I The Abyss ( 12) (James Cameron. US. 1989) Ed Harris. Michael Biehn, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. 140 mins. An estranged couple get caught up in a tense drama on the sea floor in this movie made almost entirely underwater. Though Cameron has opted for a more contemplative exercise in tension. the intertwining of plots leads one to feel that he‘s crammed too much into the film‘s length. It may not go down as agreat artistic achievement. it does push back a few boundaries ofthe possible in movie-making, so it won‘t sink without trace. Strathclyde: UCl East Kilbride. I The Accused (18) (Jonathan Kaplan. US, 1988) Kelly McGillis, Jodie Foster. Berni Coulson. 111 mins. Sarah Tobias (Foster) is raped on a pinball machine by three men. but when the assailants go to court. a plea bargain with Sarah's lawyer (McGillis) reduces their charges. When both women realise this is a sell-out. they decide to bring charges against the onlookers who offered encouragement to the rapists. Standout performance from Foster in this sympathetic and responsible treatment of difficult subject matter. whose ﬁrm grasp of character helps allay one‘s reservations about the content. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. IAII Of Me (15) (Carl Reiner. US. 1984) Steve Martin. Lily Tomlin, Victoria Tennant. 91 mins. Frequently hilarious madcap farce as the wonderful Martin plays a man whose left side is possessed by the transmigrated soul oftetchy millionairess Tomlin. Edinburgh University Film Society. I Kenneth Anger Films (15)Three programmes bringing together Anger‘s highly imaginative. ritualistic and influential underground films. which will also include material by Jean Genet. Sergei Eisensein and Derek Jarrnan to place his work in context. The first instalment includes his 1947 short, Fireworks. the charming 1953 effort Eaux D’A rtifice and the current. 30-minute version of his ambitious Crowley-inspired Lucifer Rising. Glasgow: GFT. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I Apartment Zero (15) a (Martin Donovan. UK. 1988) Colin Firth. Hart Bochner. Dora Bryan. 125 mins. Bizarre, modest British effort set in Buenos Aires. which centres around arthousc cinema owner Firth and his enigmatic but attractive lodger Bochner. who may well charm the neighbours in the apartment block is also a man with a decidedly murky past. Would-be intense thriller-cum-sexual melodrama is crammed with expressionist ﬂourish but remains a film of ambition rather than accomplishment. Glasgow: GFT. I Back To The Future Part 2 (PG) (Robert Zemcckis. US. 1989) Michael J. Fox. Christopher Lloyd. Thomas F. Wilson. 108 mins. Finishing with a big tease sequence of highlights for the mid-1990 scheduled Back to the Future Parl3. this could be the longest movie trailerin Hollywood history. Once again Michael has to outfox Biff. this time zooming forwards as well as backwards in the time machine. Directed and played with terrific verve, BTF? moves so fast from one set-piece to the next that there‘s no time to reflect on the basic ridiculousness ofthe plot. Strathclyde: UCI Clydebank. UCI East Kilbride. I Betty Blue ( 18) (Jean-Jacques Beineix, France. 1986) Jean Hughes Anglade. Beatrice Dalle. 120 mins. Tempestuous love gone mad as an older handyman and a free-spirited woman embark on a passionate. peripatetic fling that ends in tragedy. Filmed with a dazzlingtechnique and an irritating emptiness by the maker of Diva. Edinburgh: Cameo.
Blaze (15) 1‘: (Ron Shelton, US, 1989) Paul Newman, Lollta Davidovlch, Jerry Hardin. 117 mins. With the prime ingredients involving a crazed politician and an ‘exotic’ dancer, one might have every right to anticipate that Blaze could be fiery stuff. But the fact that director/screenwriter Ron Shelton has chosen to follow his own predilection for droll comedy makes the film even more flavourful and individual than we could have expected. Taken from the memoirs of performer Blaze Starr, the end result sports one of Paul Newman’s most extraordinary screen incamatlons as the real-life Earl K. Long, Louisiana’s ‘mad’ State Governor of the 1950s. A noted man oi the people, he ran for three terms despite his loud-mouthed megalomaniacal personality and taste for low-life activity, hence his relationship with the statuesque tits Starr (as played, quite feasibly, by newcomer Davidovlch).
Despite the title though, it’s Long’s and Newman’s movie, and the somewhat larger than the character of the Southern political huckster allows the latter his most sustained shot at comic exaggeration since Judge Roy Bean. The film spares us little of the State Governor’s well-documented eccentricities, including the marvellous sequence of events where, after delivering an impassioned tirade against racism on the floor of the State
legislature, he is committed to an insane asylum, from which he exfricates himself by firing the head of the local medical hierarchy and appointing his own man. Newman certainly indicates that the man is unbalanced, but it’s in his vision of negro voting rights that his ultimate integrity is to be discerned. People who find contradictions difficult may not be too comfortable here.
