House of Games (15) (David Mamet, US, 1987) Lindsay Crouse, Joe

Mantegna, Lilia Skala. 102 mins. In the

screen trade, 1987 may well go down as the year the scribes struck back. As the crumbling facade olthe auteur theory has given way to the grudging acknowledgement that film is, afterall, a collaborative medium, writers like Clive (Hellraiser) Barker, David (Wish You Were Here) Leland and Bruce (Withnail and I) Robinson have all made assured and auspicious debuts behind the camera. Adding distinction to their ranks is prize-winning American playwright David Mamet who follows his Oscar-nominated scriptwriting of The Verdict and The Untouchables with this deliciously deceitful psychological thriller. Mamet’s wile Lindsay Crouse stars as Dr Margaret Ford, a workaholic psychiatrist and author of a bestselling book on compulsive behaviour. A dedicated and detached professional, her private life holds about as much fascination as the back of a postage stamp. Patients accuse her of living in a book-lined world of theories and logic, comfortably cloistered from the travails of the real world. However, when patient Billy Hahn demands concrete assistance she intervenes. Investigating claims that Hahn's life is threatened over a $25,000 gambling debt, Ford ventures to the sinister ‘House of Games' where she is almost duped out 0186000 by charismatic con-man Mike (Joe Mantegna). Intrigued and challenged by this twilight world of scams and stings she returns to learn more of these tricksters

Kingsland. Edinburgh: lil'l‘S

I City ofWomem ls ( Federico Fellini. Italy France. 19811) Marcello Mastroianni. Anna Prucnal. Bernice Stegfers. 139 mins. Lavish and characteristically flamboyant I-‘ellini fantasy with Mastroianni falling asleep on a train and dreaming that he is present in an all-female world. (ilasgow‘. (‘rl’l~

I Clean Slate ( ( "(mp tie TUN‘IIUII )(15) (Bertrand 'l‘avernier. France. 1981) Phillipe Noiret. Isabelle liuppert. 128 mins. 1930 liquatorial Africa. Noiret's grizzled. over the hill cop is used and abused by all in sundry till the worm turns and he ttses his position to exact revenge. Well performed black comedy from the Jim Thompson novel. Iidinburgh: [{III‘S I The CourtJesterl 1' ) (Norman Panama.

Melvin Prank. LS. 1951)) Danny Kaye.

Basil Rathbone. Angela Lansbury. Itll mins. Kaye's finest solo vehicle is a merry medieval romp in which a fake jester handles life-threatening jottsts and intrigue to emerge triumphant. even in the romantic stakes. The script includes some wonderfully tongue-twisting routines. Iidinburgh; l-‘ilmhouse I Crimes of the Heart 1 15) (Bruce Beresford. LS. 1986) Jessica Lange. Diane Keaton. Sissy Spacek. 1115 mins. 'I‘he all-star film version of the Beth I lenley play. set in Mississippi. revolves around a family reunion of three sisters who assemble in the wake of Miss Spacek's attempted murder ofher husband. A time of remembrance. soul-searching and heartbreak ensues. Southern fried. over-enthusiastic histrionics. (ilasgow ; (ii-'1' I Cry Freedom (1’( i) ~.t~.- (Richard Attenlmrough. I'K. 1987) Kev in Kline. Penelope Wilton. Denzel \\'aslttttgtoti.


and theirwinning ways.

Attracted by the excitement and vicarious thrill of the congames, Ford is eager to graduate from observer to participant and pesters Mike to involve her in an elaborate swindle incorporating a stranger and $80,000 of Mafia money. Things do not go as planned and Ford finds that the lighthearted escapism of her extra-curricular activities has led her into the dangerous waters of larceny, intrigue and murder.

