_ American triptych
‘An altront to moral America,‘ screamed the conservative press as Todd Haynes’ award-winning ieature Poison opened in New York. Following the previous rumpus over an exhibition including photographer Robert Mapplethorpe's most explicitly homoerotic work, cries again went up lorthe dismantling ot the National Endowment tor the Arts when it became known that a $25,000 NEA grant had lunded Poison's post-production. Previously, Haynes' mischevious ‘biopic’ Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story had attracted much attention tor its playlul use at an all-doll cast, and although legal wrangling over music rights clearance has lead to its current withdrawal, the mixture of outrage and admiration that has greeted Poison should see the 30-year-old New Yorker maintaining a high critical prolile. Liberally studded with quotations irom the writings ot
Jean Genet, Poison is a provocative
meditation on society's treatment ol the outcast, which weaves together three separately titled narrative strands shot in radically dilterent styles.
‘Hero’, lramed as a mock TV documentary, takes a Sixty Minutes-type approach to the story at
I an enigmatic seven-year-old boy’s . disappearance atter murdering his ‘ lather; ‘Horror‘ apes the exaggerated
monochrome oi Grade-Z mad doctor llicks, as a scientist unwittingly
spreads a deadly sex virus with obvious
conotations ot the AIDS crisis; and ‘Homo’, the section most overtly inlluenced by Genet, chronicles romance, obsession and degradation within the alternative community oi a men’s prison.
Haynes deliant creative independence has already lound recognition with the Grand Jury Prize at America's Sundance Film Festival (launchpad lor Steven Soderbergh’s sex, lies and videotape), and the EIFF
screening gives Edinburgh audiences a 5
chance to sample its potent juxtaposition oi the shocking and the lyrical betore a wider release come October. (TrevorJohnston)
Poison will be introduced by Todd Haynes at the Cameo 1 on Sun 18 Aug, 6.45pm.
Composer Gian-Carlo Menotti is best known for his series oi modern operas which began with The Medium in 1946. Born in Italy but brought up in America, Menotti now lives in the Scottish borders, but at the time oi writing the opera was working in New York City,
where he was invited to write a piece
tor Columbia University's Brander
Matthews Theatre. The work he wrote took the unusual theme ot a medium who summons up
torces beyond her understanding or
control, a suitably melodramatic vehicle lor his extravagentsense oi
; theatre. The opera made a then i unheard of transition to Broadway,
where it became a hit after a quiet start
when Arturo Toscanini gave it a very
public stamp of approval by attending three performances.
In 1951. Menotti was given the opportunity to make a tilm version in
l Home. Despite the tact that he had no
previous experience oltilmmaking, Menotti took it upon himseltto direct the lilm, armed only with naive contidence and what he described as ‘a delighttul it somewhat irresponsible“ piece oi advice from no less a personage than Jean Cocteau.
‘The only way to make a good tilm,‘ Cocteau told him, ‘is to know nothing abouttechnique. Go straight at it, unprepared, and ask tor the impossible.‘ Menotti stuck religiously to the advice, and recalled laterthat ‘much at the lilm, as a matter oi tact most oi it, was improvised. I am otten asked it I liked the tilming ot The Medium. lleel that is like asking a surgeon whether or not he liked a certain operation. All I can say is that the patient is still alive, and even looks a little better than betore.‘
(Kenny Mathieson) The Medium, Filmhouse 1, Sun 18 Aug, 7pm.
The Edinburgh International Film Festival main box ottice is at the Filmhouse. 88 Lothian Road, 228 2688. open daily 9am—9pm until Sun 25 Aug. In addition. the box oitice is open until 11.15pm on nights with late-night screenings. Tickets tor Cameo screenings are available irom the Cameo Cinema box ottice. 38 Home Street. 228 4141. open daily 1-11pm until Sun 25 Au .
lgiorning events are individually priced. Lunchtime shows £1.Atternoon screenings:
I Filmhousei22(21):Filmhouse2£3(£1.50): I Cameot23621.50):CameoZand3£4.50.
