CHRONICLE OF A DEATH FORETOLD
Chronicle of A Death Foretold (15) (Francesco Rosi, ltaly/France/Colombia, 1986) Rupert Everett, Ornelia Muti, Gian Maria Volonte, Anthony Delon. 98 mins. In the same way that ‘Clint Eastwood‘ or ‘Michael J. Fox' might entice the groundlings to the local fleapit in droves, the prospect of Francesco ‘Carmen‘ Rosi adapting a novel by Nobel Prize-winning Gabriel Garcia Marquez with the luscious Rupert Everett in the lead has obviously been contrived for the international middlebrow set. The predictable Sunday-supplement coverage/orgasms is a testament to the producer‘s knowledge of his market, but unfortunately this aura of arrogant commercial self-satisfaction also saturates the film’s creative aspects. It‘s so artfully preconceived and effortlessly packaged there's nothing for the viewer to respond to.
Shot in the beautiful downtown Cartagena, Colombia (corl), the snaking narrative follows oldster Gian Maria Volonteas as he investigates the events of forty years earlier that saw his best friend killed and a whole town complicit in the murder. Through a jittery patchwork of flashbacks, we learn of Bayardo San Roman, the fabulously wealthy, fabulously dark, fabulously mysterious stranger quite improbany played by a stubbly Rupert E., who waltzes into town one day and without much ado marries Angela (Ornelia Muti), the illustrious Vicario family‘s beautiful daughter, only to return her to her folks on the wedding night when he discovers she is not a virgin. Underconsiderable parental pressure she names local playboy Santiago Nasar (the luscious Anthony Delon) asthe culprit of hermisfortune, and her twin brothers dash off to
Jean-Pierre Zola. Adrienne Servatie. 11o mins. A small boy has more time for his clumsy uncle than his parents. Slow-burning. frequently hilarious 'l‘ati vehicle with some smart visual gags and moments of utter hilarity as M. llulot wreaks havoc almost everywhere he goes. A tad overlong. but lovable all the same. Edinburgh: Filhouse. o MonsieurHulot’s Holiday ( LI) (Jacques ’l‘ati. France. 1953) Jacques 'l‘ati. Nathalie Pascaud. 91 mins. liasily the sharpest llulot movie. this comic masterpiece has 'l‘ati unwittingly creating chaos at a quiet seaside resort, Undoubtedly the film contains some of the most delightful timing since the days of Buster Keaton. with some unforgettable bits of funny business involving a flat tyre. An absolute joy and part of a splendid 'l‘ati double—bill. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. o The Morning Alter ( 15) (Sidney Lumct. US. 1986) Jane Fonda. Jeff Bridges. Raul Julia. 104 mins. Fading. alcoholic actress awakens one morning to find herselfin a strange room with yet another unfamiliar male figure from the night before. The difference on this occasion is that the gent in question
avenge the family's shame. As this is a matter of honour, the townspeople keep out of it as Nasar- who could possibly be innocent and very unlucky - is stabbed to death in the central
Admittedly, the blend of Latin temperament. questions of honour, Catholic guilt and lax moral values does sound an intriguing one. However, a combination of abject miscasting, lifeless scripting and co-production compromise soon induces a deadening tedium that the occasionally quite nifty cutting and crisply luxuriant cinematography never quite manage to enliven. Noted Hispanic matinee idol El Rupert has little to do but pout lusciously and the reliable Ornelia Muti is in there to dutifully display her breasts in time-honoured only-if-the-script-demands-it fashion. These are STARS and not actors apparently, for a clueless screenplay invests their relationship with little fire orenergy oranything.
is dead .‘I’raditional mystery thriller with two good central performances the main point of interest. (ilasgow: ()deon.
o The Mosquito Coast ( PG) (Peter Weir. US. 1986) Harrison Ford. River Phoenix. Helen Mirren. 119 mins. A black-edged reworking of the Swiss Family Robinson as Ford's know-it-all inventor forsakes the decline of Western civilisation for the jungles of South America. lnterrnitently fascinating utopian parable. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
o The Name of the Rose ( 18) (Jean-Jacques Annaud. West (ierman-France-Italy. 1986) Sean Connery. F. Murray Abraham. 131 mins. Marvellous medieval mystery with the masterful. consistently underrated Connery as a monk on the trail ofa monastery murderer. Magnificent. Edinburgh: Dominion. Glagow: Salon.
0 91/2 Weeks ( 18) (Adrian Lyne. US. 1985) Kim Basinger. Mickey Rourke. Margaret Whitton. 113 mins. Divorcee Basinger becomes a slave to love when she succumbs to the charms ofsmug commodities broker Rourke. Empty-headed designer honking. Edinburgh: Marco‘s.
