I Abba The Movie ([1) (Lasse l lalstrom. Swe/Australia. 1977) ABBA. Robert Hughes. Tom ()liver. Bruce Barry. 95 min. Made at the height oftheir populatrity. the wafer thin plotline consists of the four Swedes being pursued across ()2. by a Sydney DJ. Dancing Queen. Waterloo. S. 0. .S'. . etc. Takes you back eh'.’ Edinburgh: Cameo.
I All Dogs Go to Heaven ([1) (Don Bliiih. US. 1989) With the voices of Burt Reynolds. l.oni‘Anderson and Dom DcLuise. 84 mins. In Bluth‘slatest animated feature. likeable Alsatian Charlie Barkin is killed by his partner in small-time crime. but manages to trick his way out of the Afterlife to face earthbound adventure with cute orphan Anne-Marie as he seeks revenge on his double-crossing buddy. Occasionally sloppy animation is more than made up for by the inventive story-line and an allusive sense of humour that should even have adults suppressing the odd guffaw. Strathclyde: ()deon Ayr. UCI Clydebank. L'C‘l liast Kilbridc.
I American Gigolo ( 18) ( Paul Schrader. US. 198()) Richard (iere. Lauren Hutton. Nina Van Pallandt. 117 mins. Archety'pal Schrader. exploring the seamier side of the American fast-lane. (‘iere is perfectly cast as the title character. a shallow. Armani-clad stud who provides his clients with infinitely pleasurable sexual satisfaction. but is unable to experience either love or commitment himself. This emotional paralysis changes when he becomes an innocent dupe in a political scandal and reaches out to the beautiful Hutton. lingrossing Brechtian morality play. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
IAn Angel At My Table (P(il(Jane Campion. New Zealand. 199(1) Kerry Fox. Melina Bernccker. Karen l-‘ergusson. 158 mins. See review. lidinburgh: Filmhouse. IAnother48 NBS ( 18) (Walter Hill. 1S. 1990) Eddie Murphy. Nick Noltc. Brion James. 96 mins. Hill's sharp buddy-buddy thriller originally established liddic Murphy's cocky comic persona. but this sequel. rerun does little to add to the star's recent series of dismal movies. While the bickering interplay between Noltc's cop and Murphy‘s released convict remains intact. the plot is another grim variation on the narcotics kingpin scenario. With a much bigger budget the mayhem factor has increased. but our level of interest is distinctly on the wane. (ilasgow: ('annon The Forge. (‘annon Sauchieliall Street. Edinburgh: ('annon. Dominion. 1,'('1. ('entral: (.‘aledonian. ('annon. Strathclyde: (annon. ()deon :‘syr. ()deon Hamilton.LaScala.17(‘1('ly'debaiik.L?(‘l East Kilbride. WMR l‘ilm ('entre.
I L'Atalante ( P(i) (Jean Vigo. l-‘rance. 1934) Michel Simon. Jean Dastc. Dita Parlo. 89mins. 1T nmissable reissue of brilliant l-‘rench director Jean Vigo‘sonly feature before his tragically early death now preserves the work in a form closer to the filmmakers original intentions. .-\ simple narrative follows the tangled passions of newlyweds Daste and Parloas they spend their honeymoon on a barge trip with seedy old captain Michel Simon. but it‘s 1. 2-1 Ia/unie's rich cavalcade of ever-changing moods and unforgettably poetic iiiomentsof sensuality that make it a unique classic to be cherished. 1-.dinburgh:l'ilmhouse.
IAWOLf 13) (Sheldon 1.eitch. t'S. 199(1) .lean-(‘laude \‘an Dammc. llarrison Page. Deborah Rennard, 1H8 mins. Lyon (iaulticr (Van Damme) is absent without lease from the french l'oreign Legion. and has fled from his North African base to come to the aidof his critically ill brother in 1.os.-\ngclcs As he earns money to make his way across the t'Sby taking part in bare knuckle lights the boys
181 he list 38 September ll()ctobei l99ti
AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE
An Angel At My Table (PG) (Jane Campion, New Zealand, 1990) Kerry Fox, Alexia Keogh, Karen Fergusson. 158 mins. Widely tipped to win the Golden Lion atthe recent Venice Film Festival, but coming away with only the consolation of the Special Jury Prize, Jane Campion's lengthy screen treatment of New Zealand writer Janet Frame’s autiobographical novels is another substantial achievement to add to the impact made by her debut feature Sweetie.
