The Dead (U) (John Huston, UK/w. Germany, 1987) Angelica Huston, Donal McCann, Helena Carroll. 83 mins. DirectorJohn Huston's last film is a superb adaptation of Joyce's classic short story, and for once purists familiar with the literary masterpiece should have tew objections to its translation into film.
The only problem — and it is barely a problem - is that it you don’t know the story, and have not experienced its way of slowly drawing you into the contemplation of universal issues through what seem at first to be conversational platitudes, you may find parts of the film lacking in momentum. On the other hand, to experience the lilm that way, with the emotional punches pulled only at the end, is very much to appreciate the way the story has been written.
in any case, the film’s depiction oi the Dublin party with its slightly batty female hosts, is, if anything, more vivid and entertaining than it is in the original story. Sticky conversations about religion, the awkwardness behind the business of carving the goose, alcoholic Freddy being persuaded to walk straight and go and talk to his aunt— all these things come alive when you can see the reactions and insecurities of the party-goers, without exception beautifully played by a mainly Irish cast.
But at the heart oi the film are the performances by Donal McCann as Gabriel, whose tale this is, and Angelica Huston, as his wife Greta.
Sternberg. Germany. 193(1) Marlene Dietrich. EmilJannings. 98mins. An ageing English professor falls under the spell of a cabaret singer. He leaves hisjoh and follows her on tour. enduring numerous humiliations to be near the woman he loves. The unkindest cut comes from her growing boredom with his fawning presence.
Slow but still potent drama with a stodgy performance from Jannings. Dietrich sings ‘Falling in Love Again' and smoulders memorably as the wickedly decadent Lola Frohlich. This film. shot in two versions. made her a world class star. Glasgow; GI’I‘
I Blue Velvet (18) (David Lynch. US. 1986) Kyle MacLachlan. Dennis Hopper. Isabella Rosselini. 12(1mins. Lumberton. middle-America. Would-be boy detective Jeffrey Beaumont finds a severed car on some waste ground and when the police Shoo him away he decides to do some investigating of his own.
A singular fusion of the cosy and the terrifying which blends kitsch and nightmare. B-movie detection and brutal sexual perversion to deconstruct our complacent vision of what passes for normal society. This is filmmakingof remarkable imagination and skill that places its director in the front rank ofthe contemporary American cinema. Glasgow; GFT. Edinburgh; Filmhouse
I The Blues Brothers ( 15) (John Landis. US. 1980) John Belushi. Dan Aykroyd. Carrie Fisher. 133 mins. Bloated. self-indulgent anarchic comedy adventure. Edinburgh; Filmhouse
I Body Heat ( 18) (Lawrence Kasdan. US. 1981 ) Kathleen Turner. William Hurt. Mickey Rourke. 116 mins. Hurt hasthe hots for Turner. so her hubby Crenna is set for an early grave and the insurance company for a big pay-off. Slendidly
- r 15‘,- 3;
a 1., A. r. 14.457 '0 Donal McCann has exactly the right kind of solid citizen, anonymous face, while Angelica Huston's majestic but mature good looks lend a grandeurto the personal tragedy with which she will devastate her husband that night in their hotel room. Tony Huston’s sensitive script appears to make few changes to Joyce‘s always significant dialogue and crucially leaves Gabriel‘s final soliloquy beautilully intact.
As snow falls generally over lreland, images of deserted moors and graveyards till the screen, echoing Gabriel's sense of despair and death, but in retrospect, that bleak feeling of the emptiness behind existence, of human beings passing only ileetingly through empty rooms and landscapes, is reinforced throughout the film by Fred Murphy‘s astounding
serpentine update of Double Indemnity with a drenchingly sweaty atmosphere (the sex has a lot to do with it) and ascript that leaves teethmarks. Glasgow; GFT I Boy Meets Girl ( l8) (Leos Carax. France. 1984) Denis Lavant. Mireille Perrier. 10(1mins. In a moody nocturnal Paris a lonely young drifter desperately courts a beautiful actress on the run from an old flame.
