Once again lt'stimeto settle down with a six pack and survey thetortnight's leading video releases.

I The Big Man The main attraction of this year's Edinburgh Film Festival makes the leaponto video-tape in a remarkably short space of time. Unemployed miner. Danny Seoular ( Liam Neeson). reluctantly agrees to put up his fists for hard cash in a bare knuckle fight. ln doingso he risks losing his wife

: (.loanneWhalley-Kilmei')

and Llesifeitds lllli ; a seedy


ruthless hood Mali Masson (lan Bannen ). David l.eland was chiefly responsible for the successful transferance of Mcllvanney ‘s novel into a tough. taut liliii with some excellent performances by


(Palace. Rental)

I Nuns on the Run liric Idle and Robbie (‘oltrane team up as two small—time crooks who get caught up in the kind ofplot that would have made the (‘hildren‘s i‘ilm Foundation rub their hands with glee. Despite i'unningthrough a cheek-list otsight gags from British films of the (vlls. the whole thing is undeniably runny . the two old troopers having enough panache toearry the film and turn what could hay e been tired cliches into fast-paced comedy. 'l'his nun will run and run. ((7BS'l-‘ox. Rental)

I AWOL Not a big

' box-ol‘ticesuccess, It is

however.astepiip from theusual

state-of-tlic-punch movie. as Jean (‘laudc Van

l)amnie takes unofficial

leav e from the l'rencli Foreign Legion when his frerc gets killed in an LA drug teud. 'l‘he bulging \"an l‘)amme strangely steers away from revenge

- and prefers to support his

sister-in-law by taking up

bigbucksbare-knuckle boxmg.'l‘hesentiiiienis

and the villains are way over the ti p but Van Damme prov es to be more than a mere beel'cake w ith

a mouth making the w hole more human than most

action movies. ((iudd.


it. ) ’1‘43‘



l 1 Box watch "' Madonna Louise Ciccone has become a , C" a." lot better known since she dropped her «I last two names. At least, her mug has. ’5. I Behind the visage, which has tronted a :

. on the works at El Salvador‘s principal writers and looks at the lite ot the


82'l‘he List 7 —- 2t) December l99()-

over 200 magazines, she remains largely aloot trom the press pack. So the Omnibus production team moved like startled rabbits when altered the opportunity tor a ‘lull and lrank‘ interview with the image-conscious is New Yorker. They set out to get at the person behind the legend and, ot course, their interest had nothing to do with the release at her salacious new video. Despite the cult ol Madonnaology: (in the States there is a course at Harvard which analyses her songs and statements tor leminist messages) an Omnibus interview marks her coming ol age over here. (Omnibus: Madonna: Behind the American Dream, Fri 7 Dec, 10.20—11.20pm.) ' Meanwhile, priorto the usual lavish 3 Christmas spread, lTV have announced f a package ot programmes commissioned tor next year worth a cool £120 million. About hall at this tigure is being spent on drama. Scottish TV‘s contribution to this package, currently in production, is Advocates, a three~parter based on the legal protession (the clue was in the title) and the drug problem in Edinburgh. The series, written by Alma

Madonna: moody in black and white

Cullen and starring lsla Blair, Stella Gonetand Ewan Stewart, will be ' screened on the IT)! network early next spnng.

Next spring at course also heralds the auctioning olt ot lTV tranchises and Scottish will be relieved to hearthat Radio Clyde, who have just announced a healthy annual prolit, have no plans to venture into the world of telly. Radio Clyde's managing director, James Gordon, stressed recently that he believed the real area of growth in the luture was radio, not television. Which, come to think ol it, doesn’t give that much cheer to prospective rivals tor the Scottish Television franchise. (Ross Parsons)

endurance in Salvadorean literature.

