I The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (PG) (Terry Gilliam. L'S. 1988)John Neville. Sarah Polley. Eric Idle. Robin Williams. 126 mins. Gilliam’s fabulously
expensive 18th century fantasia begins in a ;
city under siege from the Turks where the populace are being entertained by a theatrical extravaganza based on the tall talesof Baron Munchausen.
Gilliam‘s extravagant visual
sensibility guides this occasionally misfiring manic epic through its sticky patches. but there is so much to look at and enough genuine laughs that his relentless campaign against mediocre convention is more than justified. Central: MacRobert Arts Centre.
IAlien(18) (Ridley Scott. CS. 1979) Sigourney Weaver. lan Holm. John l lurt. 116 mins. Agatha Christie in outerspace as a freighter lands on a mysterious planet and is ingeniously invaded by a ravenous intruder which proceeds to chomp its way through the cast list. Edge-of-the-seat suspense thriller with a strong cast and ghastly special effects. Edinburgh University Film Society.
I Alien Nation ( 18) (Graham Baker. L'S. 1988)James Caan. Mandy Patinkin. Terence Stamp. 98 mins. Los Angeles. 1994. New settlers from outa space still face prejudice after several years on the planet (surprise!) Detective Caan is assigned extra-terrestrial partner l’atinkin and as they erode the barriers between them. they discover a conspiracy that could threaten the whole alien nation. A laudable idea is marred by plotting of awesome predictability. resulting in a duff buddy movie with a high count oflatcx heads. Strathclyde: Odeon Ayr. IAIIOfMe(15) (Carl Reiner. US. 1984) Steve Martin. Lily Tomlin. Victoria Tennant. 91 mins. Frequentlyhilariotis madcap farce as the wonderful Martin plays a man whose left side is possessed by the transmigrath soul of tetchy millionairess Tomlin. Glasgow: Grosvenor.
I An American Tail (LI) (Don Bluth. US. 1986) With the voices of Dom I)e1.uise. Madelaine Kahn. Christopher Plummer. 80 mins. The late 19th century. The Mousekewitz family make their way from trouble-torn Russia to a new life in America. but they find the streets tichw York are not all paved with gold. A wealth of background detail displays Bluth's admirably painstaking approach to animation. but the foreground narrative. often agreeably perilous. does occasionally reek ofsentimentality. Central: Caledonian.
I Another Woman (PU) (W'oody Allen. US. 1988) Gena Rowlands. Mia Farrow, lan Holm. Gene llackman. 81 mitts. Woody Allen continues in the serious vein of his last picture September. with another probing exploration of emotional and familial relationships. Here. successful scholar Rowlands is forced to confront the emotional vacuum of her life when she hears the revelations of another woman (Farrow) unburdening her anxieties in the psychiatrist‘s office next door. Glasgow: GF'T.
I Asterix and The Big Fight (U ) (Alberto Uderzo. France. 1989) Asterix celebrates his thirtieth anniversary with this new animated feature. in which he and his band of plucky Gallic mates take on the might ofthe Roman army. A host of British voices on the soundtrack include Bill Oddie. Michael Elphick and Andrew Sachs. Edinburgh: Dominion.
I Asya's Happiness (PG) (Andrei Mikhalkov-Konchalovsky. L'SSR. 1967) Iya Savvina. Lyubov Sokolova. Alexander Surin. 98 mins. See review. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
Asya's Happiness (PG) (Andrei Mikhalkov-Konchalovsky, USSR, 1967) Alexander Surin. lya Savina, Lyubov Sokolova. 98 mins. The latter half of the Eighties has been an important decade for Soviet cinema. As the process of glasnost has reached the powers-that-be controlling the Soviet film industry a steady stream of films from the Sixties onwards have been taken off the shelf and sanctioned for international release, and contemporary restrictions on artistic expression significantly loosened. As impressive work from a number of different directors including Tengiz Abuladze (Repentance, 1984), Alexei Gehrman (My Friend Ivan Lapshin, 1981) and perhaps most controversially Vasili Pichul (Little Vera, 1988) has gained British distribution, audiences over here have had the opportunity to become better acquainted with a cinema that once seemed to almost begin and end with Andrei Tarkovsky.
