sex left is the purely verbal then this non-stop talking shop must be the safest film ever made. Eight beings. four per sex. eat, drink, work-out and talk endlessly about their sexual hang-ups. fears and frustrations. Sometimes witty. sometimes insightful. often truthfully close to home but ultimately this is an over-generous dollop of interminable discourse. Glasgow: GFI‘.

I Die Hard (18) (John McTiernan. US. 1988) Bruce Willis. Alan Rickman. Bonnie Bedelia. 131 mins. On a Christmas visit to his estranged wife in California. New York cop Willis is trapped in a new tower block when the corporate party he is attending with his spouse is attacked by international terrorists after the millions in the company safe. So it‘s left to Willis to bump off the baddies and save the hostages while the LAPD and FBI languish ineptly on the sidelines.

Unbearany tense action film that gets good mileage out of yawning lift-shafts and flying bullets. while Willis is convincing as an ordinary guy trying to cope with it all. Glasgow: Odeon. Strathclyde: AMC Clydebank 10.

I Dlstant Voices. Still Lives ( 15) (Terence Davies. UK. 1988) Peter Postlethwaite. Angela Walsh. Freda Dowie. Dean Williams. 85 mins. With this diptych. Terence Davies tells the story of his own family through the Forties and Fifties. concentrating in the first halfon the domineering violence of his autocratic father. and in the latter section on the marital tensions of the household‘s next generation.

Technically impeccable. this bravura piece of film-making glues together an affecting emotional mosaic with judiciously chosen music to create an overpowering piece of filmic art. establishing Davies as one of the country‘s premier celluoid talents. Glasgow: OFT. ITho Dnumaker ( 15) (Jim O‘Brien. UK. 1988) Joan Plowright. Billie Whitelaw. Jane llorrocks. Tim Ransom. 91 mins. Liverpool. 1944. and the arrival ofa party of American 015 is to disturb the the delicate balance of a household ofthree

women. when her unmarried aunts (Plowright and Whitelaw) become very concerned about the pained romance between seventeen-year-old Rita (llorrocks) and one of the young soldiers. Fine performances and sensitive writing (by an agit-propless John McGrath) make this a small-scale British production of some effectiveness. even if the finale isa little snatched at. Edinburgh: Dominion. I Drowning By Numbers ( 18) (Peter Grecnaway. UK. 1988) Joan Plowright.

Bernard l-lill. Joer Richardson. 118mins.

In a narrative as straightforward and as complicated as the title. three generations of women. all of them called Cissic Colpitts. dispose of their husbands in a series of aquatic murders. while the numbers 1 to 100 run through the filmin the backgrounds.

Full ofthe usual ravishing visual symmetries and a highly developed sense ofthe incongruous. Greenaway‘s latest sports a number of highly polished and sympathetic performances which. together with the enjoyable pastime of number spotting. make this current effort his most accessible and pleasurable to date. Edinburgh: Cameo.

IThe Exorcist ( 18) (William Friedkin. US. 1973) Ellen Burstyn. Max Von Sydow. Linda Blair. 111) mins. Earnest priest Von Sydow steps in to save poor little possessed girl Blair in this hugely convincing and effective scare-feast that has stood the test oftime. Strathclyde: Paisley Arts Centre.

I A Fish Called Wanda ( 15) (Charles Crichton. UK. 1988) John Clcese. Jamie Lee Curtis. Kevin Kline. Michael Palin. Tom Georgeson. 1()8 mins.Stuffyling1ish lawyer Archie Leach (Cleesc ) gets unwittingly involved with a gangof diamond thieves. including brash American Kline and stammeringanimal lover Palin. because he has access to information that will help them lay their hands on the swag. Glamorous Wanda (Jamie Lee Curtis) steps in to romance him into talking. but love is about to rear its head.

