FRINGE FILM FESTIVAL
‘The Scottish Film Council is at least exhibiting an interest,‘ reports co-ordinator Graham Henderson at the end of a heartfelt complaint aboutthe difficulty of funding the Fringe Film Festival. But given that this is its fifth year, and its second at Edinburgh's Filmhouse, subsidising bodies are obliged to take it seriously. Edinburgh District Council has been the main
sponsor so far, though other organisations have sponsored in kind — ' Napier College. for example, offered
use of its film-making resources. ;
The principle behind the Festival is ' quite straightforward. ‘Everything entered is shown,’ explains Henderson. ‘There's no sense of competition, no threshold of quality, no direction we would approve or not approve of. What we're trying to do is build up a database of independent film-makers.‘ The result is over ninety screenings crammed into one long weekend, a lilmgoer's orgy of almost limitless variety.
Thirty-three programmes are offered,
with two screens (one cinema, one video) operating in tandem, which will necessitate some tricky decisions. Everything from abstract video art to campaigning tapes to community training videosto drama/ documentaries is included, assembled according to similarities of theme or form. One programme, which goes by the irresistible name of ‘Genre Benders‘, comprises a group of pieces which begin in a recognisable mode, then develop a subversive twist. Among these are Rambette— a feminist blend of Sly Stallone and Chas Chaplin - and Zombie U840, which recasts Romero's flesh-eaters as claimants.
To tie in with the Lark In The Park (see
'I‘houglitlul stull. graced by: old school star character performances. and splendid handling of the action sequences. Edinburgh: Edinburgh l-‘ilm (iuild. I Hairspray ( l’( i) (John Waters. l'S. I987) Ricki lake. Divine. Debbie Harry. Sonny Bono. 92 mins. Baltimore. 1962. Uproar breaks out on the Dance ('ouncil oftop '1‘\' pop extras aganza 'l'he (‘orny ('ollins Show when hefty teen queen Ricki Lake deposes the former star of the show. and begins to make friends with (gulp) black people. tlius breaking down the programme's strict racial segregation. l'nflagging entertainment as former trash king Waters does his own bizarre \ ersion of mainstream comedy. Edinburgh: Eilmliouse. I HerAlibi (P(i) (Bruce Beresford. l'S. I988l'1'oin Selleck. Paulina Porizkova. William Daniels. 98mins. Selleck playsa shy but successful detective thriller writer Philip Blackwood w ho‘s been stuck for inspiration since his w ifc left him and so goes out into the naked city in search ofa story. And he finds it in the shape of.\'ina (Port/kov a). an enigmatic foreign beauty currently on a murder charge. but for whom the smitten Blackwood is prepared to offer an alibi by fabricating detailsofa relationship between the pair. a move which isonly to place his life in peril. Predictable writer detective sliennanigans. but Selleck handles it all rather painlessly. (ilasgow: (‘annon ('larkston Road. ('annon The Forge. (‘annon Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh: ('aniion. (‘entralz Allanpark. Cannon.
Strathclyde: A .\I(‘ (‘Iydebank Ill,
Das Wasser ist viel zu tief (The water islar too deep) (Fri 26)
Open listings), there is also a gay programme, with two slots programmed independently by a lesbian collective (see Shortlist). South America and Northern Ireland also feature, though Channel 4's Mother Ireland, will not be shown due to its coverage of proscribed organisations. There are also, of course, slots for local work.
Besides the massive variety on offer to the viewer at large, the Festival is an opportunity lorlilm-makers to learn from each other’s work. All contributors have been encouraged to attend and exchange ideas. There is also a practical filming and editing workshop, whose results can be screened later in the Festival — definitely good news loryou budding Jarmans and Spielbergs out there. (Andrew Burnet)
The Fringe Film Festival, Fri 26—Mon 29, Filmhouse, Lothian Road, Edinburgh. Info: 557 3377. Tickets:
Cannon. Kelburne. ()deon Hamilton. I Hiroshima Mon Amour( 18)( Alain
Resnais. France, 1959) Emmanuelle Riva.
Eiji ()kada. 91 mins. The romantic liason between a l-‘rench actress working in Hiroshima and a Japanese architect awakens for her the ghosts of a previous wartime relationship with a ( ierman soldier. Eirst major work by a director who has altered the perception of cinematic time. here moving effortlessly through the ﬂashbacks and flashforwards of Marguerite l)aras' emotive script. Edinburgh: Edinburgh lfniversity Eilm Society.
I Housekeeping ( P( i i ( Bill Eorsy in. Canada. 1987) ( ‘hristine l.ahti. Sara Walker. Andrea Burchill. 1 16 mins. Scrupulously faithful to the Marilynne Robinson novel. Eorsyth‘s film tells oftwo orphaned sisters who are entrusted tothe custody of a succession ofgeriatric relatives before the arrival oftheir eccentricaunt Sylvie . . .
Literater scripted. confidently directed. beautifully photographed and performed with sensitive insight. Highly recommended to the discerning palate. Edinburgh: Edinburgh L'niy'ersity' l-‘ilm Society.
I The lnquisitor( l5) ((‘laude Miller. Er. 1988). 91) mins. A psychological thriller adapted from James Wainwright‘s novel Brahmas/i. An interrogation in a provincial police station on New Year's Eve turns a struggling attorney obsessed with his own mediocrity into a suspected murderer and rapist. Miller handlesthe dialogue and twisting plot with
(one day); £1.30(99p) (one daytime programme); £1.90(99p) (one early evening programme); £2.40(99p) (one late evening programme).
confidence. Edinburgh: l-‘ilmhouse.
