o This section aims to provide a review of every film to be seen in central Scotland over the next fortnight. For programme times see individual cinema listings.

(U)-Universal, suitable for all ages. (PG) Parental Guidance suggested as some scenes may be unsuitable for

Housekeeping (PG) (Bill Forsyth, Canada, 1987) Chrstine Lahti, Sara Walker, Andrea Burchlll. 116 mins. Bill Forsyth ls a writer-director whose refreshing sense of humour and uniquely observant eye have tended to blind viewers to the very serious and thoughful themes within his always entertaining work. Housekeeping, his first feature in three years, more than ever conflnns his status as a world class filmmaker speaking in tones of eloquent, sensitive clarity that demand our undivided attention. Housekeeping is an often magical story of childhood and perpetual adolescence, expressing wonder at the myriad pleasures of the everyday world, melancholy over the impermanence of happiness and reflecting the almost unbearable heartache of loneliness. Scrupulously faithful to Marilynne Robinson's novel, the film tells of orphaned sisters Ruthie and Lucille we are sent to live with a succession of geriatric relatives before being left in the custody of their eccentric aunt Sylvie. At first, both girls eagerly welcome Sylvle’s presence, anxious for memories of their mother and the company of a younger adult. However, whilst Ruthie finds an awkward affinity

younger children.

(15) No one under the age of 15 admitted.

(18) No one underthe age of 18 admitted.

c: - New Release.

I Adieu Bonaparte (YoussefChahine. France. 1985) Michel Piccoli. Patric Chércau. 95 mins. A historical fresco depicting Napoleon‘s expedition to Egypt through the life of an Egyptian family. Glasgow; French C ine-Club

I Angel Heart ( 18) (Alan Parker, US, 1987) Mickey Rourke. Lisa Bonet.

Robert De Niro. 113 mins. Unkcmpt private eye Harry Angel (Rourke) is hired by the enigmatic Louis Cyphre (De Niro) to track down a missing Forties' crooner who has reneged on a life-or-death deal. His investigations lead him to a seedy New Orleans dominated by voodoo cults and a trail of very dead bodies.

Unpalatable Faustian brew unsuccessfully blending a detective yarn with explcit special effects, horror and gore. Glasgow: Odeon. Edinburgh; Odeon IAnnie (U) (John Huston, US, 1982) Albert Finney, Carol Burnett.Tim Curry. 128 mins. Huston turned his hand to just about every genre in his 40-year career including this old-fashioned family musical about a Depression-era orphan girl, her dog and the wealthy benefactor who adopts her. Burnett‘s bibulous orphanage owner and Finney‘s bald, tap-dancing millionaire add spice to the prevailing sugar. Edinburgh; Filmhouse I Aria ( 18) (Robert Altman, Bruce Beresford, Bill Bryden. Jean-Luc Godard, Derek Jarman, Nicolas Roeg, Franc Roddam. Ken Russell, Charles Sturridge, Julien Temple, US/UK. 1987) Theresa Russell, John Hurt. Sophie Ward. 98 mins. A ragbag of international male directors have been given free rein to


with the itinerant Sylvie, Lucille yearns for a more conventional lifestyle and the local citizenry grow sceptical about Sylvie’s suitability as a responsible guardlan.

Forsyth’s work has frequently featured characters at odds with their surrounding or in conflict with their peers, thus, in Sylvie, he has found a natural, darker extension of people like Dickie Bird in Comfort And Joy or Mac in Local Hero. On one level she is a romantic free spirit who rides the rails and refuses to conform with society’s view of a grownup woman. Faced with the unexpected responsibility of raising two girls, her response is to let them be themselves. However, there is a thin line between nonconfonnist oddness and incipient insanity and it's a distinction that Sylvie’s character frequently blurs as she falls to offer succour to the girls or desperately tries to mend her ways when she ls faced with the prospect of losing Ruthie. The only solution is flight and the open road where there is freedom, peace from prying eyes and no responsibility to tax one’s wayward notions of life.

In presenting a deeply satisfying drama Forsyth has retained many of his regular team of collaborators and


Michael Coulter in particular impresses with his amazingly crisp and pellucid photography, exquisitely capturing the rugged beauty and lyricism of some awe-inspiring Canadian locations and enhancing even the simplest moments of clnders on the skyline or a railway track disappearing in to the distance. Forsyth's script Is a model of economy and acuity, blending convincing, literate dialogue and voice-over narration with the visual

interpret a favourite piece of opera music from the RCA catalogue and this isthe resulting ponemanteau hodge-podge. Very much a mixed bag but there are delights from Sturridge, Jarman and Roddam. as well as atrocites and tedium from some of the more distinguished names. An inspired idea that never really works. Glasgow; OFT

I La Bamba (15) (Luis Valdez. US. 1987) Lou Diamond Phillips, Esai Morales. 110 mins. Conventional but winning biolgraphy of migrant fruitpicker Ricardo Valenzuela who strapped on a guitar and found brief rock ‘n' roll fame as Ritchie Valens.

Events appear to have been romanticiscd but the conviction ofthc enterprise is unmistakeable and the Los Lobos soundtrack is stunning. Strathclyde; Rialto I Best Seller (15) fr (John Flynn, US. 1987) See panel. Edinburgh; Odeon I Betty Blue (18) (Jean-Jacques Beineix, France. 1986) Beatrice Dalle. Jean-Hughes Anglade. 120 mins.

Tempestuous tale of amour fou delivered with all the style (and none ofthc substance) one expects from the auteur of Diva. Edinburgh; Edinburgh Film Guild, Filmhouse

I Beverly Hills Cop ll (15) (Tony Scott, US.

quirks and telling offbeat moments that one has come to expect from him. Newcomers Sara Walker and Andrea Burchlll are well-contrasted as the two J orphans and Christine Lahtl makes a disturbingly human, vibrant but vulnerable figure out of Sylvie.

Deliberater paced, sad and touching in equal measures, Housekeeping marks another advance in the continuing matuth of the art of Bill Forsyth. (Allan Hunter)

10The List 27 Nov 10 Dec 1987