3 8 .5 2 a '5 I: E
the CompleatShowman is unassailable. (Mab)
Dennis Potter workslast. With the controversy over his last BBC production The Singing Detective still but a recent memory. Britain‘s most controversial and innovative playwright returns to television this month with the lourpart series Christabel. Adapted trom Christabel Bietenberg's autobiography The Past ls Myselt Potter‘s production tells the story 01 a reluctant English exile in pre-war Berlin. Bielenberg married a German soldier several months betore World War Two was declared and tollowed him back to the Fatherland. Christabel recounts the eponymous heroine's struggle to reconcile her twin loyalties: husband and nation.
All this seems a long way trom Potter's usual patch. The man is renowned tor his darkly Oedipal musings on the nature 01 Evil and his vividly impressionistic recollections of childhood. Kennith Trodd. reSpected
Don Raven's award-wlnnlng photograph
" ijk '3
tilmmaker and Potter‘s producerlor'more years
than eitherol us careto
; count' explained what had attracted the writer to the
l Christabeltortwo reasons
really. Firstly. there wasthe
‘ nature olChristabel‘s story
i remarkablein personal
g terms.The strength and
l courageittookto marrya
i Anotherlascinating aspect
! aboutthe wholething was
that it takes a very dilterent
l view of Wartime Germany.
§ The view we always getis
; one otthe Gestapo.the
I prison camps and soon.
F Christabel onthe otherhand
' looks atthe people who
( stood up to Hitler and takes
i a more positive view otthat
i Can we expectany otthe
i Potterotyore to popup?
l ‘Well. lthink Christabet
‘ doestollow on trom his
| previous work in that the
g as consistent. Dtherthan
( thatthe seriesisvery diﬂerent in kind. There are
' little Potterish touches. For
I instance. Dennis still draws
upon Thirties and Forties popular musicto an extent and there's a lovely little song called I‘m Following You which runs throughout
the episodes. But it's very
much Christabel‘s story and it‘s a storythat Dennis
play around with.‘ Although set in East Germany and the Black Forest close scrutiny of Christabel will reveal a tew locations closerto home.
Trodd explains:‘Mostotour story is set in Berlin.
Virtually all otthe city. however. has been modernized and rebuilt
since then so we had to go
elsewhere. Thanklully we came across a site in
; that period. There had been somedisagreementinthe
Council orsomething and these buildings were just left empty. They hadthe pertect leel ot a city during
wartime. Like with all
aspects ot Christabel we
This is the second year Dov
Hevesz has entered the Benson & Hedges photography awards and come away with lirst prize. This years' theme was ‘Adventure‘. Hevesz responded with a photograph entitled ‘Playtime‘-depicting a lamin scene atan Edinburgh swimming pool which capturesthe mood and spirit otthe theme with intimacy. style and originality.
Although he now works tora large multi-media company in Glasgow. he sees his involvement in the commercial side at photography as a means to explore the creative possibilites otthe art.
The Benson & Hedges photography exhibition is at Filmhouse. Edinburgh.
10 Nov—1D Dec1988. (Nikki Hoare)
Fifty years ago. on January 16. 1938. clarinettist Benny Goodman led one otthe most tamous concerts in jazz history. Goodman was invited to play in New York‘s Carnegie Hall. one otthe earliest occasions on which jazz was heard in a major American concert hall (the Paul Whiteman Orchestra had played there inthe 1920s).
He was an obvious choice. a classically trained. white Chicagoan who led probablythe most popular olall the great Swing bands. and it came at the height at the Swing Era. when jazz enjoyed a mass popular tollowing on radio and in ballrooms which it has neverreclaimed since. Goodman. a man who would never have won popularity polls among musicians. but whose record on the racial divide in jazz was good. invited various members at the Basie and Ellington bands to participate in what became a celebrated occasion. The concert sold outalmost immediately. and was recorded and later issued by CBS records.
Dick Lee leads a concert at Edinburgh Queen‘s Hall on Friday to markthe anniversary. but will be playing arrangements trom Goodman's splendid Sextets ol the same era. ratherthan the more familiar big band material. See jazz listings. (Kenny Mathieson)
German lilm director Percy Adlon came late to teature lilms. and by a circuitous route which took in stints as an actor and an announcer on radio andtelevision. betore he became involved
( in making documentaries. | He eventually grew
( trustrated by the inbuilt
3 limits otdocumentary.and i lelthimseltincreasingly interested in creating lictionalised worlds. albeit retaining elements rooted in reality.
That process is evident in his best knowntilms. Sugarbaby and the new Bagdad Cate (seetilm listings). The most immediately remarkable thing aboutthem istheir bizarre and highly unusual use 01 colour. something which Adlon has borrowed trom anothertield.
.‘l am very enthusiastic aboutthe classic modern paintings. like German Expressionism. and when you look at these portraits it seems very natural thatyou have a yellow lace and green shadows. butwhen this comes up on a tilm people say wow. whatis this. but why should lilms always be shot in a
they risk more?‘
'In my work I am more intluenced by painting. which is very importantto me. and by literature. than
traditional way? Why don't'
by othertilms. Artis describing tile in a certain way. and ourhonestyin Bagdad Cale was thatwe told this storytrom a visitor‘s point otview.l would not dare to tell a story in a toreign language about a culture I don‘t know. but cates where you drop in and teel real toreign I know all about. So I wrote a little story abouttravelling.‘
Like Sugarbaby. Bagdad Cate has an enigmatic but happy ending. something which appeals greatlytothe director.
‘Asa child I was always so angry when l didn‘tget what i wanted at the end 01 lilms. and l alwaysthought it would have been so easy to do that. you know.‘ he laughs. "I alwaysthought please make me happy. I want to have a good leeling when I leave the theatre. So lhave a tew endings. you know. tirst with a tear. then a little Hollywood. then a kind at romantic one. ..' (Joe Alexander)
Bagdad Cale will be at GFT. Gtasgowtrom Sunday 20 Novemberand at Filmhouse. Edinburgh lrom Sun 27 November.
The List I I ~ 2-1 Nm'cmhcr 19883