Beautifully controlled narrative. sparkling screenplay. excellent performances. an abundance ofpleasures make this one of the contemporary master's best. (ilasgow : (3171‘.
I Buster( 15) (David (ireen. l'K. 1988) Phil Collins. Julie Walters. Larry Lamb. Stephanie Lawrence. 1113 mins. Low-budget biography of ( ireat 'l‘rain Robber Buster Edwards that manages to gloss over the planning. execution and violence of the heist itself to focus on his sentimental love affair with his w ife.
Glasgow: ()deon. Edinburgh:
Odeon. Dominion. Strathclyde: AM(‘
I Le Chat El La Souris l 15)((‘1aude Lelouch. France. 1976) Michelle Morgan. Serge Reggiani. 105 mins. The rigours of a police investigation given a more comic touch than usual by (‘laude Lelouch. here his typically florid romantic selfindulging in sortie gorgeous views of Paris. (ilasgovs: French (‘ine ('lub.
I Chronicle Of Love Affairs ( l 5 ) ( Andre/i Wajda. Poland. 1985) 125 mins. The Polish Realities event features this Andrezj Wajda picture. his first to be made in Poland since .llun ()f‘lron. which on the surface appears nothing more than the tragic Second World War lov e story between two teenagers. though the implicationsofthe Lithuanian setting (before Riissian annexation) perhaps point loan underlying political metaphor. (ilasgow: (if-'1‘.
I Colorsi 18) (Dennis Hopper. LS. 1988) Robert Duvall. Sean Penn. Maria (‘onchita Alonso. 121 mins. Buddy cop movie set amongst the drug-related gang warfare of L.A.'s ethnic street gangs has old hand Duvall and greenhorn Penn. differing in their approaches to law enforcement in an almost impossible situation.
Benefitting from a steely documentary approach that captures with disturbing authenticity every aspect of a brutal street culture. Hopper's return to l lollyw ood credibility finds his bleak world-view of non-communieation somewhat deadened by formulaic narrative excitements. (ilasgow: ()deon. Edinburgh: ()deon. ('entral: Regal Bathgate.
I Coming To America ( 15) (John Landis. LS. 1988) Eddie Murphy. Arsenio 1 fall. James Earl Jones. 116 mins. Murphy is Prince Akeem. heir to the throne of a fabulously wealtlty central African state. but dissatisfied with the bride arranged for him by King James Earl Jones. Instead. he travels to New York with sidekick Hall to seek his own choice of queen.
()verlong and not terribly hilarious Murphy vehicle. with the star in several roles doing his best to pump life intoa sentimental script. Strathclyde: ()deon Ayr. Rialto.
I The Dawning ( 15) ( Robert Knights. l'K. 1988) Anthony Hopkins. .lean Simmons. Rebecca Pidgeon. 97mins. Ireland. 192i). A naive young girl is fascinated by the recluse who has taken tip her beach hut. a former scion of the British gentry now disillusioned veteran of the Republican cause. As she becomes a go-between for his covert activities. she finds herself precipitated into a world ofadult responsibilities.
Well-heeled literary adaptation. basically the same old coming of age routine with a mild political background. but a production of modest virtues nonetheless. (ilasgow: (‘annon Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh: Dominion.
I The Dead (L') (John 1 luston. L'K W. Germany. 1987) Anjeliea lluston. Donal McCann. llelena Carroll. 83 mins. lluston‘s final film is a superbadaptation of the James Joyce Duh/inns short story. Set during a traditional festive celebration its skill and mellow perception draw you into another world where the dinner
WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (PG) (Robert Zemeckis. 1988, US) Bob Hoskins. Christopher Lloyd. Joanne Cassidy. 92 mins. I guess the cast list should really include the name of RogerRabbitamongstthefleshand s blood protagonists of Zemeckis‘s sure-fire box office winner. It is undoubtedly the breath-taking whirl of live action with state of the art
animation which will ensure that Roger i
cleans upthis Christmas.
In truth. there really isn’t all that much beyond the phenomenal technical achievement. The story itself is a parody on film noir. but with the proviso thatthe viewer mustlirst accept that in Hollywood circa 1949. the humans exist side by side with cartoons (Toons). Once you have swallowed that one. it all makes sense. Well. sort of sense.
