I Close My Eyes ( ls ) When a brother and sister meet again. their love for each other turns into something more than
platonic. Stephen Poliakoff‘s film is surprisingly controversial forthe British film industry. See preview.
I Dying Young ( 15)Julia Roberts moves into the home of terminally ill playboy Campbell Scott as his personal nurse. and falls in love in the process. See review.
; I Everybody’s Fine ( 12) Marcello Mastroianni is a retired civil servant who
i leaves his Sicilian village
3 to pay surprise visits to his five children. who live all over Italy. An unabashed weepie from the director of ( ‘inemu l’urudiso. See review.
I Lady From The Shanghai Cinema ( 15) An estate agent and former championship boxer falls for a glamorous femrne fatale and gets involved in murder. A Brazilian homage to l lollywood , films noirs. particularly the Orson Welles classic ofthe title.
I Latin American Film Festival Glasgow Film ' Theatre is the only cinema outside of London to show this package of21 titles. including a look at the
work ofJaime Ilumberto Ilermosillo. See preview. i
I ' 31‘: I New Jack City( 18) Rapper Ice-T plays an undercover cop dedicated tosmashing a powerful gang who run a drugs empire. Lotsof ‘lei fire and hot babe action‘ according to The List‘s [ feature.
‘My central concern is that sex has become more difficult.‘ says playwright turned filmmaker Stephen Poliakoffof his latest celluloid offering. the troublingly effective incest drama Close My Eyes. ‘There‘s a realisation that
during the 80s things did change very i
dramatically for male/female relations. male/male relations. . .
' human relations. AIDS is a distant ' worry for Clive Owen‘s character
until he watches his boss dying. That‘s one ofthe forces that pushes
him into this forbidden relationship.‘
Following on from his previous film as writer and director. Hidden City. as well as his earlier scripts for Stephen Frears‘ (Bloody Kids) and Charles Sturridge (Runners). Close My Eyes again sets a metaphorical drama in the midst ofa deliberately wrought (sub)urban background. Here Richard and Nathalie. played with much commitment by Clive Owen and Saskia Reeves. are a
brother and sister whose affectionate
familial bond erupts into a passionate sexual liaison during the long hot London summer of 1990. While her domineering wealthy husband Sinclair (Alan Rickman) remains eccentric and unsuspecting. both ofthe siblings find themselves
l l l l
unable and perhaps unwilling to break off a relationship made more addictive by the taboo surrounding
it. and which offers a calming shelter amidst the anxieties ofan apparently
‘They both go into the relationship
for very different reasons.‘ explains the bearded Poliakoff. whose
well-known television work includes
two award-winning pieces with Peggy Ashcroft in Caught On A Train ( 1980) and She‘s Been A way (1989). ‘Saskia is retreating from an overbearing marriage and trying to find an identity ofher own. She needs to be able to tell someone about her worries and that‘s all that this is about. The sex is something that she can do without. but Clive becomes very involved as a way of dramatising his own sense of
‘I was trying to create reasonably complex individuals in a story that captures the mood of our times. I wanted to get that late 80s feeling of life suddenly becoming more complicated. The issue of AIDS means that sex isn‘t so simple and easy anymore. There‘s a dark side to that whole glitzy period of rebuilding. Even these incredibly hot summers have a sort of unease to them because the ozone layer is changing above us. Like the central relationship. even the weather is out ofkilter. To me this contemporary malaise is a dark note underlying fhe rather glamorous. glowing visuals.‘
Palpably evoking the hothouse millennial atmosphere ofa society on the verge of falling apart. in its steamy languor Poliakoff‘s film plays like a Ilome Counties rerun of L ‘Eclisse era Antonioni. Crucial to its most un-English sultriness is the erotic credibility ol‘its most dangerous of liaisons. but Poliakoff defends the unabashed sexuality on display. ‘We all agreed that we had to show the lovemaking. We had to
1 show the attraction. You had to see ; them naked together. Because ifyou didn‘t it would all seem much more
prurient. like they‘d gone offto make some sort of monster behind the door.
‘I mean. why should a relationship between brother and sister make them feel safe about things‘.’ Like everything in life it‘s not completely logical. but that‘s why the film works. It all seems quite real. and it should seem like it‘s happening to the audience.‘ (Trevor Johnston)
_ Latin beauties
Dominating the Cinema 2 schedule at Glasgow Film Theatre throughout September, the touring package oi 21 titles which comprise the 2nd London Latin American Film Festival is a perfect example oi the kind of intensive thematic programming perfectly suited to the venue's valuable smaller auditorium. Put togetherby the enterprising independent distributors Metro Pictures, it’s thanks partly to the support of Glasgow District Council's Arts Development Fund that GFT will be the only cinema outside London to screen this worthwhile survey of recent movies from Central and Southern America in its entirety.
With over half of the films from Mexico, a tribute in itself to the continuing foresight of the country's Film Institute, much of the focus is on the work of provocative writer/director Jaime Humbeto Hermosillo, whose 1984 gay social satire Dona Herlinda And Her Son was a minor hit on the UK arthouse circuit a few years back. If you missed it then, now’s the chance to catch up (Mon 16 Sept) for this subversive comedy of manners (reminiscent, some say, of Almodovar’s movies) is one of eight
22 The List 30 August — 12 September 1991
Hermosillo pictures on show throughout the season. Among the others, the more recent Homework (Fri 20, Sat 21 Sept) and Bathroom Intimacies (Fri 13, Sun 15 Sept) offer the most lorthright approach to questions of sexuality and machismo, the director’s openly gay sensibility and facility for surmounting limited resources resulting in the sort of punchy, sexy movies that combine wide audience appeal with a sardonic overview of middle-class mores.
While the festival also features entries from most of the major South American countries, as well as a particularly entertaining selection of Brazilian Shorts (Mon 9, Sat 21 Sept), alongside the Hermosillo films, Nicolas Echevarria‘s lavish
s—ubway to the Stars conquistador chronicle Cabeza de Vaca (Sat 14 Sept) and the latest movie by promising Hispanic-American filmmaker Joseph B. Vasquez look set to be the major highlights of the event. Although Vasquez’s earlier Bronx War was a fairly standard drug war shoot-'em-up, his new rap buddy chortler Hangin' With The Homeboys (Mon 9 Sept) is something of a revelation. Just imagine Spike Lee crossed with Barry Levinson and you're ' almost there. (TrevorJohnston)
The 2nd London Latin-American Film Festivaan Tour is at the Glasgow Film Theatre from Mon 9 to Sat 21 Sept. See the accompanying free brochure for complete programme details and special value ticket offers.