the formalities oi a quick and eiticient divorce. A protessor at English literature, she appears calm and collected but her suriace veneer oi sell-possession masks a woman at the end other emotional tether. Checking into a remote ranch she seeks nothing more than solitude, quiet and an opportunity tor leisurely sell-examination before facing the world anew. The last thing she expects is to tail in love.
Adapted from Jane Hule’s novel Desert of the Heart, Donna Deitch’s commendable iirstieature is a restrained and refreshingly positive examination ola lesbian relationship. As Vivian unwinds at her desert retreat she is unexpectedly attracted to the vivacious and uninhibited Day, a sculptress who works at a local casino. As a tentative attachment matures into a lull-blown romantic affair Vivian experiences renewal and hope. In the city of gamblers she is ultimately willing to stake her laith on Day and take a chance on love.
What distinguishes Desert Hearts is its attitude towards lesbianism, displaying a warm understanding of both Vivian's qualms and Cay’s guiltless happiness and essaying a range of tolerance and intelligence
Freud as played by the Kids from Fame. Competent entertainment, no more. Edinburgh; Dominion
o The Color Purple ( 15) (Steven Spielberg. US. 1985) Whoopi Goldberg. Danny Glover, Margaret Avery. 152 mins. Spielberg turns serious. turning Alive Walker‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel into a sort ofBlack American Feminist David Lean-ster epic. Whoopi Goldberg is unutterably wonderful as the protagonist, arising from the ashes of female servitude to realise her potential as an independent woman. ()ne is always aware of the
skilful manipulation at work. but this
does not stop one capitulating to the film‘s emotional onslaught. Edinburgh; ABC 0 Desert Hearts ( 18) a (Donna Deitch. US. 1985) Helen Shaver, Patricia Charbonneau. Audra Lindley. 93 mins. See Caption Review. Edinburgh; Filmhouse o The Devils (18) (Ken Russell, UK, 1970) Vanessa Redgrave, Oliver Reed. 111 mins. Russell, a master of the subtle understatement, got further up other people‘s noses than ever before with this outrageous story of demoniaeal possession among the 17th century nuns of London. Glasgow; Grosvenor O Diva (15) (Jean-Jacques Beineix, France. 1981) Frederic Andrei.
Roland Bertin, Richard Bohringer.
i 117 mins. The twisted fate of two
i tapes. one an illegal recording ofan American opera star. the other exposing a crime ring. are the central
20 List 5» — September
among a host at male characters from Day's supportive halt-brother to the bemused goodwill of her rejected suitor. This lack of hostility or aggression is perhaps difficult to reconcile with the cosy conformity of Eisenhower’s America but does make for an appealing and intelligent treatment of a potentially melodramatic or controversial theme. Budgetary restrictions have necessarily curtailed the possibilities of embroidering the period recreation and a vast catalogue oi country-westem hits are perhaps
strands in this daffy Gallic cult favourite. Edinburgh; Filmhouse 0 Do Your Exams First ( 15) (Maurice Pialat, France. 1979) In the unemployment-ridden industrial north, the schoolchildren from a number ofworking class families enjoy their last days ofyouthful freedom before settling down to the drudgery ofthe rest oftheir lives. The non-professional cast more or less play themselves in this highly
g enjoyable Maurice Pialat film. f where beneath the high spirits of the l young protagonists there remains an
awareness of the lifelong imprisonment to follow. Part of a Pialat season (see panel). Edinburgh; Filmhouse
0 Enemy Mine (PG) (Wolfgang Petersen, US, 1985) Dennis Ouaid. Louis Gossett Jr. 93 mins. A big-budget, space-age plea for racial tolerance combining elements of John Boorman‘s Hell in the Paciﬁc and Robinson Crusoe on Mars. Strathclyde; Rialto
o Fanny and Alexander ( 15) (Ingmar Bergman, Sweden. 1982) Pernilla Allwin, Bertil Guve. Erland Josephson. 188 mins. In a Swedish provincial town in 1907 the fortunes ofthe well-to-do Ekdahl family take a turn for the worse when the recently widowed mother remarries a stern hishop and the children go to live in his austere residence. In what he has admitted to be his last film and the sum total of his film-making career, Bergman belies his gloomy reputation by producting a work that flows with simple joie-de-vivre
overused to underline the untolding emotions. These are small drawbacks in an otherwise impressive effort that is exceptionally well acted. Newcomer Patricia Charbonneau creates a vivid and likeable impression as Cay while, in the more demanding role of Vivian,
Helen Shaver is outstanding, creating a
fully rounded portrait of a woman teetering on the brink of exciting sell-discovery who finally manages to liberate herself from the sell-imposed barriers of needless repression and
make a commitment. Recommended to §
one and all. (Allan Hunter)
0 Five Evenings(i’(}) (Nikita Mikhalkov. USSR, 1980) Liudmila Gurchenko. Stanislav Liubshin. 101 mins. 1957. ()n leave in Moscow, Sasha decides to make a spur-of—the-moment visit to the woman he lived with and loved prior to the war. Time has cooled their ardour and built a barrier of recriminations between them but. over five evenings. the defences fall and they have a chance to start over again. Edinburgh: Filmhouse
O Fool for Love ( 15) (Robert Altman. US. 1985) Sam Shepard. Kim Basinger. Harry Dean Stanton. 108
mins. Unsatisfactory stage-to-screen
translation of Shepard's own ferociously claustrophobic theatrical two-hander. Shepard plays the not too bright hick cowboy irresistibly drawn to reopening the wounds of a forbidden love with his half-sister Basinger. Edinburgh; Filmhouse
O The Godfather ( 18) (Francis Ford
Coppola. US. 1972) Marlon Brando. .
