Salvador (18) (Oliver Stone, US, 1986) James Woods, Jim Belushi, John Savage. 122 mins. Salvador is a raw, visceral, angry piece of iiIm-making that grabs you warmly by the throat and reiuses to relinquish its grasp. It is a story at journalistic integrity, the possibility of personal redemption, complicity in and opposition to the vilest acts oi those who would set themselves up to rule over other people.
James Woods brings utter, unnerving conviction to his true-lite role as a sleazy, weasel-like, hustleroi a photo-journalist, a veteran war junkie now on his uppers. Unemployed and penniless, hassled by his landlord and abandoned by his wile he is regarded as ‘a general embarrassment to his protession'. He blows town with his unsuspecting buddy Dr Hock (James Belushi) and heads ior El Salvador where the living is easy and a virgin will sit on your lace ior seven bucks.
Once in the country and reunited with his mistress, his previously blinkered eyes are swiitly opened to the brutal excesses oi a military regime at the height of its insecurity. At iirst hand he witnesses the climate oi lear and the handiwork ol the Death Squads. He also experiences the inadequacies oi his journalistic colleagues, the guilty involvement oi his own country and a generally casual disregard tor the value 01 human lile. As his iormer indiiierence grows into passionate
0 Les Diaboliques(18) (Henri-Georges Clouzot. France, 1955) Simone Signoret. Vera Clouzot. Paul Meurisse. 107 mins. Fiendishly clever and frequently imitated thriller-chiller in which a tyrannical schoolmaster is murdered by his wife and mistress, but did he really die? Edinburgh EUFS 0 Dim Sum (U) (Wayne Wang. US. 1985) Laureen Chew, Kim Chew, Victor Wong. 89 mins. Gently perceptive study of the daily rhythms in family life among the Chinese-American community in San Francisco. A mild-mannered charmer. Edinburgh; EUFS O Diva (15) (Jean-Jacques Beneix. France, 1981) Frederic Andrei, Roland Bertin, Richard Bohringer. 117 mins. The twisted fate of two tapes, one an illegal recording of an American opera star. the other exposing a crime ring, are the central strands of this daffy Gallic cult favourite. Style exudes from every frame. Glasgow; Grosvenor 0 Down And Out In Beverly Hills (15) (Paul Mazursky, US. 1986) Bette Midler. Nick Nolte. Richard Dreyfus. 103 mins. Sugar-coated reactionary update of Renoir‘s Boudu Sauve Des Eaux. A glib class-divide comedy where the humour'is very American, ie. over reliant on slapstick and cute dogs. Glasgow; Grosvenor
0 Down By Law (15) (Jim Jarmusch. US. 1986) Tom Waits. John Lurie, Roberto Benigni. 106 mins. Two
outrage he inexorably moves into a position of contlict with those who hold power.
Stone’s iilm packs a tremendous wallop and is able to do so because of a sophisticated overview of the events in Salvador in the early 1980’s, allied to the bristling intensity oi both his writing and directing. His camera weaves and ducks, pulling the viewer intothe emotion-strewn horrors oi what is unfolding whilst his script must be one oi the densest and most intelligent to come irom an ostensibly American film since the heyday oi Paddy
abrasive hepcats with women trouble and a haplesst innocent Italian tourist with a penchant for American poetry in translation are thrown together in a New ()rleans prison cell, but miraculously manage to shamble their way out of confinement and across the Louisiana swamps.
A singularly seedy fairytale with luscious monochrome visuals. a script peppered with moments of wayward comic invention. and three lazily charismatic players. this milestone of American film comedy could only fail to be enjoyed by the utterly humourless. Very highly recommended indeed.
o Ferris Bueller's Day Dii(15) (N.R.) (John Hughes. US. 1986) Matthew Broderick. Mia Sara. Charlie Sheen. 103 mins. A sunny Spring day in Chicago is far too good to spend locked in a classroom so the irrepressible Ferris Bueller feigns a malady. cuts classes and promises his two best friends a day to remember. Characteristically uneven Hughes teen comedy that scores with its fresh dialogue and appealing characterisations but has the drawback of some crude. laboured slapstick farce and a mystifying need to make sentimental statements about growing up. Still. nicely photographed and quite good fun and at least nobody is grimly preoccupied with the loss of their virginity. Glasgow; ABC. Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh; ABC
However, his lilmmaking trom the gut does not eschew complexity. Salvador is not some hot-headed statement of political rhetoric but a realistic, pessimistic, anti-heroic depiction ol the ways oi the world. There is enough food for thought here to satisly anyone, regardless of political leanings.
