Castaway (15) (Nicolas Roeg, Uk, 1986) Amanda Oonohue, Oliver Reed. 120 mins. The pairing ol esoteric, meditative director Roeg and the trashy, exploitation-lsh bestseller material ol Lucy Irvine, even on paper seems a rather ill-matched one. One presumes that Hoeg was attracted to the story of Ms Irvine's year on a desert island as a ‘wiIe’ lor middle-aged publisher Gerald Kingsland on the basis that the situation could be turned into an exploration ol human relationships at their most elemental, taking the themes at earlier works such as Walkabout and Bad Timing to their almost logical conclusion. On paper, this seems at the very least quite plausible.
It is only on screen where the problems begin to arise. Hoeg sets off skilfully, with the early scenes in London working perfectly well as a threatening, impressionistic evocation ol the horrors of contemporary urban existence. As soon as Irvine and Kingsland are paired oil and landed on the tropical isle oI Tuim ott Northern Australia however, thing begin to go sadly awry. Instantly, Amanda Donahue whips oft all her clothes while shapely, sexy, sensational Ollie Reed (mercilully) keeps his well and truly on, and off we go Iorthe most tedious and poorly contrived ninety minutes at Roeg's lilm career. Her decision not to
sleep with him any more (she had already done so back in Blighty) seems perverse, his lazy ineptitude quite staggering, and their relationship a repetitive catalogue ol sexual denial and environmental conlllct. As a couple they are neither credible, nor Iikeable and their endeavours tail to elicit much admiration such is their shambling clumsiness.
True, the cinematography is lairly ravishing, and Reed and Donahue acquit themselves with a convincing amount of physical commitment, but the linal product simply tails to gell. Lucy Irvine's book is by all accounts a rambling and ill-focused affair, and
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these Iaults have been transposed to the screen ratherthan eliminated by screenwriterAIlan Scott, himsell responsible tor the script at an earlier excellent Roeg movie Don’t Look Now. The result is that the unhappy duo are not tragic combatants against indillerent nature, nore emblematic of the tensions of universal sexual conﬂict, but merely a couple of idiots interminany pottering around by the seaside. Not really a case ol an undoubtedly gilted lilm-maker rising above his material, more a matter of him simply not being able to do anything with it.
Smart. stylish thriller redolent of The Draughtsman‘s Contract but an aura ofclinical calculation detracts from its full impact. Edinburgh; Filmhouse
o Defence of the Realm (PG) (David Drury. UK. 1985) Gabriel Byrne. Denholm Elliott. Greta Scacchi. 96 mins. A Fleet Street hack stumbles onto a far-reaching conspiracy of murder and deceit that stretches to the heart of the government. Incisive political thriller— both stimulating and entertaining. Glasgow; GFI‘
O Diva ( 15) (Jean-Jacques Beineix, 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 ofthis daffy Gallic cult favourite. Style exudes from every frame. Edinburgh; Cameo
o OrJekyll and Mr Hyde (PG) (John S. Robertson. US. 1920) John Barrymore. Martha Mansfield. Louis Walheim. ()3 mins. Primitive but still effective silent version of the Stevenson fable. Glasgow; GFI‘
O Oreamchild (PG) (Gavin Millar. UK. 1985) Coral Browne. Ian Holme. Peter Gallagher. 94 mins. The aged Mrs Alice Hargreaves. who as a little girl was the child to whom Lewis Carroll told the Alice stories. is in town to receive an Honorary Degree from Columbia University. The confrontation with a brash New World sends the 80 year-old back to the sunny days on the [sis of her childhood. Dennis Potter’s first original cinema
screenplay is a careful and evocative study ofthe way in which the memories ofold age can fit together the half-understood experiences of youth. Browne is outstanding. Edinburgh; EUFS o Ferris Bueller’s Day Ott(15) (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 laboured farce and the need to make meaningful statements. Glasgow; ABC Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh; ABC 0 The Films oi Friedhelm Brueckner (PG) 105 mins. Herr Brueckner’s celluloid mission has been to capture the lives ofdying cultures on film for posterity. This programme features Asmat, about the coastal population of the former Dutch Colony of New Guinea, and In The Opium Mountains which looks at the traditions of the Akha hill tribe living in the golden triangle between Thailand. Burma and Laos. Edinburgh: Filmhouse 0 The Fly ( 18) ﬁr (David Cronenberg, US. 1986) Jeff Goldblum. Geena Davis. John Getz. 96 mins. See Caption Review. Glasgow; Odeon. Edinburgh; Odeon. Strathclyde; Odeon Ayr, Odeon Hamilton