Alter some decidedly stodgy scene-setting, House Of Games suddenly snaps like a vice and becomes a gripping and pleasurany serpentine thriller of ingenious plot twists, hard-boiled Chandleresgue dialogue and surprise double-crosses. The psychological insights that Ford

158 mins. See panel. Glasgow; (‘annon Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh; (‘annon I Dancers(1’(i) (Herbert Ross. 138. 1987) Mikhail Baryshnikov. Alessandra Ferri. Leslie Browne. 99 mitts. Reuniting the director and star of the infiniter superior The Turning Point. this tsa clodhopping load of gush that lumbers on for an eternity before Baryshnikov is allowed to take flight. A world famous ballet dancer and lover. Mr B. finds his creative energies at a low ebb when he journeys to Southern Italy to film a perfortnattcc of (iisvlle but among the company is an adoring American teenager who reinvigorates his sagging morale. (ilasgow ; (‘annon Sattchiehall Street

I Desperately Seeking Susan ( 15) (Susan Seidelman. L'S. 1985) Rosanna Arquette.

Madonna. Aidan Quinn. 104 mins. Fun

and fizzy. role-swapping feminist fantasy comedy set in the Big Apple. Edinburgh; (‘ameo I Dirty Dancing(15)(timile Ardolino. L's. 1987)Jenniler (irey. Patrick Swazyc. 100 mins. ('onventional girl-meets-boy from the wrong side of the tracks dance-romance enlivened by a few telling period touches ( 1963) arid some mildly suggestive boogieittg. (ilasgow; (‘annon (‘larkston Road I La Dolce Vila ( l8) (Federico Fellini. Italy’France. 196(1) Marcello Mastroianni. Anita Ekberg. 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 of their excessive decadence.

Welcome reissue of one of the seminal movies of the Sixties and a ntilestone in its director‘s illustrious career. An episodic narrative yields many morsels ofblack

.me {WW-1 3

divines in her own character may occasionallyjar but, that minor quibble aside, this is a compelling and artful Sting for grown-ups. '

Turned on by Mike's sleight-of-hand and her own precarious living, Crouse offers a suitably affected and emotionally disciplined illumination of the troubled underside of a surface-calm shrink. Joe Mantegna makes Mike a plausibly appealing criminal mastermind who can steal hearts as easily as picking pockets. Mamet’s salty script, handling of his actors and ability to construct and sustain a corkscrew of tension mark him out as a directorto watch and makes House Of Games a Chinese box of a film to be seen and savoured. (Allan Hunter)

humour. grotesque sexuality and inspired visual imagination. All this attd wonderful Marcello make it everything you ever wanted from a Fellini movie. See it. Edinburgh; Filmhouse

I Down By Law ( 15) (Jim Jarrnusch. LS. 1986) Tom Waits. John Lurie. Robert Benigni. 106 mins. Two abrasive hepcats with woman trouble and a haplessly innocent Italian tourist with a penchant for American poetry in translation are thrown together in a New Orleans prison cell. but miraculously manage to shamble their way out of confinement and across the Louisiana swamps.

A singularly seedy fairytale with luscious monochrome visuals. a script peppered with moments ofwayward comic invention. arid three lazily charismatic players. this milestone of American film comedy could only fail to be enjoyed by the utterly humourless. Edinburgh: Filmhouse I 5.1. (U) (Steven Spielberg. LS. 1982) Henry Thomas. Drew Barrymore. Dee Wallace. 117 mins. A lonelysuburban youngster befriends a stranded alien creature in this fairly irresistible movie landtnark. Iidinburgh; Dominion I The Elephant Man ( 15) ( David Lynch. L'K, 198(1) John Hurt. Anthony I Iopkins. Anne Bancroft. 113 mins. Based on an actual case history. Lynch‘s attnospheric film documents a Victorian surgeon‘s attempts to care for a pitifully deformed human being. Ilurt's remarkable performance in the lead is augmented by rich background detail which captures the cruelty and hypocrisy of the times. Glasgow: 0131'

I Eraserhead ( 18) (David Lynch. US. 1976) John Nance. 90 mins. You rnav never eat jelly babies again after the.