Impressive debut by the new French wonderboy. the profound bleakness ofthe neo-expressionist monochrome marking out a visual talent to watch. Glasgow; GFT. Edinburgh; Filmhouse I Carmen (PG) (Francesco Rosi. Franceiltaly. 1983)Julia Migcnes-Johnson. Placido Domingo. Ruggero Raimondi. 152 mins. Splendidly full-throated screen version of the Bizet opera; a magnificent spectacle with a wide-ranging appeal. Edinburgh; Filmhouse I Castaway (15) (Nicolas Roeg. UK. 1986) Oliver Reed. Amanda Donohue. Georgina Hale. 12llmins. Rambling. ill-focused adaptation of Lucy Irving‘s bestselling account of her year as a ‘wife’ for tubby middle—aged publisher Gerald Kingsland. Edinburgh; Filmhouse I The Crazies ( 18) (George Romero. US. 1973) Leakage from a chemical warfare experiment gets into the water supply and turns victims into violent maniacs. so the US Army step in for a clean-up operation that will enable the accident to remain a secret. Well-handled. less bloody version of familiar Romero material. with the white-clad military cutting sinister figures. Edinburgh; Cameo I Crimes of Passion ( 18) (Ken Russell. US. 1984) Kathleen Turner. Anthony Hopkins. John Laughlin. 107 mins. Russell‘s debunking of the American way of sex is an uproariously black satire
I a. .v'_ cinematography. Murphy was also behind the loving photography in ATrip To Bountiful, and in The Dead, there is a similar lingering over details as the camera leads us away from the party- goers into a bedroom temporarily littered with coats, or else homes in, just too long for comfort, on the skeletal face of Gabriel's ancient aunt as she offers a quaverlng rendition of an old song.
it is hard to fault this production and if it sounds too depressing for Christmas viewing, don’t be too put off. John Huston has not only exploited the rich vein of humour in this the finest story in Joyce’s ‘Dubliners‘, but has leftthe way open for limited optimism, if only in Gabriel's realisation of what love can be, and of what beauty is. (Stephanie Billen)
where moonlighting whore meets dildo-packing clergyman meets Human Penis. A strident and courageous piece of filmmaking in that it casts the men as oppressors. Russell's best in years. Glasgow; GET
I Crimes 01 the Heart ( 15) (Bruce Heresford. US. 1986) Jessica Lange. Diane Keaton. Sissy Spacek. 105 mins. The all-star film version of Beth Henley's play. set in Mississippi. revolves around a family reunion of three sisters who assemble in the wake of Miss Spacek‘s attempted murder of her husband. A time of re membrance. soul-searching and heartbreak ensues. Southern fried. over-enthusiastic histrionics. Edinburgh: Filmhouse
I Cry Freedom (PG) '1’: (Richard Attenborough. US. 1987) Kevin Kline. Denzel Washington. Penelope Wilton. 158 mins. Attenborough‘s best film ever is a powerful and moving drama that stands as a vigorous condemnation ofthe obscentity of apartheid and a testimony to the inspirational quality of the individual human spirit. This special preview will be in the presence of Donald and Wendy Woods. Full review and feature in next issue. Edinburgh; Filmhouse
I Les Dames Du Bois De Boulogne(PG) (Robert Bresson. France. 1946) Maria Casares. Elina Labourdette. Lucienne Bogaert. 90 mins. A young woman gains revenge on her bored lover by arranging for him to marry a prostitute. Interesting collaboration between Bresson and Jean Cocteau (who co-scripted) results in a pared-down. gloomy piece of work that seemst o owe more to the asceticism ofthe former. Glasgow; GF'I‘ I The Dead (U) a (John Huston. UK/W. Germany. 1987) Angelica Huston. Donal McCann. Ilelena Carroll. 83 mins. Sec panel. Edinburgh; Filmhouse