Originally shot as three episodes for television, the film telescopes Frame’s much-acclaimed trilogy in its entirety. The first part, To The Is-Land, chronicles her childhood and teenage years, where gnawing feelings of awkardness and unattractiveness drive her towards increasing isolation from her peers. A series of family tagedies cause her retreat to the refuge of the printed word. Her studiousness however, grants her a passage to university, but as the second instalment, An Angel At My Table, details, her inability to cope with the pressures of campus social life sees her consigned to a mental institution and diagnosed a schizophrenic. Undergoing a massive programme of schocktherapy, it's ironic that at this point her writing begins to attract serious attention, saving her from the final dreadful solution of the surgeon‘s knife. At last released from hospital, the final portion of the triptych, The
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Envoy From Mirror City, shows her
travels in mid-50$ European bohemia, as she survives her first love affair and returns to New Zealand to consolidate her identity as a writer.
From even this sketchiest of synopses, it’s readily apparent that Frame’s disturbed and disturbing experiences could easily be the stuff of the most excessive melodrama, but Campion is astute enough to keep the scenes of institutional horror fairly restrained and allow the material’s strong emotional undertow to work up its own powerful reaction. Adopting a more straightforward approach than Sweetie’s defiant artifice, tellingly detailed vignettes build up a picture of a woman whose intense awareness of self and surroundings is both the keynote of her artistry and the prime component of her social disfunction. Campion’s tremendous final shot, swooping down to peer through the windows of a caravan as Janet types away inside is the perfect visual encapsulation of her strengths and vulnerabilities.
Superbly acted throughout, with Kerry Fox outstanding as the mature author, An Angel At My Table should both stimulate interest in Janet Frame's anguished work and provide further impressive and welcome evidence of Jane Campion's highly individual blend of compassion and artfulness. Recommended. (Trevor Johnston)
Fri 28—Tue 2. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
from the army are on his tail. Martial arts-packed excuse for .lean-(‘laude aka The Man Willi The Muscles lirom Brussels to strut his stttff. lidinburgh: 17(‘1.Strathcly'de: L'(‘1liastl\'ilbride. I Babette's Feast (17 ) ((iabricl Axel. Denmark. 1987) Stephane Audran.
Jean-Philippe 1.afont. Bibi Andersson. 1113 mins. The Jutland peninsula during the late 19th century. lixiled l‘rench housekeeper Audran wins 10.001) francsin a lottery and uses the money to prepare a sumptuous banquet in honour of a deceased l.utheran dean. whose daughters are sustaining his mission to the poor and needy. But w hen the shopping list arrives the sisters begin to wonder if a least is compatible with their piety. .:\ delicious gastronomic experience and an exquisite. boisterous slice of cinematic narrative with real feeling. ltdmburgh: l-ilinhouse. I Back To The Future Part 3 i P( i ) i Robert Zentcckis. t ‘S. 19911) Michael J. Fox.
(TUISIUPTICT Lloyd. Mary Steenburgen. 119mins. After the elongated trailerof B'I'l'l? we're back in 1885 for the third and absolutely final instalment of the series. in which Michael has to face tip to longstanding enemy Biff and save the [)oc from certain death. except that the latter is much more interested in falling for Mary Steenburgen. The end result is not quite a bad film. btit. as with almost every other seqtiel of a sequel there‘s an overall slackness which prevents it from liftiiigotf in the way that it should. in almostevery sense. we've been here before. (ilasgow: (‘annoii The l‘orge. lidinburgh: 1'(‘1. Strathclyde: ()deon Ayr. l'(‘l (‘lydebank. 1'(‘1 liast Kilbride.
