movie director Peter Swan (NCCSODL 0‘ the people he thinks will not live out the year. As the bodies pile up. the death trail gets closer to our hero.
Ho-hum actioner. as sluggish and tired looking as its rather over-age star. who must be getting a bit old for all this by now. Still he probably had to make thisin exchange for Warners financing the wonderful Bird. so maybe we can excuse the old boy. Glasgow: Cannon Clarkston Road. Cannon The Forge. Cannon Sauchiehall Street. (irosvenor. Edinburgh: Cannon. Central: Allanpark. Caledonian. Cannon. Strathclyde: Cannon. Rialto. Kelburne. La Scala. WMR Film Centre.
I Die Hard ( 18) (John McTiernan. US. 1988) Bruce Willis. Alan Rickman. Bonnie Bedelia. 131 mins. ()n aChristmas 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 Willisto bump off the baddies and save the hostages while the LA PD and FBI languish ineptly on the sidelines.
Unbearably tense actioner 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. Watch out for the RSC‘s Alan Rickman as a villain with a highly-developed sense of humour. Glasgow: Urosvenor.
I Distant Voices, Still Lives ( 15) (Terence Davies. UK. 1988) Peter Postlethwaite. Angela Walsh. Freda Dowie. Dean Williams. 85 mins. With this diptych of two short films seamlessly run together. Terence Davies tells the story of hisown 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 togetheran 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. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I Dogs in Space ( 18) a (Richard Lowenstein. Australia. 1986) Michael Hutchence. Saskia Post. Chris Haywood. 109 mins. The young and infuriatingly talented director ofStrikebound returns with something completely different;a punk-era version of Nashville brimming with raw energy. a multiplicity of characters and the expected interlocking stories.
Critic-dividing jamboree hailed as a serious work about ‘the end of an era and the coming down to earth out of theorbit of fun-seeking irresponsibility' or dismissed as a loosely directed series of diverse elements lacking ‘style and subtlety". A certain sympathy with the punk ethos probably helps. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I La Dolce Vita( 18) (Federico Fellini.
Italy/France. 1960) Marcello Mastroianni.
Anita Ekberg. Anouk Aimee. 173 mins. Paparazzi journo-type Mastroianni mixes with the beautiful people of rich Roman society and is ambivalently shocked and fascinated by the vigour of their excessive decadence.
Everything you ever wanted from a Fellini movie — black humour. grotesque sexuality. inspired visual imagination and the wonderful Marcello. See it. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Film Society.
IThe Dressmaker( 15) (Jim ()‘Brien. UK. 1988) Joan Plowright. Billie Whitelaw. Jane Horrocks. Tim Ransom. 9i mins. Liverpool. 1944. and the arrival of a party of American Gl‘s is to disturb the delicate balance of a household of three women.
_ THE TALL GUY
The Tall Guy (15) (Mel Smith, UK, 1989) Jeff Goldblum, Emma Thompson, Rowan Atkinson. 90 mins. Some movies are just hard to dislike and Mel Smith's debut feature is one of them. Jeff Goldblum has crossed the big pond to make a rather affable job of playing Dexter King, American actor in London, who plys his trade as straightman to Ron Anderson, Atkinson's completely obnoxious rubber-faced superstar comedian. However, his life and career are shattered when he falls hook, line and sinker for Kate Lemon (Emma Thompson), a no-nonsense, likeable nurse at a local hospital, and devotes so much time to his amorous pursuit that he manges to lose his job. Alter which there is no alternative but to get a part in ‘Elephant!’, a horrendoust tasteless Lloyd-Webberish exercise in musical absurdity, and another set of romantic complications.
There‘s a pretty straight boy-meets-girl routine going on here, but Mel’s done well with the actors. As
when her unmarried aunts (Plowright and Whitelaw) become very concerned about the pained romance between seventeen year-old Rita (Horrocks) and one ofthe young soldiers.
Fine performances and sensitive writing (by an agit-propless John Me(irath) make this a small-scale British production of some effectiveness. even if the would-be macabre finale is a little snatched at. (ilasgow: (jl’l‘.
I Drowning By Numbers ( 18) (Peter (ireenaway. UK. 1988) Joan l’lowright. Bernard Hill.Joely Richardson. lll'imins. In a narrative as straightforward and complicated as the title. three generations of women. all of them called Cissie Colpitts. dispose of their husbands in a series of aquatic murders. whilst the numbers 1 to Hit) run through the filrnin the backgrounds.
Full of the usual ravishing visual symmetries and a highly developed sense of the incongruous. (ireenaway's latest sports a number of highly polished and sympathetic performances. that along with the enjoyable pastime ofnumber spotting. makes this current effort his most accessible and pleasurable todate. (ilasgow: (EFT.
I Les Enfants Terribles ( P( i ) (Jean-Pierre Melville. France. 1950) Nicole Stephane. Edouard Dermithe. 100 mins. The intense relationship between an adolescent brother and sister eventually produces tragic results. Committed performances
his role as the wisecracking journalist in ‘The Big Chill’ demonstrated, Goldblum's always had a knack of being odd, and witty and a good bloke at the same time, while Thompson offers a typically attractive severity-with-a-heart type of portrayal. The problem, though, is that while the love story works well, it really isn’t enough to carry a ninety-minute movie, so Smith and screenwriter Curtis have to rope in all manner of comic business to keep the thing going. Thus we get Rowan Atkinson routines, satirical flashbacks, Suggs from Madness in a pause for song, jibes at Steven Berkoff, and crap musicals sent up something rotten. A lot of this is reasonably funny, but there‘s not that much to shore it all up.
