Willow (PG) «a (Ron Howard, US, 1988) Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Jean Marsh. 126 mins. There are times when one feels that George Lucas's Star Wars has a lot to answer for. The phenomemal success of the 1977 space epic instituted a new strain of populist filmmaking that blended the familiar narrative forms of the fairy tale with the up-to-the-minute excitements ol the very latest special effects technology. Every year seems to find the same formula repeated in an endless series of family blockbusters, sometimes with skill (as in Peter Yates‘ Krull), sometimes hamfistedly (the dreadful Masters DiThe Universe), but always manufactured for maximum boffo Box Office.

From a story by Lucas himself, we now have the heavily promoted Willow, hoping to do better over here than its disappointing grosses in the US. We begin in the land of the Nelwyn, a race of little people, where one Willow Ulgood (Warwick Davis) finds a baby in a raft by the riverside, and soon finds himself presented with the task of taking it back to the Daikini (big

years later. howey er. lte dies a lturttble gardener iii a ('ltina tltat is rtow tlte .Maoist People‘s Republic.

Intelligent epic following the sell-delusion arid re-education of a ntart shaped by a superseded power strttcture. A little cold perhaps. but the production artd cinematography are of such exquisiteness tltat one only wishes the film were longer. (ilasgow : ()deon. (irosvenor. Iidinburgh: ('amco.

I Last Tango in Paris ( ls) (Bernardo Bertolucci. France Italy. 1973).\1ar1on Brartdo. Maria Scltrteider. 130 mins. A young Parisienne nteets a middle-aged ntatt w ith whom she develops art increasingly violent and purely sexual relationship. ()ite of the key films ofits decade. Be rtolucci's powerful drama is a meditation on the expression and comrttunication of personal identity througlt irttertse sexual contact. Fdinburgh: ('ameo.

I Lesbian And Gay Film Festival On Tour (18) Three programmes explore the eomntitntent artd depth of talent. as well as the variety of explicitly gay citterna in this AIDS conscious era. The first programme

includes Stewart Mairt arid Peter Wells

eloquent treatment of a sufferer itt .-i Dear/1hr The Family“; while tlte second features ( 'hristoph Schaub's ll'emlel a cathartic study of the messy aftermath ofa failed relationship; and the final selection is headed by Amy (ioldstein‘s vantpire tale Because [he Dawn. a comic story of erotic obsession. (ilasgow ; (if‘vl‘.

I Life Of Brian ( 15)('1‘erry Jones. l'K. 1979) (iraham ('ltapman. Terry .lortes. .lohrt ('leese. Michael Palin. Fric ldle. 93 ittitts. The ( inspel Accordirtg to Mortty

Py tltort offertded a w ltole ltost of religious dominations upon its initial release. whiclt rather obscured the fact that behind the controversy lay wltat still remains their ntost sustained exercise in lunatic tinglish humour. A ltost of very funny setpiece scenes _ (ilasgoyy: (irosy‘enor.

I The light Horsemen ( PG i (Sitttort Wincer. Australia. 1987) Peter Phelps.

Nick Waters. John [.arkirtg. 98mins.

; Based on actual events. this Second World War drama follows the fortunes of agroup ofyoung cay alry men iii the Australian Light Horse. as tltey take part iii the famous mission to take the strategically

) important Middle Izast city of Beerslteba.

people) whence it came. However, this is no ordinary bairn, but one destined to cause the downfall of the wicked Queen Bavmorda, and our hero Willow needs to call upon his developing skills as a sorcerer, enlist the aid of devil-may-care warrior Madmartigan (Val Kilmer), and find support from the unlikely source of Bavmorda’s daughter Sorsha (Joanne Whalley), before the climactic tussle between Good and Evil wends its way to a predictable conclusion.

For over two hours we watch an expensive cavalcade of borrowings pass by. The resemblances to the plotting of Star Wars are blindingly

Wltile the battle scenes are undeniably well-mounted. there's art air of deja vu about this whole enterprise. stenttttirtg from the fact that we‘ve seen it all before irt TV mini-series or Peter Weir'syery similar (:‘ul/ipo/r. lidinburglt: Dominion. I Ligthi Day( 15) (Paul Scltrader. l'S. 1987) Michael .1. Fox. (iena Row'lattds. .loanJett. 1(17mins.(‘haracteristically extrertte yet contpelling slice of life set irt (‘leveland ()ltio. w here brother andsister (Fox attd .lett ). as aspiring rock musicians conte tip against the strong religious beliefs of their ntothcr ( Row land).

