The Courier(15)(Frank Deasy and Joe Lee, Eire, 1987) Padraig D'Loingsigh, Cait D’Riordan, Ian Bannen, Gabriel Byrne. 86 mins. The idea of Dublin’s fair city being a den of vice is a fascinating one and one which could be expected to yield many an atmospheric shot of lights on cobbled streets or deals clinched in murky public bars. Unfortunately, having rejected such melodramatic ideas, The Courier has little to distinguish it from an above average episode of any TV crime series. It‘s set in Dublin all right and the exciting rock score is from Irish bands like U2, butJoe Lee, co-director of the film with Frank Deasy, says that they were not trying to ‘do a Letterto
' Brezhnev‘ in terms of making it an
essentially lrish adventure. ‘lt‘s something that could happen anywhere. We're not waving the flag to say itis an Irish film.‘
The theme is plausible enough—a drugs ring in which motorbike messengers are the unwitting carriers oiiilty bags lull of heroin. When the courierolthe title, Mark, played by Padraig 0'Loingsigh, discovers the racket, he decides to do something
about it. Aformeruserhimself, he = might not have bothered except that his ; girlfriend‘s brother Danny, once his
own best friend, has been drawn to his death by the dealer, Val. In fact he has
: also been let down by the police for
whom he has been acting as an informer.
In the best tradition, and for once with some reason, Mark does not go to the police, but begins his own cat and mouse game of revenge to ensnare Val. The latter, played with menace by Gabriel Byrne— a big star in Ireland and well known here for films like Defence olthe Realm and Gothic— is the kind of
godfather villain who wears designer suits and smiles at the evil around him. A smoothie with the capacity for acts of violence involving light bulbs, he is sadly rather too familiar a stereotype to inspire much tear. It is hard not to make comparisons with a film like A Prayer forthe Dying, in which Alan Bates in a similar ringleader role, had the chance to go completely over the top as an undertaker with a penchant for making up dead girls' faces.
The team behind The Courier is a young one consisting of new Irish film-makers. Directors Lee and Deasy formed City Vision four years ago mainly to make videos. Then in 1986 they produced a short, Sometime City, which led to financial support from the Irish Film Board IorThe Courier. It was certainly not wasted money. Many of the cast are young and new to film, but the acting performances, particularly from Andrew Connolly as the hapless Danny, are likelyto win them more
parts. Given a fullerscript, Padraig D’Loingsigh and Cait D’Biordan, playing girlfriend Colette, could probably have made more of the emotional side of the story. As it is, they make the most of lines which are naturalistic to the point of bathos, as when Colette announces that she is desperate for a fag after their first bed scene. lmportantly, both actors look and sound convincing, and if Padraig is almost too good-looking not to be an American superstar, Cait, a former Pogue singer and now married to Elvis Costello, makes a refreshingly attractive rather than beautiful heroine.
Ultimately The Courier may seem a little predictable, and a little ordinary to British audiences, butthe film is likely to make more of an impact in its home country where such realistic media reflections of Irish society are, say its directors, still relatively unusual. (Stephanie Billen)
kill his wife and her lover. but the detective tries to trick him by fakingtheir deaths. A gleefully serpentine film noir bearing more than a passing resemblance to the steamy. tangled tales of James M. Cain. Edinburgh; Cameo I Blood Sisters ( 18) (Brian De Palma. US. 1972) Margot Kidder. Jennifer Salt. Charles Durning. 92 mins. Influenced by Rear Window. De Palma pulls off another Hitchcock-style hit with this sanguine suspenser in which an unhealthin suspicious reporter thinks she has witnessed a murder and sets out to find the proof. The case involves separated Siamese twins. one of whom is the slayer. Bernard Herrman again contributes an invaluable musical accompaniment. Glasgow; GET I Boudu Saved from Drowning (U) (Jean Renoir. France. 1932) Michel Simon. Charles Granval. Marcelle Hania. 87 mins. Delightful pre-war farce with the inimitable Simon as a tramp rescued from a watery grave in the Seine by a well-meaningbookdealer. Edinburgh; EUFS I Business As Usual (PG) (Lezli-An Barrett. UK. 1987) Glenda Jackson.John Thaw. Cathy Tyson. 89 mins. The managcress ofa Liverpool boutique is unfairly dismissed by an odious area supervisor for complaining to him about his sexual harrassment of one ofthe female staff. Her fight for reinstatement rouses her political consciousness but takes its toll on her marriage to a former
union activist. [ intelligent and provocative tale that
entertainineg explores contemporary British politics through the personal and domestic problems of an individual. Edinburgh; Filmhouse
I Chronicle of a Death Foretold(15) (Francesco Rosi. ltaly/France/Colombia. 1986) Rupert Everett. Ornella Muti. Gian Maria Volonte. 98 mins. Dark stranger Everett strolls into a Colombian provincial outpost and without further ado marries the beautiful Muti and then returns her to her family on their wedding night. refusing to countenance shopsoiled goods. The humiliation to the family name provokes the elder brothers to slay a local playboy she alleges to be the author of her misfortune.