RogerRabbit isthe co-starofthe popular Baby Herman cartoons, and is married to the vampish Jessica (a composite of cartoon stars like Betty Boop with real Hollywood blondes of the Jane Russell variety). but suddenly finds himself being set-uptotake the rap for the murder of the studio owner. The nasty Judge Doom (Lloyd), who keeps the law in Toontown. and summarily executes erring Toons in a special drum of noxious solvent. sets
r I 4‘ ‘ » his weasels (literally) afterthe rabbi The desperate Roger goes to private
eye Eddie Valiant (Hoskins) and his long-suffering girlfriend (Cassidy) for help. but Valiant hates Toons—one killed his brother. He getssucked into helping. however. and they set about finding the answer to the mystery. but that requires that Valiant re-llve painful memories in the heart of Toontown. leading to a climactic encounter with the man who not only framed the rabbit. but killed Eddie's brother. The film should be seen for its technical merits ratherthan its riveting plot. but the actors cope admirably with their difficult co-stars. and you can have lots of fun spotting the film jokes. (Kenny Mathieson)
conversation and general merriment
rey eal universal truths about death and the beauty of true love. Strathclyde: Haldane film Society.
I Death DfA Salesman ( l’( i i ( Volker Schlondorfl. l'S. 198(i) Dustin l loll'man. Kate Reid. John Malkovich. (‘harles Durning. l-lllmins. ()riginally made for American public television. this is an adequate record of an award-winning stage performance in a classic play . though lloffman does look a little made-up on the cinema screen. Strathclyde: llaldane l-‘ilm Society.
I Dogs in Space ( l8) ( Richard Lowenstein. Australia. 1980) Michael llutchence. Saskia Post. ('hris l laywood. “)9 mins. The young and infuriatingly talented director of Strike/mum! returns with something completely differentza punk-era y ersion of Nashville brimming with raw energy. a multiplicity of characters and the expected interlocking stories.
Critic-dividing jamboree hailed as a serious work about ‘the end of an era and the coming down to earth out of the orbit of fun-seeking irresponsibility" or dismissed as a loosely directed seriesof diverse elements lacking ‘style and subtlety'. A certain sympathy with the punk ethos probably helps. (ilasgow: (il’l‘.
I East Of Eden ( PU) ( Elia Kazan. L'S. 195-1) James Dean. Raymond Massey. Jo Van Elect. 115mins. 1913. in a Californian farming valley a wild adolescent boy rebels against his father and discovers a dark secret about the mother he thought was dead. Self-consciously meaningful family histrionics. a film always far too pleased with itself and rampantly over-acted with it. Edinburgh: Edinburgh L'niversity Film Society.
I Empire ofthe Sun( PG ) (Steven Spielberg. LS. 1987) (‘hristian Bale.John Malkovitch. Miranda Richardson. 152 mins. J.(i. Ballard‘s bestseller through the eyes of Spielberg becomes a long.
sentimental account of a young boy 's character-building exploits during the Japanese invasion of Shanghai and his subsequent internment in a prison camp. 'l‘echnically admirable but ponderously paced and wildly uneven. it lacks the emotional heart to capture the view er and becomes just another big-screen spectacle. Edinburgh: Edinburgh l'niversity l-‘ilm Society.
I ExcallDUH151(JohnBoorman.l'S. 1982) Nigel 'I‘erry . Nicol Williamson. Helen Mirren. (‘herie Lunghi. 142 mins. ‘l‘he Boorman canon is crammed with references to the Arthurian legend. and this was his long cherished attempt to film the chronicle w herein he found so much fascination. The result is a film of visual splendour. melodramatic sw eep. and in the case of Nicol Williamson's Merlin. defiantly pery erse acting. Edinburgh: Edinburgh l'niversity Film Society.
I The Exorcism 18) (William liriedkin. LS. 1973) Ellen Burstyn. Max \‘on Sy‘doyv, Linda Blair. 1111 mins. Earnest priest \‘on Sy’dow steps in to save poor little possessed girl Blair in thisliugely convincing and effective scarefest that has stood the test oftime. ('entral: Regal.
I A Fish Called Wanda ( l5 ) ((‘harles Crichton. 17K. 1988) John ('leese. Jamie Lee Curtis. Kevin Kline. Michael Palin. 'I‘om (ieorgeson. ll)8 mins.
