Films 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 the appropriate entry. Programme details appear in the Listings section which follows. Film index compiled by Alan Morrison.
I After Dark. My Sweet (18) (James Foley, US, 1990) Jason Patric, Rachel Ward, Bruce Dem. 114 mins. A faithful ﬁlm version of the book by cult 50$ novelistJim Thompson. The plot centres on an infernal triangle of passion and deceit, involving an ex-boxer. his devious lover and her side-kick. Foley‘s intensely dark and intensely physical ﬁlm is skilfully choreographed throughout. Glasgow: GFT. I Aiice (12) (Woody Allen, US, 1990) Mia Farrow, Joe Mantegna, William Hurt, Keye Luke. 105 mins. See review. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge, Odeon. Edinburgh: Odeon, UCl. I American Friends (PG) (Tristram Powell. UK, 1991) Michael Palin, Connie Booth, Trini Alvarado, Alfred Molina. 95 mins. The semi-ﬁctional story of Palin's great-grandfather Edward, an Oxford don who fell in love with a pretty young lrish-American girl, Elinor (Alvarado), whom he met while walking in the Swiss Alps. The story of their romance is complicated, however, by the social constraints of Academe, by the college philanderer Oliver Syme (Molina) and by Elinor‘s Aunt Caroline (Booth), who also has designs on Palin. Whimsical, archetypally Palin-esque and rather bland. The sort of ﬁlm you can see with your elderly relations on a Sunday afternoon. Glasgow: GFl'. I Awakenings (12) (Penny Marshall, US, 1991) Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, John Heard, Julie Kavner, Penelope Ann 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 himself drawn toa particular group of statue-like encephalitic patients, among them De Niro’s Leonard Lowe. As his obsession with their unexpressed inner lives grows. he develops a relationship with Lowe which begins to release both Lowe's ability to communicate and his own repressed emotions. Glasgow: GFT. I Backdralt (15) (Ron Howard, US,1991) William Baldwin, Kurt Russell, Scott Glenn, Robert De Niro, Donald Sutherland. 136 mins. Chicago‘s ﬁnest ﬁreﬁghting men receive the Hollywood treatment in the ﬁlm that burned upthe US box ofﬁce charts. Baldwin and Russell‘s sibling rivalry plays against a backdrop of stunning ﬁre effects and big screen action as the Fire Department and De Niro‘s arson investigator search for clues amongst the charred remains of several victims with links to the forthcoming civic elections. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge, Cannon Sauchiehall Street, Grosvenor. Edinburgh: Cannon, Dominion, UCl. Central: Caledonian, Cannon. Strathclyde: Odeon Ayr,UC1 Clydebank, UCl East Kilbride.
Alice (12) (Woody Allen, US, 1990) Mia Farrow, Joe Mantegna, William Hurt, Keye Luke. 105 mins. With twenty films to his credit, Woody is still able to pull a gem from his hat. This time Mia Farrow is Alice, the kind of New York housewife for whom the most complicated decision involves whether or not the chicken for supper should be organic. Not that she has to prepare, cook or even eat the lowl, you understand. Various designer appliances- housekeeper, nanny, children, husband - perform these more arduous tasks for her.
But there’s trouble in this designer paradise. Besides a general sense of malaise, Alice has an eye lorJoe, a fellow parent at her children’s school, and a backache which her expensive alternative therapists are at a loss to ease. Instead of having a Swede walk up and down her spine, Alice consults the mystical Doctor Chang, who prescribes some magical remedial herbs.
From seemingly standard Allen ingredients, he has concocted a dish more delicious than anything he has created before. The herbs, a simple device which the audience knowingly smiles at, but which Alice eats in innocence, impart a unique flavour. As they open doors in her mind, allowing hidden aspects oi her personality to shine through, they also allow magic to sulfuse the film. invisibility, ghosts and flying become everyday occurrences, in turn revealing to Alice the reality oi her lifestyle and allowing
her to reject it. Apart from Farrow - whose
movements and dialogue at times
make you think she’s actually Allen in
' drag — and Montegna as Joe the
alluring and mysterious potential lover, the cast is limited to a series oi cameo roles, even if they are brilliantly performed. From Hurt, the wooden, unsexy, cynical husband through to Luke, the avuncuiar doctor, via Alice's series of uptight, up-market ‘iriends’, they define the edges of her liie. Spellblndlng the whole certainly is, but Allen’s greatest trick is to get us to love and ultimately respect Mia Farrow’s initially irritating, spoilt child personality. (Thom Dibdin)
From Friday 23 August. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge, Odeon. Edinburgh: Odeon. UCI.
I Best of British Animation (PG) (Various, UK, 1987—90) 85 mins. A wide selection of recent short animated works, receivinga welcome showing on the big screen. The programme includes Nick Park‘s Oscar-winning Creature Comforts. Edinburgh: Filmhouse.