This unjustly neglected Paul Schrader movie ltas barely received any kiitd ofa release. but should be seen for itsattempts at examining the kiitd of problematical moral judgements thrown tip by the ntodern world that the \y r iter director ltas already fruitfully probed 1l1 movicslike 'I‘u.t1'l)rit'eror Hun/core. 'l‘houghyoung Fox might ttot be ones first cltoiee asa tyro rock‘n‘roller. fadinlittrgh: Filmhouse. I Like Father. Like Son ( PG) ( Rod Daniel. 1S. 1988) Dudley Moore. Kirk ('ameron. Margaret (‘olin 11111 rttins. Brilliant brain surgeon Dr Hammond (Moore 1 looks set to be nanted(‘liicfof staff at one of the world‘s leading hospitals. w ltile his son ( 'hris(('anteronl is concerned about his rtew date arid a troublesome biology exam. ( iuess w hat‘.’ Yes. this is 1988 so they change bodies witlt art es en ntore predictable set of complications than usual.

Art inane body -sy\ apping moy ie is a tiresome enough prospect. bttt add the thought of ‘cuddly' Dudley (as a brain surgeon. yet ) arid yoti ltave a definite ‘must-avoid' experience on your hands. (ilasgow : ()deon. ixdinburgh: ()deon. Stratltclyde: ()deon Ayr. ()deon Hamilton.

I The Lost Boys ( 15 ) (Joel Schumaclter. 17S. 1987i.lason Patrick. (‘oiey l laim. Barnard Hughes. 97mins. Anaemic comic ltorror as a Santa Monica teen falls trtto bad company in the shape of a mad. bad and dangerous-to-krtow gangof vampires. (‘onstant MTV y isuals make thisan altogether resistible affair. (ilasgow: (irosvenor.

I Love Is A Many-Splendoured Thing ( l’( i) (Henry Kiitg. l‘S. 1955).lenniferlones. William l loldenflorin 'l‘ltatcltcr. 111.3

mitts. During the Korean War. romance

obvious: Willow's intuitive powers recall the Force within Luke Skywalker; Madmartigan's loveable rogue and Sorsha's spunky but feminine replay the Hann Solo/Princess Lela relationship; Bavmorda is a Darth Vader by any other name. The medieval laerle kitsch oi the production design testifies to the dread influence of J.R.R. Tolkien that hangs over the enterprise as a whole, while the spectacular battle scenes with their hordes of armoured extras bring back memories of the cinemascope epics of yesteryear. A particularly exciting rustic wagon chase might have come from a plethora of westerns, or Ben Hur, or a Hollywood Robin Hood picture.

Of course it's all put together with a good deal of craft, and delivers the kind of expansive action sequences that one expects from a budget of this size, but the overall impression is that a computer has been fed with a list of supposedly audience-winning elements and this is the result. The complete absence of any biographical detail on writer Bob Dolman in the press note does nothing but further one’s suspicions. (TrevorJohnston)

breaks out between war Correspondent

1 {olden and lady doctor Jones while they are botlt working in Hong Kong. Popular. self-consciously sentimental sudser with art enjoyany overblown tragic ending. artd a title turte that brings tears to tlte eyes by itself. Glasgow: 0171‘.

I Manhattan ( 15) (woody Allen. US. 1979) Woody Allen. Diarte Keaton. Mariel Hemingway. 9o rttins. Woody wartders through the female jungle of New York irt searclt of a perfect .soulmate after the demise of his marriage. Sublime comic delight with a soulful Gershwin score. (ilasgow: (if’l‘.

I Manon Des Sources (PG) ((‘laude Berri. France Italy. 1986) Yves ntontand. Daniel Auteuil. limmanuelle Beart. 11-1 ntitts. Ten years after the demise of Jean De Florette. the Soubeyrans‘ now run a prosperous carnation farnt. However. Jean’s daughter has now grown into an alluring young woman and. through the twists of unpredictable fate. is able to wreak her revertge.

Steering this epic rural saga towards the realms of(ireek tragedy. .llumm is a ftill arid satisfying second half that explores the suffering of the guilty as they pay a crippling penance for man's greed artd ertvy. The production values are as high as ever and Auteuil assumes Depardieu's mantle as the human soul of this episode iit his tragi-comic development front glaikit idiot to broken-hearted suitor. A stirring achievement. (ilasgow: (il’l'.

