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I American Gigolo ( 18) (Paul Schrader. US. 1980) Richard Gere. Lauren 1 lutton. Nina Van l’allandt. 117 mins. Archetypal Schrader exploration of the seamier side of the American fast-lane lifestyle with Gere perfectly cast as the title character; a shallow. A rmani-clad stud who provides his clients with infinitely pleasurable sexual satisfaction but is unable to experience either love or commitment himself. This emotional paralysis changes when he becomes an innocent dupe in a political scandal and reaches out to the beautiful Hutton. Engrossing. Brechtian-style morality play with the fully-exposed Gere torso in peak condition. Edinburgh: Filmhouse

I Angel Heart( 18) (Alan Parker. LES. 1987) Mickey Rourke. Robert De .\'iro.

Charlotte Rampling. 113 mins. Scruffy. unshaven private eye llarry Angel is hired by the mysterious Louis Cyphre to track down a missing Forties' crooner who has reneged on a life-or-death deal. llis investigations lead him to a seedy New Orleans dominated by voodoo cults and extremely dead bodies in this uncomfortable mating of visceral gore and moody film noir. Glasgow: (EFT.

I Appointment With Death (PG) ( Michael Winner. UK. 1987). PeterL’stinov. Lauren Bacall. 105 mins. Michael Winner has assembled an all-star cast (although one of two ofthem are there fortheir forme‘r glories rather than current high profile) led by Peter L’stinov and Lauren Bacall for this latest adaptation ofan Agatha Christie mystery. but it may leave you wondering why he went to all that trouble.

The inevitable murder victim isa tyrannical American matriarch touring Europe and the Holy Land with her subjugated but rebellious brood. every

one naturally a prime suspect. as well as

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her lawyer. who knows about a dirty trick she pulled with her late husband's estate. Also implicated is a young English teacher who has become romantically involved with one ofthe sons.

Conveniently enough. ace 'tec l lercule Poirot just happens to be along on the same trip. and sorts things out in notime. Well. actually. in an interminable amount oftimc. ifyou want the truth. Bacall smoulders convincingly as (another) overbearing American widow. though. and everybody hams it up for all they are worth. none more so than Ustinov. who started off in the realms ofcaricature with the Belgian sleuth. but has now moved into vaudeville. Then again. the people who like this kind of thing will probably love it. Central: Cannon. Strathclyde: Cannon.

I The Aristocats ( L') (Wolfgang Reitherman. US. 197(1) 78 mins. Amiable Disney animation about a cat and her three kittens who are kidnapped and abandoned by a nasty butler. featuring the voicesof Eva Gabor. l’hil Harrisand Maurice Chevalier. Strathclyde: Rialto I Asterix in Britain (U) a": (Pint) Van Lamsweerde. France. 1986) With the voices ofJack Beaber, Bill Kearns. Graham Bushnell. 89 mins. The Romans have invaded Britain and only one village refuses to surrender. Their chief sends a message to his distant cousin Asterix the Gaul who prepares a barrel of his special magic potion and rushes to the rescue with his sizeable colleague ()belix. Along the way. he acquires a bag ofspecial herbs said to have remarkable revivifying powers and his ‘tea‘ proves immensely popular with the Brits.

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Typical 20th anniversary Asterix production complete with plucky feats of derring-do. comic chases. slapstick humour and the triumph ofthe little Gallic warrior. Edinburgh: Odeon I Asterix the Gaul (L') (France. 1967) 65 mins. A summer season examining the Art ofAnimation begins with the early adventures ofthe plucky little warrior aided by Getafix and his amazing magic potions. Future titles include Snoopy. Bugs Bunny and the best of European animation. Glasgow: OFT I La Belle 81 La 8618 (PG) (Jean Cocteau. France. 1946) Jean Marais. Josette Day. Marcel Andre. 92 mins. Sombre. magical and extravagant rendition of the fairytale with Day as Beauty and Marais as her shepherd lover and the Beast. A haunting fantasy. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

I Beyond Therapy ( 15) (Robert Altman. US. 1986) Glenda Jackson. Tom Conti. JeffGoldblum.93 mins. Excruciatingly bad screen version of the Christopher Durang stage farce about two neighbouring psychiatrists and the frenetic sexual problems of their varioUs troubled patients. A messy waste ofa potent cast. Edinburgh: Filmhousc

I Blow-Out ( 18) (Brian De Palma. US. 1981 ) John Travolta. Nancy Allen.John Lithgow. [(17 mins. Flashy. stylish. desperately undervalued variation on Blow-Up with Travolta‘s best adult performance as a sound effects man whose inadvertent recording of a car accident swirls him into a life-threatening politically motivated conspiracy. Edinburgh: (‘ameo

I Breathless ( 18) (Jim McBride. trs. 1983) Richard Gere. Valerie Kaprisky. 101 mins. Handsome strectwise hustleron

Wings of Desire (15) (Wim Wenders, Germany, 1987) Bruno Ganz, Otto Sander, Solveig Dommartin, Peter Falk. 127 mins. In his own estimation, Wings of Desire marks the beginning of a new phase in Wim Wenders‘ film-making. The recurring motif of an unresolved search for some elusive and usually indefinite goal motivated his sequence of road movies, from The Goalie‘s Anxiety At The Penalty Kick and Kings of the Road through to Paris, Texas. At the end of the latter film, Harry Dean Stanton‘s character reached a kind of conclusion, which also signalled the culmination of that strand of the director’s work.

It proves to be a tentative new beginning, moving toward reconciliation, but only in the very end of the film. The story is rather an odd one, involving two angels in Berlin, one of whom (Ganz) decides to cross-over into the human sphere in search of a beautiful circus acrobat


(Dommartin), whom he finally tracks down in a club, to the grinding strains of Nick Cave. The worlds are quite conventionally demarcated by black and white for the hereafter and colour for the human dimension, and more imaginatively so by a curiously unsettling concentration on the faces, and in particular the eyes, of the angels as they watch over the city.

Berlin itself is the real subject of the film, a city where history, as both symbol and actuality, is so crucially embedded. The search for human contact as a means of closing the gulf between states of existence is a clear enough metaphor for the divided city, which in turn serves as a metaphor for the wider divisions apparent throughout the modern world. If that sounds a portentous weight for the film to bear, it remains by and large implicit in the meticulously constructed narrative, enlivened by the interventions of a cigar smoking Peter


Falk as an American film-maker re-visiting the city; like Ganz, he too has crossed over, symbolizing the possibility of unity. Not Wenders' most

immediately approachable movie,

perhaps, but a powerful piece of film-making which repays the effort necessary on the part of the viewer. (Kenny Mathieson)

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The List 24 June 7July 198811