La Bamba (15) (Luis Valdez, US, 1987) Lou Diamond Phillips, Esai Morales, Rosana de Solo. 110 mins. Ritchie Valens perished on February 3rd, 1959; the day the music died, sharing the plane crash late oi Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper. He was 17 and his meteoric 8-month career had produced three hits ‘La Bamba', ‘Donna' and ‘Come On Let’s (30’. La Bamba, the movie, is a sweet, old-iashloned biopic that ailectionately recreates his llle and times.
In 1957, Ricardo Valenzuela is a migrant lruit-picker, a strapping teenager, his beloved guitar is almost an extra limb and his dreams are oi ‘pure rock 'n’ roll’. With the return irom jail at his hall-brother Bob, the Valenzuelas are once again a lamily and seek out some kind oi settled city lite. Ricardo joins a high-school band The Silhouettes, is spotted by a small time producer, signs with Del-Fl records, changes his name and has his lirst hit with ‘Come one Let’s Go’. The lilm shows how his briel lile lnlluenced his music with ‘Donna’ the response to a case oi broken-hearted puppy love and ‘La Bamba' the result oi his desire to explore his ethnic roots. It also shows the importance of his iamin and attempts to depict the diiliculties oi the Hispanic experience through the drinking, brawling, trouble ’n’ strile iigure oi Bob, unable to accept responsibility tor his own lite and envious oi Ritchie’s success.
La Bamba has been produced with the lull cooperation oi the Valenzuela lamin and one must, thereiore, take its accuracy tor granted. However,it has to be said that this is accuracy delivered with a coating oi Hollywood schmaltz and a leavening at traditional biopic cliches. It seems unlikely that the
0 Diary oi a Mad Housewlle (18) (Frank Perry. US. 1970) Carrie Snodgress. Frank Langella, Richard Benjamin. 94 mins. Driven to the brink of insanity by the merciless demands of her harrying husband, Snodgress finds some kind of relief in an affair with the selfish Langella. Well-acted. particularly by Snodgress, tale of female urban angst. Part ofthe What Does She Do'? Season. Edinburgh; Filmhouse 0 Echo Park ( 15) (Robert Dornhelm. Austria. 1985) Tom Hulce. Susan Dey. 90 mins. Fantasy and reality co-mingle in the lives ofthree showbiz hopefuls in a rundown Los Angeles suburb. Pleasant, low-key study of modest charm and nonchalant wit. Edinburgh; Filmhouse
o 84 Charing Cross Road (U) (David Jones. US. 1986) Anne Bancroft, Anthony Hopkins. Judi Dench. 99 mins. Mild-mannered but effective depiction of the twenty-year affectionate correspondence between brassy. garrulous American Anglophile Helen Hanff and the stiff upper-lip English bookseller Frank Doell. A fragile, rarified creature but quite a little charmer. Edinburgh; Filmhouse
0 Extreme Prejudice ( 18) a (Walter
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teenage Valenzuela was troubled by nightmares oi impending doom in a plane crash and whilst 1950s’ photos show him to be a cross between The Incredible Hulk and a prizellghter, the lilm portrays him as an incredibly cute relugee irom a jeans commercial. However, it is an extremely well-crafted lilm and imbued with such a conviction and passion that it ultimately weaves a story at
Hill. US. 1987) Nick Nolte. Powers Boothe. Rip Torn. 103 mins. Nolte is the decent. honest. upstanding Texas ranger trying to clean-up a seedy bordertown of the drug trafficking that is controlled by his childhood amigo Boothe. Complications ensue with the intervention ofa US Army Special Forces Assault team but this is basically a good guy versus the bad guys contemporary western with lashing of bloodletting. sweating and moral dilemmas. Violent and unremarkable.
