THE ACCIDENTAL TOURIST
The Accidental Tourist (PG) (Lawrence Kasdan. US. 1988) William Hurt. Geena Davis. Kathleen Turner, Amy Wright. 121 mins. In this latest offering from Lawrence ‘Big Chill’ Kasdan. which won the New York film critics award for Best Film of 1988. William Hurt stars as Macon Leary. the author
. of a series of mollycoddling
international travel guides for people
: who are uneasy about crossing their
front rooms. hence the books’ logo depicting an armchair with wings. Emotionally. he believes he has his life
' undera similar kind of control. Until.
that is. his wile Sarah (Kathleen Turner) walks out and he is lettto fend in the home for himself. Before long, a cellar mishap leaves him with a broken
leg. but brings him into contact with
unconventional dog-trainer Muriel (Geena Davis) when he takes his over-aggressive pet corgi Edward for
‘ some lessons in canine discipline. As
Muriel‘s unconventionality and her sickly little boy become more and more
endearing, Macon begins to realise that even the best-prepared of travellers must be ready to lace the unexpected detour.
Hurt's impressive performance is at the centre of the film’s quiet domestic strengths. suggesting all the
uncertainties and need for affection of a man with an equal capacity both to offer and repress his emotions. Kasdan skillully manages to interpolate passages from Macon's travel writings, each one wittin underpinning the action and illuminating a little more of the man. The evocation of ordinary Baltimore lives passing by is absorbineg depicted in what is for contemporary Hollywood a painstaking pace, and the film’s loremost quality is primarily a literary richness of observation that is most pleasing. Where it all goes awry is when Kasdan mistakes ‘character’ for ‘eccentricity’ and so disturbs the carefully understated tone of most of the piece. Geena Davis with her distressing wardrobe and over-used pout-and-stare expression is a particular offender, while the Leary lamin are too affectionately offbeat a crew to have much credibility this side of 3 Garrison Keillor self-parody. I suppose that Kasdan felt the need for more obvious comic relief. but the effect is to obscure the film’s moving everyday core. (Trevor Johnston)
supplied by a local butcltcr. tlte rouglt artd grainy qualitiesof tlte filnt only serycto make it rttorc horribly convincing. Izdntburgh: l-ilrnhouse.
I Pathfinderr15)(NiMiaup.Norway. 1%" l \Iikkel ( iaup. IngyaId(iuttorm. lzllen Anne litrlllo. Sb mins. Set iittlte snowy w aslcs of l.apland. tltc first film shot lll tlte lapp language followsa
teenage boy Aigin ((iaup) as lte returrts front a ltunting trip to find ltis fantin slaughtered by a gartg of rttaraudittg warriors and vows to avenge tlteir deaths. Iidinburgh: I-ilmhouse.
I The Presidiot 15) ( Peter I Iyams. LS. I088) Sean ('onnet'y. Mark llarnton. Meg Ryan. .Iack Warden. US rttins. A rtturdered policentan at the l’residio. a sprawling L'S
I920'S NEWPORT HAS NEVER SEEN ANYONE QUITE LIKE HIM. RASCAL? ROMANTIC? ROGUE? WHOEVER HE IS. HE'S A MOST UNUSUAL YOUNG MAN
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OPENING AT THE GROSVENOR CINEMA HILLHEAD, MARCH 17
A .f 1‘ Q
military base perched irt sigltt oftlte Golden Gate bridge. is the catalyst for tensiort between ('onnery's investigating Colonel and Harmon‘s cop. wlto ofeourse previously served urtder the older mart as an MP artd is now ertarttoured ofltis daughter.
This forntula thriller with few surprises is partially redeemed by the emotional credibility (‘onnery brings to his hackrteyed role. artd by director I Iyam‘s adept orchestrator of some better than usual thick-cared mayhem. (‘entralz Caledonian.
I Rebel Without A Cause ( la) ( Nicholas Ray. US. 1956) James Dean. Natalie Wood.Jim Backus. Sal Minco. I l I mins. Seminal youth ntovie ltas Dean as a sensitive but misunderstood kid battlirtg to communicate with his parents arid caught in the violent struggle for self-definition. Though irrevocably dated by ttow. this is still notable as the film that articulated the until-then unrecognised experiences artd aspirations of a whole generation and does of course contain our favourite nostalgia icon in full ﬂow. Edinburgh: Cameo.
I Red Shoes ( PG) (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger. UK. 1948) Anton Wallbrook. Marius (ioring. Moira Shearer. I33 ntins. Ballerina Sheareris torn between an autocratic impressario artd a starving young Composer as she dances her way towards madness. Remarkably serious treatment of the subject matter is helped by superlative design and cinematography irt this classic piece of Powell/l’ressburger expressionism. Glasgow: GET.
