Fllms screening this fortnight are listed below, with certificate. credits, brief review and venue details. Full-length reviews of
selected new releases can be found close to T the appropriate entry. Programme details
appear in the Listings section which follows.
Film lndex compiled by Andrew Bumet.
: I The American Friend (PG) (Wim
Wendcrs. West Germany/France. 1977) Dennis Hopper. Bruno Ganz. Gerard Blain. Lisa Kreuzer. 123 mins. Based on
i the Patricia Highsmith novel Ripley 's
Game. this excellent. existentialistfi'lm noir centres on an alienated Hopper at large in Germany. where his task is to locate and motivate a killer without a track
record. He finds his hired man in the
innocent Ganz. but loses his sense of identity in the process. Stirring stuff. with
‘ all that eloquent desolation that typifies Wenders’ work. Glasgow: GFT. : I An American In Paris (U) (Vincentc
Minnelli, US. 1951 1 Gene Kelly. Leslie Caron. Oscar Levant. Nina Foch. 113 mins. Splendid — ifsometimes garish— romantic musical. with Kelly on top form as a would-be artist kicking up a storm in la belle cite. Edinburgh: Cameo.
IAn American Tail (U) (Don Bluth. US. 1986) With the voices of Dom DeLuise. Madelaine Kahn. Christopher Plummer. 811mins. The late 19th century. The Mousekewitz family make their way from trouble-torn Russia to a new life in America. but they find the streets ofNew York are not all paved with gold. A wealth of background detail displays Bluth‘s admirably painstaking approach to animation. but the foreground narrative. often agreeably perilous. does occasionally reek ofsentimentality. Glasgow: GFT.
IAn Angel At My Table (PG) (Jane Campion.NewZea1and. 199(1) Kerry Fox. Alexia Keogh. Karen Fergussson. 158 mins. Campion's follow-up to her remarkable debut Sweetie is a lengthy treatment of her compatriot Janet Frame‘s autobiographical trilogy of novels. originally made for television. Following Frame's life from awkward childhood and teenage years. through university (where
she was diagnosed as schizonphrenic) and
bohemian travels in Europe. to her adult achievements as a w riter. the film offersa more subtle depiction of mental illness than Sweetie. and is superbly conceived and acted throughout. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I Asterix and Cleopatra (t: 1 (France. 1968) 73 mins. The diminutive Gaul and his powerful potion meet the lady with the asp
and the ‘rather attractive‘ nose. His
rotound chum ()belix pulls the nose offthe Sphynx. sulks a bit and then the twobuild a new palace in record time. Glasgow: GFT. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I Awakenings ( 121 (Penny Marshall. US. 1991) Robert De Niro. Robin Williams.
~ John Heard. Julie Kavner. Penelope Ann 5 Miller. Max von Sydow. 121 mins. Based
on the book by psychiatrist Oliver Sacks.
A wakenings tells the story of a reclusive
' neurologist (Williams) whose new post at
Bainbridge Hospital in New York is not the clinical experience he had anticipated. Instead. he finds himselfdrawn toa particular groupofstatue-like encephalitic patients. among them [)e Niro‘s Leonard Lowe. As hisobsession with their unexpressed inner liv es grows. he develops a relationship with Lowe which begins to release both Lowe‘s ability to communicate and hisovv n repressed emotions. Edinburgh: Dominion.
22'l‘he List 14 — 27 June 1991
Class Action (15) (Michael Apted, US, 1990) Gene Hackman, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Colin Friels, Donald Moffat. 109 mins. With this fairly contrived courtroom drama, the ever-prolific Hackman proves once again his seasoned ability to invest even the most dog-eared material with an aura of worthy conviction. Cast here as a fills-type liberal attorney who specialises in defending ordinary Joes against the mean machinations of mighty corporate America, the spirit of Popeye Doyle shines through from time to time as he gets to do his grandstanding stuff in front of an inevitably impressed jury. The growing . aggression, the insouciant grin, the definite hint of cussed arrogance and even the trademark cheeky wink, it‘s all there for the Hackman connoisseur to enjoy.
One star power display, however, does not necessarily a memorable cinematic extravaganza make, and Class Action has a hard time getting over the fact that the central conceit— liberal papa lawyer meets careerist daughter lawyer on opposite sides of the same litigation case — is just too TV-Movie-Of-The-Week for words. For her part, Mastrantonio feels quite overshadowed by her flamboyant pop, frustrated by both his lack of recognition for her achievements and his unwillingness to come to terms with much infidelity to his wile/her mother. The result is a family on the verge of falling apart, and the prospect of the
forthcoming courtroom conflict looks set to sever diplomatic relations forever.
A good deal more interesting than such over-familiar domestic travails are the issues raised by the big case itself. In a story based on an actual incident, aspiring hotshot Mastrantonio discovers to her horror thatfhe major automobile manufacturer she’s defending took the decision some years earlier to produce a model that was known to be unsafe. The company number crunchers had calculated that the probable amount of damage they would have to pay out would eventually work out less expensive than the cost of the production line to correct the defect. Such is the power of the dollarthat it can salve any qualms about a string of deaths and serious injuries, and despite the valiant efforts of the bold Hackman, it looks like corporate muscle will win the day in court.
British directorApled (responsible for the recent 35 Up documentary on TV) makes much of the contrast between the ultra-modern office chic of the major moneymen and the shoestring operation of Hackman‘s battling civil liberties crusaders, but be warned, there's a typically Hollywood ‘uplifting‘ last five minutes to leave your tummy heaving. (TrevorJohnston)
From Fri 21 June. Glasgow: Grosvenor. Edinburgh: Cameo, UCl. Strathclyde: UCI Clydebank, UCI East Kilbride.
