84 Charing Cross Road (U) (David Jones, US, 1986) Anne Bancroft, Anthony Hopkins, Judi Dench. 99 mins. Fortwenty years, writerHelene Hanff and bookseller Frank Doell exchanged letters. She initially wrote to antiquarian booksellers Marks & Co of 84 Charing Cross Road, seeking volumes of out-of-print English literature. 80 overjoyed was she with that first purchase that she didn’t buy the company but she did decide to reserve her book-buying exclusively to Marks & Co.
As the correspondence developed, Hanff’s brass, garrulous American style eventually unthawed the renowned British reserve and the initials of her correspondent FPD were revealed as Frank Doell. A transatlantic friendship blossomed based on esteem and affection. Hanff would send food parcels to ration-starved Britain and demanded news of the Coronation, Doell would scour the highways and byways of Britain in search of her latest eclectic request. The two never spoke and were never to meet but the depth of feeling that existed between them was never in question. Doell died before Hanff could visit Britain but her eventual journey is a bittersweet pilgrimage to a country and a people that had become as familiar and well-loved as her own Brooklyn backyard.
0 Coming Up Boses(1’(}) (Stephen Bayley. UK. 1986) Dafydd l lywel. lola Gregory. Mari Emlyn. 93 mins. When the last cinema in a small Welsh town is threatened with closure the projectionist and ice cream seller embark on an inspired scheme to exploit the dank disused stalls as a profitable mushroom farm. Charming. enjoyable but disappointingly insubstantial Welsh-language comedy. Glasgow; GET 0 The Cotton Club (15) (Francis Coppola. US. 1985) Richard Gere. Gregory Hines. Bob Hoskins. 128 mins. Movie stars. molls and murderers interact in this expensive and loving recreation of the famous club ofthe prohibition. Gere contributes another lifeless performance but. although confined to the sidelines. Hines shines. Edinburgh: Cameo o Crocodile Dundee ( 15) (Peter Maiman. Australia. 1986) Paul Hogan. Linda Kozlowski. 98 mins. Mild-mannered comedy-romance starring l loges as a legendary croc hunter at large in downtown Manhattan. Edinburgh; Dominion 0 Dawn of the Dead ( 18) (George Romero. US. 1978) With the breakdown ofsociety under the sudden and inexplicable plague of zombies. a group of survivors make a last stand in a huge shopping mall. Combining a zesty horror comic with a trenchant satire on the consumer society. this second instalment is perhaps the most satisfying of Romero's ‘Dead' trilogy. Glasgow: GFI‘ 0 Day 01 the Dead ( 18) (George A.
Given that the basis 0184 Charing Cross Road is a transatlantic postal union this is a skillul and affecting dramatisation of some filmically very unpromising raw material. The period re-creation glows with the rose-hued nostalgia of post-war Britain viewed through the eyes of an American anglophile and, the acting is, of course, faultless. In their individual ways both Bancroft and Hopkins, who never share a scene, are letter perfect. His economical precision and her cheery vivacity make for a fine contrast
Romero. US. 1985) Lori Cardille. Terry Alexander. Joseph Pilato. 100 mins. The third in Romero‘s zombie trilogy has the last people not infected by the virus holding out underground in a Florida government bunker while the Undead on the surface outnumber them by 400.000 to one.
At once an ultrablack gross-out comedy and a very dark satire on the American public's ignorance ofthe nuclearthreat Glasgow; (iF'I’
0 Deadly Friend (18) (Wes Craven. US. 1986) Matthew Laborteaux. Kirsty Swanson. 90 mins. Boy computer boffin gets mixed up in re-animating dead bodies to unwittingly bloody effect in this derivative horror effort from a usually reliable source. Glasgow: Cannon Clarkston Road
0 Defence De Savoir( 15) (Nadine 'I'rintignant. France. 1973) Jean-Louis'l'rintignant. Bernadette Lafont. The discovery of a corpse in a gloomy house in the suburbs of Paris precipitates a police inquiry. and a reformed prostitute who lived with the dead man is taken in for questioning. Edinburgh: French Institute
