.____ Szabo’s back pages
’ Launching that fine actorAustrian
Klaus Maria Brandauer on the international scene, director lstvan Szabo’s 1981 examination of the attractions and perils of Nazism in the Oscar-winning Mephisto probably remains the work forwhich the Hungarian remains best known in this country. The observant among you who’ve seen the film may well also recall that Film Festival director David Robinson actually pops up In a cameo role, playing, appropriately enough, ‘the man from The Times', and this year, in admiration and tribute to his longtime friend, Robinson has been able to programme a retrospective of Szabo’s earliertlims as part of Edinburgh’s action-packed schedule.
Attending the Budapest film school in the mid-50s, Szabo's 1964 debut picture The Age of Daydreaming bore the Influence of Truffaut and the French New Wave in its optimistic story of youth. Its romance theme later echoed in 1970’s Love Film. Between times, the poignant study of a student haunted by the memory oi his war hero parent in
Father (1966) is still regarded as the tilmmaker'smostsignificantoftering I before the Oscar-nominated 1 Confidence in 1979, a concentrated yet subtly-shaded chronicle of a hesitant ; I 1
relationship amid the paranoia and danger of wartime Budapest. A watershed in Szabo’s career, its . recognition abroad paved the way for l the trilogy of fine films with Brandauer ' that ran through the 80s Mephisto, the f 19th century military saga Colonel Redl (1985) and the WWII chronicle Hanussen (1988, print unavailable). Allin all, it's an enterprising undertaking, but the absence of Szabo’s latest offering, the opera house comedy of errors Meeting Venus, starring Glenn Close and produced by David Puttnam, which promises to be the Hungarian’s highest-profile release to date in the UK, is an unfortunate omission. The lstvan Szabo retro begins with The Age of Daydreaming, Cameo 1, Sun 11 Aug, 4.30pm; the John Sayles survey with Return of the Seacaucus Seven, Cameo 1, 4.30pm, Mon 12 Aug.
A number of the most intriguing titles on display in this year’s bulging Edinburgh International Film Festival are probably to be found in the special Music and Cinema season, jointly curated by director David Robinson and Dundonian writer and critic Bob Flynn. Although it's unfortunate that a full-scale orchestral performance has proved too problematic to mount, films like Michael Powell’s version of Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle, Italian composer Giancario Menotti‘s screen transcription of his opera The Medium and George Delerue's rescored 1927 Russian silent version of Casanova are all rarely screened and should be awaited with some anticipation.
With names like Shostakovich (Kozintsev's Hamlet), Morricone (Once
Upon ATime In The West, Cinema Paradiso), Prokofiev (Ivan The Terrible), Herrman (De Palma's Obsession) and Legrand (Les Paraplules de Cherbourg) represented in the sixteen-film season however, It j might seem churiish to cavil at the
it programming, but the bannerol Music
and Cinema is as broad as it is vague. Were the selection process a little more tightly-defined one would feel thatthe project was not just enjoyable but a greater contribution to our 1 ; understanding. (TrevorJohnston)
The Music and Cinema season begins with Voikov’s Casanova, Filmhouse 1, Sun 11 Aug, 6.30pm.
The Edinburgh International Film Festival main box office is at the Filmhouse. 88 Lothian Road, 228 2688. open daily noon-9pm until Fri 9 Aug and 9am-9pm Sat 10-Sun 25 Aug. In addition. the box office is open until 11.15pm on nights with late-night screenings. Tickets for Cameo screenings are available from the Cameo Cinema box office, 38 Home Street, 228 4141. open daily 4.30-10pm until Sat 10 Aug, and 1-11pm Sun 11—Sun 25 Aug.
Morning events are individually priced. Lunchtime shows £1. Altemoon screenings: Filmhouse 1 £2 (£1 ); Filmhouse 2 £3 (£1.50); Cameoi £3 (£1.50); Cameo 2 and 3 £4.50. Evenings shows £4.50. Opening Gala £5.