Labyrinthinely plotted Marquez adaptation which never overcomes the central miscasting. Edinburgh; EUFS I The Cotton Club (15) (Francis Ford Coppola. US. 1984) Richard Gere. Diane Lane. Bob Hoskins. 127 mins. Flashy overblown saga of molls. mobsters and movie stars during Prohibition. It has its moments and compensatory performances from Hoskins and Gregory Hines but it is a bit of a lifelessspectacle. Strathclyde; Odeon Ayr
I The Courier ( 15) 1% (Joe Lee. Frank Deasy. Eire. 1987) Gabriel Byrne. Ian Bannen. Cait O‘Riordan. 85 mins. See panel. Glasgow; Cannon Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh; Cannon
I Cry Freedom (PG) (Richard Attenborough. US. 1987) Dcnzel Washington. Kevin Kline. Penelope Wilton. 158 mins. Although not without its ﬂaws. Attenborough‘s biographical
recreation of the friendship between black civil rights activist Steve Biko and white liberal newspaperman Donald Woods is his best film to date; an epic. moving drama that also stands as a vigorous condemnation of the obscenity of apartheid. Glasgow; Cannon Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh; Dominion I The Cure in Orange (L1) (Tim Pope. L; K. 1986) Robert Smith. [.01 Tolhurst. 1 13 mins. Fairly straight filmed concert. Fans will love it. but it‘s not half as much fun as some ofTim Pope‘s previous videos for the band. Edinburgh; Filmhouse IThe Dead (U) (John Huston. UK/W. Germany. 1987) Anjelica Huston. Donal McCann. Helena Carroll. 83 mins. Huston‘s final film is a superb adaptation of the James Joyce Dubliners short story. Set during a traditional festive celebration its skill and mellow perception draw you into another world where the dinner conversation and general merrirnent reveals universal truths about death and the beauty of true love. Edinburgh; Filmhouse I The Decameron ( 18) (Pier Pasolini. Italy. 1972) Ninctto Davoli. FrancoCitti. 111 mins. Boccaccio according to Pasolini means visually extraordinary Medieval production design and much naked romping. Edinburgh; Cameo I Diary of a Mad Housewife ( 18) (Frank Perry. US. 1970) Carrie Snodgress. Frank Langella. Richard Benjamin. 94 mins. Driven to the brink ofsuicide by the merciless demands of her harrying husband. Snodgress finds some kind of relief in an affair with the selfish Langella.
Edinburgh; EUFS I Dirty Dancing (15) (Emile Ardolino. US. 1987) Jennifer Grey. Patrick Swayze. 100 mins. Remarkably ordinary but staggerineg popular girl meets boy musical set in an American summer camp in the year 1963. Glasgow; Cannon Muirend. Grosvenor. Strathclyde: Odeon Hamilton I Dr No (PG) (Terence Young. UK. 1962) Sean Connery. Ursula Andress. Joseph Wiseman. 111 mins. Once described as ‘an artful blend of Boys” ()wn Paperand Playboy. the celluloid adventures of007 began with this excitingJamaican-based thriller that features a stronger plotline and less gadgetry than would become the series norm. Edinburgh;Cameo I Don't Look Now ( 18) (Nicolas Roeg. UK. 1973) Donald Sutherland. Julie Christie. Hilary Mason. 1 1()mins. Stunning Roeg mosaic ofsteamy sex. violence. mystery and visual exuberance as the parents ofa drowned child visit a wintry Venice and encounter a baffling series ofeerie emgmas. Based on a Daphne du Maurier thriller. Gripping stuff. Edinburgh; EUFS I Dragnet (PG) (Tom Mankievicz. US. 1987) Dan Aykroyd. Tom Hanks. Christopher Plummer. lilomins. Contemporary spoofof the cult 5(is‘ TV series that begins with some promise but soon degenerates into an all too predictable mix of car chases and juvenile American humour. Glasgow; Cannon Sauciehall Street. Edinburgh; Cannon I Eddie Murphy Raw(18) a (Robert Townsend. US. 1987) Eddie Murphy. 90 mins. Competently directed record of Murphy live. recorded at two New York concerts in which he struts his mainly four-letter stand-up act. Fine. ifyou‘re a fan. Glasgow; Cannon Sauchiehall Street. Strathclyde; Cannon I Enemy Mine (PG) (Wolfgang Petersen. US. 1984) Dennis Quaid. Louis Gossett Jnr. 93 mins. A big-budget. space-age plea for racial tolerance combining elementsof John Boorman‘s Hell in the Pacific and Robinson Crusoe on Mars. Edinburgh; EUFS I The Evil Dead ( 18) (Sam Raimi. US. 1982) Bruce Campbell. Ellen Sandweiss. Betsy Baker. 85 mins. Five unsuspecting youngsters head off to a healthy weekend in a mountain cabin only to fall foul of wicked demons whose purpose is wholesale slaughter. Stylish. ultra-cheapo shocker-Schlocker made with imagination by an inventive young team. Glasgow; Grosvenor I The Exorcist ( 18) (William Friedkin. US. 1973) Ellen Burstyn. Linda Blair. Max Von Sydow. 110 mins. Earnest priest Von Sydow steps in to save poor little possessed girl Blair in this hugely Convincing and effective scarefest. Glasgow; Grosvenor I Fatal Attraction ( 18) (Adrian Lyne. US. 1987) Michael Douglas. Glenn Close. Anne Archer. 119 mins. Happily married lawyer Douglas discovers the high price of casual infidelity when his one night stand turns out to be a dangerously psychotic woman who will stop at nothing to gain her man's affection. Glossy. well-acted misogynistic Hitchcock-style thriller attracting more fuss and Oscar nominations than it merits. Glasgow; Cannon Clarkston Road. Cannon Sauchiehall Street. GTOSV'CDOT- Edinburgh; Cannon. Dominion. Central; Cannon. Strathclyde; Cannon. KelburnC. ()deon Ayr. Odeon Hamilton. Rialto
I Four Adventures of Beinette and Mirabelle (U) (Eric Rohmer. France, 1986)Joelle Miquel . Jessica Forde. Fabrice Luchini. 99 mins. Amiable portmanteau of four stories concerning Parisian student Mirabelle and country girl Reinette. Made on a miniscule budget. purely for the director's pleasure apparently. the film is based around a series of anecdotes told to him by the two leads.
A minor interlude in Rohmer‘s
12 The List 4 —- 1" March 1988