To mark ten years of enterprising, independent British moviemaking by HandMade Films. the Cameo cinema in Edinburgh has put together a splendid retrospective bringing together almost all the pictures the company has released. Offbeat comedy has always been one of its mainstays. and the season offers a welcome opportunity to catch up on Terry Gilliam’s Time Bandits (HandMade's most commercially successful production to date), Michael Palin‘s The Missionary, and Alan Bennett's hilarious A Private Function. However, the centrepiece of the programme is a new print of HandMade's initial venture into movieland, the hilarious (if not blasphemous) comic biblical epic Monty Python’s Life Of Brian, which gave rise to a storm of controversy and subsequently healthy box office returns upon its initial release.

The director of that film, and featured in the role of Brian the Messiah's mother, was Terry Jones, and he talked recently about the genesis of the project: ‘It was all down to the head of EMI at the time, who read the script and stopped us while we were in pre-production. Eric Idle then rang up George Harrison, an old male of his, and it turned out that George loved the Pythons telly series, had them on tape and said they kept him sane during all the mess when the Beatles dissolved. So George then got togetherwith his business advisor Denis O‘Brien, gave us the £2 million we needed, and we

mins. 'l‘he (iospel According to Monty Python offended a whole host of religious denominations upon its initial release. which rather obscured the fact that behind the controversy lay what still remains their most sustained exercise in lunatic English humour. A host of very funny setpiece scenes and smart cameos from all the team climaxes in a rather fetching musical crucifixion. Edinburgh: Cameo. I Long Farewells ( 15) (Kira Muratova. l'SSR. 1971 ) A lonely old Ukrainian woman's reaction is one of jealousy when her teenage son announces his intention of moving North to live with his father. Rough-edged examination of family relationships redolent of the touching realism of the Czech cinema of the late Sixties. Glasgow: (if-'1‘. I The Long Good Friday ( 18) (John McKenzie. 15K. 198(1) Bob lloskins. Helen Mirren. Pierce Brosnan. 114mins. A meaty. violent underworld thriller with Hoskins memorable as vigorous gangland boss Harry Shand watching his empire crumple under an IRA campaign of terror. Edinburgh: Cameo. I The Lost Boys ( 15) (Joel Schumacher. CS. 1987) Jason Patrick. Corey Haim. Barnard Hughes. 97 mins. Anaemic comic horror as a Santa Monica teen falls into bad company in the shape of a mad.bad. and dangerous to know gang ofvampires. Constant MTV visuals make this an altogether resistible affair. Glasgow; Cannon Clarkston Road. I The Missionary (15) (Richard Loncraine. UK. 1982) Michael Palin. Maggie Smith. Michael llordern. 86 mins. Absolutely delightful Palin-scripted comedy in which a naive young man of the cloth returns from darkest Africa and is given the task of running a mission for fallen women. Edinburgh: Cameo. I Mona Lisa ( 18) (Neil Jordan. UK. 1986) Bob Hoskins. Cathy Tyson. Michael





went off to shoot in Tunisia on the sets left over from Franco Zefferelli's Jesus of Nazareth.’

Since then over fifteen films in a decade have been graced by the HandMade logo, designed incidentally by Terry Gilliam, a fairtally from a British based company. ‘What’s special aboutthem’, says Jones, ‘is thatthey getthings made.’ Offerings like Bruce Robinson’s hippy comedy Withnail And I have since blended with hardhitting dramatic fare such as Mona Lisa, and The Long Good Friday, although along the way there have been turkeys like the ill-fated Madonna vehicle Shanghai Surprise (unsurprisineg omitted from the season)

Throughout the month the Cameo will be bringing the HandMade story bang

Caine. 104 mins. lloskins givesa heart-rending. much-lauded performance as the ex-eon with a battered heart in this outstanding thriller film noir set among the seedy scams and double-dealings of the London underworld. Edinburgh: Cameo.

I The Name of the Rose(18)(Jean-Jacques Annaud. W. (iermany France Italy. 198(1) Sean Connery. F. Murray Abraham. Christian Slater. 131 mins. Marvellous medieval mystery with the masterful Connery as a Sherlock Holmes-like sleuth on the trail ofa murderer in the monastery. A convincing historical atmosphere and a BAl"l’A winning performance from Sean. (ilasgow: (il’l‘.

I Non Professionals ( 15) (Sergey Bodrov. USSR. 1985) An amateur rock group touring Kazakhstan perform in an old folks home and the generation gap isall too obvious. Well-obse rved example of the new openness which was commended at the 1987 Soviet National Film Festival for its ‘moral and stylish endeavours'. Glasgow: (iF’l‘.

I Outrageous Fortune (Arthur Hiller. 138. 1987) Bette Midler. Shelley Long. 99 mins. Zany and very complicated plot involving two actresses who discover they share they same man. but are instantly plunged into a convoluted trail of espionage. abduction and death. A female buddy movie which relies totally on the charismatic interaction of its two stars to paper over the creaking plot. (ilasgow: Grosvenor.

