IAlice ( 15) 2'? (Jan Svankmajcr. Switzerland. 1988) 84 mins. Radical new version of the Lewis (‘arroll classic by brilliant (‘zech filmmakerJan Svankmajer. which ltas the protagonist as the only live action character making her way through an adventure in a harsh dreamscape vividly conveyd through puppet animation and trick photography. Edinburgh: l‘ilmhouse. IAngel Heartt l8) (Alan Parker. I987) Mickey Rourke. Robert De .\'iro. (‘harlotte Rampling. l 13mins. Scruffy. unshaven private eye Harry Angel is hired by the mysterious Louis (‘yphre to track down a missing Forties crooner who has reneged on a life-or-death deal. His investigations lead him to a seedy New ()rleans dominated by voodoo cults and extremely dead bodies in this uncomfortable mating of visceral gore and moody film noir. Edinburgh: ('ameo.

I Axiliad ( l5) (Witold I.eszcyzynski. Poland. 1988) Allegorical study of a young poet whose attempts to reject civilisation and live simply in the forest as a lumberjack are beset by difficulties in adjusting to his new-found primitivism. and by the haunting memories ofa previous failed relationship. A British premiere as part of the Poliin Realities season. Glasgow: (if-'1‘.

I Babette's Feast ( [3) (Gabriel Axel. Denmark. 1987) Stephane Audran. Jean-Philippe Lafont. Bibi Andersson. 103 mins. The Jutland peninsula during the late 19th century. Exiled French housekeeper Audran wins lt).(l(l(l francs in a lottery and uses the money to prepare a sumptuous banquet marking the centenary of the birth of a Lutheran dean whose surviving spinster daughters carry on his good works among the poor and needy.

A delicious gastronomic experience and an exquisite slice ofcinematicnarrative this is a boisterous. exemplary literary adaptation full of pleasurable surprises and real feeling. A worthy ()scar winner. Glasgow: (ii-T. Edinburgh: Cameo.

I Bad Timing ( l8) (Nicolas Roeg. [I K. 1979) Art Garfunkel. Theresa Russell.

Harvey Keitel. 133 mins. As surgeons fight for the life of a young American in Vienna. we learn of a university lecturer‘s obsessive and often violent relationship with her. Director Roeg is here at perhaps hi~ most typically Roegian (elliptical editing. an explosion of ideas) and the result is extraordinarily powerful. (ilasgow: (ii-Vii.

I Bagdad Cafe ( PU) (Percy Adlon. yy‘. (iermany. 1987) Marianne Sagebrecht. ('.(‘.ll. Pounder. .lack l’alance. ltl8mins. See caption review. (ilasgow: (ii-'l‘

I Beat The Devil ( P( i ) (John lltiston. LS. 1953) Humphrey Bogart. (iina Lollobrigida. Peter Lorre. lllflmins. 'l‘ruman ('apote had a hand in the scripting

of this hugely enjoyable l luston exercise in self-parody wherein a group of passengers on a ship crossing the Mediterranean plan to buy land known to contain uranium. Edinburgh: Edinburgh liniversity Film Society. I Beetlejuice ( 15) (Tim Burton. l'S. 1988) (ieena Davis. Alec Baldwin. Michael Keaton. 92 mins. Recently deceased. and very charming New Iingland couple. the Maitlands. have difficulty in adjusting to the afterlife. .\'ot the least of their worries is the tasteless refurbishment of theirold home by a nasty New York yuppie family. and they eventually call on freelance bio-exorcist Betelgeuse (pronounced ‘Beetle-juice') to deal with the problem in his own inimitable fashion.

[{xuberantly eccentric cartoonish CIIPCTS lidinburgh: i’ilmhouse. I Betty Blue ( l8) (Jean-Jacques Beincix. France. 198(3)Jean Hughes Anglade. Beatrice Dalle. 120 mins. 'I‘cmpestuous love gone mad as an older handyman and a free spirited woman embark on a passionate. peripatetic fling that ends in tragedy. l-‘ilmed with a dazzlingtechnique and an irritating emptiness by the maker of [)im. (ilasgow: (iFI‘. (irosvenor. lidinburgh: Filmhouse. I Big ( PG) (Penny Marshall. US. I988) Tom Hanks. lilizabeth Perkins. Robert Loggia. 104 mins. 12year-oldJosh(David Moscow) has no luck with the school

beauty because of his diminutive stature. However. upon discovering a neglected fairground wishing machine. he jumps out of bed the next morning to find his boyish self now wrapped in an adult packaging (Tom Hanks).

()fall the role-reversal moviesout this year. Big is by far the most successful. because Tom Hanks offers a most appealing characterisation as the dopey innocent at large. and because it treatsthe situation with a little intelligence. (ilasgow: (‘annon ('larkston Road. ()deon. Salon. Edinburgh: ()deon. ('entral: Cannon. Regal. Strathclyde: AM(‘(‘lydebank ll). Kelburne. Odeon Ayr. ()dcon Hamilton.

I Big Business ( PG) (Jim Abrahams. US. 1988) Bette Midler. 'I‘omlin. Fred Ward. Iidward Herrmann. 93 mins.

Rose and Sadie (Tomlin and Midler) are the heads ofcorporate giant Moramax. about to take over a small rural firm andin so doing attract the resistance of the local community that they send Rose and Sadie (Tomlin and Midler) to the big city tofight their case. Strathclyde: La Scala.

I Bigfoot and the Hendersons ( PU) (William Dear. US. 1987) John Lithgow. Melinda Dillon. Don Ameche. ll 1 mins Disneyesque family adventure in which the all-American Henderson family crash into the legendary Bigfoot and adopt the suprisingly genial beastie as a domestic pet


Bagdad Cafe (PG) (Percy Adlon, West Germany/US, 1988) Marianne Sagebrecht, _C.C.H. Pounder, Jack Palance. 91 mins. West German director Percy Adlon's off-beat romantic comedy Sugarbaby (1985) introduced us to an unlikely new star. Marianne Sagebrecht did not fit any of the customary models for film stardom, but dominated the screen with her extraordinary presence. Director and actress are re-united in his new film, Bagdad Cafe, and this time the effect is exhilarating.

Sagebrecht is a German tourist, Jasmin, who leaves her husband after a quarrel in the middle of the desert, and arrives on foot at a rundown roadhouse and motel, the Bagdad Cafe, where she is attracted by a peculiar light in the sky (actually an optical phenomenon thrown up by a solar power plant). When she finds a painting of the lights in her room, she decides to stay, but immediatelytalls foul otthe owner, Brenda (C.C.H. Pounder), who has just thrown out her shiftless husband, and is venting her frustration on anyone within range.

Their initial hostility gives way to a strange and touching friendship as

Jasmin works her magic on the cafe and its inhabitants, including the painter Rudi Cox (Palance), an err-Hollywood scenery artist. The two women essentially re-invent themselves through their new found friendship, and the Cafe prospers, until Jasmin’s tourist visa runs out; this is a comedy fable, though, and all is not lost . . .

Adlon is shaping up as one of the most idiosyncratic directors in

contemporary cinema, and Bagdad Cafe is a splendid example not only of his distinctive use of colour and highly choreographed movement, allied to a subtly artificial manipulation of language, but also of his warm and rather charming sympathy with the all too human behavioural quirks his oddball but convincing characters manifest. What he shapes from his very basic story line is totally beguiling, and not to be missed. (Kenny Mathieson)

10The List 1 l 24 November 1988