Roth. Gary Oldman. Richard Dreyfuss. lain Glen. 117 mins. Stoppard‘s own screen version of his first play. premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1966. Set in the world of Hamlet. but with a new and highly quirky perspective on events. it presents Shakespeare‘s peripheral characters as existential fall-guys trying to work out how the situation brewing around them might relate to theirfuture. Witty and very clever. but probably better on the stage. Glasgow: GFT. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I The Russia House ( 15) (Fred Schepisi. US. 1990) Sean Connery. Michelle Pfeiffer. Roy Scheider. James Fox. 117 mins. Dated foray into Cold War espionage thrillerdom. which has Connery as a raddlcd British publisher inexplicably engaged by the intelligence boysto smuggle some documents out from under the Ruskies‘ noses. His blase expectations of the whole business are thrown out of killer by the appearance oflovely Ms Pfeiffer. and a familiar wish-fulfilment adventure ensues. Despite the strength of the original material (John Le Carre). the script (Tom Stoppard). the cast and the director. however. it all looks pretty outmoded now. no matter how much unperestroiking Gorbie's up to. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I Satyricon (18) (Federico Fellini. Italy/France. 1969) Martin Potter, Hiram Keller. Capucine. 129 mins. Fellini in ancient Rome as the idiosyncratic dreamer serves up a gaudy. bawdy pageant of the colourful and the bizarre when he recounts the homosexual relationship between Encolpus and Ascyltus. Visually ravishing. totally self-indulgent surrealism that will either appeal or appal. Beware the ides ofA.D. (atrocious dubbing). Glasgow: Grosvenor.
I The Seventh Voyage Oi Sinbad (U) (Nathan Juran. US. 1958) Kerwin Mathews. Kathryn Grant. Richard Eyer. Torin Thatcher. Alec Mango. 87 mins. Above-average adventure yarn. in which our hero undertakes a quest for the roc‘s egg which will restore his princess to full size after a magician shrinks her toa midget. The special effects. in stop-motion Dynamation. were a pioneering triumph for Ray Harryhausen. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I Sierra Leone ( 15) (Uwe Schrader. West Germany. 1987) 92 mins. Construction worker Fred returns to Deutschland after three years‘ working in Sierra Leone. and discovers. to his surprise and consternation. that his wife has got bored and left. Obscure serving ofTeutonic cheer. Glasgow: Goethe-lnstitut.
I Silence 01 The Lambs ( 18) (Jonathan Demme. US. 1991)Jodie Foster.
Anthony Hopkins. Scott Glenn. 119 mins.
See feature. page 6. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge. Odeon. Edinburgh: Odeon. UCI. Strathclydc: Kelburne. Odeon Ayr. Odeon Hamilton. UCI Clydebank. UCl East Kilbride . WMR Film Centre. I Sleeping With The Enemy (15) (Joseph Ruben. US. 1990) Julia Roberts. Patrick Bergin.Kev1n Anderson. 115 mins. Hollywood‘s hottest female star is once again the centre of attention in this effective thriller about a woman driven to desperate steps to avoid her psychopathically violent husband. The delicate — not to say socially important — subject matter is approached with as much sensitivity and responsibility as can be expected from Hollywood. and the film has done very healthy trade at the US box office. launching director Ruben into the big league after a string of minor hits including T lte Stepfather and True Believer. Ultimately. though. the film is too light and glossy to be taken seriously as anything other than gripping entertainment. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge. Odeon. Edinburgh: Dominion. UCI. Strathclydc: UCI Clydebank, UCI East Kilbride.
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Mermaids (15) (Richard Benjamin, US, 1990) Cher, Winona Ryder, Bob Hoskins, Michael Schoeltling, Christina Blcci. 110 mins. From its opening sequence in a swimming pool, through various bathroom scenes, to an aquatic bedroom design and a crisis in the rapids, Mermaids takes water as its central motil. Those attuned to water/womanhood symbolism will appreciate this, because - despite a charismatic and amiable perlormance lrom Bob Hoskins - Mermaids (based on a novel by Patty Oann) is deﬁnitely not a film about men.