I Bad Influence ( lsi ((‘uriis l lansoii. t '5. 1989) Rob l.owe. James Spadcr. l.isa Zane. 111?. mins. See review. (ilasgow ; (’annoii The l-‘orge. ()deon. lidinburgh: ()deon.17(‘1.('entral:(‘annoir Strathclyde: (‘annon. La Scala. ()deon
Ayr.()deon Hamilton. L'(‘1(‘lydeb;mk. 15(‘1 East Kitbride. I Betrayedt15)((‘osia-(izivras. l‘S. I988) Debra Winger. Tom Berenger. John Heard. 127mins. Winger is an l-‘Bl agent investigating Midwestern farmer Berenger. who at first seems such a nice guy that the two fall in love. 1 1c turnsout however. to be involved in organising guerilla activities in the cause of w bite supremacy. which makes their relationship somewhat tricky. The implausible plot tends to undermine the ideological credibility of the film. lidinburgh: l‘ilmlioiise. I Betty Blue ( l8) (Jean-Jacques Beineix. France. 1986) Jean 1 ltiglies Anglade. : Beatrice Dalle. 120 mins. 'l‘enipestuous love gone mad as an older handy man and a free-spirited woman embark on a passionate. peripatetic fling that ends iii tragedy. Filmed with a dazzlingtechnique and an irritating emptiness by the maker of [NHL lidinburgh l'niyersity Film Society. I The Big Blue ( 15) ( l.uc Besson. l- raiice. 1988) Rosanna Arquette. Jean-Marc Barr. Jean Reno. 121) mins. Barraiid Reno. friends since they were children. are divers competing to reach the greatest depths without the aid of breathing equipment. and also rivals for the romantic attentions of Ms Arquctte .-\ commercial smash in its natiy e l‘rancc. Bessoii‘s film is a stunningly photographed visual experience in varying shades of blue. liven if the plot is a loadof tosh. the dolphins are nice. ixdinburgli: Filmhouse. I Bigfoot and the Hendersons ( Po) (William Dear. 1S. 1987) .fohnl.itligtm_ Melinda Dillon. Don :\lTTCCtiL‘. 11 1 mins. Disneyesque family adventure in which the all-American Henderson family crash into the legendary Bigfoot and adopt the suprisingly genial beastic as a domestic pet. Predictable complications ensue. involving the neighbours and blood-hungry hunters. ladinburgli: 1'(‘l. I The Big Man ( 18) (David Leland. t 'k’. 199(1) Liam .\'ccson. Joanne Whalley-Kilmcr. lan Bannen. Billy (‘oiinollyu 11(i mins. in this screen adaptation of William Mcllvanncy 's novel. liam Neeson turns in a powerful performance as unemployed ex-miner Danny Scoular.wliotakcsup underworld kingpin lan Baniien's offer of a potentially , lucrative bare-knuckle bout in one last effort to retain his dignity . The l momentum towards the fight and the central theme ofsmall town naiver versus 3 big city corruption lend the film a thrust and a scope that the ox erstrcssed subplotting: romantic (spouse Whalley-Kilmer‘s secondary affair) and comedic ((‘onnolly andcaninc l. unfortunately tends to nulily (ilasgow: ()deon.Strathclyde:1'('1(‘lydebaiik. 17(‘1liastKilbridc.WMRl-ilm(‘entrc, I Bill and Ted‘s Excellent Adventure ( l5 l (Stephen Herck. 1S. 199(1) Keanii Reeves. Alex Winter 91 minutes. Bill and I Ted have an ‘exccllcnt’ friendship. but their dream of forming a band called the ‘Wy ld Stallyns‘ is haunted by the spectre of flanking their history exams and being packed off to military academy . llow ev er. courtesy of a time-travelling telephone booth. the two dudes canter through the centuries on a breakneck refresher course where they meet up with the likcsot I; (ienghis Khan and Beethoven Problems multiply in this enjoyany nianicteen romp when this brace of historical figures make it back to contemporary (‘alifornia with them. Like. totally tubular. man. lidinburgh l'iiiversity l-ilm Society. I BlackRaini isiiRiaIe-y 511111.15. 1989) Michael Douglas. Andy (iarcia. Ken 'l'ak‘akiira. 135 mins. Not so much the land of the Rising Stiii as the land of Shiny Surfaces as adman extraordinaire returns to a set not unlike Blade Runner. 1 low ever. some promising ideas are shunted to the sidelinesby Douglas's sour