Aria (18) (Robert Altman, Bruce Beresiord, Bill Bryden, Jean-Luc Godard, Derek Jarman, Nicolas Roeg, Franc Roddam, lien Russell, Charles Sturrldge, Julien Temple, US/lllt, 1987) Theresa Russell, John Hurt, Buck Henry, Tilda Swinton, Linzi Drew. 98 mins. A splendid notion this, to draw up a roll-call oi respected international directors and developing British talents and give them each the briei oi visually interpreting an operatic aria oi their choice without lapsing into literalness or cliched picture postcards. The very iact that the iilm exists at all is a testament to the enthusiasm and organisational capabilities oi producer Don Boyd, but as with most portmanteau ailairs the end result is very much a mixed bag.
Perhaps surprisingly, the least-known name, Charles Sturridge (oi ‘Brideshead’ lame), steals the show with an understated piece oi monochrome melancholia, to music by Verdi, that has three London schoolgirls indulging in a tragic joyriding escapade;and a similarly haunting grey-tinged sadness iniuses Derek Jarman’s Charpentier segment with Tilda Swinton in grainy home-movie iootage oi a summer love aiiair. These two are easily the most successiul parts oi the iilm, though one might interiect an honourable mention Ior a solid Nicolas Roeg periormance that casts Theresa Russell, in the role she was born to play, as King Zog ol Albania lending all an assassination attempt to the strains oi Verdi’s ‘Un Ballo In Maschera’; while Franc Roddam's vision oi Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde as suicide-pacting lovers in the neon maelstrom oi Las Vegas has a certain excessive zeal to it.
See panel. Edinburgh; Filmhouse
0 Art in Cinema II ( 18) Approx 70 mins. This massive season continues with a programme looking at the various international cooperative movements including the London Filmmakers Co-op. Edinburgh; Filmhouse
0 Barry Lyndon (PG) (Stanley Kubrick, UK, 1975) Ryan O‘Neal, Marisa Berenson. 184 mins. Kubrick’s sumptuous recreation of Thackerey’s shaggy dog tale follows a gentleman of fortune through 18th century Ireland.Glasgow; Grosvenor
O Belles de Nuit (Rene Clair, France, 1952) Gerard Philipe, Martine Carol, Gina Lollobrigida. 89 mins. Philipe is an aspiring composer with a penchant for daydreaming that transports him to other times and other places where he meets his ideal woman in this diverting fantasy. Edinburgh; French Institute.
0 Beverly Hills Cop ll (15) (Tony Scott, US, 1987) Eddie MUrphy. Judge Reinhold, Dean Stockwell. 98 mins. Doggedly uninspired sequel/clone that dispatches smart-ass Murphy back to lotus land to clean up a gang responsible for the alphabet crimes. A loud, crashing bore unaided by Murphy‘s familiar ad-libbed antics.
Glasgow; Cannon Clarkston Road,
in general, the rest should be silence. Tackling ‘Rigoletto’ by Verdi, Julien Temple’s steadicam whirligig oi iarcical amour in Calilornia‘s theme-iniested Madonna Inn goes nowhere last, but at least its resistible iizz is more entertaining than the awesomely ilat Bill Bryden linking sequences with John Hurt dutiiully traipsing round Venice in a ridiculous clown get-up, Cavallo in his ears and an expression oi bathetic desperation smeared across his ieatures.’The latter however, is eclipsed in dullness by the Bruce Beresiord piece, a briei and uninspiring interlude oi Korngold and lacklustre passion between two lovers, and Altman’s wearisome Rameau episode, which simply ogles the tedious debauchery oi the 18th century
Cannon Sauchiehall Street, Cinema, Grosvenor. Edinburgh; Cannon. Dominion. Lothian; Cannon. Strathclyde; Cannon, Kelburne, Odeon A r, Rialto
0 Bicycle hieves (U) (Vittorio De Sica, Italy, 1949) Lamberto Maggiorani, Linaella Carell, Enso Staiola. 90 mins. Compassionate. simple story ofa working man whose livelihood and life depend on his possession of a bike and the heartache that ensues when the said vehicle is stolen. Edinburgh; Filmhouse
0 Black God, White Devil (18) (Glauber Rocha, Brazil, 1964) Early success by the film-maker at the centre ofthe 19605’ Cinema Novo movement in Brazil, dealing with the country’s violent past in a stylised manner, with much poetic carnage in the Peckinpah vein Edinburgh; EUFS
0 Blind Date (15) (Blake Edwards, US, 1987) Bruce Willis, Kim Basinger, Graham Stark. 95 mins. Excruciatingly contrived screwball farce with yuppie Willis coming a cropper when he stupidly plies blind date Basinger with champagne Glasgow; Odeon. Strathclyde; Odeon Hamilton
0 Blue Velvet (18) (David Lynch, US, 1986) Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Roseelini, Dennis Hopper. 120
audience, is quite the most pointless oilering oi his career.
