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“Near-perfect cinema. . . miss it

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Recommended. . . Firth and Branagh are utterly convincing and Pat O’Connor

directs with great assurance.” li.ll'l‘\ Norman. ill-K 'li\' l‘illll (S.—

“Stylish and original. . . a refreshing British film.”

l).i\ id Rt ibiiison. ll ll'. 'l‘l.\lliS “Beautifully and carefully shot... directed with eloquent restraint.

Kenneth Branagh in his film debut

is astonishingly sure-footed.” llci'ck .\l.llutllll. ll ll: (ii ';\l{l)l.-\.\'

“A heart-lifting British movie .which becomes a holiday for the spirit... the result is that rarest of

qualities pure joy”

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Quality. not quantity. says Robert Dawson Scott.

The Government's constant injuncting of the press to stop them publishing details of what is on the House of (‘ommons luncheon menu and similar weighty State secrets is. all joking apart. a serious business. The implications go far beyond the rights and wrongs of a few senile old spies trying to make a couple of bob out of their memoirs. A couple of weeks ago. Donald Dewar MP. not usually a man lost for words. was asked to comment on one of the latest court actions. All he could manage was ‘bizarre' which. in the circumstances. I thought was a bit feeble. However I note from my dictionary (Shorter ( )lil)) that one of the synonyms for bizarre is ‘grotesque’ which. if that was what Donald meant. would have fitted the bill well enough.

Let's give him the benefit of the doubt. then. just this once. and congratulate him for using one word where most public figures would use ten and most advertising copy-writers twenty. For this week we are on the trail of the redundant adjective. the otiose epithet. the famous phrase. the dispensable description. the . . .well. you get the picture. It‘s the mail-order boys who are the real champions. Where else. except in those catalogues which deluge your doormat because you once sent back a set of Reader's Digits! Prize Draw numbers in 1978 would you find a torch described as ‘made from aeroplane aluminium‘ (from the Kaleidoscope catalogue). What on earth does it mean. anyway'.’ Aluminium is aluminium is aluminium. It's an element. for crying out loud. 'l‘hen there‘s the phone with a ‘hi-low volume control’ (Barclaycard Profiles). What other kind of volume control is there (never mind the abomination of ‘hi‘ for ‘high')'.’ And on it goes. a succession ofever more empty claims; everything is ‘computerized’ or ‘executive‘ or ‘stylish'. The only thing you can be sure of is that it isn't

desirable because the quality of the merchandise is without exception in inverse proportion to the number of adjectives employed.

Descriptions of food and wine have also been inclined to the rococo over the years. especially since the excesses of l .a Nouvelle (‘uisinez once again the more pretentious the wording the less appetising the cooking. What would you make of this menu. for example: ‘Enfolded for moistness‘ sake in a delicate translucent membrane of natural tissue. this triumph of the butcher‘s art consists of a subtle amalgam of cuts drawn from the most secret nooks and intimate crannies of sweet spring lambs. Discarded by all but the most discerning of connoisseurs. these succulent morsels are retained by our expert chefs and ground. in a secret recipe half as old as time. between the knees of l lebridean virgins. along with the fruit ofthe noble oat and rare and exotic herbs. 'l'o accompany this masterpiece only the finest fruits of mother earth. teased from her dark embrace at the setting of the sun. and brought to us over moor and glen in the long watches of the night will suffice. We propose two varieties. with their contrasting yet complementary hues ofcream and apricot; the flesh is softened by simmering in spring water over a fire of rosemary twigs and apple logs. and then pounded to a seductively smooth yet astringent pulp which simply caresses the palate and sets off the flavour burst ofour centrepiece. No great dish is complete without the appropriate liquid refeshment and in this case. although it is not included in the price. we unreservedly recommend the amber nectar known. not for nothing. as the water of life. The particular variety we keep uses a cork as its stopper instead ofthe more common screw-top. It means ofcourse that it loses more in evaporation than others during its ten years of maturing. But at the same time it permits more of the gentle sea-breech from the Dornoch Firth to mingle with the other llavours.‘

And so it goes on. You probably think that I made that all tip because it's Burns Night soon. Well. part of it. yes. But I am afraid that the last part. about the whisky cork. is taken verbatim from a recent (ilenmorangie advert.


Publisher RUlHll l lHklfJC. Editors Nigel llillen. Sai‘ah llemming.

Associate Editor Allan lliinter. Design Simon listeistill.AdV8l'liSing

Stev e McCullough. Sheila Maclcan. Accounts (icoi'uctlc Reiivvick. Richai d ( iray . Typesetting .lt) Kennedy and l levy er ‘l'eu. Production Editor Paul Keii . Production Assistant Mark l'isllcl . Art Alice Haiti. BOOKS Alan lay Im . Classical Music ('aiol Main. Dance Alice

l Baiii. Film Allan l luntei'. ll lcviil' .ltlllll\l()ll. Folk/Jazz Norman

(‘halnicrx Kids Sally Kinnes. Media Nigel Billeii. Sally Kiiiiics. Open Sarah I lemming.


.lohn Williamson. Sport Kenny Mathieson. Theatre Sarah llcmining. Camera l'diiibuigh Make-up Services

.CoverDesignNigcl Billen

Published by The List Ltd. 14 High Street. lidiiiburgh.0315581191; 37 ()tago Street. Glasgow.

4The List 22 Jan 4 Feb 19st?"