WHEEL. ' I La Bete Humaine (PG) Steamy passion and smoky trains set the atmosphere for Jean Renoir’s pre-war classic of French poetic realism. Jean Gabin is the train driver who falls in love with the wife ofa jealous stationmaster. Showing with Quai Des Brumes.

I I Company ofistrangers

(PG) Seven elderly

women and a young black driver are marooned. and find themselves havingto fend for themselves with only the most basic of e materials. A touching first 7 feature with a remarkable cast.

I FXZ: The Deadly Art of Illusion (15)'I‘ime for another round of double crosses. special effects gimmicks and murder most foul as FX genius Rollie Tyler (again played by Bryan Brown) is encouraged out of retirement. Pretty much like the original. but at least that means that the wonderful Brian Dennehy will also be on hand. I Jungle Fever ( 18) The latest Spike Lee joint follows the love affair ofa married black architect and his Italian-American secretary. As incendiary as ever. but Lee‘s more mature approach to filmmaking makes it his most accessible work yet. See preview. I Life Stinks ( 12) More bad-taste humour from Mel Brooks as he tries to win a bet that he can‘t survive for 30 days amongst the down- and-outs in the inner city area he wants to buy in his true life as a millionaire. See feature. I Only The Lonely ( 12) A good-hearted Chicago cop (John Candy) finds himself at odds with his overbearing mother when he falls in love with the daughter of the local mortician. A comedy about relationships from 3 the people who brought ' you Home Alone. See ' review. l

In Hal we trust

"fhe process ofwriting dialogue and I situations helps me answer questions that I‘ve found in life.‘ reflects filmmaker Hal Hartley. the latest quirky talent to emerge from the ever-fecund American independent scene. ‘It‘s almost therapeutic. a process I‘ve acquired to make things clearer. Both my films The Unbelievable Truth and latterly 'I‘rusl reflect a desperate need to clarify.‘ Indeed. it's not just this drive to dissect the manners and morals that comprise everyday behaviour that ties the two movies together. for both also star the delightfully sparky Adrienne Shelley. whose admiring notices as the apocalypse-obsessed teen-turned-fashion-model in the 1 endearing ‘epistomological ' romance‘ of The Unbelievable Truth in fact made the more recent film possible. Originally written before its predecessor. Trustshows Hartley 5 working with more substantial resources. and the result. wherein ' the pregnant Shelley is learning i about life. love. and unexploded l hand grenades courtesy of Martin i Donovan's rebellious electronics worker. is an impressive leap forward. displaying not only a more denselyintriguingandentertaining ' narrative texture but also a more l

confident degree ofcool formal stylisation.

At the same time. however. Hartley manages to retain his rather Martian take on social interaction. a characteristic blend ofoddly witty observation and more philosophic concerns that marks him out as a quite singular voice on the current film scene. In person. he gives offthe slender. softly-spoken aura of the career bookworm. and the abiding interest in precision ofcxpression that runs through his films is more than evident in the carefully chosen words ofhis conversation.

‘It sound very clinical. I guess. but I suppose. broadly speaking. that my preoccupations include issues like how does one live and be happy. yet cause as little pain as possible to others? How does one go about making decisions? To me the whole exercise of fiction is a process of analysing how people interact and

what sort ofeffeet they have on one


‘I don't think it was until I was at film school that my commitment to narrative film really began. because

9 medium it could deal with the

nuances of human psychology and

our emotional responses. The very fact that human beings have this 1 capacity to suspend their belief while accepting the contrived

representationsofa movie seemson ; one level very simple. but on another j level the height ofcomplexity. I






_ i thatwas when I realised that as a l


began to get the sense that you could

f actually be a filmmaker in a world

where there are also artists and novelists and composers.‘ (Trevor Johnston)

Trust (15 ) plays Glasgow Film

I and Edinburgh Film/z(ruse/ram Sun

32 Sept 10 511(5 ()('1.

Metal guru ;

' David Cronenberg. Sam Raimi. James

i seen mentioned by way of introduction

9 movie, Tetsuo: The Iron Man. It's not 3 that they're wildly inaccurate or ; anything, however, but Tetsuo is so

5 Godzilla movies, robotsex 'n’ sadism = comics, and the general portrayal of

that it resists such cosy attempts to l pigeonhole it.

called Tetsuo in Katsuhiro Otomo's

i animated epic Akira, Tsukamoto and

. since turned into a horrifying hi-tech

Cameron. These are just some of the

Western reference points you’ll have |

to Shinya Tsukamoto’s fairly incrediblr low-budget metal machine monster

rooted in the Japanese culture of I

extreme suffering as entertainment

Although there is indeed a character

his collaborators had previously been involved in the underground theatre and hardcore rock scenes before shooting this, their first film on 16mm with independent financing. Although the plot largely defies description, the thrust of the action follows the side-effects on an everyday office worker and his girlfriend after they've been involved in a hit-and-run car collision with a young metals fetishist. The latter has been trying to replace his insides with a new metal flesh and has

mutation of his former self, which gives some indication of the grisly fate that’s about to befall the unlucky couple. What’s most interesting about Tetsuo is the way Tsukamoto takes the familiar ingredients of post-industrial techno-fear and turns them to the service of genuinely disturbing sexual fantasies/nightmares. An unsettling dream wherein he‘s sodomised by a snake woman who’s grown along metal penile cobra from her genitalia, precedes the mutation of the protagonist‘s penis into a power drill. And does his girlfriend worry that the equipment is rotating 3 good deal more

l l Theatre from Sun 22 In 511128.817)! j l l

than is healthy? Not a bit of it. It's all very dodgy stuff indeed (much tougher than anything the aforementioned Cronenberg has thrown at us), and one can only suppose that the censor was having an afternoon off, forthe film has apparently emerged without cuts.

As the action settles down to an ongoing duel between the two metal men the invention does flag however, but there’s still much here to attract the attention of the very sick cult connoisseur. (TrevorJohnston) Tetsuo: The Iron Man (18) plays Glasgow Film Theatre from Mon 23 Sept to Sat 5 Oct.

14 The List 13— 26 September 1991