I Dead Men Don‘t Wear Plaid (PG) (Carl Reiner. US. 1982) Steve Martin. Rachel Ward and a cast of revived luminaries. 87 mins. Film noir spoof has private eye Martin involved with femmc fatale Ward and fiendish Nazi scientist Reiner. Much ofthe humour stems from the intercutting with actual Forties' movies in a device now copied by the adverts for a certain lager. Edinburgh; Cameo 7 I Death in a French Garden ( IS) (Michel Devillc. France. 1985) Michel Piccoli. Nicole Garcia. Christopher Malavoy. 101 mins. Smart. stylish thriller redolent of The [)ruughlsman 's ('unrrut‘! but an aura ofclinical calculation detracts from its full impact. Edinburgh; Filmhouse I The Devil is a Woman (PG) (Josef Von Sternberg. US. 1935) Marlene Dietrich. Cesar Romero. Lionel Atwill. 82mins. In 189(15’ Seville a fascination with the beautiful and alluring Concha Perez is the downfall of many a good man. Sumptuous. hypnotic directorial tour de force. Glasgow; GI’I' I Les Diaboliqlles(18)(chri-Georges Clouzot. France. 1955) Simone Signoret. Vera Clouzot. Paul Mcurisse. 107 mins. Fiendishly clever and frequently imitated thriller-chiller in which a tyrannical schoolmaster is murdered by his wife and mistress. but did he really die'.’ Glasgow GFT I Dirty Dancing ( l5) (Emile Ardolino. US. 1987) Jennifer Grey. Patrick Swayze. llil) mins. Conventional girl-meets-boy from the wrong side of the tracks dance-romance enlivened by a few telling period touches ( 1963) and some mildly suggestive boogieing. Glasgow; Cannon (‘larkston Road. Edinburgh: ()deon. Lothian; Cannon. Strathclyde: Cannon. Rialto I Diva (15) (Jean-Jacques Beineix. France. 1981) Frederic Andrei. Roland Bcrtin. Richard Bohringer. 117 mins. The twisted fate oftwo tapes. one an illegal recording ofan American opera star. the other exposing a crime ring. is the central strand of this daffy Gallic cult favourite. Style exudes from every sprocket hole. Edinburgh; Cameo I La Dolce Vila ( 18) i“: (Frederico Fellini. Italy/France. 196(1) Marcello .‘y/lastroianni. Anita Ekbcrg. Anouk Aimee. 173 mins. Paparazzi journo type Mastroianni mixes with the beautiful people of rich Roman society and is ambivalently shocked and fascinated by the vigour oftheir excessive decadence.
Welcome reissue of one of the seminal movies of the Sixties and a milestone in its director's illustrious career. An episodic narrative yields many morsels ofblack humour. grotesque sexuality and inspired visual imagination. All this and Wonderful Marcello make it everything you ever wanted from a Fellini movie. See it. Edinburgh; Filmhouse I Dor’ia Herlinda and Her Son ( 15) (Jaime Humberto Hermosillo. Mexico. 1985) Arturo Meza. Marco Antonio Trevio, Guadalupe del Torro. 91 mins. Occasionally ponderous but generally likeable gay Mexican satire in which the strong-willed matriarch Dona Ilerlinda ensures that her son is a happily married husband and father despite his ongoing passionate affair with young music student Ramon. Edinburgh; Filmhouse I Double indemnity (PG) (Billy Wilder. US. 1944) Barbara Stanwyck. Fred MacMurray. Edward G. Robinson. 107 mins. Femme fatale Stanwyck and her lover MacMurray bump off her husband but they don‘t plan on insurance investigator Robinson catching a whiffof their skullduggery. Great plot. great performances. great dialogue. great film. Glasgow; GF'T I The Draughlsman's Contract ( 15) (Peter Greenaway. UK. 1982) Anthony Higgins. Janet Suzman. 103 mins. Sumptuous. seductive enigma in which a young artist accepts payment in sexual favours. But is there more to this than meets the eye‘.’
The List 11 Dec1987—7Jan 198817