Set in rural Massachusetts around the time at Kennedy's assassination (which ruptures its lively sense of innocence), Mermaids is the story of Mrs Flax and her daughters Charlotte and Kate, who llit from state to state on the maxim that “death is dwelling on the past or staying in one place too long'. On arrival in the small town of Eastport, however, both Mrs Flax and lllteen-year-old Charlotte lind tentative romance and a series at crises which translorm their sense of themselves and each other.
On its simplest level, Mermaids centres on the ancient theme of growing out of adolescence, but because the adolescents concerned are both a daughter and her mother, it transcends most at the clichés lrom
lrame one. Indeed one at the lllm's strengths is its mermaid-like deliance of normal categorisation. It’s a rites ot passage movie, an oil-beat comedy 01 manners, a melodrama and two unconventional love stories. It’s about the value of commitment and social stability, yet it celebrates non-contormity. And it turns the generation gap lormat on its head by casting mother as wild-child and daughter as staid would-be nun.
It's so hard to pin down, in tact, that its ditticult passage through Hollywood (with more than one director tailing by the wayside) hardly seems surprising. One obvious asset was the early casting ol Cher in the key role at Mrs Flax, an unconventionally glamorous role in which she revels. But the movie's crucial perlormance is Winona Byder’s introverted worrier Charlotte - a marvellous embodiment of teenage angst and naively.
Entertaining and warm-hearted, and tor the most part skirting the excesses of sentimentalism, Mermaids is funny, thoughtlul, quirky and structurally unusual. And the acting is llrst-rate. (Andrew Burnet)
From Fri 31 May. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge, Odeon. Edinburgh: Odeon, UCI. Strathclyde: UCI Clydebank, UCI East Kilbride.
I The Spirit 01 The Beehive (15) (Victor Ericc. Spain. 1973) Fernando Fernan Gomez. Teresa Gimpera. Ana Torrent. Isabel Telleria. 98 mins. In rural Spain after the Civil War. the people's resigned apathy is thrown into contrast with the frenzied activity of bees. Meanwhile. a young girl is alone in dreaming of
liberation. through the gentle giant figure 3 of Frankenstein. whom she identifies with
a young but doomed soldier. Moody and haunting. Erice's debut is a calmly moving masterpiece. Glasgow: GFT.
I Starchaser: The Legend Ot Orin (PG) (Stephen Hahn. US. 1985) With the voices ofJoe Colligan. Carmen Argenziano. Moelle North. Anthony Delongis. 100
our hero Orin escaping drudgery in the evil Zygon‘s mines to undermine his megalomanic tendencies. Spectacularly mounted. with some superb visual invention. but plot-wise it‘s as predictable a re-working of the average superhero myth as you'll see. Central: Caledonian. I Swallows and Amazons (U) (Claude
very much an adult‘s idea ofwhat children's entertainment should be. About as exciting as a steady downpourof drizzle. Glasgow: GF'I‘.
I Swann in Love (18) (Volker Schlondorff. France/W. Germany. 1984) Jeremy Irons. ()rnella Muti. Alain Delon. l 10mins. ()pulent. condensed Proust for the art house set with lrons as the French aristocrat infatuated by the lower class Muti. Moody and intelligent. with strong performances and a lilting eroticism. but definitely not of general appeal. Glasgow: GFT.
I Sweet Smell Oi Success ( 15) (Alexander Mackendrick. US. 1957) Burt Lancaster.
Tony Curtis. Susan Harrison. Martin mins. Animated futuristic adventure. with 3
Whatham. UK. 1974) Virginia McKenna.