Remarkably effective comedy. with the absurdly black humour of the Python generation given a narrative control and sense oftirning that only a veterans steady hand could provide. And it makes a wonderful romantic lead out of the rather unlikely Mr (‘leese (ilasgow: (‘annon. (irosvenor. Edinburgh: ('annon. Dominion. (‘entralz (‘annon l‘alkirk. Strathclyde: AM(' (‘lydebank lll. ('annon Kilmarnock. Kelburne Paisley. ()deon Ayr. ()deon l lamilton.
I The Front ( 15) (Martin Rift. L's. 1970) Woody Allen. Zero Mosrel. l lerschel Bernardi. 95 mins. During the McCarthy era. blacklisted screenwriters attempt to stay working by using paid schlemiel Allen
as the frontman to hand in their scripts. btit problems soon pile up when he is forced into producing the material himself. Wry look at a troubled period in Hollywood history. made all the more authentic by screenwriter Walter Bernstein's personal experiences. Edinburgh; Edinburgh L'niversity Film Society. I Good Morning Vietnam ( 15) (Barry Levinson. LS. 1987) Robin Williams. Forrest Whitaker. 'l‘ung 'l'hanh Tran. 121 mins. At last getting the specially tailored role his improvisatory comic talent desery es. Robin Williams gives a dazzling performance as iconoclastic armed forces radio disc jockey Adrian ('ronauer. assigned to 1965 Saigon and soon creating headaches for the military top brass. llis morning show. with its healthy doses of soul music and outbursts of way-out.quite irreverent humour explodes their cosy notions of broadcasting standards. btit makes him a hero amongst the ordinary fighting: men. (ilasgow ; ()deon. ladinburgh: ()deon. Strathclyde: AM(' (‘lydebank If). I Hammelll15)(WimWenders.L'S. 1983) lirederic l-‘orrest. Roy Kinnear. 94 mins. Wenders first American movie. a speculativ e tale about crime writer l)ashicll llammett‘s involvement in acase he might have easily written himself. was plagued by production difficulties and the result is a bit ofa narrative shambles. What remains is the outline ofasmart idea. and a wonderfully evocative studio recreation of l94lls' ('hinatown. ladinburgh: Filmhouse. I A Handful 0f Dust ( P( i ) ( (‘harles Stiirridgc. PK. 1987) James Wilby. Kirsty n Scott-'l'homas. Rupert (iraves. 118 mins. Living in splendour at the ancestral seat. ill-matched upper class couple Wilby and Scott-'l‘homas find their already deteriorating relationship nudged further along the road to ruin by the arrival of handsome ingenue (iraves as a parasitical house guest. Beautifully acted and crafted film y ersion of the Evelyn Waugh novel captures the sources period detail with impeccable case. but the characterisation's genteel fair-mindedness fatally subdues the original's venomous note. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I Hope and Glory ( 15 ) (John Boorman. l'K. 1987) Sarah Miles. David 1 layman. lan Bannen. Susan Wooldridge. 11.1 mins. A deceptively simple but perfectly crafted slice of wartime nostalgia that paintsa warm and witty portrait ofthe adventurous childhood of the boy who would be John Boorman. ('entral: Regal. I Into Nicaragua ( 15) (Brian (‘rumlish. l'K. 1988) Admirably committed documentary made by Edinburgh-based (‘ormorant Eilms. which follows the experiences of a Scottish doctor and midwife working in the local health service in Nicaragua. Determined that the country's vital story he told. (‘rumlish and crew worked without much hope of remuneration. but their efforts are a testament to the determination abounding on both sides of the camera lens. (ilasgow: (il’I'. I lronweed ( 15) ( l lector Bahenco. US. 1987) Jack Nicholson. Meryl Streep. (’arroll Baker. 143 mins. Drunken hobo Nicholson returns to a hometown and family he had abandoned twenty years previously following the death ofhis infant son. lntimations of his own mortalityand the need to make peace with the ghostsof his past have driven him back. Remarkably engrossing examination of blighted lives and the underside ofthe American dream known as failure set during the dying days ofthe inter-War depression. Excellent performances all round. moody camerawork and composition; a potentially dour drama of dereliction has been transformed into an American classic. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I Jean De Florette ( PG) (Claude Berri. France. 1986) Gerard Depardicu. Yves
14 The List 25 Nov — 8 Dec 1988