Then again being reasonably funny is a lot more than you can say fora lot of movies. And the people are nice, even if l'm not too sure about the emotional climax being set in the midst of a busy hospital after a motorway pile-up. (TrevorJohnston)
from the two young leads achieve moments of real power in this sure-footed adaptation of Jean Cocteau. (ilasgow: (if-'1‘.
I EscalierC(15)(Jean-t‘haries'l’aehella. France. 1985) Robin chucci. Jean-Pierre Bacri. Catherine Leprince. ltll mins. Renucci plays Lafont. a malicious. egocentric and womanizing art critic. who moves into a new apartment block and finds his fellow residents have a transforming effect on his character and lifestyle. Soft-centered character study. hampered by the rather stereotyped nature of much of the characterisation. (ilasgow: (il’l.
I Fright Night ll ( 18) 21‘: (Tommy Lee Wallace. US. 1988) Roddy McDowall. William Ragsdale. Julie Carmen. Ragsdale has been in therapy for three years to convince himself that the eventsin Tom Holland‘s original movie. where he and former horror movie star McDowall dispatched Chris Sarandon's suave vampire. were just a dream. Now however he finds himself and his friend the subject of the seductive attentions of the demon's sister. who's thirsting for revenge.
Rather hackneyed sequel to a pretty rollicking forerunner. which substitutesa sense of old-fashioned ghoulish glee with a charmless ov erdose on (admittedly excellent) special effects that Will beguile only the most undemanding audience. lidinburgh: Cannon. Strathclyde: AMC Clydebank lll.
I Gardens of Stone (15) (Francis Coppola. US. 1987) James Caan. Angelica Huston. D.B.Sweeney. 111 mins. The Gardensof Stone are the headstones in the military cemetary at Arlington. Coppola‘s choice of location to make his second Vietnam movie. Caan is the hard-nosed Sargeant Hazard. who becomes the focus of a young soldier's admiration. but refuses to legitimise his desire for action in this particular war. Huston plays a journalist who becomes involved with Hazard. Disappointing from this director. Edinburgh; Edinburgh University Film Society.
I The German Avant-Garde Film 1920-1933 (PU ) Two special programmes look at the early years ofexperimental film-makingin Germany. with work by the painters Walter Ruttmann. Viking Eggeling and Hans Richter proving crucial to the beginnings of the abstract cinema. and ()skar Fischinger producing his own brand of remarkable animation. The first instalment includes a screening of Ruttman's brilliant montage Berlin: .S‘ymphmiv ofa City. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I Hamburger Hill ( 18) (John lrvin. US. 1987) Anthony Barile. Michael Patrick Boatman. Don Cheadle. l 10mins. Clinical recreation of events in 1969 Vietnam. as a US army assault on a strategic outpost heavily guarded by the Vietcong results in much senseless bloodshed. Lack ofclearly delineated characterisation and a tendency to lapse into hawkish preaching about the commie longhair pinko hippy scum back home mar this impressively staged slice of Nam. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Film Society.
I Hannah and Her Sisters ( 15) (Woody Allen. US. 1986) Mia Farrow. Michael Caine. Barbara Hershey. 107 mins. An achingly funny. insightful and well cast celebration of some surprisingly upbeat romantic perambulations within a family circle as only Woody knows how. Edinburgh; Filmhouse.
I Iron Eagle II (P(i) xi? (SidneyJ. Furie. US. 1988) Louis (iossett Jr. Mark Humphrey. Stuart Margolin. 98mins. (iung-ho antics as US Air Force pilot Crossett and his young charge Humphrey are assigned on a highly classified mission. Arriving at a secluded lsraeli airbase. they soon discover that they are to join up with a squad of Russian tlyers to knock out a nuclear missile site on foreign territory hostile to both the superpowers. though perhaps their greatest challenge isto 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: WMR Film Centre.
I Jour De Fete ( l 7 ) (Jacques Tali. France. 1948) Jacques 'l'ati. (iuy Decomble. 87 mins. A rural French postie sees a film about the efficiency of the American mail service and decides to srnarten up his act. Charming debut feature byTali. effortlessly building visual set-pieces and establishing the amiable duffer of a central role that was later to metamorphose into the unforgettable M. Hulot. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I Lady And The Tramp (t: ) (Hamilton Luske. US. 1955) With the voices ofPeggy Lee and Bill Thompson. 75 mins. Disney's first animated feature in cinemascope has mongrel Tramp helping pedigree pooch Lady out of a sticky situation and falling in lurve along the way. Richly drawn with hummable tunes and endearing characterisations. this is the classic Disney mixas before Lovelyspaghetti-eating sequence. (ilasgovv: Cannon Clarkston Road. Edinburgh: ()deon. Central: Allanpark. Strathclyde: AMCClydebank ll). ()dcon Ayr. ()deon Hamilton.
I The Last Emperor( 15) (Bernardo Bertolucci. ltaly’China. 1987) John Loni—j
The List 21 April ~4 May 1989 39