me Edinburgh, it's the Quiz of The Fortnight ‘What’s hty Release Schedule?”, with your host Trevor Johnston.
I HARD ro KILL (18) Steven ‘Nlco' Seagal stars as tough LA cop Mason Storm. a man who, when he’s not being acupunctured at the hands of nurse Kelly Le Brock. spends much of hlstlme dispatching a succession of inept hired killers betre unmasking a citywide conspiracy. The usual gull. in other words. Wide release from Fri 1 June.
I RUDE AWAKENING (15) Gheech Marin and Eric Roberts er. ‘star’ in this any counterculture comedy as two hippies who fled the draflln1969 and lorthe past twenty years have been watching the grass grow on a commune in the South American republic of Managuador. With the country under threat of a proposed CIA invasion. they return to the States to enlist the help of former friends and associates. all of whom have sold out. See review. Odeons Glasgow and Edinburgh from Fri 8 June.
I IRE PACKAGE (15) Political thriller opens with US army officer Gene Hackman in the midst of a skirmish near ye olde Berlin Wall. before he's assigned to accompany court- martlaIIed soldier Tommy Lee Jones back to safekeeping in the US. See review. Odeons Glasgow and Edinburgh, Gannon Parkhead from Fri 8 June. I THE PUNISHER (18) Former Rocky opponent Dolph ‘iie fifan' Lundgren gets to be a goodle thistlme as a former cop turned vigilante executionerto take on the combined might of the Mafia and the Yakuza. The usual guff. In other words. Cannon Parkhead and UGI East Kilbride horn Fri 1 une.
if f _ I WE'RE N0 ANGELS (15) lrishman Neil Jordan's first Hollywood studio offering is this David Mamet-scripted comedy with convicts on the run Robert De Niro and Sean Penn hlding out in a bordertown seminary. See feature. Gannon Sauchiehall Street and UCI Clydebank from Fri 1 June. Edinburgh Odeon from Fri 8 June.
Fringes of Success
Thom Dibdin previews the sixth Fringe Film Festival, and finds out from director Vivienne Smith just where the annual showcase of independent film and video production is heading.
After six years wandering in an experimental wilderness largely of its own making. the Edinburgh Fringe Film Festival is beginning to take on an identity ofits own. Entries arrive from around the world. the FFF is well ensconced at the Filmhouse. ticket sales are rising and funding for the next three years is assured.
So why does the FFF have such a reputation for being chaotic and disorganised? Partly because it is true, but no more so than any other Edinburgh film festival. For the real reason. it is necessary to examine the underlying philosophy of the event: ‘Ifyou‘ve produced a film, we'll include it in our festival.‘
‘We are putting on the Festival we want.‘ claims Director Vivienne Smith. citing this year‘s introduction of installations. slides and super-8 work. ‘We have tried to encourage all three sections. to give a wider base.’
Despite this attempt to focus the Festival, Vivienne has not emulated past desires to provoke a central theme. ‘They are a good idea.’ she says. ‘but it is fun to get a mixture. Not to say that the FFF this year will be about Women or Outsiders. I think it is much better to open up the whole thing and let people come and see a veritable lucky dip.‘
And a lucky dip is what the audience will get. From first-time community videos to award-winning films like The Brother and An Empty Bed, the range is eclectic, the taste catholic and the emphasis squarely placed on the Fringe. It may be the fringes ofthe film world, as in the superbly titled A Million Hours of Potato Time, or the fringes of society, examined in The Empty Bed, an evocative drama about an ageing gay man.
Perhaps the FFF’s greatest strength is the showcase it provides for new directors. List contributor. Andrew Pulver. whose Three Hundred Years ofParanoia is in the Festival, reckons it is a good talking shop. a place for new film-makers to meet and discuss their work. Like many of the directors. he will be there to introduce his film. ‘lt’s neo-noir,‘ he says somewhat enigmatically.
For the punter. the presence of the film-maker can be a boon. What
better antidote to the disappointment of a really dire film than to have the person responsible there to complain to? ‘What do you mean Neo-noir?‘ But do beware the bulgey-eyed directors, pale from hours ofediting, desperate to talk to anyone about their film. If trapped by one. simply take yourself off to the videothequc where you can plug into any film you might have missed. The FFF offers no prizes. It is an absence which Smith. after being momentarily seduced by the idea. quickly rejects. ‘It disregards the
essence of the Festival.‘ she explains.
‘of providing a wider show place. rather than veering towards awards
and the sort ofglamour and glitter they attract.‘
Bigger this year's FFF certainly is. but whether it is any better you will have to judge for yourself. One last piece of advice: get a copy of the Festival magazine from the Filmhouse before the event. In its pages you can find out exactly what an ‘installation‘ is. and although it contains only previews (no reviews) you will be lost without it.
The 6th Fringe Film Festival runs at Edinburgh Film/rousefrom Thurs 7 to Sun IOJune. See Film Listings section for further details and programme information.
18The List 1—14June 1990