Cyrano 0e Bergerac (U) (Jean-Paul Rappeneau, France, 1990) Gerard Depardieu, Anne Brochet, Vincent Perez. 135 min. Three and a hall decades ago, the Young Turks oi the Cahiers du Cinema, that band oi pioneer critics (Godard, Truttaut and co) who were later to create the on-screen revolution oi the Nouvelle Vague, ranted and railed against the then current state oi iilm production in their native land. Le Cinema a Papa they called it, with relerence to the older generation oi mainstream French directors, attacking their complacent moralising and tired mlse-en-scene as outmoded in the changing ideological terrain ot the post-war world.
Jumo cut to the 90s. The doyens oi the New Wave are either dead, creatively spent or absorbed into the ever-durable mainstream and Jean-Paul Bappeneau’s Cyrano De Bergerac, is among the most successiul iilms ever made in France. A lavish adaptation oi Edmond Rostand’s textbook-status classic drama, retaining the original’s complex rhyming verse, it's also France's most expensive movie and teatures the country’s biggest star, Gerard Depardieu, giving one oi the best pertormances at his career in the lead. Along with Claude Berri's well-loved Jean 0e Florette/Manon Des Sources saga, it might also mark the apotheosis at our old triend Le Cinema a Papa. ‘A good story, well
“g i ,T 3:; ;’ told’ it certainly is, but chall nging in content ortorm . . . well, perhaps that would be expecting too much.
Not that this contextualising preamble is intended to diminish the impressive achievement that is Cyrano 0e Bergerac, tor Bappeneau and his scripting collaborator, the estimable Jean-Claude Carriere, have brought to the screen a swaggering romantic showstopperthat will be enjoyed by a much wider audience than regularly enters through the portals oi your nearest arthouse. The story- sensitive soul with spectacular proboscis in wooing-by-proxy situation —will already be iamiliar to many through the recent Steve Martin American comedy update Roxanne, but here the stress is on the two distinct sides to the protagonist: the swashbuckling man oi action and the tortured suiierer at the hand at Cupid’s cruellest caprice.
In this way, Rappeneau’s tilm scores as both costume spectacle (see 2000 extras!) and universal emotional parable, and with the uniorced elan oi Anthony Burgess’s English subtitles preserving the literary spirit oi the French and propelling events towards a truly grandstand iinale, you’d need to be a grumpy Godard snob indeed not to enjoy yourseli. Still, did the world really go through A Bout De Souitle to end up here . . .7 (Trevor Johnston)
Glasgow Film Theatre 20 Jan—2 Feb. Edinburgh Filmhouse 13 Jan—2 Feb.
Edinburgh University Film Society.
I The Exorcist (18) (William Friedkin. US. 1973) Linda Blair. Ellen Burstyn. Max Von Sydow. 11(1mins. Earnest priest Von Sydow steps in to save poor little obsessed girl in this hugely effective scarefest. Dead good. dead scarey, dead priest. Glasgow: Cannon Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh: Cameo. Strathclyde: Odeon Ayr.
I Exorcist 2: The Heretic ( 18) (John Boorman. US. 1977) Richard Burton, Louise Fletcher. Linda Blair. 110 mins. The horror film that once turned heads receives an unworthy sequel in this silly mumbo-jumbo about priest Burton trying to understand the demons still lurking within the hapless Ms Blair. Edinburgh: Cameo.
I Flatliners(18) (Joel Schumacher. US. 1990) Keifer Sutherland, Julia Roberts, Kevin Bacon. 111 mins. An arresting new
adventure ﬂick in which the bankable Julia Pretty Woman Roberts plus Messrs Sutherland Jnr and Bacon play a band of medical students exploring the fine line between life and death. By tampering with life support machines they‘re able to reach the moment when all the vital signs have stopped and the monitors are showing ﬂat lines (hence the title). before being brought back by their associates but the side-effects of the process are to prove dangerously unexpected. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge. Odeon. Edinburgh: Odeon. UCl. Strathclyde: UCl Clydebank, UCI East Kilbride.
