both engages the viewer and enrages their sympathies. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I The Exorcist (18) (William Friedkin. US. 1973) Linda Blair. Ellen Burstyn. Max Von Sydow. 110 mins. Earnest priest Von Sydow steps in to save poor little obsessed girl in this hugely effective scarefest. Dead good. dead scarey. dead priest. Glasgow: Grosvenor. I The Fabulous Baker Boys ( 15) (Steve Kloves. US. 1989) JeffBridges. Beau Bridges. Michelle Pfeiffer. 113 mins. Writer/director Kloves makes an auspicious debut with this evocative tale of broken dreams. fraternal jealousy and slowly awakening passion among three very ordinary cabaret performers. Veteran piano duo Jeffand Beau draft in Ms Pfeiffer's smokey chanteuse to save their act‘s declining fortunes. but as the trio go on the road together. romantic and professional relationships are soon in turmoil. Crackling with some ofthe sharpest dialogue in years. this is a moody. mature picture. beautifully shot and scored. Glasgow: GFT. I Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!( 18) (Russ Meyer. US. 1966) Turana Satana. 83 mins. Three go-go dancers release their tensions by driving sportscars through the desert and behaving aggressively towards men. Classic Meyer cult-trash; showing here with the mammarymeister's more obscure opus Upf. Glasgow: Grosvenor. I Fellow Traveller ( 15) (Philip Saville. US/UK. 1989) Ron Silver. Hart Bochner. Imogen Stubbs. 97 mins. A screenwriter (Silver) finds himself blacklisted byJoc McCarthy's llouse Unamcrican Activities Committee. He flees to find work in ﬂedgling British television. only to discover that one of his best friends back home. has unaccountably committed suicide. Drawn from a brilliant screenplay by Michael Eaton this is a British picture of rare intelligence and verve. Glasgow: GF'T. I A Fish Called Wanda ( 15) (Charles Crichton. UK. 1988) John Cleese. Jamie Lee Curtis. Kevin Kline. Michael Palin. 108 mins. Stuffy English lawyer Archie Leach (Cleese) gets involved with a gang of diamond thieves. including brash American Kline and animal lover Palin. because he has information that will help them lay their hands on the swag. Glamorous Wanda (Curtis) steps in to romance him into talking. but love is to rear its head. Remarkably effective comedy. with the black humour ofthe Python generation given a narrative control and sense of timing that onlya veteran‘s steady band could provide. And it makes a wonderful romantic lead out of the rather unlikely Cleese. Central: MacRobert Arts Centre. I The Fourth War ( 15) (John Frankenheimcr. US. 1989) RoyScheider. Jurgen Prochnow. Harry Dean Stanton. 90 mins. See main feature. Glasgow: Odcon. Edinburgh: Odeon. I Front Line Films (PG) Screening to tie in with Front Line Fortnight. a UK-wide season of events designed to focus attention on the experience of living in the shadow ofapartheid. is this double-bill of ﬁlms from Tanzania. Mariamu's Wedding looks at the lasting influence of a sick wife's visit to a traditional healer. and it's followed by Mama Tumainini. which shows how the bored spouse of a Norwegian engineer begins to realise her potential when she becomes involved with a local women‘s pottery co-op. See Open panel. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I Ganashatru (PG) (Satyajit Ray. India. 1989) Soumitra Chatterji. Dhrittiman Chatterji. Buma Guhathakurta. 107 mins. After four years of inactivity due to serious heart trouble. and while still confined to a wheelchair. the great Bengali director Ray returned to the screen with this relocated version of lbsen‘sAn Enemy ()f The People. Regular script collaborator Chatterji heads the cast as the well-meaning doctor who runs into trouble from local religious fanaticism
18The List 15 — 28 June 1990
Stanley and lrls (15) (M rtln Ritt, US, 1989) Robert De Niro, Jane Fonda, Swoosie Kurtz. 105 mins. Of course, one should know better than to expect a Hollywood adaptation of a British novel to be too faithful to the original, but a passing similarity wouldn’t go amiss. However, when it comes to Pat Barker's best-seller, ‘Union Street’, we’re talking majorvariation. Barker’s novel concerns seven gritty Tees-side housewives and their problems in a chauvinistic society. Martin Ritt’s film on the other hand concerns one New England woman, recently widowed mother Iris (Jane Fonda) who teaches illiterate Stanley (Robert De Niro) how to read and write. Comparative study students will notice there is no illiterate character called Stanley in the book. There is a social depression link though. iris has a dead-end job in a bakery and her daughter (Martha Plimpton) also winds up there when she gets pregnant.