repellent but compelling tale of Henry, his haircut, his girlfriend, his strange offspring and a good deal of pus. Disturbing stuff from the director of Blue Velvet. Glasgow; GFI‘

I Erendlra(18) (Ray Guerra, France/Mexico/W. Germany, 1982) Irene Papas, Claudia Ohana, Michel Lonsdale. 97 mins. Described as a ‘t'able on the futility of revolt, the vampirism of love, and the vicious circle of exploitation, violence and betrayal which binds the generations and the sexes to the political status quo‘, Erendira tells of a young slave girl whose virginity is auctioned by her grandmother as a repayment for the accidental destruction of the family homestead. Glasgow; GFF

I Escalier C (15) (Jean-Charles Tacchella, France. 1985) Robin Renucci.Jean-Pierre Bacri. Catherine Leprince. 101 mins. An art critic notorious for his vitriolic reviews moves into Escalier C of a Paris apartment house and soon strikes up an uneasy but touching relationship with his neighbours. Edinburgh; Filmhouse I Fanny (PG) (Marc Allegret. France, 1932) Raimu. Pierre Fresnay. Orane Demazis. 120 mins. The second ofthe Pagnol trilogy continues to paint a charming portrait of times gone by as Demazis‘s Fanny is abandoned by Marius and left expecting his child. Cupid intervenes to arrange a suitable match for domestic harmony. Edinburgh; Filmhouse I FatCity(15) (John Huston. US. 1972) Stacy Keach. Jeff Bridges. Susan Tyrcll. 96 mins. Huston's love of. and one time participation in. the pugilistic art add a personal significance and gritty resonance to this skilled adaptation of the Leonard Gardner novel about the relationship between a punchy. experienced old-timer and a promising. eager youngster yet to have the stuffing or the dreams knocked out of him by life and the ring. Great performances arid one of I Iuston's Iatterday best. (ilasgow; (JI’T I Fatal Attraction ( l8) (Adrian Lync. US. 1987) Michael Douglas. (ilenn ('Iose. Anne Archer. 119 mitts. Happily married father. husband attd lawyer Douglas enjoys a ball-breaking weekend of passion with the available and alluring Miss (Jose. She's exciting. sexy and desirable so the coitus is definitely interrupted and they both slink back to guilt-free. grown up normality. Miss ('lose how ever. isa dangerously psychotic and persistent woman who begins to call at his office. visit his home and generally make his life a nighttnare. She is pregnant artd wants them to share a ltle together and saytnga mutually respectful farewell is not the end ofthe affair.

Protracted. Hitchcock-style thriller in which the director adds a morsel more substance to the dttbious style already displayed itt I'ftl.\'/I(f(lil('t’ and ‘l’ : ll'i'eks. 'I'he technicalities are extremly well handled. the performers cltaristmalic. the eye for domestic detail acute but this resolutely refuses to rise above the level of trashy . populist entertainment akin to a classy bestseller. Iiastwood's l’luy I‘m-.110 remains tattter arid less pretentious. (ilasgow ; (‘annon Sauchichall Street. Edinburgh; (‘annon I The Fly ( 18) (David (‘ronenberg LS. 1986) Jeff (ioldblum. (Senna Davis. 96 mins. Brilliant. thought-provokit‘lg ‘reconceptualization‘ofthc I958 camp classic with a superb (ioldblum as tltc scientist whose experiments with teleportation go disastroust awry. Iidinburgh: ('ameo I From Here to Eternity ( PG) ( Fred Zinnemann. US. 1953) Burt Lancaster. Deborah Kerr. Montgomery Clift. Frank Sinatra. 118 mins. Brilliantly acted. compelling multi Oscar-winning screen version of the James Jones novel exploring the personal dramas and class-ridden passions unleashed at an army base in Hawaii just prior to Pearl Harbour.

14'1'he List 8— 21 January 1988