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MUSIC F SILENTS
The traditional image of the silent film is one associated with cine—
matic primitivism; the image poorly defined, the movement wakward
and jerky, and the only sound the tinkling of a badly-tuned piano. However, as the Eighties have worn on, the revival of a number of expressive silent masterpieces with newly written scores has done
certainly helped to dissipate such mi
For many Scottish cincm‘agoers, the screening of Abel Gance’s massive biopic Napoleon at the 1983 Edinburgh International Film Festival was a revelation of the overwhelming experience that the combination of stylised visuals and the power of a live orchestral score had to offer. Gance's four and a half hour epic became the ﬁrst in the Thames Silents series, which has included films like Keaton's The General and Erich Von Stroheim’s Greed (regarded as among
the most remarkable films ever made),
and their transmission on Channel 4 has gotten us used to seeing beauti- fully restored prints with sensitive music by the proliﬁc Carl Davis. Perhaps a more visceral excitement though, is to attend a performance by the splendid young composer/multi- instrumentalist Adrian Johnston. Known also for his work with theatre group The Shadow Syndicate, Johnston has been responsible for creating a number of exciting soundtracks to silent classics like Mumau’s pioneering vampire picture Nosferatu and G.W. Pabst's Louise Brooks melodrama Pandora's Box, where he uses keyboards, banjo and percussion (sometimes all at once) to provide a sonic accompaniment of quite thrilling impact. Searching
round all manner of secondhand shops, Johnston has also discovered some original sound effects parapher- nalia enabling him to futher underline events on screen.
His latest commission has been a new score for Alfred Hitchcock’s 1926 thriller The Lodger, where mysterious man upstairs Ivor Novello is suspected of being mass killer Jack The Ripper, which Johnston will present in regional ﬁlm theatres throughout the UK. Catch this singular entertainment at Edinburgh Filmhouse (Feb 12; 3pm) and Glasgow Film 'Ihcatre (Feb 14; 8.45pm). (Trevor Johnston)
sguided peremptory judgements.
lm Archive, London)
This is where we try to pick out some of the forthcoming fortnight's celluloid highlights on both the commercial and repertory circuit. For more comprehensive reviews and venue details see the Film Index, while complete programme details canbe found in the Film Listings.
N EW MOVIES DEAD RINGERS Latest from David Cronenberg has identical twin gynae- cologists Jeremy Irons and Jeremy Irons going crazy over a shared relationship with Genevieve Bu jold. Strange, cold and uneasy. Key Odeons release; from Feb 17.
THE NAKED GUN The Abrahams and Zucker gang return to Airplane's level of dumb hilarity with this spoof cop effort starring game old stager Leslie Neilsen. Wide Cannon release; from Feb 17.
PASCAU'S ISLAND James Dearden's poised ﬁlm from Barry Unsworth's Booker-nominated novel boasts an excellenth Kingsley as an ineffectual Turkish spy in the Aegean of 1908. Glasgow Grosvenor, Edinburgh Cameo; from Feb 17. SALAAM BOMBAY Fine debut for Indian director Mira Nair, this story of resourceful children surviving on the city streets won the Camera D'Or prize at Canne for the best ﬁrst feature. Edinburgh Filmhouse; Feb 19--25.
L'AVENTURA Classic 1960 Michelangelo Antonioni breakthrough picture, where his effortless evocation of visual is more important than the story about an unsolved Sicilian disappearance. With Monica Vitti. Edinburgh Filmhouse; Feb 22. CULLODEN/THE WAR GAME Rare chance to see Peter Watkins' brilliant television work from the Sixties, with both the realistic period piece and his banned study of Britain under nuclear attack
screening as part of the Edinburgh Peace Festival. Edinburh Filmhouse; Feb 20&21/Feb l3. FLESH/HEAT Warhol- sponsored expolorations in sleaze from director Paul Morrisey on a double-bill whose convincing depiction of low-life brought censorship problems in the early Seventies. Edinburgh I Cameo; Feb 10. SCHRADER/SCORSESE Watch out for a series of Saturday afternoon double- -, bills from the contempo- I rary American cinema’s most intense duo. Including Hardcore & Raging Bull (Feb 11) and American Gigolo & Mean 3 Streets, at Glasgow's OFT.
ARTHUR II: ON THE ROCKS Dudley Moore returns in an unnecessary sequel. Here the millionaire has fallen on hard times and girlfriend Liza Minelli wants to adopt a baby. Wide Cannon release; Feb 10.
PHANTASM II Don Coscarelli offers a belated 5 follow-up to his 1979 Q horror sickie quickie.
Things are still going
bump down at the mausoleum. Floating release;
SHORT CIRCUIT II Yet another sequel, as loveable robot Number Five tries to go it alone in the big city. Fun for the kids, but no Ally Sheedy (sigh). Wide Odeon release; Feb 10.
THE EDINBURGH FILM FESTIVAL has announced that after being unable to ﬁnd a direct replacement ; for departing supremo Jim Hickey, two guest Co- Directors have been appointed to select the programme for this year's event Times ﬁlm critic David Robinson and highly-regarded Polish ﬁlm-maker Krzystopf Zanussi (Year Of The Quiet Sun) are the two : distinguished choices whose high proﬁle, especially in eastern Europe, should attract much attention to the 43rd annual cinematic feast. A Deputy Director, yet to be found, will handle the administrative end of things in Edinburgh, while
Robinson and Zanussi are scheduled to meet up at the Berlin Film Festival before returning to face the Scottish press in late February.
THE SCOTTISH FILM COUNCIL have announced two major grants from the British Film Institute’s De- velopment Budget. The SFC will match sums already raised by the Edinburgh Filmhouse by offering ﬁve thousand pounds towards the reseating of Cinema 2, and they have allocated seventy-three thousand to Glasgow Film Theatre towards the cost of a second auditorium and new cafe bar. The latter grant is conditional upon matching funding being received towards a dcvelpomcnt that will cost four hundred and 25 thousand pounds, and meanwhile the GFT's scat sponsorship programme continues apace with Robbie Coltrane and British Telecom the latest to contribute to the drive towards 1990.
BACK AT THE Edinburgh Filmhouse, look out for next month's special presentation on March 10 of ‘Terry Gilliam in Person'. Unfortunately, for reasons best known to thenselves Rank distributors have refused to allow The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Gilliam's latest magnum opus, a preview screening to help the ﬁlm's advance word of mouth before its March 31 opening. Uncharitable souls might
remark that Gilliam talks a
better movie anyway.
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