Overall though, the most damning indictment oi the lilm-makers’ lack oi imagination is the ireguent resorting to iilling screen-time with women in various advanced stages oi undress; the Ken Russell and Jean-Luc Godard sections plumbing the depths oi middle-aged misogynism and deserving little but contempt. Their odious eiiorts leave a nasty taste in the mouth that the variable quality oi the rest oi the material does little to dispel. Dne ieels that Boyd might have intended something more than a dubious collection oi arty pop promos, but that seems to be by and large what his hired hands have delivered up to him. (Trevor Johnston)
mins. Lumberton, middle-America. Would-be boy detective Jeffrey Beaumont finds a severed ear on some waste ground and when the police shoo him away he decides to do some investigating on his own. Astonishineg seductive sensual mystery thriller. Glasgow; Grosvenor
o The Boys Next Door (18) (Penelope Spueeris, US, 1985) Maxwell Caulfield, Charlie Sheen. 88 mins. Disturbing story of two teenagers on the eve of high school graduation who foresee their lot as nothing but dead-end jobs and low expectations. To celebrate the end of freedom they go on a murderous spree. Interesting story ofyouthful alienation, covering similar themes to the forthcoming River’s Edge but without the latter’s telling detail and complexity. Glasgow; GET
0 Captive (18) (Paul Mayersberg, UK, 1986) Irina Brook, Oliver Reed, Xavier Deluc. 98 mins. Poor little rich girl Rowena is abducted from her reclusive existence in a gothic fortress and held captive by a trio of terrorists.
The directorial debut of noted scenarist Mayersberg, Captive is an intriguing mixture ofJean Cocteau-like fantasy and Patty Hearst-inspired contemporary drama Edinburgh; Cameo
0 Castaway (15) (Nicolas Roeg, UK, 1986) Oliver Reed, Amanda Donohue, Georgina Hale. 120 mins. Rambling, ill-focused adaptation of Lucy Irving's bestselling account of her year on a desert island as a ‘wife’ for tubby middle-aged publisher Gerald Kingsland Edinburgh; Cameo 0 Citizen Itane (PG) (Orson Welles, US, 1941) Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead. 119 mins. A newspaper tycoon dies mumbling the single world ‘Rosebud‘. A reporter interviews his friends and associates to uncover the significance of the remark and unlocks a kaleidoscopic mosaic of one man’s life and times.
Brilliant, seminal film that tingles with the raw energy of a cinema novice reinventing screen grammar. An enduring cinema milestone that has stood the test of time. Edinburgh; Cameo o Cocoon (PG) (Ron Howard, US, 1985) Don Ameche, Jack Gilford. 117 mins. Slight but engaging geriatric science-fiction fantasy. Veteran Ameche gives a charming performance that won him a sentimental Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Edinburgh; EUFS o The Colour oi Destiny (15) (Jorge Duran, Brazil, 1986) 104 mins. Acclaimed story of a Chilean teenager, exiled in Brazil, and his coming to terms with middleclass youth culture there and his own identity as an alien. Edinburgh; Filmhouse 0 Comic lconoclasm The first programme in a series of animation compilations adapted from the ICA event earlier this year concentrating on the development of animation, features a welter of popular icons such as Felix, Popeye, Betty Boop, Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny in an examination of the cartoon hero’s roots in syndicated newspaper comic strips. The programme carries a (PG) rating and lasts approx 85 mins. Edinburgh; Filmhouse o Compromising Positions (15) (Frank Perry, US, 1985) Susan Sarandon, Raul Julia, Edward Herrman. 98 mins. A former journalist investigates the murder of her dentist and is intrigued by a list of extra-molar activities that included trading in pornography and providing a stud service for his afﬂuent clientele. Edinburgh; EUFS o The Coniormist (18) (Bernardo Bertolucci, Italy, 1970) Jean-Louis
Trintignant, Stafania Sandrellis, Dominique Sanda. 108 mins. On a
mission to kill one of his former professors, now a prominent
anti-fascist in Paris, an agent for Mussolini reminisces about his past. Studied period recreation and evocative photography, the brilliant Trintignant and the by-now classic set piece of the murder in the snowy forest make this one of the greatest ﬁlms ofthe Seventies. Edinburgh;
Filmhouse . o The Conversation (15) (Francrs
Coppola, US, 1974) Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garﬁeld. 113 mins. An expert on bugging devices lives solely for his work, yet one day becomes a passive eavesdropper on a murder plot and feels the pricking of a conscience.
The List 30 Oct - 12 Nov 9