Blue Velvet (18) (David Lynch, US, 1986) Kyle McLachlan, Isabella Rosselini, Dennis Hopper, Laura Dem. 120 mins. There's a sense at unease even with the opening lrames, tor you're never quite sure where you are with this picture. The too-blue sky, too-red roses and too-white picket lence usher us into unfamiliar territory somewhere en route between home and weirdsville. It’s a path the rest of the lilm follows unllinchingly, a remarkable lusion ot the cosy and the terrifying which blends kitsch and nightmare, boy-detective liction and brutal sexual perversion to hauntingly deconstruct our cosy vision of what passes tor normal society.
The location is Lumberton, the sleepy middle-American town we’ve seen belore in so many old movies, and teenagerJetlrey (Kyle McLachlan reprising his golly-jeepers innocent lrom Lynch's previous ‘Dune') has just discovered a severed ear on some waste ground. When the police ask him not to intertere in the case, he does the honourable thing and enlists the help of the detective’s daughter (Laura Dern) to get to the bottom of things. Pretty soon he finds himsell breaking in to slinky nightclub chanteuse Dorothy’s (Isabella Rosselini) apartment and is an unwitting witness to her violent sexual humiliation at the hands ot the irredeemably psychotic Frank (an astonishingly physical Dennis Hopper). It seems that she is the victim in an underground conspiracy and drugs ring lorded over by Frank, but when the young investigator steps in to help her he tinds his own desire hard to resist when she entices him to mistreat her, and belore long becomes subject himsell to the uncontrollable wrath of crazed Dennis Hopper.
All this seems like a David Lynch version at the Hardy Boys mysteries or the rites of passage story where the teenage male is on a quest to gain knowledge and restore order. Here though, the youngster discovers a world oi rank perversions lurking just beneath society's placid surlace, and it
remaining sight may also be impaired but as she wrestles with the . medical options she meets Robert who has been blind since birth and is now himself a teacher ofthe blind. Major decisions about her future must be faced when her husband arrives to encourage a reconciliation. Edinburgh; Filmhouse 0 Carmen (PG) (Francesco Rosi, France-Italy. 1984) Julia Migenes-Johnson. Placido Domingo. Ruggero Raimondi. 152 mins. Splendid screen version of the Bizet opera; a magnificent musical spectacle with a wide-ranging appeal. Glasgow; GFT o Casablanca (PG) (Michael Curtiz. US. 1942) Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains. 102 mins. You must rememberthis. . . Bogart being impossibly noble, Bergman torn between two lovers, Rains playing both ends against the middle, devious Nazis, a fogbound
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is a kind of wisdom that is to act as a corrupting inlluence on the naive innocent. The lilm certainly displays a confrontational attitude towards moral issues, with the widely publicised scenes of sexual abuse torcing both the young hero and the males in the audience to question whether or not their own drives are to exert such domination over the object of their desire. Jettrey halt-ashamedly admits that he only wanted to look at Dorothy, but this excuse does little to assuage his guilt. Nor can the male viewer disassociate himsell lrom the close-ups oi iconic ruby lips, slightly parted, whispering ‘Hurt me’, torthe tilm posits the very act ot looking itself as one tinged with sexual violence (shades here ol Michael Powell’s ‘Peeplng Tom', also reviled upon its initial release).
One does well to note that when Frank managesto trap the boy, smearing him with blood and lipstick, he drunkenly roars ‘You're just like me.’ The audience’s choice is to painlully accept this as an uncomtortable home truth or to simply regard Frank as an amoral freak and dodge the question. Feminists may be appalled at some of the film's content, but, paradoxically, it is broachlng the same notions ot male sexuality as control that the women's movement has latched on to.
airport. a piano-player tinkling that tune. . . A wonderful hillofbeans. Edinburgh; Cameo
0 Cathy Come Home (TV) (Ken Loach, UK, 1966) Carol White stars in this raw, emotional television landmark that marked a peak in Loach’s plan to focus concern on social issues by couching the debate in heartrending terms. Here a young woman is forced on to the streets with her family and Loach once hoped that the sense ofoutrage engendered by the play might lead to concerted political action to remedy the existing iniquity ofgovernment policy on the homeless. Glasgow;
0 Come and See (15) or (Elem Klimov. USSR, 1985) Alexei Kravchenko, Olga Mironova, Luibomiras Laucevicius. 142 mins. Byelorussia. near the Polish border. 1943. A village is systematically razed to the ground and its inhabitants exterminated by the Nazi
The points are not cut-and-dried, for even in the roses-round-the-door ending when the bogeyman Frank has been removed, the sweet little robin on the windowsill is munching a juicy bug —the world retains its seemingly innate capacity lor corruption and violence.
