For Queen And Country (15) 1:: (Martin Stetlman, UK/US, 1988) Denzel Washington, Dorian Healy, Amanda Redman, George Baker, Bruce Payne. 106 mins. Opening with an exciting action sequence in Northern Ireland before packing courageous black soldier Reuben (Washington) off to the Falklands, For Queen and Country eventually settles down in the battleground of contemporary Britain. As the former wideboy returns to his home estate after nine years of military service, he finds that the run-down tower block is no place torthe conquering hero. Faced with resentment from his black friends for ever donning the uniform, and subjected to abuse by a racist policeman, he is surrounded by the petty crime and drug problems that are evidence of extreme urban deprivation. Trying to cope with the demands of army buddy Fish (Healy), put in a wheelchair by his wounds, and with the temptation to get involved in nouveau yuppie Colin's (Payne) illicit heroin trade, the removal of his British citizenship by new legislation is to drive his frustration beyond breaking point.
Stetlman and his co-writerTrix Worrell clearly attack their subject with a good deal of passion. This examination of the position of black people in British society certainly shows how the respect that would normally be afforded people like Reuben, because ottheir Falklands war hero status, is patently denied them because of the colour of their skin, and the assumptions of
criminality that appearto go with it. However, in its eagerness to form a state-of-the-nation address, the film’s attempts to fabricate a narrative that will tie together all the issues involved (from British citizenship to the treatment of veterans to police corruption etc) results in a clumsy dramaturgy whose increasing use of coincidence undercuts the very credibility that is a primary requirement torthe undoubted truthfulness of this material to effectively hit home.
It could be that Stellman’s ambitious conception of blending British social
realism with the mythic appeal of the Western simply works against itself, for the constant round of heroic confrontation, that informs the quintessentially American genre, when applied to the landscape of a depressed high-rise block turns this familiar backdrop into a hyper-reality of fictionality. But the point surely is that this is no fiction, this is the experience of a good many people in Britain today. Typical of the tensions the film embodies is Washington’s performance, suffused with a rich Hollywood dignity, but hardly a Sarf Lunnon boy. (Trevor Johnston)
I Lethal Weapon ( 18) (Richard Donner. ['S. I987) Mel Gibson. Danny Glover. Gary Buscy. 1(l9mins. Gibson isa widower psychotically bent on revenge. Glover a middle-aged. middle-class family man iiitltis formula buddy cop movie. lifted jtist above the average by its touch of humanity and charismatic performances. Edinburgh: Cameo.
I The Lonely Passion OfJudith Hearne(15) 3’: (Jack Clayton. UK. 1988) Maggie Smith. Bob Hoskins. Marie Kean. lan .‘vlcNeice. flit) mins. See panel. Glasgow: Grosvenor. Edinburgh: Dominion. Strathclyde: AMC Clydebank 10.
I The Merchant of Four Seasons ( 18) (Rainer Werner Fassbinder. W. Germany. 1971) Hansllirschmuller. Hanna Schygulla. 89 mins. Dominated by his mother. and rejected by the love ofhis life. a timid greengrocer enters an empty marriage. and finally drinks himselfto death. Melodramatic yet moving biographical study. generally regarded as one of Fassbinder's finest achievements. Glasgow: Girl.
I Lord Of The Flies (PG) (Peter Brook. LTK. 1963) James Aubrey. Tom Chapin. Hugh Edwards. 91 mins. The gradual descent into savagery of a group of English schoolboys marooned on a desert island carries so much thematic weight in Golding's classic modern text that it'sa shame to see the same events looking so crude in this ambitious but misguided atempt to film the unfilmable. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I Mapantsula(15) (Oliver Schmitz. S. ( Africa. 1988)'I'homas Mogotlane. 'I‘hembi Mtshali. Peter Sephuma. 106 mins. Small-time Soweto thiefPanic (Mogotlane) is interested only in
snatching handbags and carousing in local shebeens. However. when he is picked up and interned with a number oftradc unionists. his brutal experiences behind bars help him to formulate a more committed attitude to the struggle against apartheid.
Filmed under the noses of the white authorities. this remarkable film is the most authentic screen examination we have of life in the townships. and while a little lacking in narrative drive or emotional appeal. the quiet power it generates comes from the total conviction of its hard realism. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I The Milagro Beanfield War ( PU) ( Robert Redford. US. 1987) Sonia Braga. Ruben Blades. Chick Vennera. Christopher Walken. ll8mins. Redford’sinfectiously good-natured film weaves a picaresque tale around the actions of lone Chicano farmer Vennera. as he irrigates his small holding with water earmarked for a new leisure development and so pitches the local community into conﬂict with the businessmen.
This gentle comical fable reads as if Frank Capra had filmed The Grapes Of Wrath with just a little Finian's Rainbow to sweeten the mixture. for it wrapsits serious message in a breezy. heartwarming package oflight entertainment. Central: Regal.
I Mr Klein ( 15) (Joseph Losey. France. 1976) Alain Delon. Jeanne Moreau. Francine Berge. 123 mins. Paris 19-12. A well-known antiques dealer is mistaken for a mysterious Jew who appears to have the same name. and his efforts to solve the mystery lead to him gradually assuming the stranger‘s identity. Intriguing
Kafkaaesque character study. a bit on the depressing side. Glasgow: French Cine Club.