I Peeping Tom ( 18) (Michael Powell. CK. 1960) Karl Boehm. Moira Shearer. Anna Massey. A movie studio focus puller equips his camera with a spike and setsout to murder young women whilst photographing the fear on their faces. Utterly reviled upon its initial release. Michael Powell‘s daring examination of

up to date with Film Festival screenings of the company’s most recent movies, including Nic Boeg and Denis Potter's bizarre Track 29, and, continuing the Bob Hoskins connection, his debut as writer/directorin Raggedy Bawney. There will also be a chance for Scottish audience to catch pre-release previews of The Lonely Passion Of Judith Hearne, an adaptation of the Brian Moore novel, and a new comic red indian road movie, The Powwow Highway.

Full details of these films and the complete programme schedule can be found in the current and the forthcoming weekly issues of The List, so stay tuned to the film section. (TrevorJohnston)

voyeurism as a metaphor for the cinema itself is now regarded as one of the most adult and inleligent British films ever made. Edinburgh: Cameo.

I The Pied Piper( IS) :1:- (Jiri Barta. Czechoslovakia. 1986) 57 mins. Definitely not for children. Barta‘s gothic. puppet visualisation of the famous folk tale has been hailed as a ‘dazzling masterpice 'and a ‘grotesqtte nightmare set in a horrific half-dream. half-nightmare world. populated by models carved in medieval style from walnut‘. Recommended to those who have savoured the ri [chemists off/1e Surreal seasons. (ilasgow: (i171‘.

I Planes. Trains and Automobiles ( 15) (John Hughes. CS. 1987) Steve Martin. John Candy. 1.ai1a Robbins. 92 mins. Hughes relinquishes his position as the most pertinent commentator on teenage woes and graduates with honours in the side-splitting adult comedy stakes. Martin is a harrassed Chicago businessman desperate to return home from New York for the Thanksgiving celebrations. Aftera frenzied attempt to catch the last flight home he undergoes a series ofincreasingly fraught misadventures. Along the way he meets Candy's accident prone shower curtain salesman and they inadvertently


treacherous snow. hell. high water and mutual incompatibility. Predictable and sentimental ()dd

; Couple on the road which is genuinely

funny thanks to the script and the well-played clash of personalities between the two stars. Strathelyde: ()deon Hamilton.

I Police Academy V: Assignment Miami Beach ( PG) *1: (Alan Myerson. LS. 1988) Bubba Smith. David Eraf. Michael Winslow. 90 mins. 1.;itestexeerable dollop ofcomic ineptitude has as its ingredientsa Police Chiefs' convention. a stolen bagof diamonds. and our lovable academy

graduates on the loose in Miami. The production notes promise ‘high-speed boat chases across alligator-infested swamps‘. God help us all. Glasgow: Cannon Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh: Cannon. Strathelyde: Kelburne. Odeon Ayr. I A Private Function ( 15) (Malcolm .‘vlowbray. UK. 1984) Maggie Smith. Michael Palin. Bill Paterson. 93 mins. Royal Wedding celebrations in ration-restricted post-war Yorkshire prove the ideal breeding ground for all-out class warfare. Engaging comic crossbreed combining the Ealing tradition with the cheerfully rude humour of writer Alan Bennett. Edinburgh: Cameo. I River‘s Edge ( 18) (Tim Hunter. US. 198(1) Crispin (ilover. Keanu Reeves. Dennis Hopper. 99mins. A motiveless murder is the catalyst for a moral crisis among a group of teenage buddies.

Challenging exploration of alienated youth and their attempts to forge a value system in a society of numbing moral blankness. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I Robocop ( 18) (Paul Verhoeven. US. 1987) Peter Weller. Nancy Allen. Ronny Cox. 1113 mins. Slick and stomach-churningly violent futuristic thriller blending elements of Dirty Harry. Frankenstein and The Six Million Dollar Man. When diligent policeman Murphy is shot to pieces by vicious thugs. his remains are mechanically reconstructed into a hi-tech law enforcement officer but the human desire for revenge still beats beneath his mechanical exterior. (ilasgow: (irosvenor. I Rumble Fish ( 18) (Francis Ford Coppola. US. 1983) Mickey Rourke. Dennis Hopper. Matt Dillon. 94 mins. Electrifying expressionist visuals grace an existentialist parable about the need to forge one‘s own identity and the alienation it can bring. Intense and stylish. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I Salsa (PU) (Boaz Davidson. US. 1988) Robby Rosa. Rodney Harvey. Magali Alvarado. 97mins. By day. Rico(R0bby Rosa) is a hardworking mechanic. by night the hip-swivelling king of the dancefloor who dreams of nothing more than winning the title King Of Salsa. Bargain basement dance musical that begs and borrows its inspiration from a multitude ofearlier and better sources to create another helpingof factory production line fodder. Strathelyde: La Scala I Scrubbers ( 15) (Mai Zetterling. UK. 1982 ) Chrissie Cotterill. Amanda York. Kate Ingram. 91) mins.Life in ateenage girls' borstal takes its toll on the inmates. lindoubtedly well-intentioned but predictable narrative elements ofviolence and lesbianism mean this harrowing piece of work occasionally veers towards the exploitative. Edinburgh: Cameo. I Three Men And A Baby ( P0) is (Leonard Nimoy. US. 1987) Tom Selleck. Steve (iuttenberg.'1'ed Danson. Celeste Holm. 102 mins. A trio of smug. womanisinglads share a bachelor apartment. but the arrival on their doorstep of the offspringof one of their careless affairs is soon to wreak havoc with their chic macho lifestyle.

Fine if you have a sentimental.


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The List 12 18 August 1988 61