I Mr Mum (P(i) (Stan Dragoti. US. 1983) Michael Keaton. Terri (iarr. Frederic Koehler. 91 mitts. After losing his job as art automobile executive Keaton finds life at home looking after the kids more trouble than he bargained for. linjoyable comedy front art early John 1 lugltes script. hence the rteat lirte irt dontestie obscrvatiort. Strathclyde: AMC ('lydebank ill.

I My Life AS A Dog ( PU) (Lasse l falstt'ont. Sweden. 1985) Anton (ilanzelius. Manfred Server. Anki Liden. 1(11 mitts. Wholly captivating rite of passage tale set in Sweden during the 195(ls.'1‘welve year-old lngemar copes with his mother's terminal illness arid his family's general indifference to his boisterous spirits by indulging iii a ltiglt fantasy life. including the pretertce that he is a dog. Terrible title. wonderful. unmissable film. Iidinburglt:


I Out of Africa (PG) (Sydney Pollack, US, 1985) Meryl Streep. Robert Redford. Klaus Maria Brandeur. 161 mins.True story ofthe remarkable Karen Blixen and her love affair with both the vast continent of Africa and enigmatic game hunter Denys Finch Hatton.

A carefully measured tragic romance suffused with images ofawe-inspiring beauty and topped by another flawless performance front Streep. Strathclyde: Odeon Ayr.

I Pepe Le Moko (PG) (Julien Duvvier. France. 1936) Jean Gabin. Mireille Balin. Gabriel Gabrio. A Parisian gangster hides out in the Algerian casbah. but love tempts him out of his hideaway with ultimately tragic results. Gorgeous romantic melodrama. with a typically French doonty poetry remaking a Hollywood genre. and Gabin at the peak of his powers. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Film Society.

I The Petrified Forest ( PU) (Archie Mayo. US. 1936) Leslie Howard. Bette Davis. Humphrey Bogart. 83 mins. Travellers at a refuge in the Arizona desert include an idealistic poet. but they are irt for a frying time when gangsters on the run enterthe scene. Artificial arid ratherobvious talkfest frottt a notable piece of middlebrow Broadway drama. Watch out for an early appearance front Bogey. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Film Society.

I Planes. Trains and Automobiles( 15) (John Hughes. US. 1987) Steve Martin. John Candy. Laila Robbins. 92 mins. Hughes relinquishes his position asthe most pertinent commentator on teenage woes arid graduates with honours in the side-splitting adult comedy stakes. Martin is a harrassed (‘hicago businessman desperate to return home front New York for the Thanksgiving celebrations. Aftera frenzied attempt to catch the last flight honte he undergoes a series of increasingly fraught misadventures. Along the way he meets ('andy's accident prone shower curtain salesman arid they inadvertently beconte travelling companions through treacherous snow. hell. high waterand mutual incompatibility.

Predictable artd sentimental ()dd ('ouple on the road which is genuinely funny thanks to the script and the well-played clash of personalities between the two stars. lidinburgh: Filmhouse.

I Predator( 18) (.lohrt Mc'l‘iernan. US. 1987) Arnold Schwarzenegger. (‘arl Weathers. 1ilpidia(‘arillo. 107 mins. Arrtie and his dirty half-dozen are hired to enter a dense South American jungle to free a kidnapped cabinet minister. bttt lurking unseen iii the foliage isa chameleon-like being waiting to skin alive any unsuspecting human to cross its path.

Slow to build. but ultimately gripping rttaelto may hem w ith a real sense ofthreat. 1idinburgh: ()deort.

I Radio Days ( PU) (\Voody‘ Allen. US. 1987) Mia Farrow. Seth (ireen. Diane Keaton. 89 rttirts. Amiably laidback family recollections of the early Forties arid the golden age of the wireless. Potpourri of modest charm held together by art arntful of reliable performances front old lagsartd the usual flashes of wit and wisdom. A pleasant time filler for botlt directorand audience. (ilasgow; (if-'1‘.lidin:('ameo. I Salome's Last Dance ( 18) (Ken Russell. l'K. 1988) (ilenda Jackson. Stratford Johns. lntogett Milais-Seott. 89mins. London. 1893 and ()scar Wilde artd Lord Alfred Douglas visit a London brothel to witness a performance of the former's battrted play Salome.

(‘ompletely absurd Russell farrago. though done with a certain self-conseiousness. allowing a talented cast to make fools of tlterttselves iii a baw dy costume melodrama of quite extraordinary campness. ()ur Ken is possibly the only film-maker around who would wartt to do this sort of thing. never

16'1'1te1.ist9— 22 December 1988