Remarkably effective comedy. with the

absurdly black humour of the Python generation given a narrative control and sense of timing that only a veteran‘s steady hand could provide. Edinburgh: Dominion. Central: Cannon. Strathclyde: AMC Clydebank ll). Cannon. I Gorillas In The Mist ( 15) (Michael Apted. US. 1988) Sigourney Weaver. Bryan Brown. John Omirah Miluwi. 129 mins. The story of Dian Fossey. an American naturalist who went to central Africa in 1966 with no experience. yet who over the next two decades was to devote her life to the pioneering study ofthe mountain gorilla. and became ruthlessly determined to protect the species from the unwelcome attention of poachers. However. her uncompromising attitudes to the welfare ofthe gorillas made her many enemies. and her murder in 1985 has still not been adequately explained. Priceless footage of the real wildlife and Weaver‘s convincing rapport with the gorillas. are the prime reasons for catching this patchy biopic. which suffers unduly from a sagging and cluttered narrative. Edinburgh: Dominion. Strathclyde: AMC Clydebank 11). La Scala. I Hairsprayu’G) (John Waters. US. 1987) Ricki Lake. Divine. Debbie Harry. Sonny Bono. 92 mins. Baltimore. 1962. Uproar breaks out on the Dance Council oftop TV pop extravaganza The Corny Collins Show when hefty teen queen Ricki Lake deposes the former star of the show. and begins to make friends with (gulp) black people. thus breaking down the programme's strict racial segregation. Unflagging entertainment as former trash king Waters does his own bizarre version of mainstream comedy. Edinburgh: Cameo. I Hibiscus Town ( 15) (Xie Jin. China. 1987) 13(1mins. Veteran film-makerXie Jin‘s aesthetic resides in the epic melodrama. as can be seen from this lengthy historical study which spans the years from 1963 to the post ‘Gang OfFour‘ era. It tells the story ofa poor bean-curd seller's hard work to create a better life for herself and her husband. an existence that is to change when she is accused by a

militant Maoist of self-aggrandisement at the expense of the state. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

I Iron Eagle II (PG) ‘fi (Sidney J. Furie. US. 1988) Louis Gossett Jr. Mark Humphrey. Stuart Margolin. 98 mins. Gung-ho antics as US Air Force pilot Gossett and his young charge Humphrey are assigned on a highly classified mission. Arriving at a secluded Israeli airbase. they soon discover that they are to join up with a squad of Russian flyers to knock out a nuclear missile site on foreign territory hostile to both the superpowers. though perhaps their greatest challenge is to break down the mutual mistrust that exists between them.

Rather unnecessary sequel to a pretty flat original. but at least the politics are not as xenophobic as we have come to expect from the likes of Sylvester Stallone. Strathclyde: AMC Clydebank 11).

I Jean Do Florette (PG) (Claude Berri. France. 1986) Gerard Depardieu. Yves Montand. Daniel Autcuil. 121 mins. Provence. during the 192(1s. Depardieu‘s indomitable hunchback struggles against impossible odds to make a success ofhis inherited farmland unaware that his apparently friendly neighbours are secretly planning to drive him from his land.

Beautifully photographed with flawless performances. this is a towering tribute to the highest aspirations oftraditional French storytelling. Glasgow: Grosvenor. IThe Jerk ( 15) (Carl Reiner. US. 1981) Steve Martin. 104 mins. Hit and miss comedy as Martin goes from rags to riches to rags again. when his ground-breaking invention that stops spectacles slipping down the wearer's nose turns out to have disastrous side effects. Edinburgh: Cameo.

I Just Ask For Diamond (U) (Stephen Bayly. UK. 1988) Susannah York. Peter Eyre. Nickolas Grace. Roy Kinnear. 9-1 mins. Misfiring spoofof l lollywoodfilm noir centres around a teenage private dick Tim Diamond (Dursley McLinden) and his younger. smarter brother Nick (Colin Dale) and the misadventures that befall

l) U S '1‘

One of the most engrossing and enjoyable films of the year...

funny, touching and fascmating to watch...

Barry Norman FILM '89

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FROM FRIDAY 24 MARCH: ODEON Glasgow; ODEON Edinburgh; CANNON Falkirk; CANNON Kilmarnoek; AMC Clydebank 10

The List 24 March—6 April 198913