Evening shows £4.50.
Pixels and Stories 13.30pm. .-\ programme
: from aeross the \I oI‘ld.
' I CAMEO 1 Survivors ((‘olin i-‘inhtm. l'K. lWIIilpm. A group of teenage ho} .s land on a deserted island for a sehool adventure
holida}. But things start togo hadl} \srong '
\\ hen their leader has a nerx ous hreakdrmn. I FILMHOUSEZ Eyes oi the World 2. 15pm. ‘l‘uo lilms eentring on hon religion deals \\ itli eonteinporar‘) e\elils. l’rup/ierSo/igs ‘ eoneerns a group ot' lrish priests who hax e rehelled against the (‘hureh's traditions. u hile ( ‘lrrislmus u! Stu/truss tells ol a (‘alilornian monaster} dedieated toearing I lorhahiesxsithAIDS. I FILMHOUSE 1 Young Filmmaker otthe Year Programmeﬁ 2.30pm. Too short films from Stanford l'ni\ersit_\ . (‘alilornia and one irom Sis inhurne Film and 'l‘\' Sehool. Australia. I CAMEOT Baby It's You (John Sa} les. ['8. 1953) 4.30pm. 'l'he ongoing allair of a \sould-he aetress and a eonlirmed lailure is ltilltm ed lrom (ills \L‘llttttltlit}.\ to 7ltsadulthood_ Sailes' eharaeterstud} skiltulli slit)\\slliL' ehanges that take plaee in people and In the popular eultur'e that surrounds them. I FlLMHOUSEl Hollywood Heritage Lecture 4.45pm. l-‘ilm historian l)a\ id Shipinan talkson "l'he (itiltleli .-\ge til the Studios'. I CAMEOl Tartutlerl-‘WMurnau.(lei-man}.1925i (i.45prii \loliere's eontidenee tr‘iekster' is hrought Into the leth eentut'} as a parahle pla_\ \sithin a lilm. llil\ seI'eening \\ lll he aeeompanied h_\ In e piano niusIe reeonstrueted trorn (itiiseppe lteeee's original seore. I FlLMHOUSE‘l Hors La Vie ( .\laroun Bagdadi. l-ianee. lWl iii-15pm. 'l opieal \sinnei ol a Speeial .lur) l’rI/e at this seat ‘s ( 'annes l'lllll l’estix al is hased on the true-lite experienees ot Roger .-\ttqtte u ho “as a lreelanee pliotographe r taken hostage \\ lirle on assignment Iii Beirut I CAMEO 2 One Full Moon ( lillLlitl l'.llll}ll. l'ls'. lWl) ’pm. Beautilulli photographed \\ elsli Ioeations are a haekdiop to tliisdistur‘hing set l_\ rieal. e\oeation ol a small \ Illage haunted h} a liouhled past. I FILMHOUSEZ Shadow of a Doubt 1 Allied l lilelteoek. t “.s'. 1943 i ()uiet small-tins Ii Amer iean IIle is disrupted \\ hen a young gII l eonies to realise that her tax ouiite unele is the inlaInoIIs Mn is \Vidon killei. .-\ suhtle ps}ehologieal thriller troni the master
FRIDAY 16 ' %
l l l l l
Johnny Suedei't'um l)i('il|o, t's. lWl i H.3Hpm. Bizarre l\\ ists on the los e stor_\ lormula sees aspiring niiisieian and house decorator .lohnm ltise one girl tinlx in eorne to the aid ol another. \\ lio isheing threatened h} a \tt}L'llrl.\lle‘ midget. \
Edward ll (Derek .larman. l’ls'. lW| l 8.45pm. .laI'inan's idios_\ neralie rendering of Marlotse's eontrmer‘sial pla_\ llll'tl\\\ emphasis on Its inherent theme ol se\ua| repression. See pres ie\\.