This magical realism malarkey might work very well on paper, but here it appears a lazy jumble of unanswered questions and dangling loose ends. Why the marriage? Why the investigation? The characters move to the screenwriter‘s arbitrary whim, for the personalities are never developed enough for motive to make the scattered events cohere. A cast acting in several different languages and a subsequent mix of English dialogue, dubbing and subtitles does little to help —the legacy of an international super-production cobbled together to appeal to as many areas as possible.
Don‘t be fooled by the cultural brownie points of the big names, torthe Colombian author, Italian director, German producer, and English star are just so many disparate elements hanging in suspension. Pieces of a beautiful jigsaw languishing un-made in a very pretty box. The novel may well be wonderful but that doesn‘t make it all right. (TrevorJohnston)
0 Police Academy IV: Citizens on Patrol (PG) (Jim Drake. US. 1987) Steve (iuttenberg. Bubba Smith. (ieorge (iaynes. 87 mins. The old lags ofthe academy rally to the aid of their former commandant when he initiates a neighbourhood watch group programme and needs assistance to train selected oddball volunteers from the local community. Number five in this interminany juvenile series is already in the works. Aaaargh! Glasgow: Cannon Clarkston Rd. Cannon Sauchiehall St. (irosvenor. Edinburgh: Cannon. Dominion. Lothian: Cannon. Strathclyde: Cannon Kilmarnock. Kelburne. ()deon Ayr. ()deon Hamilton.
0 Pretty in Pink( 15) (John Hughes. US. I986) Molly Ringwald. Harry Dean Stanton. Andrew McCarthy. Jon Cryer. 98 mins. Molly is the girl from the wrong side of the tracks forced to choose between two men: Cryer the idolising “mid and McCarthy the ‘richie‘ she really lusts after. A certain familiarity in the narrative is eclipsed by chic trappings and music and by Hughes‘nigh infallible feel for teen dialogue which elevates the film from cliche to winning credibility.
0 Raising Arizona (15) 1} (Joel Coen. US. 1987) Nicholas Cage. Holly Hunter. 90 mins. See Panel Review. Glasgow: ()deon. Edinburgh: ()deon.
0 Raw Deal ( 18) (John lrvin.US. 1986) Arnold Schwarzenegger. Kathryn llarrold. 105 mins. Arnie plays a retired FBI agent brought back into service by a hassled Chief to sort out a gang of bad-assed rnuthas intent on wiping out all the key witnesses in the case against a Chicago gangleader. Forumlaic. plodding potboiler that wastes action-man Arnie. Edinburgh: ()deon.
O Roma ( 15) (Frederico Fellini. Italy 1972) 128 mins. ()verlong quasi-documentary by the master on his home town. both ancient and modern. It is undoubtedly means a great deal more to Romans themselves. but there are flashes of fun peeping out through all the self-indulgence. most notably an ecclesiastical fashion parade on roller skates. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
0 Room With A View ( l’(i) (James lvory. UK. 1985) l lelena Bonharn Carter. Julian Sands. Maggie Smith. 117 mins. (‘risply realised near perfect evocation ofthe EM. Forster novel in which an apparently delicate English rose blossoms into a passionate young woman after a romantic encounter in Florence. (ilasgow: (iEI'. Edinburgh: Dominion.
o The Secret of My Success (PG) (Herbert Ross. US. 1987) Michael J.Fox. Helen Slater. Richard Jordan. 11 mins. Country burnpkin Fox strikes out for New York determined to make his mark in the cut-throat world of Big Apple big business.
Slick. sleekly photographed yuppie comedy that is entirely predictable and as obnoxious in its view of the world as Top Gun but entertains thanks to a sympathetic cast. Glasgow: Cannon Sauchiehall St, Cinema. Grosvenor. Strathclyde: Kelburne. ()deon Ayr. ()deon Hamilton.
0 The Secret of the Sword (U) Animated big-screen adventure of kids telly favourites He-Man and She-Ra. Edinburgh: Dominion.
0 She’s Gotta Have It ( 18) (Spike Lee. US. 1986) Tracy Camilla Johns, Redmond Hicks. Spike Lee. 9() mins. Spirited. sympathetic comedy of sexual manners with a snappy script and ﬂuid technique that marks an auspicious debut for its young. gifted and black writer director'pcrformer. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
o Slaughterhouse Five ( 18) (George Roy Hill. US. 1972) Michael Sacks. Ron Liebman. Eugene Roche. 10-1 mins. A timid suburban optometrist looks back to his horrific wartime experiences and into the future to an adventure on a distant planet. Nobody can do Vonnegut but the lad himself. though this ambitious failure is watchable throughout and the Dresden sequences pack quite a punch. It might inspire non-devotees to read the book. Edinburgh:
14 The List 2-1 July — 6 August