The tittle translates as Ghost Story and this
eerily beautiful though rather overlong
ﬁlm presents four tales of the supernatural
by English writer Lafcadio Ilearn. each of them transferred in time and location to a hauntingly evoked medieval Japan. Marvellous use of the wide screen. Edinburgh: Film Guild.
I The Land Before Time (U) (Don Bluth. US. 1989) 86 mins. Latest animated feature from Disney graduate Bluth follows the fortune oforphaned Brontosaurus Littlefoot. who loses his mum to the claws ofa nasty Tyrannosaurus Rex befroe teaming up with a gang of similarly parentless wee dinos to undertake the hazardous journey across country to the safety of the Great Valley. Classically drawn and chockful of edifying moral lessons. this is solid entertainment perfectly tailored to the demands of its target audience ofvery young children. Strathclyde: UCI Clydebank 1().
IThe Last Of England (18) (DerekJarman. UK, 1987) Tilda Swinton. Spencer Leigh. Spring. Derek Jarman. 90 mins. Part autobiographical study. part examination of post-Empire Britain‘s decline and fall. this expressive vision of a country edging towards anarchy exudes a technical bravura placed wholly at the service ofa singular painterly sensibility. To tie in with the National Review of Live Art in Glasgow (see feature), Derek Jarman will be making a personal appearance. Glasgow: GFT.
I The Legend ofThe Holy Drinker (PG) or (Ermano Olmi. Italy. 1988) Rutgcr Haucr. Anthony Quayle. Sandrine Dumas. 128 mins. The streets of Paris. and an alcoholic tramp is offered 200 francs by an enigmatic stranger on the condition that he eventually return the money tothe chapel of St Theresa. but of course the bottle stands in the way. Olmi has turned Joseph Roth's novel into a charming an unlikely tale of spiritual redemption. with the casting of Guinness quaffer l-Iauer in the role of the dignified drunkard a felicitously ironic touch. Glasgow: GFT. I Lethal Weapon 2 (15) (Richard Donner. US. 1989) Mel Gibson. Danny Glover. Patsy Kensit. 113 mins. Mel. rather woodenly. returns to the screen as Martin Riggs. a Vietnam Vet turned copper. looking like a cross between Aied Jones and Rambo. With Eric Clapton pounding away on the soundtrack. Lethal Weapon 2 dredges up every action movie cliche the director and scriptwriters can think of. Stunts stolen from Indiana Jones. the baddies' hideout straight from North by Northwest plus car chases. comic relief and romantic interest all add up to another predictable and violent cop yarn. All escapist fluffofcourse. but nevertheless a disappointing follow-up to the original. Glasgow: Cannon Clarkston Road. Cannon The Forge. Cannon Sauchiehall Street. Salon. Edinburgh: Cannon. Central: Allanpark. Caledonian. Cannon. Strathclyde: Cannon. Kelburne. Odeon Ayr. Odeon Hamilton. UCI Clydebank
$0»; \\ ‘. ~\~..‘\$-v.-:\ '
Jacknife (15)(David Jones, US, 1989). Robert De Niro, Ed Harris, Kathy Baker. Jacknife is a film about three traumatised people involved in an emotional triangle of love, hate and friendship. Two of them (for a change) are Vietnam veterans— Megs (Robert De Niro) and Dave (Ed Harris). A change you ask? Has this reviewer not seen The Deerhunter? Fortunately this is not the latest on the Vietnam bandwagon. It is, as the director put it ‘about the problems 20 years on, about living in the present. It is also about three people with a similar problem being turned in on themselves.’
Based on Stephen Metcalfe's play Strange Snow, Jacknife doesn’t escape entirely from being evidently theatrical but regardless if is a careful composite of complex human emotions and a fine piece of film-making.