_ Radio

There are rumblings ot rumba and

more than a hint of cha cha cha in the Decemberairwith several radio programmes looking to Latin America s‘ lor inspiration this month. On Radio 2, Venezuelan Edmundo Ros's birthday indulgences include playing some at

his tavourite samba, as well as some cheery reminisces about the good old days ot big hands and nightclubs which ; l doubled up as air raid shelters. (Edmundo Ros’s 80th Birthday, Radio 2, 11 Dec, 9.02 pm). On Radio 5, Tony Slattery gets to grips with one ol history’s most determined social-climbers, Eva Peron. Evita's drive and charisma were instrumental in securing her husband Juan Peron’s rise to the presidency. Her rags-to-riches background and her apparent concern tor the underdog made her a people’s hero. But was she? No doubt Tony has the answers. (Cult Heroes, Radio 5, 11 Dec, 8pm). A 45-minute teature on Radio 3 centres

John Cleese agonises over the problems ol lamily lite.

bravery as, torthe tirst time ever, radio

brings us 007. In You Only Live Twice.

Bond‘s wile has been killed by his

deadly enemy, Blotield; his low morale

and slipping standards make him a

good candidate lor pensioning ott. But

M decides to give one him more chance

. . . (Radio 4, 15 Dec, 2.30pm). Also on

Radio 4, and no doubt intended (or

those who live in dread at Family

Christmases, is the first in a series of

Families and How to Survive Them,

based on the book by John Cleese and .

his ex-shrink, Robin Skynner. Cleese =

and Skynner will discuss a number at '

the ditticulties people lace within the

- tamily and, when words tail them, illustrate some at their points with

, extracts trom well-known sit-coms and

5 soap operas. (Radio 4,12 Dec, 12.25pm). (Miranda France)

legendary Miguel Marmot —a trade-unionist who escaped death tourteen times and became a symbol ol

(The Fourteen Resurrections ol Miguel Marmol, Radio 3,14 Dec, 9.35pm).

Ol course, James Bond was still in nappies when he escaped death tor the lourteenth time. Now listeners have a chance to marvel at this paragon at

I Sport Cone Crazy Despite an over- abundance of racing-car smashes put in by some crazed Top Gear fan. this compilation offunni'cs from [TN is very amusing. in places. Though it occasionally loses the 5 thread with some l after-the-break nonsense. like a skate-boarding dog or a village pig race. the cricketing cock-ups and the lootball foul-ups make it worth a .s'liufiie once the pubs shut. (Video (’ollection £9.99)

I King ot the Wind Navin ('howdry plays a mute Arab kid who grooms tempestuous horse Sham for the Bey of'l‘unis(a ruler. not a geographical area) in this adaptation of Marguerite l lenry‘s novel. The pair. horse and boy. are w hisked from the court of Louis XV to Newgate Gaol with various ex-members of the Agar/iii Christie 11’ .S‘pceiul club popping up throughout. Peter Duffell I has nevertheless come up

with a delightful film which kids will take to like a horse to water. (Vestroii. Rental) I Look Back in Anger Someone must have told (‘astle that nowadays you could get anythingon video. save the kitchen sink. So they responded by releasingaclutch of kitchen-sink dramas full or seething young men being alternately retrospective and introspective. Alsoon release at the same time for the same price are Hie Loneliness oft/2c Long

[Nuance Runner and .S‘iiiuriluv .Vie/ir and Sunday Morning (Castle l’ietures. £9.99)

I lndie Top Video Take Five Released as ‘thc

companion tape“ to the popular lndie 'l'op'l'wenty album put out by Beechwood music it features lil'leeti tracks including ones from The Pixies. l'low ei'ed L'p. 'l'he Shainen and RH"

(Virgin. £9.99)

I Eat a Bowl olTea 'lraditional ways are

pitted against the new in Wayne ( his pa was a i Western fan ) Wang‘s black comedy . centred on I the immigrant ('hinese population of post WWII America. lien toy is torced to marry a young (littlest: bride in the traditional manner by his lather. To his surprise, Loy. is quite happy with the chosen girl. until he returns to New York and finds himself impotent. So w hen his bride takes a lover. the young groom turns to a traditional remedy. A delightfully dark comedy.

(RCA Colombia, Rental)