Films of course don’t have to be faithful to their source and in cinema terms what matters is how it works as a movie. As you'd expect, a love affair blossoms between pupil and teacher as he in turn educates her into letting go of her pain and puts love and meaning back into her life. In these terms it's a
M ANLEYA IBIS
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pleasantly soil-focused romance, even though at times it virtually suffocates you with compassion, and both Fonda and De Niro turn on the vulnerability, anguish, heartache and joy to Kleenex moistening effect. Respective handicaps are overcome, life is embraced.
The film is however dangerously simplistic. Having set up some heartfelt descriptions of the problems of illiteracy (do you have a name if you can’t read it? How can you get on a bus if you don't know where it is going?) and squeezed effective poignance out of De Niro’s resolution to educate himself because he can’t spell his dad's name on the death certificate, the actual adult literacy programme is so banal it’s had educational groups up in arms.
Tellingly, for all its liberal wholesomeness and implications that literacy opens up a fuller emotional life, its message, in the end. is pure American pragmatism: learning to read and write can make you rich. (Mike Davies)
From Fri 22. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge, Cannon Sauchiehali Street. Edinburgh: Cannon.
when he tries to warn the townspeople
that polluted water from a nearby factory is running into the Hindu temple. Glasgow: GET.
I Georgette Meunier ( 18) (Tania Stocklin & Cyrille Rey-Coquais. W. Germany. 1988)Ti'1.iana Jelmini. Thomas Schunke. Dina Leipzig. 82 mins. Post-Fassbinder exploration of repressive sexuality‘s destructive effects follows the incestuous relationship between a brother and sister. which is eventually to turn her intoa murderous outcast. poisoning male victim after male victim as she trails her sibling. Self-conscious but arresting contemporary take on the femmefarale figure. with an oddly appealing black humour to offset the more awkward moments ofhigh seriousness. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I Ghosts. . .OfThe Civil Dead ( 18) (John llillcoat. Australia. 1988) Dave Field. Mike Bishop. Nick Cave. 93 mins. Brutal Australian prison movie adopts an approach somewhere between hard-edged realism and futuristic stylishncss (most readily apparent in the production design) as it unravels an episodic narrative of growing tension and escalating voilence between the staff and inmates ofa
high-security correctional facility. Watch out for cult rocker Cave (who also had a hand in the script). comfortably cast as a disruptive psycho. Edinburgh: Cameo.
I Hard To Kill (15) (Bruce Malmuth. US. 1989) Steven Seagal. Kelly Le Brock. Bill Sadler. 96 mins. Up and coming action type Steven Seagal plays Mason Storm. an LA cop whose apparent invincibility has a plethora of top hit men queuing up to rub him out. But not so fast. our Mason might be heavily underarmed. and at one point he's actually in a coma, but even yet he manages to dispatch the baddies. Pointless mayhem. pointless formula plot. pointless violence. Hard To Sit Through is more like it. Central: Allanpark. Strathclyde: Cannon. UCl Clydebank. UCl East Kilbride.