Ed Harris is excellent as Dave, the sell-hating, inward victim of Vietnam who has never come to terms with his own feelings and needs. Living with him is Martha, his sister (Kathy Baker) whom he treats with childlike contempt. He unconsciously suffocates her will to be an individual and she in turn feels guilty for his condition. Enter Robert de tliro an old vietnam ‘buddy' and veteran who is mentally and
physically betterforwear and tear. He drags Ed and Martha on a fishing trip, rediscovers Dave’s problems and falls in love with his sister. The battle of emotions begins and Dave's process of recovery and realisation is slow and painful. He is forced to come to terms with himself and Megs helps Martha to bloom in personality and expression. All three (not just De Niro) provide equally polished performances and Jones’ concise direction makes it roll along at a surprisingly fast pace. The film, however, is not completely devoid of Hollywood’s trademark-action. One sequence in particular is unbearably tense when Dave and Megs argue in a truck careering along the motorway, reminding Megs of his reputation for iacknifing trucks. Sadly the one real flaw in the film is not an excess of action but its type. Vietnam flashbacks are, I'm sure you'll agree, tried, tested and unecessary but thankfully in this film, brief. Jacknife is Jones‘ third film as director and (after Betrayal and 84 Charing Cross Road) stresses his ability to turn people’s problems and potentially difficult dialogue into a fascinating piece of cinema. (Dylan Matthew) From Fri 6 Oct: Glasgow: Odeon
I Licence To Kill (15) (John Glen. UK. 1989) Timothy Dalton. Carey Lowell. Talisa Soto. Robert Davi. 133 mins. The latest Bond flick has Timbo Dalton once more attempting to act himselfback into the shoes of vintage Connery and a straightforward though rather low-powered narrative drive that involves the credible machinations of nasty South American drug dealer Sanchez (Robert Davi). As for the Iasses. there's ‘Plain Old
Bimbo‘ bimbo Soto. the Latin plaything of
both men. or there‘s ‘Woman ofthe Eighties‘ bimbo Carey Lowell. who‘s allowed to have a brain and be feisty: sometimes both at once. In other words. the same old routine. only with more gratuitous sadism and an eye-catching truck chase. Edinburgh: Dominion.
I Mac and Me (U) (Stewart Raffill. US.
1988) Christine Ebersolc. Jonathan Ward.
Tina Caspary. 100 mins. Mac is in factan
acronym for Mysterious Alien Creature in 1
this kiddics’ adventure that followsthe cute little extraterrestrial‘s earthbound encounters with a gang of four young chums. And yes. it does sound a lot like Spielberg‘s ET. Glasgow: Odeon. Strathclyde: Odeon Ayr. UCI Clydebank 10. WMR Film Centre. I Major League ( 15) (David S. Ward. US. 1989) Tom Berenger. Charlie Sheen. Corbin Bersen. 107 mins. The line-up for the Cleveland Indians baseball team includes Berenger as a seasoned catcher hoping that his dodgy knee will last the pace. rookie pitcher Sheen tryingto perfect his curveball and stay out ofjail. and third baseman Bensen. Who's mOTC concerned with saving his face for television commercials than getting on with the game. Together this unlikely lot are soon to find their dreams fulfilled by competing in the major league. Very American sports comedy with some sharp observation courtesy ofwriter/director Ward. whose previous credits include an ()scar for the screenplay of 'I’heSting. Glasgow: Odeon. Edinburgh: Odeon. Strathclyde: UCI Clydebank if). I Married TO The MOI) (15) (Jonathan Demme. US. 1988) Michelle Pfeiffer. Dean Stockwell. Matthew Modine. 104 mins. Mafia wife Angela De MarCo (Pfeiffer) finds herself a widow after her - hubby slips into the jacuzzi with Tony ‘The Tiger' Russo (Stockwell)'s best girl. Escaping to a new neighbourhood. she hopes to start afresh. but one kill ain't enough for this tiger. who follows her in pursuit ofa bit more meat. When FBI agent Mike Downey (Modine) finds himselfon the case. things hot up. . .or rather don‘t. becaUse despite the quirky hallmarksof Demme‘s off-the-wall irony. so successful in Something Wild and Stop Making Sense. the plot is predictable and slow. and the actors seem dragged down with it. Glasgow: GI’I‘. I Moon In The Gutter ( 18) (Jean-Jacques Beneix. France. 1983) Gerard Depardieu. Nastassia Kinski. Victoria Abril. 126 mins. Depardieu is an increasingly obsessive dockworker on the trail ofhis sister‘s rapist while at the same time getting involved with the mysterious and filthy rich Kinski. At the time acelebrated disaster. Beneix’s difficult second feature boasts an operatic approach to the visuals but with precious little emotional involvement to lend any real substance. Fans of Diva should still see it. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I My Left Foot(15) (Jim Sheridan. Eire/UK. 1989) Daniel Day Lewis. Ray McAnalIy. Brenda l-‘ricker. 90 mins. The life story of painter and writer ('hristy Brown. who was born paralysed with cerebal palsy. lovingly adapted from his autobiography of the same name. Sheridan and screenplay writer Shane (‘onnaughton have portrayed Brown warts and all; nonetheless this is a funny. touching and thoroughly absorbing movie with four quite excellent central
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2.30 (not Sun), 4.40, 6.50, 9pm. Winner Palme D'Or, .Cannes Film Festival 1989
I Late Nights
FRI 29: THE UNTOUCHABLES (15) & THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN(U)
SAT 30: BETTY BLUE (18) & BLUE VELVET (18)
FRI 6: HIGHLANDER (15) & THE HITCHER (18)
SAT 7: PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES (15) & DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID (15)
SUN 1ITHE NAVIGATOR (PG) AT 2.45PM SUN 8: WINGS OF DESIRE (15) AT 2.45PM
The List 29 September — 12 October 1989 23