0 Desert Bloom (15) 1? (Eugene Corr.
US. 1985) Annabeth Gish. Jon Voight. Jobeth Williams. Ellen Barkin. 106 mins. See panel. Edinburgh; Filmhouse
0 Diary of a Mad Housewife ( 15) (Frank Perry. US. 1970) Carrie Snodgrass. Richard Benjamin. Frank Langella. 95 mins. A bored wife tries an affair (with sultry Langella) before walking out on wimpy would-be trendy hubby
84 CHARING CROSS ROAD
and the supporting cast, from Judi Dench to Maurice Denham, are exceﬂent
Although the interest in what is dramatised letter reading eventually palls and the film runs out of steam, this is an honourable attempt to putthe ‘unfilmable' on celluloid. Tothe cynical, 84 Charing Cross Road will appearwilfully un-cinematic and cloyingly sentimental but the sturdy acting gives backbone and character to a slight, sweet-natured charmer. (Allan Hunter)
(Benjamin) and ending up in group therapy to ‘find herself‘. Agreeably mordant satire on the yuppies of 1970 with Carrie Snodgrass wondrously kooky in the central role. Glasgow; GET
0 Eating Raoul (18) (Paul Bartel. US. 1982) Paul Bartel. Mary Woronov. Robert Beltran. 83 mins. A husband and wife team ofgourmets finance their dream restaurant in the country by murdering various sexual deviates they contact through ads in the personal columns. Piquant and very black comedy. wryly served up by the plump. bald-headed writer/director/star who disdainfully despatches his victims with the aid of a large frying pan. (.ilasgow; GFI‘
o 84 Charing Cross Road (U) a (DavidJones. US. 1986) Anne Bancroft. Anthony Hopkins. Judi Dench. 99mins. See panel and feature. Glasgow; ()deon.
0 Entertaining Mr Sloane ( 18) (Douglas Hiekox. UK. 1969) Beryl Reid. Harry Andrews. Peter McEnery. 9-1 mins. A handsome lodger gains the attentions of both the middle-aged landlady and older son in a seaside boarding house. Another ()rton cavalcade of doubtful taste. with a script that tried hard for the ﬂuency ofthe stage original. Edinburgh; Filmhouse
o Eraserhead (18) (David Lynch. US. 1976) John Nance. 90mins. You may never eat jelly babies again after the repellent but compelling tale of Henry. his haircut. his girlfriend. his strange offspring and a good deal of pus. Disturbing stuff. Glasgow: Grosvenor
O E.T. (U) (Steven Spielberg. US.
1982) Henry Thomas. Drew Barrymore. Dee Wallace. 117 mins. A lonely suburban youngster befriends a stranded alien creature. Irresistible movie magic. Strathclyde; Odeon Ayr 0 Farewell (PG) a (Elem Klimov. USSR. 1983) Stefania Steniuta. Lev Durov. Alexei Petrenko. 140 mins. A 300 year-old island village is threatened by a planned hydro-electric scheme. and one old peasant woman who refuses to leave reflects on old Russian and the times that are a-changing before her very eyes.
Contrasting a pastoral nostalgia for a vanished rural past with tacky images of modern technological society. Klimov depicts a natural world under assault from rampaging progress. On the other hand. a bravura sequence where the villagers try to cut down an old tree and come under fire from the elements illustrates his belief in forces beyond our ken at work around us. This is thoughtful. moving and elegant film-making. and it sees Klimov justifiably take on the enviable mantle of master of the Soviet cinama. Edinburgh; Filmhouse 0 La Fiance Du Pirate (18) (Nelly Kaplan, France. 1969) Bernadette Lfont. 106 mins. After the death of her prostitute mother Marie is forced to follow in her footsteps to make ends meet. Soon a conﬂict develops between the girl and certain self-righteous villagers. but Marie’s revenge shakes the local community to its roots. Another feminist use of prostitution as a means ofsexual control. as in Lizzie Borden‘s Working Girls. Here the tone is similarly straightforward, but imbued with a dry sense ofhumour. Edinburgh; Filmhouse 0 Finyé (The Wind) (PG) (Souleymane Cisse. Mali. 1982) 105 mins. A dissection of the cultural conflicts at work today in West Africa which focuses on student revolt. political repression and the old ways ofvillage life to show some of the adverse effects Westernization can bring. One ofthe few African films to make it into British distribution. this uses personal tensions to express the turmoils ofa nation in a generally skilful manner. Edinburgh; EUFS o Firewalker (PO) is (No other credits available) Chuck Norris. The Go-Go Boys” action man in what sounds like an Indiana Jones rip~off. There is no end to the supply of Cannon fodder. Glasgow; Salon. Strathclyde; Cannon Greenock o The Fourth Protocol (15) (John McKenzie. UK. 1986) Michael Caine. Pierce Brosnan, Joanna Cassidy. 119 mins. Old-fasioned and lukewarm cold-war thriller with unconventional agent Caine out to stop Soviet superspy Brosnan assembling and detonating a nuclear device in dear old Blighty. Strathclyde; Odeon Ayr o Frog Dreaming (U) a (Brian 'l‘renchard-Smith. Australia. 1985) Henry Thomas. Tony Barry. Rachel Friend. 93 mins. American orphan Thomas (of E. T. fame) is being raised by his father‘s best friend at
16 The List 15 — 28 May