0 Fires Were Started (U) (Humphrey Jennings. UK. 1943) Celebrated documentary—style reconstruction of the sterling work and heroic endurance of fire fighters in action during the Blitz. ‘An almost perfect expression of the national character of Britain in wartime.‘ Edinburgh; Filmhouse
0 Full Metal Jacket ( 18) (Stanley Kubrick. US. 1987) Matthew Modine. Lee Emery. Dorian Harewood. 109 mins. A group of raw recruits endure the dehumanising process of basic training under a foul-mouthed gunnery sergeant and then face the great horror of Vietnam during the Tet offensive of
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Los Lobos soundtrack is stunning, Lou Diamond Phillips does a laultless job oi miming to the sound oi David Hidalgo and there are a group at neat and effective cameo turns irom Marshall Crenshaw as Buddy Holly, Howard Huntsberry as Jackie Wilson and Brian Setzer as Eddie Cochran. Never mind the authenticity, ieel the sound. (Allan Hunter)
Impressive in many respects— camerawork, performances. humour — Full MeraIJacket adds nothing new to a subject that has been well covered elsewhere and more critically lacks a heart and a soul. Not the classic Vietnam statement one might have anticipated from the maker of Paths ofGlory.
Glasgow; Cannon Clarkston Road. Cannon Sauchiehall Street. Grosvenor. Edinburgh: Cannon. Strathclyde: Cannon Kilmarnock. Kelburne. Odeon Ayr. Odeon Hamilton. Lothian; Cannon
0 The Gate (15) (Tibor Rakacs. US, 1987) Stephen Dorff. Christa Denton. 84 mins. Plucky kids summon up demons from hell through a hole in their back garden. Ho hum horror fare with rather cute monsters. Glasgow; Cinema
0 The Gig (15) 1? (Frank D. Gilroy, US. 1985) Wayne Rogers, Cleavon Little. Ron Silver. 92 mins. A group of middle-aged. middle-class businessmen have a regular date to play jazz together as a relaxation from the pressures of their lives. When they are hired for a professional engagement at a small resort the gig adds unexpected
problems to what had once been just fun. Humorous. little-seen comedy drama that is reported to be something of a perceptive sleeper worth catching. Edinburgh; Filmhouse
0 Ginger and Fred (15) (Federico Fellini. Italy-France-W. Germany, 1986) Giuletta Masina. Marcello Mastroianni. 127 mins.
Overlong but likable satire of the gross excesses of Italian TV. The targets may be obvious and the pace a mite leisurely but this is Fellini‘s most accessible and enjoyable film in years. Strathclyde: Haldane Film Society
0 Good Morning Babylon (15) a (Paolo and Vittorio Taviani. Italy-France. 1986) Vincent Spano. Joaquim De Almeida. Greta Scacchi. Charles Dance. See panel. Glasgow; GFT. Edinburgh; Filmhouse
o The Gorbals Story (PG) (David MacKane. UK. 1949) The Glasgow Unity Players. 74 mins. Following the success of David Hayman’s Mayfest revival ofthe Robert
' McLeish play. a chance to see this
19405‘ time-capsule film. which is of limited cinematic interest but historically welcome. Glasgow; G171" o The Grierson Documentaries (U) To coincide with the Collins Gallery exhibition entitled ‘Master of Persuasion: John Grierson and the Documentary Cinema‘ a chance to see a collection of Grierson‘s work including Drifters. Housing Problems and Nighrmail. Glasgow; GFI"
0 Heaven’s Gate (18) (Michael Cimino. US. 1980) Kris Kristofferson. Isabelle Huppert, Joseph Cotten. (Short version). An epic western saga of the conflict between the immigrant settlers and the ruthless capitalist businessmen in 19th century Wyoming. Forget the production troubles. the miscasting et al and enjoy a wonderfully detailed, expansive slab ofexciting cinema with many fine moments and some hauntingly ravishing photography from Vilmos Zsigmond. Much (and unjustly) maligned. Edinburgh; Cameo
O Hellraiser ( I8) (Clive Barker. UK. 1987) Andy Robinson. Claire Higgins. Ashley Laurence. 92 mins.
A horror picture with a well-constructed plot. strong characters. haunting images and special effects that actually serve the storyline. Minor blemishes along the way, but an auspicious debut from horror writer Clive Barker. Glasgow; Cannon Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh; Cannon Strathclyde; Rialto.
o Hiroshima Mon Amour ( 18) (Alain Resnais, France, 1958) Emmanuele Riva. Eiji Okada. 91 mins. A French actress in Hiroshima falls in love with a Japanese architect and finds herself haunted by memories of an affair with a German soldier years earlier during the occupation.
Resnais‘ seminal debut scripted by Marguerite Duras, established his fascination with public and private memory and its ﬂuent use of flashback and ﬂashforward marked
14 The List 18 Sept — 1 Oct