I Charles Chaplin Triple-Bill (PG) First ever chance to see 1931‘s City Lights plus two Chaplin shorts with live orchestral accompaniment. Carl Davis conducts the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s interpretation of Chaplin’s own score for the main feature. and has himself composed music to accompany the support ﬁlms. See Music Preview, page 30. Thurs6 (Edinburgh): Sat 15 (Glasgow).
_‘ c I Dr Peliot ( 12) French wartime serial killer drama directed by Christian de Callonge and starring Michel Serrault. One of five new films to' be premiered as a tribute to the sponsors of the GFT‘s second screen. The others, to be shown one per day, are Recollections Of The Yellow House (Tue 11), Noce Blanche (Thurs 13),]0urney Of Hope (Fri 14) and Trust (Sat 15).
another Stephen King adaptation, directed by Pet Sematary's associate producer Ralph S. Singleton. We‘re back on familiar, monster-movie territory here, but there‘s a wonderful performance from rent-a-psycho Brad Dourif as a deranged rat-catcher. From Fri 31. I Guilty By Suspicion (15) Robert De Niro stars as a successful Hollywood director whose career is ruined by whispers during the anti-communist witch-hunts of the early 19508. Directed by veteran producer Irwin Winkler. the movie co-stars Annette Bening and Sam Wanamaker - who was himself
and features Martin Scorsese in a minor role. See feature on page 12. From Fri 31.
18The List31May—l3June 1991
blacklisted by the HUAC.
g _ ‘ Forward
Thom Dibdin welcomes the proliferation of
home-grown videos on the
A feast of fourteen short films is coming to the Glasgow Film Theatre on Wednesday 5 June. Nothing too unusual about that, except that these ', amateur productions are a far cry
2 from the snooze-ville product normally associated with new, micro-budgeted, film makers.
and video makers‘ are the best fourteen of45 scripts submitted to the Glasgow Film and Video Workshop last December. They
and funding from the Glasgow District Council Festivals Unit and the Scottish film Council.
The high quality ofthe films is partially attributable to the
had to go through to get their budgets. ‘Some entries were far too ambitious.‘ the GFVW‘s co-ordinator Pete Gregson remembers, ‘really arty effects which you could not achieve on 16mm without a very large budget. Some of the scripts were very derivative of television, and some were
competitive process that the makers ;
‘Screenworks by new Glasgow film '
were made using GFVW equipment :
inaccessible to anyone but the writer.‘
While films like Reclamation — a short film about staying aﬂoat and The Stolen Orange will suffer from being categorised as ‘experimental‘ because they do not fit any preconceived niche, they are lucid and innovative pieces. However, not
i all the artistic films work. Reﬂections
had this reviewer reaching for the fast forward button during the
preview tape. But worry not, it was
the only one of the fourteen.
Coherence was not the only criteria used in choosing the scripts. ‘There was also the question ofwhether we were contributing to film culture.‘ Gregson points out. ‘Often things look worthy, because of the benefits that are going to accrue to the
participants, but then you ask if it is going to be suitable. Why aren‘t they doing it on VHS in their own time'?’
Don't Feel Sad, the Dawn is Blind in Bagdad. which examines the trials ofan lraqi artist exiled in Glasgow and is the only documentary on show, is a good example of extending the bounds of film. Using a mixture ofdramatic reconstruction and shots of the artist‘s own painting, Aimara Reques has managed to produce an empathy with her subject rarely seen in professional films.
While the project has helped the GFVW to help Glasgow‘s budding film makers with relatively fat grants, over in Edinburgh the Lothian Video Users Group is operating on the proverbial shoe string. To mark the group‘s re-launch as the Video Access Centre, Night of the Video Upstarts, a retrospective of the most entertaining and stimulating videos produced over the last five years, will be shown at the Filmhouse on Wednesday 12 June.
Featuring a high proportion ofpop videos, notably from artist Joe Story Scott, the programme shows that there is just as much innovation at work in Edinburgh as in Glasgow. The problem is that there is not enough money to help it bloom. But films such as Graham Henderson‘s In vasion ofthe Kebab Snatchers show that you don‘t need a large budget to tell a humorous story well.
Screen works, Glasgow Film
Theatre '3 Cinema 2 on Wed 5 June, 7.30pm.
Night of the Video Upstarts, Edinburgh Filmhouse, Wed 12 June. 6pm and 7.30pm.
Trouble at t’ mill
i The current box-oitice success at the
Oscar-winning Misery is but another
chapter in Hollywood’s long-running
lnlatuation with the works oi Stephen
King. Since Brian DePalma's 1976
l adaptation oi Carrie hit the screens
only two years alter it appeared as the
author’s debut novel, a subsequent
twenty-seven books and seventeen
1 films have transformed King lrom a best-selling horrorwriter into a
i sell-contained industry working inside
! the genre. And now comes iilm number
i eighteen - Graveyard Shilt— based on
. the third short story that King ever sold,
i way back in 1970.
i The latest King vogue has a strong
: commercial basis in the $55 million
1 success ot1989’s Pet Semetary.
| Producer oi that iilm and director at
Graveyard Shilt is Ralph S. Singleton. ‘Stephen King is probably as well 1 known as Macdonalds or Coca Cola,’ i he says, ‘but we started with him not i because he's popular, but because 3 he’s good. He has this incredible ability to find something within you and me, and to draw it out. The problem
Brad Douril, rat-slayer extrardinaire, in Graveyard Shilt
with him is that his books are so psychological that to take his work and translate it into physical, visual terms is really hard.‘
Singleton tackled this problem in
: Graveyard Shilt by making what is
essentially a straightlorward creature movie. At the rundown Bachman Mill in Gates Falls, the disgruntled blue collar
workers sweat it out with their
merciless manager, Warwick, played by Stephen Macht. Tension is heightened by the arrival oi college-boy driiter Hail (David Andrews), and culminates in an all-night clean-up session in the rat-iniested basement. Enterthe real star of the movie — a 20 feet long, 300 lbs, mutated hali-bat-hali-rat. ‘Modelling our creature alter a fruit bat— a living, breathing animal that is
as ugly as anything - gives a more terrilying result than dealing with something totally out at tantasy,’ explains Singleton.
The iilm has its iair quota of bizarre laughs amongst the scares - llushed out rats lloating on scraps of wood to the sounds oi ‘Surlin’ USA’ — and should be credited ior not diving headlong into the inevitable buckets of guts and gore.
Any shortcomings ol the iilm as a whole could of course be dismissed as the inexperience of a lirst-time director, but while this is Singieton’s debut as the man who calls ‘action’, he has twenty years oi experience in the movie industry to iall back on. His c.v. includes such notable entries as production manager on One From The Heart and assistant director at Taxi Driver and Three Days Di The Condor, and he believes he has taken something lrom each oi the directors he has worked with.
‘Coppola starts with what to me is probably the most important thing in the movie, the screenplay; Martin Scorcese has a way of stylising action which heightens it; Sidney Pollack is one of the finest directors technically. I’ve started later than they did, and I don’t compare mysell to them. For me this is just the beginning, the lirst step on the walk of a thousand mile stretch.’
Graveyard Shilt opens on 31 May.