As the 45th Edinburgh International Film Festival winds towards its last few days many ofthe year's highlights are still to come. The closing gala of the Coen Brothers‘ Cannes prizewinner Barton Fink is
are the visits of both Istvan Szabo and John Sayles to mark their
i respective retrospectives. the latter‘s i tribute season bolstered by the addition of his latest acclaimed
offering City ofHope. A further
unexpected bonus is the appearance 5 of Nagisa ()shima to mark the recently announced screening of his BBC Scotland-commissioned documentary Kyoto: My Mother's Place (Filmhouse l . Sat 2-1 Aug. 7pm).
Together with the last-minute inclusion of young black American filmmakerJohn Singleton's hard-hitting urban drama Boy: 'n' The Hood. such amendments to the originally published programme have helped to up the excitement level in what was generally considered a rather quieter year than usual for the capital‘s annual celluloid binge.
As outgoing director David Robinson’s last year in charge. the 1991 event seemed to underline the strengths and weaknesses of his three terms at the EIFF helm. Certainly the relaxed atmosphere around the Filmhouse/Cameo base is appreciated by filmmakers and filmfestgoers alike. and the organisers‘ efforts at putting more energy and thought into the promotion and sponsorship areas (radically improving press facilities
into the bargain) has not gone ! unnoticed. The almost apocalyptic :
party to celebrate the Music and Cinema season. for instance. which saw valiant revellers get through an estimated 8000 bottles ofsponsor Pilsner Urquell‘s finest brew will remain etched on the memory ofall those who waded through it.
Still. while Edinburgh's sociability factor remains engagingly healthy. there still have to be questions about the quantity and quality of the work that turned up on screen. With far too many strands to begin with one
does wonder how many of the often abstruse Conoisseur offerings were I absolutely necessary? And although i one can understand that a £15000 financial injection and a good deal of I vigorous PR activity from CIC Video helped justify the inclusion ofthe
Hollywood Heritage. what is the
Close My Eyes
point in twenty dedicated souls battling through a rickety 16mm print of Frankenstein when this lets a 300 seat auditorium and a valuable late-night slot go for almost nothing?
There‘s surely much for new film festival director Penny Thomson to mull over as she starts work in the new post come September. In the meantime. ofthe films screened this year and which will return for British distribution at some later date. particular mention should be made ofJoseph B. Vasquez's zippin entertaining rap buddy movie Hangin' With The Homeboys. Maroun Bagdadi's intriguing hostage drama Hors La Vie. Lars Von Trier‘s mad. mad. mad. mad Europa and Stephen Poliakoff‘s troubling mosaic ofsexuality and morality in Close My Eyes. (Trevor Johnston)
_ Gorbals story
When the closes of Glasgow’s Gorbals district were demolished in the 60s and replaced by impersonal high-rise tower blocks, a way of life was lost. Nevertheless, a sense of loyalty and extended family does live on in the community, and it was this that acted as the driving force behind the Gorbals Unemployed Workers Centre’s video feature, Betty’s Brood.
Originally intended as three half-hour episodes of a soap opera, the film not only uses local acting and production talents, it prioritises the three issues the community feels are most important- drug abuse, bad housing and unemployment— by telling the story of a iamin struggling to cope with the father’s death and the outcast elder daughter’s drug addiction.
A newspaper advert by the Gorbals j UWC for a production crew brought in L director Mick McConnell, who had
. _ TKﬁ‘Gq’p J orked as a runner on David Hayman’s award-winning Silent Scream, and cameraman Gordon Gronbach, who had been trainee on Silent Scream and on David Leland’s The Big Man. When
the film had a late entry screening at the Celtic Film Festival, it was spotted by ElFF director David Robinson and snapped up for inclusion in the New British Cinema slot of the prestigious Edinburgh event.
‘In the end, it wasn’t made for the Edinburgh Film Festival,‘ states McConnell, ‘it was made for a specific type of community project that was going to tour around Glasgow, and it has done what it set out to do. Everything else is a bonus. The people who have gone to see it haven’t known it was done on a £2000 budget-that figure wouldn’t mean anything to them, probably— and they actually like it. They’ll come up to me at the end and say ‘I enjoyed that. I’ll go and watch Terminator 2, but I enjoyed Betty's Brood as well.” (Alan Morrison) Betty’s Brood, Cameo 3, Fri 23 Aug, 8.30pm and 8.30pm.
1 box office is open until 11 .15pm on nights ' with late-night screenings. Ticketsfor
3 228 4141. open daily 1-11pm until Sun 25
: steppes. many of whom were deported
The Edinburgh International Film Festival main box office is at the Filmhouse,
88 Lothian Road. 228 2688. open daily 9am—9pm until Sun 25 Aug. In addition, the
Cameo screenings are available from the Cameo Cinema box office. 38 Home Street.
Aug. | Morning events are individually priced. j Lunchtime shows £1 . Afternoon screenings: ? Filmhouse1£2(£1);Filmhouse 2 £3 (£1 .50); Cameo1123021.50):CameoZand3£4.50. i
Evening shows £4.50.
Essential Viewing 12.30pm. A programme of shorts that demonstrates the technical versatility of anitnation. a medium that knows no boundaries. Not suitable for children.
Eyes of the World 2. 15pm. 5!) Years of Silence looks at a persecuted people. the (iermans ofthe \"olga in the Russian
during WW2. Also with Mysteries ofJu/y a film on deaths in police custory in mainland Britain.
Young Film Maker of the Year Programme13 2.30pm. New British shorts from Bournemouth and Dundee.
Mephisto ( lstvan Svabo.
Hungary (iermany. 1981i-1pm. Klaus-Maria Brandauer is the I‘aus‘tian actor who must face the consequencesof his ambitions in Nazi (icrmany. The film that finally brought Svabo the international recognition he deserved.
I CAMEO 2 Hide and Seek (Dan Wolman. Israel. 1980) i 4pm. anerusalem in 1940.1: 12-year-old
the latter is suspected ofbeing aspy. I FlLMHDUSEt ! Focus Europe 4.45pm. A seminar on the : consequencesof‘the much-heralded 1992 l and the impact of the IiC-funded MEDIA Programme. ; I CAMEO 3 } Betty's Brood (Mick McConnell. 1.7K. 1990) (1.30pm. Problems of bad housing. 3 unemployment and drug abuse come to a head for a (ilasgow family. An ! exceptionally mature video feature from the Gorbals Unemployed Worker Centre. I FILMHOUSE1
Cinema Paradiso ((iiuseppe 'I‘onatore. Italy. 1988) b.30pm. The film thatopencd the 1989 Festival is given a screening inthe Music and Cinema strand. thereby drawing attention to Iinnio Morricone‘s wonderful score. A film director remembers the happy times he spent in the cinema of his childhood village.
Holidays on the River Yarra (Leo Berkeley. Australia. 1990) (1.45pm. Two Melbourne teenagers jump in over their heads when they become involved with a group of mercenaries planning to overthrowthc government ofa small African state.
Breakfast at Tiffany's (Blake Edwards. US. 1961 ) 7pm. Audrey Ilepburn‘s I lolly Golightly sparkles as radiantly as the New York world that she makes her own. A considerably cleaned up version of Truman Capote‘s novella. I CAMEOZ Young Soul Rebels (Isaac Julien. UK.
1991 ) 7pm. Silver Jubilee celebrations cause young Chris and Caz to question
58 The List 23 — 29 August 1991