I Monkey Business (U) (Norman Z. McLeod. US. 1931) Groucho. llarpo. Chico. Zeppo. Thelma Todd. 81 mins. The Marx brothers stow away aboard a cruise liner and unwittingly catch some crooks. Notable for the appearance ofthc fourth member Zeppo in the straight-ish romantic lead. this vintage helpingof Hollywood lunacy also features the memorable sequence that packs a cast of thousands into a small ship‘s state-room. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I Moonwalker (U) (Jerry Kramer & Colin Chilvers. US. 1988) MichaelJackson. Sean Lennon. Kellie Parker. Joe Pesci. 100 mins. The Jacko plan for complete world domination continues apace with this ragbag of bits and pieces masquerading as a feature film. We get some old Jackson Five footage ; an animated section by Jim And She Was Bashfiled; a song called Badder starring an eight year-old Jackson lookalike; and an extended video for the track Smooth Criminal, which has our Michael leading a double life as both clean-cut good guy and fedora-topped gangster figure.
Criticism is pointless as the kiddies will ﬂock to it anyway. but there's a lotto dislike about a movie which sets out to exploit our younger viewers' short attention spans. Spare a thought for the unfortunate parents. Glasgow: Cannon Sauehiehall Street. Edinburgh: Cannon. Strathclyde: AMC Clydebank 10. Cannon. Kclburne. WMR.
I My Little Chickadee (PG) (Edward Cline. US. 1939) WC. Fields. Mae West. Margaret Hamilton. 83 mins. ln theold
west a lady of uncertain virtue and an alcoholic card sharp get on the trail of some villains. The star pairing must have seemed like a great idea at the time. but it‘s a shame that Fields and West‘s screenplay resolutely refuses to work. Perhaps each star worked better when left to their own devices. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I The Name of the Rose(18)(Jcan-Jacqucs Annaud. W. Germany/France/ltaly. 1986) Sean Connery. F. Murray Abraham. Christian Slater. 13] 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 BAFTA winning performance from Sean. Edinburgh: Cameo.
I Near Dark ( 18) (Katherine Bigelow. US. 1987) Adrian Pasdar. Jenny Wright, Lance llenriksen. 98 mins. A chance sexual encounter for a Texas youth leads to his abduction by a group ofmarauding bloodsuckcrs and his difficult transformation to their parasitic mode of existence. As vampire-biker westerns go. this is a pretty good one. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I Les Parents Terribles (PG) (Jean Cocteau. France. 1948) Jean Marais, Yvonne de Bray. Gabrielle Dorizat. 98 mins. Filmed version ofCoeteau‘s domestic play where the children are as neurotic as the parents. with the author coaxing performances of some ﬂexibility from an excellent cast as much at home with the piece‘s tragic elements as they are with its broad comedy. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I The Presidio ( 15) (Peter Hyams. US. 1988) Sean Connery. Mark Harmon. Meg Ryan. Jack Warden. 98 mins. A murderec policeman at the Presidio, a sprawling US military base perched in sight ofthe Golden Gate bridge. is the catalyst for tension between (‘onnery‘s investigating Colonel and Harmon‘s cop. who ofcourse previously served under the older man as an MP and is now enamoured ofhis daughter.
This formula thriller with few surprises is partially redeemed by the emotional credibility Connery brings tohis hackneyed role. and by director l lyams' adept orchestrator of some betterthan usual thick-cared mayhem. Glasgow: Cannon Clarkston Road. Cannon Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh: Cannon. Strathclyde: AMC Clydebank ll), WMR. I Radio Days (PG) (Woody Allen. US. 1987) Mia Farrow. Seth Green. Diane Keaton. 89mins. Amiably laid back family recollections of the early Forties and the golden age of the wireless. Potpourri of modest charm held together by an armful of reliable performances from old lags and the usual ﬂashes ofwit and wisdom. A pleasant time fillerfor both director and audience. Strathclyde: Odeon Ayr.
I Red Heat ( 18) (Walter l lill. US. 1988) Arnold Schwarzenegger. James Belushi. Ed ()‘Ross. 104 mins. Tough Moscow cop Arnie travels to Chicago on the trail of Moscow‘s most psychotic drug dealer. and slobbish Yank detective Belushi is assigned to co-ordinate with him on the case. Starting out in hostility. but finally ending up buddies. they break the rules at every turn in their attempts to bringthe wrongdoer to justice.
Glasnost era police thriller makes little ofits Russian elements. instead settling down for the familiar banter and action set-pieces Walter l lill seems to be turning out in his sleep these days. even if thisone does have a rather nifty bus chase sequence. Glasgow: Odeon. Edinburgh: Odeon. Central: Cannon. Strathclyde: AMC Clydebank 10. Cannon. Odeon Ayr. Odeon Hamilton.
I La Regle Du Jeu (PG) (Jean Renoir. France. 1939) Marcel Dalio. Nora Gregor. Jean Renoir. 113 mins. A
16 The List 27 January — 9 February