Ronald Fraser. Sophie Neville. 92 mins. The adventures of four children in the lake district ofthe 19205. ldyllic screen incarnation of the Arthur Ransome that is
Milner. 96 mins. Ealing comedy director Mackendriek‘s first American movie is a dark-centred conspiracy thriller with a superb evocation of fear and paranoia, shot on the streets of New York. Lancaster stars as a powerful journalist obsessed with destroying his sister's marriage . while Curtis is the gossip hack whose willingness to oblige leads him into a web oftrouble. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I Texasville (15) (Peter Bogdanovich, US. 1990) Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd. Annie Potts. Cloris Leachman.Timothy Bottoms. Randy Quaid. 126 mins. A
i 1 l
melancholic sequel to 1971 ‘5 Last Picture Show. which brings most of the original cast together after two decades and ages them all a further ten years. Bogdanovich‘s attempted comeback is subtle. intelligent. well acted and at times beautiful to look at. but there's no mistaking the absence of the spark that ﬁred the earlier film. Glasgow: GFT. I These Foolish Things (PG) (Bertrand Tavernier, France. 1990) Dirk Bogarde. Jane Birkin. Odette Laure. 107 mins. Low-key and philosophical. Tavernier’s homage to the wisdom (and follies) of age takes reconciliation and hope as its main themes. Set in a small town in the south of France. it shows how a father (Bogarde) and his estranged daughter (Birkin) come to forgive and understand one another as he approaches death after a major operation. Deeply touching and superny acted. with Bogarde taking his first movie role since 1978 as his ﬁlmic swansong. Glasgow: GF'l". Edinburgh: Filmhouse. I UZ: Battle And Hum (Phil Joanou, US. 1988) Bono. The Edge. Adam Clayton. Larry Mullen. 90 mins. U2 on their worldwide Joshua Tree tour ﬁnd themselves exploring the great tradition of American popular music as they record with BB. King and a Harlem Choir. before taking a trip to the Sun Studiosin Memphis where Elvis first recorded. Intriguing mix of stirring live footage and intimate documentary, capturing a band in transition. though perhaps just a little too much ofthe concert material. Glasgow: Grosvenor. I When Father Was Away On Business (Emir Kusturica. Yugoslavia. 1985) Moreno de Bartoli. Miki Manojlovic. Mirjana Karanovic. Mustafa Nadarevic. 136 mins. In the early 19505. young Malik’s father falls from favour and is sent to a labour camp. The boy grows up in hardship. and eventually falls in love. Kusturica‘s sensitive and occasionally brilliant movie was a Cannes prize-winner. Glasgow: GFT. I White Fang (PG) (Randal Kleiser. US. 1990) Klaus Maria Brandauer. Ethan Hawke. Jed the dog. Bart the bear. 109 mins. Jack London's classic adventure yarn set in the cold wastes of the Klondike. brought to the screen again by Disney’s Touchstone subsidiary. A satisfying version with a strong cast and excellent use of bleak Alaskan locations. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge. Odeon. Edinburgh: Odeon, UCI. Central: Cannon. Strathclydc: Cannon. Odeon Ayr. Odeon Hamilton, UCI Clydebank, UCI East Kilbride. I Wild At Heart (18) (David Lynch . US. 1990) Nicholas Cage. Laura Dern. Diane Ladd. Willem Dafoe. 127 mins. Lynch's much-hyped Cannes prize-winner turns out to be weird and wondrous in its own way. if not quite as cohesive as the earlier Blue Velvet. Cage and Dern are the energetic young lovers on the run. pursued by ultrastrange hitman Dafoe on a sometimes comic. sometimes disturbing. . trail towards the ultimate rendezvous with Elvis and the Wizard of Oz. Aside from lovingly detailing the pernicious inﬂuence of pop kitsch upon our very consciousness however. the movie isn’t really about anything. even if it is a helluva trip. Central: MacRobert Arts Centre. I Zandalee (18) (Sam Pillsbury. US, 1990) Nicolas Cage, Judge Reinhold. Erika Anderson. Viveca Lindfors. Aaron Neville. 104 mins. Complex tangles of love and lust begin to develop when uneasily married couple Thierry (Reinhold) and Zan (Anderson) receive a visit from sleazy. hedonistic artist Johnny (Cage). after which a passionate affair develops between Zan and Johnny. with both comic and tragic consequences. An attempt at the overworked theme of erotica versus pornography which. despite the charisma of the performers. proves to be a pretty flimsy excuse for a glossy bonk-frenzy. Edinburgh: Odeon.
The List31 May- 131cm 199123