I The Red Snowball Tree (PG) (Vasily Shukshin. USSR. I974) Vasily Shukshin. Lydia Fedoseeva-Shukshina. 108 ntins. Newly released from prison. figor (Shukshin) has nowhere to go. except to a remote village where the kirtdly woman resides with whom he has been corresponding for a number ofyears. Moving study of redemption. which was first blocked then awarded a Lenin prize by the Soviet authorities. Glasgow: GET. I Red Sorghum (15) (Xhang Yimou. China. 1988) Gong Li. Jian Weng. JiuJi. 90 mins. Completely startling piece of work from the New Chinese Cinema isa family saga set in a rural community during the 193(ls. which follows a bride's adventures: finding a litter carrier for her
I husband. setting up her own brewery. and
fighting against the barbaricJapanese invaders.
(‘ortceived oit a gloriously broad palette. Yimou's film manages to eontroversially explore the stirrings of female sexuality. and include sortie endearing knockabout comedy before the tone darkens for the firtal cataclysm. The marvellous control of a rich red clour scheme tltrougltout ntakes this a magnificent debut. Edinburgh: l’ilmhotIse.
I The Return OlThe Living Dead ( 18H Dan ()‘Bannon. LS. 1985) (In (iulagcr.James Karen. l)on (‘alfa. 90 mins. When mysterious gas canisters in a suburban ntorgue are accidentally opened. the local dead begin to get frisky and hungry for brairts. l'nolticial sequel to the (ieorge A. Romero classic otlers sortte enjoyably sick humour. but things begin to go awry asthe tone shifts towards an extremely serious apocalyptic finale. (ilasgow : ()deort. Strathclyde: .»\.\f(‘ ('Iydebank Ill.
I Rosemary‘s Baby( Is) (Roman Polanski. LS. 1068) Mia Farrow . .Ioltrt ( ‘assavetes. Rutlt (iordon. 130 mins. Young couple I‘arrow and (‘assay etes move irtto a .\'oo Yaw k appartntent to discos er that the nice lady downstairs is the ltcad of the local coven ofdes il worshippers Disturbing exercise iit suburban parartioa iit Polanski's finest ntanner arid arguably best period. lzdinburgh: (‘amco.
I scandal ( lb’) (Michael ('alon-Jones. L'K. 1989) John Ilurf..loannc \VItaIIey-Kilmer. lart McKcllen. Bridget Fonda. 114 mins. Stylish artd involving treatment of the 1%.? l’rofuntoaffair. which looks at the the tangled onc lifeof ('hristine Keeler ( Whalley .Kilnter) who numbers War Minister John l’rofurtto (McKcllen) and Russian agent litrgenc lvanov (Jeroert Krabbc ) arttortg her sexual partners. and exposes the establishment's hypocritical treatment of her mentor Stephen Ward ( l Iurt ) w Itert the scandal broke.
Assured debut for young Scots director (‘aton-Jortes combines story -thling poise and emotional punch w itlt a know ing sexuality of flipentertainment yaluc. .Ioltrt I lurt is extremely sy rnpathetic II] this outstanding British filrtt.
I Septemberil’m(woody Allen. l‘S. IVS-.7) Mia l'arrow. Dianne \Vicst. Sam Waterston. lzlaine Striclt. l)enholni liliott. 83 mins. Returning to the more serious dranta he earlier attempted w ith Interiors. Allen rtow essays art exercise irt family conflict and romantic tensions. which is characterised by the kind of cortfrontatiort with the past that rttarkstltc work of Miller aitd ()‘Neill.
As one might expect with this cast. the performances are uniformly excellent. btit Allen‘s writing does occasionally strain for significance. arid tltc tilnt as a w Itole is simply ntuclt too precious. (ilasgow: (irosvenor.
I She‘s Gotta Have Ill IS) ( Spike Lee. L'S. 198(1) Tracy ('amilla Johns. Redittortd Hicks. Spike Lee. 85 mins. Spirited. sympathetic comedy of sexual manners. with a snappy script artd a fluid technique that marked an auspicious debut for its young. gifted arid black
writer director star. lidinburgh: fidinburgh l'nivcrsity lr‘ilm Society.
I Short Circuit Il ( l’(} l l Kenneth Johnson. L'S. IUSS) I‘isher Stevens. Michael McKean.(‘y'nthia (iibb. llllmins. Innocuous sequel to a cltarrningorigirtal has anthropomorphic android Number 5 trying to ntakc it in the big city and corttirtg into contact with would-be toymaker McKean. who's interested irt the marketing potential oftlte robot's engaging capabilities.
l‘ormula fodder aimed purely at the children‘s ltoliday market. but by no means the worst of its kind. (ilasgow': ()deon. lidinburgh: ()deon. (‘entrals (‘annon. Strathclydc: AMC ('Iydebank If).
I Silverado ( l’(}) ( Lawrence Kasdan. LS. 1985 ) Scott (ilenn. Kcvirt Klirtc. Danny
16 The List 10— 23 March 1989