1984) Julia Migenes-Johnson, Placido Domingo, Ruggiero Raimondi. 152 mins. Beautifully visual and excellently performed film record of Bizet‘s classic operatic tale, in which two men are bewitched and destroyed by a dangerously sensual gypsy woman. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I Casablanca (PG) (Michael Curtiz, US, 1942) Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Dooley Wilson. 102 mins. You must rememberthis. . . Bogart being impossibly noble, Bergman torn between two lovers, Claude Rains playing both ends against the middle. devious Nazis, a fogbound airport, a piano-player tinkling that tune. . . A'wonderful hill ofbeans. Glasgow: Grosvenor. I The Cheviot, The Stag And The Black, Black Oil (PG) (John McGrath, UK. 1973) John Bett, Alex Norton, Bill Paterson, Elizabeth MacLennan, David MacLennan, Dolina MacLennan. Alan Ross. 100 mins. Film record of McGrath’s milestone ceilidh play for 7:84 Scotland, about Scottish history from the Highland Clearances to the North Sea oil boom. It was the first theatre show ever totour Scotland‘s Highlands and Islands, and provided a model of radical political theatre which McGrath and others are still employing and developing twenty years later. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I Cinema Paradiso (PG) (Giuseppe Tornatorc. Italy/France, 1988) Phillipe Noiret, Jacques Perrin, Salvatore Cascio. 123 mins. Tornatore‘s vision of his movie-mad childhood is a wonderful love letter to the cinema itself. Told largely in flashback, it traces the young Salvatore‘s infatuation with his village cinema, and his growing friendship with its projectionist (played to perfection by Noiret). Essentially. it‘s Tornatore‘s lament forthc joyous movie-going experience ofhis youth and a recognition of the price we pay for our maturity. 1990 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film. Edinburgh: Cameo. I The Comfort 0f Strangers ( 18) (Paul Schrader, US, 1990) Rupert Everett, Natasha Richardson, Christopher Walken. Helen Mirren. 105 mins. Ian McEwan‘s short novel of sexual power games and the perception-warping possibilities of culture shock is inherently hard to film. Schrader and his excellent cast give it their best shot, the Venetian locations and sets are luscious and Harol Pinter‘s screenplay is surprisingly faithful. But the narrative tension and pace on which the novel relies are conspicuously absent. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I Crossing Delancey (PG) (Joan Micklin Silver, US, 1988) Amy Irving. Peter Ricgert. Jeroen Krabbe. 96 mins. Career woman Izzy (Irving) is happily single in New York when her grandmomma decides to take the matter of marriage in hand. and hires Hannah the matchmaker to get her hitched. The proposed match of pickle vendor Sam (Riegert) does not at first appeal, but gradually hearts melt, and the film moves to a romantic conclusion which sidesteps schmaltz at every turn. Strong scripting and sympathetic performances make this a must for incurable romantics. Strathclyde:

Haldane Film Society.

% I Dance And Animation Programme (PG) Part of the Filmhouse‘s International

A vant-Garde Films: New Underground Classics season, this programme includes 1988‘s ‘The Embrace‘ by Bouvier and Obadia. Richard Philpott‘s fanciful springtime piece ’The Flora Faddy. Furry : Dance Day‘ and the inimitable Orson Welles reading Coleridge's ‘Rime OfThe Ancient Mariner‘ to the accompaniment of Gustav Dore‘s elaborate etchings, in a film directed by Larry Jordan. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.

; I Dances With Wolves ( 12) (Kevin

Costner. US, 199(1) Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene, Rodney Grant. 179 mins. Costner's debut as

.\ g>r

Nick Park’s well-earned Oscar for

i Creature Comforts has had the fringe

; director and co-producer. in which he also : stars. has already been widely praised for

his contemporaries. The Besth British Animation screening serves up an exciting top ten of innovative works, occasionally too tricksy or obscure, but always offering a welcome alternative to Disney and Roger Rabbit.

Creature Comforts is probably still the most satisfying, transforming our mundane complaints and comments about life in Britain into something rich and strange via a motley collection of putty-faced 200 animals. The moderately content tortoise which has since found stardom on the Heat Electric ads- is a particular favourite, but so too is the Brazilian big cat whose fat paws spread in dismay at the lack of space in the zoo/country. The animals’ expressions are remarkable, but the piece has something else about it as well. We are so used to hearing actors’ complete sentences and polished prose in even the grittiest of TV fictions, that it is a real treat to discover ! an art which rejoices in the ’ers' and ‘ums’ of real-life dialogue.

The same technique is at work in War Story by Peter Lord, also from Aardman Studios. The old man's rambling reminiscences of crooked houses and bomb shelters under the stairs are amusing, but it is the animation that really brings his stories to life.

By no means all the works are as cosy. Toxic by Andrew McEwan is particularly nasty, playing on the idea of pickled animal foetuses escaping from their pickle jars, then engaging in an incomprehensible fight with what looks like a pile of Jack Straws. The Quay Brothers’ The Comb is even

benefit of highlighting a whole host of i i !

Creature Comforts directed by Nick Park

weirder. I think we’ve all had enough of dolls being made to look sinister, but this one-a ‘princeling according to the notes behaves sufficiently oddly to more or less hold our attention. Climbing up ladder after ladder, it almost but not quite intrudes into the bed of the woman who is supposedly dreaming his adventures. The film feels overlong (at 18 minutes) but it is full of memorable images-a pair of hands flitting like a moth, a fingernail dragged with just too much force against a comb, a broken bone dripping blood, an evil pillow. ..