in the case ofAndrei Mikhalkov-Konchalovsky, we are
perhaps more familiar with his erratic Hollywood output than his earlier Soviet films, and from the hand behind such dispiriting fare as the Julie Andrews vehicle Duet For One and the Louisiana swamp drama Shy People, Asya’s Happiness is something of a revelation. Seton an isolated collective farm in the Russian interior, the film focuses on the humdrum daily lives of the local peasants, and it’s probablythe film’s refusal to gtamourise theirtoil and transform them into ideal workers as had been norm for decades of Soviet social-propagandist cinema that precipitated the authorities’ refusal to release it for overtwenty years. Nor could the establishment have been entirely happy with the central narrative thread that examines the options open to an unmarried mum who’s independent enough to eschew getting hitched to either of the two suitors courting her.
What’s so striking about Asya’s Happiness however, is not the characterisation or plotting, but Konchalovsky’s powerfully evoked feeling forthe people and the land. As evocative folk-derived music scars on the soundtrack a fluid camera surveys the unforgiving vistas of the far-reaching plains and pauses to capture in achingly effective monochrome the careworn, wrinkled expressions of the old folk. We are left in no doubt as to the harshness and dignity of their struggle to eke a living out of the ground, the undemonstrative will-to-Iiie that pits them against the elements and against the collective system that has demolished their old traditions. Stirring stuff. (Trevor Johnston)
From Fri 8. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I Back To The Future Part 2 (PG ) ( Robert Zemeckis. US. 1989) Michael J.Fox. Christopher Lloyd. Thomas FWilson. 108 mins. Finishing with a big tease sequence of highlights for the mid-199(lscheduled Back to the Future Part}. this could be the longest movie trailer in l lollywood history. Once again Michael has tooutfox Biff. by zooming through time in Doc's l)c1.orean time machine. Directed and played with a terrific verve. this moves so fast from one special effects set-piece and imaginative gag to the next. that there‘s no time to reflect on the basic ridiculousness of the plot. Glasgow: Cannon Clarkston Road. Cannon The Forge. Cannon Sauchiehall Street. Grosvenor. Edinburgh: Cannon. Central: Allanpark. Cannon. Strathclyde: Cannon. ()deon Ayr. ()deon Hamilton. l.aScala.1,'Cl Clydebank. [ICl East Kilbride. WMR Film Centre.
I The Bear (PG) (Jean-Jacques Annaud. France. 1988) Bart. Douce. Jack Wallace. Tcheky Karyo. 98 mins. Simple. unscntimental narrative follows the experiences of two bears. a big adult kodiak and a young orphan cub. as they are pursued by two hunters. Cleverlv I filmedtocaptttrethebearsacting ' naturally. this insight into their point of view makes a moving plea for the integrity of all animals and is highly entertainingas it goes about it. Edinburgh: Dominion.
I BFI New Directors ( 15 ) Two feature-length programmes bringing together the first eight films tobe
produced as part of the British Film Institute New Directors scheme. See feature. Glasgow: GFT.
I Bigfoot and the Hendersons (PG) (William Dear. US. 1987) John Lithgow. Melinda Dillon. Don Ameche. 111 mins. Disneyesque family adventure in which the all-American Henderson family crash into the legendary Bigfoot and adopt the suprisingly genial beastie as a domestic pet. Predictable complications ensue. involving the neighbours and blood-hungry hunters. Strathclyde: ()deon Ayr.
I Blue Velvet ( 18) (David Lynch. US. 1986) Kyle MacLachlan. Dennis Hopper. lsabella Rossellini. 120 mins. 1n small-town Middle America. would-be boy detective MacLachlan finds a severed car on some waste ground. When the police shoo him away he decides to do some investigating of his own. A singular fusion 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 filmmakingof remarkable imagination and skill. Glasgow: GFT.
