Riff-Raff (15) (Ken Loach, UK, 1991) Robert Carlyle, Emer McCourt, Ricky Tomlinson, Jimmy Coleman. 94 mins. Already selected for the Directors’ Fortnight atthis year’s Cannes, Loach‘s latest offering should do no harm at all to his European reputation as one of our very finest film-makers. A return to the ostensibly low-key documentary-influenced approach of his earlierwork (notably 1981’s magnificent Looks And Smiles), Riff-Raff’s tough but good-humoured study of life on the very fringes of our society is still shrewdly analytical enough to tick off a number of political points without resorting to the hectoring approach some found problematic in Loach‘s last couple of features.

Glaswegian-in-London Stevie (Carlyle) has big plans fora boxer-shorts-and-coloured-socks empire, but until he can find the wherewithal to fund his pipe dream it's another night in a tower block squat and another grinding day on the building site where itinerant workers from all overthe country have gathered

to scrape the’ most meagre of livings.

Although paternal Scouser Larry (ex-BrooksiderTomlinson) is on hand to spell out the wider ideological implications of their plight, for these

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Wgamsflg GUY DE MAUPASSAN‘I' "A director of exceptional sensitivity"

Derek Malcolm THE GUARDIAN


Anna Campion‘s BROKEN SKIN An 11 minute Drama starring Miranda Richardson 'lN COMPETITION“ Cannes Film Festival 1991


men, daily existence offers little of the comforting infrastructure (home, bank account, civil rights) many of us take for granted. Stevie’s chance meeting with aspiring Irish singer Susan (McCourt) throws up a hopeful new relationship, but he soon comes to realise that her struggle for respect and recognition runs along the same lines as his own, and that the price of survival for both of them could be a telling one.

At one time being developed under the Puttnam regime at Columbia, the film‘s eventual completion and release 5 is a tribute to the persistence of writer Bill Jesse, whose lowly financial status , atone point forced him into work on building sites, which explains the totally convincing detail on view. The salty dialogue and acid witofthe la... ll-:-. up. .. various workmen make for a few more laughs that we're used to in a Loach movie, butthe hugely enjoyable comic 1"“ ' elements are artfully dovetailed into r the more serious prognosis of the rest of the material. You’ll come out having been entertained and having learnt something; an irresistible combination, and a moving testament to Jesse, who sadly died just before the film‘s completion. (TrevorJohnston)


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the sperm of six distinguished men. and the resulting offspring grows up in isolation to be our man Arnie. However. an unexpected side-effect is runty brother De Vito, and when the two finally meet up. their search to find their mother isthc catalyst for unlikely buddihood. Released within weeks of Rain Man. this is an amiably silly farce. and Schwarzenegger proves as adept with the comedy as old hand De Vito. Glasgow: Grosvenor. lVice Versa (PG) (Brian Gilbert. US. 1988) Judge Reinhold. Fred Savage. Swoozie Kurtz. 98 mins. A mystical eastern vase enables yuppie businessman Reinhold to change places with his precocious schoolboy son for the day. with near-disastrous consequences. Modern variation on a well worn comic theme that manages little but predictable farce and desperate mugging from Reinhold. Perhaps if your mind had been taken over

by an eleven year-old this might be your kind of movie. Strathelyde: l.'(‘l liast Kilbride.

I War Party ( 18) (Franc Roddam. ITS. 1989) Kevin Dillon. Billy Writhfl'im Sampson. M. Emmet Walsh. Matthew li. Montoya. 96 mins. In the wake ofDmtr'es ll'r'rli Wolves comes another attempt to expose the fate of native Americans. Here. the setting is contemporary. though it harks back to pioneer days. centring on a rc-enactment ofthe Milk River Battle. at which Indians were slaughtered by the ['8 Cavalry. Everything gets out ofhand when personal vendettas nudge the conflict beyond play-acting. with the result that a groupof Indians(ineltulingthe distinctly pale-faced Dillon) head for the hills in search of sanctuary. pursued by tracker Walsh. l-{njoyable iflightweight action thriller. (ilasgow: (‘annon 'l’he l-‘orge. lidinburgh: l'('l.

'l’he list 1‘) April 2 May 199123