I The Big Picture (15) (Christopher Guest, US, 1990) Kevin Bacon, Emily Longstreth, J.T. Walsh, Jennifer Jason Leigh. 99 mins. Clever but glossy and barely believable satire on the the Hollywood star system. Bacon stars as tyro director Nick , fresh out of ﬁlm school and already assailed by producers, agents and irresistible nymphettes, with Longstreth is his faithful but abused girlfriend. Enjoyable, but too lackingin truth to make you really think. Central: MacRobert Arts Centre.
I The Boston Strangler (18) (Richard Fleischer, US, 1968) Tony Curtis, Henry Fonda, George Kennedy, Mike Kellin. 120 mins. Albert de Salvo (Curtis) isa maintenance man with a wife and a split-personality whose horriﬁc murders leave Boston in turmoil. While Fleischer focuses on the Jekyll and Hyde scenario using the somewhat unsubtle technique of split-screen images, the horriﬁc real-life
tale has a lurid fascination which dims only during the interminable interrogation scenes. Glasgow: GFT.
I Captive of the Desert (PG) (Raymond Depardon, F rance. 1990) Sandrine Bonnairc, Dobi Kore, Dobi Wachinke, Fadi Taha. 100 mins. A young French woman is captured by rebel soldiers in Chad in 1975 and, while not underthreat from her captors, she is constantly battling against exhaustion, lonliness and despair. A remarkable central performance by Bonnaire gives heart to this true story, which director Depardon covered as a reporter. Glasgow: GFT.
I Le Chateau De Ma Mere (U) (Yves Robert, France, 1990) Philippe Caubere, Nathalie Roussel, Didier Pain, Therese Liotard. 98 mins. The second instalment of Marcel Pagnol‘s Memories of Childhood picks up from where La Gloire de mon Pere left off. The plot, if that‘s what it is, concerns a key the family is given to allow a short cut to their mountain holiday home, but which a jobsworth type conﬁscates, claiming they are trespassing. For the most part , it has all the emotional resonance of a picture postcard. Glasgow: GF'I‘.
I Cinderella (U) (Wilfred
J ackson/Hamilton Luske/ Clyde Geronimi, USA, 1949) With the voices of liene Woods, Eleanor Audley, Verna Feiton, William Phipps. 75 mins. The classic Disney version of one of the world's most popular fairy tales makes for a welcome school holidays re-release. Magical animation and fun songs make for a ﬁlm to be enjoyed over and over again. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge. Edinburgh: UCl. Strathclyde: Odeon Ayr, UCl . Clydebank, UCl East Kilbride. I Circus Boys (15) (Kaizo Hayashi, Japan, 1989) 106 mins. Two brothers have spent their entire lives with the Great Crescent Circus, from wide-eyed childhood to impoverished adult years. When the circus hits hard times, one boy stays, the other leaves to become a conman. Glasgow: GFT. I The Cook. The Thief, his Wife And iier Lover(18) (Peter Greenaway, UK, 1989) Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren, Alan Howard, Richard Bohringer, Tim Roth. 120 mins. A superb ﬁlm which nonetheless contains something to offend everybody. Beautifully photographed, directed, written, acted and art-directed (with lavish costumes by Jean Paul Gaultier), its subject matter is at once bizarre, repulsive, romantic and compelling. Strathclyde: UCl East Kilbride. I Diango (18) (Sergio Corbucci, Italy/Spain, 1966) 95 mins. Although it was a hit on the international circuit, British audiences have had only rare chances to view it. With its emphasis on the violent and bizarre, this was one of the founding fathers of the spaghetti Western ouevre and a far cry from the run-of-the-mill revenge dramas often churned out by Hollywood. Glasgow: GF'I‘. I Edward Scissorhands (PG) (Tim Burton. US, 1991) Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest, Vincent Price. 105 mins. Burton follows up the excesses of Batman with this fairy tale for the 905, which works as a welcome return to the darker side of the genre. Depp is the unﬁnished creation of The Inventor (Price), who lives alone in a crumbling mansion, unable to even scratch his nose without needing stitches. Discoverd by a friendly Avon lady, his talent for coiffure and topiary makes him a neighbourhood favourite until tragedy strikes. Beautifully shot, tenderly acted and full of hidden depths. Glasgow: Cannon The Forge, Odeon, Grosvenor. Edinburgh: Odeon, UCl. Central: Allanpark, Caledonian. Strathclyde: Kelbume, Odeon Ayr, Odeon Hamilton, UCl Clydebank, UCl East Kilbride. WMR Film Centre. I Green Card (12) (Peter Weir, US, 1991) Gerard Depardieu, Andie MacDowell, Bebe Neuwirth, Gregg Edeiman. 107 mins. The hugely amiable ﬁgure of Depardieu dominates this, his Hollywood debut. He plays a French composer living illegally in New York and in desperate need of a work permit. MacDowell's horticulturalist is in love with a conservatory apartment, but needs a husband to get the lease. A marriage of convenience is arranged, but the authorities are not convinced, so the mismatched couple are forced to invent a history for themselves. In doing so, of
72 The List 23 - 29 August 1991