Film Society. I Blrdwatcher (15) (Arvo lho. Estonia. 1988) Erik Russ. SvetlanaTormakhova. 89 mins. One of the highlights of the New Beginnings cinema season is this feature by Estonian cancraman-turned-director Arvo lho. which looks at the relationship between a student ornithologist and a female forester on one of the northern Baltic islands. and the way their affection breaches differences in age. nationality and attitudes. Glasgow: GFT. I The Blues Brothers ( 15) (John Landis. US. 1980) John Belushi. Dan Aykroyd. Carrie Fisher. 130 mins. Bloated. overlong anarchic Chicago comedy with the two stars on a mission from God to salvage the imperilled fortunes ofan orphanage. Lots of guest stars. musical numbers and automotive destruction in a typical product of over-emphatic contemporary American humour. Edinburgh: Cameo. I Blue Velvet (18) (David Lynch. US. 1986) Kyle MacLachlan. Dennis Hopper. Isabella Rossellini. 120 mins. Lumberton. Middle America. Would-be boy detective Jeffrey Beaumont finds a severed car on some waste ground and when the police shoo him away he decides to do some investigating of his own. A singularfusion of the cosy and the terrifying which blends kitsch and nightmare. B-movie detection and brutal sexual perversion to deconstruct our complacent vision ofwhat passes for normal society. This is filmmaking of remarkable imagination and skill that places its director in the front rank of contemporary American cinema. Edinburgh: Cameo. I Le Carrosse D'Dr The Golden Couch (PG) (Jean Renoir. Italy. 1952) Anna Magnani. Paul Campbell. Duncan Lamont. 100 mins. Based on aone-act play by Merimee. Renoir's darkly opeartic film has Magnani as a Commedia Dell'Arte performer touring 18th century Peru. who despite the gift of a golden coach from the Viceroy, decides to devote her life to the theatre. I Cat People ( 18) (Paul Schrader. US. 1982) Nastassja Kinski. Malcolm McDowell. John Heard. 118 mins. Visceral. obsessive and occasionally rather stylish remake of the Val Lewton classic. with Kinski and McDowell as brother and sister from an ancient caste who turn into felines when sexually aroused. Edinburgh University Film Society. I A Chorus ol Disapproval (PG) a (Michael Winner. UK. 1989)Jeremy Irons.Jenny Seagrove. Anthony Hopkins. Richard Briers. 100 mins. Winnerleavesbehind Charles Bronson for a moment to film Alan Ayckbourn's adaptation of his own play on location in glamorous Scarborough. In the world ofamateur dramatics. Irons plays a timid computer expert transformed into a small-town Lothario when he gets involved with several female members of the cast ofa local poduction of The Beggar's Opera. mounted by megalomaniac director Hopkins. As expected. Ayckbourn‘s script preserves a number ofacidic one-liners and a substantial British cast perform gamely. but Winner‘s inability to inject any life into the proceedings gradually proves rather telling. Glasgow: Cannon Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh: Cannon. I The Company Dl Wolves ( 18) (Neil Jordan. UK. 1984) Angela Lansbury. David Warner. Graham Crowden. Brian Glover. 95 mins. Sensual and gory cinematic realisation of Angela Carter‘s sexually charged parables of puberty and werewolf-phobia. Explicit special effects are not. however. the best vehicle for the implicit undercurrents in Carter‘s fiction. Edinburgh University Film Society. I The Cook, The Thiel, His Wile and Her Lover ( 18) (Peter Greenaway. UK. 1989) Richard Bohringer. Michael Gambon. Helen Mirren. Alan Howard. Tim Roth.