I Kagemusha ( P( i ) ( Akira Kurosawa. .lapaii. 198(1) 'l'atsuya Nakadai.'I‘sutomu Yamazaki. Kenichi llagiwara. 181 mins. 16th century Japan. humble tliichakadai is employed as the kugemuxlm or shadow w arrior for a clan leader to act as a double for him in combat. However. when the leader dies and the deception is uncovered. he is thrown out and left to wander the countryside. Spectacular. almost Shakespearean epic with magnificent battle scenes that made it the country 's most expensive film (until
Kurosawa's Run came along). Edinburgh:
Edinburgh l'niyersity Eilm Society.
I Labyrinth ( l’( i) ('I‘erry Jones. [-5. l‘)b’fi) David Bowie. Jennifer ('onnelly. Illl mins. 'l'ecnage girl has her baby bruv kidnapped by demon Dave. the King ( )f The ( ioblins. and so has to enter the
fiendish labyrinth to get him back. Not bad
family feature. with plenty of furry creatures to keep the kids happy. Edinburgh: l’ilmhouse.
I Lady And The Trampil'nllriniilinn
l.iiske. t'S. 1955) Willi the voicesofl’eggy' I
Ice and Bill llHHTlpstHl. 75 mins. Disney's f
first animated feature in cinemascope has mongrel 'l‘ramp 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 mix as before. Lovelyspaghetti-eating sequence. Strathclyde: AM( '(‘lydebank If).
I The Last Emperor( 15 i ( Bernardo Bertolucci. Italy (Irina. 1987) John Lone.
Peter O‘Toole. Joan (‘hen. 162 mins. Peking. 1908. a three year-old boy ascends to the Imperial Throne to become the 'I.ord of Ten Thousand Years'. A mere 59 years later. however. he dies a humble gardener in a (‘hina that is now the Maoist People‘s Republic.
Intelligent epic followingthe self-delusion and re-education of a man shaped by a superseded power structure. A little cold perhaps. but the production and cinematography are ofsuch exquisiteness that one only wishes the film were longer. (ilasgow: ('annon Sauchiehall Street.
I The Little Prince ( l ' i (Stanley l)onen. l'K. l‘)7~l) Richard Kiley. Huh l‘iUSSL‘. (iene Wilder. 88 mins. A young monarch leaves the asteroid he rules to learn about life on earth. Misfiring musical fantasy which doesn't do justice to Antoine de Saint Exupery‘s classic children'sbook. Edinburgh: Eilmhouse.
I Madame Sousatzka ( P( i) (John Schlesinger. l'K. 1988) Shirley Macl.aine. Navin (‘howdryu Peggy Ashcroft. 'l‘wiggy. 122 mins. Madame Sousatzka
(Macl.aine ). an eccentric London piano teacher of Russian lineage. takes on a new pupil. Manek ((‘howdry). a fourteen year-old Asian boy whom she begins to mould into her latest protege. While the property developers home in on her decaying ﬂat and the boy's mother begins to resent Sousatzka's domination ofhcr son. the teacher propels her charge ever onwards towards an appearance at a prestigious music festival.
()ld-fashioned star melodrama. with a completely hammy tour de force from Macl .aine. The boy's background is handled with more credibility. but can't save this overlong film from beinganother reminder of the recent downturn in Schlesinger's career. (ilasgow: (irosvenor.
I Manhunteri l8) '5: (Michael Mann. ES. 1987) William L. Petersen. 'l‘om Noonan. Brian ('ox. Kim (iriest. 119 mins. Superb modern thriller by Michael Mann has specialist FBI agent Petersen brought back from psychiatric treatment to face another case. the reason for all the tension being that he tracks down serial killers by trying to recreate their train of thought. In the past this has proved all too wearingon his own mental state. and when faced with the evidence of a crazed killer who slziy's whole families every lunar cycle. he once more appears to be on the brink himself.
(‘onvincingly plotted adult material which remains a disturbing exercise in deviant psychology for both protagonist and audience. Effortlessly stylish use of the wide screen. and stringent control of the colour palette throughout are evidence of a master film-maker at work. Edinburgh: Eilmhotisc.
I Maniac COM 18) a": (William lustig. lfS. I988)'I‘om Atkins. Bruce ( 'ampbell. Laurenc Landon. Richard Roundtrec. 93 mins. Swift exploitation riposte to Ru/mr‘up. written and produced by the reliable 1.arry(‘ohen. The plot revolves around a series of brutal New York murders committed by a cop. which leads the population to start slaughtering innocent policemen. ()fficer Bruce (’ampbell is arrested as a scapegoat. but to clear his name he must establiin the identity of the real maniac cop.
Special preview of promising looking schlocker. with a top notch B-movie cast list. To be reviewed. Edinburgh: ('annon. I Un Medecin des Lumieres ((‘zill Erench Institute for details). Elfl-‘S.
I Missippi Burning( 18) fr (Alan Parker. 1S. 1988) (iene llackrnan. Willem l)afoc. Frances McDormand. Brad l)ourif. 127 mins. Sec panel and feature. ('ilasgow: ()deon. Edinburgh: ()deon. I Moi, Pierre Riviere ( P( i) ('all Erench Institute for details. Edinburgh: Erench Institute.
I A Month in the Country ( P( i i ( Pat ()‘(‘onnor. L'ls'. I987) ('olin Eirth.
24'1'he1.ist IJMay— 1 June 1989