Any schematic analysis does little to convey the irrationally disturbing nature of the lilm, however. The sexual scenes are paintul to watch; the break-in to the apartment is unbearably tense; and the escalating threat at Hopper and his deranged buddies is one at sheer gut tension — all this wrapped in the haunting strains of Bobby Vinton and Roy Orbison and evolving a constantly deepening aura of almost tangible dread, or something like it. For about hall a day after I saw the film I had a knot in my stomach. It could have been a spasm ol uncontrolled, deep-seated tear, or it could have been the thrill of excitement. I don’t know which itwas. I wish I did. But what I am certain of is that it won’t be long belore I see this quite, quite singular picture again. It’s a lilm you just cannot attord to miss, lor neitheryour imagination, nor any review, nor any word of mouth could ever come close to approximating the experience 01 actually watching it. And that is what the cinema is all about. (Trevor Johnston)
invaders. while a teenage boy joins the local partisans in their vain attempts to repel the marauders. The second film to be shown in Scotland this year by the new secretary ofthe Soviet filmmakers union is an appalling indictment of World War II Nazi atrocities often filmed with a darkly expressionistic brio that becomes cumulatively fascinating and horrifying. Its distribution in the West is doubtless intended to. and indeed succeeds in reminding us ofSoviet wounds that have not yet healed. Glasgow; GFT O The Connection ( 18) (Shirley Clark, US, 1961) William Redfield, Warren Finnerty. Roscoe Lee Browne. 103 mins. Based on Jack Gelber‘s stage play this is an intense and gripping experimental drama ofjunkies awaiting the arrival of their ‘connection’ with heroin. and a documentary filmmaker filming them. Brilliantly acted independent production. Glasgow; GFT
o Crocodile Dundee (15) (Peter Faiman. Australia. 1986) Paul Hogan. Linda Koslowski. 98 mins. Slight but disarming comedy-romance starring Hoges as a legendary croc hunter at large among the sophisticates in the jungle ofdowntown Manhattan. Edinburgh; Dominion
0 Easy Hider(18) (Dennis Hopper, US. 1969) Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda. Jack Nicholson. 94 mins. Artless, archetypal ‘road‘ movie in which two dope-loving bikers travel the highways and by-ways of America. Dated. low-budget feature with Nicholson especially memorable as a booze-drenched. straitlaced lawyer who is persuaded to join up for the trip. Edinburgh; Cameo
0 Evil Dead ll: Dead Betore Dawn ( 18) (Sam Raimi. US. 1987) Bruce Campbell. Sarah Berry. Dan Hicks. 85 mins. Just when you thought it was safe to go back to a ramshackle hut in the middle of nowhere with a cellarful offlesh-craving zombies. . . Bruce ‘fastest axe in the West’ Campbell and another selection of hardy citizens gird their loins and set their Chainsaws running for another ding-dong battle with the pesky evil force in the woods.
The ﬂavour has changed from the original’s gruelling relentlessness to one ofsurreal barf-out humour with gross laffs by the bucketful. Knockabout pratfalls. wry one-liners and hyperactive camerawork make a winning combination. Smart trash hip hit ofthe year. no less.
Glasgow; Cannon Clarkston Road. Odeon. Edinburgh: ()deon. Lothian; Cannon Falkirk. Strathclyde: Cannon Greenock. Cannon Kilmarnock, ()deon Hamilton
0 Fatherland ( 15) n (Kenneth Loach. UK-West Germany-France. 1986) GerulfPannach. Fabienne Babe, Cristine Rose. 111 mins. See panel. Glasgow; GET
0 Fire Festival (18) (Mitsuo Yanagamachi. Japan. 1984) Kinya Kitaoji. Ryota Nakamoto. 118 mins. A lumberjack in a coastal town feels so strong a relationship with the Gods 0fthe landscape around him that its gradual destruction by the forces of modern society drive him to an act of terrible violence. Edinburgh; Filmhouse
0 Flight ol the Navigator (U) (Randal Kleiser, US. 1986) 9() mins. Inferior holiday fare in which a plucky youngster is snatched by desperate aliens and winds up piloting their craft on a merry chase across the globe. More big screen space invaders for the kiddies but not without its moments. Edinburgh; Dominion
o The Fourth Protocol (15) (John MacKenzie. UK. 1986) Michael Caine, Pierce Brosnan, Joanna Cassidy. 119 mins. Old-fashioned and long-winded, lukewarm cold-war thriller with unconventional agent Caine out to stop Soviet superspy Brosnan assembling and detonating a nuclear device in dear old Blighty. Edinburgh; Dominion
o Friday the 13m, Part VI ( 18) No
12The List 26June-9July