I Flash Gordon 2 (18) (Howard T. Ziehm. US, 1990) Vincent Murdocco, Robyn Kelly, Tony Travis, William Dennis Hunt. 103 mins. In the early 1970s. you could get away with sexploitation comedies like Flesh Gordon, with hordes of naked
women fleeing giant. phallic spaceships. gay robots and names like Master Bator. Today? Maybe it's the Safe Sex backlash: maybe it‘s capitalist decadence. Or maybe — just maybe — there's still a market for schoolboy humour. Roger and out. as the publicity puts it. Edinburgh: UCl. Strathclyde: UCl Clydebank. UCl East Kilbride.
I The Fly (18) (David Cronenberg. US. 1986) Jeff Goldblum. Geena Davis. 100 mins. Brilliant reconceptualisation ofthe camp 1958 classic, with Goldblum highly effective as the scientist whose experiments in teleportation go disastrously wrong. and his wife Davis no less impressive as the love of hislife. Special effects superlatively revolting. tension sustained throughout. Glasgow: Grosvenor.
I The Freshman (PG) (Andrew Bergman. US. 1990) Matthew Broderick, Bruno Kirby, Marlon Brando. Maximilian Schell. 102 mins. The youthful-looking Broderick arrives in New York to begin a course in film studies. and immediately falls prey to Kirby‘s hustler. Worse isto come. though. when Kirby makes amends by introducing him to Uncle Brando. a wealthy but shady figure. who makes him an offer he can't readily refuse. The Godfather parodies are of course deliberate (Broderick's course even includes a seminar on the film) and the movie‘s knowing humour. spot-on casting and escalating suspense give it an irresistible charm. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I The Garden ( 18) (Derek Jarman. UK. 1990) Tilda Swinton. Johnny Mills, Kevin Collins, Roger Cook. 92 mins. Jarman‘s latest film, shot partly in his own garden in Dungeness. preserves the extra-narrative direction of his earlier work. but bears witness to a growing intensity. The story that gradually emerges parallels the suffering of Christ with a latterday passion story about the oppression ofhomosexuals in modern Britain. with mortality a
palpable presence. linking Christ’s‘ impending death loosely with Jarman‘s own HIV-positive status. The film willof course be damned by the Whitehouse contingent. but has an emotional — even spiritual — quality that is both typical Jarman and genuinely transcendant ofthe normal limits of cinematic art. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I Gentlemen Preter Blondes (PG) (Howard Hawks. US. 1953) Marilyn Monroe. Jane Russell. Charles Coburn. 91 mins. Two girls from Little Rock make it big in Paris. lnconsequential comedy musical from the Anita Loos novel, made watchable by the ebullient stars and the production number ‘Diamonds Are A Girl‘s Best Friend‘. Edinburgh: Cameo. I Ghost ( 12) (Gerry Zucker. US. 199()) Patrick Swayze. Demi Moore. Whoopi Goldberg. Tony Goldwyn. 126 mins. An ersthwile happy couple are split up when Patrick Swayze falls victim to a late night mugging. Not content merely to pass-on however. he returns to try and get backin touch with Demi Moore. via medium Whoopi Goldberg in order to warn her about some financial shenanigans. Jerry Zucker's amiable supernatural. comedy~drama has been the surprise box-office success of the year and is charming audiences here. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge. Cannon Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh: Cannon. Dominion, UCl. Strathclyde: Odeon Ayr. UCl Clydebank. UCl East Kilbride. I The Golden Braid ( 15) (Paul Cox. Australia. 199(1) Chris Haywood. Gosia Dobrowolska. Paul ('hubb. 91 mins. Romantic tragi-comedy. in which llaywood’s antique-collector discovers a braid of golden hair in an 18th-century cabinet. llis developing obession with it leads to alienation and worse. but luckily his lover (Dobrowolska) is on hand to restore his delicate soul to health. A dated-looking but intelligent and life-affirming movie from the land that
“An unexpected little gem...a delight in the absurd that is entirely original...
A FILM” Barry Norman - Film '90
“Sophisticated satire... an unqualified treat”
“Higth imaginative and wonderfully intoxicating”
“one or THE BEST COMEDIES 0" T115 l?”
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16 - 19 JANUARY
The List 11— 24 January 199125