15 The List 10 - 23 November 1989
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Roadhouse (18) (Rowdy Herrington, US, 1989) Patrick Swayze, Kelly Lynch, Ben Cazzara. 114 mins. Despite being encumbered by an inescapably tedious title, here's one lilm that’s larlrom dull. Made to be entertaining, shallow and exceptionally silly, Roadhouse is lull ol the most satislying cheap thrills since Raiders of The Lost Ark. Graced with no originality whatsoever, it steals from Clint’s Man From Nowhere scenario, and concerns itsell with the pointless existence at Dalton, played by Patrick Swayze of Dirty Dancing lame, a man who may have a degree in philosophy but spends his time breaking tables with people's heads and ripping their throats out with his bare hands.
The eponymous Roadhouse is called The Double Deuce, an out-ol-town joint where lolks come to enjoy their drink, drugs, sex and violence in the seediest ol nightclub surroundings. Dalton is hired as the head bouncer (or ‘cooler') to clean things up, helping to lend the dump a bit of class. However, he creates immediate enemies by sacking halithe bar stall, who just happen to be blood relations of local crime kingpin Brad Wesley (an evil Ben Gazzara). With the help of his fat, brainless henchmen in dark glasses, Wesley
uses intimidation to run the town, and Dalton's activities, which now include sleeping with Brad’s ex, an attractive doctor, do little to endear the two men to each other. Before long, the scene is set for a small-town version ol World War III.
Rampant with cliches like the old friend whose appearance is soon to ollerthe plotting a convenient revenge motif, the scriptwriter’s invention runs along distinctly terse and sleazy lines. ‘I thought you’d be bigger' says a passing blonde ultrabimbo to our Pat at one point. The interminable bar-room light sequences are extremely violent and well-choreographed, and contrast perfectly with the quiet, unassuming Swayze’s intuitive ability to read the situation. His skill at shattering the appropriate kneecap at just the right moment keeps the film trash and lunny. Worth seeing, but you have to take it in the right spirit. (Dylan Matthew)
From Fri 10. Glasgow: Cannon Clarkston Road, Cannon The Forge, Ddeon, Salon. Edinburgh: Ddeon. Central: Allanpark, Cannon. Strathclyde: Cannon, Kelburne, Ddeon Ayr, Ddeon Hamilton, UCI Clydebank 10.
120 mins. Greenaway has made a film gurantced to offend everybody. Though beautifully art-directed. photographed. produced and acted it nevertheless deals with the type of subject matter normally only found under the counter at your local video nasty store. Compulsive and unforgettable but you‘d be hard pressed to like the thing. Edinburgh: Cameo.
I A Cry In The Dark ( 15) (Fred Schepisi.
L'S Australia. 1988) Meryl Streep. Sam Neill. Brian James. 119 mins. Afterlhe exhaustive publicity the famed Dingo Baby case generated throughout the world Schcpisi wisely avoids focusing on the now resolved issue of whether or not Lindv Chamberlain was guilty. Instead he ’ concentrates on the mood of national hysteria and prejudice that confronted the couple and led to a trial by media. The result is a stunning shameful indictment of tabloid media excesses and institutionalised injustice. It eschews the kind ofglib melodrama that easily opens the tear ducts and opts instead for a more thought provoking work. which benefits from two solidly star performances from Streep and Neill. Glasgow: (iFI'.
I Dangerous Liaisons ( 15) (Stephen Frears. US. 1988) (ilcnn Close. John Malkovich. Michelle Pfeiffer. Keanu Reeves. 12llmins. Christophcrllampton
adapts his stage version of Choderlos de Laclos‘ novel for the screen. with Americans Close and Malkovich starring as the central pairing of Madame de Tourvel and the Vicomte dc Valmont. two treacherous l8th century aristocrats weaving a web of erotic duplicity around one another. British director Stephen Frcars makes a notable Hollywood debut by guiding his east through a difficult set of narrative pirouettes. and the crisp dialogue is handled with a certain asperity. Yet for all the pent-up emotion on screen. little fervour seeps through tothe audience and the result is a rather cold and calculating piece of work. Edinburgh: Cameo.