Blonde Fist (Frank Clarke. UK. 1991) 7.30pm. Seconds out and Round 1 for Margi Clarke as she tries to keep her family together by entering the boxing ring. Impressive directorial debut from the writer of Letter to Brezhnev. See feature.
Creative Process: Norman McLaren (Don McWilliams. Canada. 1990) 12.30pm. Documentary on the life and work of Scotland's greatest animator. Norman McLaren.
Vincent and Me (Michael Rubbo. Canada. 1990)2pm ‘hildren'sfilmaboutartfraud has young at t enthusiast Jo travelling in time to the wheatfields and sunﬂowers of her hero Vincent van Gogh.
Eyes of the World 2.15pm. Peter Dclpeut's Lyrical Nitrate is a film composed in the form of music by using fragments from old silents. while Doug Black's The Heck With Hollywood reveals the making and marketing of three independent films.
Young Filmmaker of the Year Programme 1 2.30pm. Three films by students at the Australian Film. Television and Radio School in New South Wales.
The Age of Daydreaming (lstvan Svabo. Hungary. 1964) 4.30pm. Svabo‘s feature debut reflects the optimisim of the 605 tells the tale of five young engineers who set out to leave their mark on the world.
Casanova (Alexander Volkov. France. 1927) 6.30pm. Restored six years ago. but only now receiving its British premiere in its new form. Volkov‘s costume drama is full ofcomedy and wonderful visuals.
True Love (Nancy Savoca. US, 1989) 6.45pm. The emotional crises and comic misunderstandings that befall an Italian-American Bronx couple in the lead-up to their marriage are chronicled by directorial newcomer Savoca.
I CAMEO 2
Dakota Road (Nick Ward. UK. 1990) 7pm. Acclaimed playwright Ward makes an assured transition to the director's chair with this tragic tale ofsuffering and desire in the English countryside. The first film to result from the British Film Partnership. it carries a strong ecological message.
I FILMHOUSE 2
Horse Feathers (Norman Z McLeod. US. 1932)7.15pm. Groucho Marx isthe corrupt new president ofan American College. the only man who has the know-how to get the struggling football team off the bottom of the league. Classic madcap comedy.
I CAMEO 3
Love-Moi (Marcel Simard. Canada. 1991) 8.30pm. Gritty and violent. Simard's fictionalised account of real-life teenage rapists. thieves and prostitutes is disturbingly realistic.
Jungle Fever(Spikc Lee. 118. 1991) 8.45pm. Snubbed again at Cannes. Lee‘s film comes to Edinburgh carried on a wave of hype and controversy. A black architect has an affair with an ltalian-American secretary. with the result that both are ostracised by their families and friends. Wesley Snipes and Annabella Sciorra star in the latest ‘litmus test‘ from an increasingly important voice in the cinema world.
Bix (Pupi Avati. ltaly. l99())9pm. Subtitled ‘The lnterpretation ofa Legend'. Avati — the subject oflast year‘s retrospective — is a bio-picof live-fast-die-young jazz trumpeter Bix Beiderbeeke.
I CAMEO 2
Holidays on the RiverYarra (Leo Berkeley. Australia. 1990) 9pm. Two Melbourne teenagers jump in over their heads when they become involved with a group of mercenaries planning to overthrow the government of a small African state.
I FILMHOUSE 2
Nothing Left To Do But Cry (Massimo Troisi/Roberto Benigni. Italy, 1984) 9.15pm. A series of films by Italian comedians-turned-directors kicks off with this tale of two friends who stumble back in time to 1492 and try to stop Columbus from discoyering America.
Austria, Not So Felix 12.30pm. A programme of animated films from Austria‘s most respected art college. the Vienna College of Applied Arts. Not suitable for children.
Me and Mamma Mia (Erik Clausen. Denmark. 1989) 2pm. Young Rikke discovers that his horse Pegasus may not be magic. but it has some hidden talents.
CO The List 9 - 15 August 1991