' IMisery(18) KathyBates

I Coming 0ut(15) Simplistic but intelligent East German studyof sexual identity. as a gay teacher attempts to settle down with a woman. but finds himself irresistibly drawn to a teenage boy. Set in pre-united. gay-bashing Berlin. the film is dated but uncompromising. Glasgow Film Theatre from Sun 1‘).

I Fllotax ( 12) Escaped con Jim Belushi happens upon the personal organiser belonging to exec Charles Grodin. and rapidly assumes a yuppie identity and lifestyle. to the horror ofthe filofax's normal user. Glasgow Cannon The Forge and Odeon. Edinburgh Odeon and all UCIs from Fri 17.

l LAStory ( 15) Steve Martin wrote and stars as a flamboyant weatherman in a lighthearted satire. sending up the excesses of love and life in Beverly Hills as only a Hollywood star can. See preview. All Cannons and UCls from Fri 17.

won Best Actress Oscar for her part in Rob Reiner‘s second Stephen King adaptation. She stars

as Annie. a psychotic fan who traps successful but

artistically frustrated author James Caan in isolation after he is injured in a car accident. and then beginsto torment him insufferably. See feature. Very wide rclea‘se frotn Fri 17.


32 The List l7— 3() May 199]

t :-

City of angfil

. ;

Steve Martin’s latest j comedy extravaganza LA ?

3 Story comes from his own i pen, and casts an ironic

eye over the follies and foibles of his adopted city.

: Trevor Johnston talks to

the film’s British director . Mick Jackson as A Midsummer Night’s

Dream goes Hollywood.

With LA Story. the latest film from Steve Martin. the King ofComedy resumes the twin acting/ screenwriting career he began four years ago with the Middle American Cyrano romp Roxanne. Here. Martin stars as wacky television weatherman Harris K. 'I‘elemacher. seriously adrift in the midst of Los Angeles‘ ordinary madness. where motorists randomly exchange gunfire on the freeway and the designer enema is the latest gateway to new age consciousness.

Fired from his job for taping the weekend weather report. on the rebound from a failed relationship. and finding some solace in the arms ofspaced-out boutique assistant (Sarah Jessica Parker). his salvation comes in the unlikely form of mysterious personal messages from an electronic freeway sign. Indeed. LA could be about to work a miracle as Harris finally finds true romance with a newcomer. an English journo played by Martin‘s wife Victoria


Tennant. Providing. that is. she doesn‘t go back to her Home Counties art dealer (Richard E. Grant) before the moonstruck meteorologist can plight his troth.

Enjoyably crammed with Martinesque non-sequiturs (how many films can you name where a crucial plot revolves around a Manfred Mann hit and a tuba?) the most endearing aspect of LA Story is not the sweetly romantic worldview. for from Roxanne we know Martin is the biggest ofsofties at heart. Instead. and rather than take the short cut to easy laughter in a profusion ofjibes at kooky Californians. the film turns the sprawling Pacific seaboard conurbation into a place ofglowing colours. lush vegetation and utter wonderment round every corner.

Much ofthe credit for this is down to the agile guiding hand of British . director Mick Jackson. Here ' helming his second American feature (the dour prison drama Chattahoochee is due for UK release soon). Jackson is best known to British television viewers as the man g behind heavyweight dramas like the 1 post-apocalypse chronicle Threads and the genetics piece Life Story. but i it seems the sheer visual energy he brought to the acclaimed mini-series A Very British Coup was enough to convince Hollywood producer Dan Melnick that he was the man to see LA from the point ofview of an outside sensibility.

‘lnitially. actually. I read the script and told Steve Martin that I didn't think I could bring anything to it.‘

Sarah Jessica Parker and Steve Martin in LA St

\_ . m3

recalls Jackson. ‘but then I re-read it 2 and discovered that beneath the sweetness of the surface there was l this real underlying thread ofmagic. For me. the talking freeway sign was like Puck from A Midsummer l Night's Dream. a magical spirit who weaves the destiny of these over-sophisticated mortals into unusual patterns and alliances. Sol began to see LA itself as some great enchanted forest and we loaded up on even more palm trees and lots of orchids. The film just doesn't have that harsh look to it that you get from all the TV cop shows. because I gave the cameraman lots of books on Manet and Renoir. We wanted the warmth and mystery of French impressionist masters and not TJ. Hooker.‘

Exuding the confident air ofa man L who‘s come a long way since his years in BBC Science Features (he’s just been signed to direct Kevin Costner's new movie The l Bodyguard) Jackson has now sold his London home and joined the ranks ofthe British film talents who‘ve gone West. ‘There was one day when we really needed the sun, and Dan the producer was getting a bit edgy.‘ he recalls with a quiet grin. ‘And you knpw I don‘t think he‘d ever noticed just how beautiful the sun through the smog can look on screen. I guess the natives are just too busy worrying about their lungs. All I can say is that the Pacific definitely beats Chiswiek.’

LA Story has a wide release at Cannons and U Cls from Fri 17.