I Betty Blue ( 18) (Jean-JacquesBetneix. France. 1986) Jean Hughes Anglade. Beatrice Dallc. 1211mins. 'l‘empestuous 1 love gone mad as an older handy man and a free-spirited woman embark on a passionate. peripatetic fling that endsin tragedy. Filmed with a dazzling technique and an irritating emptiness by the maker
of [NH]. Edinburgh: (‘ameo
I Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure( 15) (Stephen llerek. 1iS. 199(11Keanu
Reeves. Alex Winter. 91 minutes. Bill and Ted have ati ‘cxcellent‘ friendship. but
their dream of forming a band called the ‘Wyld Stallyns' is haunted by the spectre it'tlunking their history exanisand being packedofftomilitary academy. However. courtesy of a time-trav elliiig telephone booth. the two dudes canter through the
centuries on a breakneck rel resher course
where they meet up with the likesol I
(icnghis Khan and Beethoven. Problems multiply in this enjoyany inanictcen romp when this brace ol historical figures make it back to contemporary (‘alilornia with them. l.ll\'C. totally tubular. man. Edinburgh: liilmhouse.
I Brazil 1 151 (Terry Gilliam. LS. 1985) Jonathan Pryce. Kim Griest. Robert De .\'iro. Peter Vaughan. 142 mins. lixtravagaiitly designed and blackly humorous()rwellian vision of the future. as modest bureaucrat Pryce battles the lorcesol totalitarianism and lights torhis dream girl. feisty truckerGricst.
()v erlong and ramshackle lantasia. with moments of sheer creative adrenalin and a classic ending. 1111111111“thl‘lllllhtlllsc.
I Catchfirei1511.»\lanSmithee.1's. 199(1) l)ennis 1 lopper. Jodie Foster. Joe Pesci. lired Ward. 99mins. 'l'be ubiquitous1and non-existent) Mr Smithec is credited with
movies whose original directors (in this 1 case 1 lopper) disown them following over-zealous editing. llerc. Foster isan artist who witnesses a mob killing. 1 loppcr is the hitman sent to get her. who fallsin love with her instead. Given the choice between dying and becomingllopper’s property. Foster unsurprisingly chooses the latter option. then (extremely surprisingly) falls for him. too. ending up as a kind of latterday gangster's moll. Weird stuff indeed. Glasgow: GFI'.
I Cinema Paradiso (PU) (Giuseppe Tornatore. ltaly France.l988) Phillipe Noiret. Jacques l’errin. Salvatore (‘ascio 123 mins. 'l‘ornatore's vision ofhis movie—mad childhood is a wonderful Iov e letter to the cinema itself. 'l‘old 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 'l‘ornatore's lament for the joyous movie-going experience of his youth and a recognition of the price we
pay for our maturity. 1991) Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I Class Action ( 15) (Michael Apted. US. 19911) Gene 1 lackman. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. Joanna Merlin. (‘olin Friels. Jonathan Silverman. 1119 mins. See .' review. Glasgow: (‘annon The Forge. Grosvenor. Edinburgh: UCI. Strathclyde: UCI ('ly'debank. UCI East Kilbride.
I Clean Slate ( ‘(mp (1e Turr‘hmt ( 15) (Bertrand Tavernier. France. 1981) Philippe Noiret. Isabelle lluppert. Jean-Pierre Marielle. 128 mitts. Based on the Jim (Kill-Off) Thompson novel. Pop 1280, this tale of lacklustre lawman (‘ordier (Noiret) is transposed to French West Africa in 1938. (‘ordier decides to extend his clean-up operations beyond the call of duty — murdering his wife and framing his mistress. A fine and expressive example offi/m mar. in which Noiret's irrational and perplexing characterisation finds its match in schoolteacher l 1uppert. Glasgow: GET. 1 I The Comfort Of Strangers ( 18) (Paul i Sehrader. L'S. 19911) Rupert Everett. Natasha Richardson. Christopher
Walken. Helen Mirren. 1115 mins. laii .‘vlcEwan‘s short novel of sexual power games and the perception-warping possibilitiesofculture shock isinhercntly hard to film. Sehrader and his excellent
cast give it their best shot. the Venetian locations and sets are luscious and l larol Pinter's screenplay is surprisingly faithful. But the narrative tension and pace on which the novel relies are conspicuously absent. Glasgow: (3171‘. Edinburgh: (‘illnL‘tL
I Cyrano De Bergerac ( t? ) (Jean-Paul Rappcneau. France. 19911) Gerard l)epardieu. Jacques Weber. Anne
Brochet. \"ineent Perez. 135 mins. A stirring adaptation of Rostand's classic. romantic tragi-comedy. Full ofgrandly mounted. bustling crowd scenes 1 Ezio Prigerio and Franca Squarciapino won a helix for their production design). it revolves around typically superb performance from l)epardieu as the large-nosed hero. Although performed in rhyming verse throughout (with
somewhat dodgy subtitles by Anthony Burgess). and a touch overlong. the film's dramatic and cinematic qualitiesare outstanding. Edinburgh: C(‘l.
Strathclyde: ()deon Ayr.
I Dances With Wolves ( 12) (Kevin
(‘ostner. US. 1991)) Kevin Costner. Mary McDonnell. Graham Greene. Rodney Grant. 179 mins. (‘ostner's debut as director and co-producer. in which he also : stars. has already been widely praised for its epic scale and its sympathetic depiction of Red Indian culture in the 18611. ltwon ! seven ()scars including Best Film and Best Director. w ith no less than twelve nominations. Set at a remote outpost i during the American (‘ivil War. a timeofJ
violent struggle between pioneering