0 Friends and Husbands ( 15) (Margarethe Von Trotta, West Germany, 1982) Hanna Schygulla, Angela Winkler. 106 mins. A chance meeting between a lecturer and a painter leads to a sympathetic, understanding friendship between the two women that is unfavourany compared with the insecure, narcissistic competitiveness of their respective spouses and the company they keep. Another finely observed and painfully recognisable drama of human relationships. Glasgow; OFF 0 Full Moon in Paris (15) (Eric Rohmer. France, 1984) Pascale Ogier. Tcheky Karyo, Fabice Luchini. 101 mins. A young trainee textile designer finds her fondness for socialising causes tension between herself and her lugubrious lover. Edinburgh; French Institute 0 The German Sisters (15) (Margarethe Von Trotta, West Germany, 1981)Jutta Lange, Barbara Sukowa. 107 mins. Two sisters take different roads to revolt in 1968 and afterwards. Teenage rebel Julienne chooses the moderate path of demonstrations and work on a feminist newspaper. whilst family favourite Marianne goes underground as a terrorist. Fascinating portrait of the contradictions ofpost-war West German society, told in an eliptical fashion through interweaving flashbacks and impressively acted throughout. Glasgow; OFF 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-comedy 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, Cinema, Grosvenor. Edinburgh; ABC- LOthian; ABC. Strathclyde; ABC Greenock, ABC Kilmarnock
o The Grey Fox (PG) (Phillip Borsos, Canada, 1982) Richard Farnsworth, Jackie Burroughs. 91 mins. Flavourful account ofthe life and crimes ofstagecoach bandit Bill Miner who re-emerged into the 20th century after 33 years in San Quentin and easily adapted by robbing trains. Nicely judged turn-of-the-century western with former stuntman Richard Farnsworth comfortably holding centre stage as the charmingly roguish Miner. Strathclyde; Haldane
0 The Hustler ( 18) (Robert Rossen, US, 1961) Paul Newman, Piper Laurie, George C. Scott, Jackie Gleason. 135 mins. Vivid, gritty Oscar-winning drama with Newman giving one of his finest performances as a disenchanted drifter who makes his way in the world as a pool-hall shark, tricking his opponents into underestimating his skill with a cue. However, he is desperately driven by a self-destructive urge to prove himself the best in the country and beat Gleason‘s legendary Minnesota Fats. Memorable and atmospheric with top-notch characterisations. A perfect curtain-raiser to the imminent Color ofMoney sequel. Edinburgh; Filmhouse
o lnsignilicance (15) (Nicolas Roeg, UK, 1985) Theresa Russell, Tony Curtis, Michael Emil. 108 mins. New York, 1954. A quartet of mid-century icons congregate in a hotel, the fictionalist interconnection of their lives allowing for speculation on the private concerns of some very public figures. Terry Johnson‘s stage play presents ideal material for Roeg‘s characteristically dense but unusually accessible explosion of ideas in this exploration ofpersonal identity. Edinburgh; EUFS
0 Kiss of the Splderwoman (15) (Hector Babenco, US-Brazil, 1985) William Hurt, RaulJulia. 121 mins. Two men share a prison cell. victims in their individual ways ofan unspecified fascist regime. One isa flamboyant homosexual. the other a macho revolutionary. The pain of their confinement ultimately brings mutual understanding. love and a moving exchange of roles. Edinburgh; Edinburgh Film Guild
0 Lamb (15) (Colin Gregg.Uk,1985) Liam Neeson, Hugh O‘Conor, Ian Bannen. 110mins. Unsentimental and affecting screen translation of the MacLaverty novel in which a disillusioned young priest flees a grim remand home on the Irish coast and vainly tries to establish a happier life in London with a boy whom he has befriended. Despite a number of
12 The List 20 Feb — 5 March