Abrasive, gutsy and uncompromising, Salvador is a piece oi bravura lilmmaking that not only demands your attention but deserves it. (Allan Hunter)
0 Fundraising Auction Sunday 15 February marks the fifth anniversary of Filmhouse‘s two-screen complex opening for business in Edinburgh‘s Lothian Road. A number ofevents will mark the occasion all designed to raise funds for the refurbishment of cinema 2 which is now almost ten years old and in need ofnew carpeting. seating. etc. As Filmhouse is a non-profit organisation with charitable status every penny counts and now they are approaching their ever generous patrons to come up with the readies. A prize-winning rafﬂe is already in progress and the day will climax with a charity screening of the Sean Connery film The Name ofthe Rose. However. the main focus of the day is an auction ofmovie memorabilia ranging from Terance Stamp’s costume from Farfrom the Madding (mud to an E. T. poster signed by Steven Spielberg to a host of posters, stills. t-shirts. books. soundtracks, etc. All the fun ofthe fair is promised and it all sounds good clean fun for a very worthy cause.
The auction starts at 2pm on 15 Feb. admission is free and prior viewing of the goodies you might want to bid for takes place on the 14. See you there. Edinburgh; Filmhouse ~ 0 The General (U) (Buster Keaton. US. 1927) Buster Keaton, Marion Mack. Jim Farley. 74 mins. The Great Stone Face gamely fighting the American Civil War with the assistance ofa locomotive and his
girl. Flawlessly structured, beautifully executed silent comedy with a dash of romance and true-life adventure. Sublime perfection from one of the screen‘s few masters. Edinburgh; Edinburgh Film Guild 0 The Golden Child (PG) (Michael Ritchie, US, 1986) Eddie Murphy, Charles Dance, Charlotte Lewis. 94 mins. Substandard Murphy on the trail of a perfect infant born once every thousand generations who is the repository of all goodness and compassion. Ludicrous mumbo-jumbo mystical adventure that seems like an Indiana Jones cast-off and is not very funny. A tap-dancing Pepsi-Cola can steals the show and the acting honours. Glasgow; ABC Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh; ABC. Lothian; ABC. Strathclyde; ABC Greenock, ABC Kilmarnock
o The Great Dictator (U) (Charles Chaplin, US, 1940) Charles Chaplin, Paulette Godard, Jack Oakie. 128 mins. Chaplin’s first full talking picture sees him in a dual role as a Jewish ghetto barber and the title figure of Adenoid Hynkel. The mixture ofslapstick and social comment is unusually political and pointed for Chaplin and whilst lacking in subtlety his heart was clearly in the right place.
o Happy-Go-Lucky (PG) (Vasily Shukshin, USSR, 1973) Lydia Fedoseeva-Shukshina. 102 mins. Generally regarded as Shukshin’s finest film this tells of a couple who leave their village for the first time and are alternately exploited and amazed by the wonders ofthe so-called civilised urban world. Edinburgh; Filmhouse
o Heartbreakiiidge ( 15) (Clint Eastwood, US, 1986) Clint Eastwood, Marsha Mason, Everett McGill. 130 mins. Rough, tough Marines sergeant Clint whips new recruits into shape, tries to get back on terms with his ex-wife, then invades Grenada. Strictly a pot-boiler from the occasionally erratic, often impressive director, but another monolithic performance from the megastar.
Glasgow; ABC Sauchiehall Street.
Edinburgh; ABC. Lothian; Regal. Strathclyde; Odeon Hamilton 0 Heartburn (15) (Mike Nichols, US, 1986) Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson. 108 mins. Undemanding portrait ofa contemporary American marriage directed with some welcome satirical
ﬂourishes by Nichols and given distinction by the star power of the two protagonists. Carly Simon‘s music is also rather fetching and the whole film offers pleasantly entertaining middlebrow fare. Glasgow; ABC Clarkston Road, ABC Sauchiehall Street, Grosvenor. Edinburgh; Dominion. Lothian; ABC. Strathclyde; ABC Greenock, ABC Kilmarnock
O Heidi’s Song (U) (Robert Taylor, US, 1982) With the voices of Lorne Greene, Sammy Davis Jr and Margery Bell. 94 mins. Bland, lifeless cartoon musical version of the famous Heidi story. Entirely resistible.
10 The List 6 — 19 February