I CELIA Splendid debut lrom Australia's Anne Turner. a kids' movie lor adults where our young

heroine contronts paranoia. political prejudice and even


Filmhouse 1, Lothian Road.

228 2688. Aug 22, 7pm. £4.

Trevor Johnston selects the cream of the Film Festival. Below hot tips Sex, Lies & hort Film About Killing.

Videotape and A S

NO VIDEOTAPE 26 year-old Steven Soderbergh's first teature lives up to its Cannes reputation and Its tantalising title. Cameo Cinema, Home Street 228 4141. Tickets from Filmhouse Festival 80x Oltice. Lothian Road, 228 2688. Aug 18. 9pm. £4.


3 as a housewile whose

Mediterranean holiday romance is a catalyst tor sell-discovery.

Cameo Cinema, Home

. I

Street. 228 4141. Tickets lrom Filmhouse Festival Box Otlice, Lothian Road.

2282688. Aug 19. 7pm. £4.

I A SHORT FILM ABOUT KILLIN61988's European Film oi The Year. Kieslowski's harrowing study ol the capital punishment issue is set to be one of Edinburgh's major discoveries.

Filmhouse 1, Lothian Road. 228 2688. Aug 19. 2.30pm. £4(£1.50l.

I THEOREM Central event ol the Pasolini retrospective. starTerence Stamp will be present Ior this 1968 tilm abouta sexual gremlin in a staid middle-class household. Filmhouse1. Lothian Road,

I VENUS PETER Scot Ian Sellar’s beautitul tale at tile In an Orkney llshing village boasts a vintage performance from the late Ray McAnally. and an auspicious screen debut by youngster Gordon R. Strachan.

Filmhouse 1. Lothian Road. 228 2688. Aug 18. 7pm. £4.


Trevor Johnston acclaims the films of contemporary Polish master Krzysztof Kieslowski.

At last year‘s first European Film Award, a kind of arthouse version of the Oscars, the two hot tips for the major prizes were Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire and Terence Davies’ Distant Voices, Still Lives. In the end however, the pair of them were edged out by a brave jury decision in selecting Krysztof Kieslowski‘s A Short Film About Killing for Best Film trophy. The garlands for this brutal. intelligent exploration of the mechanics of murder and capital punishment were to thrust the Pole into the front rank of the contemporary European cinema.

While he had earlier garnered recognition for 1979‘s obsessive look at the power-hunger ofthe ! film-maker in Camera Buff. and the political ghost story No End ( 1984). it‘s Kieslowski‘s major series based on the Ten Commandments,


of love, she attempts various strategies to ward

The Dekalog, that’s sure to generate further interest in his talent. Eight of the group were made for Polish television, while the other two have been completed as the feature films A Short Film About Killing and A Short Film About Love, and it’s these two as well as three of the TV works (Dekalogs I, 9 & 10) that willbe shown in Edinburgh on 19 and 20 A ugust.

Short, in Kieslowski’s terms, runs to 85 minutes. With barely a wasted shot, his concise style matches perfectly with a confrontational attitude to the most fundamental moral questions, and it is the combination of the two that provides the basis for his work’s relentless


A Short Film About Love (Aug 19, Cameo), whose out ofcompetition screening at Berlin this year was the event of the Festival, presents an uneasy portrayal of infatuation as as teenager Tom falls in love with the beautiful, independent neighbour Magdalene, he watches each night through binoculars. Rejecting his protestations

him off before finally becoming intrigued by the nature of his affections in a film that has been described as Blue Velvet meets Bresson.

The disturbing A Short Film About Killing (Aug 19. Filmhouse 1), on the other hand, remains one of Eighties cinema‘s most overpowering moments. Kieslowski himself

provides a suitably terse synopsis: ‘A young man

kills a taxi driver. This takes time, the driver is

stocky whereas the young man is slim. The young

man is condemned to death by the courts. This takes less time. The law is powerful and the young man is slim. His counsel. a young and intelligent lawyer can do nothing. He, however, contrary to the other two, is still alive.‘ lts washed-out colour laying on a doomy atmosphere. there‘s a fatalism inherent in the

film‘s deliberate pacing, and the two deaths peer unblinkingly at mortality. Leaving the screening,

men in their forties stood and cried in the foyer.


‘I guess it‘s all downhill from here‘ mused 26 year-old director Steven Soderbergh as he somewhat quizzically accepted the Cannes Palme d‘Or for his first feature Sex. Lies and Videotape. Yet although he seemed surprised. many of the English- speaking critics had a suspicion that Wim Wenders' jury would plump for the film, a confident and controlled chamber piece that places an over-sexed young lawyer. his aloof wife. her sexually enthusiastic sister. and an impotent man called Graham who videotapes women s

sexual confessions. in a tense ménage a quatre. Probably best known for his role as the smooth cad in John Hughes teenpics like Pretty In Pink.James Spadefsedgy

performance took Best

Actor award, despite the fact that it‘s newcomer Laura San Giacomo as the nymphomane sister who steals the movie. Director

Soderbergh says that ‘The

film deals with people not coming out and saying what they are thinking or feeling. Sex, lies and videotape are what this film is about - the selling of sex. the telling oflies. and the inundation of video.‘ He‘ll be in town this weekend when the film is screened (Aug 18 Cameo) to talk about what it's like to be the hottest new director in town.

The List 18 - 24 August 1989 59