Where the film is less arrestineg textured is in the portrayal of the central relationship which, although it does have one major cherishable moment, when Long seeks the aid of his boots for traction when his attempts to make love aren’t getting too far, suffers from the fact that Blaze, for all her spirited independence, isn’t quite as clearly drawn as her partner, and Davidovlch can’t do very much with a role that seems underwritten.
Still, with luminous cinematography from the great Haskell Wexler that’s probably worth the price of admission alone, like Earl Kemp Long the film displays a cussed determination to go its own idiosyncratic way, and in this era of rampant lormulism that’s something for which we ought to be thankful. (TrevorJohnston)
From Fri 23. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge, Odeon. Edinburgh: Odeon.
Strathclyde: Odeon Hamilton, UCI
Clydebank. UCl East Kilbride.
I Black Rain (18) (Ridley Scott, US, 1989) Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia, Ken Takakura. 125 mins. Not so much the land of the Rising sun as the land ofShiny Surfaces as adman extraordinaire returns to a set not unlike Blade Runner. However, some promising ideas are shunted to the sidelines by Douglas's sour and rather uninspiring heroics as the New York cop sent to Osaka to countera counterfeiting ring. The whole perhaps confirms Scott as a master decorator hired to tart up a very obvious formula. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge, Cannon Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh: Cannon. Central: Regal. Strathclyde: Kelburne, Odeon Ayr. UCI Clydebank. UCI East Kilbride.
I Black Sunday Horror Festival (18) (Various directors and countries, 1988—90) Between ten and twelve new ﬁlms will be screened during this 19-hour nightmare on Vinicombe Street, but the programme’s still being finalised as we go to press. Definite screenings include: Society (teenage paranoia and human
mozzarella games in decadent Californian suburbs); Sundown (starring Bruce Evil Dead Campbell ; the wholly unexpected return of ﬂam Freddy in A Nightmare On Elm Stree15: The Dream Child; British parody from Dirk Campbell in l Bought/1 Vampire Motorcycle; Terry 0' Quinn in The Stepfather2 and eve rybody's favourite hitchhiker Rutger Hauer in Salute Of The Jugger. Also watch out for Jorg Buttgereit's acclaimed Nekromanrik, plus his short. Hot Love, which opens the show. Stop press: some footage may be included from the hungrily-awaited Nightbreed. See feature. Glasgow: Salon. I Blaze ﬁr (15) (Ron Shelton, US. 1989) Paul Newman, Lolita Davidovich. Jerry Hardin. 117 mins. See review. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge. Odeon. Edinburgh: Odeon. Strathclyde: Odeon Hamilton. UCI Clydebank. UCI East Kilbride.
I Blue Velvet (18) (David Lynch. US. 1986) Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, Isabella Rossellini. 120 mins. ln small-town Middle America, would-be boy detective MacLachlan finds a severed
I 81/2 (15) Relssued in a brand new print, Federico Fellini's1963 masterpiece follows the tortured ramblings of a gifted artistic film-maker as he triesto create a followup to a huge lntemational success. A situation similar to Fellini’s own after his widespread smash ‘La Dolce Vita’. Glasgow Film Theatre Mon 5-Wed 7 Mar.
I Family Business (15) Sean Connery is back, supported by Dustin Hoffman and Matthew Broderick, in Sidney Lumei’s latest, a slightly lacklustre comedy-drama in which the Family isthree generations of Mchtull ens. And the Business is crime. Good performances all round, though grandpa Sean dominates, and Dusty struggles with an unsympathetic role. See review. Preview at Edinburgh Odeon, Tue 27. Glasgow Cannon The Forge, Grosvenor, all Odeons, both UCis and WMR lrvinefrom Fri 2.
I FELLOW TRAVELLER (15) Ron Silver heads the cast of this ambitious US/UK co-production as a Hollywood screenwriter forced by the McCarthy HUAC hearings to flee to Britain and find work on an early Robin Hood telly series, all the while trying to come to terms with the suicide back in Bel-Air of his best friend, a politically-aware matinee idol. Recommended. See review. Edinburgh Filmhouse Thur 1 to Sun 4 Mar.
I THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA (15) Leading Spanish director Mario Camus is just the man to bring to the screen Frederico Garcia Lorca’s majordramatic work which examines the repressive care exerted by an autocratic widow upon her five daughters. See review. Edinburgh Filmhouse Sun 4 to Sat1O Mar.
I Monkey Shines (18) Silly horror flick by George A. Romero oi Zombie-trilogy lame. A crippled student teams up with a laboratory monkey with (guess what) gruesome results. ‘Huff said.
Glasgow Odeon and UCI Clydebanklrom Fri 23.
I TOUCH OF EVIL (18) Don’t miss this new 35mm print of what some pundits claim as Orson Welles' finest hour. Kane notwithstanding. The big man stars as burly crooked border detective Hank Ouinlan. whose collaboration with corrupt drug dealers in a sleazy bordertown is uncovered by hall-Mexican narcotics cop Charlton Heston (who elsel). Edinburgh Filmhouse Sun 25 and Mon
D 25 Feb.
The List 23 February — 8 March 199017