From all overthe world pilgrims came tothis forgotten place to sit at the loot oi the wise lakir, a wrinkled Iigure beyond age who would Impart to them the secrets oi the new cinema releases. Few at them knew his real name, but the holy man came to be known as TrevorJohnston.

I ASYA’S HAPPINESS (PG) Andrei Mikhalkov- Konchalovsky has since lett the Soviet Union to work on Hollywood movies like Runaway Train, but here’sa welcome chance to see his unsheived 1957 masterwork uttering a grainy look atthe hardships oi Russian peasant lite. See review. Edinburgh Filmhouse 8-12 Dec.

I OH NEW DIRECTORS (15) Touring roadshow oi eight short lilms, spread overtwo programmes, iorrning part oithe British Film Instilute’s lniatlve to Ioster young tllm talent. Watch out Ior Gurinder Chadha’s ‘I’m British But’, a wry and intelligent look at the Asian experience In this country. See leature. Glasgow Film Theatre, 11 G 18 Dec.


ii; ‘I" g I CAT CHASER (18) Hip novelist Elmore Leonard has had a hand in scripting this latest screen adaptation, with Peter Weilerand Kelly McGiliis in a tale oi greed and betrayal directed by Abel ‘Driller Killer’ Ferraro. UCI Clydebanktrom 8 Dec; Kelburne Paisley lrom Fri 15 Dec.

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Fresh out oithe batsuit, Michael Keaton joins Christopher Lloyd and Peter Boyle as a group oi mental patients who are lett to their own devices in downtown Manhattan attertheir supervising doctor is murdered. See review. Cannons and UCI trorn Fri 15 Dec.

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A: Y

Once the ‘Experlmentai Film Fund’, British Film Institute Production has been producing short lilms tor longer than it has been making leatures, but this latest initiative, the New Directors scheme, is its most ambitious attempt to date to setup a rubric to Ioster young illm talent in this country. In December 1987 proposals were invited ior projects to be shot in 8mm,16mm or video, oliering a budget at not more than £20,000 tor the development and production at work that was to be tinaily delivered in 16mm. Now compiled as a touring roadshow, the lirst eight pieces produced underthe scheme reveal a healthy diversity oi styles and personalities pointing the way towards the British Iiim culture at the luture. Supervised by a BFI stait producer, the lilms dliler lrom film school graduation work In that they are

~. N‘ A. hopetully pitched at a level where the

end result Is more important than the educational experience along the way, and they also otter an opportunity lor those grounded In writing, theatre or othervisual media the Iundlng to work In illm. From Bernard Rudden's dark Scots childhood narrative ‘The Chalk Mark', to Patrick Keiller’s impressionistic monochrome meditation ‘The Clouds’, to Gurinder Chadha’s wry look at the Asian experience In Britain through the music at Its youth culture in ‘l’m British But’, this lirst New Directors batch is bound to impress, excite and even inluriate as any young work should. For lurther details pick up a tree catalogue at the venue concerned.

New Directors (15) Glasgow Film Theatre 11 & 18 December. See listings lor lurther iniormatlon.

. . .9 New Screens

East Kilbride, that deranged town-pianner's labyrinth south-east oi Glasgow, has iortwenty years led the lieid in leisure malls, being home to the sprawling Olympia centre.

On Fri 8 Dec, the mall welcomes United Cinemas lnternational’s latest multiplex cinema, a custom-built nine-screenerwhich— it current trends continue represents the Iuture oi moviegoing. It ioilows the success at the chain's lirst Scottish outpost at Clydebank, and will be ioilowed by a twelve-screen venue next June in Edinburgh, which in the meantime gains two new screens at the Ddeon. The great boom In cinema attendances (which have almost doubled since their decline in the early 1980s) has been concentrated in Scotland, where the average person sees 1.7Iilms per year, as opposed to 1 .5 throughout the UK.

UCI East Kilbride’s general manager Dave Marsh admits that commercialism is the bottom line, but hopes to screen at least one ‘arthouse’ movie per week. ‘My last job was at UCI

in Dudley,’ he says, ‘and basically all they wanted was blood, guts and sex. But there is an arty side to East Kilbride, and iithere‘s a regulargroup wanting to see that kind oi thing we can aiiord to put it on.’

The building houses one BOO-seat auditorium and eight 200-seaters, with wheelchair accommodation and access in all nine; and the comiort-conscious seating is computer-designed to allow everyone to see the commendably wide screens without craning necks. The sound system is also state-oi-the-art, and complemented by acoustic padding on the walls. Marsh promises an absolute maximum oi six minutes’ advertising per programme, and even that the stall check the WCs every Iiiteen minutes.

‘We're a customer-led organisation,’ says Marsh. ‘Convenience, choice, IacIlities. We sell the movies rather than just pop them on the screen and hope. It’s an aggressive marketing strateDY, but then, it’s an increasingly competitive market.’ (Andrew Burnet)

W I MYSTERY TRAIN (15)Jim Jarmusch’s lirst colour Ieature is a kind oi Memphian Canterbury Tales as three Interlocking vignettes look at the varied experiences at strangers in the Southern soul town. Featuring the one and only Screamin' Jay Hawkins. gee Ieature. Edinburgh

I OLIVER AND COMPANY (U) The latest Disney animated adventure isa version oi Dickens' ‘Oliver Twist’ set amidst the cartoon world oilurryiolk and showcasing the vocal talents 01 Billy Joel, Bette Midierand Richard

. Mulligan. An ideal

Christmastreat iorthe Iitti’uns. Odeons irom Fri 15 Dec.

I ROUGE (15)Acclaimed Iiim by young Hong Kong director Stanley Kwan is a ghostly romance that intercuts between the 1930s when a young man and a beautitul courtesan entera death pact to be together, and the 1980s when she returns to search tor herlost lover. Recommended. Edinburgh Fllmhouse11-13 Dec.

I ROSELYNE AND THE LIONS (12) Several years atter‘Betty Biue'. Jean-Jacques Beneix returns with perhaps his lightestwork to date, a typically stylish and obsessive exercise charting young Isabelle Pasco's progress as a liontamer. Edinburgh Fllmhouse 17-23 Dan

I nussncum (15) Curiously-titled Italian spy thrillerhas a cast including TreatWilIiams and F. Murray Abraham mixed up

' in political assassination

l i

and Soviet espionage inside that notable hotbed oi diplomatic intrigue, the Vatican. Glasgow Odeon lrom Fri 8 Dec.

I VENUS PETER (12) Shot on Orkney, lan Seilar's evocative and moving study ola dyingiishing community seen through the eyes oi a young boy has Immaculate pertormances Irom 9 year old newcomer Gordon R. Strachen and the late Ray McAnally. See Feature. Glasgow Cannon Sauchiehall Street. Cannon Falkirkand Edinburgh Cameolrom Fri 8 Dec.

10'I‘hc List 8- 2] December 1989