I Brazil ( 15) (Terry Gilliam. US. 1985) Jonathan Pryce. Kim Griest. Robert de Niro. Peter Vaughan. 142 mins. Extravagantly designed and blackly humorous Orwellian vision of the future. as modest bureaucrat Pryce battles the forces of totalitarianism and fights for his dream girl. feisty trucker Griest.
Overlong and ramshackle fantasia. with moments of sheer creative adrenalin and a classic ending. Glasgow: Grosvenor.
I Bringing Up Baby (PG) (Howard Hawks. US. 1938) Cary Grant. Katharine Hepburn. Charles Rugglcs. 102 mins. Zany gal Hepburn causes timid zoology professor Grant to lose a valuable dinosaur bone and mislay a pet leopard within the course of one screwball evening. ArchetypalThirties crazy comedy with one outlandishly hilarious scene following another within the progression of an unerringly logical narrative. Both stars at their charismatic best. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I The Buddy Holly Story (Steve Rash. US. 1978) Gary Busey. Dan Stroud. Charles Martin Smith. 113 mins. Well acted biopic of the bespectacled songsmith. culminating in that tragic plane crash. Sensible and unsensationalist. if ultimately unremarkable. Strathclyde: Odeon Ayr.
I Cal Chaser ( 18) it} (Abel Ferrara. US. 1989) Peter Weller. Kelly McGillis. Thomas Milian. 102 mins. See review. Glasgow: Grosvenor. Strathclyde: Kelburne. UCI Clydebank.
I Le Corbeau The Raven (PG) (Henri-Georges Clouzot. France. 1943) Pierre Fresnay. Pierre Larquey. Ginette Leclerc. 92 mins. A small French provincial community is disrupted by the effects of a spate ofpoison pen letters from someone who appears to know what most of the inhabitants are getting up to. Telling character melodrama. which was at one time mistakenly regarded as Nazi anti-French propaganda. Edinburgh University Film Society.
I Crazy Love (18) (Dominique Deruddere. Belgium. 1987) Josse dc Pauw, Geert Hunaerts. Michael Pas. 90mins. Impressive Belgian adaptation ofstories by Charles Bukowski which follows three important episodes in the sexual experiences of Harry Voss. from the first pubescent stirrings. to the lust-sick traumas of a horrendoust acned teenager. and — most controversially — the disillusioned depravity of middle-age. his search for love ending in the arms ofa fresh corpse. Don't let the plotline put you off. for the tender approach to a bizarre story makes this a notable sucess. Deruddere is clearly a name to watch. Central: MacRobert Arts Centre.
I ‘Crocodile' Dundee (15) (Peter Faiman. Australia. 1986) Paul Hogan. Linda Koslowski. Mark Blum. 1(leins. Disarmingly self-mocking. old-fashioned comedy romance with Hogan as a legendary crocodile hunter in the Northern Territories. discovered by American journalist Koslowski and persuaded to sample the dubious delights ofManhattan. Hugely successful and. needless to say. followed by an inferior sequel. This version is accompanied by sub-titles for the hard ofhearing. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I Dangerous Liaisons (15) (Stephen Frears. US. 1988) Glenn Close.John Malkovich. Michelle Pfeiffcr. Keanu Reeves. 120 mins. Madame dc Tourvel and the Vicomte de Valmont (Close and Malkovich) are treacherous 18th century aristocrats weaving a web oferotic duplicity around one another. Frears makes a notable Hollywood debut. guiding his east through a difficult set of narrative pirouettes. Yet for all the pent-up emotion on screen. little fervour seeps through, and the result is a rather cold and calculating piece ofwork. Central: MacRobert Arts Centre.
I Dark Crystal (PG) (Jim Henson. Frank Oz. UK. 1982) 94 mins. The Muppet men branch out with this unoriginal children‘s fantasy surrounding the quest for a missing shard from the all—powerful dark crystal which must be retrieved to prevent evil consuming the known world. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I Dead Poets Society (PG) (Peter Weir.
The List 8 — 21 December 198913