Shalom General l Andreas ( miher.
Austria. WW) 0pm. Asoung eonseieneiousohieetoi' hegins work in an old people's home as an alternatix e to militar} sers'iee. (iradualh lie t‘tilileslti love his eharges and overeonie initial leelingsol repulsion h_\ the onsetot settllll}.
The Little Devil ( Roherto Benigni. Ital}. 1988) ‘). 15pm. .»\ii Italian hos-olliee smash i In the sear ot its release. Benigni istlie till\ClllL‘\Ull\LlL‘\ I| e\ot'eised h} l-athei' .‘slaurieetplased h_\ \Valter \latthaulasho proeeeds to \\ reak ha\ oe in the latter's lite. I FlLMHOUSEl
Pump Up The Volume I Allan Mo} le.
['5 (‘anada. WW) 1 l . lenI. (‘liristian Slater is uneonimunieatix e selloiilho} Mark I lunter h_\ da} and pirate radiol).l llard l larr} llai'd-t )n h} night. Soon he linds lilttlsell to he the rum Illing eentre ol a seeial erisis. A i'elI'esltingl} e} nieal teenage angst Inm Ie.
i i SATURDAY 17 l
Post Dilice McLaren Programme 3 I:..‘~IIpm_ .\ speeial pi'ograiniiie loI‘ ehildren ineludes DianneJaekson's\ersionol.lohn Burningham's popular hook (fraud/iii. ICAMEOl
La Petite Bande l .\lieliel l)e\ ille. l'ranee. l‘Nl ) ZpI'I. 'l‘hetliieetor'ol l)t'tlI/IIIII1 l're/rrli (iurrten deli\ ers a dialogIIe-lree eliildren's mm Ie ahotit a group ol lznglish suhur'han kids \s ho end up on a hoat to l'Ianee and at the heginning ot a laiitastie gariieol sIII'\I\al.
Eyes ol the World 3. 15pm. [at is or slime eoneer ns the ritual ol spirit possession and eure as praetieed \seekls h} a young Indian girl. Stealing .-i/IInu/e esplores the pste‘liolog} ol a liASl: iiiiiiper. \s hose hohhs has him paraehutiiig troni high hIiIldIngs to the night streets helou,
Young Filmmakerollhe YearProgramme7 Iﬁllpnt. [ \so Iilriis troni the S/inha/ es l'lllillillnes/ell In Budapest and one tIorii the l 'nixersit_\ ol l.H\.-\ll}1eles.
25 Fireman Street i lst\an M aho. llIIiigaIs. 1‘)".‘\l4,.‘~llpm Sxaho's passion loi liis nalis e eit} and its Iiihahitants Is the hasis tor tliis llllll \s liieli shilts lietueen past and present to eieate a lapesitt ot l lungai iaIi lite. .-\lso in the progiaiiiine is his l‘ltil shoIl law/mu (III .1 //It'l)lr' IFILMHOUSEl
SpecialEventt ~1.‘pni :\eliir( llll Roheitson \l.!l ol lire \rIAt'ir'iriiri'I/ri' lii'iru’aIItH liar/i \\ Ill talk .Ihoiil liIs eareer . illusli .ited h_\ elips lioni his lilnis I FlLMHOUSEl
All Good Fellow Countrymen l \ nileell .l.Iin}.(’/ee|ios|o\.iki.i. l‘lI»\II~ ll'pIIt \Ii .Itleelionate .Ind lli‘lllt l‘I‘lllJll t-t peasant lite set lo the Iolk riiiisie ol \\ .itoplak
l l.i\ elka. this is .in e\.iniple ol the poetn lilniniakrng t|i.II e.IIIte Io .i sudden end ll‘. ('leelioslm .ikI.I \\ tilt the 5m Iet lll\ .t\li‘l‘. Ul l‘)l\.\
l'hel lisl lo I: August l‘NI 61