I Dead Calm (15) (Philip Noyce. Australia. 1989) Sam Neill. Nicole Kidman. Billy Zane. 96 mins. A psycho on the seven seas disturbs a young couple trying to get away from it all on acruisc along the Barrier Reef. First rate suspense follows. in this canny mix ofon-ship claustrophobia and wide open seascapes from Aussie new waver Noyce. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge. Strathclyde: UCI Clydebank ll).
I Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (PG) (Carl Reiner. US. 1982) Steve Martin. Rachel Ward and a cast of revived luminaries. 87 mins. Film noir spoof has private eye
Martin involved with femme fatale Ward and fiendish Nazi scientist Reiner. Much of the humour stems from the intercutting with actual Forties movies in a device now copied by the adverts for a certain lager. Edinburgh: Cameo.
I Dead Poets Society (PG) (Peter Weir. US. 1989) Robin Williams. Robert Scan Leonard. Ethan Hawke. 129 mins. In a staid private boys' school in Fifties New England. an unconventional teacher (Williams) interests his charges in literature and philosophy to such an extent that they form a secret club to investigate them further. Though Williams is on good form and turns in a richly zany performance. the film focuses mainly on the boys‘ emotional development and crises. and on the mystery and beauty surrounding their midnight meetings. A sensitive and tense study of the conflict between passion and authority. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge. Odeon. Edinburgh: Odeon. Central: Caledonian. Strathclyde: La Scala.UCIClydebank1().WMR Film Centre.
I The Deerhunter ( 18) (Michael Cimino. US, 1978) Robert de Niro. Meryl Streep. Jon Savage. Jon Cazale. 180 mins. The Vietnam war has the effect ofdisrupting the lives of a small steel town. as various friends go off to face the horrors ofwar and return with emotional scars. Daring triptych structure. the first part ofwhich displays a rare sympathy for the traditions and rituals of the emigrant community. marks this out as a Cimino movie. as he explores his favourite theme ofAmerican idealism being stretched almost to breaking point. Superb performances all round. Glasgow: Grosvenor.
I The Devils (18) (Ken Russell. UK.
1971 ). Oliver Reed. Vanessa Redgrave. Dudley Sutton. 111 mins. Based on a play by John Whiting, which was based in turn on Aldous Huxley‘s The Devils 0f1.0uden, this account of demonical possession and witchcraft in 17th Century France was the film in which Ken Russell‘s work metamorphosed from arty eccentricity into full-blown gothic monstrosity. complete with masturbating nuns and a public burning. Russell is nothing ifnot controversial. and your reaction will probably depend on where you stand on the director‘s idiosyncratic visions. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I Dirty Dancing (15) (Emile Ardolino. US. 1987) Jennifer Grey. Patrick Swayze. Jerry Orbach. 100 mins. Remarkably ordinary but staggeringly popular girl meets boy from the wrong side ofthe tracks musical set in an American summer camp in the year 1963. Strathclyde: Odeon Ayr.
I Doctor Strangelove (Or How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love The Bomb) (PG) (Stanley Kubrick. UK. 1903) Peter Sellers. George C. Scott. Sterling Hayden. 93 mins. Devastating black comedy on the lunacy ofthe nuclearage with Sellers ideally cast in three roles (US President. jolly Brit captain. and demented teutonic boffin) and Slim Pickens the good ole boy heading for oblivion to a chorus of 'We‘ll Meet Again'. Still alarmingly relevant. Edinburgh University Film Society.
I Donna D'Dmbra (15) (Luigi Faccini. Italy. 1989) Anna Bonaiuto. 95 mins. British premiere of a major new Italian film fresh from its invitation screeningat the New York Film Festival. Bonaiuto gives an award-winning performance as the independent choreographer re-evaluating her life after the death ofher father. The director will be present to discuss his film. Edinburgh University Film Society.
I The Draughtsman’s Contract (15) (Peter Greenaway. UK. 1982) Anthony Higgins. Janet Suzman. 103 mins. Sumptuous. seductive enigma in which a young artist accepts a commission from a country manor and also accepts payments in payment in sexual favours. But isthere