I Harlem Nights (15) (Eddie Murphy. US. 1989) Eddie Murphy. Richard Pryor. Michael Lerner. 116 mins. Written. produced. directed by and starring our Eddie. this light comedy about the owners (Murphy and Pryor) of Club Sugar Ray. 1938 New York‘s most popular after-hoursjoint. and their efforts to dissuade notorious gangster Bugsy Calhoune (Lerner) from cutting himselfa
slice of their action. fared pretty poorly at the US box office. but seems to appeal toa certain element over here. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge. Cannon Sauchiehali Street. Central: Regal. Strathclyde: UCl Clydebank. I The Hunt For Red 0ctober(John McTiernan. US. 1990) Sean Connery. Alec Baldwin. Scott Glen. Tim Curry. Joss Ackland. 136 mins. The latest all-star offering from the director of Die Hard. set aboard a Soviet submarine and the NATO sub sent to hunt it down. in response tothe plot-spoiling thaw of East-West relations. McTiernan sneakily sets the film a few years back. which can‘t help but render it anachronistic. Glasgow: Cannon Sauchiehali Street. Edinburgh: Dominion. Strathclyde: UCl Clydebank. I lmmamura's Black Rain ( 15) (Shohei lmmamura. Japan. 1989) Yoshiko Tanaka. Kazun Kitamura. Etsuko lchihara. 123 mins. Winner ofthe Technical Achievement prize at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival before RidleyScott's identically-titled thriller had even been released. Shohei (Ballad ofNarrayama) lmmamura‘s adaptation of the acclaimed novel by Masuji lbuse horrifyingly depicts the devastation of Hiroshima by the first atomic bomb. and explores the despair of the survivors uncomprehendingly condemned to a slow death by the contaminated black rain that falls shortly afterwards. Seriously intentioned and extremely moving attempt at putting on screen events that. although they should never be forgotten, probably remain unfilmable. Glasgow: GET. I internal Allairs ( 18) (Mike Figgis. US. 1990) Richard Gere. Andy Garcia. Nancy Travis. 105 mins. 1n the wake of his stylish homegrown debut Stormy Monday. British director Mike Figgis makes his Hollywood debut with this stylish thriller. Garcia is a quietly efficient cop working for the Internal Affairs Dept. ofthe LA police. who comes across damning evidence that respected street c0p Gcre is in fact up to his neck in corrupt activities. and before long the two are at loggerheads in a clash that is to get increasingly personal. Predictable but very ﬂashy cop fare with remarkably intense performances from the two central protagonists. Glasgow: Cannon Sauchiehali Street. Central: Caledonian. Strathclyde: Kelburne. UCl Clydebank. UCl East Kilbride. I The Jerk ( 15) (Carl Reincr. US. 1981) Steve Martin. 104 mins. Hit and miss comedy as Martin goes from rags to riches to rags again. when his ground-breaking invention that stops spectacles slipping down the wearer‘s nose turns out to have disastrous side effects. Watch out for the classic cat-juggling sequence. and Martin‘s usual command of the physical gag. Edinburgh: Cameo. I Jesus Of Montreal (18) (Denys Arcand. Canada. 1989) Lothaire Bluteau. Catherine Wilkening. Johanne-Marie Tremblay. 12(imins. llired to revampa Catholic passion play. M. Bluteau enlists four actors from diverse sources. casts himself as Jesus. and sets to work on a stunningly radical version ofhisown. Naturally. life begins to imitate art. but don‘t expect anything else predictable. because Arcand‘s follow-up to Decline ()f The American Empire is chockful of twists. surprises and incisive satire. Finely acted. elegantly filmed and always intriguing. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I Johnny Handsome (15) (Walter Hill. US. 1990) Mickey Rourke. Ellen Barkin. Lance llcnriksen. Morgan Freeman. 94 mins. So-called because of his facial deformation. Johnny ‘l landsome' Sedley is a small-time crook whose closest friend is killed by other members of the gang during an unsuccessful heist. Upon his release from jail. Johnny undergoes plastic surgery and emerges a new man in the shape of Rourke. While falling in love for the first time. his task at hand isto track down and kill Barkin and