Al Pacino. James (‘aan. 175 mins. After a reign spanning two generations the death of the ageing head ofthe New York Mafia leaves his son to take over and ride the turmoil that his passing arouses. Massive epic of American corruption Glasgow; GF'I~
o The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle ( 18) (JulienTemple. UK. 1979) Malcom McLaren. Johnny Rotten. Sid Vicious. 108 mins. The rise of infamy of notorious beat combo The King‘s Road Rhythm Bandits as told by their manager Malcolm McLaren.
Occasionally messy. occasionally engaging. and with its anarchic little heart in the right place it makes interesting viewing when seen beside Alex Cox’s Sid and Nancy. And they are both screening at the GFT. Glasgow; GFI
0 Hannah and her Sisters ( 15) (Woody Allen. US. 1986) Woody Allen. Michael Came. Mia Farrow. 107 mins. A mellow meaningful riposte to the gloom-ridden Interiors. I lannah is an up-beat celebration of the cohesion and support within the family unit. Focusing on the romantic highs and lows of three sisters and their menfolk. Allen concludes that life is worth living and ifyou have love you‘ll be a wealthy person.
Blessed with a terrific ensemble cast. the film is achingly funny. touching and extremely perceptive about the everyday joy and pain inherent in the human condition. An absolute must. Edinburgh; Odeon. Glasgow; ()deon
0 He Died With His Eyes Open (18) a (Jacques Deray. France. 1985) Michel Serrault. Charlotte
Rampling. 95 mins. lnvestigatingthe
violent death ofa pianist the unconventional Inspector Staniland (Michel Serrault) discovers a cache of audio tapes revealing the dead
man‘s lust for a certain Barbara. who '
turns up in the shape ofCharlotte Rampling and confesses to the
crime. Staniland doesn't believe her,
so the two have an affair instead. Like Michel Deville‘s Death in a French Garden. Jacques Deray‘s film is more or less a standard whodunnit. but the stylish and confident manner in which it is put together and a drily witty script delivered with some aplomb by M. Serrault. are more than enough to lift it out of the rut. But then the French do this sort of thing so well. IZdinburgh: Filmhouse o Highlander( 15) (Russell Mulcahy. UK. 1986) Christopher Lambert, Sean Connery. Beatie Edney. 116 mins. A handful of immortals battle through the centuries to win a mythical prize. A curious mixture of
romance in 16th century heather and
car-chases in present day New York the film is an inelegant. often ludicrous. but enjoyable daffy fantasy adventure.
Lambert seems more at home with the contemporary passages and only the ever wonderful Connery has the requisite style for the kitsch Scottish scenes.
Edinburgh; ABC. Glasgow; ABC Glarkston Road; ABC Sauchiehall Street. Grosvenor. Rio. Lothian; ABC. Strathclyde; ABC Greenock,
ABC Kilmarnock. Kelburne. ()deon j
Hamilton 0 House ( 15) (Steve Miner. US. 198(3) William Katt. Kay Lenz. George Wendt. 93 mins. Horror story writer Katt moves into the creepy. malevolent mansion formerly occupied by his dotty aunt who was convinced that the establishment had a mind and will of its own . . .
'I‘ame and tacky low-budget horror with creatures on loan from the local
joke shop and a script that wastes the