0n the whole, l preferthe straightforward bogey of Mark Baker’s The Hill Farm. A big grey monster given to worrying sheep, it proves equally successful scaring hill-walking holiday-makers, but that’s just a small part of this parable about looking after nature. This is one of the funniest animations: see the thirsty chickens hurl themselves en masse into a pail of water, see the farmer’s wile break the chicken’s neck in front of the camera-crazy tourist.

There’s plenty more to see as well - Erica Russell’s wonderfully sexy African dancing accomplished with the

: minimum of suggestive lines and 2 graphics; a crazy gothic version of a

Russell Hoban poem from David Anderson but part of the fun comes

e from being surprised by what comes

next. ‘Next’ by the way turns out to be the complete works of Shakespeare

i performed by one very versatile actor

(eatyour heart outJohn Sessions). But that’s enough information. Next is for you to judge for yourselves. (Stephanie Billen)

Edinburgh Filmhouse Wed 15—Sun 19 May.

its epic scale and its sympatheticdepiction ; of Red Indian culture in the 1860. ltwon

seven Oscars including Best Film and Best Director, with no less than twelve nominations. Set at a remote outpost i during the American Civil War, a time of violent struggle between pioneering i Yankees and Sioux Indians, it offers a sensitive and intense analysis ofboth factions. and of a man caught between two different cultures. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge. Cannon Sauchiehall Street. Edinburgh: Cannon. UCI. Strathclyde: Odeon Ayr. UCI Clydebank. UCI East Kilbride.

I Days Of Hope Parts 3 and 4 (Ken Loach, UK. 1975) Paul Copley, Nikolas Simmonds. Pamela Brighton, Norman Tyrrel. Gary Roberts. Edward Underwood. John Phillips. 1924: The First Labour Government 77 mins; 1926: The General Strike 132 mins. The second half of the four-part television docu-drama written by Jim Allen. about ten years of the British Labour movement. as seen through the lives of three working people and from a Socialist perspective. A milestone of its genre, and a chance to assess the political commitment of Loach‘s earlier work. Glasgow: GET.

I December Bride (PG) (Thaddeus O‘Sullivan, Eire, 1990) Donal McCann,

Saskia Reeves, Ciaran Hinds, Patrick 7 Malahide. 90 mins. Highly unusual romantic drama set in rural Northern Ireland at the turn ofthe century. Reeves plays a woman with two lovers, who happen to be brothers. Despite all social pressures, the three maintain astable menage, but conflict is inevitable. Slow but beautifully shot on bleak location, this is a unique and absorbing feature debut for O'Sullivan. Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I 0le Tracy (PG) (Warren Beatty, US, 1990) Warren Beatty, Madonna, Al Pacino, Dustn Hoffman. 113 mins. Producer/director/star Beatty resurrects Chester Gould‘s vintage cop comic strip with original primary colours intact and engagingly misshapen crew of rubberized villains faithfully preserved. Amidst a sea ofpcriod kitsch backdrops screaming irony, the well worn drama oflaw enforcement is played out by a cast of cardboard cliches who remain just that. Madonna‘s brash floozy and Pacino‘s hammy megalomania enliven things from time to time, but the material remains so fossilised it‘s hard for all concerned to work up much of a head of steam. Full marks for all the trappings though. Glasgow: GF’I‘. I Die Hard (18) (John McTiernan, US, 1988) Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia. 131 mins. Willis plays a cop who attends a tower block party with his estranged spouse. The building is raided by terrorists, so it‘s left to Willis to bump off the baddies and save the hostages while the police and FBI languish ineptly on the sidelines. Unbearany tense actioner that gets good mileage out of yawning lift-shafts and flying bullets, while Willis is convincing as an ordinary guy trying to cope with it all. Watch out for Brit Rickman as a villain with a sense of humour. Edinburgh: Cameo. I Die Hard 2: Die Harder (18) (Renny Harlin, US, 1990) Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, William Atherton. 122 mins. Detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) is spending Christmas in Washington, but as he waits at the airport for his wife‘s flight to get in the whole place is taken overby terrorists. Needless to say action man Bruce jumps in there to sort them out, but he‘d better be quick because the baddies are refusing to let his missus‘s plane land. Usual patterned sequel that's like the original, only more so with much moolah spent on the explosions and superhero Willis battling a screenplay oftowering mediocrity. Edinburgh: Cameo. I The Doors (18) (Oliver Stone, US, 1990) Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, Kyle I MacLachlan, Kevin Dillon, Frank 3 Whalley. 141 mins. It‘s 1966, andJim i

Morrison, aspiring poet and film-maker, joins a band ad transforms himself into the Dionysus of the Love Generation. From that point on, there‘s no let-up until his bathtime demise as an overwight alcoholic, aged 27. Kilmer‘s superb characterisation as Morrison dominates to such an extent that the other actors struggle to assert themselves even one~dimensionally, and little insight is given into what fired Morrison's self-destructive genius. Still, Stone‘s ‘tits ’n' acid‘ version of The Doors‘ history, while selective and highly inaccurate, is never boring. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge, Grosvenor, Odeon. Edinburgh: Odeon, UCI. Strathclyde: Odeon Hamilton, UCI Clydebank UCI East Kilbride.

I Drugstore Cowboy (18) (Gus Van Sant Jr. , US, 1989) Matt Dillon, Kelly Lynch, James Remar, William S. Burroughs. 100 mins. A gang of dope fiends blithely ripoff a series of drugstores headed by our Matt who gives his best performance to date in Gus Van Sant‘s recreation of 1971 Oregon. Complete with its hallucinatory visions of flying cows the film created a stir stateside for presenting the theft and use of narcotics as an alluring pastime. It marks a new and more creditable

36 The List 3- 16 May 1991